On September 9, 2011, after two years of dating, Jacques Jean-Louis whisked Elise Maunders away to Bunbury for a romantic weekend full of surprises.
First, he would decorate their hotel room with balloons, roses, gifts, Lindt chocolate and Elise’s favourite, Veuve Cliquot champagne. Then he would propose on the beach. And when the pair arrived back to their room, they would be greeted by friends and family waiting to celebrate with them.
But the surprises did not end there. Elise says, “I had a few tricks of my own and left Jacques speechless by proposing to him in return in front of all of our guests.” She adds, “Unfortunately for our female friends, we have now set a precedent for the men to receive an engagement ring too!”
The pair exchanged vows at St Lawrence & Mary Immaculate Church in Balcatta, WA and held their stylish vineyard wedding reception at Sandalford Wines Estate in the Swan Valley.
Elise’s Essense of Australia gown was from Tuscany Bridal in Leederville, WA. It featured a one-shoulder frill neckline, draped bodice with pickups in the A-line skirt and a black waist sash. She accessorised with a silver statement bracelet and teardrop earrings from Passchendales Accessories.
Of her birdcage veil, Elise says, “My hairdresser and I made the veil together. I had three [others] made by local Perth suppliers which were not up to standard so when I spoke to my amazing hairdresser she was able to make the masterpiece herself!”
Jacques wore a black two button suit with decorative-edge lapel and matching waistcoat, ivory shirt and gold tie and hank – all of which were custom made while on a family holiday to Thailand. His four groomsmen – three mates and a cousin – were dressed by Penguins Formalwear, with ties from Tie Bar.
Of the couple’s wedding bands Elise tells, “Our beautiful creations were designed by the groom and created by Victoria Jeweller and Watchmaker.”
The bride expresses, “Jacques and I are a team. I think that’s what makes us so happy. We always have each other’s backs, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we enjoy a good laugh.”
With Jacques’ Mauritian heritage, Elise recalls a particularly heartfelt moment during the wedding. “I surprised Jacques and our international guests by saying part of my speech in Jacques’ mother tongue, French. The standing ovation I received and the look in my new husband’s eyes made all of the sleepless nights well worth it.”
Elise’s four bridesmaids – her sister, Jacques’ sister and two girlfriends – looked classic and stunning in black floor length one-shoulder evening gowns, also from Tuscany Bridal.
Photographer Robert Gordon of Squint Photography tells, “We learned Jacques was big into basketball, and we always like to reflect the hobbies, passions and personality of a couple in their photographs. Between the vineyard sheds at Sandalford Winery the boys kicked off their leather shoes and replaced them with their basketball kicks and a quick game of basketball ensued. Of course, the camera lens was always there to capture the fun.”
Sugar Cascades designed a three-tier chocolate mud, choc-mint and fruit wedding cake for the couple. Elise praises, “We were thrilled with Samantha’s work! It was absolutely perfect.”
On planning their big day Elise muses, “Being both an accountant and a teacher I was in organisational heaven!”. The couple followed up all meetings and phone calls with email confirmations and also gave a trusted friend a list of their supplier details, contracts and backup plans. She adds, “On the day there was nothing on our minds but each other… it was truly perfect.”
Photos courtesy of Squint Photography.
Brides Accessories: Passchendales Accessories / Brides Gown: Tuscany Bridal / Brides Shoes: Wittner / Bridesmaids Dresses: Tuscany Bridal / Ceremony Venue: St Lawrence & Mary Immaculate Church, Balcatta / Entertainment: Platinum DJs / Flowers: Pick Me Function Flowers / Gift Registry: Wishing well / Groomsmen Attire: Penguins Formalwear, Tie Bar / Hair: Total Brides / Invitations: Panache Inspiration / Makeup: Gail Wilton / Photobooth: Platinum DJs / Reception Venue: Sandalford Winery / Rings: Victoria Jeweller & Watchmaker / Videographer: 21st Century Video Productions / Wedding Night Accommodation: The Vines Resort & Country Club
Additional suppliers: Wedding Window