A New Season in Sydney | Winter Wedding, Part 1
August 20, 2019
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September 12, 2019
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A New Season in Sydney | Winter Wedding, Part 2

Family Picture at a Wedding

My sister is currently on their honeymoon, and I’ve only gotten around to posting about the day of the wedding. ?? Can I have a slow clap for being so good at this? ? Picking up from where I left off on my previous post, here’s a timeline of how things happened on July the 20th. Some photos of this destination wedding by Ry, some grabbed from the wedding suppliers, but most are my own.


I was soaking in the silence of the place as the sun made its way slowly overhead. My sister appeared calm, but I knew her mind was running in circles. I could tell from her contemplative manner as she walked around the room. We stayed that way, alternating between random bursts of excitement and quiet, until her make-up artist arrived within the next hour.

Striped mugs with coffee and frothed milk, with a view of the vineyards

Twin mugs for the “twin” sisters

Kangaroos in Bimbadgen

Morning visitors ? Cath


Tara of Airlie & Co came knocking at around 6 am, to start doing the faces of my eldest sister, and then the bride. She had also just gotten married in the past month, so it made for a nice conversation starter so early in the day. She had a chill vibe that, I could tell, really kept my sister at ease. I loved watching her work, every move deliberate and sure, and was hoping to pick up some new tricks to deal with my own face and hair.

Lady gets her makeup done

Tara, prepping Ate Ka’s face


I’d been fretting over what to do with my hair, being longer than my usual pixie. YouTube saved me with its myriad of tutorials on “beach waves with a flat iron,” the latter being the only tool I know how to use. Thanks to the relatively drier climate of NSW, it kept pretty much this way for the rest of the day, when it would’ve been flat in 60 seconds back in Manila.

Girl with makeup

Make Up Forever primer, Infallible foundation, Jaclyn Hill x Morphe eyes, Naturactor concealer, Estée Lauder eyeliner

Tara does work for TV and film, and we discovered that she has done Chris Hemsworth! ? So this is us, just posing, for the closest I’ll ever be to a cheek-to-cheek or forehead-to-forehead with one of my ultimate crushes.

Girl and makeup artist

That brush has touched Chris Hemsworth’s face ?

Shortly after, I had to go to both the ceremony and reception venues to do a sound check with my friend, Celine. (Side story: her brother who lives in Sydney also got married on her birthday, July 6. She agreed to sing with me for my sister’s wedding.) The place was being set up, and was coming to life with the little details from the couple’s DIY efforts.

table setting at a wedding

Table setting ? Cath


Back at the Longhouse, the place had gotten busy. The kitchen counter was full of forgotten breakfasts, entourage bouquets, and makeup. Both mothers of the bride and groom had just finished getting glammed up. The photographer and videographers were circling the premises, capturing my sister’s every step. An hour to the ceremony, my sister announced that it was time to get dressed.

Girl in robe with bridal veil

About to change into her gown

Helping her put on her boots

Handmade ring pillow

Tying the rings onto the ring pillow I made by hand

Then, when all was ready, the photographer took some photos of the bride with our family. One of the many wonderful things about the Longhouse was that every single corner looked picture perfect. My favorite spot was in a little forest across the driveway, with strange, orange blooms.

Bride's family photo

From another angle ? Ry


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The sweetest bride Karen with her beautiful sisters and bridesmaids by her side ? @derekbogart

A post shared by MeOhMy Flowers (@meohmyflowers) on


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The gorgeous Karen and Simon ♥️ beautifully captured by ? @derekbogart

A post shared by MeOhMy Flowers (@meohmyflowers) on


The guests were starting to fill the top of the hill and were eagerly awaiting the bride’s arrival. Finally, we saw Simon’s trusty pick-up being driven by my dad (we had him practice driving on the left side of the road!) Members of their small entourage started our procession as my sister alighted from the truck. As requested, Celine and I sang “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” as she walked down the aisle. By 3:15 pm, the ceremony had begun, officiated by Marg Kish. Sisters and brothers-by-bond flanked the couple as beautiful passages were read to all witnesses. It was intimate, meaningful, and devoid of pomp that predominates so many a wedding nowadays. It was a gorgeous afternoon. Bright, but cool under the shade of the grove.

Bride and wedding singers

Singing as she walked

Wedding at the Hunter Valley

#KarenAndSimonWed at Bimbadgen Palmer’s Lane ? Ryan


Sunsets came early in those winter months, so by the end of the ceremony, the light had relaxed and was casting long shadows to the east. The vast, open fields and mountains in the horizon were breathtaking. It was the most enchanting backdrop to a memorable occasion.

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Such beautiful lighting for Karen & Simon . . Photo by @derekbogart Florals by @meohmyflowers

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(Spot the Omega Speedmaster on Simon’s wrist, lent by my dad for the special day. It was passed down from my maternal grandfather. It’s the only watch that astronauts wear, and was the 1st watch on the moon. You’ll find out the significance of this later on).

Family picture

The bride’s side, with my new brother, Simon ?

Sisters and Bridesmaids

With my eldest sister, Ate Tin


We took photos with the bride and groom until we were no longer needed. The folks at Bimbadgen sent us champagne, beers, chicken wings, and tempura while out on the fields. Eventually, as night creeped in, we joined the cocktails out by the pond. Wine and beer were free flowing, and there was a s’mores station at the fire pit.

Couple posing by sunset

Rare, proper photo of me and Ry

Two men entering a building

Entering the dinner hall ? Tita Adora

Seating Chart

Finding your picture means finding your seat (inscribed at the back) — can you find mine?


By 6:00 pm, we were all seated for dinner. Simon, being a space geek, assigned names of moons and missions to the tables, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing happening on the same day. They kept traditions like cutting of the cake, and had us all clapping to their 1st dance. Celine and I sang a few more songs each, and together. Touching and funny speeches were made by the “bests” and the parents. The rest of the evening went by in a blur as I became increasingly drunk by the hour. ? (Notice my eyes as the evening wore on. ?)

Table Name on a log

Saturn V and my derpy face

Child and Woman as dinner guests

Seatmates with my Ellie at dinner

Couple's 1st dance

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” ? Ry

Lady singing

Hand-wrenching tear-control ?

Father and daughter

Hugging his last one (hello, eyes, you traitor)

22:00 ++

Partying with the newlyweds

Where was mom, and how cute was our little photo bomber?

Fire pit and smores

My friends will crack up when they see that Gollum made an appearance

By night’s end, I realized my bag was open and I had lost my make-up. I also somehow had gotten rid of my lashes sometime while dancing. For a short time, Jimmy was standing on a dark road alone, because Ate Tin didn’t realize she had driven off without him. ? We had to drive slowly to avoid the kangaroos that had congregated out on the dirt paths. I crashed into bed and fell into a deep sleep, a sure sign of a day well spent.

Dropping this last photo here by Derek, an absolutely stunning capture of the newlyweds with the Milky Way and a lucky, falling star. This, to me, speaks of the infinite possibilities of Karen and Simon’s lifelong love.


  1. Macy says:

    Loved reading this! What a beautiful wedding. ❤

  2. Karen says:

    Thanks, Fug! So beautiful. Thank you for putting it into words. Want to keep every detail of this day forever in my memory. Love you!

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