What it’s like to get married at 18

What beautiful piece, full of wisdom about love and marriage… at 18 years of age.

Love Haqtually

by Aisyah Shah Idil

It was my first year of university, and I was missing my friends desperately. None of them attended the university I did, so I made regular trips on the 891 bus to see them. It was the midday bus stop crowd – full of bored, listless students. I sympathized – UNSW’s stairs were nothing to scoff at.

I milled about, checked my watch, looked to my right – and stopped, dumbstruck.

Him! I knew him! I’d met him years ago, at an Islamic class. We knew each other, but lost contact soon after. That I had a huge crush on him was of little consequence.

I crept up behind him and said hi. He tore his earphones out of his ears and grinned widely at me – the both of us erupting into excited catch-ups. I noticed his hands were shaking.

Half a year later, we…

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A Gatsby Garden Wedding

WHEN I first saw Emily’s wedding photos cropping up on Pinterest and other wedding sites I knew I had to see the whole affair. Her own (handmade by herself!) wedding dress, the mismatched bridesmaids in my favourite Australian designer Rachel Gilbert, that epic floral crown, the photography by the brilliant Lara Hotz… There is so much to love and to inspire about this wedding. I am beyond excited to share it here on the blog! Read on followers, to get all the juicy details!

OVERALL THEME/STYLE/MOOD The most dapper garden party you’ll ever attend. Glamours, classic and somewhat similar to a Great Gatsby party.

PHOTOGRAPHY I am blown away with how amazing the photos are. We choose Lara Hotz as out wedding photographer because her photos capture the feel of the day. I looked through the images of the other weddings Lara has done and I feel like I was there. I could see the joy on the faces of the bridal party and their friends. I like that the majority of Lara’s shots are candid. The bridal party was whisked away for photos for only 40mins after the ceremony and the amount of wonderful photos that came from those 40 mins is awesome. Lara and her team are professionals and when you hire them for your wedding or event you can rest assured you will get the photos you desire and much more.

BRIDE’S DRESS STYLE My dress was influenced by dress from the late 1960’s. The design of the dress is all my own. I wanted to be comletely covered in lace from my neck, to my wrists to the ground. I made the dress myself!

BRIDE’S SHOES Yellow silk sling backs with a bow on the front – BHLDN

STYLE OF BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES I wanted the girls to look as glamourous as me on the day, so their dresses had to be long. Ive never understood dressing three girls in the same dress, so each girl was not to match. My bridesmaids are such beautiful girls and so individual, I wanted that to shine out on the day.

We choose Rachel Gilbert dresses from www.dressedup.com. The girls choose the ones that suited them the most.  

JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES Jewellery was minimal, just hair accessories were worn. It was a mixture of vintage and ASOS accessories.

WEDDING RING STYLES Antique, classic. Mine is a very thin gold band to match my engagement ring. And Ed’s ring is classic signet ring.

GROOM/GROOMSMEN ATTIRE Ed was in charge of styling the boys. Eds a stylish man so I had no doubt the boys would look exceptional on the day. Just like the bridesmaids the groomsmen were not to match. Ed’s brothers bought suits that looked good on them. A slim classic three piece suit was the style so all the boys had to get their suits altered to fit perfectly. Waistcoast did not have to match the suit, this look is very cool and when done well looks fantastic. Ed bougth the bowties from Etsy.

HAIRSTYLE All hairstyles were different, designed to flattered the individual.

My hair is very very very curly!! I didn’t want to wear it out as its hard to control. The only other option was all my curls bunndeled on top of my head. So I asked my florist to create a giant floral headpiece for me to wear. It was over the top and perfect!

MAKEUP STYLE Flawless skin and Glowing cheeks, Smoky eyes and red lips.

TYPE OF STATIONERY/INVITATIONS Simple, cream card, Art deco style.

WEDDING FAVORS/BONBONNIERE Jams made by our mate Cam. He has a jam business called Cam’s Jam.

BOUQUET TYPES Colourful and all different. Mine was simple so as not to clash with my headpiece

RECEPTION DÉCOR STYLING DETAILS I styled the event . We kept it simple and very glamourous. I was careful not to make it to “girly” or “kitsch” so I ran all my ideas by Ed and only went ahead with them when I got his tick of approval. The vintage crockery was mismatched and and the guest ate with shiny silver cutlery. Lacey, vintage napkins accompanied the crockery and cutlery. White table clothes and regular glasswear kept the whole look of the table not to ‘kitsch’. The table was full of platters of food and piles of root vegetables for table props. The flower arrangements were hung from the roof. I like that rustic feel, like I’d just run into a field of flowers and picked bunches to hang… that was the brief I gave the boys at Sticks and wicks floral design, so there was lots of twine and hessian, daisies and ferns.



CAKE TYPE: Chocolate with white chocolate ganache drapped with fruit and jasmin – made by mum!  

CELEBRANT Emma Tomkinson – she was wonderful.

READINGS USED My sisters Katie and Eloise said an amazing reading on the day about love and life and always striving to be the best person for ourselves and each other. Ed and I wrote our own vows. We heard them for the first time on the day. It was a really great thing to do!

A MEMORABLE MOMENT The guests looked sensational. Dressed in their finest frocks and most dapper suits, I got the feeling our guests dressed up for us!!

PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF THE DAY Our wedding day was full to the brim with love and happiness. At the risk of sounding cheesy, it actually was. I remember seeing smiles that went from ear to ear, every guest was dressed up in their most dapper suit and finest frock ready for a garden party like no other.

I was shaking like a leaf as I walked down the isle to Angles by The XX. The whole way through the ceremony I found myself smiling and holding Ed’s hand the only thing I could manage. I was glad the ceremony was short and sweet. Ed and I wrote our own vows, hearing them for the first time on the day. There were tears, but before long we were married!

The guests mulled around the garden and soaked up the sun, giggling with one another and making new friends. They raved about lunch being delicious and how they were full to the brim. I could see eyes regularly darting upward mid conversation, steeling glances at the hanging floral arrangements only to pull their cameras out and take photos. I styled the event, and when I saw the venue for the first time it delighted me to see my vision come to life in more beauty than I had hoped. The boys at Sticks and Wicks Floral design realised that vision for me. Oh how beautiful the venue looked!

We kept our wedding simple but glamorous. Our guests have sent us endless text messages and cards saying it was a wedding they will never forget. But, to tell you the truth, they were the reason it will be unforgettable. Ed and I always wanted to have a wedding just like Christmas day lunch. Great food and above all wonderful company, it was a bonus that we all got to dress up!!





































WEDDING RINGS: Lachlan Walsh


HAIR/ MAKE-UP: Annete Twemlow

STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Designed/Printed by Emily Sarks

FLORIST: Sticks and Wicks floral design

CAKE: My mum

CATERING: Piquant Catering



WEDDING VENUE: Lion Gate Lodge, Sydney Botanic Gardens


CUTLERY & CROCKERY: The Vintage Kitchen

Five Modest Wedding dresses under $1000

ASOS Lattice Embellished Flutter Sleeve Maxi- $183



Tadashi Shoji Embroidered Tulle Crop Top Full Skirt gown- $868





Ellery Mayfair Dress– $472



Gossamer Vintage– $398



Tadashi Shoji Stripe knit and floral lace gown- $608




Mixing it up- the best on the net

One shade, different styles 


Rose evening gown, Mauve pleated evening gown, Mauve oval elegance

Embellished love 


Needle and Thread Tiered Petal embellished tulle gown, Geo embellished gownIridescent Tulle Maxi Dress

Floral print 


ASOS Curve Double layer maxi dress, Needle and Thread Embellished Locket dress, Inayah Ink Dress


To the girl who laughed at me whilst getting my photograph taken…

This photo…


It was at the One Fine Day Wedding Fair, while my sister was taking a photo of me in my Diana Kotb shirt. Me, who hates being photographed, who is totally awkward at ‘posing’ (see above) and is also in the PBB stage.

What’s PBB you ask?

It’s an acronym for “Post Baby Body”.

Something that I am currently in the throes of, being four months out from having given birth to my second baby.

You walked IN FRONT of the camera that my sister held up, who was trying to make me feel comfortable about being photographed. I could see you and your friend from the corner of my eye coming my way. My insecure self took in your long, leggy, bare, slim selves. Already extremely embarrassed about taking a photo in public, your mere presence, your confident gait in your skin shot my confidence to the ground that I stood on.

Then, you so nonchalantly, but knowing it was rude, walked in front of me while my picture was being taken.

Your friend laughed. That typical, high school girl, snide, laugh.

You didn’t miss a step. You both kept walking without a care for what you had just done.

I was left behind to deal with the rising tide of shame, embarrassment and shock. I looked at my sister who was equally shocked. I looked after you both, hair flying out behind you and said, much too late, “That was rude!!”

It was pointless. You were out of ear shot. And would you have stopped even if you had heard? Would you have had the courage to respond?

Probably not.

I know this because although you were capable of such a callous, thoughtless act, I know that if you had an ounce of true courage, you wouldn’t have done that in the first place.

You wouldn’t have made another woman feel so small.

And the fact that you did only reflects on the smallness of your character.

Not mine.

I may not look like the ‘ideal’ woman perpetuated mercilessly from every media outlet, but to my two daughters I am the only sight that they want to see. The only sight that brings them peace, comfort and sheer joy.  Do you know what that feels like? To know that you are the ONLY person who can comfort someone else?

I may be covered from head to toe in my polarising choice to wear a headscarf, but I guarantee you that I live confidently knowing that I have stuck by my values and not compromised them to please a society that claims to uphold the feminine, but instead does everything it can to define what that means and entails. In only the most destructive manner may I add.

Believe it or not, but I was once tall, slim and carefree, but I traded that in for the opportunity to bring two extra souls to this planet.

And you know what? Even though I still struggle with my new body, despite knowing all that I wrote above, I recognise that the current state my soul, my spirit, my body is in, actually presents the most amazing opportunity for change.

Because I feel like a rock cliff that hugs the ocean. The one whose curves and magnificent form has been shaped by the hounding wind that beats at it. That over centuries of being shaped by the merciless wind, it sits, beautiful, strong and awe-inspiring.

The challenges I face every single day in trying to raise two people are the wind. They are shaping me, moulding my character, testing my patience, steeling my courage, building my confidence, softening my heart beyond what is bearable.

And that is why I look the way look.

And I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Especially not for an approving glance,

from you.