The ins & outs of the dress
Wedding of the Week ~ Bianca & Mark
16 feb 2017
Weddings of the week:
Couple’s first date
after exams passed test
BIANCA MAKDESSI, 22,
and MARK HANNA, 23
Dress: Fitted ivory french lace gown with
dropped shoulder straps and detachable
dupion silk skirt, designed by
Personalised Weddings Couture, Earlwood
Honeymoon: One week in Bora Bora followed by one week on the north island of New Zealand
REMEMBRANCE Day became a day to remember for students Bianca Makdessi and Mark Hanna, who celebrated the end of their Higher School Certificate exams in 2011 with their first date.
The couple had met at a mutual friend’s birthday party in August 2011 and over the next few months became better acquainted at shared social occasions.
Both agree it “wasn’t love at first sight”, especially as Bianca was then unimpressed by Mark’s sense of style and longish hair.
“At first we didn’t have much in common except for a great love for food and good wine,” says Bianca, who works in banking. “As time went on we found deeper connections.”
The couple shared an impromptu dinner on the evening of November 11, 2011, after Bianca completed her final exam at St Charbel’s College, Punchbowl, and Mark finished up at LaSalle Catholic College, Bankstown.
After dinner they drove to Breakfast Point, where Mark, who later studied construction management, asked Bianca to make their friendship official.
In his speech at their wedding on Sunday, November 27, 2016, Mark explained what had attracted him to Bianca.
“I know people see the hair, the dress, the jewellery and the make-up, but that’s not beauty — the beauty is the person you are, completely selfless and genuinely amazing,” he said.
“You care for others more than yourself, which is a true testament to your upbringing.”
The couple celebrated Bianca’s 21st birthday in January 2015 with a trip to Hunter Valley vineyards, where a helicopter was waiting for them on arrival.
After a scenic flight over the wineries, they shared a private wine tasting at Audrey Wilkinson vineyard at Pokolbin.
“As the sun began to set we enjoyed a private picnic at the top of the hill overlooking the valleys,” Bianca says. “After a few glasses of red wine, we went for a walk through the vines.”
When Mark dropped to one knee to propose, Bianca was so overwhelmed by the ring he was holding that he had not even asked the question before Bianca said yes.
“We had seen the ring, with a flawless round diamond set in a double halo, in a shop and I told Mark how much I loved it,” Bianca says. “He had then gone back to buy it.”
Bianca selected a fitted ivory french lace gown, with off-the-shoulder lace straps and a detachable dupion silk skirt designed by Personalised Weddings Couture at Earlwood, accessorised with white and ivory David Austin roses and ivory peonies.
After their wedding ceremony at St John’s Melkite church at Greenacre, the couple celebrated with a traditional reception at the Clarence House Lemnos Club at Belmore.
“It was a very intimate wedding with only close family and friends among our 397 guests,” Bianca says.
Entertainment by Cdarz ranged from traditional Lebanese zaffet to contemporary music, including the couple’s bridal waltz song I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith.
“The day was a true blessing, everything was perfect,” Bianca says. “The weather was magnificent, the church was overfilled with flowers and loved ones, and the reception was indescribable, an atmosphere filled with joy.”
Mark and Bianca spent one week of their honeymoon at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa, followed by one week touring the North Island of New Zealand.
Pictures: Mark Jay Photography