Wedding of the Week: Annie Zoghbi and Roberto Almeida

03 May 2017

This wedding singer stole the spotlight as the bride on her beautiful big day in Sydney, Australia

How did you and your partner meet?

I was singing a show at Marconi club, which for me is just another ordinary evening of work. An acquaintance of mine (the best man) wanted to see me sing; being the only night he had available, he brought Roberto (now, my husband), as a tag-along. Rob fell in love at first sight. Because I was exhausted and he is generally quite shy, I needed more convincing.

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How did he propose?

He took me to a water-view restaurant at the site where he first asked me out - on his birthday - and I said 'no'. This time, he surprised me with a dessert with 'Will you marry me?' written on the plate in chocolate sauce. I was too full to eat dessert, but was reluctantly pushed to order something. Luckily, I did, because this time, I took the chance to say 'yes'.

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How did you choose your wedding gown?

I just hopped in the car and looked. I did not tell a soul or send a single photo. It was just me, McDonald's Drive Thru and eight stores in two days. After years of wedding singing I had seen the best and worst designs available and had the chance to narrow down what I like to look at versus what suits my body shape. It is hard to balance the two, but often they can be very different. Store after store I became clearer on eliminating what didn’t suit my body or personality, and clearer in expressing and describing what did. By the final store, I walked in and saw it on a rack and said I must try it on. The sales person tried to sell dearer or different styled dresses, but after seeing my choice - hid them, and added customisations that turned my choice into a unique one-off. My best decision of the entire day was the decision I made completely alone. Lesson learned: trust yourself, you know what is best for you; you already have the answers to being at your very best.

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What sort of style did you envisage for your wedding day?

I just built it up as I went along. I just chose what I liked and wished myself luck. Modern dress, classic cars, subtle flowers, Arabic-style reception entry, Protestant ceremony structure. And I let the bridesmaids choose the dress and colour theming to let them feel as beautiful as possible. I cared about the people involved more than the 'stuff' involved. It meant more to me that the people involved in the day enjoyed what they had co-created with me.

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What was your favorite moment from the day?

Straight after the electric, emotional moment of singing down the aisle and surprising and overwhelming everyone in the room, the bridal party all began to grimace at an unpleasant smell wafting through the room. The groom and I barely greeted each other without exchanging looks of 'is it you?' and 'it’s not me'. After the ceremony, we were informed that my pageboy - my nephew - was very nervous before his big aisle walk and could not hold it in.

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Any DIY décor elements?

None of my DIY involved décor. It has never been my area of strength. My only DIY was preparing music for me to sing down the aisle to; piano music for my sister, the maid of honour, to sing during the signing of the registry while her husband signed in her place; and pre-recording my singing 'At Last' for our Bridal Waltz.

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If you could do it all over again, what would you change?

I would not have bridesmaids. I love my friends and family but mixing the relationship with a label and a job description of 'bridesmaid' puts unhealthy pressures on both sides. Friendship and family is more important than a title and because they are friends and family, they will be doing the same things anyway. I would also halve the time of the speeches and I would invest more in entertainment. My MC and my DJ let the event down, all because I was too shy to choose favourites amongst my musician friends, choosing one over another. Flowers, cakes and food don’t solidify in your memory... people, activities and their experiences do. Entertainment should be a top priority.

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Any tips that you can give to future brides?

Do not be swayed by anyone’s opinion of what is tradition or not. Every bride is different. Some brides prioritise things more than others. Some brides will go DIY on the very thing another bride will spare no expense. Whether flowers, music, stationery, photos, dresses - that is okay; that is them and this is you. The foundation of your tensions and disagreements with those around you will be that they value something more than you do, or you really want something to happen a certain way that is different to their ideas. As fun as it is to share every part of your event with your bridesmaids and family, there is so much joy and satisfaction from consulting with and honouring the most important people at this party: you and your groom. Stick to your instincts, do what you love and leave no chance for regret. The people who are by your side to support you will supplement that joy and follow your instincts on anything else. You will learn so much about yourself in this process: your strength, resilience, leadership skills, judge of character, communication and negotiation abilities, and your unique and beautiful style. 

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Steal their style:

Venue: Curzon Hall, Sydney, www.curzonhall.com.au
Dress: custom Demetrios gown from La Sposa, www.lasposa.info/wedding-dresses
Make-up: Steph Tee Makeup
Hair: Malkonyan Hair
Shoes: Betts
Accessories: Luv Bridal and LOVEON Jewellery, www.loveonjewellery.com.au
Bridesmaids' dresses: Brides in Love
Groom's suit: All the Rage Formal Wear, Annandale
Photography: T-One Photography,  www.t-oneimage.com.au
Stationery: Adorn Invitations,  www.adorninvitations.co.uk
Cake: Wedding Cake Art
Food: Curzon Hall
Flowers: All Seasons Flowers & Paris Me Bouquets
Music production: StudioPR
Transport: HF Wedding Car Hire and Silver Cloud Car Hire

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