FROM THIS DAY FORWARD
Australian actor-on-the-rise NATHALIE KELLEY married Jordan Burrows in an intimate Sydney ceremony this April. Here, the Dynasty star shares the story of her wedding dress, which is as unconventional as her engagement
Justine Picardie, Collette Dinnigan and Nathalie Kelley reflect on their wedding dresses.
JORDAN AND I were introduced through mutual friends a few days before last New Year’s, when I was back in Australia for a few days during a break from filming the first season of Dynasty. At that point, I’d lived in America for 13 years and, to be quite honest, I’d never thought about dating an Australian, but Jordy and I connected on such an honest level so early on.we’d only spent four days together in Sydney when I left to go back to America to continue filming, but we’d had the most magical time.
Fast-forward two months and Jordy flew to the US and we spent a week together in Tulum, Mexico. He was ticking all the boxes of everything I’d ever wanted in a partner — he’s extremely fun and funny, he’s relaxed and easygoing, he’s not possessive or jealous, he’s insanely kind and generous — just an amazing human being. We finished our trip in Tulum, then spent some days together in Atlanta, where I was filming, and I ended up proposing to him one night in our hotel. It wasn’t planned and there was no ring. We’d gone to see my friend’s band, Rhye, play, and they played “Song Foryou”, which I had starred in the music video for.watching them perform the song, Jordan and I felt so connected, in part because I’d helped write the treatment for that music video based on my experience of falling in love with him. So, later that night, we had been sitting up talking and laughing, and I said to him,“you know, I had never understood what the point of marrying someone was — why would you choose not to be with other people and to be with just one person for the rest of your life? But I actually understand it now.”and he said,“are you asking me to marry you?” and I thought about it and said, “Well, I’ve never felt like this before, so would you?”
We organised the wedding in two months.we didn’t want to be fussy — and I’m definitely not the kind of girl who had planned a wedding in her head for years. We knew we wanted it to be in Australia, by the harbour, so we married at The Island [floating beach club] on Sydney harbour.
Two weeks after the proposal, I had a weekend off from filming, so I flew to New York. At first I didn’t want an engagement ring because I thought it was a waste of money and a status symbol, which I’m against, but then I thought about it and said to Jordy,“you know, it’s going to look really bad when I don’t have a ring and you have to keep explaining why.”
Jordy let me pick my ring because I’m very specific, and I went to my favourite jewellery designer,wendy Nichol.when I visited her Newyork boutique, I noticed she had dresses in there, too — she’s an amazing dress designer. I love that the pieces are made to order and nothing is mass-produced. I saw this one dress that was kind of like a pinafore silhouette, with a low draping back. I can imagine that on the runway it could have had a more gothic vibe and been styled with black boots and dark lipstick, but I saw it and thought, This could actually
be a wedding dress. I tried it on — it was the first wedding dress I ever tried on — then I tried two more of her designs. But I decided on the first one on the spot. It was kind of like how I decided about Jordan. I was like, You know what? I’m here right now, so I’m just going to go with my gut. And I loved the idea of not having to spend the next six weeks searching for the perfect dress. I trusted in the timing and the synchronicity of everything.
I love the dress so much because, as somebody who had never dreamed about her wedding, I had to decide pretty quickly how I wanted to look and feel on the day. I thought, Who do I want to embody? Is it someone with a restricted energy in a tight dress who isn’t totally approachable? No, not really. I wanted to be comfortable, and this dress, to me, was the embodiment of innocence and purity and light and simplicity. It was also all the ways I would describe my relationship: uncomplicated, unfussy, open, easy to read — what you see is what you get.that’s why it really resonated with me, and once I had the dress I wanted the ceremony to feel the same way. We didn’t want to spend hours making people sit down for a long meal and listen to all these speeches, which can get really boring.we just wanted all our friends and family to come together and have a big party and dance — that’s the kind of people we are.
It was important to me to include my Peruvian heritage in the ceremony because a lot of my family from Peru and Argentina couldn’t make it because it was so last-minute. I decorated the whole thing with rugs from Pampa, a company in Byron Bay that imports beautiful handwoven rugs from Argentina. My mum did all the floral arrangements herself, and I included a lot of cacti from my favourite store in Botany [in Sydney], Cactus Vision. As a wedding gift, my family in Peru sent us 200 maracas from the Amazon made by the Shipibo tribe. They believe that you put your prayers into the maracas when you shake them, so we handed them out when we did our first dance — to “Love is in the Air” by John Paul Young — and everyone was so hyped and jumping around, shaking the maracas in the air and singing along. It was like we were casting love spells over the harbour, and everyone was so high from the love in the room — it was an indescribable feeling.
I had to change out of my wedding dress pretty quickly after the ceremony because it wasn’t the right energy for The Island. It was a ceremony vibe, but once I got to the reception I just wanted to boogie, so I had another dress from Attico, a blue minidress with floral detail and puff sleeves. Later, I changed into a look by George Keburia, a white Victorian-style blouse with a mid-length polka-dot skirt I got from my favourite boutique in Sydney, Désordre. Then there were some other outfits at the after-party that won’t be seen by the public — they may have involved a disco-ball helmet and platform shoes.
Jordy and I had only spent 14 days in each other’s company when I proposed, so it was a hilarious shock to everybody, but it made so much sense to my friends and to his. I’m not a conventional person; I don’t really believe in marriage. But I believe in Jordy. So this is the only way I would’ve agreed to a commitment like this: a spur-of-the-moment, spontaneous feeling of yes, and going with it. – As told to Grace O’neill
“I thought, Who do I want to embody? Is it someone with a restricted energy in a tight dress who isn’t totally approachable? No.”
Jordan Burrows and Nathalie Kelley by Sydney harbour on their wedding day. Below right: Kelley gets ready in her Wendy Nichol dress.
Jordan and Nathalie, in an Attico dress, and guests aboard The Island. Above: Nathalie in a George Keburia look, with a Shipibo maraca.