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

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Contents -

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.

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