As many of you may have already heard, last weekend, the Australian wedding industry lost a dear friend and amazing talent, Sydney event planner and stylist, Anthony Del Col and even after a week since hearing the news, I still find it hard to take in that Anthony is no longer with us.
Having worked with Staging Connections as their head stylist for over 10 years, Anthony had styled and planned weddings for celebrities like Guy Sebastian and Rove McManus and was set to launch his own company, Anthony Del Col Weddings this October. His knowledge of stunning wedding styling and events was incredible, leading to him sharing his expertise to help couples planning their weddings at events such as the yearly Ultimate Wedding Planning Party. To say Anthony’s contribution to the Australian wedding industry was enormous would be, in so many ways, an understatement – and I know that I, as well as many others in the industry will miss him very dearly. Anthony had the biggest heart, an infectious smile and was always so positive and full of energy – he was a force to be reckoned with.
I was lucky to have met and worked with Anthony when he helped plan our wedding and in that year and half of planning, he not only became a great confidant when it came to all the wedding stresses and madness, but he also became a dear friend and mentor. As many of you know, my dive into the wedding industry came from – as cliche as it sounds – planning my own wedding and Anthony was one of the many inspirations and support networks that led me down this path – one that to this day, I still have not regretted taking. So, it is with a heavy heart that I write this post today as I mourn the loss of a beautiful friend and mentor who touched my life and inspired me in so many ways.
I still remember going for a stroll from the Opera House to the Botanical Gardens with Anthony and the hubby chatting about the wedding preparations and the differences between weddings in Australia and in Asia. At that time, Anthony had just finished planning a 500 pax wedding in China and was so excited about sharing his experience with us. I still remember so clearly having our wedding rehearsal at the Botanic Gardens under the rain and Anthony giggling at my so called ‘umbrella’ contingency plan should it continue to pour with rain up until our wedding day. I still remember smiling with Anthony as I walked down the slope towards our ceremony because we had lucked out on the weather. I still remember Anthony laughing with me rather than panicking when I showed him the gaping hole in my wedding gown because a guest had stepped on it ripping my gown. I still remember Anthony reassuring me when he saw how nervous I was, that I wouldn’t stack it during our first dance. I still remember Anthony encouraging me (and not laughing at me) when I told him I wanted to take a leap into the industry. Instead he shared his experiences with me and gave me some advice on how to kick start a career in event styling. And I will always remember catching up with Anthony over a coffee after having taken the leap and how excited he was for me when I had told him what was going on with my life. There’s so much to remember about my interaction with Anthony, it’s hard to write everything down but I know that I will forever hold those moments in my heart dearly.
To Anthony – thank you for inspiring me, for encouraging me, for believing in me and for being a wonderful friend and mentor. May you rest in peace.
To Anthony’s family, his lifetime partner Noel and his friends – I am so sorry for your loss. My heartfelt condolences go out to you all.