An utterly romantic bit from the handsome groom’s speech… “Being with someone doesn’t have to be hard, and that if you find the right person, every day can actually be happy, and as beautiful as you want it to be.” If that doesn’t sweep you off your feet (how could it not?), Duüet Photography has filled our galleries with classic romance at it’s best!


From the beautiful Bride… My husband Addam and I met in unconventional circumstances. He was living in Hawaii and I was living in Melbourne. We both wrote for an American film blog, and because of the 23 hour time difference, got to talking and eventually infatuation took hold and we simply had to meet. That was 4 years ago. Addam proposed to me at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida in 2011. It took awhile for me to get started on the wedding plans, but being a 19th century literature major, I knew that I wanted my wedding to be classically romantic.

The very first thing I did was buy my dress. I took my Mum dress hunting in Melbourne and within 4 hours I was twirling in front of a Raffaele Ciucca mirror in my gorgeous Allura Bridal gown. My dream ballgown had lace on the bodice, a heart-shaped neckline, exquisitely delicate rhinestone beading across the waistline and more lace trimming on the bottom to finish it off. The cherry on top was the soft tulle veil that my Mum handmade herself. My bridesmaids wore pink floor-length gowns from Danielas. They weren’t traditional bridesmaid dresses. A glittery silver and pink under-layer, topped with pink tulle that finished in the back with a short train helped to solidify my vision of a soft, understated and romantic wedding. My Mum’s stunning mother of the bride outfit also came from Danielas!

Addam, who flew into Melbourne with his Mom and daughter only two days before the wedding, wore a suit from Roger David purchased the day before the wedding. We definitely had some important last minute things to accomplish when the groom arrives so close to the wedding! The second most important thing to me was choosing the right photographer. I was in love with a particular style of photography that is difficult to find in Australia. When I saw Duüet Photography featured at a bridal expo I knew the soft hues and natural shots were the exact thing I was looking for. Pat, an incredibly talented man, was the glue that held all the details and plans I had made for the wedding together.

I made the rather shocking decision to hold our ceremony in a garden rather than a church. Shocking because my family are Catholics and I hadn’t ever attended an outdoor wedding before. I wanted to make the most of the natural elements and fell in love with the idea of having sunlight and trees as our backdrop. We decided on Overnewton Castle for its lush green grass, white gazebo, and indoor chapel for a rainy day back up. I explained my vision to my florist in Werribee, and with their help came up with the idea for simple but beautiful bunches of gyp bouquets for my bridesmaids and a teardrop bouquet of singapore orchids, the same bouquet that my Mum had for her wedding 25 years ago, for myself.

In true DIY fashion, my mother sewed 24 baby pink sashes to give the garden chairs a little more colour. I created a monogram for our wedding day, and used it as a theme to link all of my stationary together: the ceremony booklets, the favour inserts and the seating charts for the reception, all of which I made myself. Etsy store Sixpence Press had table numbers to match my monogram perfectly, as did CDK Designs who provided me with my place cards. The horseshoe wreath symbolised good luck and was tied to a memory of me giving Addam a real horseshoe with his name chiseled into it. I wish I had thought of it when we made our invitations! (Yes, my Mum and I made those too.)

All of the details came together beautifully, but of course on the day of the wedding their importance faded from my mind, and the only thing I could think about was seeing Addam waiting for me at the end of the isle. When my Dad walked me down the red carpet, and Addam’s face became more clear with every step, I saw the tears in his eyes, and the nerves, fear and stress that had consumed me over the past few months melted away. We exchanged vows, kisses and made it all legit, and finally the formalities were over and we able to enjoy the rest of our day together. We were able to combine a civil ceremony with some religious elements to make our religious and secular guests happy. Our celebrant conducted the legalities of the marriage and my family priest Fr Jude, did a reading and a blessing. My mother in law also read our favourite poem, Bright Star by John Keats.

To take advantage of the beautiful weather, we escorted our bridal party to Coburg Lake for photos in a 1959 Austin Princess, the same car that the Beatles used for their 1964 Melbourne tour! Our reception was held at Butleigh Wootton, a classy 19th century mansion that continued the theme of a 19th century romance. Their food choices were modern Australian, something I was worried my Italian family would dislike, but there’s a lesson in trying to predict what your guests will hate and love, because mine absolutely raved about the day from beginning to end. They served pork belly, pasta, chicken and beef, and for dessert we had a decadent macaron that oozed with strawberry cream and nutella.

The incredible wedding cake was made entirely by my Mum. From the carefully crafted handmade roses on the top to the delicious mouthwatering chocolate and white chocolate mud cake on the inside. She is so talented! Our guests packed the dance floor and much credit should be given to our DJ, James Cottingham, who kept my 80 year old grandparents on their feet! A special mention must also go to my bridesmaid and cousin Ellise Kibel who, with the voice of an angel, serenaded us with Alicia Keys’ song, “If I ain’t got you.”

As a surprise to my grandparents who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary just a few days after our wedding, I presented them with congratulatory messages from the Prime Minister of Australia, the Queen of England and Australia’s Governor-General. It was perfect to be able to celebrate their achievement on the night that Addam and I started our married life together.

But the best moment during the reception was when my new husband made his speech. He told everybody how that unlike popular opinion, being with someone doesn’t have to be hard, and that if you find the right person every day can actually be happy, and as beautiful as you want it to be. I could literally write a thesis length overview of my wedding but sometimes words are not enough to describe the perfection of the day. The day goes by so fast it’s like a blur but the pictures will remind you of how special every moment was, and how planning every little detail, even the tedious ones, pays off.

Photography: Duüet Photography | Videography: French Lace Studio | Flowers: Werribee Station Place Florist | Wedding Dress: Raffaele Ciucca | Ceremony Venue: Overnewton Castle | Reception Venue: Butleigh Wootton | Shoes: Wittner | Bridesmaid Dresses: Danielas | Hair & Makeup: Marissa Portelli | DJ: Art Of Excellence | Suits: Roger David | Celebrant: Glyn Ellis | Bride's Rings: Gordon's Jewelers | Bridesmaid Jewellery: Charming Charlie | Car: Abbey Road Classic Car Hire | Dress Hanger: BrideHangers | Earrings: Lovisa | Favours: Cherish | Flower Girl Dresses: Princess Boutique | Groom's Ring: Spexton | Place Cards: CDK Designs | Table Numbers: Sixpence Press