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Classic Elegance in Melbourne with Fresh Spring Touches

I don’t know that I’ve ever come across a beach wedding I don’t absolutely love. But a beach wedding in Australia is a whole different beautiful ballgame. It’s classic populated with fresh Spring touches and a Bride and Groom who just so happen to be drop dead gorgeous AND head over heels. Lucky ducks. See all the beauty captured by Jerome Cole Photography right here.

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In our eyes, our wedding was perfect. We were surrounded by our family and friends, we were blessed with a beautiful day and all the planning and help we received ensured that everything went off without a hitch. Our guests had a wonderful time and felt very looked after. It was elegant, classic and fresh. The theming flowed through all aspects of the day and our suppliers went above and beyond for us. All day we felt incredibly thankful to everyone that contributed and lucky to have found each other.

We spent just over a year and 3 months planning our wedding. We were married on a gorgeous sunny April day (April 6 2013), which was the week after Easter. Our ceremony was held at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Hampton, which is the church in which I was Christened, where my parents were married and also where my grandparents were married (both my mother’s parents and my father’s parents). A number of other family members were also married there, which added to the significance of choosing this as our wedding venue.

I spent the morning of our wedding day getting ready at my mum and stepdad’s house with my bridesmaids and we had a few visitors pop in and out to be part of the excitement. Our hair and make-up artists came to the house which meant we could just have a lovely, relaxing morning getting ready without rushing around. My hairdresser was very patient with me in the lead up to the wedding and we had lots of fun doing trials and trying to get my veil to hold! She did a lovely curled up-do on the day, held with a Mimco comb that my mum gave me. My make-up artist was also wonderful, so relaxed and easy to work with and her work was really natural.

My younger brother and sister picked up the buttonholes (simple white spray roses, jip and some greenery) from Mordialloc Florist and dropped them at Scott’s parents house, where he was getting ready with his groomsmen. My brother brought back a CD which Scott had put together (with his sister’s help) of love songs. Each day for 10 days in the lead up to the wedding Scott had sent me the lyrics to a love song, and on the wedding morning I got to listen to them all as I was getting ready which was a lovely surprise.

Once we were almost ready, our photographer arrived to capture the final touches. My dress was Lisa Gowing’s Tallulah, which was ivory liquid silk overlaid with beaded French Chantilly lace. It had a hand draped cross-over bodice with scalloped lace cap sleeves and a slim skirt with a scalloped lace edged sweeping train. I had a veil which had the same beaded lace edging and fell to about knee length. My shoes were from the Diana Ferrari bridal range – satin with some simple diamante detail and not too high (very comfortable!). I carried a gold glomesh purse that belonged to my grandmother on my dad’s side, who is no longer with us. My bouquet was made up of white flowers (spray roses, tulips, jip, lisianthus, tuberoses etc) with a touch of green. My bridesmaids bouquets were smaller but similar in look. Megan from Mordialloc Florist even wrapped my bouquet with some of the spare lace from my dress to tie it all in.

Our reception was held at Encore St Kilda Beach and the venue, service and food very perfect. We chose it as it was on the beach and had beautiful floor to ceiling windows overlooking the water, it was modern and there was a huge dance floor. Our guests arrived for canapés at 6.30pm and a 2 piece band entertained them in the outside area of the venue while we finished our photos on the beach. The sunset was absolutely stunning that day, so we were really lucky.

The night was everything we had hoped for – the food was delicious, the speeches were wonderful and the band was fantastic. The band played a number of sets building from the two piece acoustic to a 9-piece band for later on in the evening and we were able to select all of the songs from a large list. The dance floor was filled with guests whenever the band was playing which was great to see. Scott and I had our first dance to Nat King Cole’s L.O.V.E, having had a few lesson’s to learn the foxtrot in the lead up to the wedding. We danced to a CD version to ensure the timing was right, and then the band kicked in straight away with the same song when the guests were invited to join in.

My grandma and grandpa gave us our wedding cake which Janelle (the other half of Cake Ink) created. It was a beautiful 4 tiered wedding cake. Janelle and Samone worked together to replicate the chantilly lace detail of my dress onto the cake, using a scanned picture of my lace to create a template for the icing and piping. The cake was a chocolate and white chocolate mud cake with chocolate ganache. The result was visually stunning and tasted delicious! My mum and stepfather gave us a beautiful Vera Wang cake knife and server as a wedding present .The cake boxes we purchased online and they were sealed with monogrammed stickers that Samone from Cake Ink created to tie in with our stationery.

Scott and I escaped to the beach with our Matron of Honor, Best Man and photographer close to the end of the night to take some sparkler and night shots which was a laugh and lots of fun – they turned out really well too! Our photographer Jerome photographed my Matron of Honor’s wedding in Lorne and was wonderful, so our choice was easy. Jerome was very professional but relaxed at the same time, which put our whole bridal party at ease, meaning our photos were very natural. Jerome seemed to capture moments without us even noticing he was there.

We organized a getaway car to whisk us off into the night as husband and wife.
The next day, our families came together at my mum and stepdad’s house to reminisce. The backyard was filled with the flowers from the reception and everyone left with their arms full of flowers to take to their homes.

Photography: Jerome Cole Photography | Flowers: Mordialloc Florist | Cake: Cake Ink | Invitations: Cake Ink | Reception: Encore | Shoes: Diana Ferrari | Jewelry: Myer | Rings: Ralf Fisch Fine Jewellery | Bridesmaid Dresses: Review | Make up: Jacinta D’Angelo | Hair: Sandi from Art Hair Studios | Cars: Triple R Luxury Car Hire | Church: Holy Trinity, Hampton, Melbourne, Australia | Wedding Dress : Lisa Gowing

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Non-Traditional Melbourne Winery Wedding

For this sweet Melbourne couple, planning a wedding came down to hosting a relaxed summer party where formalities were best left at the door. Instead, they opted for moments of meaning – like their two-year-old  son Blax walking Mommy down the aisle, and had Milk Photography on hand to capture every bit. It’s everything we looove about a free-spirited affair and there’s lots more waiting right here.

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From the Bride… We picked a January day in Melbourne for our Wedding Date, thinking (& hoping) that this would be the best month to avoid the rain in the unpredictable Melbourne Summer….instead we prayed for it to cool down – and it did (phew!) We married at Willow Creek Winery – the day that the record making Melbourne heat wave subsided – it was a perfect Mild 23 degree day on Saturday 18th January 2014..

We have two children, Blax 2.5year & Zella 12 weeks – YES 12 weeks old! The night Pre Wedding Zella Stayed with Me (Mummy) & Blax stayed with his Dad. The “boys” & Beaus family prepared for the big day at our Family Home & Bride & Bridesmaids along with my Mum & a long time family friend stayed at a Stunning Vinyard Cottage at a Private Winery just 2km from our Wedding Venue called Tussie Mussie – its was simply stunning, the excitement began!!

Our wedding was very relaxed – it had to be with kids involved – and we loved it that way! Blax walked me down the isle & talked about his new shoes the whole way! Our children may not have truly understood the importance of the day nor remember it – so we gifted them each a “message in a bottle” through the ceremony for them to open and read when they are older & can understand just how special sharing the day was with them & how important they are to us!

We held our wedding at Willow Creek because it was a mix of all the elements we could possibly wish for on our Special Day all in the one venue! Our ceremony was held in a gorgeous garden, under a Tree enabling a perfect backdrop of hanging jars & blooms, framed with two wine barrels stacked with layers of an array of flowers in mixed height vases. With a historic homestead in close proximity where our duo could sing our wedding aisle song live on the veranda, plus a rose bush & box hedge lined aisle – we instantly fell in love with this romantic spot for our ceremony!

Our Guests then moved into the Cellar Door & Bistro area – Entering through a stunning Contemporary architecturally designed building past a glass fronted Barrel Room where guests could sneak a glimpse of the amazing Reception Area they would later enter, onto a deck that overlooks the Winery was a striking place to enjoy Canapes & drinks. While listening to a live Duo singing Jazz Music there were rustic bar tables set up on the deck with a stunning Rustic Floral feature in the centre for guests to admire & relax.

Whilst guests were enjoying their Pre Dinner Refreshments, Beau & I were able to sneak into the Barell Room & take photos of just the two of us before guests entered – it was breathtaking when you entered the room alone, quiet enough with just the two of us that you could take in every single detail – it was more amazing than we had ever imagined. Just so you know this room comes empty! No furniture or even lighting! This was another element of Willow Creek that we loved, you could totally make this room a reflection of us! We wanted the room the be really warm & moody – so the only lighting was a huge selection of candles & votives on the tables along with the hanging & waterfall festoon lighting! Every thing in the room has been bought in & styled impeccably by Weddings Of Desire, even down to the gorgeous natural linen tablecloths & guests mini succulent favours!

All the formalities were over & done quickly so we could dance the night away! The day was filled with so much love and laughter & we are thrilled this represents through our photographs of the day.

Photography: Milk Photography | Styling: Weddings Of Desire | Flowers: Hello Blossoms | Bridesmaids Shoes: Tony Bianco | Bridesmaids Dresses: Zimmermann | Bridal Gown: Jane Hill | Bridal Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Bride Headpiece: Viktoria Novak | Cake & Stationary: Cake Ink | Ceremony Winery & Barrell Room: Willow Creek Winery | Cottage Pre Wedding: Tussie Mussie Private Vinyard | Furniture & Lighting: Pepper Sprout Hire | Groomsmen Attire: Cailbre | Groomsmen Shoes: Aquilla

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Classically Romantic Overnewton Castle Wedding

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