Claire & Tim
Claire and Tim’s wedding made me feel like I was catching up for a cup of tea with the bride herself. The stories, woven amongst the pictures are what makes a wedding for me. I want to know the meaning behind why you chose the flowers you did, why your husband is cracking up with laughter in that photo, and what you danced to.
Photographs today are by Harvard Wang who captures unexpected moments with such a beautiful twist.
The day was really a coming together of Claire and Tim’s friends and their incredible talents! Claire remarks, “Wow, I really am lucky to have so many talented people in my life. I teamed up with my über cool Swedish friend Linnea Hedeborg who luckily lives just around the corner from us. Over many a home cooked meal and multiple glasses of vino, we work-shopped the brief for the design. I penned the words for our invite poem and then let her do her thing with the design. She came up with our very own logo which represents our initials coming together and we chose a bright and modern colour palette of orange and blue. We didn’t have a ‘theme’ or a colour palette as such for the wedding, and I didn’t want to be too restricting in the brief as when you’re lucky enough to work with amazing people, you want to grant them freedom to do their own thing – that’s why you ask them to do the job, right? Well she did her thing and we loved it.”
“I was up late the night before the wedding writing thank you cards and wrapping gifts – nothing like a last minute challenge. Although our families were staying next door to one another at the apartments, I knew I wouldn’t get a chance to speak to Tim as we did the traditional thing and spent the night apart. So I wrote him a little note and couriered it over with his mum and asked her to place it in his pocket. It was a nice way of communicating with him right before the big event. ”
Gloria Grady dressmaker (02) 6280 9334, created Claire and her bridesmaid’s gowns while Jo Fletcher styled their hair and makeup. Claire recalls, ” I came across Jo after seeing her hair and makeup styling in a vintage photo shoot. Not only is she one talented woman, she was an absolute joy to have with us on the morning of the wedding. She does a stellar job and to top it off, the woman just radiates warmth and positivity. I’d had a trial with her earlier and since then had changed my mind completely on what look I wanted, so again I went in blind without a trial for the new look and she completely nailed it. Thanks Jo!”
Quat Quatta was chosen as the wedding venue. “Having only lived in Melbourne for about three years and frequenting grungy pubs rather than classy function venues, we were originally a little stumped when it came to choosing the place. With many interstate guests we wanted to make it as easy and enjoyable for our guests as possible, so we were interested in finding a place which could have the ceremony and the reception in the one spot – saving guests having to wait around for hours in between the two events. After a couple of false starts we eventually stumbled upon Quat Quatta and I’m so glad we did. The secluded and sunny courtyard was the perfect backdrop for our vows, and guests were able to enjoy a post ceremony cocktail and listen to acoustic music outdoors as we quickly shot off for a few photos on the grounds.
When lunch time rolled around, it was but a ten step journey to the tables. The venue itself is timeless, (even the bathrooms were stunning!) however the professionalism of the staff and how smoothly they helped to make everything run on the day was just as important as the scenery. From the moment we arrived to the minute we left our (and our guests) every need was tended to. Everything ran like clockwork, yet it didn’t feel like a factory because they still provided a very genuine and personal touch. A special thank you to Fiona for doing a wonderful job. As a nod to our families and our grandparents who couldn’t be there, we had a literal ‘family tree’. We pinned up photos of our family members’ weddings (with mini colourful pegs) on to a tree in the courtyard. It was nice to remember them this way and to visualise our families coming together.”
The bridal party traveled in cars from Always Classic Cars . Claire recalls, “Both of the bridal parties got to arrive in a 1961 Phantom Rolls Royce. The one we had originally booked was a beautiful gunmetal grey colour but it blew a head gasket the week before our wedding. Luckily, Always Classic Cars had a backup plan. Initially I was not too keen on an ivory car as thought it was a bit too stereotypical, but when I saw it pull up on the day it was just perfect. We received great service from our driver and it was such a fun experience to have a little drive around the leafy streets of Ripponlea in an old Rolls prior to arriving.”
Claire walked down the aisle to Angels – The XX performed by Baker Boys Band.
Melissa Fahey married the couple. Claire remembers “Where do I even start with Mel? She’s a beautiful and generous woman who truly madly and deeply loves love. And this shows in her service. She’s sincere, genuine, and professional. And as I said before – she loves love. A true romantic at heart, her enthusiasm for the sacredness and the fun of marriage shines through every word she speaks. She was so helpful in guiding us through what we needed to do as well as providing so many references to get us inspired on how we might like to individualise our ceremony. All of our guests commented on what an amazing job she did with many of our couple friends noting down her details for their day!”
Celebrations kicked off with custom cocktails! “One of our mates is a bartender at The Aylesbury in Melbourne, so we enlisted his help to design us two custom made cocktails to be served for our guests after the ceremony. We named them the “Groovin’ Groom” (which consisted of Sailor Jerry rum, pineapple syrup and cherry brandy) and the “Blushing Bride” (which was made up of watermelon and vanilla syrup, white wine and lemon). These were served in highball glasses with some cute striped straws I’d bought through Lark. They went down a treat and were not only super tasty but a great way to get the party started.”
Tribal Rose created the floral arrangements, including Claire’s hairpiece, “Being a November wedding, I was lucky enough that my favourite flowers – Peonies – were in season. Diney from Tribal Rose was an absolute gem to work with. With her beautiful and serene presence and being an expert in her field, I only needed to show her one or two pictures and immediately I could tell we were on the same wavelength. A relatively last minute decision of mine was to have a floral crown, I didn’t really know how this was going to turn out until the day but when I opened up the boxed flowers I was so delighted. I was going to be a garden fairy princess! It was stunning, smelled absolutely divine for the whole day and was one of the things that everyone commented on and said how ‘me’ it was.”
“My whole group of friends and both of our mothers are very creative people so that was an added bonus. Foam LOVE letters – I had the idea of ordering some huge foam letters to spell out LOVE as a piece of interest for the ceremony – these also later made for great shots of the walk from the reception to the wine bar as the guests meandered down the road for the after party. I’m told they were later used as swords for some of the male guests to battle with and that in fact ‘LOVE’ was destroyed!”
Of their photographer, Claire remarks, “I had the fortune of crossing paths with Harvard working in an ad agency a few years back. He modestly mentioned he ‘dabbled’ in photography, so I checked out his site and found he did a lot more than just dabble. I knew back then who I wanted as our wedding photographer. His uncontrived way of capturing moments as they unfold on the day really tells your story. My dear Pop who was unable to attend our wedding due to his age called me after viewing our slideshow online and was over the moon, saying how much he adored the photos, and how they really made him feel like he was there with us. Another friends husband fessed up that he cried upon seeing the slide show, so that about sums up what a great job Harvard did.”
“Again to be a bit savvy on costs, my girlfriends and I collected glass jars and purchased our own flowers, with two of my girlfriends doing the arrangements for me. They were our personal florists. They also helped set up all of the decorations for the day. I didn’t really know what everything was going to look like when it came together, but I wasn’t worried, I was excited, as I had complete faith in everyone I enlisted to help and was so grateful for their contributions and how wonderfully it all came together. It was such a nice surprise to walk through and see everything set up so beautifully by people I love.”
“I really wanted to come up with a slightly different idea for our favours, and when you think about it, finding a gift that suits all ages and tastes is actually quite a hard task. Then I thought, what’s something that unites all people, that acts as a trigger for good memories and that’s the perfect accompaniment to a momentous occasion? Music. So that was it, we decided to come up with our own ‘soundtrack’ for the day. We enlisted one of our DJ friends and provided a few of our favourite songs and he mixed them together. Our CD was designed with our logo and included such great tracks as “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb, ‘Happy together’ by the Turtles along with the tracks we used to mark the day.”
For their first dance, Claire remembers, “We danced to Le Temps de l’Amour by Francoise Hardy. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for French films and music and when I heard this song in Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ I couldn’t stop humming it for weeks afterwards. It’s one of those songs you hear and makes you immediately want to start swinging your hips in a bit of a sassy 60’s French kind of way. It made us want to move, so we thought that was a good sign. Tim claimed he wasn’t the best dancer, but through our dance lessons we found he actually has impressive natural rhythm! There were a couple of dips and a lift which scored a standing ovation.”
Baker Boys Band provided the music for the day, Claire recalling, “I’ll admit, after seeing a few of the stereotypical wedding movies, I was completely sceptical about approaching anyone who marketed themselves as a wedding band. But then we went to check out the Baker Boys and we both realised we were doing that sitting down dancing thing. And we thought that was a pretty good sign. Being the bride, I missed the lovely acoustic guitar and vocals which sauntered through the air from the balcony as the guests arrived, but I’m told it was amazing. And the dance floor? It went off. As we had a lunch time wedding, we were a little afraid people may be hesitant to shake their booty’s without the cover of darkness on their side. But as I always say, if the tunes are good enough, people will dance no matter what and that certainly proved to be true.”
“I also wanted guests to have plenty to do, and the venue was basically shouting out for some garden games. So I purchased a bocce set and a badminton kit so our guests could burn off a bit of excess energy after lunch. This made for some great action shots of guests getting their game on.”
Don’t think the reception stopped there, oh no no no, it continued on! Says Claire ,”After the reception wound up at 4pm, we wandered down the road to The Grosvenor Hotel for some more merriment. This was a great space, with an extensive wine list and also had some great items on the menu for those who hung around for a while and were peckish around dinner time.”
Congratulations on your marriage Claire and Tim! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Thank you also to Harvard Wang for sharing today’s wedding with us!