When Tahna and I began planning our wedding and party, straight off we agreed that we wanted it to be about the things that are important to us – fun with friends and family, good food wine, and style. We share so many interests – food, travel, coffee, exploring new places by bike, design, and fashion. I’m probably the one who is more obsessed with clothes – just ask my groomsmen!
I surprised Tahna by proposing to her over Yum Cha and Dom Perignon – this was on a stopover in Hong Kong on our last day of a month-long holiday in Europe. We announced our engagement upon returning to Australia and set a date for the wedding a little under nine months afterwards.
For the ceremony I wore a Hugo Boss linen sports jacket in plaid blues, with a knitted tie and pocket square, over AG flat-front trousers. Tahna’s gown and my jacket were bought from stores (Debenhams) and then tailored (Snippety Snip). Nothing fits better than a tailored garment!
The ceremony was held at Dame Nellie Melba Memorial Park – a special place not far from our home in Richmond where we’ve visited for walks and relaxing. The foliage and magnolia trees gave a beautiful backdrop, and we added decorations in white, texture and pops of yellow. The main feature was a handmade ribbon garland, along with styling props such as aisle flowers, welcome blackboard, eco-confetti, and umbrellas for guests in case of rain!
We both share a love of music and we wanted the romance of strings in a contemporary selection of tracks. Amati Strings performed a great set including ‘let’s do it’ (cole porter); ‘god only knows’ (beach boys); ‘at last’ (etta james), and ‘all you need is love’ (beatles). Tahna walked down the aisle to ‘No-one’ (by Alicia Keys – which was the first concert we went to together nearly ten years ago).
Our flowers for Tahna’s bouquet, girls corsages, guys buttonholes, ceremony signing table and reception were by the talented team at Flower Jar, in Cremorne. Flower Jar were great to work with, bringing fresh ideas and working within our contemporary, textural theme.
Naturally the ceremony was the highlight of our day – not just because it’s the whole reason for the event! Our marriage celebrant was the wonderful Koren Harvey. Koren made special efforts and put great care into crafting and performing our ceremony – she understood our story, the special features and strengths of our relationship, and our reasons for getting married. It was a brilliant ceremony that really reflected us. There were quite a few laughs throughout and we wrote our own (surprise) heartfelt vows. We had so many compliments on the ceremony afterwards from our family and friends.
As we walked through cobbled streets of Richmond for photo opportunities with our bridal party, our guests went on to mingle at Richmond bars and cafes. Our photographer, Jerome Cole has a documentary-style approach to the day and takes advantage of relaxed, candid photo opportunities. Jerome had a warm and relaxed approach, and made amazing efforts to capture the whole day with great creativity and incredibly quick moves! With Jerome’s expert eye we had identified some alleys, street art and streetscapes for some fantastic photos, and popped into a rooftop bar for a drinks break.
For our reception we had a cocktail party at Top Paddock Cafe in Richmond. We wanted a space that was not the usual wedding venue, and one that was very Melbourne. I’ll admit – we’re originally from Adelaide but they let us across the border four years ago and since then we can’t get enough of exploring new cafes, areas and laneways. It was great having so many people travel over for our wedding, and we felt so fortunate that so many of the special people in our lives made the trip. We wanted our interstate and international guests to enjoy some of the magic of the city that we see every day.
In the evening we both did a costume change – just because we could! It was my idea initially to change into after-5 attire, and Tahna decided to do the same so that we could greet our guests at the reception in our cocktail outfits, ready to party. I wore an AG embossed satin dinner jacket in French navy, with a bow tie (and my tip to the fellas if you’re unfamiliar with tying a bow-tie – in advance, practice practice practice!) Tahna wore a stunning Carla Zampatti crepe gown, backless, in lily white.
We wanted a stylish but informal reception, so we did away with most of the usual ‘formalities’ that you might find at weddings – we had a mix of standing and relaxed seating, and didn’t have a bridal dance (instead jumped on the dance-floor with our bridal party to Young MC’s ‘bust a move’!). Good food and wine, and excellent coffee, were the most important things to us – we wanted our guests to enjoy the night. Food was served by circulating attendants, so everyone was able to mingle, and we spent all the time with our guests rather than being seated.
The reception was styled by Flower Jar , Ed Dixon Food Design and our wedding coordinator (Passionate Weddings). Food and drink was catered and styled by Ed Dixon Food Design, and delicious cakes were by Burch & Purchese . We also had a barista from Top Paddock for the evening, turning out exceptional lattes and espresso martini’s which our guests absolutely loved. We received so many comments at the event and afterwards about how great the food and wine was, and were so happy with everything (at least I can vouch for the food – Tahna didn’t manage to eat much but I’m sure I had my share and hers too!)
At the reception we enjoyed kicking up a frenzy on the dance floor with our guests DJ’d by the fabulous Mr Andrew McLelland – having a professional and charismatic DJ was high on our priority list and we were so stoked with Andrew’s fun approach, and the way he has no trouble getting the party started!
We added in a few speeches through the evening too. First we welcomed our guests with a few words together as a married couple, and later both our parents made heartfelt speeches. Tahna enjoyed the touching and memorable speech from her parents, and we all had a good laugh at my best man Jeremy’s anecdotes about some of my lesser moments in life!
We all kicked on mingling and dancing until the staff nearly had to show us the way out. It really was a fantastic day celebrating our union and sharing it with all our favourite people.
Images by Jerome Cole
Ms Gingham says: What an amazing wedding! I love every element here and especially love the uber stylish choices Ben made with his attire. Great job Ben and Tahna!
Ben describes himself as: “Fashion-conscious management professional. Serious about good coffee and wine. Enjoy travel. Dreams of Ferrari!”