Tomka and Andrew’s St Kilda Summer Wedding

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 Tomka and Andrew

There is nowhere quite like St Kilda in Summer- ice cream, salty sea breezes, dodging bikes as you wander in the sunshine. So I think Tomka and Andrew chose a beautiful time of year for their St Kilda wedding!

Tomka tells their story. “We were introduced through a friend in Melbourne, we then bumped into each other walking down Brunswick Street a few months later. We then ran into each other again a few weeks later, Andrew being as persistent as he was, we started dating. Andrew was leaving in 3 months on an away ticket to travel around Asia on his way to live in London. When Andrew left we decided to go our separate ways. We met up in Mexico 7 months later and picked up were we left off. Andrew moved back to Melbourne 3 months later, and the rest as they say is history!”

Goldmsith & Co captured the fun and sunny images for Tomka and Andrew’s big day!

Tomka chose a gown by Pallas Couture. Her bridesmaid and godmother wore gowns from Thurley & Sass & Bide.

Tomka and Andrew married at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church. Tomka noting, “The grace and beauty of the The Serbian Orthodox wedding ceremony was really special (my background is Serbian Orthodox and Andrew’s background is Italian), Andrew wasn’t fussed at all regarding the ceremony and to me it was so important, so it was wonderful for him to take part and share in my love of my heritage.”

“My dad passed many years ago so having my mum walk me down the aisle was so important to me. ”

“The “official” first dance was done at the venue, however as is tradition at a Serbian wedding (my background is Serbian – Tomka) we danced “kolo” with our family outside the church. The Serbian dancing “kolo” is fantastic & I think, set the scene for the party ahead & we loved that everyone joined in the Serbian dancing during the night.”

Of their photographers, Tomka says, “Brett was absolutely amazing, such an incredibly cool and talented photographer. A friend sent me photos to a wedding she went to & I asked who the photographer was as I was so impressed with the work. We set up a time to meet the dynamic duo Brett & Jane, and after meeting them both Andrew & I felt we had to work with them. It was just a feeling we had, there was no sales pitch it was just like having breakfast with friends, besides, the work speaks for itself! Brett made us all feel so relaxed on the day, there was no posing, it was all about natural photos which was incredibly important, none of this being dragged around different locations. We didn’t even notice him around for most of the day, Brett just went about his business. When we received our photos we were blown away with how natural they were, and they were exactly what we wanted and exceeded our expectations.”

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Tomka and Andrew held their reception at Royal Yacht Squadron, St Kilda  with catering by Food & Desire . “All of our vendors were absolutely amazing, absolute professionals, every single one of them. They made our day so relaxing & fun, I now realise how important it is to choose the right vendors, it makes such a big difference to your day. I can not recommend any of them enough, the caters Food & Desire were outstanding, the service was second to none and the quantity and quality of food (which was very important to us) was fantastic.”

The Style Co held together the styling for the day, styling the reception, the invitations and stationery, the favors and the wedding cake! Tomka notes, “The Style Co are the most creative, talented, patient and beautiful bunch of girls I have met, every single detail was amazing. We had so many compliments and comments just with the Save the Dates and the invites, let alone when people actually arrived at the venue.”

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“We loved sneaking away straight after our speeches to leave our guests to enjoy their main meals, we went out for Sunset photos, just the 2 of us, it was nice for Andrew & I to have time to ourselves to reflect on the day so far and to have a drink together to celebrate us, our day, our families, our new journey as husband & wife!”

“Our first dance was beautiful, we were very nervous, we had 3 lessons and didn’t take into account the back of my dress so it was very much small steps. I was quite relaxed by the time we got going, however I could see the concentration on Andrew’s face, which actually made me giggle throughout the dance. It was magical to dance with my husband surrounded by all our loved ones. Ben Harper – “Not fire not ice” was the song we chose, we both love so many different artists, however Ben Harper was the choice as the words are so significant to us and Andrew had learnt to play a Ben Harper song whilst in London & recorded this & sent it to me for my birthday!”

The White Tree kept guests dancing all night long, Tomka remembering, “The band The White Tree, they cleared the tables and filled the dance floor, everyone was on the dance floor, even Andrew’s 83 year old Nonna.”

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Congratulations Tomka and Andrew! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you to Goldmsith & Co for sharing today’s imagery!

The Babushka Ballerina 2013 Collection

The 2013 collection from Brisbane bridal boutique and designer The Babushka Ballerina is completely inspired by individuality and finding the goddess within. Each gown has her own name and her own spirit – the above, ‘Eloise’ features a lace bodice and softly tiered chiffon skirt. Styled with a lace bolero, gauzy veil and floral crown she creates a look of traditional bridal glamour with an eclectic twist.

Other gowns, such a ‘Rosaline’ feature thick rose detailed lace with a blush lining giving it a bohemian elegance feel. Adding to the high fashion feel of the shoot, designer Sierra used her  Persian cats to give the shoot something different, a fashion editorial style.

The Babushka Ballerina prides themselves on styling your entire look. Stocking labels of gorgeous designers from around Australia they start with the gown, chosen by your intuition and then add glittering jewels, beautiful veils, lace boleros – customising not only the gown to suit your own personal style, but your accessories too.

The new collection also features shorter gowns – designer Sierra, inspired by brides eloping to New York City with chic, bridal style.

How To Be A Great Wedding MC – My Advice for MC Virgins

Last year I was asked to be the Master of Ceremonies (MC) at my close friends’ wedding. I was honoured, but nervous, and I’m pretty sure my reaction would be standard for most people like me who’ve never undertaken any master of ceremonies duties before.

Sure I’ve done plenty of minor speaking gigs like professional seminars, presentations and I was a regular at Toastmasters for a while – so I wasn’t completely fresh – but I’ve never had the opportunity to potentially ruin the biggest day of my friends’ life!

Lucky they are such good friends. Elise, the bride, made things easy for me by having a detailed run sheet. Her run sheet helped me plan my speech and detailed the key guests I had to introduce. But we all know that the best MC gets the guests laughing and helps set the right mood for such a special occasion.

A good MC understands the important balance between communicating the formalities and injecting some fun. Too much of either makes for a cringe-worthy wedding experience for everyone.

Unlike the rest of my life, I was well-planned and ready for the big day. I’d done my research by contacting the close friends and family of the couple and I was confident I had some good nuggets of friendly ‘dirt’ and wise words of wisdom. I did the requisite internet searches on how to be a great wedding MC – which were only partially helpful. Google was great for confirming the formalities to include, but the tired old jokes, outdated traditions and scammers (promising the best MC speech scripts for just $199) were painful.

On the day, I knew only a fraction of the guests would actually know who I was, so straight up I explained my relationship to the bride and groom and made sure to include one of the more entertaining experiences I’d shared with them. I also got the compulsory housekeeping stuff out of the way early on – well before I introduced the bridal party.

The majority of my responsibilities were in the first 15 minutes of the evening, and after that I became merely a link between the events of the night announcing speeches, cake cutting and the first dance.

I’m pleased to say the planning and preparation paid off. I didn’t feint. I didn’t forget what I had to say. I got people laughing. I even got a few compliments from guests I didn’t know. The bride and groom are still my close friends – so all in all, a success!

I did learn some things along the way, so if you’re a first time MC, here are my top smooth talking tips!

  1. The day is not about you. So relax. An MC plays an important role, but really, you’re just a cog in the wheel. Don’t build it up to something it’s not. No one is focused on you, it’s the bride and groom they’re interested in! Equally, the content of your script should reflect this.
  2.  Balance. Identify the most important elements of your job and get them right. This is not your chance to release your pent up inner-comedian. Not everything you say needs to be funny. Try to show some personality and warmth, and generating some laughter is great, but make sure you get a balance between ‘entertaining’ and the important formalities.
  3. Get a run sheet. View the run sheet well in advance of the big day so you can understand your duties and shape your script accordingly. Most brides will have one, so ask them for it. It will give them lots of confidence you’ve got everything in hand.
  4. Think confident! Hopefully you won’t have any challenging situations to deal with but if they do arise remember, you’re responsible for getting things back on track seamlessly. Use your judgement. At I wedding I went to recently, the MC stepped in and tactfully finished up a rambling and intoxicated mother of the bride speech. It was needed and his actions saved everyone from embarrassment and the night being remembered for all the wrong reasons.
  5. Talk to the key players. Get to know the wedding planner, band and catering staff. Take the time to meet and talk to them to get a feel for their priorities and how they see things running. Do this early so you can make any necessary script or run sheet changes.
  6. Brief the bride! Check in with the bride and groom before the day. Give them an overview of your script (don’t ruin any surprise jokes though!). Check if there is anyone who will be present or who can’t attend that deserves special recognition. This is your last chance to find out any other important background information which could add the extra icing on the cake!

Good luck to all first time MCs! Full credit to Gemma Clarke Photography for great photos from the day.

Ms Gingham says: Public speaking is a real skill and needs preparation! Great tips here from Scott.

Scott Evans is a contributor to Courses Direct, an Australian based website providing online courses in a range of industries, including wedding planning! Scott hasn’t completed the course and is mostly a rookie when it comes to weddings! He’s also a keen runner, yoga amateur and part-time traveller.