Megan & Craig’s Modern Abbotsford Convent Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,

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Megan & Craig

If there is a wedding full of love and laughter, than Megan and Craig’s modern Abbotsford Convent wedding is it. From the bride who laughed her way down the aisle, to the speeches full of emotion and joy. Each moment captured beautifully by Louisa Bailey.

Megan tells the story of how she and Craig came to be. “We met at work back in 2009, but it was about a year before we got together. Our first date was a casual after-work drink at a dodgy pub with me sharing tales from a work trip to Tamworth’s country music festival.”

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Megan chose the Lilia gown by Theia from the The Bridal Atelier remembering, “I had tried on a few dresses elsewhere that I had quite liked, but then my sister spied this one. I’ve always been partial to a sequin and when I tried it on I think we all knew we’d found my dress. After Mum gave it the stamp of approval, I was set! We felt it was really going to suit the venue and I ended up fitting other elements around it. It only needed minor alterations too which was fab.

Erin at The Bridal Atelier was lovely and super helpful to deal with. Initially I worried that finding a dress might be a real effort, but in fact it was a pleasure. On the day lots of guests (especially some of the older ones) commented that it was the most beautiful dress they had seen. I was happy with my choice!” Megan’s bridesmaids wore silver and navy dresses from Manning Cartell.

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Megan and Craig chose Abbotsford Convent  for their wedding, Megan telling, “We held everything at the Abbotsford Convent. The ceremony was held in the beautiful Rosina Courtyard in the late afternoon and then for the reception we moved next door to the Rosina room, catered by Bursaria. That was something that was really important to us from the get-go actually – to not to have to ask our guests to move venues between the ceremony and reception, or have to fill in time. We loved that we could make it a one-stop shop for our guests – they mingled in the courtyard and gardens after the ceremony while we snuck off for our photos.”

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Megan notes, “My very talented friend and bridesmaid Holly (and her mum and sister) had made the beautiful bunting for her sister’s wedding earlier that year and they were kind enough to lend it to us. I loved the bursts of happy colour it added to the day.”

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Of her walk down the aisle, Megan remembers, “This was a tricky one as I had James Taylor’s ‘Something In The Way She Moves’ in my head for this, and although I didn’t quite know if it would work, I wanted it to be a surprise for Craig and I couldn’t move past it and so bit the bullet and used it. It’s a special song to me as my Dad (deceased) loved James Taylor’s music, as I do. For me, it was a way of including a really personal nod to him within the ceremony.”

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“There was a funny moment during the ceremony when I got a bit teary and my sister Katherine passed me a tissue which she had plucked from a strategic spot within her cleavage. When I had dabbed my eyes, I turned around and just put it back where it came from which made for a pretty funny moment – whoops! ”

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Caroline Higgins officiated the ceremony, the bride noting, “I loved our ceremony, it was everything we had hoped it would be. It was full of laughter and tears, of funny moments and touching ones. When we look back at the pictures, I’m intrigued by what was so funny! Our aim was to make it feel significant and intimate at the same time and I hope we managed to achieve that.

Our celebrant Caroline (who had come recommended) had met with us on numerous occasions and so understood our personalities and our attitude towards each other, the day and our guests. She really helped in setting the tone. We began piecing together our vows and the ceremony as a whole based on what we love and value about one another and everything flowed from there. We had one reading by my good friend Aimee, a passage from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte which referenced finding the one that you truly love and resolving to marry. It was short and sweet but summed up the way we felt about what we were there to do.”

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“For our recessional, we chose something quite unique to us again, Deborah Conway’s ‘It’s only the beginning’ as not only did it seem apt for the moment, but it had meaning to us as our first proper date was a twilight picnic (catered by Craig!) in the Fitzroy Gardens where we saw Deborah play live.”

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Megan remembers, “We really wanted our much-loved niece and nephew to play a part in the day too. They live in Singapore, so it was a big deal to them to be involved; Maggie (8) as flower girl and William (6) as pageboy. Apparently we were the talk of show and tell on their return to school!

It was Willy’s sixth birthday on our wedding day – (we had asked him kindly if he minded that we had a big party on his birthday. Thankfully, he was cool with it) – so we also wanted to do something special for him on the day. I have a very talented cake maker friend (Carly Dellevergin  of Cupcakes in Wonderland) who nailed the brief of baking and decorating some very special cupcakes just for him featuring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Skylanders characters. They went down a treat after we all sung Happy Birthday to him during the speeches! My uncle, whose birthday also fell on the day, (he was turning a few years older than six!) loved his little cake too.”

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Of their photographer, Megan notes, “I’ve known Louisa for more than 10 years, through my best friend and bridesmaid Holly and have loved her work for the longest time – I’ve been referring bride-to-be friends to her for a while so she was the obvious choice! It was lovely having Lou shoot the wedding for us as she felt more like a guest or friend there on the day and I think added to the relaxed vibe that we felt on the day. Lou spoke with us about what we had in mind and did a walk through of the venue with us so we were on the same page.

Her shots of the day are just beautiful. I love her candid style which captured both the little moments and the big joy – and everything in between. Nothing felt silly or too pose-y either, it was all natural and fun. Evidently my family in particular can pull some pretty expressive faces and Lou didn’t miss any of these either! Louisa captured Craig and I, the day and all our loved ones just perfectly. I could (and sometimes do) spend hours looking through her beautiful shots!”

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“It was important for me to remember my Dad on the day which we not only did verbally, but having him in my mind during my entrance song and including his favourite flowers in my bouquet kept him close.”

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“We were lucky (or really well-planned?!) and everything ran smoothly so thankfully no disasters to share! I surprised Craig on the morning of the wedding with a drawing that I’d had commissioned to commemorate the day. I’d hidden it in a drawer at home so that was a nice surprise for him. I loved too that Craig and his mates got to go and enjoy a few hours of the Boxing Day test at the MCG! In between dropping things at the venue and getting ready of course. Shows how relaxed they were on the day which is nice.”

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“I don’t think I had a favourite part, rather I think biggest satisfaction came when it all started coming together cohesively. I’ve planned various events for work over the years, so it never felt too daunting.

Shane at Botanics of Melbourne was entirely wonderful and very patient with my indecision! He and his team are supremely talented and we loved everything they put together for us. I trusted him completely to just make it beautiful and he did. I’m so glad we went with the hanging piece inside!

Shelley at Bursaria was fabulous – very down to earth, always calm and ready with suggestions and solutions. Shelley had heaps of helpful advice too having been married at the Convent herself! Luke and the team on the night were so professional – it was seamless. They food was amazing – if I had my time again, I’d definitely eat more!!

Terry Cockrem at Rose & Crown Jewellers in Northcote is a total champ and talented craftsman who made us our gorgeous rings that we love, under time pressure and close to Christmas too!

The Booth Box – After umming and ahhhing about whether to have a photobooth, we’re so glad we did. Our guests old and young loved it and it was such a hoot to look at all the photo strips the next day! Maria at head office was great to deal with and her staff member on the night was great fun too.”

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Megan tells, “We never had a set theme in mind for the wedding, it was more about collecting all the little pieces and seeing them come together like a puzzle. The atmosphere was probably the thing we had thought the most about, we wanted it to be relaxed, friendly, warm, easy and fun for all. Music played a really important part for us in creating just the right mood and atmosphere, and together Craig and I spent a heap of time creating a playlist with our favourite songs, broken down into what phase of the afternoon or night they would best suit.”

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The groom’s father made the favors, Megan telling, “Craig’s Dad, Jim is an excellent cook and devoted a good deal of time slaving over a hot stove to make countless jars of his famous butterscotch sauce for our wedding favours. Craig also designed the label for the jars, and we had stamps made (which matched our invite) to label the jars with names – these then acted as our place settings.”

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Of the first dance, Megan remembers, “We had our first dance to ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys. Craig had suggested it right off the bat and I really loved it too. We did however completely forget to practice, so I pity everyone who had to watch on! I love a good dance, but this was slightly fraught in that my shoes kept catching the hem of my dress – it’s a miracle I didn’t end up face down on the dance floor!”

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Congratulations on your marriage Megan and Craig! Thank you for sharing the story of your day with us! Thank you also to Louisa Bailey  for sharing today’s celebration!

Photographer: Louisa Bailey / Bride's Dress: Lilia gown by Theia / Bridal Salon: The Bridal Atelier / Alterations: Parisima / Bride's Shoes: Alan Pinkus / Groom's Attire: Zenetti / Groom's Shoes: Country Road / Groomsmen Attire: Zenetti / Groomsmen's Shoes: Country Road / Bridesmaid Dresses: Manning Cartell / Bridesmaid Shoes: Asos / Hairstylist: Alisia Risevski / Makeup Artist: Alisia Risevski / Flowers: Botanics / Invitations & Stationery: Designed by the groom, Printed at Casette / Ceremony Venue: The Abbotsford Convent By Bursaria / Ceremony Officiant: Caroline Higgins / Reception Venue: The Abbotsford Convent By Bursaria / Giant LOVE Letters: Cherry Soda Events / DJ: DJ Jess McGuire / Favors: Craig's Dad Jim's famous butterscotch sauce / Catering: Bursaria Fine Foods / Wedding Cake: Cupcakes in Wonderland / Photo Booth: The Booth Box / Wedding Rings: Rose & Crown Jewelers / Transport: Hire Class Chauffeured Cars - 0419 317 826 / Wedding Registry: Not Another Toaster

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