Hollie & Alex
I am so in love with the beautiful stories behind Hollie and Alex’s wedding. The couple consciously planned a wedding that was right for them, they made decisions that reflected their personalities, loves and own desires for their day. Clare Metcalf Photography was there to capture it all.
Hollie tells their story. “Alex and I met on RSVP after I moved to Melbourne from Geelong. I wasn’t really a party-goer so finding someone whilst in my pyjamas was a much better option!”
Candice Deville styled the bride’s hair and makeup.
Hollie and Alex got ready together, much like the way they planned the wedding. Hollie explains, “All of our vendors were so incredibly accommodating and understanding that it is impossible to single anyone out. Honestly, despite the fact that I did all the planning, my favourite part of the process was discussing with Alex what we did and didn’t want. Being on the same page made it easier for me to source vendors, ideas, and supplies.
Once I’d found a range for our budget, I shortlisted my top picks, we discussed why or why not that vendor/idea would work, and based our decision on our discussions. If we couldn’t come to a mutual agreement, it was back to the drawing board (but I don’t think this happened at all).”
The bride chose a beautiful vintage dress from Rust Belt Threads, noting, “1940s and 1950s are my thing, so I always wanted a dress inspired by those eras, so you can only imagine my sheer delight when I found an original 1950s dress in my measurements in mint condition. Finding beautiful vintage pieces in good condition is difficult; being on the smaller side of plus size makes the task somewhat like finding a needle in a haystack. I set myself a task of finding a blue vintage or vintage style dress – and if it incorporated florals and/or lace it was an added bonus – for $200 or less. Within less than 48 hours, I stumbled across my dress the shop of Rust Belt Threads on Etsy. Even with shipping and conversion rates, it still came in under the $200 budget.”
Although the couple got ready together, they chose to have a first look as Hollie arrived at the ceremony location in a beautiful vintage car from Triple R Luxury Car Hire.
Hollie walked down the aisle to More Than Life by Whitley.
Hollie and Alex were married in Medley Hall, Hollie explaining, “We actually asked Clare (our photographer) if she was able to suggest any indoor ceremony venues with a great ambiance and that wasn’t too big. Her suggestion of Medley Hall couldn’t have been more perfect, it was love at first sight.”
Mrs Jones The Celebrant officiated the ceremony, the bride telling, “Our ceremony was absolutely perfect: relaxed, fun, sincere, and full of love, just the way we wanted it. We had Nicola of Mrs Jones The Celebrant fame (who I found through Polka Dot Bride actually!) marry us, and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect celebrant. Nicola was the only celebrant we met with, we felt so incredibly comfortable with her from the very first meeting we didn’t see the need to meet with other people. Nicola worked with us every step of the way.
We had two readings, one from Alex’s step-sister and one from my brother’s wife. Alex and I selected 12 readings and sent each of them a random selection of 6. We asked them not to tell us when they had chose their readings, but to tell Nicola. My sister-in-law didn’t like any of the 6 we sent her, so Alex’s sister and my sister-in-law worked together off of Alex’s step-sister’s list and managed to both find one they liked! Alex’s step-sister read “Love” by Roy Croft, and my sister-in-law read “Yes, I’ll Marry You” by Pam Ayres. I was so glad that she did find Pam Ayres’ her favourite because I grew up with Pam Ayres’ poetry and comedy as a child.”
“We really wanted our day to be small and intimate. We had a guest list of 65 including ourselves, and only a few people were unable make it. Having venues that were at the top end of our numbers helped to maintain that intimate feel. I remember facing everyone at our ceremony and being able to make eye contact and smile at every single person.”
The bride managed to rick roll her groom, telling ” Just after we were engaged, Alex sent me a link from Reddit telling me that the original link for the ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ video had been removed from YouTube. Of course, he got me good and proper. From that moment I knew I had to get him back on our wedding day, preferably at our ceremony! Originally he was happy for me to pick a surprise song to walk down the aisle to, but in the end it was far too difficult for me to co-ordinate without practising, so I decided to incorporate the chorus of Never Gonna Give You Up as the last part of my vows. He never suspected a thing!”
Of their photographer, Hollie remembers, “I’ve known Clare (Clare Metcalf Photography) since 2007, and I’ve always admired her artistry and skill. Her work is phenomenal. Before Alex and I had even booked any venues – thus before we had actually set a concrete date, we booked Clare. Alex hadn’t met Clare, but I knew that he would love her. I’d shown him her work, and he was very impressed.
We first met with Clare a few months out from wedding and Alex walked out of our meeting smiling and saying how much he was looking forward to having Clare be a part of our day. We had quite the list of family photographs to get through, and Clare wasn’t at all phased. She, along with our dear friends, wrangled our families like the pro that she is and the results are magnificent. And, as I mentioned earlier, if it wasn’t for Clare, we wouldn’t have known about our beautiful ceremony venue.”
“Alex will not hesitate to tell you that our wedding would not have come together if it wasn’t for me. I am a planner by profession (…urban planner) and by nature, so it was nothing for me to have already sussed out the best vendors for our budget – and if they were outside of our budget, how I could wrangle our budget to hire them.
I had our wedding planned in roughly three months of being engaged, meaning we had a whole year to enjoy ourselves and focus on finishing our studies before getting married. It helped having a number of spreadsheets too.
We ran all our spreadsheets on either Google Drive or Dropbox so we could access them wherever we were. We had one for the budget, one for guest lists including addresses, RSVPs, and dietary requirements, one for music (that became redundant as we just went with the restaurant’s music), and we also had a physical planning folder with a timeline of what to book when, and a countdown calendar that I printed out with four months to go.”
The newlyweds chose Firechief for their lunchtime reception, noting, “Alex and I would eat at the rear cafe (then Goldilocks) of Firechief when I was working at a bank just down the road. The food and the service was always impeccable, and we knew that the main restaurant would fit with our relaxed lunchtime reception.”
“We didn’t do a first dance. We didn’t want a lot of fuss and bother, so there wasn’t even a dance floor. If we were to have had a first dance, it would have been to ‘Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing’ by The Magnetic Fields.”
“Inadvertently, there was a bit of a British music theme to the day. Our invitations had a banner with the Queen song title ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ at the top, and our Seating Chart and Table talkers revolved around our favourite Beatles’ songs, eight in total and each from a different album.
Each table had two Table Talkers (triangular in shape) announcing the song title, the song lyrics its album and other album tracks, and a game for our guests to play, titled ‘Lunch Song Dedications’. Alex and I like to play a game involving thinking up song titles with the word ‘love’ in the title and replacing the word with ‘lunch’. Given our love for music and that we were having a lunch time reception, it seemed only natural to include this game into our day”
“My best friend Michelle and I did our cake jars. Alex and I decided early on that we didn’t want a cake as it would make the day more formal (thus creating fuss and bother), so we opted for cake jars instead.
We wanted a cake that was both pleasing to the palette and the eye, so we had carrot cake with alternating layers of cake and cream cheese, topped with cream cheese and pumpkin seeds, all tied off with bamboo spoons, a bamboo heart, and each guest’s name (doubling as the place card and the bomboniere). They were an absolute smash, everyone loved them, along with the fact they could take the jar home to use. We’re still getting photos of how people are using them almost four months later!”
The couple paid homage to lost loved ones, Hollie explaining, “One other thing that we did was to honour the memory of Alex’s beloved grandfather, and my best friend’s little brother, both of whom are no longer with us and would have loved to have celebrated with. We honoured their memory by setting up donation registries in lieu of gifts at the Cancer Council Victoria and the South West Region Victorian SES. ”
Congratulations on your marriage Hollie and Alex! Thank you for sharing your stories with us! Thank you also to Clare Metcalf Photography for sharing today’s wedding!
Polka Dot Dream Team...
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- Bride's Jewellery
- Gift from groom (earrings)
- Bride's Jewellery
- Vintage from eBay (necklace)
- Bride's cousin, retired florist
- Bride's best friend
- Wedding Cake
- Bride's best friend