Beth & Daniel
Beth and Daniel’s traditional Melbourne wedding held at Abbotsford Convent in March was an occasion framed in tradition with contemporary, modern twists. The happy couple had the right idea by ensuring that having fun and laughing as much as possible was their number one requirement of their day. Brendan Le of Lavan Photography captured the precious moments. Below, enjoy Beth and Daniel’s love story and the special details of their wedding day as told by beautiful bride, Beth.
We both went to high school together in our hometown, but unbeknownst to us, we had met many years prior, at our baptism! Daniel and I have been dating for 10 years this December.
We got engaged on a lazy Saturday in November. We had recently been told that Dan got his dream job with Cathay Pacific as a 777 Pilot in Hong Kong, so all attention was aimed on the upcoming move.
That morning we took our Dog Ivy to get her Christmas photo shot with Santa (yes, we’re that couple) and we continued onto Gold Class movies as a celebration for Daniel’s new job. Daniel was acting a little strange following the end of the movie, insisting on walking around the back of the complex to find our “Uber”.
Our “Uber” was a horse and cart. We meandered through the Botanical gardens and began to near Albert Road, up from my parents’ house, when Daniel turns to me with a jewellery box in hand, to be honest I can’t even remember what he said, and thought it was a pair of earrings.
Elated, we were greeted by our over excited parents and sisters, being the first child on either side to get engaged, and enjoyed a celebratory BBQ dinner together.
Daniel and I don’t agree on everything, but when it came to the wedding style and the atmosphere we wanted to achieve, it was very easy! The day was framed with tradition, but we introduced some contemporary twists with choice of music, food and the beautiful backdrop that is the Abbotsford Convent. Our aim was fun, and to promote as many laughs and happy memories for us and our guests. I don’t think either of us have smiled so much.
Beth on her dress…
Israeli designer Berta dresses have always caught my eye, especially the Winter 2014 Collection. I tried on all her most recent designs, which were all beautiful, but kept being drawn to her original, and I couldn’t fault it. I was back from Hong Kong for a fleeting few days, so mum and I went to Raffaele Cuica, Prahran and purchased it the same day. I had a seamless process through Raffaele Cuica and Berta, which helped enormously coordinating from overseas.
Daniel is a suit man as of recent years, and I knew it was going to have to be special. He found his suit at Oscar Hunt. He looked incredibly dapper with a midnight blue mohair suit with shawl collar, black patent leather shoes and his most prized possession, his Breitling Navitimer watch.
Beth on their wedding venue
Lucky for me, Dan trusts my judgement… Abbotsford Convent was the first and only place my mum and I went and viewed on a trip back from Hong Kong, and had placed the deposit within an hour, and later told Dan the date to be here!
The Convent is so special due to its architectural significance and beauty, but beyond that is the sense of calm and happiness that washes over you when you meander through the gardens, the chapel, and shared spaces toward the Rosina Room. There’s no pretentious feel, just good vibes.
The brief for our flowers was simple, green and white, and lots of them. We were lucky enough to have used Ivy and Eve for my sister’s wedding a few months earlier, and knew they were up to the task of creating beauty from the chapel through to their masterpiece in the Rosina Room, where they formed some floral magic.
My father walked me down the aisle, and it was one of the proudest, most clear-headed moments of my life (excuse the sap), but it was really special to me, and I hope to him. I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, it set a beautiful tone for the ceremony. My bridesmaids also walked into this.
We held a traditional Catholic ceremony, but tried to keep it shorter with no communion offering, but was still very meaningful. I wouldn’t have changed anything. Most importantly, Daniel crying, because his mates will never let him live it down. It was truly a special moment, to have those most important to us witness the moment we gave everything to each other, and being married by your school Priest is the icing on the cake! I received a penny to place in my shoe for good luck for the ceremony, from a good friend which was very thoughtful.
Beth on the reception details
Our first dance was to Moondance by Van Morrison, and my two left feet managed to assemble a simple waltz and a semi graceful pick up and swing, learnt in a few panicked, last minute dance lessons! Daniel is a graceful swan, whereas I’m a baby giraffe on skates.
I dabbled in some simple DIY for the reception. I spray painted/buffed some old photo frames and placed a picture of our grandparents and parents in each. It served to remind us that our grandparents were there in spirit, and to remind us of how sacred marriage is.
Food and drink was incredibly important to us, as you can have the most beautiful venue, but what’s the point if your guests are hungry or dissatisfied with the options. Our efforts paid off. We received many compliments on both the drink and food selection. Especially the cocktails we offered to guests while we did the photo shoot.
Timing and flow of the evening was very important to us. We wanted to make the most of everyone’s time, and remove as much stuffiness from the evening as possible! I think we balanced it really well, with medium length speeches, and a good MC to keep everyone on track!
Serving cocktails in between the ceremony and reception was one of our guests’ favourite details! But our favourite detail would have been the reception seating layout. We wanted our guests to feel like they were in amongst everything, and we felt we achieved this through creating three long tables, with guests on all ends, to ensure everyone has some one sitting next to them.
The most memorable story of the day would be when Daniel’s groomsmen Pickle spilt an entire espresso martini down the front of his white shirt minutes before entering the reception! Our Brother in Law Dom saved the day by swapping shirts, and wanting to be in pictures with his partner Alysha (bridesmaid) got his own dad to race down a new shirt from their home in Sunbury, solid 2-hour return trip! Needless to say, we owe Dom and his dad big time.
Our photographer Brendan was awesome. Very talented, stress free and his attention to detail was second to none. Brendan has a unique ability to capture light and tell the real story through his lens. We also loved collaborating with Ivy and Eve really stood out to me. Very professional and talented team of florists who endeavour to realise your dream without much input required from you.
The easiest part of wedding planning for me it was choosing the dress and flowers, probably because they were the easiest things to arrange. For Dan, it would have been the suits, and the fact that Oscar Hunt serves beer and whisky whilst they were being fitted. Thankfully Daniel was a whiz with the seating arrangements, which can prove challenging!
Beth’s advice for engaged couples…
Don’t sweat the small stuff, you don’t even think about it once the ceremony is happening, because you’ll miss the real reason why you are there. Breathe, soak it all in and smile. Oh, and try not to plan your wedding from overseas, it does add stress, potentially invest in a wedding planner!
Daniel on his personal favourite moments from the day…
Just enjoying the day. Planning a wedding can take a lot of time so it’s nice to sit back and be in the moment with friends and family, especially when some have travelled large distances to be there. It was also nice taking my family out for breakfast the following morning to say thank you.
We were so impressed with our cinematographers Tom and Alex’s (T.P.S Weddings) ability to capture our day so organically and tap into the feelings of the day. Enjoy the video below…
Ms Zigzag says: I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pictures of people belly laughing so hard at a wedding. Beth and Daniel set out to show themselves and their guests a great time, and that they did! We wish them a lifetime of laughter together.
Polka Dot Dream Team...
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- Latoya Caruso
- Makeup Artist
- Renee Galati
- Invitations & Stationery
- Love Story Creative Co
- Ceremony Officiant
- Father Peter Monaghan