Galina & Michael
I do love a classic wedding, because there is something to be said for the refined, elegant beauty of such an occasion. But I also love a good story, a story full of laughter. And that is why Galina and Michael’s wedding turned into a must share. A beautiful ballgown, beautiful, Spring inspired blooms and Galina’s enchanting smile that is positively infectious.
With a historic venue as their backdrop (oh you’re beautiful Mansion Hotel and Spa at Werribee Park) the very merry couple planned a day that was full of nods to the Sri Lankan heritage, their love of dancing, their favourite people and of course each other. Lucky for us Sigrid Petersen Photography was there to capture the day as it unfolded.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing for these two, the very first time they kissed, Galina burst into tears. She tells the story “We actually met in primary school! Michael kissed me during a game of kiss chasey when we were 5 and I cried – it was my first kiss too! Haha! It was the start of a wonderful relationship.
We didn’t see each other after primary school for many years, but then used to see each other once a week when we were 18/19 at our local nightclub and we’d have a little kiss and a dance, but life happened and we went our separate ways.
It wasn’t until five years later we bumped into each other on the train on the way to our respective jobs and hit it off again and the rest is history as they say.”
Galina wore a stunning ballgown created by Silvana Tedesco, inspired by one of her favourite movies. She tells “I always knew the style of dress I wanted – a princess style dress and I loved the style of Kate Hudson’s in Bride Wars.
The first place I went to was Silvana Tedesco. She was so much fun and an absolute pleasure to work with. She asked me what kind of dress I wanted, I told her my dream dress and in about five seconds she drew a sketch and it was exactly what I envisioned for myself. From there it was just lots of fun working together to create my dream dress.”
The grand old dame of Mansion Hotel and Spa at Werribee Park set the scene for the classically elegant day to unfold. Galina sharing “We choose Werribee Mansion. We always knew we would have a big wedding (220 guests!) and we wanted to have the ceremony and reception all in the one place to make it easy for our guests and Werribee was perfect for this.
We also loved the idea of a garden ceremony and we wanted something relaxed and sophisticated and Werribee Mansion’s stunning gardens and backdrop made this easy.”
Of her walk down the aisle, Galina remembers “We chose ‘Marry Me’ by Train, which was performed acoustically by Rory McKenna. I chose to have both my father and mother walk me down the aisle, as I couldn’t bear to not have mum next to me as well. I am quite close to both my parents so it was really important to me to have them both ‘give me away’.”
Florals were a big part of the day, Galina and Michael choosing Storytime Weddings to style their day and Floral Architecture to design the floral details. The bride noting “We were very blessed to have Floral Architecture and Storytime Weddings help us style our wedding. We already had the stunning gardens of Werribee, so we just wanted florals and lush greenery that would compliment this. We had pops of baby pink to tie in with the bridesmaid’s dresses.
We loved being able to create our dream day with Storytime. Bec and Tegan were so accommodating and flexible. Working with a quality styling team really does make a difference. We weren’t stressed or worried about a thing because we trusted them and knew they would deliver.”
Tells the bride of the ceremony “Our ceremony was so special – we were married by the Pastor of my parent’s church who has known me since I was four years old.
He made it so personal and relaxing and it just set the tone for what was to come.
It was such a special time that Michael and I could share with our favourite people. There were plenty of laughs and tears. We chose to write our own vows, which we heard for the first time during our ceremony and it was so lovely to hear what we had each written and promised to each other. It was nice and relaxed and exactly what we imagined.”
The ceremony included one very special cultural nod. “My parents are both Sri Lankan so I also wanted to incorporate a few little traditions here and there. During a part of our ceremony, Michael presented me with a Thali, which is a pendant that was made in Sri Lanka. It represents the groom and bride’s loyalty, fidelity, honesty and faithfulness to each other” tells Galina.
“If I had to pick up a favourite image it would definitely be the one of Michael and I walking back down the aisle after we got married” shares Galina. “I don’t think I’ve ever been happier than in that moment – all my dreams had come true and Siggy captured it perfectly.”
Michael popped the question on a (very romantic!) morning, Galina reminiscing “Michael woke me up at 4 am one morning and told me we were going on an adventure – I had absolutely NO idea what we were doing! I thought he was taking me on a hike! Little did I know.
He drove through the Yarra Valley until we got to a Winery (Balgownie Estate Vineyard). I started to have an idea of what we were doing and turns out I was right – we were going on a hot air balloon.
It was the most beautiful thing and something I’ve always wanted to do.
About halfway through the ride, Michael tapped me on my shoulder – I turned around and he asked me to marry him! It was so beautiful and I had no idea so it was the best surprise!”
Of their photographer, Galina tells “Our photographer was very special to us. Sigrid went to primary school with Michael and I, and she went to high school with Michael so it was amazing being able to have her capture our day as she has known both of us for over 20 years. As she knows us, she knew exactly what we did and didn’t want and was so chilled, she made it so fun to take photos.
Her photos are absolutely incredible and she is so talented. Having her there made it less stressful and we were able to enjoy the time we had with our bridal party having drinks and joking around before we had to head into the reception. Sig’s style suited us perfectly as we didn’t really want staged photos and we knew she didn’t take photos like that.”
Celebrations continued in the Mansion Hotel and Spa at Werribee Park marquee, Galina noting “We loved that we could get married in the garden and then while we were off getting photos, our guests enjoyed drinks and canapes and lawn games amongst the beautiful gardens at Werribee while listening to live acoustic music.
All our close family and friends also stayed the night at the Mansion and the next morning my Dad organised a lovely brunch with everyone. It was the perfect way to wrap up the most perfect weekend.”
Guests were greeted with very special favours. Galina explains “There is a Sri Lanka tradition we did add (there were a few). But one is where all the aunties and female cousins come together and individually wrap cake that goes on each of the guests’ seats, so having the cake wrapping day was a big, fun job. We have to wrap the cakes and assemble the cake boxes. 250 pieces of cake later I didn’t think I could ever eat it again!
I also designed the bonbonnieres for our guests. Michael and I are big fans of travelling so our leather luggage tag bonbonnieres were the perfect way to represent us.”
Galina recalls “The best thing was walking into the marquee for the first time and seeing how Tegan and Bec (from Storytime) had created my dream! Seeing it all in real life blew my mind, it was everything I dreamed and more. It was full of lush greens and everything I imagined. Also seeing the sneaky Donut Wall I had requested sitting in the corner was the best!”
The newlyweds kicked off the night with a first dance (and a father-daughter dance)to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”. The bride remembering “We chose ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran. We absolutely love Ed and when his new album came out and we first heard this song we just knew it was for us. We were just kids when we first kissed and our adventure began, so the words of this song really hit home for us.
We were a tiny bit nervous about our first dance and we did get some lessons in the lead-up but then on the day we just decided to do our own thing! It was one of our favourite parts of the night because we got to be alone and really take it all in and watching all our loved ones watching us celebrate our love was so special.”
Galina wanted something a little more fun for the reception, slipping into a second gown designed by One Day Bridal. She tells “I also wanted a party dress to dance the night away so I opted for a custom made One Day dress which was the most fun to dance all night in!”
Galina can not rave enough about the couple’s chosen DJ, Woohah DJs & Entertainment, telling “Arosh from Woohah DJs was incredible! As music was a massive thing for us, he was so incredible in taking all our suggestions and feedback on board and used this to play all the songs we loved on the night. The dance floor was full which is what we wanted and everyone let loose and had a great time!”
The dance floor was the most important thing to these two, who structured their entire wedding day around it! Galina explaining “We wanted our day to be classic and simple but so much fun! We also wanted our day to represent us as a couple. We are both big dancers and love music, so this was a very important thing for us. We wanted to make sure everyone was on the dance floor all night so we planned to get all the formalities out of the way early so we’d have the rest of the night to party! And that we did and it was the best!”
Galina and Michael chose the team at Moon & Back Co to capture the day in motion.
Congratulations Galina and Michael! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us and thank you to Sigrid Petersen Photography for sharing today’s images.
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- Ceremony Musicians
- Rory McKenna