Melinda & Eleanor
If there ever was a wedding that summed up what we’re all about here at Polka Dot Bride, then Melinda and Eleanor’s beautiful garden wedding day would be it.
It’s filled with joy, so filled with love, so filled with honouring of not just their own relationship, but of those that supported them along the way. The brides ditched what didn’t make sense to them and made new traditions that meant something. They toasted, they danced, they ate and they loved. This is what it’s all about, this magic, this feel-good factor, that’s what gets our goosebumps tingling and our hearts a-leaping.
Melinda and Eleanor chose the gorgeous gardens of Hazelhurst Arts Centre for their wedding sharing “We wanted to get married in a garden setting and Hazelhurst was very special to us both for many different reasons, but one of the most important ones was that Melinda’s twin sister got married there 14 years prior. We were able to get married in the gardens, have our photos taken there, and then have our reception in the cafe which adjoined the gardens. The cafe really resonated with us and what we like. It is authentic, very rustic (a bit quirky), and had an extensive a la carte menu we could choose our canapés from.”
Melinda and Eleanor walked down the aisle together, remembering “We walked each other down the aisle to our oldest son playing a solo on his guitar, he wrote two music guitar solos for us.”
Eleanor and Melinda chose Melissa Halliday – Heart and Soul Celebrations to officiate their ceremony sharing “Our ceremony was written by us with the assistance of our wonderful celebrant Melissa Halliday. She was incredibly positive, energetic and passionate about our ceremony and the experience we wanted to have. The ceremony, the vows, poems all represented us and what we wanted to announce to all present how much we love each other and how important our relationship is. We wanted to love and inclusion to be the main themes and we believe we achieved that.”
The brides opted out of a wedding party, instead choosing their favourite people to play special roles. “We had two witnesses (Melinda’s twin sister and a friend). We had our best friends be our ring bearers and read our poems. Another best friend held the microphone for us when we gave our vows. Our 3 children and nephew and niece created a rainbow sand jar with us to cement our love and combination of our families together.”
The couple’s favourite people joined together for a sand ceremony. “We also made sure that our children, niece and nephew were included as they have always been supportive and understanding of our love for each other” tell Mel & El. It was also reflective of their decision to not abide by other traditions. “We created our own tradition by including the rainbow sand, as our love did not and does not fit into the ‘traditional’ meaning of the word marriage – and there were no heterosexual traditions that we wanted to incorporate. We are proud that we didn’t, because we had the freedom that heterosexual couples don’t always have – to create our own tradition that we know everyone who was there will remember.”
Of their photographer James, Melinda and Eleanor couldn’t speak more highly. “James was as excited about our wedding as we were. We knew that we were his first same-sex couple whose wedding he would be photographing, and he made us feel at ease and wanted everything to be perfect on our day. We loved that James was not overly keen on staged photos as that is something we didn’t want. I remember him saying if we see him on the night then he hasn’t done his job – we don’t really remember seeing him, which means that he blended into the party as one of us and that was exactly what we and he wanted. Without a doubt the best person we could have had to shoot our special day.”
Melinda and Eleanor both wore gowns by the same designer, in what was a truly remarkable experience. They explain “Our dresses were made by Maggie Gibb (an 88-year-old dressmaker). The dresses were designed by Maggie after talking to us and understanding what it was that we wanted. We wanted elegance and class in our dresses. The experience was relaxed as nothing was too much for Maggie.
Maggie ended up being one of our favourite vendors for her unfailing eye and attention to detail. Her enthusiasm and inspiration for the design of our dresses and for accepting an invite to our wedding and being one of the most photographed people on the night! She told us she could work in any room and she didn’t let us down.”
And with bubbles and canapes, the celebration began! The brides remembering “We wanted a celebration of our love and our commitment to one and other, so a party was definitely what we wanted. We had a cocktail party, there was no sit down formal dinner or traditional wedding themes – we didn’t fit that mould at all! We wanted a rustic theme, nothing pretentious, we had wooden tables undressed, Australia natives, candles and specially selected canapés from an al la carte menu.”
And of course, the wedding cake was rainbow!
The brides “accidentally” had the first dance! They explain “We didn’t have a first dance but we ended up having one by accident! El pulled me onto the dance floor to dance to one of her favourite songs. This just happened to be one of the first songs that were played, El was thinking that it would encourage all the guests onto the floor to join us however they all thought it was our first dance and didn’t join us! We had fun with it!”
A big congratulations to you both Melinda and Eleanor! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us! Thank you also to James White Photography for sharing today’s beautiful images!
This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.
- Bride's Dresses
- Maggie Gibb Dressmaker
- Ceremony Musicians
- Chris Warren
- Wedding Cake
- Emilia Barnes