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Laura & Jesse

It wouldn’t be The Vintage Issue without an Art Deco delight! Laura and Jesse, who met 10 years ago, tied the knot in an old school cinema as a nod to their love of the 1920s and 1930s. And what could make their unique ceremony even more heartwarming? Perhaps having your sister as your celebrant! Megan Jordan, Laura’s sister, was on board (or should I say stage?) to make things official. There to capture all the big moments and gorgeous details was Mardy Bridges of All My Wednesdays. Below, Laura retells the story of her special day.

Our wedding was on September 14, 2019. The ceremony was held at the Palace Westgarth Cinema in Northcote, in the main cinema. The reception was held at Little Henri in Thornbury. We also had first look photos along the Merri Creek. We requested our guests to dress cocktail/Art Deco as our venues were both built in the 1920s and 1930s.

We enjoyed the relaxed nature of the first look photos at the Merri Creek prior to the ceremony with the entire bridal party. This created a relaxed atmosphere (the groom was particularly nervous) because the groomsmen and bridesmaids got along great, bantered and made the afternoon light and fun.

We love Australiana flowers and foliage and feel that the colour palate worked well with the burnt orange of the cinema curtains during the ceremony. We used Floral Accent and worked closely with Laine McCully to create two large centrepieces, 11 medium arrangements in up-cycled gin bottles, eight posies, multiple boutonnieres, bridesmaid bouquets and, of course, the bridal bouquet. We chose in season Australiana flowers and trusted Laine who strategically added some beautiful roses to draw us back to the Art Deco style. She was also excited to add anything else to the bouquets that I had collected, including pampas grass and even green rooster feathers!

I had my dress made by Kathryn Ellard. I designed the dress based on varied aspects of multiple dresses I’d seen and tried on previously. I wanted a dress that was multifunctional with a top and skirt design.

The ceremony skirt was long with a small train with a heart shaped under button. The reception skirt was a Ginger Rogers style skirt which floated out and down when dancing in it (I never wanted to be stuck doing the bridal shuffle on the dance floor for my wedding day!). The bodice affixed to both skirts and was made with the most amazing beaded and embroidered material that Kate and I chose together. We kept elements of the 1920s feel (particularly in the ceremony skirt) but still was able to keep a modern feel that felt like ‘me’. I had an amazing experience working with Kate on every aspect of this gorgeous dress!

The groom wore a black velvet jacket by Jack London, with a paisley press print and a Politix double breasted vest, and a YD purple and pink floral print bowtie. He was going for a decadent look, with an eccentric twist, to stand out from his groomsmen.

For our bridal party… On the groom’s side, the best man was Jesse’s older brother Jake, and the two other groomsmen were his close friends Luke and Anthony. On my side, the matron of honour was my older sister Megan, and the two other bridesmaids were her close friends Minja and Danni, whom I’ve known for over 10 years.

We chose the Palace Westgarth Theatre for the ceremony because we wanted a venue that suited our interest in Art Deco and the 1920s and 1930s, also we liked the idea of all the guests being comfortable for the ceremony… something which is often not the case at many weddings. The main cinema has an elevated stage with burnt orange curtains in front of the screen, and seating for about 120 people.

In the beautiful photos of my dad and I walking down the steps of the aisle, there’s a man in the top right that none of us knew. Turns out he was a 90 year old man named Paul who frequented the cinema regularly for coffee and a show. He was so enamoured with the idea of the wedding that he came in for a sticky beak and was greeted by Jesse’s dad, Pete. Paul said he didn’t know us but Pete said, “Go on, have a seat, they won’t mind!” Haha! So we had our very own, very well behaved wedding crasher.

We chose a song by Hozier called ‘Shrike’ to walk down the aisle too. We initially wanted ‘Stand by Me’ by Ben E. King because we both had a strong connection with the song before we met, however a few weeks before the ceremony we decided the rhythm and grandeur of the Hozier song better set the mood for our ceremony. We did use ‘Stand by Me’ during our signing.

My sister, Megan Jordan, was our celebrant. She walked us through every stage of planning the ceremony, from vows and ring exchanges to positioning on the stage and even where we would sign our wedding certificate (on the edge of the stage). She has a warm and genuine nature that comes across when she performs a ceremony. She took our renditions of our love story and wove them together to create something entertaining, meaningful and very ‘us’. She also had lots of different ideas we could draw on for ways to involve our guests and family without being too traditional or stuffy. Such as having a ring warming ceremony, where our rings were passed around from the back of the cinema person to person, everyone blessing them with good wishes and hopes for our future, until everyone in the cinema had held them. There were a lot of difficult decisions to make while planning our wedding, however working with Megan was relaxed, easy and under control from the very beginning.

The beautiful burnt orange curtains covered the picture screen and became our backdrop for the ceremony making it feel lush, opulent and warm. We wanted a very stunning and grand looking ceremony that was also relaxed and humorous but most importantly expressed who we are as a couple.

We were pleasantly stunned by the grandeur of the cinema and how my decorative design came to life in the stunning Art Deco atmosphere. Including the beautiful posies with roster feathers, floral centrepieces atop of stylistic bar stools acting as our alter (created by Floral Accent) and having our classic black and white photo shoot couples photos playing on the big screen. Having all of those things in place gave a gravity to the ceremony.

Our photographer was Mardy Bridges from All My Wednesdays – she did an amazing job on the day and was able to get great candid photos as well as managing all the family and friends photos. She had three cameras strapped to her at all times and was able to capture over a thousand usable photos, create a highlights reel and provide us with footage of the ceremony, dance and speeches.

Having both venues so close together we decided to take the tram from the cinema to Little Henri with the bridal party and many guests. When the tram arrived the conductor was visibly excited when she saw us on the platform, ringing the tram bells for us and congratulating us over the loud speaker. Over the 15 minutes journey we laughed and joked and got some great photos all together that would not be considered part of the normal wedding photos you’d see at other weddings.

For the reception we decided on Little Henri. This was a cafe that I introduced to Jesse when we started dating and we both really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. The building used to be a bank in the 30s and 40s and has a nice rustic vibe to it. Not only was it a convenient distance from the Palace Theatre but it also had plenty of mingling room (we had a cocktail reception), a dance floor with space to accommodate the band, an outdoor area where our guests could get some fresh air and chat amongst each other. We were also impressed with their menu and knew everyone would be well looked after.

Little Henri has a stunning rounded food display unit with dark wooden trim; and large green industrial lights hanging down over it. The layout allowed for easy mingling, access to a tasting table full of cheese, cold cuts and dips. The wall as you enter has a full length leather style bench which aided those who wanted to be a part of the party but seated.

I had the great idea of building a paper moon photo booth that was fashionable in the early 20th century so that our guests could pose and take their own photos. Another idea  was to have a ‘wish you were here’ wall with photos of important family members that had passed away and couldn’t be with us on the day.

We DIYed pretty much everything. We didn’t have a wedding planner so the organisation of both venues was pretty much on us, as well as all of the decorations besides the flowers (although I did design the layout of these too).
We had the old timey paper moon photo booth that Jesse built with his brother over a couple of weekends and then spent another weekend painting it with me.
There were the blankets that Jesse’s mum helped to sew, the neon signs that I spent many, many nights designing and Jesse glued into place, the ‘wish you were here’ photo frame and the welcoming table to name a few.
We also created a wedding inspired movie poster, which everyone signed on the way in to the ceremony. This was in lieu of a guest book. We have since framed it with our marriage certificate.

My sister Megan had beautiful wrist purse made from left over material of my dress, Megan’s dress from her own wedding, a bead on the base of it from one of our nana’s necklaces, and on the inside was one of our oma’s lockets with a picture of our mother and a small piece of her wedding dress inside the locket. The bag was big enough to fit my lipstick and a dainty handkerchief.

During the speeches, Jesse’s dad, Pete, sang to us the same song he sang to Jesse’s mum, Denyse, on their wedding day. This was done with the same aptitude and class as Tony Bennett would’ve delivered.

We did our first dance to an acoustic version of ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ by Rachel Brown. A couple of years earlier we went to see the stage performance of The Bodyguard and at the end the band played this song, we both just jumped up and started dancing with each other in the aisle on the balcony, and it is one of our favourite memories together.

My last wedding day highlight was Jesse carrying me across the alter of the Air BNB we were staying in that night. When the entrance door to the apartment opened onto a vista of the Melbourne skyline, we found it lit up with fairy lights.

My advice? Make sure your wedding is unique to you as a couple. As we were searching for venues we realised that if we went with a typical wedding venue we would have a pretty generic wedding, something we didn’t want.

Laura & Jesse’s wedding film by All My Wednesdays

Ms Floral Says: Congratulations Laura and Jesse on your marriage and such a beautiful wedding, encompassing your love of all things Art Deco! Getting married at a cinema is such a fun and creative idea that I’m sure will inspire others to do the same. Thank you for sharing your story with us today. Also a huge thanks to Megan Jordan and All My Wednesdays.

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

Credits

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 Dress
  • Kathryn Ellard
Polka Dot Bride Shop

Amy & Malen

Feast your eyes on this delightful AND colourful wedding! We’re obsessed. The vibrancy of Amy and Malen’s beautiful day definitely captures your attention, but it’s the thoughtful, handmade touches that hold it. From the pom poms and the shiny streamer installation, to the crafted flowers and stunning DIY stationery and signage, you’re in for a treat. There to capture all the joy? Photographer Tanya Volt.

Below, the bride Amy, who is the brains and talent behind Make Parties, details how their wedding came together and how it was made even more special by being surrounded by the people they love.

Our wedding took place in winter last year at a fab industrial warehouse space called The Line in Footscray, Melbourne. It was fun, happy, colourful and relaxed.

I’m a craft teacher as well as a graphic designer, so I handmade my pom pom crown which felt like a no-brainer! I couldn’t help myself really.

When it came to my dress… Trying to be chill, I thought, “I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself, and I’m going to find something simple closer to the day.” Lol. Wedding dresses on racks just didn’t seem to suit me and time was running out, so with panic mode activated, I put the feelers out to find someone who hopefully had my vision.

Fate smiled kindly down on me – Grace from Twelve South Bridal appeared on her white horse and arranged the whole thing. She had literally just opened her new atelier when I contacted her, and it was just such a dreamy process. She was so kind and open about everything – never pushing me into any decision – and we ended up designing a whole dress, within a budget, and quickly! Legend.

I handmade the flowers! In a state of sheer craft ambition, I decided I wanted to handmake as much as I could for the day (HAH!) so I got started early on a whole bunch of paper roses, while I roped my mum into some fun little filler-flowers that sort of resembled carnation buds. Then I just went nuts and made loads of other things to chuck in there. I grabbed a whole load of foliage and some extras from a flower wholesaler and put it all together. We had these in our bouquets, on the backdrop arbour in the ceremony, and then a whole lot of little vignette touches throughout venue.

Malen surprised me with his bold choice of a velvet green blazer from M.J. Bale! Like I already knew he was a weirdo, but I didn’t think he’d ever go for something cool like that – and he looked soooo amazing. He accessorised with some great boots from Country Road and a bow tie from Peggy & Finn. I helped with those bits…

Something we loved that we’re so glad we did, was the sneaky meet up before the ceremony. After everyone was dropped to the venue, I was dropped to a little secluded spot around the corner where Malen was waiting, and we had a nice little intimate moment before it all kicked off. It really helped to relieve the nerves of the day, just chilling with each other (and our photographer!).

We were lucky enough to be able to spend the whole day in the one venue – The Line in Footscray, Melbourne. It was a total blank canvas, and we could do whatever we wanted with it, which was so fun/terrifying. I’d never planned an event this large before, and I dream big, so while it was daunting to try and execute the million ideas I had, it was thrilling too!

The thing that really made this venue super worth it was the team behind it – Fourside Events. They were so helpful and just really great companions for my crazy text messages wondering about like the exact dimensions of the plates they would be supplying!

We got one of my craft mates (Brooke Clarke of Sugar Republic) to be our stylist on the day. As a bride, there’s seriously only so much you can get done yourself – you really need a hand getting everything to come together like you’d imagined! So Brooke did absolutely all of the set up and pack down, at ridiculous hours of the day and night, and never told me my nonsense ideas were nonsense hah! She was seriously the best woman for the job – she thought of things that I didn’t know were a thing and just did them. Love that!

My grandmothers were our flower girls (massive crowd pleaser!) and they nearly set the paper petals alight when they threw them into the candle lanterns that lined the aisle! You’ve always got to keep things spicy you know.

We’re both really into punk, so I walked down the aisle to ‘Happy in Love’ by Dear and the Headlights – one of those bands that we kind of discovered together. Gorgeous!

We were pretty nervous about the ceremony bit. Not because of cold feet or anything, mainly just the whole ‘proclaiming your love in front of a hundred people’ thing. That’s so intense! So first and foremost, we wanted everyone to be super relaxed – especially us!

We made sure that more than just the bridal party, everyone involved in the ceremony were people we knew and loved. Our celebrant (Ry Kennedy) was our mate from years ago, and I don’t think a more chill and calming guy exists. He can also really work a crowd!

Our mums both did readings for us – ‘How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog’ by Taylor Mali, because we LOVE dogs, and an excerpt from ‘The Amber Spyglass’ by Philip Pullman because it’s one of my fave books.

Malen forgot which pocket he put his vows in – so that was the longest minute of our lives while he searched his jacket and chinos! But he found them! Our vows were equally hilarious and sentimental (we’ve got proof that some of our mates cried and I’ll never let them forget it).

We walked back down the aisle to ‘This Will Be Our Year’ by The Zombies, which felt just so right.

For our bridal party, we had my two best mates (both called Lauren!) and Malen’s two best mates, Matt and Mark. We couldn’t have had a funnier pack of idiots by our side.

Tanya Volt, our photographer, was gorgeous. We knew right from the start that she was on board with our vision. She’s a music photographer as well as other things, and she’s really able to capture the mood of something. I let her know right from the get-go that there would be none of this misty, beige coloured, romantic looking nonsense – this was going to be an assault to the eyes of colour and ridiculousness, and she was ready to get stuck in immediately! She suggested the coloured smoke bombs before I even said the next sentence. Kismet!

With the venue, we held the ceremony in one half of the space, had some drinks in the foyer section straight afterwards, and then moved in to the other half that was set up for the reception. After dinner, the Fourside team had cleared the ceremony bits and pieces away and we used the first half as a dancefloor. Swiss-Army venue! Fourside Events were a standout – I get overwhelmed pretty easily, and Katie was there every step of the way, making sure I was okay with everything as it was happening. Such a comfort. Wedding planning is fun, but it is really full on!

 

I designed the invites, menus, signage and stationery, which was SUCH a pleasure. I’ve designed invites for my friends before which is always so lovely to be able to do for them, but designing for yourself means you can be as WEIRD and wonderful as you like! I chucked confetti into a handmade transparent envelope, stuffed with a blind-embossed save the date to really let people know what kind of day it was going to be.

My favourite of the DIYs was the pom pom badges I made for every guest and vendor – some people took more convincing than others to wear theirs, but boy did they all look amazing together! I popped one on every place setting as a wedding favour too.

The most show-stopping  detail would have to be the incredible streamer installation by Bangin Hangins! Sarah is a champ, and got it up and down like a ninja.

We had wedding PIE instead of wedding cake!

If I could send a message back in time to past me in the lead up, I’d say, “Stick to your original vision, but don’t let it overwhelm you. None of it will matter on the day, because you’ll be having the time of your life.” I remember stressing LOADS about all the little details during preparations, but in the end, all I really cared about was getting to be in a big room full of people that I love.

Ms Floral: Thank you Amy for sharing your colourful celebration with us! All the hard work you put into creating all those sweet and sentimental touches really paid off. There is so much love and happiness pouring out of your words and the photos from the day!

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

Credits

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 Flower Crown
  • Handmade
  • Favors
  • Handmade

Diza & Gerard

Diza and Gerard married in a beautiful blend of Indonesian and western cultures, with a ceremony in the lush Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, followed by a reception at Lyrebird Falls. There on the day to capture the couple’s love and the gorgeous natural setting the bride had dreamed of for her wedding was Tamara Little Photography and Rays Weddings. Below, Diza and Gerard share their story with us and how they created their perfect wedding.

We first met at Gerard’s brother’s wedding but sparks didn’t fly initially. Six months later, we met again in Niseko, Japan through mutual friends/family. It was then that our love began to develop. We had planned to go on a simple date at a cafe but Gerard cancelled as he wasn’t feeling well. I was upset as I thought he wasn’t keen and was using not feeling feeling well as an excuse! I quickly forgave him, however, and we tired again and hit it off.

As for our proposal, we went to Malaysia to attend a good friend’s wedding. The night before we left the country, Gerard proposed.

“I tried a few times before this but was hindered by extreme heat that was bothering us both,” says Gerard. “The very final night, I proposed in our hotel room. The first thing Diza said was,  ‘Are you pulling my leg?’ Being the gentleman I am, I gave Diza time to make a decision. We kept our engagement a secret for four months before finally telling family and friends.”

For our wedding, I always knew I wanted to pay homage to my culture and wore the traditional Indonesian dress. Gerard did the same and we also encouraged our guests to embrace my culture and dress in Indonesian clothing. It was also important for me to wear the Betawi headdress. For the reception, our guests changed into western clothing, the perfect coming together of two cultures!

The colour palette was green, dusky pink and white. Native flowers also featured. Flowers were purchased wholesale and my niece put them all together.

We introduced the Indonesian traditional wedding suit for the groom, to match my Indonesian wedding dress.

It was my dream to be married in a natural environment. The first venue for the ceremony was in the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden at Serenity Point. It has stunning views across to the mountain ranges of Mt Donna Buang and beyond.

Gerard’s father walked me down the aisle.

We had a Muslim ceremony. Being Muslim, it was important for me to make sure we both are married under the one belief. When the celebrant read out the reading, I cried as I felt I was “being released as a wife”.

Our photographer, Tamara Little, was outstanding! She was understanding of our vision for the day and executed it perfectly. We had an engagement session just prior to the wedding, which helped us both feel comfortable in front of the camera and all get to know each other well.

Both the photographer and the videographer (Rays Weddings) worked so well together and with us to produce beautiful imagery and footage of our special day.

For our bridal party, both of us had our best friends whom we have know for many years.

I love the photo of us walking hand in hand under the tree canopy in the Botanical Garden as we look so happy together. I love the natural beauty of the greenery surrounding them.

For our reception, we fell in love with Lyrebird Falls as it’s nestled within the lush forest of the Dandenong Ranges with a modern, romantic feel.

Gerard says, “Abigail’s (my daughter’s) speech was one of my favourite moments. She initially clammed up and couldn’t deliver her speech but Gerard’s parents helped her through it. There was not a dry eye in the house as Abigail spoke about how Diza had transformed their house into a forest and how Diza was like a mum to her.”

Gerard’s speech was so special. He spoke tenderly of his love for me and how he’s proud to have me as his wife.

I love butterflies. Butterflies featured a lot throughout the wedding from the Indonesian butterfly dance to the butterflies on the cake.

We put a lot of effort into the first dance. Gerard is the shy type and doesn’t like being the centre of attention. I knew and appreciated this was a big thing for him to get up in front of everyone and perform.

Gerard recalls the first dance, “The song we danced to was ‘Beautiful Night’ by Eric Clapton. I chose this as this was the song I also chose to play as I proposed to Diza in KL. We practised for a month prior to the wedding. This was one of the most favourite parts of the day, dancing in front of all our family and friends and all the hard work practising the dance paid off.”

My advice for future marrieds? Make it unique and a reflection of who you are as a couple. Include what’s important to you. DIY a lot of the details, it’s takes more time and effort but it’s a lot more budget friendly. You are only limited by your imagination!
Diza and Gerard’s wedding video by Rays Weddings
Ms Floral Says: What a stunning wedding that brought tradition, nature and modern touches together! Thank you for sharing your special day and your story with us. We wish you all the best in your married life together.

Credits

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.