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Tara & Joel’s Intimate Fort Denison Wedding

There is a beautiful sense of intimacy, of what is important and what matters to Tara and Joel at this intimate Fort Denison wedding, They intentionally chose to keep their guest list small so they could do everything they waited to do – from a waterside ceremony to a beautiful lunch time reception in the middle of the harbour. Today Tara tells us the finer details of the Groom’s style.

“My husband already owned two suits, one of them was relatively new (he’d only worn once or twice) and it was navy in a slim line, modern cut that we both really liked. We liked the idea of Joel and his best man in blue so we decided he would wear his existing suit (because why buy another one) and we would pair it with a new white shirt, existing brown shoes and brown belt. His tie was taupe, to keep the colours neutral, and we planned the rest of the wedding colours around his attire.”

Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au
Intimate Fort Demison Wedding | Photo By Rose Photos www.rosephotos.com.au

Photographer: Rose Photos / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Kenji

Image by Jessica Prince Photography. Via Alana & James’s Italian Style Abbotsford Convent Wedding

Image by Jessica Prince Photography. Via Alana & James’s Italian Style Abbotsford Convent Wedding

I love a good Italian wedding. There’s something so infectious and joyous about culture mixed with occasion. Not to mention a few good tipples here and there.

If you’re planning an Italian style wedding, or perhaps you’ve been invited to one, you can expect to have more than beer and wine on the menu.

I asked Alana Sabbadini, owner of new Melbourne hangout – Bar Carlo – to give me the lowdown on what to expect.

Bar Carlo is a quintessential Melbourne bar (by that I mean, it’s in a laneway) but it’s also made a fervent attempt to recreate the “humble authenticity” of an Italian bar.

When it comes to Italian liquor, they know their stuff.

“By striving to bring the humble authenticity of Italian bars to Melbourne, we have found purchase in the simplicity that is at the heart of Italian warmth and hospitality,” Alana says.

“This is reflected with our wonderful selection of Italian aperitivi and digestivi sourced from around the country and the world.”

By the way, aperitivi translates to ‘appetizers’ – so you drink them before the main meal.

And digestivi? Yup, that’s post-main course when you need a little help digesting your food.

Bar Carlo. Image by Tailor Group

Bar Carlo. Image by Tailor Group

So what type of tipple can we expect at an Italian wedding?

“The first one would have to be Prosecco, it’s the perfect welcome drink, refreshing and bubbly, it’s a lovely way to start off the evening.”

From there, the wedding should roll into something a bit more relaxing, says Alana – a self-confessed spritz-connoisseur.

“Spritzes are just so fun and put everyone in a really good mood.”

The team at Bar Carlo love their spritzes so much they ventured to a town in northern Italy called Bassano del Grappa to find an elusive aperitivo named Leone.

We went all the way to the small town where Leone is made and convinced the owners to let us bring it back to Melbourne as it is our favourite and now we are the only stockist in Australia with this delicious and refreshing aperitif.”

Alana says the Leone Spritz is a stand-out in a world full of spritzes. She let me in on her preferred method for making the perfect sip:

“There are many different versions of Spritz on the market, but my favourite and the one that is exclusive to Bar Carlo is our very own Leone Spritz.

“It’s 60ml Leone, 90ml Prosecco and 10ml soda water, garnished with a slice of orange and a green olive. Bellissimo!”

Of course, if you can’t pry a bottle of Leone out of the hands of Bar Carlo, you can always try the more common Aperol Spritz.

Aperol has a bitter orange flavour, and you can sub it in for Leone in Alana’s recipe.

Bar Carlo. Image by Tailor Group

Bar Carlo. Image by Tailor Group

Alana tells me that Italian weddings are “very focused on family”.

“The bond between the couple and also between the couple and their families is a beautiful thing to see and cherish.

“Italian weddings are always lots of fun. After recently getting married myself I can safely say that the amount of food provided at Italian weddings is pretty generous – no one will go home hungry.”

But what about as the night draws to a close? What should we be drinking after we’ve filled up on all that delicious food?

There’s only one choice, Alana says.

“Grappa is great to help everyone relax and the perfect night cap to finish the festivities for the night.”

Sounds good to me.

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About Bar Carlo: At Bar Carlo, we continue a 50-year family tradition of innovation started by pioneer Carlo Sabbadini. Bar Carlo serves simple, hand-prepared Italian food and cicchetti, which can be enjoyed all day. Our menu is constantly rotating to ensure the freshest ingredients, served in the same no fuss manor that Carlo became known for.

About the author Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.

PDB Blog Banner ITALY 1200 x 261px 4

Image by Lightsmith Images. ViaAndrea & Scott's Art Deco Inspired Brisbane Wedding

Image by Lightsmith Images. Via Andrea & Scott’s Art Deco Inspired Brisbane Wedding

Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes…

These boots are made for walkin’…

Get on your dancing shoes…

Everyone from Elvis to the Arctic Monkeys knows about the importance of shoes, and yet, somehow they seem to be the most overlooked piece of a groom’s wardrobe.

In honour of Polka Dot Honeymoons’ Italian wedding month, I set out to investigate the humble (and in many case, not-so-humble) Italian shoe.

But who to ask about this sleek style? For the most part, the price tag alone has kept me away from a fine Italian boot.

Then a light bulb struck.

A few years back, I was lucky enough to receive a personal styling session from Anika Walker, Head Stylist at Your Look.

Her styling advice still stays with me today.

And with more than five years as a stylist at Melbourne’s Chadstone – the fashion capital, under her belt, she was the perfect person to shine a light on the Italian shoe industry.

Why choose Italian shoes?

”It’s definitely all about the style!” Anika says.

“Men’s Italian shoes conjure up thoughts of quality and workmanship like no other and on your wedding day, you deserve to know you have the best.

“Wearing something of high quality gives us a sense of confidence and shoes can be worn time and time again, so it’s also a clever investment.”

As a self-confessed novice in the world of European footwear, I wanted to know if Italian shoes stuck to a particular style or if they were diverse in their cut, colour and shape.

“You can expect to be spoilt for choice when shopping for Italian shoes as you will find the familiar styles; loafers, boots and lace ups, and then you can get specific and search amongst brogues, oxfords, monk straps and wing tips,” Anika says.

“If we’re talking about the most popular Italian leather shoe, it’s hard to look past a classic black loafer.

“This shoe oozes elegance and is the perfect accompaniment to a tuxedo or cocktail suit.

“It is the King of Italian shoes.

(Find some of Anika’s loafer suggestions here, including Dolci FirmeAce Marks and Aquila.)

Anika Walker. Image via yourlook.com.au

Anika Walker. Image via yourlook.com.au

Advice for grooms

Anika says any grooms considering choosing an Italian style shoe for their big day should start with their outfit, using their overall look to help guide their footwear selection.

“The trick is trying shoes on with the outfit you will be wearing to get the overall look and feel of each of the styles of shoe.

“I also recommend taking to Pinterest and creating a style guide for your wedding day look.

“This way, you can use pictures of head-to-toe outfits as your inspo when shopping.

But it’s not all about style, Anika reveals. If style is king, then comfort is sitting right alongside it as queen.

“Always go for comfort, shoes must be comfortable to walk in. My tip is to wear new shoes in at home in the lead up to your big day, this will ensure your shoes are worn in without any damage.

“When investing in quality shoes that you intend to wear time and time again, I recommend having a cobbler add a ‘Topy’ sole to them, this will ensure the longevity of your shoes.

“And always have your pant length altered whilst wearing your shoes. So, remember to have your shoes for your suit fitting to ensure the length is spot on, nothing worse than pants that are too long or too short.”

Choosing a favourite

In a seemingly endless world of footwear options, does Anika have a favourite?

“I love an Italian patent leather shoe worn back with a tuxedo. The patent finish will lift your formal look and make it next level.

“On your wedding day, you should stand out from the crowd and have a point of difference, this style will do that hands down.

“Just remember, patent leather don’t have the same stretch of a traditional leather finish, so ensure you get the fit spot on, not firm.”

And while it can be daunting to see the price tags on some of these shoes, Anika had some sage words of wisdom to ease your pain.

“I’m a firm believer that shoes can make or break an outfit, so avoid skimping on your shoes and get the best quality that your budgets allows.

“Just remember my favourite shopping tool: ‘Price Per Wear’ e.g. $300 shoes worn 100 times equals $3 per wear!”

Amen to that.

Anika Walker’s top Italian shoe choices

Dolci Firme Morandi 3041m Romeo Loafer Black

Dolce Firmi Morandi 3041m Romeo Loafer Black

Image via Dolce Firmi

Ace Marks Penny Loafer Black Antique

Ace Marks Penny Loafer Black Antique

Image via Ace Marks

Aquila Thurlow Black

Aquila Thurlow Black

Image via Aquila

Ace Marks Wholecut Oxford Plain Toe Black Patent 2.jpg

Ace Marks Wholecut Oxford Plain Toe Black Patent 2

Image via Ace Marks

About the author Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.