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Steph & Aaron

The newlyweds sit down together to chat about their stunning and quintessential Melbourne wedding at the Panama Dining Room in September this year. They mused it was chic and intimate with a relaxed vibe, caught on camera by photographer extraordinaire, Dan Soderstrom. The unusually warm day provided the perfect reason for a costume change to head into a night of celebrations with friends and family! 

We met when we were at school as we had mutual friends. However, it wasn’t until the year everyone started turning 21 and we were seeing each other regularly at birthday celebrations that anything blossomed. At one particular party, Aaron made a comment after a few drinks to one of Steph’s friends about how good Steph had been looking recently and it took off from there!

To describe the day, it was chic, Melbourne, relaxed and intimate. The ceremony was small with only 30 of our immediate family and closest friends in attendance. Post the ceremony we were then joined by another 100 family & friends for dinner and dancing.

The beautiful bride Steph says she “refused to go wedding dress shopping (much to the dismay of her Greek mother) and was inspired by the simplicity of Megan Markle’s wedding dresses.” The day after the royal wedding she found and purchased an ivory Roksanda dress on Netaporter. The experience was not ideal to the mother of the bride as she was hoping for the big traditional wedding gown, however it was exactly what the bride wanted.

Due to the unexpected warm weather scheduled for the big day, the bride ended up purchasing a 2nd dress (at 4:00pm the day before) for the party time of the night which was a sequin dress from Veronika Maine.

Keen to keep it simple, the Groom, Aaron wore a navy MJ Bale suit with white shirt & bow tie.

Our bridal party consisted of Steph’s sister, Amanda and two of her oldest friends Tina & Juls. Aaron’s Groomsmen were his best mate Jake and two brothers Dan & Jaddan. The page boy was Steph’s nephew, Henry and flower girl was Steph’s niece Kiara.

We felt the venue didn’t require any additional flowers due to the vast amounts of greenery present, however we wanted to dress the window where we had our ceremony with some blossom (this proved to be a lot harder than you would think) and blush pink roses were used for bouquets & button holes.

Walking down the aisle to ‘Vance Joy – Alone With Me’ the bride made her entrance to the Panama Dining Room in Collingwood. Even better, the venue was chosen based on Steph’s love for the large windows which she first discovered during an episode of the TV show ‘Offspring’.

Our ceremony was a small affair with our families and some of our closest friends. We were going for a very relaxed affair and therefore had no formal readings. Rather, we had Amanda (Steph’s bridesmaid & sister) and Jake (Aaron’s best man) to each share a reflection about the two of us. Vows were very simple and true to us as a couple.

Having a Greek heritage and it being our only bit of Greek tradition, our first dance included the entire reception guest list joining us for the Zorba!

Although we had no DIY elements, Steph’s students made the cake toppers that sat on our wedding cake, which was lovely.

The most special parts of our wedding were Greek dancing, the beautiful and intimate ceremony, good food, drink & company. These were all the truly special things that have stuck with us from the night. For each of us, the morning spent with our families & friends was very important and something we will both remember for ever. We also had Steph’s brothers Matt & Simon say a speech during the reception about the both of us, as they are the two people in the world that know the both of us best as a couple.

Aside from the obvious happiness of getting married, the day was incredibly special to be able to bring all of our different family & friends that we love into the same room and to spend the night with us.

Again it should be about the two of us, but some of our favourite photos are of Steph, Aaron and Henry, our little page boy, in front of the blue brick wall on the street are some of our favourites!

The bridal procession started with Steph’s mum walking with the page boy, Henry and flower girl, Kiara. Once the page boy saw Aaron, he ran to him! They hugged and he demanded Aaron pick him up. Aaron remembers thinking he didn’t want to miss the first moment of Steph when she turned to walk down the aisle. He put Henry down, which Henry very much didn’t appreciate and therefore Henry was handed a piece of cake as bribery which he proceeded to drop and eat off the floor! Talk about a good start!

Our Photographer, Dan Soderstrom is a good friend of Aaron’s from high school and they also spent a year together abroad when first out of school. We loved having Dan a part of the day and night as he created a very relaxed environment during photos which put the both of us very much at ease.

We were extremely lucky and loved every single one of our vendors. Each is special is their own ways to the two of us. Our celebrant, Lara Williams was absolutely amazing as she understood and created the exact vibe that we wanted for our ceremony.

Bride Steph also wants to comment about her amazing glam squad Claire Gourlay for make up and Carmen Vitale for hair. They both made Steph’s morning of the wedding so calm and zen!

The top five things that made our day was definitely, family, friends, dancing, pampering & laughter.

If there’s any advice we can give to future couples, don’t sweat the small stuff when planning your big day! The day itself goes so quick and none of the small stuff means anything.

Photographer: Dan Soderstorm Weddings / Accessories: KITTE / Alterations: MJ Bale / Beverages: Panama Dining Room / Bridal Robes: Piyama / Bride's Dress: Roksanda / Bride's Jewellery: JGS Jewellers / Bride's Reception Dress: Veronika Maine / Bride's Shoes: Dolci Firme / Bridesmaid Accessories: JGS Jewellers / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bec and Bridge / Bridesmaid Shoes: Tony Bianco / Catering: Panama Dining Room / Ceremony Officiant: Lara Williams / Ceremony Venue: Panama Dining Room / Cufflinks: JGS Jewellers / Dessert Table: Gelato Messina / DJ: Jank Facques / Engagement Ring: JGS Jewellers / Flowergirl's Attire: Bardot Junior / Flowers: Think Blooms / Groom's Shoes: RM Williams / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: MJ Bale / Groomsmen Shoes: RM Williams / Hairstylist: Carmen Vitale / Makeup Artist: Claire Gourlay / MC: Caitlin Hrambanis / Reception Venue: Panama Dining Room / Invitations & Stationery: Jake Mahoney / Signage: Jake Mahoney / Wedding Cake: Sally Cakes / Wedding Ring: JGS Jewellers / Photo Booth: Wooshka Photobooths

Matt & Erin

The venue search began immediately as Erin said “YES!” after 10 years together, no less on a mountain top mind you! Their day was surrounded by family and friends, and of course their fur baby, Norman. A few minor hiccups on the day (we won’t mention the steamer!) put no dampener on the fun and love that was celebrated on the cliff top at Villa Botanica. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous Whitsundays wedding with us as we wish Matt and Erin a lifetime of happiness together! 

The Risk!

We started our search for a wedding venue the day that we got engaged. Matt took me for a run in the Noosa hinterlands and at the top of the cliff overlooking the water asked me to marry him after nearly 10 years together!

Noosa was the easy option as we love it there and often visit but we wanted to try somewhere different but still have our special day close to the water. Then we found Villa Botanica at Airlie Beach and we quickly contacted them thinking…could this be as good as it seems in the photos? How have we not heard of this place?

We decided to book the venue without seeing it to save on costs and all the way leading up to the wedding we were terrified that it would not be what we hoped! We were certainly not disappointed.

The dress

I flew to Melbourne to check out a dress that I absolutely loved at Suzanne Harwood. It looked terrible on me! But, the team at Suzanne Harward were just amazing and asked me to try on a dress that I would never have picked for myself. I nearly died…it was perfect. I spent the day trying on more dresses at two other bridal boutiques but knew that I’d found the one for me and ended up flying it home to Brisbane with me.

The boys wore classic black tuxedos which added to the pop against the different backdrops. The girls were dressed in Shona Joy. Their nude tones really helped to highlight the delicate French lace detail of my Suzanne Harward dress.

The Style

The style of our wedding was classic and elegant but at the same time we wanted it to be fun! Villa Botanica was the perfect venue. It provided so many beautiful backdrops – from elegant garden’s, desert (via the Cactarium) and of course the water.

We made the decision to have the reception on the sea-deck overlooking the ocean which left us and our guests feeling like we were somewhere in the Mediterranean.

The day

It was the most amazing day to spend marrying the love of my life, surrounded by friends and family. The atmosphere of excitement, fun and love was unforgettable. We have the best support and to share the experience with our friends and family at such a unique location made the day all the more perfect.

It made for a more relaxing and enjoyable time knowing that everyone there was on a mini-holiday. A big requirement for our wedding was that our fur baby, Norman was able to be a part of the day. He made the drive up from Brisbane with us and I couldn’t have imagined such an important day without him there.

Our photographers, All the love in the world, have taken some amazing aerial shots that really show case just how amazing the venue really is. We love Jesse and Mikala who came up from the Sunshine Coast to photograph our day.

The Lessons Learned

We were big on planning and this paid off in terms of bringing all the little touches to the wedding that made it ‘ours’. BUT things do go wrong. Matt’s suit pants split the day of the wedding and the steamer also burst on fire as the boys’ suits were about to be ironed, not the best start to the day! Luckily, no damage was done and crisis was avoided thanks to one of the groomsmen’s secret talent for sewing haha!

Leading up to the day stick with your vision and do what you feels good, not what feels right. On the day, as best you can, just let the stress go, leave the little details, your guests won’t remember them and enjoy the day that you’ve been waiting planning together for!

Photographer: All The Love In The World / Bride's Dress: Suzanne Harward / Makeup Artist: Joanna Luhrs / Venue: Villa Botanica / Signage: Yeah Neon / Flowers: Flower Hut Whitsundays / Wedding Cake: Whitsunday Baked Creations

Jane & Tin

As a little girl I always dreamt of my Prince Charming and magical wedding day. Growing up I would have wedding magazines under my bed, spend girls nights watching other bride’s wedding videos, while discussing details of our future weddings.

We hosted a traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony the day before our wedding to give thanks to our ancestors and family.

I would always get emotional when the brides’ Dad walked them down the aisle or during the father/daughter dance as I knew I wouldn’t get the chance to share that with my late father.

To include and honour him on our wedding day, I had a photo of my father added to my bouquet. I had completely forgotten about it until I picked up my bouquet that morning. Tears streamed down my face knowing that he would have loved to be there with me on my special day.

My bridesmaids wore a backless, white custom couture dress and our groomsmen wore the classic black suit from Calibre.

Tin the groom wore a custom-made Tom Ford suit with a white blazer and black trousers paired with Christian Louboutin shoes.

My dress was a custom-made design by Pallas Couture. It was a blush undertone fishtail dress with beautiful pearl embellishments finished with a 2 metre train.

To compliment the dress, my girlfriends surprised me at my final dress fitting with a 3-metre handmade pearl embellished veil.

We chose Marcus Bell from Studio Impressions because we have always loved his work. We believe there needs to be a good relationship between the photographer and the client – and Marcus always made us feel very comfortable. We loved his work and that he was able to capture all our emotions on the day.

For my bouquet, I wanted something classic with white roses and orchids to match the white theme and aesthetic of our wedding.

Every girls dream is to have their father walk them down the aisle. As my father is no longer with me, I had a photo of him added to my bouquet so he could share that moment with me.

Our ceremony was held at The Victoria Park Golf Marquee Deck and was one of the most memorable moments of the day.

I will never forget walking down the aisle with both my Mum (and Dad in spirit) as they gave Tin their blessing. The ceremony was held on the deck overlooking Brisbane city beneath a stunning floral arbour. I must give credit to Styled Events and Danielle my Wedding Planner, who did an indescribable job creating our white wedding. We had over 100 metres of pure white carpet leading to the alter with multiple clear pillars with vases of fresh flowers on either side.

To complement our aisle we added a 4 metre wisteria tree to create a whimsical, romantic look.

A favourite moment of our ceremony was seeing Tin waiting for me underneath our amazing fresh flower arbour. I could not have asked for anything better!

Although Tin and I were standing in front of all our family and friends as we shared our wedding vows, it truly felt as if we were the only two there.

Tin and I decided to surprise each other by sharing our wedding vows with each other for the very first time during the ceremony, and to our surprise we both shared similar words and promises to each other.

 When it comes to planning the ceremony, my advice would be to do your research and to have a team that you can trust that is genuinely there to help you. Finding the right Celebrant is very important as they are the one marrying you after all!

When Tin and I met Jamie Eastgate from Brisbane City Celebrants we knew he was the right man to help us tie the knot. Jamie has the most amazing personality. He is warm, caring and one of the most genuine people we know.

He made the whole process very easy for us by explaining the ceremony process and options available, customising our ceremony to suit us and organising all the paperwork. Jamie even submitted the application for our official marriage certificate for us and within a few weeks of our day, our official marriage certificate arrived in the post.

Our reception took place at Victoria Park’s Clubhouse Marquee where we hosted a 3 course, sit down dinner. I’ve always pictured my wedding to be white, lush and full of fresh flowers.  My inspiration was to bring a garden into the marquee. I had big beautiful crystal chandeliers hanging throughout the roof of the marquee. I originally wanted trees inside the venue however due to our extensive guest list there were size limitations.

As a result of this we decided to create tree-like centrepieces on gold stands which stood over 1 metre high. Each centrepiece included white roses, green foliage and disbuds. We created a romantic ambiance by having candles scattered around each table.

I walked down the aisle to the classic ‘here comes the bride’ played by a string quartet. Some of our favourite pieces played during our ceremony would be ‘At Last’, ‘LOVE’, ‘Lucky (I’m in Love), ”Unforgettable’ and ‘Just The Way You Look Tonight’. To complete our party vibe late on the night, we had a live band, Sex and Chocolate, performing all the modern RnB and pop songs.

Our 7-metre-long bridal table had a cascading floral arrangement which included fresh roses and green vines. The backdrop of our bridal table consisted of 68 vases of fresh roses, orchids and disbuds on multiple white and clear glass pillars creating an elegant setting.

Although there wasn’t capacity to have as many trees as we would have liked, we did include our ‘wishing tree’ where guests could write us a message to hang on ribbons alongside 150 hanging fresh Singapore orchids.

To flow with our white and gold theme we had gold Tiffany chairs, a custom gold bridal table, gold cutlery, white and gold menus with each of our guest names, gold centrepiece stands, a white dance floor with our initials monogramed in gold and custom made white napkins with our gold monogram.

When Tin and I started planning our wedding we envisioned a glamorous but fun celebration with our closest family and friends. We wanted to ensure all our guests would have a good time so we had a bottle of Hennessy placed on each of our tables. We thought it would be fitting to gift our guests personalised shot glasses with their names engraved on them.

The whole day was filled with one surprise after another. From getting ready with my best girlfriends, receiving a crown as a wedding gift from Tin, to walking down the aisle with my mum (and Dad on my bouquet) and seeing my future husband waiting for me at the end under our amazing arbour.

Another beautiful moment was when our guests lit their sparklers as we cut our cake with fireworks shooting in the background to our favourite soundtrack.

After all our wedding celebrations, Tin organised for us to have a week away in Bora Bora, Tahiti. It was a perfect getaway for us to relax and unwind.

My advice to brides-to-be, would be to do your research and to have a team that you can trust that is genuinely there to help you and make your day special.

As many brides, have told me before our wedding day, prepare yourself, things will go wrong but try to embrace your day and don’t hold on or stress over minor details because at the end of the day, only you will know it wasn’t perfect. Slow down, relax and enjoy, because at the end of the day, you will be married to your amazing love! Oh and if possible, get a massage to relax you before your wedding day!

Jane & Tin – Your Beautiful – Same Day Edit Brisbane from Grandeur Films on Vimeo.

 

Thank you to the beautiful bride Jane for sharing her love story with her dashing groom Tin and telling us all about their truly magnificent wedding day at Victoria Park! We wish you all the happiness in your life together.

Photographer: Marcus Bell of Studio Impressions / Venue: Victoria Park / Ceremony Officiant: Brisbane City Celebrants / Invitations & Stationery: Ooh-Ahh Invitations / Styling: Styled Events / Wedding Cake: Vanilla Pod / Wedding Planner: White + White / Flowers: Always Fabulous Flowers / Ceremony Musicians: 16 Strings / Bride's Dress: Pallas Couture / Makeup Artist: Janise Chan / Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Groom's Attire: Tom Ford / Groomsmen Attire: Calibre / Flooring: Staging Creations / Entertainment: Sex and Chocolate / Lion Dancers: LTL Group / Photo Booth: Lover of Mine / Cinematographer: Grandeur Films / Transport: United Limousines