This week on Behind the Door I’m very excited to visit a venue that is fast becoming a wedding favourite,; The Craft & Co! The Craft & Co opened in late 2015 as a space all about the production and craft of amazing food and drink. Located in Melbourne’s inner suburb of Collingwood, the space houses a brewery, distillery, cellar door, eatery, cafe, bar, cheese and charcuterie rooms. So it’s no wonder it’s become a huge hit with foodie couples!

I meet Diana, the Events Manager, who tells me that couples love The Craft and Co because the upstairs events space has everything a wedding could want. “Couples love that the space is so central so it’s easy for all their guests to get to,” says Diana, “there are also so many amazing urban locations to go to for photos nearby”.

The upstairs front room, known as the Maker’s Bar, is perfect for a ceremony with its high ceilings, beautiful, big windows and a tiled bar ready for after-ceremony drinks. Just next door is the Maker’s Hall which can seat up to 140 guests with views of the meat and cheese rooms for a real foodie feel.

“We love that the space is a blank canvas,” says Diana, “couples can decorate it in their own personal style, but it still has many industrial features that create a very Melbourne feel”.  I love the natural look, wooden chairs and long, sharing-style tables. Diana tells me one of the most popular ways to style the space is with fresh flowers and greenery. They also love to hang floral installations from the ceiling!

Downstairs is the Craft & Co Eatery and Diana tells me the outdoor deck is the perfect place for hen’s and buck’s parties. “The guys can do a brewery tour and the pasta making class is very popular with the girls,” says Diana, “it’s great to do a fun activity before sitting down to some dinner and drinks”.

Of course, one of the reasons many couples love The Craft & Co is the food. The menu is filled with meats and cheeses made on site and there are many different styles on offer from cocktail, sharing-style or fully seated. The beverage packages all include beer and wines made in-house too. The Craft & Co are famous for the gin they make in their own distillery and Diana tells me mini-bottles are the perfect choice for wedding favours! I can’t wait to see many more gorgeous weddings in this amazing space!

Images 1 & 2 by Free the Bird and all other images by The Craft & Co

Ms Zigzag says: Amelia always seems to uncover the coolest places to hold weddings and other wedding celebrations, like hen’s and buck’s days. I’m in charge of organising a hen’s day in 2018, so I’ll definitely be checking out The Craft & Co. 

About Amelia Waddell of Make Your Day Wedding Styling: I’m a wedding stylist and proud store owner who loves to chat weddings with everyone and anyone! I love to talk shop with other business owners (particularly over some chocolate cake!) and am the first to try and have a sticky beak behind the scenes of any event. My free time is spent ‘investigating’ new cafes, stores and events.

Telling your wedding day story through pictures in an artistic and emotional way is the creative strength of a good photographer. It is through their record of the day that you will remember long forgotten details. So choosing the perfect photographer who you feel a connection with, is so important. Amy of Amy Skinner Photography has a beautifully soft and timeless quality to her work – seemingly unadulterated and natural. There is emotion in her pictures and when you look at them you wonder about the story of the people in the image. That’s what I think a beautiful photograph should do – make you wonder, remember and dream. Here’s Amy’s story about her passion for photography, Freo and renovating!

Have you always been creative – or taking photographs for as long as you can remember?

I was always creative when I was younger, probably because I spent a lot of time with my Nan and Grandad. My Nan would always have a paintbrush in her hand, my grandad a camera. They both always encouraged me.
I enjoyed expressing emotions through pictures and this passion continued through school, art college, university and now in my chosen career which I absolutely love.

Describe your thoughts on what you call ‘creative reportage’. What does this mean in terms of your photography?
‘Creative reportage’ describes my style of photography. During a wedding day, I try to document the day as it naturally unfolds like a news reporter would tell a story through words, I tell the story through pictures.

You love all things vintage. How would you describe the vintage wedding photography element of your style?

I am obsessed with the way vintage film looks; I think it is just so timeless and will never go out of fashion so I try to recreate that look in all my work. I’ve recently bought a beautiful vintage Mamiya film camera which I am super excited to start using on my weddings.

Your images have a soft quality. Is this a deliberate expression of your style?

Yes absolutely, it all comes down to me wanting my work to look more like film and less like digital. I use very specific lenses that were only ever used on film cameras to give me the creamy soft background. I could talk about this all day but then I really would sound like a total geek!

Why do you love photographing weddings?

I’ve never really thought about it before, I just think this is what I was made to do! I am so incredibly happy when I have a camera in my hand and to get to photograph two people so madly in love that they want to commit their whole lives to each other is an utter privilege.

What are the best moments to capture – that you are most excited about?

There are 100s of amazing moments throughout the day but my favourite is when the bride and groom are finally on their own during couple pictures and they realise they are actually married! There is always one moment where they are looking at each other with the biggest smiles; that’s the picture I love to take.

How do you ensure that you’re in the right place at the right time?
Years of experience helps! Plus being really organised and having a detailed timeline with my brides. I am all about being organised and I love a good list!

Any advice for brides and grooms?
Throw the rule book out! It’s your wedding have it your way! I wish someone had told me that when I was planning my wedding.

Do you enjoy seeing the different wedding styles and bridal couples putting their own stamp on the wedding?

100%! I get so excited to see my couples’ visions come together, especially when they are a little bit quirky and vintage.

What do couples receive with the packages you offer?

My packages cover a wide variety of needs from a small wedding only needing four hour’s coverage to a whole day from start to finish. Every package includes a USB with 100s of edited images and a second photographer who is just another set of eyes who sees the day from a different angle to me. You can also include a beautiful fine art album at any stage.

Do you suggest an engagement session with you to break the ice and get used to being photographed?

I can safely say every couple who has had an engagement session with me has found having their wedding day pictures taken, so much easier and relaxed. It gave them more confidence to be ‘them’ instead of worrying about how they look.
Any more tips for feeling comfortable in front of the camera?

Choose a photographer that you really connect with. If you can’t relax around them when you meet them the chances are you won’t be able to on your wedding day – that is the key to beautiful, relaxed images.

You express a love of Fremantle? Why is this such a special place to photograph?
What is there not to love about Freo? It has everything you will ever need for your wedding day – historic buildings, the beach, parks, funky venues and that beautiful Freo vibe.

What other interests do you have other than photography?

Whenever I am not working I am renovating my very dated 1970s house. I am a total ‘Block addict’ and just love knocking down walls and choosing interior décor.

What are you reading at the moment?

I am actually reading anything I can get my hands on about film photography (I did say I was a camera geek). It’s such a dying art form that I really want to incorporate it into my work.

Where is your favourite place to go for a holiday?

I absolutely love the south of France. I spent many years as a child going there for my summer holidays and now adore taking my kids there for their holidays. The south of France has everything I love in this world, beautiful weather, amazing food, stunning scenery and so much culture and history I really, really love it!
Thank you, Amy, for sharing your story. It’s never boring poring over wedding photos, and these are filled with emotion and love. To find out more about Amy Skinner Photography visit the website.

All images in this post by Amy Skinner Photography.

Yen and Thomas 

Rose petals rained down on Yen and Thomas as they left the church, but thankfully there was no sign of actual rain in the Southern Highlands that day. In fact, the skies were sparklingly clear, from sunrise right through to sunset, allowing our wedding videographer to capture stunning scenes of Yen and Thomas strolling on Mali Brae Farm.

The farm is home to majestic trees, a tranquil lake and sprawling fields of lush grass. And now, it’s home to the place where Yen and Thomas spent their first day as husband and wife.

Ms Zigzag says: Your vows are an important promise that you make to each other; I love that this couple can watch their video and be reminded of the moment that they pledged their love and commitment to each other whenever they pop on this special video!

About Marry Me Movies: As wedding cinematographers, we don’t just ‘video your wedding’, we capture priceless moments and memories. We use cinematic-quality imagery combined with a documentary style of storytelling to create a spellbinding wedding film. A ‘forever film’ that will ignite memories and infuse magic into any moment of any day, for the rest of your days – allowing you to fall in love again and again.