Real Wedding – Isabella & Tom, Newtown VIC
Isabella and Tom kick-started their wedding planning with some firm non-negotiables: a great dance floor, food, drink and for their guests to enjoy themselves. It’s safe to say, they nailed it.
Marrying on the grounds of their old high school, with an incredible party to follow, the atmosphere of this special day was second to none. There were tears of joy, laughter, and importantly – an epic dance floor to keep the festivities alive.
With Isabella an absolute vision in her gorgeous Maticevski gown, stunning styling and even a memorable rainbow gracing the summer skies – this beautiful celebration is a feast for the senses. One of our favourites, Tony Evans, was there to capture it all.
In their words…
We didn’t know each other then, but we went to the same high school. Tom was two years above me. Ten years later, I came back to Geelong for the night for a school reunion. After a few reflective wines, we all trooped down to our old local pub where Tom and his mates were watching the football. He approached me and some friends and started chatting, and then he asked me out to dinner. I wasn’t sure if he’d remember this encounter but then got a Facebook message from him. Slick. We went from there.
Tom – I don’t even know if I have…! All joking aside, I can’t put it down to a specific moment, but from the first date we laughed, everything was real, we share a similar sense of humour and got along so well. From the first drink we had, we just grew.
Isabella – For me, it was every moment that I introduced him to family or friends and it was just so relaxed and easy. He was so engaging, chatty, thoughtful and funny, which led to affirming whispers from many of “he’s awesome”. I knew that part already.
Truthfully I was blindsided. I had been bedridden with a lousy cold in our hotel in Hoi An, Vietnam. Tom took the days spent alone to hop on a bike and book a private dinner boat for us one evening. Dopey on cold and flu tablets, he led me to this beautiful, lantern filled timber boat at dusk that chugged up the river slowly until we reached the rice paddies. As we were sitting on one of the steps of the boat watching the sunset, Tom asked me to be his wife. I honestly didn’t believe him at first! The next few days we kept our engagement between us, enjoying the time together. Before we went home, we facetimed family which was so much fun and were surprised at the airport by my brother and his girlfriend at arrivals to take us home to celebrate!
The process was a bit longer as we were married over a year after we were engaged. Our planning kicked off by discussing our non-negotiables: great dance floor, food, drink and for our guests to enjoy themselves. I genuinely enjoy organising and planning, so after narrowing some ideas down and speaking to suppliers, we made the big decisions. It is hard to pick a particular day – ours was a Saturday in January – but our non-negotiable was to get the band, Like This, and they gave us a couple of dates that we then worked off with our reception venue, Mt Duneed Estate. Everything fell into place from there. Friends were so, so helpful. Everyone has great advice and is willing to send through their own run sheets, contacts of suppliers and lend a hand. Our friends Tash and Critty from Dress my Wedding were exceptional in helping us plan.
We didn’t really have one. The ceremony was on the grounds of our school, where the space is beautiful on its own. Dress my Wedding styled the ceremony; lots of timber cues and classic white features. Daisy and Mel at As Daisy Does were mavericks with their floristry. I pretty much told Daisy colours I liked, jabbed my finger at a few images on Instagram and she ran a talented mile with it.
It’s a bit of a dizzying process – there is so much out there that I would get so distracted. Ultimately I found a Toni Maticevski gown that I loved. I loved the fabric, structure and silhouette. It was then altered by Claire Home who is careful and attentive. A friend gave me a tiny “F” charm to have something on the day to remember my sister Francesca by, which Claire thoughtfully chose to sew on the dress to sit over my heart. For dancing I changed into a Camilla and Marc dress.
Tom found it much easier. He went directly to Oscar Hunt for his suit, where he spent a better part of the afternoon enjoying whiskey and platters with a lot of banter.
Just everything, we couldn’t stop grinning. Seeing each other for the first time and everyone we love in the one space. Hugging everyone. Marrying my favourite person. Laughing and crying at speeches. Hitting the dance floor. A particularly significant moment was a vivid rainbow making its way through the late afternoon sky, just as we arrived at Mt Duneed. Rainbows always remind our family of my little sister, Francesca, who died eight years ago. I really felt like she was present in that moment and it was special to share with Tom.
Meaning of marriage.
It’s about looking after each other, loving and supporting one another every step of the way.
Aisle: Into My Arms by Nick Cave
Signing: Let’s Stay Together by Al Green
Exit: You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne
Entrance: Crazy in Love by Beyoncé
First Dance: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
Funny stories (or near disasters).
Despite being the middle of summer, it had been raining all day, and it had somehow managed to stop in time for the ceremony. Yet it unleashed just as my Nanna started her reading that she had practiced for quite a while, and everyone ducked for cover under the umbrellas. Fortunately our friends had loaned us a whole lot of umbrellas that were on hand.
A not-fun moment was my final microdermabrasion treatment two days before the wedding and I walked away looking like a cat had scratched my cheek and chin – it was not ideal. Here’s a tip: don’t do anything to your face that close to your wedding!
Booking the big things are easy once you know what and who you want – but it’s the little things that take up all your time. We had a long list of little things in that last week.
Words of wisdom.
Relax on the day and enjoy it all. It’s the most incredibly special day and it blitzes by. Trust the suppliers you get involved as they know what they are doing. Do things your way that feel right to you as a couple.
We could not have had the day we had without the generosity and love from our parents, families and friends.
Take a leaf from Tom and Izzy’s book, and secure the big ticket wedding items first. For some epic venue inspiration, we’ve rounded up some of our Victorian favourites here.
ISABELLA & TOM’S TRIBE
Ceremony venue / location: Geelong College Cloisters, Newtown
Reception venue / location: Mt Duneed Estate
Celebrant/Officiant: Dave Curnow – a friend to the family, it was important to us to have him.
Photography: Tony Evans – we felt really lucky to have Tony there, he added to the fun. His photographs capture the day so well.
Videography: Ollie Manton
Florist: As Daisy Does
Hair: Temple Hair
Make-up: Aimie Fiebig – our friend Aimie is an absolute make up guru. She was so relaxed and had us all laughing while we were getting ready, unless she was applying lashes… then we had to be still.
The Dress(es): Toni Maticevski, altered by Claire Home Designs. Camilla and Marc.
Veil / headwear: Claire Home Designs
Earrings: Lucy Folk
Rings: Ian Pattison Jewellers, Ocean Grove. The Pattison family made our wedding bands and we loved working with them the classic design of the rings.
Groom’s suit: Oscar Hunt Tailors
Groom’s shoes: Florsheim
Ties: TM Lewin
Entertainment: Like This – they know how to read a room and brought the house down.
Transport: our family friend, Simon, drove me to the ceremony in his car. It was really special and he had put all these thoughtful touches in the car – a vase of flowers and a little bottle of mineral water. ABDA buses transported guests to and from the reception. Tom and the family walked to the ceremony from his parent’s house with our nieces and nephews. Those are great photos.
Hire: Dress My Wedding – our friends Tash and Critty were amazing to work with. They have a lovely range of furniture pieces to choose from and were able to style the ceremony just beautifully.
Signage: Snap Printing
Honeymoon: we mini-mooned on the east coast of Tasmania, then main-mooned around Italy and Croatia.