Real Wedding – Ali & Fletch, Bellarine VIC
When your wedding day ethos is to simply pick things that make you happy, the result is bound to be one as fun-filled as it is stylish. Add in boundless coastal views, a sun-drenched afternoon and a one-of-a-kind couple, and you have the effervescently elegant wedding of Ali and Fletch.
Kicking off the celebrations by offering glasses of chilled champagne to guests set the tone for the fun to follow and for each carefully considered yet effortlessly impactful detail. Tamborines on every table to elevate the vibe, handwritten notes to every guest and curated song lists delivered by legends The White Tree created a perfectly personal and beautifully memorable effect.
Hues in warm sunset shades of peachy pink, toned down tangerine, and creamy vanilla combine with muted lavender and soft sage to deliver a colour palette that enhances the summer surrounds.
Photographer Liz Barnes captures the dynamic emotion of the day, with vibrant smiles echoing from every frame. But for us, the dreamy portrait shots of the newlyweds enjoying a moment by the ocean, give us all the feels.
Scroll on for a darling dopamine hit!
We met through our friends Ellen and Jack (fondly known as Jellen). I’ve known Ell since we were about eight years old, and Fletch and Jack have been mates forever, too. After their wedding in 2018, at their recovery, Ellen and Jack told me their mate Fletch thought I was beautiful. Fletch doesn’t remember saying this – but one of us added the other on Instagram, then there were some DMs, and soon enough, we were out on a date that ended up with us on a dancefloor in Melbourne until 4am.
After the first date, we spent nearly every weekend together. Then it turned into every second night. We’re not sure if there was a big defining moment, but spending time with each other just felt easy and natural, and there was never a conversation about it; it just happened. Fletch never even asked me to be his girlfriend. We just knew.
We were in Lorne (our happy place), and I was told we were going to dinner with Fletch’s parents. Fletch wanted to take a detour on the way there and stop at Teddy’s Lookout to show me something. I was super hungry (actually, very hangry), so I wasn’t impressed we had to stop and trek up the path, with me in my dress and sandals. We stopped at the lookout with a view over St. Georges River; the sun was setting, and the next thing I knew, Fletch was on one knee with the most beautiful ring. His parents were hiding around the corner with a bottle of champagne and the dogs. We all celebrated together and video-called my whole family to tell them the news. It was perfect and so unexpected.
I am a lover of spreadsheets, budgets and doing sentimental things for the people I love. So, planning a wedding was right up my alley. I’m honestly sad it’s all over, and I would do it all again (and marry Fletch again!)
I work in social media, so Instagram was naturally my go-to tool. I scrolled through a lot of Ivory Tribe posts and loved reading about the unique, meaningful things that couples did on their big day. I didn’t want to be too influenced by trends, so I just scrolled until I found ideas and inspiration that brought us joy, and we came up with a few of our own ideas.
We never really chose a style. We just picked things that made us happy. We wanted the whole day to feel very us and, most of all, to make our friends and family feel special. We love colour, so we chose colourful flowers and had pops of pink on the tables. We wanted the reception to feel upbeat from the start, so we laid tambourines all down the tables. We named the tables after our favourite places, and we curated the music playlist with the band so that there was a song that everyone of every age would love and dance to. We tried to involve our closest friends and family as much as possible and let everyone know how much we loved them.
Firstly – it was hot! We were so happy we served cold glasses of bubbles to our guests on arrival to the ceremony. This kept them a (little) cooler but also helped create the relaxed, fun mood we wanted.
We stood out on the lawn at Terindah Estate, overlooking the paddocks, the gum trees, and the bay. The location itself was so special; we wanted somewhere coastal with a bit of country to represent where we both came from.
Our celebrant Emma set the mood with her big smile and sense of humour. We asked her to get everyone to take out their phone, snap a selfie and text it to Fletch and me. This was so fun to wake up to the next day.
One of our favourite parts of the ceremony was looking out at all our loved ones. It was so nice to stop and take in everyone’s faces and soak up the fact that everyone we loved was in the same place.
We also surprised our Mums mid-ceremony by asking them to be our witnesses. This was so special.
I wore a Jane Hill gown from the Heritage Collection. It wasn’t available when I first went to try dresses on, and every place I went to, I kept describing that I wanted a V-neck bodice with an A-Line skirt but just couldn’t find what I had in my mind. It turns out Jane Hill was in the middle of designing a dress just like the one I had envisioned, so I got to try on the first version of it (pins and all). It was perfect. I had a second dress to slip into for the dancefloor, which was so much fun.
Our bridesmaids all wore different shades of pink in whatever style of dress suited them. I wanted them to feel comfortable. We had a try-on date at home, ordered a stack of dresses online, and they all picked their favourites. It was such a fun day.
Fletch and the groomsmen all wore suits from Rick at V&J Menswear. We’d heard great things about Rick, and he didn’t disappoint. The boys looked amazing. Rick suggested we use some of the material from my dress as the pocket square for Fletch, and this was such a nice touch.
We were fortunate to get an amazing sunset. The staff at Terindah took us down to the beach in a buggy with a bottle of champagne. It was just Fletch and I and our photographer and videographer. It gave us a chance to be alone and take a moment to soak everything in.
Another moment was watching all our friends read the hand-written letters we left as their place cards at our reception. There were laughs, tears, and so much joy.
Meaning of marriage.
A celebration of our love and a commitment to keep doing life together.
Aisle: Simply The Best, Acoustic version
Signing: Dancing Queen, Acoustic version
Reception entry: Jump (For My Love) from the Love Actually Soundtrack
Funny stories or near disasters.
We decided to buy a house in Ocean Grove and landscape the whole back and front yard ten days before the Wedding. It was full Backyard Blitz style. Everyone thought we were crazy, but we were so determined to host our friends and family for our recovery lunch at our new home!
We were so relieved we booked in at Terindah Estate and had Truffleduck to help with everything. Even when a venue has toilets, a kitchen, crockery, glassware, bartenders, etc, there’s still so much to organise.
Also – we were surprised at how much our vendors made the day run smoothly. We didn’t realise how over and beyond they would go outside what we hired them for. Liz, our photographer, even did my dress up! Emma, our celebrant, ran the ceremony so smoothly, and our wedding coordinator from Truffleduck, Lizzie, did SO much running around that I wouldn’t have even known if anything didn’t go to plan.
Words of wisdom.
Start your planning by writing down the things that are most important to you and your partner and invest your money in those. Get an idea of how much everything costs BEFORE you book anything and work out your budget. Book in good vendors ASAP; as soon as you have a good vibe about someone, book them.
One of the most visually impactful decision you can make when planning your wedding is what colour palette will anchor your styling choices. Bright and bold, subtle or sensational, the combinations are almost endless. So to narrow it down, here are our tips on how to choose your perfect hues.
ALI & FLETCH’S VENDORS
We wanted to use local suppliers as much as possible. We looked on Instagram at other weddings in the Bellarine area and started there.
We only have the best things to say about all our Vendors. Emma, Liz, John and Lizzie all felt like friends in the lead-up and on the day. They went over and above to keep the vibes high and to stick to my (very detailed) run sheet.
Ceremony & reception venue: Terindah Estate
Celebrant: Emma Browne
Photography: Liz Barnes
Videography: John Kurt
Styling: Myself (Ali), and my cousin Kate from The Supper Club Co
Florist: Erin at Florette
Hair & make-up: Studio 2 Make Up and Hair
Veil: Jane Hill
Shoes: Bared Footwear
Rings: Kate & Kole
Suits & bow ties / ties: V&J Menswear
Catering & bar: Truffleduck
Favours: Handmade and hand-written letters to everyone
Cake: We served Freshwater Creek Sponge Cakes at our recovery the next day instead of a wedding cake. If you know, you know.
Stationery / Signage: My sister Georgia and I designed everything together.
Entertainment: The White Tree
Décor: Kate from The Supper Club Co provided the candles, napkins and cutlery. We spray-painted the tambourines ourselves.
Hire: Surf Coast Party Hire provided the fairy lights and the white bentwood chairs.
Honeymoon: We bought a house and moved to Ocean Grove instead!
Wedding Coordinator: Lizzie Lacie from Truffleduck