Real Wedding – Ally & Ben, Melbourne VIC  
Real Wedding – Ally & Ben, Melbourne VIC  
Real Wedding – Ally & Ben, Melbourne VIC  
Real Wedding – Ally & Ben, Melbourne VIC  

Real Wedding – Ally & Ben, Melbourne VIC  


For the ultimate urban wedding, look no further than Ben and Ally’s epic Melbourne city celebration. From a ceremony filled with old-school elegance, a sweet Italian snack stop, chic warehouse reception vibes and even a wedding party tram ride, this is one ultra-cool event.

Bringing the cityscape to life, photographer Anchor and Hope frame the event with artistic flair. Against this urban backdrop, the newlyweds bring the glamour – Ben in his classically suave tux, Ally, a contemporary queen in her stunning gown by d’Italia. We love the combination of boat neck and long sleeves, with a figure-hugging silhouette, a true balance of timeless and modern aesthetics.

The guests arrived at the reception venue, Higher Ground, to tablescapes of soft blush linen and crisp black and white detailing. Florists Anatomy of Flowers elevate the scene with wildly loose arrangements, stunning in their lush simplicity in hues of ivory and softest smokey pinks. For a couple that wanted to ensure their guests had the best of times, this is one celebration that obviously did not disappoint – the heaving dance floor testament to an epic event!

Scroll on to see this stunningly fun-filled day unfold.


The meeting.

We met in early 2016 at a work meeting. We both recall an instant attraction to each other back then, but our relationship remained strictly professional. Fast forward to 2018, when we reconnected on Instagram (a tale as old as time). We had our first date two days later, and we have been inseparable ever since.


The ‘one’.

Ally – I knew he was on the one in the first week. I wanted to spend every waking moment talking to him. He had me hook, line, and sinker. He is one of the most captivating, smart, and funny people you’ll ever meet, plus he is also a certified dreamboat!

Ben – Ally and I were in the car. Some meaningless drive somewhere, and she looked over at me saying one of her silly sayings laughing (I can’t even remember what it was), but I remember in my mind realising she was the girl I was going to marry.


The proposal.

Ben – I’d had the ring for over 12 months after getting it just before the first Melbourne lockdown and was waiting until after lockdowns to propose. We were on a trip to Byron Bay, and I knew I wanted to do it then. I didn’t want it to be too planned, though and instead wanted to wait for the right moment to surface. This meant I was carrying the ring loose in my boardshorts pocket the whole day on the Saturday whilst we hiked to the lighthouse and visited the beaches. It wasn’t until after dinner when we walked back towards our hotel along the beach, where we sat down and watched the waves roll in. It was perfect … until it started raining.

At this point, I figured I had missed my chance. We walked through the scrub to get back to the rear entrance of our hotel, and we released that the trees were creating a canopy, so we were protected from the rain. We randomly stumbled on two chairs in a hollowed-out section. We sat down; I looked up and realised we were surrounded by fairy lights. I stood up and tried to turn them on and couldn’t believe my luck when they lit up! We sat back down and had some champagne whilst listening to Al Green. It couldn’t have been a better moment, so I got down on one knee and proposed. It was a moment neither of us will ever forget.


Planning process.

We didn’t want a super long engagement. We wanted to get married a year after we had got engaged, so we knew some of the venues and suppliers were going to be booked. We had a good idea of what we wanted the day to be and were sure we could achieve that within a year.

We made sure we were really organised and didn’t lose sight of the things that were important to us. We knew we wanted a small wedding, and we wanted to spoil our guests. We are both massive foodies, so we wanted an incredible menu as well as oysters, cocktails and a whiskey bar. We both love fresh flowers so having beautiful blooms on our day was also important.


Style inspiration. 

We wanted an urban wedding that was classic and modern. Ben is from Adelaide; we didn’t want his friends and family to come from interstate and then have to travel far to regional Victoria. We thought the city would be the perfect meeting place for our nearest and dearest for the wedding. The State Library of Victoria and Higher Ground were the perfect blend of classic and modern. Working with Nudo and Anatomy of Flowers was a dream; they understood the brief perfectly.

Ivory Tribe and Together Journal were where we got a lot of our inspiration. We also loved a lot of the weddings our photographer had been a part of; we took a lot of inspiration from his website.


The ceremony.

Our celebrant Nadine was incredible. We wanted our ceremony to be traditional but fun. We started with an Acknowledgement of Country, we wrote our own vows, and both of our sisters did readings that they had both chosen.

We loved the idea of getting married at the State Library of Victoria because it will be there for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to see.


The outfit. 

Ally – I wanted something classic. I wanted a dress with long sleeves with a beautiful silhouette that would suit my body shape. I knew what I wanted, so I thought it would be best to get it made. d’Italia were incredible; together, we worked on the design and chose a beautiful fabric. My dressmaker Judith Penak was amazing; she made the whole experience so fun and easy.

Ben – Well, I’m a fan of keeping things classic. I knew I wanted a tux; it was always going to be black and white. I left the styling and customisation to the professionals at P Johnson, though.


Favourite moments.

Ben – The ceremony was my favourite part, seeing Al walk down the aisle. She looked absolutely beautiful.

Ally – The dancing! Ben and I had five dance classes at HD Entertainment to learn our choreographed dance to Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe by Barry White. All our family and friends were blown away. My dad and I danced to Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. My dad was such a good sport learning the moves; he brought the house down! After this, the dance floor was officially open; I have never had so much fun!


Meaning of marriage.

Marriage to us is committing to love and support each other through thick and thin. During our relationship, we have experienced both high highs and low lows, and it felt like we were really tested during the COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne. Getting married was a way to tell each other, ‘I will be there no matter what, I will be there on your best day and your worst day. You can always count on my love and support.’


Wedding soundtrack.

Ally walked down the aisle to Can’t Help Falling in Love by Daniel Jang (this was a surprise for Ben, who loves that song)

We signed the wedding certificated to Let’s Stay Together by Al Green (Al Green was playing when Ben proposed)

After the ceremony, we walked down the aisle to I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) by Four Tops

Wedding party entry: What is Love by 7’Mix Haddaway

First dance: Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe by Barry White

Cake: Move on Up by Curtis Mayfield

Father/daughter dance: Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees


Funny stories or near disasters.

We did have a near disaster; we had originally booked our wedding ceremony at a gallery on Flinders Lane when I got a call from the gallery manager four months before the wedding (just before we were sending out the invitations) saying the multilevel carpark next door was being demolished and they couldn’t in good conscious let us have our wedding ceremony in the gallery. They were worried that the noise would be too loud. We scrambled to find another ceremony venue! Luckily the State Library had availability that day, and it ended up being better than we could have ever imagined.


Planning surprises.

We went into the planning stages thinking it would be easier because we were having a small wedding of 50-60 people. We were so wrong! The most challenging part was finding a ceremony and reception venue that would be the right size to feel intimate and where the cost per head would fit in with our budget. We found a lot of places had packages, and the minimum spend on food and wine was based on weddings of 120+ people. Higher Ground was absolutely perfect and the team there were so accommodating.


Words of wisdom.

It will all get done in the end! There were times when it seemed like we had so much to do and there was no time to do it, but it all ended up getting done in the end. For example, Ben was sent to Sydney for work the week before our wedding! We had planned to refine our speech and practice our first dance, but we just ended up doing it the day before the wedding in the hotel room, and it went off without a hitch!

One of the best things we did was dance lessons before the wedding; it was so much fun learning the choreography. Performing the dance on the day was a highlight of ours; our friends and family were blown away. Hooman and HD Entertainment were so amazing!




Ben and Ally created an intimate celebration with their nearest and dearest. But a smaller guest list can be harder to achieve in reality that in imagination (sorry second cousin Dave!). So to help, we’ve put together some top tips for reducing your guest list, here




Ceremony venue: State Library of Victoria, in the Isabella Fraser Room

Reception venue: Higher Ground

Celebrant/Officiant: Nadine Mannering

Photography: Anchor & Hope (Cam Grove)

Videography: Marion St. Claire

Stationery / Signage / Styling:  Nudo

Florist: Anatomy of Flowers

Hair: Bonny Braunack

Make-up: Alessandra Maiolo

The dress: d’Italia

Veil: Amelie George Bridal

Shoes: Dolci Firme

Rings: Parker Diamonds

Bridesmaid’s dresses:  White Runway

Suits & bow ties / ties: Ben’s tuxedo and bow tie was from P Johnson, and the groomsman’s suits and ties were from Calibre

Cake: Cakes by Laura (Laura Cerra)

Entertainment: Rutherford Entertainment. We had a DJ and Saxophone and Trumpet and the INCREDIBLE Maya on vocals.

Honeymoon: We went on a minimoon to Jackalope right after the wedding, which was incredible. We are heading to Europe for three weeks at the end of June

Photobooth: Boothalicious

Accommodation: Sofitel on Collins

First dance lessons: HD Entertainment

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