Real Wedding – Amalia & Chris, Yarra Valley VIC
There’s not many couples who can say they celebrated their day with two weddings ceremonies, but Amalia and Chris did just that!
After enduring pandemic planning and postponements, Amalia and Chris were simply set on being wed and they brought all the wow-factor and so much more.
They wanted a day that embodied modern elegance with warm neutral palettes and touches of dusty rose, so they engaged Darling Don’t Panic and Sassafras Weddings to bring their vision to life. Amalia’s Cappellazzo Couture gown was breathtaking and complemented the overall style of the day before she changed into a striking Rebecca Vallance number, complete with a pair of fabulous Fendi sunglasses so she could celebrate the day away.
With incredible imagery by Mervè Togan and you absolutely must see their sneak peek film by our favourites Annette + Dani, this is a day we absolutely adore.
We met the modern way, through social media, and had our first official date on 1st April, 2017. I went to visit Chris at home as he was nursing a dislocated shoulder he’d acquired playing soccer. Chris is an avid soccer (real ‘football’) fan and we spent our first date with Chris teaching me the ins and outs of the world game, which to this day I still struggle to understand. Midway through, his parents came home, and my date turned from a one-on-one to meeting ¾ of the Vartaci’s in one night!
It was at a friend’s party. I remember it quite clearly. I was sipping a drink and quietly observing the party go on in front of me. I was watching Chris as he seamlessly chatted to my family and friends, laughing, dancing and cracking jokes as per usual, and I just realised that this guy was the real deal and I never wanted to let him go!
After an amazing day sailing on a private boat around the island of Capri in Italy, Chris had made dinner reservations at the hotel we were staying at. Of course, the boat ran late getting back to the port that evening! I was not fussed having just had the most amazing day and laughed as Chris begged for an over-priced taxi for a 2km ride back to the hotel. I argued that we’d spent enough money that day and that we could walk back to the hotel for dinner. Chris seemed desperate and set off walking at the pace of an Olympic speed walker shouting that he wanted to watch the sunset. I just couldn’t fathom for the life of me what the big deal was as a) it was just dinner at the hotel and b) we had another 4 weeks of amazing sunsets still ahead of us. So, I told Chris to “Take a photo of the sunset and show me later!” Little did I know…
It wasn’t until after Chris had rushed me through my shower and getting ready time was limited to me trying to put on mascara whilst he was putting my shoes on that he dropped another hint; that we had to get out of the room ASAP, because dinner was being served on our balcony and they had to set up.
That’s when the light bulb clicked, and I just went into my head and kept repeating “OMG it’s happening! I can’t believe it’s happening!”
We walked back into our hotel room and it had been decorated with rose petals, tea lights and flowers everywhere! Champagne buckets were stationed all around, and there was a violinist playing Ed Sheeran ‘Perfect’. When I turned around to look at Chris, he was already down on one knee. It was a big YES from me!
The day after Chris proposed in August 2019, I put down a deposit at Stones of the Yarra Valley. It wasn’t even a question I knew exactly where I wanted to get married! We had always planned on a two-year engagement, so even when the pandemic hit at the beginning of 2020, we were never worried about our date. It wasn’t until around May of 2021 that I began to doubt whether the 4th of September (our first wedding date) would actually be able to go ahead. The road from there on became a lot rockier.
We locked in a second date of October 13th 2021, but that also felt too close for comfort.
So, we postponed a second time to November 24th 2021, and then in came the vaccine mandate!!
We faced constant pressure, this time from family, to delay the wedding once again to a date that wouldn’t be ruled by government restrictions. For Chris and I that just wasn’t an option.
Chris and I pride ourselves on being huge family-people, and we wanted to share the most important day of our lives with everyone without compromising (again) on the date. So, in came the decision to host two weddings in one day!
The two words that I really wanted to encapsulate on the day were ‘modern, elegance’.
I’d been loving warm, neutral palettes with touches of dusty rose for a long time leading up to the wedding and absolutely adore big stems of Phalaenopsis orchids.
I will not take all of the credit for the styling though! Around about 12 months out from the wedding I was beginning to get overwhelmed with the thought of how everything would look together. I engaged a wedding planner through the company Darling Don’t Panic, and as it turned out, Jess, my wedding planner, was the same Jess, my florist! Jess understood the brief completely. I cannot begin to describe how perfectly she nailed it!
My wedding dress was another huge inspiration behind the overall style of the day. Cappellazzo Couture was one of the first people I locked in, after the venue! My personal style is quite structured, so after my first visit with Sonia where she literally drew me the dress I had been dreaming of, a lot of the other elements fell into place.
Well, we had two ceremonies!
The first ceremony was super special because it’s where we legally got married. It was the first time Chris and I saw each other on the day and walking down the aisle to him was just magical. We had chosen the song ‘I get to love you’ by Ruelle and it was absolutely perfect! The tears were flowing all around!
The ceremony itself was more of an elopement/mini wedding style, and our celebrant Megan (Marry Me Megan) was amazing! She brought calm and peace to a moment that is so emotional and personal.
Chris and I were so grateful to be able to share that experience with our closest family and friends, some of whom were not able to celebrate with us into the evening at our wedding reception.
The second ceremony was so beautiful! I thought it would be a breeze walking down the aisle a second time, but low and behold the tears started again as soon as I heard my cue in the song! This time I was walking to ‘Can’t help falling in love’ which was sung by the beautiful Vanessa and her accompaniments from Just Me Plus One.
As we had already taken care of the legal bits in the earlier ceremony, Megan focused on Chris and my personal journey and our story. It was perfect. I’m still struggling to find the words to describe how centered her words made me feel and how connected Chris and I were in that moment.
And the flowers. I am still blown away by how stunning the arrangements looked! The Chapel at Stones of the Yarra Valley is magical in it’s own right, but the flowers really took it to a completely new level!
Chris was dressed in a tailored, classic black suit by YSG Tailors. We had used them before to create Chris a suit for our engagement party, so it was a very easy choice to go back to them for the wedding. The service and atmosphere Ryan and Dylan provide is unmatched, and the quality of the suits, impeccable. Chris was absolutely set on wearing a pair of Louboutins on our big day, and to be honest, I was slightly jealous he got a pair of red bottoms before I did!
I was lucky enough to have two outfits on the day! My wedding dress was designed by Sonia at Cappellazzo Couture, and it was an absolute dream come true! On our first meeting Sonia wrapped me in some offcuts of Neoprene and then sat down to sketch this amazing dress as I described my general style and all the little details I loved from various dresses I was using as inspiration. It was amazing! Sonia and her brand were the perfect fit for me!
My second outfit was truly never meant to be an actual ‘thing’! Back in August I had purchased a mini dress from the bridal collection at Rebecca Vallance. When our first wedding date needed to be postponed, I had put all my hopes into being able to at least get legally married on the 4th of September, and that was the dress I was planning to wear to the registry office! Throughout my fittings with Sonia, it became a concern as to how I was going to be able to travel in between ceremonies in my tight, fitted dress without creasing it or getting it dirty. So, the mini dress had a purpose once again! The day before the wedding Chris presented me with a gift and insisted I read the card first. The card had a lot of sweet stuff written, and at the end it said, ‘I hope you get to wear these tomorrow’. As soon as I read that, I’ll be honest by stomach dropped a little because I already had a perfect outfit to wear. I opened the gift and found the most amazing pair of Fendi sunglasses that I knew would suit the mini dress to a tee! I couldn’t believe just how right Chris had gotten it!
It’s so hard to choose! Our first dance is a memory I will cherish forever. We personalized the song ‘Versace On the Floor – Bruno Mars’ to ‘Vartaci On The Floor’ and had Vanessa from Just Me Plus One sing it live at our reception. It was a moment where I thought I would be nervous, but as soon as the music started it felt as though the room disappeared and it was just Chris and I. I know I’ve used this word a lot, but it was truly magical!
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage to me is a commitment of oneself to another person. It’s saying, ‘I choose you, forever’ and to have that be recognised not just amongst the two people in the relationship, but to everyone outside the relationship too. For me personally, marriage is a huge milestone. It represents the beginning of the rest of your life with this one person. And it’s for this reason that I could not fathom postponing the wedding again!
Aisle 1: I Get To Love You – Ruelle
Aisle 2: Can’t Help Falling In Love – Sung live by Vanessa from Just Me Plus One
Reception entry: Heaven (feat. Andreya Triana) – The Vision
First Dance: Vartaci On The Floor – Sung live by Vanessa from Just Me Plus One (personalized version of Versace On the Floor – Bruno Mars)
Funny stories (or near disasters).
The funniest memory would have to be push-starting the adorable, red, Fiat 500! It’s a vintage 1968, iconic Italian car, restored to beyond perfection. However, we had a technical malfunction and after arriving at Stones it would not start! There’s a photo of Chris sitting in the car, whilst I’m pushing from behind, in my Jimmy Choo’s at that!
Planning a wedding during a world pandemic… definitely wouldn’t recommend! Every day and every press conference there was always some change and surprise/spanner thrown our way, and in the way of every single other couple in Melbourne trying to get married! The vaccine mandates made the lockdowns seem like a piece of cake to navigate!
Words of wisdom.
It’s cliché, but be true to yourselves. Always!
While choosing a wedding gown is so much fun, for those who want to go a little extra, are fashion lovers, or are looking for something a little more comfortable while they dance the night away, a reception dress might just be the answer. Check out some ultimate second look inspiration we’ve compiled just for you.
CHRIS & AMALIA’S SUPPLIERS
Ceremony venue 1: Massaros – Vanessa went above and beyond for Chris and I! So much that I began to call her my fairy godmother whenever we would speak. Vanessa opened her property to us and allowed us to have the most beautiful outdoor wedding with our most intimate guests.
Ceremony venue 2 and reception venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley – Visually outstanding! It was an absolute dream come true to be able to have our wedding at Stones! I’m still receiving complements on the food!
Celebrant/Officiant: Megan Watson – Marry Me Megan – Megan was the epitome of fabulous! There is nobody more proficient at their job than she is! She was calm, confident and fun. She made Chris and I feel so special, and her words were just perfect. She officiated both of our ceremonies and made each one unique and beautiful. Not to mention all the pre-wedding support! We have endless thanks for you, Megan!
Photography: Mervè Togan – From the moment I locked in Mervè as our main photographer I knew I had made the right decision. The photos she presents on her website and Instagram were perfectly aligned with how I imagined our day to be captured and also how I wanted to forever remember it. Mervè and Bella, Chris and I are still blown away by how stunning the photos have turned out. We are forever grateful for all the hours the two of you put in for us on our day and after!
Videography: Annette + Dani – Annette and Dani are the perfect team! I had spent hours looking through videos and making a short list of my favourites before realizing that 99% of the videos were theirs! I trusted them implicitly. Having them on board was definitely another one of the best decisions we made leading up to the wedding.
Styling: Jess – Darling Don’t Panic – The absolute, hands down, MVP of the day! Jess literally made all of my dreams come to life! From the get-go her gentle, caring nature clicked with me instantly and it only took a couple of minutes for me to know that Jess understood my vision inherently. Jess was more than a vendor to me; she became my friend and most trusted advisor when it came to all things ‘wedding’. It was the best decision I could have made, hiring a wedding planner!
Florist: Jess – Sassafras Wedding – The moment I realized that Jess, Darling Don’t Panic, was the same Jess, Sassafras Wedding, everything fell into place! The flowers on my wedding day were beyond perfect! Absolutely stunning! I will be forever grateful to Jess for giving my dreams life!
Hair: Hair by Neveen
Make Up: Dani Cousens – Dani was amazing on the day, and is the most beautiful soul! The make up was flawless! Dani went above and beyond for us by staying for touchups in between the two ceremonies, and even fixed my hair when the humidity became too much for it. I have endless thanks for her.
Veil : Cappellazzo Couture
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Rings: Evita Jewellery – Moonee Ponds Central
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Acler
Bridesmaid’s shoes: Billini Shoes
Flower girl dresses: Brides of Armadale
Suits and Bow Ties: YSG Tailors
Groom’s Shoes: Louboutin’s
Groomsmen’s Shoes: Florsheim Australia
Page Boy Suit: Princess Boutique
Morning catering: Emily’s Grazing Co
Favors: Peppermint Grove personalized candles
Cake / Cake topper: Pastel and Bloom
All of the entertainers were amazing, but I need to personally mention Vanessa from Just Me Plus One. Besides having the voice of a literal angel, Vanessa was one of the most supportive and caring people in our lives leading up to the wedding. Her performance of our first dance song on the day was unbelievable and it will forever be a memory that Chris and I will cherish.
Transport: We borrowed my cousin’s restored 1968 Red Fiat 500
Décor: Stones of the Yarra Valley