Real Wedding – Anna & Tom, Bellarine VIC
When childhood friends Anna and Tom reunited as adults, it was bound to be a once-in-a-lifetime romance. Following suit, their wedding day was a fun-filled, exceptionally exquisite affair. After years of pandemic postponements, they’d had time to plan the perfect celebration, one they could look back on and love. And boy, did they nail the brief.
With the weather playing true to Victorian cliches, the newlyweds experienced it all – dappled sunshine, moody overcast backdrops and soft golden glow. Against this dramatic setting, photographers and videographers Wild Romantic Photography created aesthetic magic in a stunning series of portrait shots, showcasing the emotion between Anna and Tom in effortless style.
Against a palette of crisp vanilla and chic black, Anna gave radiant modern princess in her Sassi Holford gown from Bluebell Bridal. With a sleek contemporary silhouette and dynamic movement, it was the perfect dress to walk down the aisle to her husband-to-be.
As the dance floor amped up in the hands of Cal Young Music, she switched out to a stellar mini by Rebecca Vallance. Hand in hand with Tom, they look like truly glam, happy stunners.
Scroll on for every fresh, modern moment.
Tom and I met for the very first time back in 1998 when I was just 18 months old, and he was three.
Tom’s family have a holiday house in Anglesea, and my family made the permanent move from the countryside to the beach, where we moved into the house next door. Our families often came together over the summer months and school holidays until my family moved a couple of kilometres away a few years later, and the interactions became more distant. We reconnected about 15 years later when Tom landed in my Facebook inbox with a message that started with, “Hi Anna, I’m not sure if you remember me, but it’s Tom from next door.’ We began talking, and, as they say, the rest is history.
Tom: From the very first date that Anna and I went on, I suspected that someday I’d marry her, so I did.
We went away for the AFL bye weekend to Apollo Bay in June of 2019. I was busy doing a university assignment, and Tom was bugging me to go to Mariners Lookout as the weather had just cleared up. We went up to the lookout, and we had the entire space to ourselves; it was a really intimate and special moment.
Truthfully, the wedding planning process was arduous as we navigated two postponements due to the global pandemic and border restrictions. We both had immediate family travelling from Dubai, Canada, the United States, Denmark and interstate and having our family present was our top priority, so we decided to keep pushing the date back. Fortunately, our entire team of suppliers were so understanding and really helpful in an otherwise extremely stressful situation. After the birth of our first daughter, Armani, the wedding planning was on the back burner, but slowly and surely, it all came together.
The supplier recommendations provided by our venue were really useful as they prioritized the local vendors who are most familiar with the area and operations. Beyond those, drawing inspiration from online blogs from other real weddings within the region was helpful as the recommendations were accessible.
Timeless and elegant with a minimalist and modern focus. We wanted to create a beautiful day for everyone to remember and to be able to look back in 20 years and still love every detail of the day.
Our ceremony was so special as my quadriplegic father was able to “walk” me down the aisle. I am the only daughter of six children, so that was a really special moment for both my dad and me.
Tom and I wrote our own vows, and sharing them with each other for the first time during the ceremony was a really beautiful moment.
The theme for our wedding was black tie. Tom and his groomsmen wore Tuxedos by Joe Black, and I wore the dress that I had chosen in February 2020 before the pandemic started. I found the beautiful Vanessa gown by Sassi Holford at Bluebell Bridal in Melbourne to try on, as I thought the fit would be most flattering for me. Not necessarily expecting it to be “the one”, I worked together with the team to add 25 inches of length to the train and extra buttons to make it feel complete for me, and I looked no further.
I opted for a mini reception dress by Rebecca Vallance for comfort and ease to party into the evening.
Tom: Watching Anna’s mum carry Armani down the aisle, and then Anna and her father follow on, was my favourite moment.
Anna: So many moments to choose from, but definitely having my dad walk me down the aisle. I also loved my and Tom’s entrance to the reception space – seeing everyone’s smiling faces and napkins waving whilst cheering us on was just a reminder that we were surrounded by our people, our family.
Meaning of marriage.
Though we were engaged years prior and set to wed in 2020, we welcomed our daughter in April of 2022 and officially tied the knot eight months later. Whilst we took a less conventional approach, marriage to us resembles the union of us as a couple and a family.
Aisle: Can’t Help Falling in Love by Kina Grannis,
Reception entry: Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher & Higher by Jackie Wilson,
First dance: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli
Funny stories or near disasters.
In a week of perfect weather, on the day of our wedding, it rained all morning. About an hour before the ceremony, the sun came out, and we were able to have our dream outdoor ceremony. We were then met with a sun shower mid-ceremony, and our celebrant got stung by a bee mid-sentence. A storm with lightning and rain came on across the bay during our photos, and then the sky opened up during our entrees, followed by a rainbow. We had the craziest weather but at the perfect times, so it didn’t interrupt our day too much.
I think as the wedding day got closer, I surprised myself with how much control I was willing to let go of.
We planned an outdoor ceremony with an uncertain weather forecast, and there were lots of little things I could have stressed over, but I reminded myself that all of the important things were locked in, and I trusted in our suppliers and that the day would just unfold exactly as it needed to.
Words of wisdom.
Figure out what is important to you as a couple and stay true to that. It’s easy to get swept up in the weddings you see on Instagram and Pinterest and feel the need to do the same.
People will remember your wedding day based on the way it made them feel, not all the intricate styling details or how much you spent on a cake.
Focus on planning and enjoying a day that reflects you as a couple, and that is FUN.
There is no doubt that Anna’s squad look stunningly elegant in their Bec + Bridge floor-length gowns. But we know it can be tricky to work out where to start when it comes to bridesmaid fashion. So, we’ve curated the perfect portfolio of brands we love, bringing on-point vibes to this season’s weddings.
ANNA & TOM’S VENDORS
Ceremony & reception: Terindah Estate, Bellarine Vic
Celebrant: Shannon Jeans
Photography & videography: Wild Romantic Photography
Styling: Welcome sign by Cloth and Confetti Events.
Florist: The Posie Place
Hair: Ruby Becroft
Make-up: Maddi Nicholls
Veil: Bluebell Bridal
Shoes: Amina Muaddi
Rings: Custom Jeweler
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Bec + Bridge
Bow ties / ties: Le Noeud Papillon
Cake: Love It Cakes
Stationery / Signage: DIY
Entertainment: Cal Young Music
Honeymoon: Europe 2024