Real Wedding – Anthea & Ben, Melbourne VIC
Anthea and Ben shared their first apartment in inner-city Melbourne, so holding their stunning celebrations in chic urban surrounds was authentically them. Stylish Siglo was their chosen setting, and what unfolded was a celebration of love and commitment in a quintessentially Melbourne way.
Beginning with their pre-ceremony reveal, these two blissed-out beauties made their way through the city landscape with effortless elegance. Dressed in a captivatingly chic gown by Mariana Hardwick (we love the cheekily modern wings!) and carrying a simple bouquet of cascading orchids, Anthea was a vision of contemporary class. Her bridesmaids completed the look in silk sheaths of vanilla ash, creating a striking look alongside the gents in classic black and white.
Taking a moment to tuck into a gelato before joining their guests was an inspired touch. And as the dance floor heated up to the tunes of awesome entertainers Logan Entertainment, we could not help but be swept up in the sweet magic of this dreamy day, all captured with perfect artistry by tribe fave Jess Nicholls.
Scroll on for a dip into the best of Melbourne backdrops with this beautiful couple!
We met five years ago whilst working in media. We worked on the same team for two years and formed a close friendship before things became romantic.
Ben: Snowboarding has always been a large part of my life, whereas Anthea had always been a beach person before we met. We decided to go up to Mt Buller together so Anthea could learn, and it happened to be the worst conditions imaginable; raining sideways with no visibility. Seeing Anthea toiling away at a new skill whilst soaked to her skin and freezing cold really drove home how strong and amazing she is. The smile on her face enjoying it was the icing on the cake. I knew then that Anthea was the one for me.
Anthea: I knew very early on that what Ben and I shared was something special. For me, there wasn’t one lightning bolt moment in which I knew he was the one, but instead, a series of moments shared that showed me there was no one else I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Ben proposed on his birthday, which came as a huge surprise. We were having a relaxed picnic in our favourite spot at the botanical gardens, and Ben got on one knee.
We had originally planned to tie the knot in November 2020 and celebrate with a big party of 120 guests. Unfortunately, we had to postpone our wedding due to Covid and chose to push the date out to June 2021 in the hopes that restrictions would be lifted. In January, we got the wonderful surprise that we were expecting our first baby in the spring, which threw another challenge into the wedding planning mix. We decided to bring our wedding forward so Anthea wouldn’t be showing too much and made the difficult decision to cut our guest list in half in order to try and avoid any other Covid changes down the track.
We started the venue hunt again, looking for something to suit our smaller wedding. Siglo had always been on the top of our list, but we had been hesitant as they only accommodated daytime weddings. Due to Covid restrictions, Siglo was no longer open to the public every night of the week, and they were offering a select number of evening weddings. It was a no brainer for us; as soon as we found out we could lock in an evening wedding, our search was over. We were so fortunate to have amazing vendors that were understanding and flexible throughout our multiple date changes.
Having shared our first apartment together on Flinders Lane in Melbourne, we always knew that we wanted a city wedding. It was very important to us that our wedding reflected us as a couple. We wanted a day that was filled with laughter and amazing food and wine. We were so lucky to have a venue like Siglo, which is already so beautiful we didn’t need to go too over the top with our styling. We kept things modern and timeless, using the gorgeous city backdrop as our canvas.
I drew a lot of inspiration from real weddings; I found them so much more relatable than styled shoots. I spent a lot of time on both wedding blogs and Instagram, where I found most of my vendors.
A close friend of ours, Alex, had been considering becoming a celebrant for some time and decided that she would become registered for our wedding. I have been friends with Alex since university; she got me the job where Ben and I met and has been there for all our relationship milestones; so, we could not have picked a better person to marry us.
We chose three people to do readings in the ceremony, asking them to share a story, poem, quote or song lyric that reminded them of us as a couple. These were a surprise for us on the day and made the ceremony so much more personal and emotional. We wrote our own vows (including Harry Potter quotes), and by the end of the ceremony, there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen.
It was very important to us that our friends and family from Australia and overseas, unable to join us in person on the day, were still able to watch us tie the knot, so we arranged for our ceremony to be lived streamed. Enabling them to share the moment with us in real-time was very special and something we’d highly recommend for anyone else in a similar situation.
My wedding dress search started 12 months out from the wedding. I had locked in a corseted dress at Mariana Hardwick for our original wedding date, which I changed after finding out I was pregnant. Mariana Hardwick were so accommodating and worked with me to find something that would not only look amazing but be comfortable with my growing bump. I chose the ‘Summer’ dress, which was elegant and romantic, with soft tulle layers and intricate beading. The custom wings added a wow factor and were so fun to twirl around on the dance floor.
Our reveal was so special as it was the only part of the day that we got to spend with just the two of us. We shared our first look with our family and bridal party, then spent some time alone together exploring our favourite spots in the city, stopping to share a gelato before the ceremony.
Meaning of marriage.
We both have great role models in our parents, who instilled the values of marriage and showed us what a true partnership really is. To us, marriage is supporting each other and making each other laugh every day.
Aisle: Simply the Best from Schitt’s Creek
Signing: Coming Home by Leon Bridges
Recessional: You Make My Dreams by Hall and Oats
Reception entry: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen
First dance: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
Funny stories or near disasters.
Ten days out from the wedding, the weather forecast in Melbourne was apocalyptic (hailing sideways). We looked into getting a marquee for the Siglo rooftop; however, the weight restrictions wouldn’t allow one big enough, and umbrellas just weren’t going to cut it. Spring Street Events had a wet weather option, but we didn’t want to lose the amazing Siglo view as the backdrop for our ceremony. We borrowed 40 clear umbrellas and crossed our fingers and toes that the weather would turn around. We were beyond thrilled on the day when the weather was perfect!
We knew that planning a wedding was going to be a big undertaking but throw in Covid date changes and a baby on the way, and things got crazy.
Words of wisdom.
Be kind to each other and work together. Planning a wedding can be stressful and complicated but try not to get too caught up in the little details. At the end of the day, you won’t remember what font you chose for your menus or the colour of your candles, just the high of spending the BEST day with your closest family and friends.
Your wedding soundtrack is an important part of the day – from chilled out ceremony chords to ramped up dance floor vibes, you want someone behind the mic who knows how to create magic. We’ve got the low-down on what to consider when choosing your entertainment, here.
ANTHEA & BEN’S VENDORS
Ceremony & reception venue: Siglo
Celebrant: Alexandra Gregory
Photography: Jess Nicholls
Videography: Turbo360 (live stream)
Florist: Wild Flos
Hair: Ellas Bridal Hair
Make-up: Arielle Wray
The dress: Mariana Hardwick
Shoes: Sophie Webster
Rings: Tishe Fine Jewellery
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Bec + Bridge
Catering, bar & cake: Siglo (The European)
Stationery / Signage: State of Reverie
Entertainment: Logan Entertainment
Transport: Always Classic Cars
Décor: Candles, Holders and Wishing Well – The Small Things Co
Honeymoon: Noosa and Port Douglas