Real Wedding – Anthony & Lauren, Melbourne VIC
For an elegantly romantic, timeless celebration, look no further than Lauren and Anthony’s divine day. This day has it all, filled with lavishly luxe details and sweet emotion spanning iconic Melbourne locations.
The newlyweds cut a stunning silhouette, Anthony in his sleek suit by Prinzi Collections and Lauren a glam goddess in her Berta Bridal gown, against a streetscape of classic urban venues. We love the candid shots of the newlyweds, relaxing with their wedding party in the French-inspired interior of Entrecôte, and framed by the old world architecture of South Melbourne.
A palette of chic black and white in the wedding party outfits elevated beautiful bouquets of crisp vanilla orchids and muted blush roses, accented with cool caramel touches. But the best accessory of all? The radiant reflections of loved up emotion on Lauren and Anthony’s faces. From his tears as she glided down the aisle towards him to their sweet smiles as they danced in each other’s arms. There to capture every epic moment was a photographic artist and our friend Collections Photography.
Pour yourself a glass of something special and settle in for a radiantly romantic scroll through this delightful day.
We met at a friend’s birthday in 2010 but never really got to know each other until a couple of years later when we crossed paths again and decided to get a coffee. It was June 2012 when a couple of teenagers innocently fell in love, and nine years later, that all became history.
From the very beginning, our relationship was so pure and effortless. We quickly blended into one another’s lives, merged our friends and families, and from only a couple of months into the relationship; it became apparent that we would be in each other’s lives for a long time to come. It was a classic case of “when you know, you know,” and that we sure did.
It was New Year’s Eve 2019, and we were on a family holiday in Noosa, QLD. Anthony had managed to sneak the ring onto the plane without me noticing a thing. Having just landed early that morning, we were extremely tired, and I really didn’t think I could even stay awake until midnight. Nevertheless, Anthony persisted and managed to round up the entire family to go to the Yacht Club to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks. As we gathered along the waterfront, the countdown began: 3, 2, 1 – HAPPY NEW YEAR! Without even thinking, I turned to face Anthony to have our new year kiss but, before I could even blink, he was down on one knee, holding a little black box and a ring that glistened in the light of the fireworks. I was in complete shock, and my knees turned to jelly. I made my way down to my knees and joined him on the floor, tears flowing down my face, as he asked me the most meaningful question of our lives, “will you marry me?”. For the first time in my life, I was completely speechless. So much so, I forgot to actually say YES!
Safe to say the rest of the holiday was spent celebrating with both our families in Noosa, full of never-ending happy tears, sunshine and champagne. A holiday and memory we will never forget.
Just like our relationship, the planning process began so effortlessly, and it felt as though the stars aligned and everything fell into place. Returning from Noosa in mid-January, we had no immediate plans for an engagement party, let alone our wedding, and to be honest, my head was up in the clouds for at least a couple of weeks!
In early February, we unintentionally came across a venue that we loved, and upon visiting the space, we were told it was available on Saturday 20th March 2021. Just over a year away, we looked over at one another and said, “lock it in!”. Later that day, we called St Patrick’s Cathedral to enquire about availability for that same day and low and behold, it too was free! In a matter of hours, our date was set, and the two biggest details of our wedding were sorted. It’s fair to say that was the beginning of our unexpected wedding planning journey.
The months to follow were not what you would typically imagine wedding planning to feel like. With COVID-19 forcing us into lockdown, the majority of our meetings with suppliers were conducted via email and zoom, and we actually held off organizing so many details as we waited for some clarity and reassurance that our day would actually be going ahead. It wasn’t until early November that we started finalizing most of our details, and right up until a couple of days out from the wedding, there were still loose ends to tie. It was definitely a mad rush to the end, but we couldn’t have planned it any better if we tried. One way or another, things will always work themselves out.
We have both always been traditionalists at heart, and with our ceremony being held in the largest Cathedral in Australia and the reception being much more relaxed and beach-side, we naturally fell into a traditional meets coastal aesthetic. This wasn’t a style or a vision that we had always planned on (not that we had really given it much thought!), but the ceremony and venue locations determined that, and it was a natural evolution from there.
We always envisioned our wedding to be a perfect blend of traditional yet modern and classic meets fun. It was a combination of candid, real weddings along with styled shoots that we had come across that helped us fine-tune our own big day.
Being in the Cathedral, our ceremony was traditional. However, there were so many elements that were so anecdotal and personal to us as a couple that it almost felt as though it was being performed by a celebrant or dear friend. We had met with Father Werner twice before our wedding, and during both meetings, we discussed everything about our relationship, from how we met to why do you want to get married? In both sessions, we found ourselves really thinking about our answers, and it forced us to tell our story and solidified why we were doing this.
On our wedding day, we both remember being at the altar, listening to Father Werner retell our story and whilst listening to it amongst the bible readings and prayers, it felt so spiritual and holistic. It was such a wholesome experience, and we are so glad we chose to marry in the Cathedral and experience the perfect blend of religion, spirituality and our own personalities.
Like everything else we seem to do in life, we were both “one-hit wonders”. On our very first appointments with our own bridal parties, we both said yes to the dress and the suit on that same day.
Initially, I had every intention of having my wedding dress made for me, using elements of my Mum’s wedding dress, which was a lifelong dream of mine. I had tried on Mum’s dress the week prior and loved so many aspects of it, such as the French lace cuffs and fresh pearl trims, but I decided I needed to go out to try on wedding dresses to get an idea of the type of style I wanted. With zero expectations in mind, Mum, my best friend/Maid of Honor Katia and I went to Raffaele Ciuca in Armadale to have a girl’s day out and finally start the fun! After trying on eight beautiful dresses, I was having so much fun had not found “the one”.
Knowing that the store is one of the only stockists for Berta in Australia, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try on one of her breathtaking gowns (knowing well and truly that it definitely would not be right for me, but what have I got to lose?). And of course, the one I least expected was “the one”. I walked out from behind the curtain to find Mum and Katia in tears before looking over at Billie, the bridal stylist who, too, was in tears. Finally, I got to the mirror, and as soon as I saw myself, my whole wedding flashed before my eyes. Tears filled my eyes, and I knew this had to be it. Billie took down my measurements and sent them to Israel, where my dress was to be made, and eight months later, it arrived, more beautiful than ever!
Although our fun wedding dress shopping only lasted that one day, it was so special and memorable, and I loved every second of it. I think it is so important to be open-minded through this process because you never know what you’re going to be drawn to.
We will forever describe our wedding day as nothing but pure bliss. We were both so present the entire day and have so many special memories that we shared not only with one another but with our closest family and friends that we will cherish for years to come. If we had to pick just one moment, it will forever be the moment we saw each other as I walked down the aisle. I remember clutching onto Dad’s arm, praying I didn’t miss my step and trip over my dress. As I followed behind the bridesmaids, finally they parted, and there he was waiting for me, tears rolling down his cheek, standing tall and proud. It was the first time in nine years that I ever saw Anthony shed a tear, and to this day, I can’t believe how emotional and vulnerable he let himself be. I never in a million years would have thought he would be emotional, and whenever anyone said, “he’s going to cry!” I would say, “you obviously don’t know Anth!” But I guess they knew him a little better than I thought! It was by far the most beautiful and heartfelt moment of the entire day.
Meaning of marriage.
To us, marriage is the coming together of two individuals that vow to unconditionally love and support one another and to always be the best versions of themselves.
The ceremony to us felt like a traditional fairy tale, and it only seemed right to do that moment justice by walking down the aisle to something classic and timeless. Once the formalities of the day were behind us, our entry into the reception and the rest of the evening was in true Anthony & Lauren style, fun, loud and full of love.
Aisle: Canon in D on the Organ
Reception entry: Feel So Good by Mase
First dance: Say You Won’t Let Go by Boyce Avenue
Funny stories or near disasters.
The night before our wedding, we both stayed at the Park Hyatt Melbourne with our bridal parties, and we booked the terrace suites as they had balconies that overlooked the Cathedral (could it be any more picture-perfect?). We all checked in as a group at four o’clock on Friday before parting ways at the lift lobby, girls went left, and boys went right, “see you at the altar!” (or so we thought).
At eleven o’clock that night, the girls were in our room drinking champagne when we hear a knock at our balcony door. Naturally, we scream for dear life before opening the curtain to see one of the groomsmen. Completely shocked at how he got there, we open the door, and he says, “did you know our balconies are joined?” The whole time we thought we were on complete opposite ends of the floor, but the balconies travelled the length of the floor and met in the middle. Who would have thought! So, of course, we had some champers on the balcony together until 11.50pm when we said our official goodnight’s and got some beauty sleep! As you could imagine, the next morning was a funny juggling act with the bridal parties coordinating the bride and groom’s photos on their respective balconies, ensuring we didn’t see each other. It was a big success and added a little humour to it all!
I always imagined the week before your wedding to be the busiest, but surprisingly, it was the two weeks prior that felt like everything needed to be finalized and the phone calls and emails were nonstop. In the initial planning stage, you get in contact with so many suppliers and then you don’t really revisit the finer details until a couple of weeks prior to the big day. In that time, I guess I forgot just how much needed to be finalized, everything from seating charts to dietary requirements, delivery times, arrival times and everything in between.
Words of wisdom.
The planning process at times can be extremely overwhelming, and it’s so easy to fall into the rabbit hole, where you find yourself researching table runners, even though you said you didn’t want table runners. There were a couple of times that I had to take a step back and remind myself, what were my priorities? What were the non-negotiables of our wedding that we “had” to have, and what were the “nice” to haves that I really didn’t actually want nor need but felt pressure to have? In this day and age, with social media being so prevalent in our lives, it is so easy to feel a level of expectation around what you “should” do on your wedding day but whether that adds any value to your own day is what truly matters. Follow your instincts and make sure you’re your true authentic selves.
Love the sophisticated streetscape vibes of Anthony and Lauren’s gorgeous portrait session? We think you’ll also delight in the details of Alice and Ash’s Melbourne celebration, full of artfully elegant details, over on the real wedding blog.
ANTHONY & LAUREN’S VENDORS
We spent time researching suppliers on the internet and social media and also following up on recommendations from other suppliers or through family and friends. Ultimately, in some instances, we were governed by supplier availability or logistics, but for the most part, we were fortunate enough to have managed to work with suppliers that we had sought after. We were so lucky to have worked with such experienced, genuine and passionate individuals who truly made our day so special.
Ceremony venue: St Patrick’s Cathedral, East Melbourne
Reception venue: Encore St Kilda Beach, St Kilda
Officiant: Father Werner
Photography: Collections Photography (Sash Illievski)
Videography: Showtime Bridal (Nick Kalachnikov)
Florist: House of Figs (Bethany Rote)
Hair: Hair by Nikolettaa
Make-up: Dani Cousens
The dress: Berta Bridal
Shoes: Jeanette Maree
Rings: Grounds Jewellers
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Nicolangela
Suits & bow ties: Prinzi Collections
Groom’s cuff links: Calibre
Cake / Cake topper: Katie Lous Cakes
Stationery / Signage & Favours: Sea & Paper
Entertainment: Rutherford Entertainment
Transport: Always Classic Cars
Honeymoon: Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort – Port Douglas, QLD