Real Wedding – Ben & Ellen, Coburg VIC
When it came to the focus of Ben and Ellen’s magical Melbourne wedding, it was all about fun! After having to postpone their original wedding date, they reassessed what was important to them and knew instantly it was about gathering their closest family and friends and filling the room with love and laughter.
Taking the pressure off the day, Ellen and Ben opted for a ‘first look’ photo session with fabulous photographer Fern & Stone Photography, and boy were they glad they did, it allowed them to immerse themselves into their ceremony and reception without a care in the world.
The Post Office Hotel was the perfect location to create the vibe they were after, with vibrant florals adorning the day, as Ellen made her way down the aisle in a Georgia Young Couture gown, before changing into a strapless mini-dress that made navigating the dance-floor that little bit easier.
And dance they did, with Melbourne Entertainment Co on the decks, and hearts full of joy, scroll on for every delightful detail.
We are both teachers and met working together in 2016. Ben’s Grade 6 class was matched with my prep class for buddies and Ben claims I ran away from him every time they visited. I claim that I was actually teaching! After working together for a year, we finally got talking on some staff nights out and on multiple occasions were the last ones standing. We arranged a brunch date drunkenly one night and when we woke up too hungover, decided to move it to dinner on Lygon Street. We were a bit worried about a workplace romance, but everyone was so supportive when we let the cat out of the bag at school. We knew it was serious pretty early on so we didn’t worry about what would happen if things didn’t work out. Neither of us work at the same school anymore but we were so happy to have our friends from that workplace celebrate with us on our wedding day,
It was pretty early on when we found ourselves spending every night together. Our relationship has always felt ‘easy’ and we never had to worry about how the other one felt. We had both been single for a while when we met and feel so lucky to have found each other.
I would have had no idea that Ben was planning a proposal if he hadn’t have left the jewellery business card out on the kitchen bench that week. I was so stoked but tried not to get too excited in case Ben was buying jewellery for some other reason. Once Ben had the ring in his possession he couldn’t wait and proposed on a random Tuesday evening at our house. There were fairy lights and a dark hallway, and I couldn’t see what Ben was doing so my first response was “what are you doing!?” eventually I realised what was happening and the wedding planning began!
We were originally a 2020 covid wedding and tried to postpone once but eventually ended up cancelling our wedding when it all just became too much. In the meantime, we had our beautiful son Freddie and once covid died down started to attend friends’ weddings again. We love a good party and after having so much fun at other weddings we realised that we really would love to have our own big party, so we started the planning process again. We were able to use some of our original vendors, but we changed other aspects of our day as the vibe of our wedding was much lower key this time round. Having a child really made us rethink our priorities and we cut back on things we realised we didn’t need. We also planned the wedding to be close to home to accommodate babysitters and nap schedules, something I hadn’t had to think about when planning the first-time round.
FUN! We think that life should be about fun and laughter, and we wanted our wedding to reflect that. The flowers by Anastasia were the perfect representation of that and she did such an amazing job setting the vibe of the Post Office Hotel. Since Ben is from country Victoria, we have been to many beautiful country weddings and we wanted to give our guests more of a ‘Melbourne’ experience. The share plates made it feel like we were out to dinner with all our friends which we loved. We also wanted to have everyone up on the dancefloor and our DJ, Patrick made sure of that.
Early on, I trawled through wedding blogs looking at real weddings to find vendors I liked. It was a good way to get a sense of what we liked without meeting up with lots of vendors in person. I looked at so many beautiful weddings and found it hard to not get caught up in the aesthetics of the day but in the end I’m glad we didn’t go crazy with signage, flowers, and table settings. We just didn’t need it to have our perfect day and it helped to minimise costs and excess plastic waste.
Dee, our celebrant was absolutely amazing and wrote the most wonderful ceremony for us. She told our story so beautifully and it was the perfect mix of laughter and tears. There is something so special but also terrifying about declaring your love for each other in front of everyone that you love! Dee really helped us to do the moment justice with our personal vows, which we are so glad we did. I originally wanted to have both my mum and dad walk me down the aisle, but my mum just did not want to be in the spotlight and instead enjoyed watching the moment for what it was. We also had Ben’s mum walk our son Freddie down the aisle which was a super special moment and just so cute.
I tried on so many dresses but just didn’t fall in love with anything I put on until I landed at Georgia Younge Couture. When I tried on the Capri gown, I got emotional which hadn’t happened with any other dress and really took me by surprise. I knew I had found the ‘one’ even if it was over my planned budget. I had picked my dress nearly three years ago and after having a baby I was very nervous about ever fitting into it again. It was such a relief when I tried on my dress about a month before the wedding and it fit.
Ben liked the clean classic look of a black tux so on a friend’s recommendation, went to Black Tie Classic in Carlton. He was able to hire the suits for the groomsman which was a bonus as we knew the boys already had black suits and there was no need to buy new ones. We were surprised at how good the hire suits looked as we had always thought they would be big and baggy like they used to be 20 years ago.
There are too many! We loved every moment of our wedding and wouldn’t change a thing. The ceremony was really special and emotional for both of us. The highlight was listening to our son Freddie cooing and talking in the background of the ceremony. We are also so glad we did a first look so that we could really enjoy the reception and dance the night away. It also helped to take the nerves away and reduce hysterical crying at the altar. We had so much fun on the dancefloor and took way too many tequila shots. It was just all round the best fun ever.
Meaning of marriage.
Ellen – spending every day with your person, doing life together and choosing your partner each and every day. Also, I finally get to call Ben ‘my husband’
Ben – Riding the highs and lows together while supporting each other through life’s challenges. Also being with someone you can have fun with.
Aisle song – Big Jet Plane by Angus and Julia Stone
Entrance Song – Clarity by Vance Joy
Funny stories (or near disasters).
On the morning of the wedding Ben’s shirt button popped off just before our photographer arrived. If you look closely at our photos, you might notice it missing. Luckily Sydney Road is littered with dressmakers, and he was able to get it sewn on again on the way to the wedding. Meanwhile I had meticulously planned our day around my son’s nap schedule so that he would be in a good mood for the ceremony. He decided he wasn’t going to sleep that day, so my dad ended up driving him around the neighborhood to get him to sleep and he missed the first look photos. In the end we all made it to the venue with plenty of time and there really was no need to stress.
Just the sheer amount of emailing back and forth it requires to plan a wedding. At times it felt like I had a second job with all the little details that needed to be sorted. It’s a lot of work but worth it in the end.
Words of wisdom.
Book in your vendors early so you can relax and enjoy the fun stuff! Also, if you can find a venue that does the little things for you it is amazingly helpful. The Post Office Hotel were AMAZING! I didn’t have to worry about who would set up the candles and light them, put out the place cards or even collect flowers at the end of the night. They were extremely accommodating in every way.
So, you’re engaged! Congratulations, we hope you’re loving those post engagement vibes. While you might be feeling excitement, sometimes there’s a little sense of overwhelm too. If you’re wondering what on earth you should do after you’ve decided to make it all official, we’re here to help.We’ve compiled five top tips for the newly engaged that we hope will help you on your way.
BEN AND ELLEN’S SUPPLIERS
Ceremony and reception venue: Post Office Hotel
Celebrant/Officiant: Custom Celebrations by Dee
Photography: Fern & Stone Photography
Florist: Urban Antidote
Hair: Love Co
Make Up: Love Co
Shoes: Bared Footwear
Rings: Natalie Marie Jewellery
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Bec and Bridge, Chancery and Third Form.
Suits: Black Tie Classic
Catering and bar: Post Office Hotel
Cake / Cake topper: Smash Cakes Melbourne
Entertainment: Patrick – Melbourne Entertainment Co
Décor: Hire Co.