Real Wedding – Claire & Alexander, Fitzroy VIC
When Claire checked out the barman on a night out, she never imagined that ten years later, she’d be standing next to him surrounded by a vivacious vision of style and an emotion-filled bunch of their favourite people.
The expansive arched windows of Panama Dining Room provided a striking frame for this love story, enhanced with flawless florals from North St Botanicals. Claire and Alex chose autumn tones in deep marigold and tangerine, with vibrant pops of vermillion against the bridesmaids in dresses of deep, dusky peach. The result was a dream of modern whimsy with a touch of dynamic drama.
Claire, looking every inch a queen of classic romance meets boho beauty in her Pronovias gown, loved escaping with Alex at sunset for photos with their artfully amazing photographer Nikki McCrone, while for Alex, the defining moment of the day was their first kiss. This is one genuinely joyful celebration to scroll through!
June 2010. Claire was 18, and Alex was 21.
Claire was working at Brighton Baths Cafe, and her manager offered a bunch of the staff free entry and drink cards to the club her fiancé was managing – Q Bar.
Alex had just started bartending at Q Bar, and as soon as Claire and her friends arrived, they went to the bar and noticed the hot bartender. Claire couldn’t stop checking him out all night!
Naturally, at a loud club, no conversations could take place, only yelling, “vodka lime soda, please!” Nevertheless, at the end of the night, a few beverages deep, Claire wrote her phone number on the back of a receipt and, to his surprise, gave it to Alex over the bar. He pocketed it and text her a few days later.
Alex proposed at Claire’s parents’ beach house in Sorrento on the 17th of November, 2019.
Claire knew it was coming soon (Claire had started to get a bit antsy with Alex about how long he was taking) but, she didn’t know it was going to be then. Claire was the one who had pushed for keeping the weekend free to go down to Sorrento, as she loves it there, and they don’t get to go there enough as something pops up every weekend.
They’d stolen Claire’s family dogs, Cooper & Charlie, for the weekend. Alex made little signs and hooked them around their necks, saying “Claire, will you” and “Marry Alex” and brought them in while Claire was still in bed on the Sunday morning.
They didn’t sit still as he’d planned and instead jumped on the bed and on Claire’s face, excited to say good morning. Hitting Claire in the face with these little pieces of card, Claire grabbed one and read “Marry Alex” and looked at Alex, and he had a beaming smile. They kissed and then he brought out a beautiful ring!
Our relationship. We’re relaxed, happy, fashionable people who love good food and good wine, and each other!
Being surrounded by everyone you love is so surreal. The aisle song we chose gave us goosebumps, so we knew it was perfect, and seeing Alex standing in front of that stunning window with our best friends was so special. I wanted to kiss Alex straight away – especially so, as we spent the night before apart – but he said I had to wait for “the kiss”.
Claire went to Raffaele Ciuca in Brunswick, as she’d been to the Armadale one with her best friend and maid of honour and loved the selection. As they stock so many different brands, the plan was to go there and try on a bunch of dresses to find the right cut and style, then keep searching other brands with that style. But, instead, she found the one! It was the first and only place Claire tried on dresses.
Alex went to Suit Shop in the city on the recommendation from his groomsmen and Claire’s brother, Patrick. Whilst there, they ended up calling Claire to find out what colour and style they should be looking at. Boys!
Alex’s was the first kiss.
Claire is finding it hard to choose one moment, as the entire day was everything she had envisioned for them, and seeing it all come together was incredible. If she was forced to choose, it would be heading back out for golden hour photos, just the two of them (and Nikki). It was really nice to get away from the noise for a moment and just be with each other.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage is committing yourself to another person, to look out for them, after them, love them, for the rest of your life. Although Alex and I have already been doing this for 10.5 years, having a big ol’ party with our favourite friends and family to celebrate our love and commitment to each other sounds pretty good to us! Now I get tummy flutters every time I see the ring on Alex’s hand.
Aisle: Beyond by Leon Bridges
Signing song: Grizzly Bear by Angus & Julia Stone
Exit back down the aisle: Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson
First dance: Adore You by Harry Styles
Funny stories or near disasters.
Melbourne lockdown was announced at 1:30pm before our 5pm wedding, to come into effect at 11:59am. Some NSW and QLD guests quickly booked flights in fear of quarantine when they return, so sadly missed our wedding.
How little Alex would be able to help… eek!
Words of wisdom.
Have the wedding that YOU want, however that looks; not a wedding full of things you don’t want, just to please others.
In October 2020, we were going to postpone, thinking 28 days of zero cases was basically impossible by February 2021. Our parents told us to hold off on postponing, and come the end of November, it seemed not only possible but probable!
Other than the venue, which we booked back in April (thinking this covid business would be well and truly over by then), we organised the entire wedding in two months. At that time, we had just come out of lockdown, so everyone wanted to hang out every day, went back to and was busy at work, and it was over the busy Christmas period.
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CLAIRE & ALEX’S VENDORS
Ceremony and reception venue: Panama Dining Room
Celebrant/Officiant: Clare Shone. Clare only had a month to prepare and (politely) nag us to get questionnaires and edits back to her, and we only sent her our vows the night before! What a star.
Photography: Nikki McCrone, absolute legend, everything I wanted – on the day and our photos – and more!
Florist: North St Botanical. Were so communicative and organised, and I was OBSESSED with our bouquets!
Hair: Marlene from Tonic Agency. I changed what I wanted on the day, and she adapted and did exactly what I wanted!
Make-up: Emma Jane. Emma is so experienced and talented (and lovely!). I left it in her hands and didn’t want to change a thing from trial to on the day.
Nails: SOAK Bar & Beauty. Nails and cocktails was such a fun activity with the bridesmaids.
Veil: Borrowed from my friend Posey
Shoes: Forever Soles
Bag: The Daily Edited
Jewellery: The Silver Collective
Groom & groomsmen’s suits: Suit Shop. The boys had so much fun selecting the suits and getting measured, and the suits looked amazing.
Bow ties / ties: Peggy & Finn.
Cake: The cake was made by Alex’s cousin, Cara, and not only looked stunning but tasted even better!
Stationery / Signage: Claire designed all the menus and welcome signs, seating and bar signs. Snap Printing printed them, and Claire stuck them onto foam boards from Officeworks.
Entertainment: DJ was Logan Jeffs.
MC: Sam Cooney. Claire’s eldest brother was heartfelt, professional, and made sure all the speeches on the night were organised and up to scratch.
Accommodation: The Langham Hotel
Décor: Napkins from Luna Wedding & Event Supplies, archway candles borrowed from the Maid of Honour, Alison
Honeymoon: Our mini-moon was booked from Monday at Lakehouse Daylesford, but was cancelled as we went into the five day lockdown at 11.59am on the night of our wedding. We want to book a honeymoon in the next few months, hopefully in WA if they’ll have us.