Real Wedding – Claire & Andrew, Hawthorn VIC
Claire and Andy are all about warm, modern vibes; keeping the fun flowing and the fuss to a minimum. Their wedding day was all this and more; the epitome of Melbourne style, urban party feels and soft sophistication.
Claire chose the effortlessly elegant Adina gown from fashion legend Karen Willis Holmes, which was accessorised perfectly with an artfully assembled bouquet from Pomp and Splendour. Hues of deep crimson, dusky blush and vanilla were echoed in the stunningly scaled-up arbour framing the ceremony.
We applaud Claire and Andy’s process in choosing their tribe; booking from recommendations, sharing who they are as a couple and being guided through the process, then trusting their vendors to work their unique magic. The result is all there in every incredible image by photographer Madeline Kate.
And for this super-couple, having such a solid bunch of professionals around them meant that when Covid-19 restrictions hit in the hours leading up to the wedding, they remained (astonishingly!) grounded and bubbly. If we were to choose a last hurrah before heading into lockdown, this one would be up there!
We met in 2014 on Tinder! Back then, there was still quite a big stigma surrounding online dating, so we were both a bit hesitant to publicise it.
I knew Andy was the one after our first date. I joked to my friends the next day that I would marry him! It sounds cliche, but after one dinner and hours of conversation, I just knew. For Andy, he says there was no ‘ah-ha’ moment, but early in our relationship he knew it was something special and like nothing else he had experienced before.
We were staying in Noosa after competing in the annual triathlon. Our families had come to watch us race (but mostly to have a holiday in Noosa!) so I had a feeling Andy might pop the question, given we were all together in such a beautiful part of Australia.
By the Monday evening (the day after the race), our parents, my sister and my brother-in-law had flown back to Melbourne. At this point, I thought “there is no way he will propose, Georgie would kill him if he did it when she was on a flight back home!” Little did I know, she had picked up my ring on the way to the airport and had it with her the entire time she was in Noosa. That evening, after a beautiful sunset walk on the beach, Andy got down on one knee and popped the question. We called our families and friends immediately who were all absolutely thrilled.
We found the planning quite easy in terms of selecting suppliers and bringing our ideas to life. When selecting our vendors, we immediately looked through Ivory Tribe Real Weddings and sought recommendations from friends.
We started with the vendors which we knew could only do one wedding in a day (e.g. photographer, celebrant), and locked them in. We had seen our celebrant, Damon Hughes, at our friend’s wedding a year before we started planning, so we immediately locked him in. He is that good!
Selecting our photographer was also easy; after looking at Madeline Kate’s Instagram page over and over, we knew we had to have her at our wedding. When we met Maddie, we knew we had made the right decision; she is so bubbly, authentic and just a beautiful person. From there, Maddie and Damon both recommended vendor after vendor, which got the ball rolling.
We used a big spreadsheet to track our spending and ensured we stayed within budget. We also enlisted in family and friends to help with smaller tasks, which was also a great way to make them feel included in the process.
We also had so much help from Alyce who runs Whisked Away Events. Alyce was incredible at bringing all the elements together and ensuring everything ran smoothly. We honestly could not have done it without her!
We are both pretty easy-going (most of the time!) and generally enjoy more causal outings rather than big fancy dinners. This was exactly what we based our wedding on – small, casual, fun, and nothing too over the top.
In the early days of our relationship, we spent a lot of time in Hawthorn having brunch or just going for walks. When we saw Daniel Son was available to host weddings, we knew the small and modern venue with a warm and welcoming vibe suited us perfectly.
Pomp and Splendour created the most incredible arbour for us, with stunning florals of blush, nude tones and pops of red. All other elements flowed on from these colours naturally – from the blush menus to the off-white table cloths.
I wore the Adina gown from Karen Willis Holmes. It was the fourth dress I tried on, and I just knew it was perfect. I had always said I would never spend an exorbitant amount of money on a dress that I would only wear for one day, which is why I love KWH, as there’s something to suit everyone’s budget and style. The girls were incredibly helpful and easy to work with.
While there are so many to pick from, the dance floor was probably our favourite moment. In what was an incredibly stressful week leading up to the day, seeing everyone let loose and dance the night away filled us with so much happiness.
Meaning of marriage.
For both of us, marriage means choosing to share a life together, and to support one another through every high and every low.
Aisle: Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden
Signing: Still Into You by Paramore
Recessional: Dancing In The Moonlight by Toploader
The aisle, signing and recessional were all sung live by Emmanuela Costaras
Reception entry: Rock This Party by Bob Sinclair
First dance: Lover by Taylor Swift
Funny stories or near disasters.
Well, the COVID-19 pandemic had well and truly kicked off right when we were getting married. The week leading up to the wedding was incredibly stressful as new restrictions were being announced every few days. Naturally, this resulted in some guests asking if the wedding was still going ahead, and getting back to everyone was quite overwhelming.
Twenty-four hours before I was meant to walk down the aisle, a restriction was introduced which said there must be four square metres for every person in the venue, including staff and vendors. My sister, Andy and our wedding planner Alyce were incredibly helpful in ensuring we understood exactly what this meant for our wedding and how many guests we could have. Ironically, some guests had cancelled earlier that day due to illness or pre-existing health conditions, which then made it possible to have our wedding within the restrictions.
We were really surprised at the decision fatigue I experienced toward the end. Decisions about the big things like the dress or the venue are fun, but deciding who should sit where, or whether you stop the drinks package at this time or that time are ones that I would put off to the last minute! This is when friends and family are best utilised, as they can provide another perspective.
Words of wisdom.
Trust your vendors! They are the best in the biz for a reason.
We feel incredibly grateful to have been able to have our wedding right before six months of lockdown in Melbourne. We cannot thank our vendors and guests enough for making it the best ‘last hurrah’ we could have asked for.
Considering a chic city celebration, the perfect way to show off your personality without sacrificing stunning style? We’ve got some urban real weddings to wow, kicking off with Steph & Justin’s Collingwood celebration.
CLAIRE & ANDY’S VENDORS:
Ceremony and reception venue: Daniel Son, Hawthorn
Celebrant/Officiant: Damon Hughes. By far, the best celebrant in Melbourne. And Victoria. And Australia.
Photography: Madeline Kate Photography. She really does make it the best day ever!
Videography: Valley & Peak. Steve is a legend and is incredibly talented.
Styling: Whisked Away Events
Florist: Pomp and Splendour. These ladies ooze passion and are just wonderful.
Hair: Studio2 Hair and Makeup.
Make-up: St Kristal. Kristal has done my make-up for years and is fantastic to work with
The dress: Adina gown from Karen Willis Holmes in Armadale.
Shoes: Bared footwear, the comfiest shoes in the world!
Rings: Michael Albrecht
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Various, they selected their own.
Groomsmen’s suits: Formal Red in Fitzroy
Bow ties / ties: Formal Red in Fitzroy https://formalred.com.au/
Favours: Cookies from Cake By Kendyll. I’ve been ordering from her ever since!
Cake / Cake topper: Masterchef Winner Emelia Jackson.
Décor and hire: Table Art linen.
Honeymoon: We cancelled NYC and Mexico due to COVID-19, but we’re hoping to head to Byron Bay in 2021 for our anniversary.