Real Wedding – Elissa & Sam, Taradale VIC
Real Wedding – Elissa & Sam, Taradale VIC

Real Wedding – Elissa & Sam, Taradale VIC


There is something truly magical about Elissa and Sam’s Taradale celebration.

Looking to nature for inspiration, and the inclusion of their families being of upmost importance, their day oozes romance and elements of tradition.

Elissa, in her incredible gown, created by her mother and grandmother, was a knockout, and there to document the day was Pretty Flamingo Photography.


In Elissa’s words…


The meeting.

Sam and I met the night of my 21st Birthday celebration. He’d seen me around our small town before, but never approached me, until a mutual friend introduced us. I’ve never looked back since the first moment I laid eyes on Sam.


‘The one’.

Sam and I realised early on in our relationship that we both gave each other an energy that nothing or nobody else could give us. We are each other’s happy place, and time spent without each other is honestly a waste. We calm each other, we inspire each other.


The proposal.

Marriage was a mutual decision. To be honest, I don’t fully remember the sequence of how it came about. We woke one morning at a hotel in Melbourne, looked into each other’s eyes and just knew. All I can say is “we weren’t, and then we were”.


The planning.

The planning process happened slowly over 12 months. The venue was booked exactly one year to the day prior, so we had plenty of time to get it right.

Once Churchill was booked, we jumped into designing our own stationery, dresses and outfits.

The most difficult part was living two hours away from my mother, who tripled as event organiser, gown designer and counselor.

The lead up to the wedding, say the month before, passed in the blink of an eye. It was a like an action-packed montage of dress fittings, paying invoices, driving, and scouting. It was emotional and stressful.


Style inspiration.

Roses, gardens, nature, family, food, fun and love.


The gown.

My mother and Grandmother created my dress, the bridesmaids and the flower girl dresses. I was so lucky to have these beautiful and talented women design and create exactly what I wanted.

Initially mum and I went to various boutiques to try dresses around Melbourne. But nothing really stuck out to me. All through my childhood, mum and I said that she would make my dress, and it seemed wrong for her not to. The materials used were exactly the same used on my mother’s wedding gown; dupioni silk and corded chantilly lace. The shape and style changed regularly, but in the end I had something that was only mine. I wore my great-nana’s pearl earrings, a pair of mushroom-blue suede shoes, and my mother’s garter.

The veil was full, long and romantic, a light but dense ivory tulle.

The headpiece was hand-made in Queensland.


Favourite moments.

Finally getting to sit down and eat something – having a drink and sitting right up close with my new husband.

The most memorable was driving with my Dad and Papa on the way to the ceremony. The feeling in the pit of my stomach was immense – so much emotion, everything happening so quickly, and wanting to re-wind and go through it all again in slow motion.


Meaning of marriage.

Marriage is a milestone and a privilege. It is a beautiful process and metamorphosis that needs to be enjoyed. It is a life-long project.


Wedding soundtrack.

Entrance: Waves Know Shores by James Blake

Exit: Real Love Baby by father john misty

First dance: There Will Never Be Another You by Lee Fields and the Expressions


Funny stories (or near disasters).

We had storm and flood warnings for the weekend of. It was devastating. All the time and effort and money put in and it could have been washed away… But we pulled through, everyone did, and I was so glad. It was a chilly and wet day – but it added a beautiful atmosphere, and cooled any nerves that may have flared up.


Planning surprises.

The arguments and the stress – I thought it would be an easy breezy process, boy was I wrong.


Words of wisdom.

Be yourself – have YOUR day. Don’t let anyone persuade you from what you want. Don’t let anyone tell you how it should be done. Your wedding day must be a representation of the two of you as a couple.

And a warning: you are going to learn so much about yourself that you didn’t know before, you and your partner are going to change a little bit through the process – but change together. You will argue, cry, laugh and stress. But make sure you do this all together.

On the day – make sure you slow down. Spend some time before hand with your parents or loved ones.

Also, don’t be afraid to say “that’s not right” or “no that’s not what I want, actually”.

Don’t worry about being late – make sure you stop and smell your roses.




Ceremony and reception: Churchill, Taradale

Celebrant/Officiant: Robert Fergusson

Photography: Pretty Flamingo Photography

Florist: Prunella

Hair: Jordan Walker – Dexterity Salon

Make-up: Catherine Louise 

The Dress(es): Handmade

Veil / headwear: Handmade

Shoes: Bared Footwear (bride) and Bagatt, Italy

Rings: Meadowlark of NZ

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Handmade

Groomsmen’s suits: Instichu

Bow ties / ties: Instichu

Catering: Spoonful, Armadale

Bar: Churchill

Cake / Cake topper: Spoonfull/Prunella

Stationery / Signage: Handmade

Entertainment: Rutherford Entertainment

Honeymoon: Hobart, TAS

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