Real Wedding – Ellie & Jamie, Fitzroy VIC
The stunning arch windows, exposed brick walls and glorious greenery of Panama Dining Room set the tone for Ellie and Jamie’s sensational celebration.
This pair set about creating a day that was not only fun for their guests, but completely them. There were so many fun and fabulous touches including Espresso Martini’s, a darling dance by the newlyweds and a surprise song from the groom and his groomsmen that had the room roaring with laughter.
Ellie and Jamie soaked up the love on their wedding day and Charmaine Visuals photographer was there to capture every fabulous moment.
In Ellie’s words…
My best friend Jess married Jamie’s great friend Gez. For years, Jess and Gez told Jamie and I how perfect we would be for each other but our timing never aligned and we never crossed paths… until Jess and Gez’s engagement party. We had a brief chat but soon realised the entire room was in on the set up which was a little too overwhelming. So Jamie left the party early and did what every great modern day man does… Asked me out later on Facebook Messenger!
On our first date we didn’t draw breath for four hours… we were off to a great start. I can still remember on our third date, Jamie opening the door with his gorgeous smile and being hit with the realisation that I was head over heels.
I’m a producer on MasterChef and absolutely love trying new restaurants. For my birthday in August, Jamie booked us in to Brae in Birregurra, (one of Australia’s best restaurants!). The booking wasn’t until November.
My best friends had kindly booked us accommodation as part of my birthday present. We sat down for our lunch and Jamie generously suggested we should do the matching wines. Half way through the lunch I turned to Jamie and said, “We’re going to remember this day for the rest of our lives!” Little did I know what was to come…
The restaurant is set on stunning farmland. After lunch we wandered around the farm until we got to a lake. Jamie handed me his phone and said, “The girls (the ones who had booked the accommodation) made you a video for your birthday”. Unsuspecting, I started to watch a slideshow of photos of Jamie and I, with Jamie narrating all the reasons he loves me. The last slide said “I want to spend the rest of my life with you”. I was bawling and my heart was racing. I turned around and Jamie was on one knee with a stunning ring. It was absolutely magical and I still get goosebumps thinking about it.
It was a blessing that Jamie and I quite enjoying planning so the lead up was a collaborative effort. We decided on what things were non-negotiables for us and used that to guide and prioritise our planning and budget.
We were fortunate enough to have four of our Grandparents with us at the time of the wedding so it was integral to find a venue that was easy and accessible for them. Panama Dining had it all.
Once the venue and date was locked in, we started researching suppliers. Getting a lot of quotes really helped us gauge what to expect. We were really passionate about supporting women who are small business owners. Having trustworthy, talented suppliers made the lead up run extremely smoothly.
In the week of the wedding, Jamie and I scheduled in time to hang out and relax together… without doing wedding tasks. It was so lovely to soak up the excitement together.
Another part of the lead up we really loved was learning a fun wedding dance together. We originally felt like it was an extravagant thing to invest in but it was so lovely having an hour a week together just to dance!
Once we had locked in Panama Dining, we decided on a style that would compliment the venue. Their stunning arch windows, exposed brick walls and greenery set the tone.
From Panama’s existing style we added greenery and candles. My aunty Sue did the flowers for the tables, which were made up of flowers from our grandparent’s gardens, which was so special.
Morrie and Maisie decorated the arch window with her stunning flower display and adorned the bar with white vases of white flowers and greenery.
We were really conscious to make the room feel beautiful but for it to still feel like ‘us’ rather than a traditional wedding vibe.
I was determined to find a dress that was special but still felt and looked like me. Never having tried on white gowns before, everything felt special and it was hard at times to differentiate between what was a beautiful dress and what I felt comfortable in.
I did three separate shopping days but nothing compared to One Day Bridal. My consultant Georgia was exceptional. I narrowed it down to two dresses and finally made my choice. I was lucky enough to be the first in Australia to wear the Clara dress, which I absolutely adored.
At the end of Jamie’s groomsmen speech, they lured Jamie up and sat him on a chair insinuating that they were going to play a trick on him. Instead, the groomsmen and Jamie broke in to rehearsed a cappella version of For The Longest Time with personalised lyrics!
Our guests (and me!) were roaring with laughter. In a day filled with incredible moments, the surprise song is definitely up there!
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage to us is about doing life together; sharing an unconditional love, celebrating all that we are to each other and prioritising our relationship no matter what life throws at us.
Aisle: Guiding Light by Foy Vance (Live performance by Andrew Loadsman)
Recessional: Simple Things by Ziggy Alberts (Live performance by Andrew Loadsman)
Reception entry: Sign, sealed, delivered by Stevie Wonder
First Dance: Hold My Hand by Jess Glynne
Funny stories (or near disasters).
Dad and I took two steps down the aisle and my veil popped out! Dad asked if I wanted to stop but I was too excited to see everyone that a veil suddenly seemed insignificant so we kept going.
We were surprised by how many little decisions go in to planning a wedding and had to check in with ourselves to only put energy in to the things that really mattered. For example when we were deciding what colour the table numbers should be, we realised we’ve never noticed anyone else table numbers at a wedding so we laughed, quickly made a decision and moved on.
Words of wisdom.
Ask yourself at every stage of planning ‘Why?’ and if doesn’t feel like you, or it’s a wedding tradition without reason, ignore it! For example I didn’t carry a bouquet because I never carry bunches of lovely flowers around normally so didn’t want to start doing it on my wedding day.
We also swapped out plated desserts/cake that often get left on tables and replaced them with hand around Messina ice cream and Espresso Martinis.
Another thing we didn’t do was printed invitations. My super talented cousin made a hilarious video about how Jamie and I met. We embedded it on a website and emailed our guest list a designed invitation with a link to the website. A huge advantage of doing this was the majority of people RSVP’d instantly!
There’s no right or wrong way to do a wedding. Fill the day with your favourite things!
If things get stressful or overwhelming, remind yourselves why you’re getting married and let that guide you.
We absolutely loved our bridesmaids wearing dresses that they chose themselves. One bridesmaid was six months pregnant, one had a six week old baby and one had as six months old baby! So it was really important to us that they felt as comfortable as possible. They looked so gorgeous!
Pip and Rich created a country affair that is an absolute must see – be sure to check it out here.
ELLIE & JAMIE’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: Panama Dining Room, Fitzroy
Celebrant/Officiant: Michael Webb
Photography: Charmaine Visuals
Videography: Chelsea Morely from Tiny Disco
Florist: Corrie from Morrie and Maisie
Hair: Natalie Jaye Hair
The Dress: One Day Bridal
Shoes: Robert and Robert
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Zimmerman and Forever New
Groomsmen’s suits: MJ Bale
Bow ties / ties: TM Lewin
Favours: Cookie nametags – Sweet Mickie
Menus and signage – Tom McKenzie and Dan Jobson
Entertainment: Andrew Loadsman
Transport: Hire Class Chauffeured Cars
Honeymoon: Mini Moon in Noosa and Major Moon in US/Greece/Italy
Getting ready shirts: Pomme
Earrings: Fairley Jewellery