Real Wedding – Emily and Paul, Melbourne CBD VIC
Having met throughout their time at Melbourne University, it was the perfect place for Emily and Paul to vow to love one another forever in their heartfelt and emotion filled ceremony.
Emily wowed in her incredible gown by Tribe Favourite Georgia Young Couture, before the newlyweds headed to the centre of the city to party the night away.
Held at the beautiful and ever-stylish inner-city venue, Alto, Emily and Paul’s elegant occasion was captured beautifully by the talented Brown Paper Parcel.
We met while studying at Melbourne University. I was a first-year student and Paul, being a couple of years older and a part of the Commerce Students Society was recruiting kids to come on a camp. He walked up to me and talked me into buying a ticket, and the rest was history. Because we were together so young we’ve had a lot of ups and downs over our twenties. We had about nine months apart in 2013 which was important for us both, but ultimately, we both realised we couldn’t bear to be apart and after that we knew we’d found “the one”.
Paul loves to plan big surprises for me, and this time he outdid himself. It was epic! We were living in Sydney at the time. It was a sunny day in August 2015, on our eighth anniversary. Paul told me he was taking me out for breakfast in Rose Bay. Upon arrival, he insisted that we take a walk along the harbour, which led me to an awaiting sea plane. After a surprise scenic flight over Sydney we returned but the surprises continued. A water taxi took us to Shark Island, where a picnic was waiting, and a spectacular view of the Harbour Bridge. With the island completely to themselves, Paul asked Em to marry him. We then celebrated with a night at the Shangri La hotel and dinner at Quay which was incredible.
The planning process.
We were engaged for 18 months. We moved to London not long after getting engaged, so we needed a good amount of time to organise everything from overseas.
I was looking for a city warehouse space. Somewhere with industrial character, and ideally a rooftop with city views. Turns it out that wasn’t easy to find, but once I looked at ALTO, which isn’t a warehouse but definitely has an industrial feel, I absolutely fell in love with the space. The terrace with city views was perfect for arrival drinks, and the mega high ceilings with floor to ceiling windows, concrete floor, brass bar and statement chandeliers worked perfectly with my styling theme.
I would call it minimalist tropical meets industrial. I wanted the look to be clean, fresh, ultra-modern and a bit glamourous. I wanted the ceremony to be elegant and heart felt, and then the reception vibe to not be too ‘weddingy’ but more like a fabulous party. I think we achieved that – our reception was just so much FUN. We wanted to really treat our guests and make them feel special, so we incorporated a lot of surprise elements like personalised items and surprise performances.
The flowers and installations by Secret Blossom quite literally took my breath away. They worked tirelessly to build 14 metres of hanging tropical foliage over the tables of tasteful white floral arrangements. The whole setting looked incredible and was exactly what I had hoped for.
We also did a lot of DIY! Being a graphic designer and a very crafty person, I was fortunate to be able to create a lot of things myself. I enjoyed the process so much I’m starting a business to offer my services to other couples. I made all the signage, invitations, website, and wedding favours that were personalised leather bookmarks. I also designed the gents pocket squares and had them made from printed silk and luxury linen. It was a lot of work and sometimes felt like a full-time job, but so worth it in the end and I loved every minute of the DIY process.
My dress was from Georgia Young Couture. I started looking just before moving to London in December 2015 and then continued to search while in London in 2016. I really struggled to find much that I loved. I’m not into a lot of the traditional bridal dresses, and struggled to find something that was unique and contemporary and also flattered my shape in the right places! I found Georgia Young on Instagram and just loved her laid back nature and unpretentious vibe (which can be hard to find in the bridal industry). Of about 30 dresses I tried on in total, the Asherah gown was really the only dress I found that I loved. We customised it by using an ivory colour silk and adding lace panels. The result was a beautiful mix of avant-garde, strong lines and soft floatiness.
Very hard to choose but I’d have to say when Paul performed a song he wrote for me. He is a musician and has been in bands before, so it was important for us to make music a big part of our whole day. I knew he’d been practicing for weeks but I wasn’t allowed to listen so it was new to me, and so beautiful. I was holding back the tears the whole time!
We are not religious so we had a civil ceremony, but there was a lot of family involvement. My uncle Cliff is a marriage celebrant so he conducted the ceremony. It was very special to have him do that and made it very personal. Paul’s cousin is a classically trained concert pianist so he generously offered to play for us throughout the ceremony. That was also very special because not only was it great to have Peter involved, but he also played instrumental versions of some of our favourite songs. For example, I walked down the aisle to Sky High by Ben Folds Five which is an old favourite of ours.
Meaning of marriage.
We have been together for 10 years so married life isn’t really any different from before, nor are we overly concerned with the tradition and ideology of marriage.
But we decided to get married because we wanted to celebrate how much we love each other, and seal our lifelong commitment in front of our family and friends. After being together so long we felt like we were each other’s family, so getting married allowed us to make that official.
Our ceremony was in the middle of campus at Melbourne University. It was a Saturday so fairly quiet, but there were still a lot of tourists wandering around who found our wedding quite interesting, so we had a crowd of strangers watching us and taking photos. There was even one lady who followed us around while we got our couple shots done, sneakily taking photos from a distance!
My bridesmaid and I decided it would be really funny to do a flash mob at the reception. She is a great dancer so she was in charge of the whole thing. We rounded up all our friends who love a dance and Maya choreographed a routine to CHIC – Everybody Dance, which fit within our dance floor playlist which was very 70’s disco! The flash mob was a lot of fun, we staggered our starts and when my group joined in the crowd screamed with surprise. It’s a great memory.
Words of Wisdom.
Be very thorough with your planning – have a master spreadsheet on google docs that you can jump into at any time. Book early to get the best suppliers. And finally, make sure the day is a reflection of you both as a couple. If a tradition doesn’t suit you, then don’t feel like you have to do it. It’s your day so make it about you.
Is there anything more romantic than a city celebration? Pop over to Anna and Tom’s special day and be sure to take a peek at her incredible dress!
EMILY AND PAUL’S TRIBE
Photos: Brown Paper Parcel
Cinematographer: Humdrum Films
Event planner/ tylist: Bride, Emily.
Florist: Secret Blossom
Stationery and signage: State Of Reverie (bride’s own business):
Wedding website: www.emilyandpaul.wedding by State of Reverie
Ceremony venue: University of Melbourne http://www.unimelb.edu.au/
Reception venue: ALTO at GPO
Catering: Damm Fine Food
Cake: Made by Aunty of bride, Elizabeth Schoer
Wedding favours: State of Reverie
Prop or furniture hire: Chairs – Place Settings
Lighting/sound hire: State of Reverie and Neon Poodle
Entertainment: Melbourne Entertainment Company
Celebrant: Cliff Schoer
Rings: Bentleigh Jewellers
Transport: Uber Black and Metro Trams
Rigging – Technical Events
Bridal gown and veil: Georgia Young Couture
Shoes: Sophia Webster
Hair: Diane Robertson
Makeup: Eve Gunson
Bride’s reception dress: Dress The Population
Tie Bow tie: State of Reverie
Barber / grooming: Jack the Clipper in London
Groomsmen suits: MJ Bale