Real Wedding – Gabriella and Gian, South Melbourne VIC
From their first date, when the time just flew by, to their love growing throughout lockdowns, Gab and Gian felt destined to exchange I Dos. And what a gorgeously glam concoction of old-world opulence and timeless elegance they created to set the scene for their dream day.
Inspired by the bright lights and bold styling of New York City, the theming for this captivating celebration is underpinned by a monochromatic palette, enhanced to perfection with masses of crystal glassware illuminated by candles, soft pendant lighting, and abundantly exquisite floral arrangements of lush greenery and arching white blooms. The effect is one of noir-luxe glam, classic yet contemporary.
Aesthetic artisan La Moment leads the newlyweds through an urban landscape to complement their theming choices, creating a visual story filled with divine details and sweet romance. We especially love the late-night shots of the stunning newlyweds, backlit by the city skyline and looking like true stars of their own magic movie, dressed by Oglia Couture and our own YSG Tailors.
There to leave a perfect party imprint are one of our fave entertainers, master musicians The Baker Boys. Scroll on for a visual treat to transport you.
We met at the very beginning of the pandemic on Bumble! Our first date was before the first lockdown at Garden State Hotel. Gab parked in a one-hour zone; I arrived 15 minutes late and had to impress from the very first minute. We ended up staying there for three hours, with no lull in the conversation, and we realised we had so much in common.
Gian: I knew from the first date. I remember thinking that I had never been so interested in someone before. We shared so much in common, and I always felt so comfortable and engaged in her presence.
Gab: It wasn’t really just one moment. It was a lot of small, sweet gestures that made me realise how wonderful Gian is and how much I couldn’t live without him.
The majority of our dates had been during lockdown, visiting primarily at Gab’s family home, as it was before either of us had moved out. One day, Gab surprised me by planning a really romantic date with roses and home cooking. The theme was Italy, and she had set the room up with a lovely table, wine and Italian music. So, my idea was to replicate this special date on a night she thought that she was spending with her sister. I took the day off from work and started moving and setting up our home together to recreate the date, even transporting the original table from her family home, and when she arrived home from work, I asked Gab to marry me.
Gab was super organised, which really helped us to relax leading up to the day of our wedding. There was nothing that she hadn’t thought of.
We both wanted a classic and timeless wedding – something bright and traditional. Whites with lots of greenery. Luminare, with that gorgeous cityscape, reminded us both of New York City, one of the locations of our honeymoon. We also wanted to incorporate that NYC vibe on the day.
We were drawn to viewing real weddings for inspiration because it felt more genuine. The best weddings really reflect the love between a couple. It was easy to take inspiration and decide on how we wanted our wedding to look and feel based on weddings we’d been to and experienced for ourselves, as well as viewed online.
We felt that our ceremony was small and intimate but also allowed everyone attending to feel deeply and personally involved.
Gab: I had always wanted a traditional Catholic ceremony. Fr. Tony has been our family priest for almost my whole life, and so he was the obvious choice for our celebrant. My Nonna was very committed to her faith, and I made sure to include bells that she had crocheted for my eldest cousin’s wedding in our ceremony styling, which allowed me to feel that she was with us on the day. That was really important and special to me.
Gab: I had always thought I’d choose a tight-fitting wedding dress, but when the time came to decide, I realised that I wanted a custom dress that was flowy, romantic and really feminine for the day. I chose a design that was elegant, timeless and classic because I want to look back in the future and still love my dress. We even included a cornicello in my first dress in a nod to my Italian heritage. It’s all in the details! The second dress design was born from the idea that I wanted something that was fun, easy to dance in and showed off my legs! Sam from Oglia-Loro understood both visions and took the designs to another level.
Gian: I always knew I wanted something really traditional that fit with our classic style. I went with a fully custom black suit made easily by the team at YSG tailors. Similarly to Gab, I just wanted a few details to make it extra special, and this included a custom pattern and personal embroidery on the inside of the suit.
We took our desserts and moved out onto the balcony alone for five minutes during the reception. We really wanted to enjoy a moment with just the two of us. Even though it was a short interval, we had time to focus and really be present with each other.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage was really important to us both as we wanted to mark the beginning of our lives together. We were not living together prior to our wedding, and so getting married allowed us to formally start our new lives together. Marriage is the strengthening of our commitment to supporting and growing together as a couple.
Aisle (bridesmaids): I say a Little Prayer for You, played by a string quartet
Aisle (bride): La Vie en Rose, played by a string quartet
Reception entry: The Best by Tina Turner and Signed, Sealed, Delivered – a classic!
First dance: L-O-V-E
Father / daughter dance: Make You Feel My Love by Adele
Last dance: Simply the Best by Noah Reid
Gian: Yeah, the cost!
Gab: I was surprised and really grateful that Gian took such an interest in helping me to plan every element of our day.
Words of wisdom.
Gian: Start saving; just joking, but not really! Be patient with one another, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Gab: Planning early and finding suppliers that we could trust and rely on really saved us from stressing in the lead-up to the wedding. It allowed us to relax on the day and trust that everything would work out.
For an alternate yet equally stunning take on urban-glam styling, check our Darren and Jennifer’s romance-filled inner-city soiree here on the blog.
GAB & GIAN’S VENDORS
There were a few suppliers that we knew HAD to be a part of our wedding date, and so we made sure that our wedding date suited our must-haves. They were: Laura for make-up, Adrian from La Moment, Sam from Oglia-loro and Simon, our MC. After that, it was a lot of Instagram searching and scouring wedding blogs to find suppliers that were the perfect fit! We would recommend all of our suppliers.
Ceremony venue: Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn
Reception venue: Luminare, South Melbourne
Celebrant / Officiant: Fr. Tony Kerin
Photography: La Moment. Before we were officially engaged, Gian planned an intimate engagement party with our closest family members. Knowing we would want to look back on the day, he enquired with Adrian from La Moment. Gian couldn’t have made a better choice! Adrian manages to capture the love between a couple in a way that reflects their relationship and personalities. Clearly, our photos speak for themselves but what they don’t show you is the dedication, kindness and peaceful demeanour that Adrian offers. Wedding days can be stressful, but Adrian made sure everything flowed and the special moments between us were all captured.
Videography: Annette and Dani. Annette and Dani were recommended to us by my cousin, and when we contacted them, it was all just very easy. Annette and Dani are so fun! They really kept us laughing on the day, and we were so grateful that they were our videographers.
Styling and décor: AMICA. Kristine was really patient, with fantastic ideas. The design we started with completely changed over the planning period but what we ended up with was exactly what I had envisioned and so gorgeous. Particularly the custom piece over the dancefloor; it was stunning! Kristine’s service was impeccable, and the amount of time and love she contributed to our wedding was really special. Kristine promised and ensured that it would look beautiful, and it absolutely did.
Florist: Oh Hello Petal. Ione went above and beyond from the outset. After an initial phone consultation, Ione put together a video that evidenced her ideas, creativity and ability to deliver. We got a great feeling from Ione from the first email that carried through our entire experience. Ione has been a joy to deal with and still is today. Ione is really so sweet and generous; we loved catching up with Ione at every chance because she is wonderful to spend time with. Every time I had a panic about any wedding detail, I turned to Ione and immediately, Ione would offer suggestions and solutions. In particular, I had the idea to embroider a message on a handkerchief for my dad but really struggled to find someone to agree to complete the design. So OF COURSE, Ione offered! Ione even organised a champagne tower for us because it was something that we really wanted on the day. Really, there is nothing she cannot do!
Hair: Shannon Brache from Tonic Agency. I was so unsure about my hair for my first dress! I had done two trials with Shannon and decided to go with something completely different on the day of the wedding, despite many protests from family and friends that felt it was “too risky”. However, I had Shannon doing my hair on the day and completely trusted her. Despite being unwell, Shannon made sure to SHOW UP! Shannon brought her bubbly personality, took it all in her stride and made my wedding hair more perfect than I could have imagined.
Make-up: Laura Difrancesco. Laura is so sweet; she is an absolute angel. I wish she could do my make-up every single day because I just felt absolutely gorgeous. Laura really understands skin, colours and make-up!
The dresses & veil: Oglia-loro Couture. There was NO other choice but Sam. In our first meeting, we sat together and talked about my family, our culture and expectations and how we could incorporate that in the design for my dresses. Sam created both my wedding dresses, and there is no compliment that I can give which would do justice to his craftsmanship. Sam and I worked together to create two dresses that were perfect in every way, with Sam adding his own flare to each while keeping true to my vision.
Rings: Custom-made by a wholesale jeweller that we connected with through one of our suppliers.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Vasiliki Couture. Vicky is so kind and patient. Managing and organising four bridesmaids is no easy task, particularly as my best friend and Matron of Honour was nine months pregnant on the day of the wedding. We were all a bit nervous about it coming together, but Vicky just got the job done and did not disappoint! She made everyone look and feel so beautiful.
Suits: YSG Tailors. The team at YSG really took care of Gian and his groomsmen from start to finish and made the process so easy and enjoyable! It was more than just suits; Ryan offered an experience to the wedding party. It was a fun process to see the tailoring evolve, and everyone felt that their suit was the perfect fit.
Bow ties / ties: Lord’s Design Menswear (Geelong)
Favours: Miss Noble. We attended a wedding at the beginning of the year where Sarah had created the favours – they were gorgeous and really unique! We contacted Sarah that same night and enquired with her about making the favours for our wedding as well! Sarah went above and beyond and made the most perfect and delicious wedding favours. We would recommend Miss Noble to everyone that we know!
Cake / Cake topper: Sweetly Styled. Lina really strived to make sure that our vision for our cake was perfect. Lina is, above all else, honest and so lovely to work with. Most importantly, our cake was so freaking delicious. Everyone continues to rave about it!
Stationery / Signage: State of Elliott. I am the type of person that likes to focus on the details. Sarah is too. Throughout the wedding process, it felt like Sarah worked around the clock to ensure that we were happy. Sarah’s creativity, drive and designs really added a special extra element to the reception. We had multiple compliments on the day about the look and feel of our stationary and signage.
Entertainment: Baker Boys
Other: MC – Simon McCuskey, the best MC ever – WOW. Simon delivered more than I would expect from an MC. Simon had MC’ed for my brother’s wedding, and I always knew that when my day came, I had to book Simon. We met before the day to discuss the running sheet and knew we were in good hands. There was a last-minute change on the day, and in true Simon fashion, he said, “not a problem! It is your day; I will make this happen. Leave it with me!” Of course, everything went perfectly. Simon even made sure to check in with our parents and bridal party and ensure that any needs they had were met. The ultimate professional. Lastly, Simon took many photos on the night and sent them to us directly so that we could look back the next morning and reminisce on the perfect day.