Real Wedding – Huong & Justin, Sunshine VIC
Huong and Justin envisioned a classic, timeless and elegant celebration, filled with carefully considered styling that would translate with ease through the many years they’ll reflect on their sweet wedding day memories.
Proving that an intimate wedding doesn’t have to be small scale in terms of romance, these two stunning souls said their I-do’s in front of their closest friends and family. Darling details added layers of beauty, from Huong’s bouquet of classic cream roses, soft blush and crisp ivory orchids to the gorgeously understated wedding cake, a vision of contemporary chic.
Huong wore a Zavana Couture gown embellished in subtle art deco beading, adding period-style detailing to a freshly modern silhouette. A cascading veil elevated the look to bridal glamour, outshone only by Huong’s stunning smile.
Huong and Justin describe marriage as the bond and understanding that can be found with a glance or a squeeze of a hand. As they relish being brand new newlyweds, bathed in twilight rays, this sweet intensity is beautifully evident. La Moment Photography captured the exquisite energy to perfection – scroll on to sneak a very special peek.
I met Justin briefly in 2005 through work when I was a graduate locum. We didn’t see each other for two years after that. In that time, I had since changed careers (I’m now a primary school teacher).
We happened to comment on a mutual friend’s Facebook post (of a dog), and I sent Justin a DM asking if he was the same guy I had met briefly two years earlier. Little did he know that I had a crush on him at that first meeting in 2005. We caught up for a coffee, and here we are now in 2021!
There is more to a relationship than just intimacy and affection. We felt secure enough with each other to support each other’s passions. I knew I had found a keeper when I felt vulnerable enough to share my hidden hurts and pains with him. We are also super ok with being bored in each other’s company. We can spend a whole day doing absolutely nothing together, and we are comfortable with that.
Emerging from the Covid lockdowns of 2020, we were both enamoured with the idea of a country or coastal investment, some little shack or farm we could buy as a project. I also missed my sister, who lives in Tasmania, having been unable to see her for almost 12 months.
Justin suggested we kill two birds with one stone, a weekend trip to Tasmania to look at property and to see my sister. We flew out from Melbourne (Saturday, March 20, 2021) at 6.30am and were at Burns Bay on the east coast of Tasmania by lunchtime. We were carefully climbing rocks in our thongs/flip flops, and I was trying to take artistic photos, attempting to get the right focus with my new phone camera, when Justin said, “why don’t you try to focus your camera on this?” He was holding a sparkling ring in front of my camera – it was hardly the classic down-on-one-knee, but I’m pretty accustomed to Justin’s rather laissez-faire way of doing things (plus there was no way he could get down on one knee as he was balancing on two rocks). He did ask me to marry him, and of course, I said yes – and I did spend the next hour trying to capture the right shot of the ring, water and sand!
We were planning our wedding through repeated lockdowns. We had already scheduled our wedding date when lockdown four occurred, limiting guest numbers drastically. We decided to push ahead all the same, and we were blessed to be able to catch a narrow window in the expansion in attendee numbers. Due to the repeated uncertainty, we decided to have an intimate wedding with just family as it was easier logistically to deal with possible repeat cancellations. The week following our wedding, we went into lockdown five. We consider ourselves very blessed to have been able to get married in such uncertain times.
We are renovating a Californian bungalow in Albion that has a 1920’s Arts and Crafts period style. We had been researching this style and had often walked past the HV McKay Memorial Gardens in Sunshine, noting this would be a great location for wedding photos. The heritage-listed Sunshine Presbyterian Church is a classic piece of early Arts and Crafts architecture. We approached the pastor about marrying us at the church, which he happily agreed to do. I loved the Zavana Couture dress, which had a classic period feel to the beading, which I felt would sit well with the period gardens and the church.
We both wanted a wedding that was timeless, elegant, and free of overt trends. It all came down to simple, thoughtful and functional styling choices that wouldn’t become dated. I found most of the inspiration on Pinterest, searching for ‘classic traditional church weddings’. That’s where I got the idea of tying tulle ribbons around the church pews and attaching baby’s breath. To be honest, I didn’t find much inspiration on social media (Instagram) as we found it was very trend-driven.
Despite the challenges, the most memorable part was actually the intimacy brought about by the forced circumstances of 2021. It resulted in a unique and intimate coming together of our families.
The pandemic forced us to think cost-effectively and creatively. We used our local greengrocer (Pompello, Seddon) to source our church flowers from their wholesaler. We purchased our favourite carrot cake from a local bakery wholesaler (Cobblane, Yarraville) and my cousin (Decorative Sweets) decorated our wedding cake. Our very talented wedding musician (Ron Muliau) was an attendee at the local church we got married at and was kind enough to donate his time to play at our wedding ceremony (I approached him after a church service two weeks prior to the wedding, and he agreed to sing for us!) Our reception was held at one of our favourite local venues in a private dining room (Luxsmith, Seddon). The cuisine was Asian fusion which was very fitting as the intimate dinner was the coming together of two cultures (Australian and Vietnamese). The food was absolutely delicious, and we will definitely be back here for our anniversaries!
I tried on a few dresses at three different stores. I didn’t have a huge amount of time to find a dress as I had heard from other brides that I needed to lock in a dress at least six months before the wedding. Considering I only essentially had three months, the team at Raffaele Ciuca were fantastic in working to this short amount of time.
Apart from the obvious happiness of sharing the moment with family and that moment when we first locked eyes as I walked down the aisle, I think we both enjoyed the couple of hours of photography. Justin is generally pretty camera shy and felt he’d struggle with this part, but the expertise of Adrian from LaMoment set us both at ease, and the time just flew.
Meaning of marriage.
A lifelong promise to stand by each other through thick and thin, having that quiet bond, that immediate understanding that can be found with only a glance or the squeeze of a hand.
Aisle: Homesick by Dua Lipa and Chris Martin
Signing: Latch (acoustic) by Sam Smith. Sung by Ron Muliau (the best version we have heard!)
Recessional: If I ain’t got you by Alicia Keys. Sung by Ron Muliau
Funny stories or near disasters.
In the same week as the wedding, I cut the top of my head on the corner bathroom cabinet.
I lacerated my pinky finger while trying to pull apart a ball of wire wool. Luckily it wasn’t my ring hand but getting my nails done the day before the wedding was no fun.
Justin had to cancel the stone installation of our kitchen island bench in order to reinforce the floor the day before the wedding (it’s a 700kg cast bronze bench!). We really wanted a completed kitchen for the wedding.
Although it was very stressful renovating our home and planning a wedding at the same time, it is possible to plan a wedding in 3 months!
Words of wisdom.
My best advice is to throw all the preconceived norms out the window. This day is about you and your family. It’s not about big budgets. My feedback from family was they appreciated the simplicity and intimacy of our wedding.
When we return to some semblance of normality with Covid, we would love to catch up with our friends and extended family to celebrate our marriage.
Love a classic, romance-filled wedding? We blissed out seeing a timelessly elegant love-story unveiled in our Everyday Forever styled shoot – we think you’ll be equally enamoured! Make yourself a decadent treat, get comfy and take a scroll, here.
HUONG & JUSTIN’S VENDORS
Ceremony venue: Sunshine Presbyterian Church.
Reception venue: Private dining at Luxsmith, Seddon.
Celebrant/Officiant: John Cho
Photography: Adrian Juric, La Moment Photography
Florist: The Flower Shed, Footscray
Church florals in gold vases: Pompello Seddon
Church altar table runner: Melbourne Event Florals
Hair: Aimmey Pham
Make-up: Jane Truong
Veil: Kim Alpha Bridal
Shoes: Nine West
Rings: Larsen Jewellery, bride’s engagement ring and wedding band. Groom’s Wedding band – designed by the groom, made by Infinite Engineering.
Flower girl dresses: Oui Babe
Bride’s robe: Bridesmaid Boxes
Bride’s slippers: Emu Australia
Suit: Ted Baker
Entertainment: Local church attendee and singer Ron Muliau
Hire: Melbourne Event Florals
Honeymoon: At home!