Real Wedding – Jake & Cheryl, Fitzroy VIC
Real Wedding – Jake & Cheryl, Fitzroy VIC
Real Wedding – Jake & Cheryl, Fitzroy VIC
Real Wedding – Jake & Cheryl, Fitzroy VIC

Real Wedding – Jake & Cheryl, Fitzroy VIC


Jake and Cheryl’s wedding is all fresh, uplifting feels and gorgeously glam aesthetics, culminating in the sweetest of celebrations.

With celebrant wordsmith and master mood creator Precious Celebrations at the helm, the inner-city soiree kicked off with the perfect blend of humour and gentle romance.

Jake and Cheryl chose to remain true to their personal history by contrasting the grand chic of Panama Dining Room with a sense of wonder and whimsy, of nature encroaching on this urban space.

This sense of city meets wilderness carries through to their stunning golden hour portrait session with creative dream team Motta Weddings and Apertura. Against the timeless cityscape, Cheryl looks like a modern goddess in her dream dress by Grace Loves Lace, a vision of arched lace detailing and statement scalloped neckline. Jake’s expression says it all – captivation, admiration and sweet love.

Taking the fun to a new level as the sun goes down are our friends at Melbourne Entertainment Co, making sure the dance floor is every bit as magical and memorable as a day like this deserves. To see every sweet moment, scroll on.



The meeting.

We met whilst working in Mildura in the Summer of 2019. We bonded over the fact that we had both been travelling through the same tiny rural and remote towns in Western Australia. We may have even crossed paths and not realised it! We continued our friendship when we both moved back to Melbourne. It was a slow burn from this friendship to, eventually, a new relationship. There was no love at first sight, but there was possibly love at one-hundredth sight!


The ‘one’.

We had this amazing date at Montalto in Red Hill. It was essentially a prepared, secluded picnic lunch by their restaurant. We spent hours and hours there, surrounded by little fairy wrens, chatting and laughing, ordering many bottles of wine! We had so, so much fun in each other’s company. That’s when we realised we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.


The proposal.

Jake was planning to propose during a trip to Darwin, but Melbourne once again went into a snap lockdown. However, he didn’t want to delay his plans, so one evening, whilst I was in the shower, he cranked up the heat and decorated the apartment like the tropical North. He ordered in a beautiful meal, made some margaritas, and at the end of the meal, proposed with a gold bracelet.


Planning process.

We were engaged during the pandemic; therefore, we set a wedding date over a year later with the hope that things would be more or less back to normal by then. So that gave us the benefit of time.

Our first decision was whether we wanted a city- or country-based wedding; once we had decided that, everything fell into place.

We fell in love with Panama Dining Room. Those windows! The planning process naturally progressed from there.


Style inspiration. 

We wanted nature to feature heavily in our style as we were basing our wedding in an urban setting and wanted some natural elements to creep through. Panama Dining Room has this really raw feel with the exposed bricks and wooden features, and we wanted to contrast this with wild floral pieces and lush greenery. We also wanted to add a bit of Montalto to our day. So, we asked Cassandra from Studio Epocha to design our stationary with that in mind. She put together some beautiful pieces in shades of green and cream but also created the sweetest logo featuring a little fairy wren.

We initially looked up past weddings held at Panama Dining Room for inspiration. Some are featured here on Ivory Tribe and in Wedshed and Hello May. What we found most helpful were the reviews of different vendors, what couples felt worked on their wedding day, and what they would have changed if they had the chance.


The ceremony.

We wanted the ceremony to relay our story. We wanted it to feel intimate and inclusive and reflect all the different definitions of love and family, particularly given our diverse backgrounds.

We chose readings that described both new and old love, as we wanted to represent love as something that continues to grow and change long after the wedding is complete.

Our Celebrant, Precious from Precious Celebrations, was the perfect choice as she conveyed our story with just the right amount of humour and emotion.


The look. 

Cheryl: I have always loved the detail in lace. The dream was to have some form of lace on my wedding dress, so when I tried on my first dress at Grace Loves Lace, I knew that this was the right brand for me. I chose the Nathalia gown because I loved the off-the-shoulder look with the long sleeves. Also, the lace was so soft! It came with these beautiful pearl handpieces, which I had never seen before, and this delicate sheer veil with matching lace trim.

I then picked a pair of pearl earrings from Amelie George and initially chose a pair of simple gold heels to complete the look. However, with all the lace and pearls, I wanted to add a bit of edge. So, I splurged on a pair of Valentino studded heels.

Jake: Early in the piece, I decided on wearing a tuxedo, as I loved the timeless elegance of the look. A personal recommendation from one of Cheryl’s cousins led me to Oscar Hunt, where I fell in love with a beautiful, tailored off-white silk/wool jacket, black bow tie and black wool ants. Paired with it was my Omega Aqua Terra watch, which was a special gift from Cheryl. The tailors at Oscar Hunt made the process so easy, and the suit felt and looked amazing.

I was also surprised on the wedding day with a charm from my grandma’s charm bracelet, which I pinned to my inside suit pocket for good luck.


Favourite moments.

Cheryl: Finishing the first dance without falling!

Jake: My favourite moment was seeing Cheryl as she walked down the aisle towards me. The swell of emotions and absolute happiness I felt in seeing her smile and how beautiful she looked on the day, surrounded by friends and family, is something I will never forget.


Meaning of marriage.

Nurturing both a love and partnership where we work together to fulfil both individual and shared dreams


Wedding soundtrack.

Processional: Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper

Signing: Dream A Little Dream by Ella Fitzgerald and Is This Love by Bob Marley

Recessional: Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) by Stevie Wonder

Reception entry: Techno Syndrome 2021 (Mortal Kombat) by Benjamin Wallfisch

Cake cutting: Yummy by Justin Bieber

First dance: Feeling Good by Nina Simone

Reception exit: Hawaii by The Beach Boys, Wipe Out by The Safaris and Hawaii 5’0 by The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra


Funny stories or near disasters.

Having COVID a couple of weeks out was very much a near disaster!


Planning surprises.

No matter how much you prepare beforehand, nothing can predict how the day will evolve.


Words of wisdom.

Pick vendors that you gel with; first instincts are so important! Also, finding vendors that have worked together before or know your reception venue is so important. It guarantees that your day will go as smoothly as possible because everyone understands the space and the working vibe. Also, trust your vendors! They have done this a thousand times before and know all the typical pitfalls.

Remember, not everything will go to plan, and that is completely okay. It’s all a part of the beauty of the day, don’t forget to enjoy it.

And definitely have a spreadsheet!



Jake and Cheryl assembled a team of talented legends to ensure that not only did their day look and feel incredible, they had fun in the process. To find your own dream day supporters, check out the superstar suppliers on our directory, here.




Once we had picked our venue, we decided on our look by trawling through sites like Ivory Tribe, Wedshed and Hello May. It snowballed from there because one supplier would recommend another supplier, and before we knew it, we had our team!

Once we received a recommendation, it was a combination of exploring their work on Instagram and meeting with them in person or via Zoom to see if we vibed. That meant we ended up with a super-talented group of people who were not only passionate about their work but also closely aligned in their vision.

Hair and makeup choices were all through personal recommendations from family and friends.

Ceremony & reception venue: Panama Dining Room. An easy choice from beginning to end. The food was delicious and generously portioned, the drinks list was extensive, the entire team was so fun to work with, plus having the brilliant Amber coordinate the event made everything so easy.

Celebrant: Precious Fawcett. Such a gem of a human! She took the time to get to know us and brought so much positive energy and good vibes to the event.

Photography: Alex Motta, Motta Weddings. An absolute professional and a star the whole way through. He brought so much life and energy to every moment, and his photos were amazing.

Videography: Sash Gavrilovic, Apertura. His work is stunning, and his approach to filming is truly fly-on-the-wall, capturing all the important moments in a natural, subtle way.

Styling & decor: Small Things Co. The whole team were amazing from the planning phase to the execution. Annie and Sarah were able to take our ideas and make them a reality. What they created was truly beautiful, and we are both so grateful to have had them on our team.

Florist: Bec Lee, Tremella Botanicals. Her floristry is incredible; we told her to go crazy! Who would have thought mushroom florals could work?

Hair: Shaylee Ellen. What a wonderful lady! She brought so much joy and laughter to the prep phase

Make-up: Cassandra Renee. Cassandra was a true professional. So efficient and easy to work with. She understood the look we wanted and executed it perfectly

The dress & veil: Grace Loves Lace

Shoes: Valentino Garavani

Rings: Cushla Whiting

Bridesmaid’s dresses: the bridesmaids chose their own dresses.

Earrings (bride and bridesmaids): Amelie George

Wedding party PJs: Homebodii

Groom’s suit: Oscar Hunt

Bow ties: Déclic

Cufflinks: Montblanc

Catering & bar: Panama Dining Room

Favours & cake: Torte by Mirjana. Her cakes are both delicious and works of art.

Stationery / Signage: Studio Epocha. Cassandra from Studio Epocha is such an amazing talent. She took our vague concepts and created something truly unique and special, with such incredible attention to detail. She was super organised and so easy to get in touch with when we needed to. We would recommend her to everyone.

Entertainment: La’Fell from Melbourne Entertainment Co. La’Fell was a sweetheart, and what a wonderful voice! He set the tone for our ceremony with his chill acoustic numbers and knew how to work the crowd as our DJ during the latter part of the evening.

Photobooth: Heartbreak Hotel. Super fun vibes and a great way to guarantee some hilarious memories.

Transport: Melbourne Chauffeur Service

Hire: Napkins – Table Threads.

Honeymoon: Hawaii

Other: The Next Step Co choreographed our first dance. Natalie was so patient with us! She made us feel super comfortable from the get-go. We progressed so much in each lesson! Worth every penny to feel confident on the night.

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