Real Wedding – Jason & Laura, West Melbourne VIC
For Laura and Jason, dodging covid restrictions by coming up with plans A – Z gave them pause to reflect on how momentous their day would truly be. And when it finally arrived, this effortlessly elegant celebration was more than worth the wait!
A styling palette in shades of rusted tangerine, brushed amber and sweet peach perfectly popped against the white wooden backdrop of Gather & Tailor. Soft, cascading floral arrangements artfully embellish the industrial-chic warehouse, while apricot hued candles elevate the cream linen tablescapes.
Fabulous celebrant Nicole Penning kicked the party off with a ceremony filled with super special moments, leaving the guests grinning as they transitioned into the evening, accompanied by a selection of cocktails. Food trucks, roaming oyster shuckers and some sweet tunes by Rutherford Entertainment created a vibe more festival fun than wedding formal, and we are here for it!
And as the newlyweds took a moment together, bathed in evening sunset, it was clear that the endless planning had truly paid off. Every delighted, dreamy emotion is captured to perfection by Elsa Campbell Photography.
Scroll on to explore industrial-chic done oh-so-right!
We met around 11 years ago, at a mutual friends 21st birthday party. However, like many modern-day romances, the connection happened soon afterwards, chatting via Facebook, where Jason asked me out on our first date.
Only a couple of months after meeting, I (Laura) headed off on a four-month euro trip with friends. Since the romance was very new, we agreed to see where we were both at when I returned. However, within weeks of being away, we found ourselves keeping in regular contact throughout my time away (which I thought was pretty special given we hadn’t known each other very long), and we picked up where we left off once I returned.
After ten years together, Jason popped the question in a villa in Bali. Like all good love stories, I had come down with a case of Bali belly a couple of days prior, which threw a spanner in the works for his proposal plans. Luckily, I recovered, and Jason knelt on one knee and offered me a dry biscuit (the only food I could stomach at the time)! Lucky I said yes to the biscuit because the box contained a ring and I found myself saying yes again!
I love organising events, so I was in my element planning the wedding. I was determined to make our wedding really unique and reflect us both personally, so I opted for DIY style options for wedding venues that would allow me to handpick my favourite suppliers. Doing lots of research and creating a lot of spreadsheets helped me to refine our vision and find suppliers that reflected that vision.
COVID did have other plans for our original date and location (a marquee at a winery on the Bellarine in December), and over the course of our engagement, I had booked three weddings (and planned about seven back-ups)! We had a plan for every guest number limit to try to make sure the day could go ahead in March. We got so lucky in the end with our date, being able to have 170 loved ones celebrate with us, and Gather & Tailor was the perfect new location – I couldn’t imagine our day anywhere else now.
Inspiration from the many wonderful weddings we have attended was our first source of inspiration, and this was able to help me narrow down what I was searching for when I got stuck into the big wide online world. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by all the amazing inspiration online; coming back to the elements of the day that meant the most to us was important. For online inspiration, my go-to’s were Ivory Tribe (of course) and Instagram, where I would follow suppliers and wedding stylists that shared the aesthetic we were targeting.
The inspiration for our wedding started with us reflecting on who we are as a couple, what we enjoy and our personalities. After dating for over ten years, we have been lucky enough to attend many wonderful weddings together for our friends and family, so we started by talking about what our favourite things had been at those weddings. This helped us work out what the really important things for us were. We landed on the following: a venue big enough to accommodate 150+ guests, good food, good drinks, a fun dance floor and a wonderful celebrant.
We wanted to make a feature of the food and have a bit of fun with it, which was why we opted for food trucks to provide canape catering alongside the roaming oyster shuckers and caravan bar serving cocktails. And, of course, the Gelato Cart for dessert!
For drinks, we served three cocktails throughout the night as well as beer, wine and sparkling. These were passionfruit mojitos, and elderflower gin spritz and the old faithful espresso martini.
From a styling point of view, we were aiming for a blend of simple and relaxed with an elegant aesthetic. While the wedding was originally designed for a coastal location, a few key design switches and furniture choices meant we were able to pivot to the industrial warehouse quite seamlessly.
The ceremony was incredibly important to me, as was finding the right celebrant. It’s why we were there after all! Our celebrant Nicole was actually the very first supplier I met with and booked. I fell in love instantly – she was my organisational kindred spirit, and her passion for creating beautiful and memorable ceremonies was evident. When we had to begin rescheduling the day, before I would book anything, I would always check her availability first as I was adamant she would be the one to marry us.
Incorporating our families into our ceremony was also really important to us, and we did this in a few different ways. From Dad walking me down the aisle to both of our Mums doing a reading, Nicole asking our four parents for their “blessing” and a special acknowledgment of our grandparents (both the ones were lucky enough to have there with us on the day, and those who had passed who we had a photo of and lit a candle for).
Our outfits were very easy in the scheme of things. I found my dress at the second shop I went to, and Jason found his suit on our first day looking. My dress was a beaded gown from Zavana Couture. I feel in love with the sleeves in particular. I had always liked long-sleeved dresses, but when I tried some on, I felt very restricted. These gave me the coverage I was looking for but with freedom and movement. Jason’s suit was from YD – we knew we wanted the more casual, “two-tone” look, and it fit him really well.
We can’t pick just one favourite moment as we were both just on cloud nine the whole day. After all of the uncertainly in the lead-up, we felt so lucky to be able to have everyone together and have a party, so every moment was incredible.
Oh, and when I was able to take my shoes off when we got home!
Meaning of marriage.
COVID really caused us to stop and reflect on what marriage/a wedding meant to us, as we had to consider how we felt about the various shapes and forms the day could take. We always felt that marriage was an opportunity for us to celebrate our love with our family and friends, who are the most important thing in our lives. That still holds very true, however as we began to consider different types of weddings, we realised that what mattered the most was us being able to marry each other and how much we were looking forward to being husband and wife. That was the most important thing – not the location, the date, how big the party was etc. Marriage was an opportunity to stop and reflect on how lucky we both are to have found our soulmate and the person that we want to embark on all of life’s adventures with.
Aisle (bridesmaids): How Sweet It Is (to be loved by you) by Amber Leigh Irish
Aisle (bride): 500 Miles (Acoustic) ft. Lousie Rademakers by Jefr Tale
Signing: Better Together by Jack Johnson and Dela by Johnny Clegg
Recessional: Best Things in Life Are Free by Janet Jackson/Luther Vandross
Reception entry (wedding party): Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars, Music Sounds Better With You by Stardust
Reception entry (bride and groom): One More Time by Daft Punk
Cake: Mo Money Mo Problems by Notorious BIG
First dance: Simply the Best (acoustic) performed live by Keeks and Daws
Words of wisdom.
Stay true to yourselves and what’s important to you as a couple. Find suppliers that share and reflect these values and bring them on the planning journey with you. And don’t forget to have some fun on the way!
A fantastic celebrant can create a mood, set the tone and tell an incredible story – all with the minimal amount of stress for you. But how do you determine who is the perfect fit for you? Check out our guide to finding a dream day legend.
JASON & LAURA’S VENDORS
Our suppliers were an amazing of industry legends mixed in with some wonderful emerging suppliers – however, what they all had in common was that they shared an amazing attitude, a passion for love and weddings, and reflected our vision for the day. I did a lot of research to find our dream team, including blogs, Instagram, google searches and word of mouth.
Ceremony & reception venue: Gather & Tailor, West Melbourne
Celebrant: Nicole Penning
Photography: Elsa Campbell. We fell in love with Elsa’s photography after she had shot a friends wedding and a friends birthday event. Her relaxed style, coupled with the stunning images she captures, meant it was a no brainer to book her to capture our day. She made us both feel at ease and captured both candid photos and stunning portraits from the day perfectly.
Videography: Jesse Mather Weddings
Styling: Bride and coordination from Weddings of Desire.
Florist: Anatomy of Flowers
Hair: Ellas Bridal Hair. The girl behind my amazing ponytail was the very talented Ella. She is well known for her signature bridal waves, and anyone wanting this look will not be disappointed!
Make-up: Johnny T Make-up. Johnny does the most amazing bridal make-up, and I was so lucky to have him make me feel so special for the big day!
Veil: Veil purchased from Raffaele Ciuca.
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Vesna (independent dressmaker made from material purchased by the bride)
Suits & bow ties: yd
Caravan bar & staff: Boutique Event Co. We served three cocktails throughout the night, as well as beer, wine and sparkling. These were passionfruit mojitos, and elderflower gin spritz and the old faithful espresso martini.
Cake: Torte By Mirjana. This delicious cake had three flavours: sticky date cake with butterscotch cream cheese, sponge cake soaked with elderflower syrup topped with mascarpone kiwi fruit and strawberries, chocolate with cream cheese.
Stationery / Signage: Carded Australia
Entertainment: acoustic for canapes – Daws & Dyl. Reception – Kees & Daws. Both groups from Rutherford Entertainment.
Honeymoon: Bedarra Island Resort
Other: hair and make-up for bride and groom’s mothers: Tracey Clarke