Real Wedding – Julia & Dean, Bannockburn VIC
Julia and Dean chose to craft their celebrations around things they love and feel fulfilled by, rather than theming it up. The result was a dynamically dreamy celebration of modern romance, accented with effervescent emotion.
Setting the tone for the relaxed, love-filled party that was to follow was a refreshingly captivating ceremony by our own storyteller extraordinaire Jo Betz. We loved watching the guest reactions, captured to perfection by visual poets Fern and Stone Photography and AJR Films. We dare you to watch the highlight reel and not get misty-eyed!
Dean’s incredible grin radiates out of every image, and as Julia stepped towards him in her contemporary-glam gown by couture goddess Georgia Young, we can absolutely see why.
Softly wild florals of textural dried grasses and sage greens interspersed with powder pink roses and ivory orchids aesthetically aligned with the sweeping surrounds. And for the final touch? The sweetest gelato stand this side of Florence, by Vanilla and Co.
A true modern romance, we met through Tinder seven years ago! After chatting for a couple of days, we agreed to meet up at an AFL game we were both going to that weekend. We had a brief meeting at half time and agreed that if it didn’t go well, we could return to the game and never have to see each other again. Thankfully it went well, and here we are!
Neither of us feel like we had one ‘moment’, but more lots of little moments over time.
Although, when I found out Dean’s last name was Roberts, and my married name would be Julia Roberts, I thought that was an early sign that it was meant to be!
Dean suggested taking our dog George for a walk to a new spot not far from where we live, with beautiful scenic views. I didn’t pick up on anything, except that when we were leaving the house, Dean said he would pack some drinks and asked if I wanted to take champagne. I said no, and wondered why we’d be taking drinks to walk the dog, but I didn’t want to overthink it. My hunch was right; a little while into our walk, he got down on one knee, with George as our witness.
Dean had organized one of his friends to hide in the bushes and take photos, and it was really special having photos to remember the moment.
We really enjoyed the initial planning stages; researching vendors, and getting inspiration for the different elements of the wedding. We tried to be as organized as possible and do as many things as we could in advance to try and make the lead-up to the wedding stress-free.
Like so many couples getting married in 2021, things became a little bit more stressful once Covid hit, with a lot of unknowns and uncertainty. We were so incredibly lucky to get married on our first choice of date, with no restrictions impacting us, just before a five-day lockdown in Victoria. We know so many couples that had their plans impacted, and we feel so grateful we could have our wedding as planned.
We didn’t have a set style or theme in mind, but really just chose things that we liked, rather than trying to fit them into a theme or set ‘look’.
We were so lucky to have the beautiful Jo Betz as our celebrant. Jo has been a family friend for a long time, and she truly is such an amazing celebrant. The ceremony was perfectly tailored to us – relaxed and fun. She had our guests laughing, crying and smiling, and we received so many lovely comments about Jo!
The highlight of our ceremony was definitely looking out at our family and friends and feeling so lucky to have them all together to celebrate our love, and the ceremony views were pretty special too!
I wore the Georgia Young Couture ‘Capri’ gown. It really was the dress of my dreams! I came across a picture of it on Instagram when I first got engaged and really liked it but didn’t want to get my heart set on one dress; I wanted to be open to different options.
I went to a couple of bridal shops in Melbourne, and Georgia’s studio was the third that I tried. As soon as I walked in, I knew I wanted to wear one of her dresses. Georgia is incredibly talented and supported me throughout the whole process. I was tossing up between a couple of dresses but ended up choosing the Capri gown because it felt more suited to me, and because I’d had my eye on it for a while, I think I knew it was the one! I had so many lovely comments on my dress and the design of it, and I just loved wearing it.
There were so many wonderful moments for us; it’s hard to pick just one. But I really loved straight after the ceremony, and after family photos, when Dean and I got introduced into the reception. We could finally catch up with our friends and family and relax with a drink in our hands – it felt so special having the formalities done and being able to really enjoy the night with the people we love the most!
Meaning of marriage.
While we’d been committed to each other for a while, formalizing it through marriage was something really important to both of us. It signifies the start of a new chapter in our relationship, one that we will hopefully fill with a family and many more wonderful memories.
Aisle: Stand By Me by Florence and the Machine
Signing: Into the Mystic by Van Morrison
Recessional: Little of Your Love by HAIM
Reception entrance: Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen
First dance: Real Love Baby by Father John Misty
Finale: Flame Trees by Cold Chisel
Funny stories or near disasters.
Thankfully the day went off without a hitch, but when we got to our accommodation after the reception, we found a mouse in our room. I have a huge (irrational) fear of mice, so I was in quite a panic. We thought we’d stick it out and just hope it had left the room… but after a few minutes, I knew we wouldn’t be able to sleep, and I’d be worrying too much, so we got an Uber back to my parents’ place who lived close by, and spent our wedding night there – quite romantic!!
I was really excited to plan the wedding, but I don’t think anything prepares you for the number of decisions you have to make along the way!
Words of wisdom.
I think it’s really easy to get caught up in what other people are doing or having at their wedding, particularly with social media. You spend so much time browsing, researching, planning, and you come across a lot of inspiration! Try not to spend time thinking about what you should have or should do, and pick things that you both love, whether that be the menu, the flowers, or the venue. If you love it, you’ll enjoy yourselves so much more on the day!
Looking to level up on the romance for your dream day? We are here to tell you that romance does NOT cancel out fun and to prove it, we’ve gathered some enchanting reception spaces, large on both love and laughter. Let your heart run wild, here.
JULIA & DEAN’S VENDORS:
First look location: Proserpine Cottage
Ceremony and reception venue: Clyde Park Vineyard. Beautiful venue, beautiful food and beautiful staff. The day ran so smoothly thanks to their impeccable planning and support.
Celebrant: Jo Betz. Jo is a longtime family friend of Julia’s and is an absolute PRO. We had so many incredible comments on our ceremony; she made it so special.
Photography: Fern and Stone Photography. Jess is an absolute gem. The whole process was seamless, and we were delighted with our relaxed but amazing photos.
Videography: AJR Films. Anthony was also a pleasure to deal with; he and Gracie were so patient with us on the day as we both felt incredibly awkward! They made us feel comfortable, and our video is something we’ll treasure forever.
Florist: Wildfolk Flowers. I instantly knew I wanted to go with Ebony for our flowers when I received my first email from her. She was so friendly and accommodating and created beautiful flowers that were beyond what we ever would have envisaged.
Hair: Anni Matilda Hair
Make-up: Studio 2 Makeup and Hair
The dress: Georgia Young Couture
Rings: Top Image Jewellery
Earrings: Amelie George
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy
Groomsmen’s suits and ties: Peter Jackson
Catering and bar: Clyde Park Vineyard
Cake / Cake topper: Baked by Nicola
Stationery / Signage: Sea and Paper
Entertainment: Lark Music
Transport: Victorian Prestige Transfers
Gelato cart: Vanilla and Co
Honeymoon: Hamilton Island