Real Wedding – Kat & Andrew, St Kilda VIC
Kat and Andrew were wed at the stunning Ormond Hall, a historic building set in the heart of Melbourne that has a tendency to host epic celebrations, and boy was Kat and Andrew’s just that and more.
Kat is an organiser by nature, as well as a fast decision maker, so selecting her Tribe and executing her perfect plans came naturally.
Friends and family are of utmost importance to them both so they dotted personal touches throughout their day, from individual notes inside the guests’ name cards and small bottles of Hendricks for them to take home at the end of the night.
Tribe entertainment sensations, One More Song, had the guests dancing from start to finish and Tanya Voltchanskaya documented all the fun and frivolity.
In their words…
13 years ago. We met when we were younger thorough mutual friends at a house party.
It happened whilst travelling throughout Scandinavia/Baltic Coast, in Lithuania.
I (Kat) am an organised personality by nature and fast decision maker, so it was easier for me to do most of the planning, and then give Andrew tasks to execute. We formed a checklist and just worked our way through it. Work out what your biggest themes are – for us it was dancefloor and friends/family – and just keep coming back to those. We wrote individual notes inside each of the guests name cards so that they knew how much we appreciated them being there. Family and friends play such a valued role in our life, and we wanted to share the night with them as opposed to them feeling like their just attended ”our night”. Everyone was really appreciative of this and it had exactly the warm and fuzzy feel we wanted people to have! Kat is a big gin lover so our favours we small bottles of Hendricks – another personal touch!
We always wanted the day to revolve around our family and friends. We have been together quite a while so all the people, despite the origins of the friendship, have become involved in both our lives. We wanted it to feel like a giant party – good food, good wine and a great dancefloor!
Kat – At the beginning I had wanted to wear a colour, as aside from all the typically traditional ‘bridal’ connotations I’ve never been big fan of myself in that colour. However in the early stages when I was hunting online I couldn’t find a dress that didn’t give me the impression of an overdressed guest. My sister and I visited a few bridal shops but I never wanted to wear anything lacey or beaded so the options were slim. Therefore, I decided to go down the custom route. I was terrified at first because whilst I had every quality in Tanya’s craftsmanship I couldn’t help but worry that in the end I may get something that is finished impeccably, is exactly on brief, but when I pulled it on it just wouldn’t work for me. However the process is goes through so many layers of conception, that the dress just naturally evolved.
Andrew – I knew from the start I wanted to wear navy, but was wary about it being a ‘racing blue’ shade. I went shopping with a mate and Kat, as I wanted to have an initial scope of what was out there. By luck, on my first visit to PJs I found one I really liked, with a cut that worked for me. My groomsman currently resides in Norway, so we placed an order for his based on the measurements he’d emailed me, then they were able to tailor it once he arrived in Melbourne. The whole thing was very quick, and painless!
Ceremony: We really wanted to eliminate as many of the traditional elements as possible and stick to the bare bones of legal requirements so the focus could be on our personal vows. We loved having everyone gathered around as opposed to rows of seats as it felt intimate. Having Gary, our family friend, be the celebrant was another layer to that personal touch and was very special to us.
Reception: The speeches were amazing – personal, humorous and engaging. We felt so much of our friends and family presence throughout the whole day…exactly as we wanted! Dancefloor – A great vibe all night, and as terrifying as it was, riding our friends shoulders on the dancefloor was pretty hilarious. Our MC, a longtime friend, was amazing on the night too – we couldn’t have asked for someone more engaging and charismatic! We also loved having the family enter all together. We didn’t have a bridal table, but a family one instead, as we wanted to share the night closest to our family. So it only made sense that instead of a bridal entrance, we would have a family one – and it made it all the better that they were happy to ham it up and make of fool of themselves as well!
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage is a promise to make a commitment to someone, long after the spirit of the moment in which you made the commitment is gone. It is a celebration with family and friends, and a moment to thank everyone who has contributed to your relationship across time. RE married life, we don’t expect it to change anything day to day (we’ve been together for so long anyway!) but it is really comforting to have that comfort in knowing that the person you’ve chosen to stand by and support feels just as strongly about you as well.
Aisle: Hold by Vera Blue
Recessional: At Last by Etta James
First dance/father-daughter: My Girl by The Temptations
Funny stories (or near disasters).
We had just about as many tech fails in the ceremony as possible but it was great because it broke the ice and took the formal edge off from the start (the aisle song kept stopping and starting).
We took three mini-breaks throughout the night with each other – couple photos, a drink with our bestman/maid of honour, and post dessert. They were only very short but they felt like we broke the night up and it didn’t become one continuous long run (or blur!). We started the speeches as soon as entrees were on, which meant we had everything done and dusted by the end of mains. It meant everyone was engaged the whole time, and we had the formalities over with as quickly as possible. Also really happy we added the extra hour to the package – for a small cost it meant we had that little bit longer to enjoy the dancefloor with friends, and not feel so crunched for time.
Words of wisdom.
The best tip would be to play to each other’s strengths. Also write out a schedule for the day before and day of – it was so helpful for family and friends to have this so they didn’t have to ask us too many questions about where they/others should be and when. We set a rough budget after getting a lot of different venue quotes and knowing what we could get for our money. We varied on this by less than 10%
The name card notes were our favourite detail because they were the connection to everyone there, that we may have not got to spend enough time with on the night, to let them know we valued their presence.
On the hunt for the perfect first dance track on your big day? One More Song have all the ideas, so head here for their expertise.
KAT & ANDREW’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: Ormond Hall – The Big Group were so professional, very personable…made it all look too easy!
Celebrant/Officiant: Gary Chapman
Photography: Tanya Voltchanskaya
Florist: Vasette – so open to something different and executed our brief exactly!
Hair: Boda Salon
Make-up: Jack Cail
The Dress: Tania Stokes of D’Italia Couture
Shoes: Nine West
Rings: Black Finch
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Dion Lee
Groomsmen’s suits: Peter Jackson
Bow ties / ties: T M Lewin
Catering and bar: The Big Group
Favours: Little bottles of Hendricks
Cake / Cake topper: Emelia Jackson – our cake was old world romantic, and completely amazing!
Entertainment: DJ – One More Song