Real Wedding – Laura & James, Southbank VIC 
Real Wedding – Laura & James, Southbank VIC 
Real Wedding – Laura & James, Southbank VIC 
Real Wedding – Laura & James, Southbank VIC 

Real Wedding – Laura & James, Southbank VIC 


From their elaborate proposal involving a custom graffiti mural to planning the details of their dream day, Laura and James embraced their theme of go big or go home with unmistakable style!

Stylists and florists Styled by Varu centred their design around sleek ebony geometric pieces, contrasted with soft, cloud-like florals and ornately embellished golden chandeliers. From electric violet to gauzy lavender, pops of purple blossom created a seamless confluence across the design.

As the ceremony unfolded, guests shaded themselves under bright white parasols, while the wedding party was a timeless treat in classic black and white.

Our favourite moment was James’ face as he saw his vision of a bride stepping down the aisle towards him. Laura’s talented mother created her stunning showstopper gown, a dream of intense glamour and bounteous beauty in layer upon layer of soft tulle. These two make for one gorgeous couple, and super-talent Alex of Motta Photography captured every achingly exquisite moment.



The meeting.

We met in 2012; Laura attended one of James’s footy games and picked him out from the team. The rest is history!


The ‘one’.

We knew very quickly (within weeks) that we were right for each other; our relationship felt easy, genuine and fun.


The proposal.

James had an elaborate plan to lure Laura down an inner-city alleyway; he had the walls professionally spray-painted by an artist with the words ‘Laura will you marry me?’ while Etta James played softly in the background. That night we jetted off to Bali!


Planning process.

We were incredibly lucky to be able to have our wedding on our original date as planned, despite so much uncertainty surrounding Covid. We had a great network helping us with important wedding decisions, a special mention to our incredible stylist/planner/therapist Lucy from Styled By Varu, whose knowledge and expertise was invaluable during this time.


Style inspiration. 

We wanted our day to be beautiful, modern and uniquely us while being as much fun as possible for our guests.


The ceremony.

Having James’s brother as our celebrant made the ceremony feel so personal, and having a very familiar face standing with us took a bit of the edge off as well!


The look. 

Laura’s mother is a very talented dressmaker, so she was lucky enough to have a custom gown created just for her –  the approach was go big or go home! To contrast against Laura’s bright white fluffy gown, James wore a sharp, all-black three-piece suit which was the perfect choice.


Favourite moments.

Seeing each other walking down the aisle after all the emotional build-up was very special. Another favourite moment was sitting at the bridal table under our floral pergola, watching our guests have just as much fun as us!


Meaning of marriage.

Getting married meant having a big party with our closest friends and family, but being married has not changed us.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: If I Aint Got You by Alicia Keys

Reception entry: Bonnie & Clyde by Beyonce & Jay Z

First dance: My All by Mariah Carey


Funny stories or near disasters.

A global pandemic? Does that count!


Planning surprises.

How much fun it was!


Words of wisdom.

Trust the experts in the industry.




Does a luxe celebration with all the lavish details sound like your style of soiree? Check out some of our favourite elegantly elaborate real weddings, over on the blog. These deserve a sweet glass of bubbles and a long scrolling sesh!



Ceremony & reception venue: Crown Aviary. Linley at Crown was so easy to deal with and helped us so much.

Celebrant: James’s Brother, Clint Pappas

Photography: Alex Motta, Motta Weddings. I could not recommend him enough!

Videography: Luca Zarik had the best vibe on the day.

Styling: Styled By Varu, Lucy made the whole experience so easy and enjoyable, an absolute must when planning your big day!

Florist: Flowers By Varu made our floral dreams a reality!

Hair: Harlen Hair

Make-up: Stephanie J Make-up

The dress and veil: Handmade by Linda Bateman

Shoes: The Iconic

Rings: Maison Du Ciel

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Bec + Bridge

Groomsmen’s suits and bow ties: Trevino Menswear

Catering & bar: Crown Melbourne

Favours, décor, cake & stationery: Styled By Varu

Entertainment: Dj Eddie Berko,  Belle & Co (Rutherford Entertainment)

Honeymoon: A mini-moon across Victoria!

Places visited: Brae RestaurantHotel Bellinzona, The Cellars at Heathcote II, Lancemore Milawa, Peninsula Hot Springs

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