Real Wedding – Laura & Matthew, Richmond VIC
Real Wedding – Laura & Matthew, Richmond VIC
Real Wedding – Laura & Matthew, Richmond VIC
Real Wedding – Laura & Matthew, Richmond VIC

Real Wedding – Laura & Matthew, Richmond VIC

Laura and Matthew envisioned timeless glam with a contemporary twist for their inner Melbourne soiree. After choosing the striking venue, Butler Lane, to host their celebrations, inspiration unfolded naturally and led them to their theming ethos of an urban garden party.

A harmonious juxtaposition of industrial chic and classic elegance was realised to perfection in the calm, capable hands of planner extraordinaire Claire Bucklow of Black Finn. As the newlyweds describe it, choosing to engage Claire meant their experience was ease-filled and exciting, and the result was a day they could effortlessly enjoy.

Against a beautiful backdrop of expansive ivy, the ever-wonderful Jo Betz led the couple in a ceremony filled with light-hearted love and perfectly personal moments. Bridesmaids in soft vanilla allowed accents of cornflower, cobalt and lilac pop, while textural layers of ivory blooms and soft linen coalesced to create aesthetic magic.

We love a portrait session set in a dynamic streetscape and photographer I Got You Babe maximises the setting to create a sweet set of frames. Scroll on to see the magic unfold throughout the stylish soiree.

The meeting.

We met for the first time in April 2015 through my best friend, Barbara, at The Royal Saxon in Richmond. We dated on and off for some time, and in 2017, Matthew took me glamping on the top of Melbourne Central and officially asked me to be his girlfriend. From then on, we have been together.


The ‘one’.

Laura: I don’t think there wasn’t a specific moment. It was a gradual process where he became the person I wanted to share big moments with. I do remember us sitting in a cafe at Chadstone during the early stages of our relationship, and he asked me if he could spend Christmas with my family in Coffs Harbour. At that moment, I felt something stir inside of me.

Matthew: While shopping at Ikea, I felt flustered and needed water as I thought I would pass out. The line at the cafeteria was too long, and I couldn’t wait. But then, to my surprise, Laura pulled out a $2 coin, and she got me a bottle of water from the vending machine. It was like magic! She is magic.


The proposal.

The day Matthew proposed was full of romantic surprises, as usual for him. We had plans to go to his family’s beach house in Safety Beach for the weekend. However, when we left our house, we drove towards the city. I was suspicious, but he convinced me he needed to pick up his computer from work. We ended up at an Airbnb in Collingwood, which he had arranged for the weekend. Even then, I had no idea that he would propose to me. That night, we went to Cutler & Co. for dinner. After a few glasses of wine, he got on one knee in a nearly empty restaurant. My initial reaction was profanity, followed by, “Omg, you’re not, are you…?” It was a perfect evening, and we spent the rest of the weekend in Melbourne, drinking and eating at our favourite restaurants.


Planning process.

In the weeks leading up to our wedding day, one of our close family members was in hospital, and we were simultaneously planning to move to London. We didn’t have the mental capacity to take on the task of planning a wedding in addition to everything else we had going on. Fortunately, we found Claire, an amazing wedding planner, and instantly connected with her. Planning our wedding with her was an enjoyable experience. We set the tone for the day, and Claire seamlessly pulled all the moving parts together. Claire provided us with two or three supplier options, and we chose the one that fit our budget. The best part of the wedding planning process was the styling meeting, where we discussed the colour scheme, flower arrangements, and decor elements.


Style inspiration. 

We liked the idea of an urban garden party. The venue, Butler Lane, was our inspiration. We originally wanted a small wedding with immediate family and close friends. However, our guest list grew from 40 to 89 after Claire introduced us to Butler Lane. We loved its vast courtyard and ivy-covered walls. Since we both shared similar tastes, we were drawn to the industrial vibes. The space was decorated with neutral-coloured linens and large drapes hanging from the ceilings to add a romantic touch. It was a nice contrast.

During the early stages of planning our wedding, I spent a lot of time scrolling through wedding blogs such as Ivory Tribe and The Lane and browsing countless images on Pinterest. The most helpful tool we used was a spreadsheet created by our wedding planner, Claire. It included our budget, guest list, a to-do list with status notes and assigned responsibilities, planning and day-of timelines, supplier directory and contact list, seating chart, song selection, and more. We would have been lost without it.


The ceremony.

Our wedding ceremony was relaxed and reflected our personalities perfectly. As someone not fond of being the centre of attention, it was daunting to stand before our closest friends and family and expose our vulnerability. Our celebrant, Jo Betz, created a calming atmosphere for us. She held the microphone as we were both trembling and sweating profusely. We included a special moment at the beginning of the ceremony, which we will always cherish. Before our vows, Jo asked us to turn and face our loved ones in the audience and take a few moments to absorb the experience. This allowed us to take a deep breath and truly feel the love and happiness in the air. I highly recommend this to anyone.


The look. 

I already knew in my heart that I would wear a Georgia Young dress on my wedding day. Even before getting engaged, I had followed her on Instagram for several years and was drawn to her modern and romantic style. I fell in love with two dresses by Georgia Young and decided at my second appointment to go with the Butter dress. My partner, Matthew, had his heart set on a velvet tuxedo, but we couldn’t find one we both loved in stores. We decided to get it custom-made by InStitchu.


Favourite moments.

We had a champagne tower that ended up turning into a champagne shower. Lilli from I Got You Babe Photography captured a great picture of Matthew showering our guests with champagne. After that, we both grabbed a bottle of champagne and started drinking straight from it. Our guests cheered us on, and it was a hilarious moment. Right after the champagne tower, we had our DJ play Young Hearts Run Free; everyone grabbed a glass and started dancing. It set the tone for the rest of the evening before we sat down to eat. We wanted our wedding to feel like more of a party.


Meaning of marriage.

Marriage is a commitment to support each other through life’s ups and downs. It’s a promise to prioritise each other’s happiness and to be there for each other through all of life’s curveballs and bumps in the road. It is about embarking on a new adventure together and accepting the challenge of whatever lies ahead.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle song: Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen (Covered by Just Me Plus One)

Reception entry: Got To Be Real by Cheryl Lynn

First dance: So Into You (Darkchild Main Version) by Jac Ross, D-Nice

Father / daughter dance: Never Tear Us Apart by Smith & Myers

Last dance: Treat You Better by RÜFüS DU SOL


Funny stories or near disasters.

On our wedding day, the weather was not on our side. It rained in the morning, and I was very stressed as I watched the rain out of the window while getting my hair and make-up done. Luckily, the weather cleared up in the evening, and it turned out to be a beautiful and refreshing night.

As someone who is quite particular about cleanliness, I wanted to make sure that the kitchen was spotless in the morning. I knew that it was where we would be taking some photos. As I was cleaning the stove with stainless steel cleaner, I accidentally got some on my elbow. Later, while I was upstairs laying my dress out, I accidentally got some on my dress. In a panic, I called my bridesmaids for help, and thankfully, we were able to remove it with baby wipes and a little bit of fabric cleaner. One piece of advice is to ask your dress designer what you should use to clean your dress if something spills on it. They are the best person to ask.


Planning surprises.

It was surprising to discover that there was quite a big gap between locking in the main suppliers, such as the venue, entertainment and photographer, and finalising the styling elements. There was a lull of a couple of months during which we didn’t plan anything, and Claire reassured us that we didn’t need to start locking in anything else until a few months / weeks before.


Words of wisdom.

Matthew and I wanted to enjoy the process without feeling overwhelmed. That’s why we decided to get a planner. It helped us to stay organised and enjoy the lead-up to our wedding day as much as the day itself. Secondly, respect your family’s wishes, but it’s also important to remember that they are not the ones getting married.

I suggest unfollowing everything on social media after deciding on important wedding elements (venues, dress, etc.), to avoid confusion and second-guessing decisions.



Who could be more of an expert on how the wedding process feels than a newlywed couple who have just experienced it all? We’ve turned to some of our recent real wedding couples to collect the pieces of advice they’d give to their pre-planning selves. And heads up, these tips are wedding planning gold!




My first “real” job after university was with a well-known Melbourne couture wedding dress designer. Through this job, I was exposed to some of the suppliers we used on our wedding day seven years later. The second component to finding our vendors was meeting Claire from Black Finn Weddings. Claire really understood our vision for the day and introduced us to suppliers that shared a similar aesthetic. I discovered Black Finn Weddings on Instagram. What drew us to Claire was her minimal yet timeless design eye. When we first met with her over coffee, she exuded a cool, calm, and collected nature, and we knew we had found the right person to help us plan our special day.

Ceremony & reception venue: Butler Lane

Celebrant: Jo Betz

Photography: Lilli Waters from I Got You Babe. Lilli did an amazing job as our photographer. We were quite nervous about being photographed and also didn’t want to waste too much time taking pictures. Lilli managed to capture the most beautiful candid moments without us even realising she was there. She was very professional and helped us stay calm and on schedule. We are absolutely in love with our wedding photos!

Planning & Styling: Claire Bucklow from Black Finn Weddings and Events

Florist: Natures Beauty Florist

Hair: Blow Waves by Kristina

Make-up: Marie Poulos

The dress: Georgia Young Couture

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

Rings: Temelli Jewellery Melbourne

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Boohoo (online)

Suits: InStitchu and Hugo Boss

Bow ties / ties: Tom Ford and M.J. Bale

Catering & bar: Peter Rowland

Cake / Cake topper: Miss Ladybird Cakes

Stationery / Signage: Studio Bare

Entertainment: Just Me Plus One (acoustic for the ceremony) and Mark Pellegrini (DJ)

Décor: The Small Things Co

Hire: Social Event Hire (Furniture), Table Art Event Hire (Linen)

Honeymoon: We went to Ibiza, Lake Como, Mykonos and Paros for our honeymoon in September 2023

Champagne tower: Miss Fizz

Ceiling draping: Technical Events

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