Real Wedding – Lizzy & Matt, Lancefield VIC
Fun and fabulous was the theme for Lizzy and Matt’s wedding weekend bash, and every moment met the brief!
From their cooler-than-cool sundown portrait shots, adorned with 60s glam glasses and gorgeous grins, to a spontaneous dance-off with their bride tribe, star photographer Jess Nicholls captured every epic element.
We loved that Lizzy and Matt’s version of fabulous included spectacular splashes of glamour. Matt wore a slick white suit, taking groom styling up a notch, while Lizzy’s gorgeous Jane Hill gown was made even more striking with her embellished veil. Add in a smattering of vivid florals in neon pink and crimson tones, and the result is a stunning success of fun and flair.
The beautiful bash continued into the early hours of the morning, with the dance floor heaving in the hands of tune masters The White Tree.
Get scrolling to soak up every fun-filled moment!
We both studied osteopathy at uni. I was two years above Matt, so we didn’t really know each other until towards the end of the course. We really met when Matt started joining me on ‘Friday Night Fun Ones’ which was where the Friday night student clinic shift would go out partying in the city.
This wasn’t actually Matt’s clinic shift, but for some reason, he kept showing up.
It was probably after our stint living in London. We survived travelling and living with each other for two years and had so many amazing shared experiences; living on a shoestring, backpacking, European festivals. We realized what we really love about each other and that whatever we’re doing, we prefer to do it together.
We were down on the Mornington Peninsula for our ten-year anniversary. We’ve spent plenty of time down there and always love to go for a walk and get a coffee in the morning.
The weather was horrible, but it had cleared just enough. We got our coffee and the paper because we always love to do the quiz together. Matt suggested sitting down by the foreshore to drink our coffee and do the quiz. We were horrible; I think we only got about two questions right but, when we got to the last question, Matt looked at me and said: “I think you’re gonna get this one”! I said “yes”, and we celebrated with a divine lunch at Port Phillip Estate!
Some wise words from a friend when we got engaged were, “Don’t let anyone tell you that organizing a wedding isn’t fun. It should be fun and so many people around you are so excited to help.” We decided that we weren’t going to let organizing our wedding be a chore, and to be honest, we really enjoyed it.
We had a few weekends away in gorgeous regions of Victoria (Mornington Peninsula, Bellarine, Rutherglen and Macedon Ranges) to find our venue. We decided on a theme of ‘fun and fabulous’ which meant that was our focus. If it didn’t help create a fun and fabulous day, it wasn’t a top priority for us.
We had nine months between getting engaged and married, which isn’t a whole lot of time, so we organized most things fairly quickly and then tried to have some down time before coming back to the finer details.
Our guest list was by far the most challenging aspect of our wedding. We (especially Liz!) have a large extended family and are super fortunate to be part of some large and long-term friendship groups. Unfortunately, we couldn’t invite our whole world, but there was not too much space left on the dance floor!
We have been to thirty-five weddings together (!!), and each wedding has been special and different. We knew our favourite weddings were often those with a destination, either regional Victoria or overseas, where your guests are committed to the party, and you can have a couple of days to enjoy the celebration. So that was our goal – to have a Wedding Weekend. We were super lucky to score the long weekend in March too!
For a ‘fun and fabulous’ theme, we actually ended up in pretty formal attire. Liz tried on a few different dress styles and quickly realized a stark white was the way for her. Matt thinks he’s his “best self” in a black suit, but the white jacket and black patent shoes were really striking. We ended up with a touch of Hollywood glamour which was offset by our bright and unstructured flowers.
Liz: I had two outfits! I really wanted a two-piece for my wedding but ended up with something totally different. I actually got my dress on sale – winner!
My bridesmaid, who was also engaged, and I headed to a Jane Hill trunk sale to try on a range of styles. I tried the dress on and loved the modern pearl detail.
It is a super white v-neck, low-back, figure-hugging, pearl-lined dress. A lot more classic than I anticipated and the material didn’t allow for a bustle, so for dancing I needed to be able to move.
My mum’s friend custom made a skirt and top for me. I am ever thankful for her hunting down pleated chiffon and creating a fun outfit for the end of the night.
My veil was a later addition, and it was epic. It was long and fun and totally fabulous.
Matt: We got a recommendation to a suit man in the city, Rick from V&J Menswear. He does things a little differently.
The first appointment involved him questioning us on our wedding style, learning about Matt and his personality, and also asking to see my dress so that he could provide the perfect suit. When Matt said that his personality was “pretty laidback”, Rick quickly replied, “Laidback is good, I love people who are laidback, but let me just tell you, too laidback will NOT work with her dress!” And that was that, all of a sudden Matt was in a gorgeous white suit jacket, black bow-tie and patent black leather shoes. So sharp.
Rick was amazing; he really made buying a wedding suit about the groom, and no-one else. Our groomsmen and father of the bride also got their suits from Rick.
Our ceremony was incredibly special to us. The tall hedge-lined garden was filled with our people, we wrote our own vows, and I just remember looking out across to all our guests and really taking that moment in.
A special mention should also go out to our speeches, a flash-mob organized by my sister, and an epic dance floor!
Meaning of marriage.
We have been together for 11 years now, and the decision to get married was one we pondered individually and together for a long time.
We definitely don’t believe couples need to be married or in a lot of the old-fashioned rituals and views of the tradition. We have lived together, we’ve travelled, we’ve fought, we’ve cried, and we’ve always found that life was better by each other’s side. For us, we chose to get married to celebrate how much love and unity we continue to feel and to have a new level of commitment to one another.
But really… we got married to have a big party!
Aisle: You’re My Best Friend by Queen.
Recessional: Forever and Ever Amen by The Drums.
First dance: A medley of Slow Mover by Angie McMahon’s (my song for Matt because he moves SO slowly) and Valerie by Amy Winehouse.
Funny stories or near disasters.
We got married in early March 2020, just prior to covid-19 taking hold in Australia. However, one of the five bridesmaids’ dresses was stuck in a factory in China, and there was no way of knowing if the factory would open up. So, my sister ended up having to wear a different dress as it was the only dress they could find in her size in the chosen colour. It arrived four days before the wedding and needed alterations!
Our near disaster is being fortunate enough to get married on the 7th March 2020. This was just before the covid-19 virus really took hold in Australia. Literally, just before. If our wedding was the following weekend, we know we would have had some guests pull out with concerns. Two weeks later, we would have had to uninvite people due to guest restrictions. We have had some of our dear friends have to quickly rearrange or cancel their weddings, so we are pinching ourselves that we were so lucky.
How much we loved researching venues, taking weekends away and visiting wineries and estates around Victoria.
Words of wisdom.
Refer to each other as fiancé as often as you can. It’s a bloody special word, and you can only use it for a short period of time.
If you are writing you own vows, say what you would say to your spouse, imagining it is only you two alone and not for an audience.
Good bands make for a good dance floor.
Keen to take Lizzy and Matt’s lead, and make your wedding planning more fun and less fuss? We’ve put together some top tips from real couples to keep you kicking your wedding goals, whilst still keeping your cool.
LIZZY & MATT’S VENDORS
Ceremony & reception venue: The Secret Garden, Lancemore Macedon Ranges. Once we saw this space, we knew this was where we wanted to get married. They also have accommodation for guests on-site, which meant we could continue the party after hours and into the next day.
Celebrant: Tee Twiname – Marry Me Tee. Tee is warm, friendly and was great at organizing us. She clearly loves being a celebrant and helped make our ceremony unforgettable.
Photography: Jess Nicholls. We met Jess for a wine and found out we were all osteopaths, so instantly warmed to her. We loved her photos and her dry sense of humour.
Florist: Thistle Flower Studio. We have had so many comments about how gorgeous our flowers were. We wanted a pop of bright colours to bring to the Australian backdrop at our venue. Chloe also created a hanging chandelier installation which grabbed a lot of attention. Our guests then grabbed a lot of the flowers out to dance with at the end of the night!
Hair: RL Hair Styling. Rachel created the perfect short wavy blonde style I was hoping for.
Make-up: Courtney Slevison Make-up. Courtney is the very talented sister of one of our bridesmaids, Monique. She lives in London, but we managed to entice her to come out to do our make-up for the wedding! Her makeup was beautiful and natural.
Jane Hill, the great thing about being tall is the length was perfect too! https://www.janehill.com.au/
Reception outfit: Made by my mum’s talented friend, Debra Moore.
Veil: Oleg Cassini. If I could reasonably wear a veil to anywhere ever again, I would!
Shoes: Bared. Gold glitter heels that were comfortable enough to wear until 3am!
Rings: Benjamin’s. A fourth-generation family business in Little Collins St in Melbourne with a lot of heart and history. We worked with them to custom design my ring. They actually made my Nana’s engagement ring too!
Bridesmaid’s dresses: I was one of those random lucky people who wins an Instagram competition! I won my bridesmaids dresses from Oleg Cassini.
Groomsmen’s suits and bow ties: V&J Menswear – Rick provides the ultimate Groom’s experience, and teaches you how to tuck in a shirt properly!
Cake: My lovely Aunty Trish made the most delicious wedding cake – a present we continue to eat small slices of over the following months.
Stationery / Signage: Our very creative friend, Alex, designed our invites, place cards, menus and signage. We loved them so much.
Entertainment: The White Tree, they created such a fun and modern dancefloor. Sally has great pipes! We should also mention here the FLASH MOB that Liz’s sister Maddy organized as half time entertainment.
Honeymoon: Our gorgeous little getaway was at Elements in Byron Bay.