Real wedding – Louise & Yianni, Melbourne VIC
Louise and Yianni’s advice to couples planning a wedding is to embrace the unconventional and approach the day with an open mind. After planning their wedding for two years with COVID ever present, they decided to split their wedding celebrations into two events. For them, this led to an incredibly epic celebrations and part two of their wedding is filled with lavish detailing, themed around opulent contemporary design and a truly unique style.
Clean lines, geometric shapes, florals unexpected shades and texture and layered modern lighting set the tone for this immersive party. Louise and Yianni created an experience for their guests, leading them into a vivid dream of loved-up, luxe vibes, leaving the world outside behind.
We loved these two stunners’ approach, to theme their day according to both their personalities, avoiding the conventional and super feminine. Instead, they looked to their own architectural and design preferences to create their super stunning, unique celebration.
Louise sums up the emotions of the day, all so evident in every shot by Siempre Weddings, when she says that planning a wedding during a pandemic made them realise that marriage is a privilege and a blessing. Celebrating in such superstar style, it is evident these two made every incredible moment of their wedding celebration worth the wait.
My husband and I met over 7.5 years ago, whilst at out at a bar. We shared quite a number of mutual friends. At this time we all used to go out to the same bar most weekends, so you would always see the same similar faces. I noticed him a couple of times but he seemed like that charming type that I felt like a lot of girls would have been drawn to. I knew that because I was one of them, so I didn’t give him much time of day and I was quick to judge him at the start. He initiated a conversation with me and I was drawn to his persona, his intelligence and his charm. I just remember him being so attentive to me and our conversation and it was as if nobody else was around.
I knew I was going to fall for him after our first date, it was magnetic. I remember leaving the date and thinking to myself, oh boy, this guy is so perfect. I was in denial because I didn’t want to fall too fast, so I wanted to keep my guard up – but luckily, he felt the exact same about me and my walls immediately came down. We both fell straight away. We’ve loved unconditionally from the first day and that’s what makes our love story so special.
The proposal was so incredibly special. We went to Port Douglas in December 2019 for an end of year break and he proposed at the resort we were staying at. He planned an entire mock-up dinner at one of the restaurants, but little did I know that he had booked out the entire restaurant on the other side of the resort and had a candle-lit path onto the alfresco area where he would be waiting for me to pop the question. He went to the bathroom at the first restaurant, and then a waiter came and got me, and asked if it would be OK if they took some photos of my partner and me for the resort website. I didn’t really think much of it, because they said Yianni had agreed to it in passing to the bathroom. I got out of my seat and followed the waiter to the other restaurant. When I saw Yianni waiting for me at the end of the balcony area in front of the water, my heart dropped to the floor. I wasn’t expecting it at all and it was the most beautiful and emotional surprise.
The planning process.
We have been planning our wedding for two years, all thanks to COVID delaying it time and time again. So, we decided to have a Part One wedding on 11.11.21 and save our main wedding party for 16.01.22.
All this planning and build-up was worth the wait because 16.01 (Part Two) was the best day ever. All our guests were incredibly excited to finally be able to celebrate the day with us, after knowing we had gone through five postponements. Between our suppliers and our guests, we continue to be told it was the best wedding ever, so this definitely made it all worth the stress and ups and downs.
From my gown to my reception styling, I wanted to approach the big day with a contemporary flair, to break the boundaries and set a new trend for future couples. We worked closely with Amica Event Hire to create a truly unique and modern concept for the reception styling, going deep into every inch of detail to ensure we created an experience for all our guests. That was our goal. We wanted our guests to arrive and forget about the outside world. We wanted our wedding to be a night that we wouldn’t forget, and with meticulous planning with Amica and a perfectly refined run sheet, we truly created a journey for our guests from the moment they walked through our entry archways to the very end of the evening.
The journey through our floral custom entry arches opened up to our main dance floor which featured a bar on one side and our entertainment / DJ on the other. This then lead down to a second runway where our cake was featured and a grand staircase that led up to our spectacular, elevated bridal table.
Our inspiration for the reception styling was truly a reflection of both my and Yianni’s personal style and interests. We both love modern architecture and interior styling, so we wanted our reception to reflect both our personal styles and incorporate modern elements of design (clean lines, geometric shapes, textured cladding and LED strip lights), which are things we love to see in modern homes/architecture. I wanted to ensure that the wedding wasn’t ultra-feminine and that it was a celebration of both Yianni and me – who we are and what we love together as a couple, not just what I might like as a bride. Our goal for the reception was to have everyone up and dancing the whole night! We decided to create a custom bar in the centre of the dance floor opposite our DJ to create more of a party atmosphere for guests. This definitely helped keep the atmosphere buzzing all night.
I never really looked to past weddings for much inspiration when it came to my wedding dress. As strange as it sounds, I don’t like wedding dresses and I explained this to J’Aton in my first meeting. We came up with the concept together based on features and silhouettes I knew I loved and suited my frame and we determined how we could do this in a way that would still be deemed bridal, as I still wanted to look like a bride!
In terms of reception styling inspiration, Amica and I came up with the concept together too. We took some inspiration from international events and also a lot from home styling/architecture, as I wanted the wedding reception styling to be modern and architectural.
We had a Part One and a Part Two wedding, which I now see was very special and unique to our wedding. We had an intimate Catholic cathedral ceremony for Part One with only 11 guests, due to COVID, and a beautiful Orthodox Ceremony for Part Two with all our family and friends. It was beautiful doing it this way as we got to embrace both cultures and traditions. I can’t imagine doing it any other way now.
Part One was so special because it was just “for us”. I walked down the aisle and all I could see was Yianni waiting for me. There was no noise and distractions and it was so special and intimate.
Part Two was so special because we got to celebrate with the people we love, and we got to experience some of the beautiful Greek traditions in their ceremony that we didn’t otherwise.
Part One – I wore a stunning gown by Serbian Designer Mihano Mimosa.
Part Two – I had two gowns! My main gown and a party piece for later in the evening, both by J’aton Couture.
Early on in my wedding planning stages, I knew that I wasn’t a conventional bride, in that a traditional wedding dress wouldn’t suit me. I chose J’Aton for this very reason, I knew that they would understand my personal style and vision to be a modern bride, and they appreciated that I wanted to step outside of the box and create a wedding gown that was not just a dress, but more so a piece of art, both modern and sculptural in form. As a designer myself, we shared ideas and were able to work together closely to create a contemporary gown that complemented both our own signature styles and came together to create something incredible and totally unique.
Our entrance into the reception was a highlight for us! We had worked closely with our entertainment to create a dynamic entry performance that began with the traditional greek bouzouki, together with the Lebanese drums and they fused into an English track – Despascito. This, together with incredible pyrotechnics, all came together to really set the party tone for the rest of the night. It definitely got all our guests excited!
Meaning of marriage.
Pre-Covid – Marriage is about making a forever commitment to someone you love.
Post-Covid – Marriage is an absolute privilege and blessing. It’s something we had to fight for and something we appreciate so much more now given our experience. We honestly feel so blessed to have the right to be husband and wife. We value each other so much more now, and we have become stronger as a couple.
Reception entry – Despascito (Our own cover – incorporating the Bouzouki, drums and DJ Perri Lee)
First dance – The Line by DVSN
When we got engaged initially, we just thought it would be a normal wedding planning process. Then COVID came along three months later and everything changed! The entire process took me by surprise and forced me to navigate and plan in a different way. I don’t think anyone who isn’t a Covid bride will ever truly understand how difficult it is to plan a wedding during a pandemic. It’s a unique story to tell in future and in a way now, I’m grateful for all the ups and downs as it certainly made us appreciate the blessing of marriage so much more than we originally would have.
Words of wisdom.
I truly hope my wedding journey has inspired other brides to take a more unique approach when planning their day and know that is it OK when things don’t go as planned. Never in a million years did I think we would have two wedding days, but it was the best decision of our lives and gave us the opportunity to celebrate both cultures and experience both sides of an intimate wedding of 11 guests versus a big wedding with 240 guests.
Part One allowed us to truly embrace every sentimental moment of what it means to have the blessing of marriage and witness this with our immediate family and enjoy an intimate dinner to celebrate.
Part Two allowed us to officiate our marriage in the Orthodox Church so that both cultures recognise our marriage, and have a massive celebration with all our family and friends there to witness and enjoy with us.
In these times, there is never a right or wrong way to do things and we now have the most unique and memorable wedding experience that many people can’t say they have experienced. I would recommend that brides let go of the norm and just roll with things, however they pan out! Most importantly, aside from all the glitz and glam of a wedding, my advice is to always focus on what matters most, which is marrying the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, even if that means doing so in a non-conventional way. Ensure your wedding is a celebration of both you and your partner, and make sure you approach all planning with an open mind.
Louise and Yianni’s vibrant styling was brought to life through their epic floral installations. If you’re on the lookout for floral artists, we have some absolute superstars on our directory, here.
LOUISE & YIANNI’S VENDORS
Ceremony: St John’s Greek Orthodox Church – Lygon St Carlton
Reception: Crown Palladium
Reception MC: Dean Sindoni
Photography: Siempre Weddings
Videography: C2 FILMS
Styling & decor: Amica Event Hire
Florist: Poppy Culture HQ
Make-up: Dom Mitro MUA
The dress & headwear: J’Aton Couture
Shoes: Rene Caovilla
Rings: Top Image Jewellery
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Custom by me! (Eliya The Label)
Flowergirl dress: Gio Bespoke
Bow ties / ties: Louis Vuitton
Bridal morning catering: Olive and Thyme
Bridal Robes: Amanda Barden
Bar: Custom Bar by Amica Event Hire
Cake: Nobody Hates Cake
Pyrotechnics: Sparked Events
Stationery / Signage: The Design Planner