Real Wedding – Luke & Emily, Albert Park VIC
For a day overflowing with effortless style, sweet emotion, and fabulous amounts of fun, Emily and Luke’s gorgeous gathering is all that and more.
Emily, an absolute vision of a radiant, loved-up bride, brought the perfect personal touch to the ceremony, wearing her Nana’s wedding gown. Our very own celebrant treasure Natalie Drum intensified the relaxed emotion in a ceremony filled with light-hearted love and joy-filled laughter. As Emily and Luke took a moment together to revel in their newlywed status, the natural effervesce and delight between them is a true treat, all captured with understated aesthetic genius by Tess Follett.
Inside, suspended florals in clouds of soft greenery, artfully cascading towards tablescapes with details in sweet moss, olive and sage against eggshell white linens. We love how florists and stylists Tori Allen Events completed the look with classic typography across crisply elegant signage and stationery.
As the night cooled down outside, the dance floor heated up to the epic tunes of Hey Jack. Oversized party poppers created a magic moment as Emily and Luke took each other for a spin, ending the celebration in truly superb style. To experience a soiree big on beauty and gorgeously giant in elated emotion, scroll on!
We first met at the Skinny Dog (we ended up buying a house on that street!). I was just back in Melbourne and reconnecting with old friends when he ‘accidentally’ interrupted me talking to a friend. After that, I can’t exactly remember what happened, but we have been together ever since.
We’re both not overly romantic people (we’re both actually very awkward and immature), but ever since we have met, we have felt like we clicked. Everything feels like it’s meant to be when we are with each other, and so we really can’t imagine our lives any other way.
Luke proposed to me in Byron Bay on a trip for my 30th birthday. He asked me if I wanted to go to the beach before dinner, which I thought was weird because he hates the beach. My friends then drove us to the lighthouse, and he was acting super nervous and awkward, so by that point, I knew something was happening – but I just let him do his thing. He also didn’t realise that going to the lighthouse at sunset wouldn’t exactly be private, so as soon as we got there, he freaked out, which made him act even more bizarrely.
I can’t remember what he said exactly because I could tell he was super nervous, which made me laugh the whole time. But it was really sweet! When I said yes, everyone around started cheering, and some randoms brought us a few Stone and Wood beers to drink. There also happened to be a professional photographer doing a couple shoot for someone else. My best friend who was there instantly grabbed him and asked him to take a snap, and he managed to get a great shot!
I am really not the best person to give advice on this, as both of us are very disorganised people. Once we narrowed down our guest list and our few really important factors, we started ticking things off one by one, but very slowly. With lockdowns and restrictions throughout the year, we also did this somewhat deliberately to a point so that if we had to reschedule, we had fewer people to maneuver around.
In terms of inspiration, real weddings on Ivory Tribe were the best for us as they provided realistic options for us around logistics and costs. Nothing on the blog seemed too far of a reach for us, which was exactly what we needed, nothing that was too grand and would be disappointing when it becomes apparent it isn’t going to work for whatever reason.
We wanted it to feel luxurious but also relaxed, rather than a formal event. If you know me, you know that I only ever wear black, so too much colour was never going to be an option. The subtle use of greens to tie in with the flowers was exactly what we were after to add a bit of flair to the day. We wanted to have a massive party for everyone, so making sure that we had things like a great dance floor (complete with giant party poppers) and a champagne tower rather than a cake were key for us.
This was actually really easy in the end. After I went to so many dress shops, I finally convinced my Nana to let me try and get her dress cleaned (she thought it was beyond repair). The cleaners at Syndall’s worked absolute magic, and the dress was almost exactly the same as it was when Nana wore it on her wedding day – we couldn’t believe it! The style was exactly what I was wanting, and apart from the top, it fitted perfectly, so it was meant to be! Nana’s reaction when she saw me in it was also a really special moment. The party dress was actually an impulse purchase that I only bought and had altered a week out (just before lockdown!).
Walking down the aisle with my Grandpa was something that I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember, so it was really special being able to do that while also seeing Luke’s face as I was walking towards him. The actual ceremony itself was also really magical; I remember a lot of laughs and intimate moments and looks between just the two of us even though we were in front of so many people.
Meaning of marriage.
Having a partner in crime for life, to go through any obstacles with while laughing and making things as fun as they can possibly be.
I walked down the aisle to Grow Old With You by Adam Sandler, which is actually the song in the last scene of The Wedding Singer. When you read the lyrics to it, it’s actually super sweet! And Adam Sandler is Luke’s all-time favourite actor, so we had to include him somehow.
Our reception entry was to You Make Loving Fun by Fleetwood Mac because we love the bass in it.
Our first dance was to Never Tear Us Apart by INXS, it was a song that we always said would be our wedding song, and we had an epic live saxophone solo for it.
Funny stories or near disasters.
Apart from potentially having to move everything, nothing really happened on the day from what I can remember. Everything honestly went so well, and felt really easy and relaxed throughout the day. I guess the one thing that was a near miss is when we almost dropped the bottle of champagne for the champagne tower after we popped the cork… luckily, I am a good catch!
The whole planning phase was a lot easier than we thought it would be! We were very disorganised, and now that we think about it, incredibly lucky with how some things fell into place with our vendors and availability. Everyone was great to deal with, and they all kept us on track with making sure things were arranged!
Words of wisdom.
Don’t plan a wedding during a pandemic?! In all honesty, make sure that you have worked out the one or two things that you don’t want to negotiate on (for me, it was having my Pa walk me down the aisle), and apart from those couple of things, just try not to sweat the small stuff. Make a point to identify those other things that aren’t your non-negotiables so that you already set that level of expectation rather than letting them overwhelm you. If you don’t put too much pressure on the other things that in the grand scheme of things won’t matter to you, then you won’t get too upset if those things don’t exactly go to plan.
There is no denying that a good playlist is essential for any party. So picking the perfect tunes for the biggest celebration of your life can feel like an overwhelming task! We’ve pulled together some top tips to ensure your dance floor is truly epic, whether your style is more YMCA or solid WAP.
LUKE & EMILY’S VENDORS
Ceremony & reception venue: Greenfields, Albert Park
Celebrant: Natalie Drum. Nat was an amazing guide for us and made sure that everything was organised for the ceremony (even making sure the groom actually wrote his vows!). Nat also continued to check in on us during the snap lockdown to make sure that we were feeling okay with everything and was the ever-present calming influence. Such a lovely soul who made the day feel really intimate and special.
Photography: Tess Follett, who is a deadset legend! We clicked with Tess straight away, and it honestly felt like we had known her for years. I am not sure if she remembers this, but we had organised almost nothing when we spoke to her (I actually woke Luke from a nap for our first video call), and she gave us the push we needed to actually get started! Having Tess there on the day felt really natural and easy. I don’t even remember her being around when I am looking at all of the photos! She captured the day perfectly and had a really relaxed vibe which was exactly what we wanted for the day. She managed to make two very awkward people look flawless, even if I do say so myself.
Videography: Josue Films. David was extremely supportive during the week leading up with all of the unknown (we even had a call at 11pm one night). On the big day, David and Tess made the ultimate dynamic duo. David brought heaps of fun to the day and was able to make what could have felt super awkward and posed feel really natural. We can’t wait to see all of the footage and his ‘in-between’ moments.
Styling & florist: Event design (florals, table setting, stationery) – Tori Allen Events. These guys were such a dream to work with and made everything so easy and straightforward for a very disorganised bride. The flowers and table setting looked absolutely stunning and were exactly how we wanted it all to look and feel!
Hair: Tonic Agency – Marlene Olsson
Make-up: Tonic Agency – Mae Taylor and Steph
Veil / headwear: Hair clips were from Kitte; the veil was borrowed from a close friend.
Rings: Custom made
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Fame and Partners
Groomsmen’s suits & bow ties: MJ Bale
Catering & bar: Greenfields
Cake: No cake, but we did have an epic champagne tower organised by Tori Allen Events!
Entertainment: Hey Jack!
Honeymoon: We had to postpone our Honeymoon to Byron to be later in the year (fingers crossed!), but managed to get away to Port Fairy for a few relaxing days at the Oak and Anchor Hotel.