Real Wedding – Melanie & Grant, Jan Juc VIC
After a romantic engagement in the city that never sleeps, Melanie and Grant slowly commenced their wedding planning. However the further they got into it, the more overwhelmed the couple began to feel.
Perched above Bell’s Beach on a beautiful, sunny day – the pair decided that an intimate elopement would be the perfect beginning to their happily ever after.
And so it was on the glorious Great Ocean Road just a couple of weeks later that Melanie and Grant wed – inspired by their beloved New York City, and truly, beautifully in love.
It’s Beautiful Here have captured it perfectly.
IN MELANIE AND GRANT’S WORDS…
I had met Grant randomly one night out and we had a passing conversation. What I liked about him was that he was a gentleman – just a friendly guy wanting to chat. It was just a couple of minutes, but he had made an impression. We met officially a couple of weeks later when we were both being wing woman and man for our friends of ours. That night I somehow managed to slip over in new shoes in front of Grant and my friends – he always claims that he really swept me off my feet!
We do not have profound answers as to any specific instant, but over the course of time, as we got to know each other more and work out how our lives intertwined – we knew from there.
It took place in New York, on our first overseas trip together. Grant picked Strawberry Fields in Central Park because he knew of my love of the Beatles and John Lennon. When we arrived at the ‘Imagine Circle’ Grant was going to propose, but decided not to upon seeing a lot of people around. So we wandered about and Grant stalled until the crowds had dispersed a little. After taking a seat in the park due to sore feet, Grant called me over to take in an awesome view of the Dakota building through the trees. I walked over, staring quizzically at the supposedly great view but seeing nothing – after a couple of minutes of trying to figure out just where Grant had meant and randomly taking photos, I heard my name for the first time, but apparently the tenth to Grant. He was down on bended knee and said some beautiful words that we both cannot remember. In my shock and amazement of what was going on I said “sure!”. Our celebrant Shannon cleverly incorporated this moment into our ceremony.
Pretty busy but relaxed at the same time – true to our life in general. We had been engaged so long and had so many different ideas and wanted to accommodate as many people that it just become too big for us. We had put too much pressure on ourselves and were getting nowhere. At Easter, we were sitting down at one of our favourite places in Bells Beach watching the Rip Curl Pro and we both had the epiphany that we should just elope with close family. The anniversary of our engagement was one month later so it seemed perfect. All the suppliers were so accommodating and no one was fazed when we said we were getting married in a couple of weeks.
We love to travel and of course New York and Strawberry Fields and that was a big inspiration. As was family, being both of Scottish heritage, we really wanted to honour this and honour the family that had not been able to attend, especially my Grandpa. The beach has been our common bond from the start, so having our ceremony at Bells Beach was so fitting and very much reflects our laid back ways. The team of Botanics Melbourne were incredible with my flowers – all I said was I wanted a New York/Scottish theme and they were able to come up with the most beautiful assortment – it was everything I have ever dreamed of.
I had in my head ‘boho’ wedding dresses when I first tried some on, only to fall in love with a simple and elegant dress befitting of NYC. Sue Kitson was able to masterfully create a dress that was similar with a few modifications within the space of two weeks. The dress is of the utmost quality as well.
Grant said seeing me walk down the aisle. Mine was also seeing Grant looking so happy when I first saw him with the Scottish bagpipes playing in the background. It was also such a thrill having my Aunty and Cousin from Queensland surprise us and turn up on the day. It made me smile so much. Having them there, along with our family and extended family was beyond special.
Something old (penny), something new (dress/earrings) , something borrowed (Grandpa’s ring), something blue (shoes).
Meaning of marriage.
Grant – everything.
Melanie – about navigating adventures in everyday life together and not alone.
All the following songs were played during our ceremony. Outlander main theme (Over the sea to Skye) – Bear McCreary; New York, New York – Frank Sinatra; Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles. We did not have specific songs after this, as it was just a mixed iPod deck of our favourite tunes.
Funny stories and near disasters.
As we decided to be married quite quickly and with everything going on we actually missed out on lodging our Notice of Intended Marriage! Shannon, our celebrant, was so good with us and we worked with her to then have the wedding as an unofficial ceremony, and we then had an official ceremony whilst on our big trip in Central Park, NYC. It was the bookending of our story.
Also, all the rain that occurred in the days and hours leading up to the day. When I checked in at RACV resort in Torquay all the staff at reception had met Grant and had been checking the rain radar for us so they were giving me updates on their own accord leading up to the event.
How easy it was to organise in a couple of weeks albeit on a Monday. Everything fell into place and the end result exceeded our imagination of what the day would be like.
Words of wisdom.
Don’t overthink it and go with what you know in your heart is what you want without getting weighed down by expectation.
MELANIE AND GRANT’S TRIBE…
Ceremony location: Birdrock Lookout, Jan Juc.
Reception venue: Growlers, Torquay – the owners and the staff at Growlers who provided us the best night we could have ever hoped for with food that was plentiful and had all the guests raving about how delicious it all was. They closed the restaurant for us and let us put up fairy lights and move seating around. They were so cruisy and accommodating we could not have picked a better place.
Celebrant/Officiant: Cloud9 Celebrations – Shannon our celebrant was so amazing and without her the day would not have happened the way it did as she provided us with so many tips and was willing to help out a very haphazard couple make their day wonderful.
Photography: It’s Beautiful Here – Kat from It’s Beautiful Here was so wonderful and friendly and took the most amazing photos and made us look more glamorous than we could have ever thought.
Florist: Botanics of Melbourne – The team at Botanics were so brilliant and as I mentioned before total visionaries with lovely flowers.
Hair and Make Up: Hair by Amber White and Makeup by TP Makeup Artistry – Tuula and Amber who did my hair and makeup and did so with very little guidance and made me beyond what I had ever have dreamed, I will always want to use their services for events they are so clever.
The Dress: Custom creation by Susanne Kitson Bridal
Shawl: House of Scotland
Veil / head wear: Anna Campbell
Jewellery: Samantha Wills
Shoes: Miss KG
Rings: Our grandfather’s rings (both passed away but we wanted them to be a part of our day). Engagement ring Christi Sothers New York City
Grooms suit: Anthony Thomas
Grooms Shoes: Windsor Smith
Bow ties / ties: Anthony Thomas
Favors: Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm – with Imagine Circle on top of the jar representing Strawberry Fields
Cake: Miranda Jane Cakes
Transport: Coastal Kombis -Matt at Coastal Kombis went above and beyond for us taking photos, providing lollies, giving us locations for the photos and providing a wonderful experience for us.
Honeymoon: Around the World