Real Wedding – Melina & Lawrence, Yarra Glen VIC
We’ve noticed a common theme running through all our covid affected real weddings; that of days made sweeter and more meaningful given the challenges to get there. Lawrence and Melina, who had a day mini in guests but maxed out in feeling, were the embodiment of this.
Connection, warmth and joy were the overarching themes of this darling day. Surrounded by a small selection of friends and family and joined virtually by so many more, these two sweet runners said their I Do’s in the sun-drenched chapel at Zonzo Estate. A floral backdrop in hues of muted scarlet and vibrant apricot framed the cleanly geometric architecture.
Melina and Lawrence looked every inch the elegantly stylish pair, with Lawrence cutting a sharp silhouette in cool grey and charcoal. Melina’s Alca Line Bride gown from taste-makers Bluebell Bridal is a captivating composition of timeless styles, creating a look that is both contemporary and classically chic.
Finishing the day with an ice cream party will never be a wrong move in our book – scroll on to see each sweet moment as captured by Carla Antonia Photos.
Our story is a beautiful whirlwind; 362 days from our first coffee date to our wedding, lots of laughter, a pandemic and everything in between. Lawrence caught Melina’s eye on Bumble; they both swiped, she messaged, and he replied (which was a great start). Lawrence ditched the small talk pretty quickly and asked Melina out for coffee, and the story began.
There were lots of little moments rather than one defining one, but when you have to pinch yourself and can’t stop smiling after each date, you know you’re building something special.
Lawrence planned a day of surprises for Melina, including a brunch with friends, a manicure and pedicure, and a massage. A “driver” (Lawrence’s friend) picked Melina up and took her to a surprise location (Lawrence’s living room) that had been decorated with rose petals, candles and photos from our journey. Lawrence got down on one knee, and Melina said, “Of course!”.
We got engaged in June 2020 when life seemed to be returning to “normal” following lockdown. We set the date and booked our venue one week later, set up our Google drive and got planning (booked a photographer, ordered rings, made guest lists and felt quite proud about how we were nailing wedding planning). It seemed pretty easy until it wasn’t – a few weeks later, lockdown two came into play.
We took a break as we didn’t really know what we were planning, but after the pause (and with the support of our families), we decided we would go ahead with our original date, even if that meant a ceremony with two witnesses and our celebrant. We planned for a few different scenarios and ended up having a “piccolo” wedding with 18 of our nearest and dearest. Our vendors were so lovely and accommodating, and our friends and family so gracious.
Images and stories from real weddings were a great starting point in the planning process. Lots of scrolling!
Our ceremony was an expression of faith, family, friendship and fun. It was significant not only for us but for many of our vendors who were back doing what they love after a tough season. We felt so much joy from those who were in the room and those who were watching online and have watched it over again.
Melina: I squeezed in two dress appointments on the last day before lockdown two! My brief was classic but fun, and I was delighted to find the Darcy dress. After ordering the dress, I realised it incorporated different elements from my mum and both my grandmother’s wedding dresses, which was a beautiful coincidence.
Lawrence: I knew what look I wanted but had to wait for the shops to open due to stage four lockdown. I went shopping with my best man when the shops were back up and running (about three weeks before the wedding). We were expecting to spend a day shopping but ended up going to one shop (Politix Doncaster) and found everything we needed, including the shoes.
Lawrence is now a poster boy for Politix!
We don’t really have a single moment; we loved it all! We were just so grateful and overjoyed to be marrying our best friend. A significant portion of 2020 couples in Victoria couldn’t get married, so we were thrilled that the restrictions were lifted in time for us to get married on our planned date (also aligned with our 250th date, yes, sweet Lawrence kept a record of all our dates) with a small but special group of loved ones. It was the best day – so much joy!
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage is a partnership with a purpose. There is something really special about finding your person and choosing to love them unconditionally and growing with them throughout all seasons of life.
Melina walked down the aisle to a Stand By Me cover (Kina Granis & Imaginary Future). Stand By Me is one of Lawrence’s favourite movies and one of the first movies we watched together. The sentiment felt apt for our day and future. We exited the chapel to I Want To Hold Your Hand (The Beatles) as a way of honouring Melina’s late father, who was a big Beatles fan.
Funny stories or near disasters.
Lockdown two, but we worked together to adapt and overcome.
Planning a wedding during a pandemic really helped us keep focused on the main idea for us, which is that weddings are wonderful but building a life together is the best.
Words of wisdom.
Ice cream after parties are always a good idea!
Searching for the wedding day look that suits your special brand of goddess? From stunning suits to chic two-pieces, Bluebell Bridal have a refreshingly fashion-forward take on bridal style. Check them out, over on the blog.
MELINA & LAWRENCE’S VENDORS
Celebrant: Richard Bryant, a dear and long-term friend of Melina’s family (he knew her parents when they were dating). Melina “booked” in Richard when he first became a celebrant over ten years ago with no groom on the horizon. It was great to be able to redeem the booking!
Photography: Carla Antonia Photos
Videography: Westward Films (Live streaming)
Styling, florist & decor: Flowers by Jess from Sassafras Flower Design
Make-up: Zara Jones
Shoes: Mara & Mine
Bride’s diamond bracelet loaned by her mum
Rings: SH Jewelry
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Atmos & Here
Bridesmaid’s earrings: FinerRings
Favours: The most delicious cookies in Melbourne (The Cookie Box). We had cookies at the beach early on in our relationship, and a weekly (or more) cookie excursion was a highlight of lockdown. It was special to be able to incorporate this into our wedding
Entertainment: Our musician friends managed our pre and post-wedding playlists and led worship during the ceremony
Honeymoon: A mini-moon in Warrnambool and Apollo Bay.