Real Wedding – Michelle & Jess, Abbotsford VIC
Real Wedding – Michelle & Jess, Abbotsford VIC
Real Wedding – Michelle & Jess, Abbotsford VIC
Real Wedding – Michelle & Jess, Abbotsford VIC

Real Wedding – Michelle & Jess, Abbotsford VIC


How did Michelle and Jess describe wedding planning? Hectic, stressful, emotional, but a whole lot of fun!

Keeping their planning as sane as possible with endless spreadsheets and to do lists, finally the fun came when they wed at the incredible Abbotsford Convent located in Melbourne.

Their day was classic and rustic and if there was once thing this pair wanted from their day, it was an exorbitant amount of food to stuff their guests with, and boy did they all feast!

Elegant outfits, stunning setting and laughs a-plenty – all the planning stress was worthwhile to see their beautiful smiles captured by Aleksandar Jason.


In Michelle’s words…


The meeting.

Jess and I met at our friend’s engagement party and then again at their wedding, a conducive breeding ground for love. I was friends with the bride and he was friends with the groom. Funnily enough, we went to school together, but he was in year 12 when I was in year 8, so not the best conditions to build a high school romance.


The ‘one’.

When I farted on the first date, he asked me on a second! From there, he’s put up with every bit of my craziness. It’s not many who could or would.


The proposal.

My friend and I planned a surprise birthday dinner for one of our other friends – Jess intercepted as we were making our way through the St Kilda Catani Gardens to get to dinner. My two friends abruptly ran into the bushes, and thinking I was in danger, I instinctively ran after them. But then spotted Jess walking up the other side of the gazebo a bit further down the path. Music, fairy lights and candles and a heck of a lot of tears from Jess, how could I say no.


The planning process.

Hectic, stressful, emotional, but a lot of fun.

Eating is a big part of our relationship, so wedding venue hunting was the best excuse for numerous weekend food dates at wineries and restaurants.

Spreadsheets and tick lists kept us sane and organized throughout the process. I thoroughly enjoyed the preparation and lead up to the big day, couldn’t say the same for Jess.


Style inspiration.

We honestly didn’t have one particular theme or source of inspiration. Although, Pinterest was a God send. We both loved the idea of a rustic wedding, but still wanted a classic feel to the day – Abbotsford was the perfect marriage of classic and rustic, with the high white church ceiling at the ceremony and the wooden beams with hanging florals at the reception.

It was also so important to us that there was an exorbitant amount of food, cheese and most importantly, coffee, on the day, and boy was there. Sam and his barista team from Sam’s Coffee Cart, did an extraordinary job at churning out coffees for our 180 guests between the ceremony and reception, with an extra touch of hot Nutella donuts for the bridal party.


The dress.

After 2 weekends of bridal dress shopping, visiting over 10 stores and trying on over 30 dresses, I honestly thought I’d have to settle for a dress that ‘wasn’t terrible, but didn’t love’.

Thankfully, I happened to stumble across Karen Willis Holmes on Instagram and immediately fell in love with ALL of the collections. Upon visiting the Melbourne store, I loved virtually all the dresses which made it impossible to decide. In the end, I couldn’t go past the beautiful twill material in the DYG Collection (the twill material is DIVINE). As it was a two-piece set, my best friend’s Mum (an incredible boutique formal and wedding dress designer – Ester Pesenti) designed and made me a hand crafted, long sleeve lace top to go with the Alexia skirt – for a slightly more classic look at the ceremony, and I wore the Blake bodice with the Alexia skirt from KWH for the reception. Feeling fabulous and more importantly, comfortable, absolutely made my day.


Favourite moment.

I’d seen Jess cry plenty of times before, but the moment I saw him down the aisle sobbing and snotty, I felt like the absolute luckiest girl in the world.


Meaning of marriage.

Marriage means putting each other first for the rest of our lives.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: I Get to Love You – Ruelle

Signing song: Together – Us The Duo

Reception Entry: No Matter Where You Are – Us The Duo

First Dance: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Frank Valli, You Rock My World – MJ


Funny stories (or near disasters).

A very near disaster, definitely not funny at the time – my sister/maid of honour got pregnant in the lead up to the wedding! So we bought and returned close to 10 dresses as she progressively grew out of each one. Luckily enough, all the bridesmaids had different dresses or that could’ve been a much bigger disaster!


Planning surprises.

Jess surprised me a week before the wedding! He informed me that he hadn’t organized ties, belts or socks for himself and the groomsmen yet!!! What a surprise!


Words of wisdom.

Get a wedding planner!!!



Did you see the top ten weddings featured on Ivory Tribe in 2018? For all your inspo, head here.



Ceremony and reception location: Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford – food was fantastic and staff were friendly

Celebrant/Officiant: Ben Fagerland – our church pastor was incredible at capturing the essence of our relationship and making it a laughter filled ceremony for us and our guests.

Photography: Aleksandar Jason Weddings – Aleks and his wife (whom we had along as a 2nd photographer) were incredible. They managed to make 2 incredibly photo awkward people, feel completely at ease and captured our day perfectly.

Videography: Mr and Mrs Films – Tim was incredibly accommodating and friendly. We barely noticed him on the day, but he managed to get perfect footage of the whole day!

Styling: Joy Collective – Did all of our table numbers and some lettering and monogramming for us! She’s incredible to work with and is filled with creative and beautiful ideas! The highlight was the bridesmaids pyjamas she monogrammed for us.

DIY table decorations. Sketch and Etch gift box.

Florist: MarMar Designs – Mari was so accommodating. Flowers were one of the most important parts of the day and she filled every part of our vision perfectly with incredible flowers and styling. I think I sent her over 50 emails and she responded to, and accommodated every single one of my nit-picky requests.

Hair and makeup: DIY

The Dress: Karen Willis Holmes (Skirt and Reception top) & friend’s mum Ester Pesenti designed and hand sewed the long sleeve lace crop.

Shoes: Studio 11

Bridesmaids dresses: Sheike, Kookai & The Iconic

Grooms suit: Nicolaides

Grooms Shoes: Aquila

Catering: Bursaria – Food was DELISH and beautifully presented!

Favors: Susie’s Kake Kitchen – Sus did both the brownie with macaron favours and our 2 cakes (cheese wheel cake and a blackforest cake). Everything was delicious and the cheese wheel cake kept on giving 2 weeks after the wedding!

Cake / Cake topper: Susie’s Kake Kitchen

Stationery / Signage: Letter Lights – Love Light stand

Entertainment: Top Dog – Andi, our DJ was FABULOUS! He played every single song we requested and made the whole night flow perfectly!

Décor: DIY Table decorations

Honeymoon: Whitsundays Sunsail


Crop The Image

Actual Size

Recommended Size

Cropped Size