Real Wedding – Michelle & Ryan, Melbourne VIC
Michelle and Ryan worked to pull off a romantic wedding day that epitomised their love – fun, relaxed and glamorous was the result, and their modern Melbourne wedding went exactly as they had dreamed.
While Mother Nature made conditions cold, the atmosphere on this darling day was anything but. From the moment their vows were exchanged, and seeing their months of planning brought to reality – it was the perfect beginning to their married life.
There to document their celebration was Alex of Motta Weddings, alongside Tribe favourites, Moment Seeker.
We stumbled across each on Tinder. I swiped right and so did Ryan (with a ‘Super Like’) at that. Being 34 at the time I was quite specific on my Tinder profile and made it very clear that I was looking for the real deal and not a casual fling. We only messaged briefly before our first date. Our first date was on the 3rd of February 2018 at the Kodiak Club in Fitzroy. We had an instant connection and the night continued with some more drinks at the Rainbow Hotel in Fitzroy, Cherry Bar in the city and we finished the night off with some Tacos and a Margarita at Bodega Underground.
Having quite a few relationships before meeting Ryan that did not work I knew exactly what I was looking for in the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. From the get go our relationship was just so easy and comfortable and it was nothing I had ever experienced before. For the first time in a relationship I felt I could truly be me with no judgement or fear.
We are so similar and are on the same page with everything. Ryan moved in with me a month after we met and this was a massive test for me as I had lived on my own for five years and was scared that I wouldn’t be able to live with a partner as I was so used to my own space – there has not been one single moment where I miss living on my own and I can’t imagine living in this world without him.
He has also been there for me every single day through the good and the bad and never having experienced that, I knew I had found the one. I never dreamed I would met the man I had waited my whole life for and I know we were destined to be together.
It was very low key and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. We were on holidays in Bali and it was Ryan’s 35 birthday. I was reading a book on a chaise lounge near the pool of our private villa when Ryan walked over, got down an one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him with my ring sitting on top of a flower. I’ve never been more sure of anything in me life.
Because we got engaged in July and our venue was already booked for February, I knew I had to be as efficient as possible, but already knowing exactly what I wanted, I found this quite an easy process.
I started with booking the most time sensitive things – our celebrant, DJ, photographer and videographer – with such a small lead time I was very surprised that almost every vendor we initially contacted was free on the date of our wedding.
We wanted something quite intimate and fun, yet romantic and glam. We also wanted a modern and urban atmosphere. Coming from an Italian background I wanted to break the mould of a church ceremony and a formal sit-down dinner at a reception centre, as that’s not me, so we had our ceremony with a celebrant at the same venue as our function space and we had a cocktail wedding focused on providing high end food and beverages.
My inspiration came from the designers Berta, Liz Martinez and Gali Karten.
I fell in love with a Liz Martinez dress however her dresses are not stocked in Australia, Gali Karten is also not stocked in Australia and Berta was out of my budget so I knew I would have to be getting my dress made.
I searched on Instagram custom made wedding dress designers and found Elly Sofocil.
I knew that the main component I wanted in my wedding dress was off-shoulder sleeves and a slim fit. My dress is made from a French Lace that is hand beaded with the most exquisite beads and pearls. It features a heart shaped strapless bodice with exposed boning and a slim fit skirt that features a thigh high split and a beautiful train. The sleeves are made from several layers of French Tulle and feature a ruffled top.
As I didn’t want to wear a veil, I opted for a cape made from the same French Tulle as the sleeves and is hand beaded with scattered pearls. It attached to the back of my dress and is detachable so I removed it after all the formalities to get into the party mode of our cocktail function.
Undoubtedly it was saying my vows to Ryan. I have always said I would only get married to the right person who I was absolutely sure I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and making that commitment to him in front of all of our loved ones was truly magical.
Meaning of marriage.
To me it is making a commitment to one another that is on a soul level. It is honoring each other on the highest level and promising one another to never give up. It is loving every part of each other – all the good and all the bad. It is constantly supporting and loving one another and growing together to make each the best versions of ourselves. It is a symbol of loyalty, love and being there for one another always and forever.
Aisle: Can’t Help Falling in Love (Hayley Reinhart Version) sung by our DJ Rachel
Entry: All Night Long by Lionel Richie
First Dance: A Kind of Magic by Queen
Funny stories (or near disasters).
We chose the statistically hottest Saturday of February and it turned out being the coldest one in years. It rained all morning and the showers were scattered throughout the day.
Our ceremony was meant to be held on the terrace at Alto but because of the unpredictability of the weather, we had to move it inside – which was still stunning,
I also forgot to bring my g-string for my big day so Ryan had to run down to Melbourne Central that morning and buy me another one (awks for him, lol).
Words of wisdom.
Listen to your gut and don’t feel like you have to look at a whole heap of vendors and suppliers for each part of your wedding – if you know exactly what you want just book the first one that works with your vision and that you get a good vibe from. Don’t try to please anyone – its about you and your partner and worrying about anyone other than the two of you is not a stress you need to worry about during this time. Have fun and live in the moment as its over before you know it
Melbourne magic – the city is a true stunner when it comes to wedding venues. Check out some of our favourites here.
MICHELLE & RYAN’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: Alto Event Space – I could not recommend this venue enough and our event manager at Alto, Tevany Patten was absolutely beautiful and made the whole process so stress free and made us feel so at ease – she was truly a delight to work with from day one.
Celebrant/Officiant: Kim McClelland – Kim is such a beautiful soul filled with so much love and joy. We were drawn to her infectious energy the first time we met her and we really loved how she had a questionnaire on her website that both Ryan and I filled out so she could talk about our love during our ceremony.
Ceremony arch: Willow Tree Events – I found Willow Tree Events via Instagram and fell in love with a photo of their circular arch styled with florals and floor tall standing candles in glass cylinders. We hired this item and the owner Racha was a joy to work with and our florist Babylon Flowers styled it beautifully.
Photography: Motta Weddings – Alex was fantastic and for both Ryan and I, who get quite uncomfortable with posed photographs. He made us feel super relaxed and got photos of us completely captured in the moment.
Videography: Moment Seeker – We absolutely fell in love with the videos that Haydn has created from videos we watched on their website. We are yet to receive our video back from Moment Seeker but I have no doubt that it will be pure magic.
Styling: We didn’t use a styling company as we loved the space of Alto as it was. We wanted a space that had quite an industrial yet chic vibe and Alto had that.
They have an amazing huge gold bar, high ceilings with loads of natural load as its surrounded with ceiling high windows. They also provided a large amount of pastel blue velvet couches, ottomans and bar chairs along with bar tables. They have an outdoor terrace filled with amazing city views and the terrace is filled with huge pot plants and seating. The only other styling we added was flowers and festoon lights strung across the roof of the outdoor terrace. The lighting was installed by Technical Events and we used our florist for the flowers.
Florist: Babylon Flowers – Babylon Flowers is a boutique florist in Brunswick that is 160 meters from us on the same street we live on. I have been buying flowers from Babylon since they first opened and I love that the owner works there and really cares about her clients. Being a regular client and knowing I wanted native flowers for my wedding which they specialise in, I always knew I would be using Babylon as my wedding florist.
Hair: Emily Ferrato Hair – Emily was amazing and really listened to what I wanted. She made sure I had a couple of trials as I had a few different looks in mind and she wanted to make sure she gave me exactly what I wanted.
Make-up: Eliza Madeline Makeup – I work in the beauty industry and I wear quite heavy makeup every day, so I spent hours on Instagram looking for a makeup artist that did full glam looks and came across Eliza, I had a trial with her and she listened to exactly what I wanted and gave me the exact look I wanted so I booked her immediately. I was so impressed with her professionalism and talent especially as she is so young.
The Dress(es): Elly Sofocli – I searched on Instagram custom made wedding dress designers and found Elly. I emailed her and she got back to me saying she had one spot left for a February 2019 bride and that normally she required 9 to 12 months to make a custom made dress but that she would make my dress if I wanted to book her. I loved her style and when I met her she completely understood the exact look I wanted. Three days before my wedding I picked my dress up and had my first bridezilla moment and decided I wanted to change my sleeves – Elly was so understanding and got me straight back in her studio and changed them on the spot for me even though she had other brides coming to pick up their dresses for the wedding. She was so understanding about it all and gave me my dream dress.
Veil / headwear: Elly Sofocli – I had never envisioned myself wearing a veil and really felt like it was not me at all. Elly came up with such an amazing design concept that I never would have thought of myself and I’m so happy with her creativity that gave me this feature. She designed and made a ‘veil’ that attached to the top of the back of my dress so that I still had a veil ‘look’ but in a modern and subtle way. It was made from french tulle and hand beaded with scattered pearls. As I had quite a short train the ‘cape veil’ provided that luxe long train look for my ceremony that I detached from my dress after our ceremony and had a more ‘party look’ dress once our cocktail party started
Shoes: Novo Shoes – Finding shoes was actually quite hard. The most important thing for me was comfort as we had a cocktail wedding and Ryan loves to dance so I knew we would be on the dance floor most of the night. I couldn’t find a shoe designer that sold a white open toed block heel which is what I was looking for, I searched and searched for months and ended up finding just a simple block heel from Novo Shoes – they weren’t fancy and I know it’s not typical that a bride that spends 11k on her wedding dress spends $60 on her wedding shoes but they were exactly what I wanted for my day.
Earrings: Kookai – I wanted statement earrings as statement earrings are kind of my thing. I found a few that I liked online and was almost about to purchase a pair when I randomly saw a pair of earrings in the Kookai shop window. They were white beaded drop statement earrings and it was love at first sight
Rings: The Mania Mania – Before I even met Ryan I knew that if I ever did get married I would be getting my engagement and wedding rings from Mania Mania. I’ve never been a white diamond girl and knew I would never want a traditional white diamond engagement ring. From the moment I stumbled across The Mania Mania on Instagram I feel in love with their use of different stones and their vintage look styles.
Ryan and I flew to Sydney to try on their range and the ring I already knew I was going to fall in love with was the one Ryan purchased for me.
Spray Tans: Spray Aus – We used the Ultra Dark solution from Spray Aus as I am a daily Spray Tan user and they did a fantastic job.
Mani & Pedis: Tips & Toes – I opted to go for a White Nail Polish on both my finger nails and my tie nails. My finger nails were a pointy shaped nail. My bridesmaid opted for a blush pink shade on both their fingers and toes
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Vivid Dresses and White Runway – I had two bridesmaids (my sister and my cousin) and I never wanted them to be in matching dresses. Originally I purchased both dresses from White Runway (both in blush pink) but in different styles. However my sister was pregnant and when we originally purchased her dress at White Runway she wasn’t showing much – so we went a size up and the dress had a bit of stretch to it so we thought it would be fine however when we received the dresses a month before the wedding my sister had really popped and the dress no longer fit. It was a made to order dress so we didn’t have enough time to get that style made again so frantically went on a mission to find her another dress.
Our first stop was Vivid Dresses on Chapel Street and as soon as we walked in we saw a stunning Rose Gold sequin gown that was super stretchy and could fit her growing baby bump (as our colour theme was White, Black, Blush Pink and Rose Gold) I actually preferred the dress she ended up with.
Groomsmen’s suits: Andre J Menswear – Ryan knew from the start he wanted to go super classic with a Black Suit, White Shirt and a Black Tie. One of his groomsmen’s had gotten married 10 months earlier and Ryan was in his bridal party and he went with the same suit wear company that his groomsman used. They are a family based business that manufacture their suits in house using Australian Merino Wool.
Bow ties / ties: Topman – Ryan chose simply skinny black ties that he found at Topman for himself and his groomsmen.
Catering: Damn Fine Food Catering – Our venue works with Damn Fine Food Catering. It was such an appealing and modern menu that wasn’t just your standard cocktail party food,
We were able to choose from a vast array of options and we opted for 7 canapes, 2 substantial canapes, 2 supper bowls and 1 dessert per guest.
We also added on a European Grazing Table and a Late Night Pizza Station which was a huge hit with our guests and having add on options was such a great service.
We had a lot of guests that had dietary requirements – vegan, lactose free etc and they had an entire separate menu for these guests and specially went up to them all night with their food catered for them which was service of the highest standard.
Bar: Damn Fine Food Catering
Favours: A Box Full Of Matches – As our wedding was a cocktail function we didn’t do favours as such. When we sent out our Thank You cards to all our guests we included photos of each specific guest that they had in the Photobooth so they had their full sized photos if they wanted to frame them.
Cake / Cake topper: Cake Ink – We wanted a very simple cake. I found Cake Ink on Instagram and they created a custom cake for our day. It was a simple 2 tier base buttercream cake with a white rustic finish icing, gold leaf flecks and white fresh flowers.
Stationery: State Of Elliott – Sarah who owns State of Elliott was a joy to work with and the invites were of such a high quality.
Signage: Wedding Traders – We purchased our Welcome Sign from Wedding Traders in a Rose Gold Metallic Acrylic Mirrored Base with white acrylic letters reading “It was always you” with our names on the bottom of the sign which stood on an aisle also purchased from Wedding Traders
Wishing well: Sketch & Etch – As Rose Gold was part of our colour theme and our welcome sign was in a rose old metallic mirrored acrylic we wanted to stay with the same theme with our wishing well.
Entertainment: Verve Entertainment Agency – I choose Verve Agency for our Entertainment as the owners of Verve Entertainment Lauren and David Giammarco are old friends of mine and Lauren is one of Australia’s most well known female Dj’s (she DJ’d Jennifer Hawkins wedding). Having a long standing friendship with them I knew they would provide us with their talent artists that would best compliment our wedding.
They recommended their most popular wedding DJ Rachel who was absolutely amazing. Not only is she a DJ but she is also a talented singer. She sang our ceremony song as I walked down the aisle and she was flawless – the song I walked down the aisle to was the Hayley Reinhart version of ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love”
To get the dance floor started she sang while dj’ing for the first 45 minutes and she has a great understanding of reading a crown and creating that vibe that gets everyone on the dance floor
For the last two hours of our function we used Chris one if their Saxophonist who worked alongside Rachel and the dance floor was full the entire night with our guests dancing the night away.
Honeymoon: We went to Byron Bay for our honeymoon and did a road trip taking our two dogs with us. We are also heading back to Bali this July for a second honeymoon
Photo booth: Heart Break Hotel
Bar Photo Location: Beneath Driver Lane
Bride Tribe robes: Le Rose