Real Wedding – Nav & Luke, Melbourne CBD VIC
In the heart of Melbourne’s bustling CBD, love unfolds with understated romance at Nav and Luke’s intimate elopement at the registry office. Wanting to focus on the meaning of their day, Nav and Luke exchange vows that echo with sweet sincerity and effortless emotion.
Opting for simplicity with a touch of statement style, the couple radiated elegance in their stylish fits. Nav’s bouquet, an aesthetic masterpiece of beautiful blooms, added a touch of sweet splendour to their day.
Investing in a talented photographer was at the top of Nav and Luke’s wedding priorities, and Maegan Brown Moments is the perfect choice. Against the backdrop of city buildings, their photos capture the essence of their love with the perfect amount of infectious fun and light-hearted joy.
Join us as we delve into the details of this sweet and beautifully understated celebration, where simplicity meets sophistication with effortless elegance.
We met in Perth, in March 2016. It’s quite the story actually, Luke and I worked on the same street in Subiaco, our buildings were opposite each other. Luke noticed me walking up and down, to and from the office each day and would try to bump into me, but this didn’t happen. He eventually found me on Facebook, added me, and after a couple of messages, asked to meet me for a lunch date. Unbeknownst to me, he had been trying to bump into me for a year and a half! It’s a sweet story, depending how you tell it!
It sounds silly to say, but I think neither of us have ever doubted that each other was ‘the one’, maybe since our first date, it felt right from the beginning – and my friends loved him, and still do! Things started to take shape at the six-month mark, when Luke said, I love you; and then at one year, when Luke moved in with me. I knew then, he wasn’t going anywhere.
We designed our engagement ring together at the five-year mark, and then I wanted the rest to be a surprise. Luke certainly surprised me by proposing one year later on our six-year anniversary, at Melbourne’s tallest tower, the Australia 108 building on Southbank. He had white and red rose petals and a full view of the city from a private apartment. He got down on one knee, said some lovely things, and in between my tears, I said yes!
We did things a little differently, but this resulted in three celebrations.
We decided to elope locally so we got married just the two of us at the Old Treasury Building in Melbourne and had a photoshoot to capture our special day. We didn’t have any guests, just our witnesses, to really capture the intimacy and keep things low stress, fun, and intimate.
We then had a small celebration with about 20 friends in Melbourne a few days later, and a bigger cocktail style reception with 70 friends and family in Perth, which was the best fun.
So, whilst I thought we we’re keeping things pretty low key, I eventually realised that I was planning three events.
We wanted things to be meaningful and unique to us. We didn’t want to spend time or money on things that wouldn’t matter in years to come. We invested in our health and wellbeing so that we would look and feel our best, in excellent photographers, and food, drinks and delicious cake! We wanted things to be fun and enjoyable, and set ourselves up for our future. The style was classic and minimal, and keeping true to ourselves.
On blogs and social media, it was nice to see couples in love, and genuine affection for each other in their photography. I found it helpful to see how different people celebrated so differently. I liked the natural style of shoots, not overly posed or staged, and the variation of light, colour, editing, and context of background. We knew we wanted to have Melbourne CBD as the third character in our shoot and asked our photographer to celebrate the magic of the city and use this as an iconic backdrop, which she achieved so successfully. I would say the fourth character was my bouquet, which was large and gorgeous (and smelt beautiful!) It was helpful to read Maegan’s website and meet with her, so we could affirm that she knew exactly what we wanted and exactly how much help and direction we needed on the day.
We had a 30-minute intimate ceremony which was short and sweet and had an emphasis on our vows. It was special because we only had two witnesses (and their two little kids) who watched on to celebrate in our love. Whilst they we’re so present and engaged (and kindly recorded it so we have a copy), in some moments, our ceremony felt like it was just the two of us. To choose to marry with no family or your closest friends present is quite a significant choice, but we knew we wanted to keep our ceremony just for us and celebrate with everyone after.
My dress was from the modest bridal collection from Bec + Bridge. Luke came with me, and I chose eight dresses to try on, with Luke choosing the one for our day of marriage, so there were no surprises. I felt better knowing he knew and liked what I was going to wear. I too was involved in Luke’s outfit, we bought everything from Calibre (shirt, jacket and pants all requiring alterations) and splurged on R.M Williams. Luke wore his outfit for all three celebrations, but I changed mine up each time, wearing a white top and pants from Zara for our Melbourne celebration and then had my Bec + Bridge dress altered to knee length for our cocktail reception, very fun!
This is so hard to choose. I think my favourite moment, besides saying ‘I do’, was for the first hour or two of our photoshoot, I kept asking Luke, “do I look okay?” He kept saying “yes”, but eventually he answered, “look at how much attention you are getting from everyone around us, you look wonderful!” We did have a lot of onlookers and people walking past congratulating and complimenting us. At first, I felt quite shy, but this soon became a wonderful part of the experience and perhaps in the absence of guests, made me realise how special it is to be bride.
Meaning of marriage.
Despite being together for more than six years, marriage certainly feels different. It is a joy and privilege to call each other husband and wife. We have a strong sense of unity and connection, and we feel like a little family of two. It was nice waiting and not rushing into it too. Although a lot of people said that the longer you are together, the less different being married would feel, this has certainly not been our experience. We feel a stronger sense of love, commitment, and dedication. It’s also something we cherish, and we continue to not let the little things go and invest in ourselves so we can be our best for each other. If you have found your special person, I highly recommend getting married when the timing is right.
We walked into our cocktail reception to Electric Love by BORNS (as Maegan used this as our backing track for our highlight reel).we cut our wedding cake to ‘Wild’ by John Legend and Gary Clark Jr, and our first dance was to ‘Wonderful Tonight’ by Eric Clapton (choreographed by my friend at SK Wedding Dances).
Funny stories (or near disasters).
When we arrived at the Old Treasury Building on Thursday 24 November at 1.45pm, our ceremony was booked for 2pm, and they were not expecting us! Someone must have mishandled the paperwork and luckily the celebrant was available and could officiate our ceremony. I am not sure what would have happened if they had double-booked.
How much is involved! From what to wear to who to invite, what music to play, the food, the drinks, the cake, the decorations, the invites, the wedding favours for guests, it doesn’t sound like a lot – but it is, especially when you have three different events over two cities in two months!
Words of wisdom.
Talk to each other about what you want, make sure you are aligned in every decision that you make. Don’t be afraid to do things differently, it’s your wedding, celebrate how you want to, and avoid the pressure others may put on you. Take your time, but not too much time! I couldn’t imagine years of planning, because not everything is going to be perfect. At the end of the day, all that matters is you both wholeheartedly celebrate your love. Don’t spend too much money, try to be environmentally friendly and avoid waste, and don’t start life as a married couple in debt. Try to plan a day that won’t be high stress, and reserve something – no matter how small – just for you.
Invest in good quality professional photos – because when the years have passed, and maybe you don’t look the same, hair is greying and weight is gained, there are kids in the picture, the house is a mess, the memories have faded and life is so busy you might even forget your anniversary (we have heard this happens) – you will have beautiful photos to look back on that forever capture your most special day. And, print your photos! Don’t just let them sit on a USB somewhere and save a backup!
Wondering where on earth to begin when writing personalised vows? With these few little tips and tricks we’ll have you dishing those vows out like the modern day Casanova that you are.
NAV AND LUKE’S SUPPLIERS
Ceremony location: Old Treasury Building, Melbourne
Reception venue: Young George, Perth
Celebrant/Officiant: Old Treasury Building (staff member of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria)
Photography: Maegan Brown Moments, Melbourne; we also had Jillian McHugh Photography in Perth
Florist: The Road Stall, Melbourne
Hair and make-up: Tonic Agency
The dress: Bec + Bridge
Shoes: Zara and Myer
Suit: Groom in Calibre
Favours: Suga Mamma Bakes, Melbourne
Cake / Cake topper: Cake Date, Perth
Stationery / Signage: Used Canva and Officeworks.
Entertainment: Nicholette C Music (Emcee at reception)