Real Wedding – Rachel & Tom, South Melbourne VIC
Rachel and Tom’s South Melbourne wedding celebration was all they had dreamed it would be.
Romantic timeless elegance was the order of the day and combined with the industrial warehouse vibes of their stunning venue, Half Acre, they enlisted planning pro Luci of Poni Studios to bring it all to life.
Their guests were delighted by impeccable styling, dramatic fine details and layers of meticulously planned additions that all combined to bring their Melbourne-inspired affair to the fore. With a stellar ceremony led by Shannon Jeans – tears one moment, laughter the next, the formalities captured Rach and Tom’s partnership to perfection.
Accentuated by a modern, monochromatic colour-pallet, jaw-droppingly beautiful fashion choices and above all – a day filled with love and laughter, Rachel and Tom’s sweet celebration was a moment in time they’ll never forget.
Captured by the incredible talents of Chloe May, this South Melbourne day is a swoon-worthy affair if we ever saw one.
We meet at our local nightclub, Deluxe Moonee Ponds. Rach especially spent every single weekend there. In Tom’s own words, and as mentioned in their wedding ceremony, was about 20 cans deep and doesn’t remember the night. But from that night we went on four dates in the first week, so something clearly went right.
Rach – I knew Tom was the one very early on. There isn’t one thing that made me know he was the one, but it was just so easy with him. We acted like a married couple so early with each other that it always just felt right.
Tom – I was very much more reserved than Rach. But when we started living together and started talking about everything we wanted for the future, it felt right.
The question was popped on a Sunday morning on the 8th of December 2019. I went to have a shower early that morning and came out of the shower with a towel wrapped around me and a towel wrapped around my head to find Tom on one knee holding our little fur cat child Milly. It was simple but perfect. Even though I would have liked to have been dressed!
Very early on (maybe even before an engagement) I enquired about Luci from Poni Studio. Her work speaks for itself, and I knew I wanted someone to help and guide us through the planning process. From meeting Luci for the first time, it was like she was in my head and knew what I wanted. And she did absolutely everything from styling, planning, to finding us every single vendor we booked.
She was with us for 20 months before our planning right up until the day. We can’t speak highly enough of her work but more importantly her as a person. She is the person you want in your corner when it comes to getting the wedding of your dreams. With Luci doing so much behind the scenes work for us the planning process was so smooth. Every decision we, made the next one easier because we then had a vision and a guide of where we were going.
Even though we knew what we wanted Luci from Poni Studios was the mastermind behind everything you see. She took our vision and made it a reality. She did everything for us and I do mean everything. But for me Luci screams attention to detail, and the smaller the detail the bigger the idea. She was our life saver. Our wedding was beautiful because of her.
Our style was romantic timeless elegance, partnered with the industrial and warehouse vibe of Half Acre.
We really wanted our guests to walk into what seems like a modern warehouse but be blown away by how elegant and beautiful everything was.
The smaller details were over the top, and everything was there to complement the next thing. It was layers and layers of details that all worked together.
The ceremony was originally booked to happen at the Royal Botanical Gardens but the week of the wedding due to good old Melbourne weather we decided to change it to Half Arce to have everything in one venue.
It wasn’t what we wanted leading into the day, but it was also better to be safe than sorry. In saying that the ceremony turned out perfectly. Where we chose to have the ceremony at Half Acre was not the normal position for the room, but it worked so well. It was such an intimate and special feeling and because we were inside, we could really notice everyone and could really feel them and the love in the room.
One massive thing that came out of our ceremony is very single one of our guests commented on how incredible our celebrant was. Shannon Jeans absolutely killed it. It was heartfelt – tears one moment and crying with laughter the next, it was exactly who we are as a couple and everything we wanted in a ceremony.
Having a Melbourne-based wedding influenced our decisions in what we were wearing, especially when it came to the boys. A formal wedding in the middle of Melbourne screamed black tux to us and it was really on theme when it came to the vibe we were trying to create for the day.
Tom – Rach told me what I was wearing (like most the wedding decisions). Myself and my groomsmen were all dressed by MJ BALE.
Rach – The dress was the one thing I was most nervous about in the beginning. However, being a COVID bride I learnt very quickly to trust the people around me and believe in the process.
My beautiful dresses were custom designs by Elly Sofocli. I knew very early on that I wanted to two dresses because I’m so extra.
Within the whole wedding process, I knew I had to very different sides of me, my traditional side and then the hidden party girl. I really wanted my dresses to reflect that.
My ceremony dress I knew was the one when Elly showed me the initial design, it was everything I had in my head and suddenly it was on paper. It was traditional but with little details that made it modern but timeless.
One detail I knew I wanted from day one was the longest veil possible.
My reception dress was all me. Short, fun and a party rolled into a dress. But with the bow and train that followed I still felt like a bride until the very end.
Words can’t express how thankful I am to Elly and her team. During COVID I saw her for our initial meeting and then six months later there were two dresses made and all three fittings squeezed into two weeks before the wedding. I will never know how they did it, but I will forever be thankful.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were important to me. I didn’t want any of my girls in the same dresses. I wanted them to wear something they loved and felt comfortable in. They all found different dresses from different designers in similar fabrics and it looked beautiful.
Rach – Seeing Tom for the first time at our first look was so special. But during the reception between entrée and main course we had a moment, just us, in the courtyard of Half Acre taking photos and just being us. Laughing and taking it all in. It was the first time we looked at each other and called each other husband and wife.
Tom – Seeing Rach walk down the aisle was easily my most favorite. But the whole reception was amazing ,seeing the room light up like we planned.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage to us is a commitment of the love and life we already shared together. Having been together for so many years we both knew marriage wouldn’t change the day-to-day, however we love and find it so special to call each other husband and wife.
Aisle – I Knew I Loved You – Savage Garden (acoustic).
How many emails you get! Even though Luci (Poni Studios) was doing all the behind the scenes planning we would all of sudden get emails and invoices and follow up emails.
Words of wisdom.
So many people told us in the lead up to make sure you’re in the moment and to take a moment for yourselves. And they are so right. We couldn’t recommend that more to any other couple. No matter how big or small your wedding is, it will always still just be about the two of you.
Due to COVID, we didn’t think the wedding was happening for many months, we had so many conversations about postponing, but we held off. We ordered personalised masks for everyone and personalised hand sanitiser. With all restrictions being eased the day before – dancefloors were back and no masks required inside. We are so grateful that we got our wedding day the way we planned it. But we are also so aware of the stress other couples went through. It really made us appreciate every little second of the wedding.
As a little gift for our guests, we hand wrote personalised notes for every guest to be placed under their plates when they were seated at the reception. It was so special to see everyone reading them at the same time. We just wanted to thank everyone but also to make it personal.
The RSVP’s are in, the big day is on approach and the simple thought of your nearest and dearest being in attendance fills you with so much joy…until it gets to planning your seating arrangements. Mapping out seating arrangements is a bit of a task, but one that can alleviate stress on the day when it’s well thought out. Here are some hints and tips when it comes to your wedding day seating arrangements.
RACHEL AND TOM’S SUPPLIERS
Ceremony and reception venue: Half Acre
Celebrant: Shannon Jeans
Photography: Chloe May
Styling and planning: Poni Studios
Florist: The Petal Project
Hair: Sam Tayla Hair
Make Up: Stephanie Jane
The Dress (es): Elly Sofocli
Veil: Elly Sofocli
Rings: Michael Hill
Suits and accessories: MJ BALE
Catering and bar: food&desire
Bar: Food and desire events
Cake / Cake topper: Phillipa Margetts Patisserie
Stationery / Signage: Rebel Reflect
Entertainment: Unplugged Entertainment
Décor: The Small Things Co