Real Wedding – Sam & Sophie, Melbourne VIC
Real Wedding – Sam & Sophie, Melbourne VIC
Real Wedding – Sam & Sophie, Melbourne VIC
Real Wedding – Sam & Sophie, Melbourne VIC

Real Wedding – Sam & Sophie, Melbourne VIC


Opulent old-world glam was the backdrop to Sophie and Sam’s darling I Do’s. Choosing chic, contemporary styling perfectly contrasted with the histo-luxe vibes of their venue, making for a day as big in beauty as it was in feels. The effect of the florals in soft, creamy arrangements and the wedding party in crisp black and white shone against the pastel surrounds and art deco features of the venue.

Photography legend Jess Nicholls guided the blissed-out bride and groom in a first-look reveal, allowing them to take in the first big moments of their dream day together. The result is a series of shots in which Sam’s infectious smile is dialled up to max and doesn’t let up, so understandable after seeing the gorgeously glowing Sophie.

A captivating ceremony by celebrant Lara Williams kicked off the party with all the sweet nothings and love stories to make the day feel full of heart.

And when it came time to party, the dance floor was the place to be, lifted to epic levels by our very own Logan Entertainment.

For Sam and Sophie, it was the perfect day, and just as they imagined it, quintessential Melbourne chic, sweetly laid back and fun from beginning to end. To see this gorgeous gathering in all its glory, scroll on.

The meeting.

We think our celebrant Lara Williams did a great job summarising our relationship!

As Lara said, “For two people who described themselves as almost an extension of each other now, they didn’t quite get off to the greatest start. Well, Sam thought they did but not Sophie.

It began the new fashion way in 2015 – with a fateful swipe to the right on the original Russian roulette of online dating, Tinder. Only it wasn’t actually Sophie who liked the look of Sam’s profile and swiped to approve; it was her girlfriends playing with her phone. They told her, “hey, we got you a good one. A good-looking normal one!”

Sophie’s friends’ excellent taste and instincts lead Soph and Sam to soon meet for what was a great first date. Sam actually left the bayside area, dressed in a singlet, to accompany Sophie, dressed in corporate gear, to five different venues on chapel street. The conversation was good. The banter great. They felt comfortable and at ease with one another immediately.”


The ‘one’.

As Lara said, “Sophie decided she might just give men a miss altogether for a while and ghosted poor charming Sam who thought he might have genuinely found his Tinderella. He was gutted, he said, but he didn’t give up. He messaged and called, but to no avail. Months went by until one day, a more sensible Sophie came across a picture of Sam on Facebook. She thought to herself, “What’s wrong with me? He was a good one!” And so, she extended the romantic olive branch.

Walls had to come down, and lessons had to be learnt, but these two ultimately realised what a special thing and person they had stumbled across, and they decided to go all in.”


The proposal.

As Lara said, “After a few failed attempts due to lockdowns, in November 2020, after a run in the sweltering heat, Sam managed to pop the question to Sophie at Pt Leo Estate not long before coming down with a case of heat stroke so severe, he then spent the rest of what should have been their romantic and celebratory evening in the bathroom. Needless to say, Sophie worked through the champagnes and cheese board alone that night.”


Planning process.

We started planning our wedding in early 2021, spending most of our weekends looking at venues. We eventually landed on the preference for a winter wedding at the perfect venue, in the historic and equally eclectic The Ormond Collective on St Kilda Road. In retrospect, planning for a wedding in the winter during the middle of a pandemic was very bold – three postponements later, we finally tied the knot in late December 2021.


Style inspiration. 

We always wanted an urban wedding that spoke to who we are as people – relatively simple, not over the top, casual, but very keen for it to be a fun time.

We initially picked the venue which had a décor and vibe which aligned with us. Thankfully, The Ormond Collective didn’t need much dressing up aside from some great florals and decorations from Amalfi Floral Design.

We worked out what we liked and didn’t like through reviewing wedding Instagram accounts, including real weddings on Ivory Tribe.


The ceremony.

We couldn’t speak higher of our celebrant Lara Williams who delivered the perfect ceremony for us, perfectly encapsulating what we mean to each other and who we are as a team in a meaningful and light-hearted way.


The look. 

For Sophie, her dress was the first she tried on in her search for a wedding dress, having initially viewed it online and loved it. Having said this, Sophie did try on a number of other dresses but always came back to her first dress.

For Sam, it was very easy; he only looked at one store and purchased almost his entire outfit in one go.


Favourite moments.

We wanted to spend more of our wedding celebrating with our friends and family, so we decided to do a ‘reveal’ and a majority of our photos prior to the ceremony. For us, the reveal was very special and perfectly captured by Jess Nicholls. The reveal was the moment we first saw each other. We felt a big relief being back with ‘our person’ after the nerves in the lead-up to the day – it was a very happy moment for both of us and one that we will never forget.


Meaning of marriage.

As Lara said, “For Sophie and Sam, getting married is not only a natural next step in continuing to build their life together, but it’s a tribute to their relationship and the friendship that is very much at the core of this partnership. They couldn’t overstate to me how deeply they trust and understand each other, how much fun they have together doing anything, or nothing at all. And how happy and lucky they feel.

It’s a celebration of all that they have already achieved and that they are only just getting started. They didn’t need this day to know they would spend their life together. That commitment was made emotionally and practically long ago – a mortgage and a dog can do that. Let alone surviving a renovation and a year stuck inside together. But to proudly stand before you all and each other and say, “you  – you are my person” and promise to share your life, no matter what comes your way, adds weight and beauty to that fact.“


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Mess is Mine by Vance Joy

Signing: This Thing We’ve Got by Kite String Tangle

Recessional: Lah You by Anderson Paak

For the first dance, we had the band The Tarantinos play the Jack Rabbit Slims twist song (You Can Never Tell by Chuck Berry). We performed the twist similar to the iconic dance between John Travolta and Uma Thurman during Pulp Fiction, with the Tarantinos playing songs from Quentin Tarantino films.


Funny stories or near disasters.

Due to covid postponements and some covid comfort eating kilos, a month out from the wedding, Sophie tried on her dress only to find that it no longer fit. There was a chaotic few weeks from here; however, Sophie managed to acquire a second wedding dress that she was happy with.

Despite the purchase of a second dress, Sophie didn’t give up and owing to dieting and a militant exercise regime, she managed to fit into her preferred wedding dress on the morning of the big day and decided to wear both dresses.


Planning surprises.

How important it is to have good vendors who communicate with you and are very understanding. We were very lucky to have the vendors that we did who helped us along throughout the journey, despite the annoyance of covid causing major impacts to the industry and mass cancellations which must have been so challenging.


Words of wisdom.

Don’t stress about the expectations of the norm. Create a wedding that is reflective of who you are as a couple, and you will find that people will love it, as it is uniquely you.




Want to follow Sam and Sophie’s lead and pull together a trusted team of A+ vendors? Our directory is the place to be to find truly talented, fabulous folk. Check them all out, here.




Ceremony & reception venue: The Commons at The Ormond Collective by the Big Group. An amazing venue. A historic bluestone building with an incredible fit-out perfect with little dressing up.

Celebrant: Lara Williams. Couldn’t recommend her more highly – she is very easy going, comforting and we received a bunch of positive thoughts on her ceremony from attendees, which is always a great sign

Photography: Jess Nicholls. The photos speak for themselves; she is a wizard (sounds better than witch).

Styling, florist, stationery / signage: Amalfi Floral Design. Florist who wore many hats and did an unbelievable job. An amazingly talented individual with great taste and impeccable execution.

Hair & make-up: Studio 2 Make Up and Hair

The Dresses: Lola Varma (ceremony dress) and Rachel Gilbert (reception dress)

Veil: Lola Varma

Shoes: Bride – Aquazzura, groom – RM Williams

Rings: Pendulum Jewellers, Beaumaris Concourse

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Rachel Gilbert, Bec + Bridge, Rebecca Vallance, Carla Zampatti and Camilla and Marc.

Suits: Groom – MJ Bale, groomsmen – Black Tie Classic

Bow ties / ties: MJ Bale

Catering, bar & cake: The Big Group

Entertainment: The Tarantinos (band) and Logan Entertainment (DJ)

Décor: The Big Group and Amalfi Floral Design

Hire: Harry the Hirer

Honeymoon: Elements of Byron Bay


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