Real Wedding – Shannon & Dave, Mornington VIC
After a beautiful service officiated by none other than Dave’s father, Shannon and Dave created a celebration full of warmth, love and laughter.
Treating their bridal party to a post-ceremony picnic it allowed them to soak up the feeling of being newlyweds before they hit the dance floor all night long.
Luckily, many of Shannon and Dave’s friends work in the wedding and entertainment industry, so they used their unique talents to bring even more meaning to their day. Captured by good friend Daniel Milligan, we can see exactly why this day is so close to his heart.
In Shannon and Dave’s words…
We met working at the Coffee Club when we were 15 and 16. Dave was the dish-pig and I worked on the till. We re-met again volunteering for the Red Frogs in Rye, VIC (Red Frogs is a schoolie support network). We were mates for ages before Dave finally asked me on a date. It was a risky move cause we were nervous about risking our friendship but it’s definitely paid off.
I figured out he was the one when he supported and cared for my family when my Nan passed away. She and I were very close and Dave would come to the hospital with food and supplies he’d specially chosen for each on my family members based on what he knew of our likes and dislikes. His generosity and strength really helped not only me, but also my whole family at this tough time.
Dave planned an incredible day of all of my favourite things! He armed me with a polaroid camera and I was delivered envelopes containing jigsaw pieces and clues that led me across the Peninsula on various adventures. Brunch with my besties, the beach, tennis, a massage and then dinner were just some of the experiences he’d planned out for us. It was a 42-degree day so playing tennis was a brief affair! The day finished at sunset at the beach and an envelope with the final pieces of the jigsaw. He got down on one knee and I said yes!! Walking (more like skipping) up the beach I saw someone in the bushes! My friend Danny (who was also our wedding photographer) popped out with his camera! He’d caught the moment on camera and we had our engagement shoot there and then at sunset on the beach. It was an incredibly well planned, special day.
We got straight to looking for a reception venue. We really wanted to use a community hall and bring in our own caterers. We had visions of creating a cool market/food truck vibe where people could move and interact with the space. We also booked our honeymoon straight away because we were just so excited to travel overseas together for the first time!
In the end, we gave up our idea of the market or food truck vibe as finding the right community hall was proving really difficult. Then a friend who worked at a new local tapas restaurant suggested we check out the function room there. A brand new atrium had been built creating spectacular views over the township and down to the beach. We became the first wedding to be held there. The staff were brilliant and the chefs planned a superb menu.
Just like our photographer, many of our friends worked in the wedding and entertainment industry so we used them! It added another awesome layer to have our friends play us down the aisle, style the venues, create the cake and do our graphic design work.
We definitely wanted an emphasis on great food and drinks and plenty of fun dancing. We also didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously and have fun along the whole journey to getting married.
In terms of colour, as it wasn’t a summer wedding I wanted darker, more romantic colours and I was sure to use Australian flowers. Navy, greens, whites and berry colours were what we worked from.
My dress had some beautiful dynamic lace across it, a trumpet shape and seriously delightful leaf-shaped spaghetti straps. Originally I looked to buy second hand off Still White (because I’m kinda practical in that way and was happy to recycle) however I found the Sottero and Midgley dress on the Raffaele Ciuca website and loved it when I tried it on. It was made over in the USA in my size and express posted to the shop. A couple of alterations later, some corset and bustle training with my mum and besties and we were good to go.
One of my favourite moments of the day was the picnic in the park after the ceremony with the bridal party. Picnic baskets were packed with goodies from the afternoon tea we’d put on for our ceremony guests and traveled with us in the wedding cars. It was so relaxed and fun and really helped us settle into the new realization that we were now husband and wife! Plus eating on the day is so important for brides!
Dave and I are both Christian so it was really important to us to include prayer and taking communion together as our first act as husband and wife. Dave’s dad is a minister and he’d married Dave’s older brother and sister and as the last child left if was really special for Michael to officiate our marriage too. My mum’s best friend Martine sang a Frank Sinatra song (dedicated to my Nan) for our first dance song, something she’d done at my parents wedding too.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage means serving and loving another person for the rest of your life. It means extending grace and support and giving 100% all of the time. It means communicating and sharing your life intimately with another, knowing them and being known yourself.
Aisle: Alpenglow by S. Carey
Signing of the registry: Grow Old With Me by Tom Odell
Pronouncement: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye
Reception intro: Everybody Needs Somebody To Love by The Blues Brothers
First dance: The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra
Dance floor starter: Twist and Shout by The Beatles
Funny stories (or near disasters).
My sister got food poisoning a few days out. When she arrived to get ready she looked like death warmed up. Thankfully the other bridesmaids cared for her and brought her back to life. After hair and makeup you could hardly tell she was feeling unwell and she was fine for the rest of the day.
Another funny moment is that we’d organised a ‘doggie bag’ of the yummy food from the reception to go with us to our AirBnb in the city after the reception. Unfortunately we said our goodbyes and jumped in the car just before it was rushed out to us. If only I’d known because a part of me wishes thinks we’d have gone back for it!
Dave’s involvement and interest was awesome! You can’t really predict if they’re going to get into the process, but planning it together was really fun and exciting. We were on the same page the whole time and shared the same values and this came through I think.
Unfortunately some venues were quite expensive. That was surprising and frustrating at times. We had to get creative with how we balanced everything financially. There are also things that are pushed at you as a bride that are really not necessary and can push up the prices if you don’t weigh up their importance in the scale of things.
Words of wisdom.
Don’t make it bigger than it is. It’s a great day, but make sure it’s put in rightful perspective. It’s not worth unnecessary stress or angst. Relax. Enjoy each stage as they come. Make space for it in your life. Put things on hold and embrace the wonderful and one-off season that it is in your lives. Also, make sure your mum is there when you get ready. It wasn’t intentional, it just happened (probably because we were occupied with my sisters health) but my mum wasn’t present for the morning and it’s the only thing I’d do differently.
Just do it! Don’t put marriage on hold because you think you can’t afford it or whatever. It’s the best thing and really makes you grow as a person. That said; don’t get married because you want a wedding day. Marriage is legit and a truly remarkable thing for the individual, the couple and society itself. Enjoy the process, ride the highs and the lows and remember to keep it about your love for each other and as a celebration of the people around you who’ve contributed to that. It’s not about the dress, the venue or the experience for the guests…it’s far richer and broader than that.
Shannon and Dave’s Tribe…
Ceremony: Peninsula City Church, Frankston.
Reception: Casa De Playa, Mornington.
Officiant: Michael Podhaczky
Photography: Daniel Milligan Photography
Videography: Joel Taylor
Styling and florals: Collective Mile Creatives
Make-up: Cynthia Smyth
Veil / head wear: Borrowed from a friend (Nina Papalia)
Accessories: Hoskings Jewellers
Rings: Top Image Jewellery
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Cue
Menswear suit: Top Man
Bow ties: ASOS
Ties: Roger David
Catering: Fred and Steph at Casa De Playa
Cake / Cake topper: Diyanne Podhaczky
Stationery / Signage: Dani Gibson and Christina Russo
Entertainment: Velvet Archers
Honeymoon: Kassie at Flight Centre Sorrento