Real Wedding – Siobhan & Michael, St Kilda
In a nod to the long, beautiful history of their relationship, Siobhan and Michael’s wedding is a stunning synergy of opulent energy, timeless glamour and epic intimacy.
The George Ballroom provides a breathtaking backdrop, rivalled only by the shimmering streetscapes of the first look photo session, captured in all its sweet joyfulness by Long Way Home Photography.
Florals by Wildflos added simmering drama to the scene in rich crimson tones interspersed with accents of soft blush and vibrant vermillion.
Siobhan chose a stunning Karen Willis Holmes sheath to seamlessly complement the old-world glamour of the venue. Art Deco-inspired beading is given a modern update with a contemporary silhouette, accessorised to perfection with her modern masterpiece of a bouquet.
And, of course, this occasion was about so much more than just the style – emotions overflowed, and guests partied well into the night in the masterful hands of our friends at Melbourne Entertainment Co! Scroll on to see each sumptuously special moment of this dream day.
Our love story has a long history! Michael and I met at the beginning of high school and started going out when we were 16. It certainly wasn’t love at first sight back then, but we took a chance, and it has paid off since then.
After relocating from regional Victoria to Melbourne, moving in together and renovating our home over a three-year period, it’s safe to say there was no turning back!
Michael proposed at home just before Christmas in 2019, and we enjoyed a beautiful dinner out afterwards. We often laugh at the memory of this night because Michael rarely organises dinner plans, yet he had asked me to keep the night free (which I thought was rather suspicious!). The timing was perfect as we drove to northeast Victoria the next day for the Christmas holidays and were able to share our news with our families in person.
Having been together so long, we were determined to be decisive and to have a relatively short engagement. So, I (Siobhan) used the summer holidays to make inquiries and to lock in our venue and main suppliers. Our wedding was initially planned for October 2020, but with the world turned upside down by the pandemic, we ended up setting and postponing three different dates before we could finally carry out the day we originally envisaged. There were a lot of moments when we considered shifting to a Plan B, but ultimately we were determined to throw the party that our families and the longevity of our relationship truly deserved.
We wanted our wedding to be quite glam, and when we found The George Ballroom, it was the perfect fit! We also really loved the intimacy of the space because we didn’t want our guests to end up separated at the end of the night.
One of our main priorities when choosing a venue was finding a location where we could have both the ceremony and the reception in the one place so that our guests wouldn’t need to move from A to B. In addition, we had decided from the start that we would have photos taken before the ceremony, and so we wanted to be able to move seamlessly from the ceremony and into party mode.
Besides all that, a historic love story deserves to be celebrated in a historic ballroom!
From the moment I (Siobhan) walked down the aisle with my Mum and Dad to the moment I kissed my husband, you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! Having everyone we love in the same space cheering for us was a really special and overwhelming experience.
Our celebrant Shelley was an absolute gem, and she set a perfect tone from the get-go – relaxed yet heartfelt.
It was important that our ceremony was a celebration of our relationship, so in lieu of readings, we invited a special friend to share a short chronology of our relationship during the ceremony. We also invited Michael’s two sisters to be our witnesses, which was particularly special.
We took inspiration from the vintage glamour of The George, and this guided us in choosing our outfits. Since Michael is a tradesperson, he knew he wanted to wear a formal black suit!
I went dress shopping with a very open mind, tried on gowns in many different styles and ultimately settled on the one that felt a bit extra. I also tried to remind myself that my wedding dress should make me feel special, but there will also be many other moments in my life when I can dress up and feel glamorous. This helped to take the pressure off some kind of magical search for “the one.”
There are too many! We had our photos taken before the ceremony, and it was great to spend some time with our bridal party and together as a couple to calm our nerves before arriving at the venue. We loved our ceremony, and walking back down the aisle after saying “I do” was the absolute best! A few of our covid postponements related to dance floor restrictions, so we loved the dancefloor and continued the party vibes with an epic after-party at The George Lounge.
Meaning of marriage.
Siobhan: It means sharing a lifetime of memories together.
Michael: It means being one another’s number one supporter.
Aisle: Even When I’m Sleeping by Leonardo’s Bride (performed acoustically)
Recessional: You’ve got the love by Florence and the Machine
First dance: L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole
Funny stories or near disasters.
Lots of rescheduling of suppliers due to postponements!
Only how wonderful and thoughtful all of the suppliers were through the whole process, especially with so many emails back and forth with changing dates.
Words of wisdom.
Have your photos taken before the ceremony! The ceremony will still be just as magical; you will have more time with your guests and ultimately be more relaxed.
Take your photographer’s advice about stealing a few moments away from the party for the golden hour portraits.
Also, ensure you unfollow wedding suppliers on social media after making your decisions so you don’t second guess yourself.
Always come back to what is most important to you both and avoid comparing yourself to others; your day, your way.
Feeling close and connected to your community on your wedding day is a truly magical feeling. Here’s our tips as to how you can foster that sweet intimacy, even with an epic guest list.
SIOBHAN & MICHAEL’S VENDORS
Ceremony & reception venue: The George Ballroom, St Kilda. Victoria was a wonderful event manager and supported us every step of the way. We held an after-party at The George Lounge.
Celebrant: Shelley, You’ve Got the Love. Shelley was warm, professional and reassuring, and our guests loved her work during the ceremony.
Photography: Steph, Long Way Home Photography. Steph worked wonders with two very awkward subjects!
Styling & florist: Nat, Wildflos
Hair: Hannah Young Hair
Make-up: Danielle Gardiner
The dress: Karen Willis Holmes
Veil: Veil borrowed from Siobhan’s sister
Shoes: Dolce Firme
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy
Suits: Daniel Hetcher
Catering & bar: Damn Fine Food
Cake: Miss Ladybird Cakes
Entertainment: Andrew, Melbourne Entertainment Co
Honeymoon: Pre-wedding trip to Port Douglas