Real Wedding – Sophia & Thomas, Melbourne VIC
Scrolling through images of Sophia & Tom’s wedding, we could not help but wow. These two set out to focus on the elements of the day that would make them and their guests the happiest – and boy was it evident, they more than nailed the brief.
Gardens house in the Botanic Gardens provided an inner-city oasis which made it super easy for their guests; as Soph and Tom pointed out, everyone loves to sleep in their own bed at the end of an epic party! Lush gardens of the richest greenery provided sumptuous scenery against which classic black and white, with subtle accents of burgundy and blush, looked simply striking.
Soph was a vision of natural elegance in her Dan Jones the Label two-piece gown, with the relaxed chic vibe carried on by her bride babes in contemporary takes on the classic white dress.
The celebrations finished up on the dance floor, absolutely heaving to tunes mixed by Nathan at Melbourne Entertainment Co. We love that Nathan transitioned seamlessly from sax to the decks, keeping their guests on their feet well into the night!
Superstar photographer Sabine Legrand has captured this visual treat from start to finish.
We met in 2009 at university. Although we were studying different things, we got to know each other through going to uni parties and events, studying together, and working on the bar at Falls Festival in Tasmania. We started dating in early 2010, and over the last ten years we have grown up together.
As we’ve been dating for so long, it’s hard to pinpoint a time! We really have grown together over the past ten years.
I think it is the ability to grow, change, and develop over such a formative time in our lives, with the full support of the other, that showed we were right for one another.
We travelled to the Northern Territory for a long weekend away. Soph had spent some time in Alice Springs, so she planned a weekend of activities including holding baby kangaroos, four-wheel driving to desert gorges, and some hiking.
One hike was up to the peak of Mount Gillen for sunset. While we passed a few people on the walk up, by the time we were at the top, everybody else had left. Just as the sky was starting to turn vibrant pink, Tom got down on one knee and proposed! Tom then brought out champagne and glasses, which he had smuggled in his backpack and hauled up the mountain, and we celebrated as the sky dramatically changed colours while the sun set. We made a quick descent as the light disappeared over the horizon and we finished off the hike in the dark under the expansive Northern Territory skies.
We wanted to have a wedding that was beautiful, relaxed, and comfortable for our guests and us. We wanted to make it easy for our guests to enjoy themselves – with good food and wine, great music, and a beautiful atmosphere to be immersed in for the day and night.
We went for simple but striking. Colourful, abundant, but not over the top.
The venue itself helped with this. Initially, we were looking at wineries and other venues in regional Victoria, but because of restrictive end times, we found ourselves looking at city locations. Finally, we came upon the Botanic Gardens, right in the heart of Melbourne and yet an oasis of serenity and lush gardens. It was perfect. You felt as though you were outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, with the added benefit of an easy commute home for most of our guests – let’s be honest, we all love to sleep in our own bed.
The wedding dress is a two-piece, silk-satin gown. I loved how simple and classic it was, and how it had a contemporary twist with the structured back design. It was so comfortable to wear on the day and felt effortless. I didn’t wear a veil as it seemed a bit too traditional for me, and I also didn’t want the veil to cover the back of the dress.
It took a bit of time to find the dress; initially I had a slightly different style in mind. I didn’t instantly put this dress on and think “this is the one”. Then after a bit more searching I came back to this dress, and clear as day it was suddenly “the one”!
Tom and his groomsmen wore dinner suits, which is also a classic and timeless look. To differentiate himself, Tom’s suit had a peak lapel, and his groomsmen had shawl lapels.
There were a lot of special moments, but the two that really stood out were the vows and the first dance.
For the vows, it is very special to make such significant and personal promises in front of the most important people in your life.
For the first dance, after so much practise, we were very excited to show off our moves to our friends and family, and it was a huge success!
Meaning of marriage.
Always showing up for the other person.
Aisle: The Swann by Saint Saens (performed by Tom’s brother Charlie on violin)
Signing: Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley (performed by groomsman Byron on acoustic guitar)
Recessional: Signed, Sealed Delivered by Stevie Wonder for walking out down the aisle
Reception entry: Crazy in Love by Beyonce
Cake cutting: L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole
First dance: (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson
Bouquet toss: You Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes
Funny stories or near disasters.
We were very lucky to be able to have our wedding in early March and not to have been impacted by COVID-19. All of our international guests managed to join us and get home safely which we are so happy about.
COVID-19 did mean that we had to change our honeymoon plans the week before leaving. We cancelled our trip to Japan and instead managed to honeymoon in Fiji and New Zealand!
During the ceremony, some bagpipes from a nearby wedding started up, which was a bit startling at first but was quite funny – the sound of bagpipes really does travel! It was quite nice though, and seemed to accompany our ceremony pretty well!
It was very time consuming and not always great fun. Make sure to find a way to enjoy the process. For us, this was the dance lessons we took – a fun activity away from a computer screen that was just the two of us.
We also really enjoyed tasting the food of the venue when we were deciding whether to choose it, a degustation with paired wines – we recommend taking the afternoon off work for this one!
Words of wisdom.
Focus on the parts that will make you and your guests most happy. We wanted good food, good wine, and great music – and we wanted to remember it. So we found a great photographer and videographer to capture the day.
Love scrolling incredible images of real weddings? We couldn’t be happier diving down a rabbit hole of aesthetic gorgeousness – so we’ve pulled together some of our most loved insta moments, all in one place! Settle in for some refreshingly beautiful realness.
SOPHIA & TOM’S VENDORS
Ceremony and reception venue: Gardens House at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.
Celebrant: Jorgia Brown. Jorgia is so lovely, bright, and funny, and really felt like a friend throughout the whole process. On the day she perfectly captured the mood we were going for, and everything ran smoothly. Jorgia was very prepared!
Photography: Sabine Legrand. Can we please all hail Queen Sabine? This woman is so fun, down to earth, and downright likable. Sabine was getting amongst and capturing all the fun, as well as contributing to it. She encourages a good time, and the photos really show it. We love how the photos are vibrant and colourful. Sabine really captures the scene, the emotions, and the party!
Videography: Iconic Pictures. Abhi did an amazing job of shooting on the day. He was a lot of fun and is such a sweet guy. The edit by Faz was perfect and really reflected who we are. A great team at Iconic Pictures.
Florist: Georgie Boy. The flowers and the way they were presented was outstanding. Walking into the reception venue, the flowers were draped and styled beautifully across the bright white tables. Gina’s knowledge of the venue and what would and wouldn’t work there was very helpful and comforting. We gave Gina some broad ideas of what we liked, the types of colours we were after, and a few things we didn’t like. What Gina came up with in the end was beyond anything we could imagine, yet it perfectly fit what we were after.
Hair: Raw Element
Make-up: Mae Taylor
The dress: Dan Jones the Label from Bluebell Bridal. Bluebell Bridal is by far the best bridal store in Melbourne. They have such a great range of dresses and the women that look after you are so pleasant, kind, and personable.
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Groom’s suit: The Suit Shop by P Johnson
Groomsmen’s suits: Joe Black
Catering: The Atlantic Group. The food and service was amazing, better than we could have hoped for!
Cake: Tom’s groomsman Sebastian Graham made a beautiful, three-tiered sponge cake with passionfruit icing. Save for the top layer which we hid away; the wedding cake was completely devoured by our guests – it was so delicious!
Entertainment: Nathan Op de Coul from the Melbourne Entertainment Company. Boy does Nathan know how to start a party. Part DJ, part saxophone player, this man has a super interactive style and plenty of tricks up his sleeve that kept the dance floor going all night.
Honeymoon: Fiji and New Zealand
Other: Sam at Rythemics School of Dance on Elizabeth Street was amazing. We learnt random dance steps over a series of weeks and then towards the end, Sam brought it all together with the song like magic. The dance was an absolute hit at the wedding. It was a highlight of the planning process and really kicked off the party!