Real Wedding – Taylor & Daniel, Melbourne VIC
Choosing to look at the chaos covid caused for their wedding planning as a chance to reset, Taylor and Daniel created an intimate ceremony to celebrate their love. A smaller guest list allowed them to dial up the style, and the result is a romantic soiree that is breathtakingly beautiful.
The sweeping pillars, marble touches and old-world glamour of the Melbourne Town Hall provided a timeless backdrop with just the right amount of dramatic romance. Lush floral arrangements by Tori Allen Events in classic cream and rich greens added a dynamic, whimsical flourish, perfectly contrasting with Taylor’s elegant bouquet. The sweeping train of her gown by Oleg Cassini created a stunning silhouette, the perfect contemporary take on a classic look.
For these two lovebirds, having waited so long to be married, standing together hand in hand during their ceremony was the sweetest of moments. The joy and elation of the day are captured in a series of incredible images, echoing all the romance and emotion by One Spoon Two Spoon.
For a dreamy dip into this gorgeous gathering, scroll on.
We met many years ago at the party of a mutual friend. We crossed paths briefly and had a short conversation; Dan recalls the details right down to the blue dress I was wearing. Let’s just say I remember less. In my defence, the meeting was brief, and there was alcohol involved.
For us, there’s no big moment to pinpoint. All the little things cumulate and come together to tell you this is the person for you.
We were in the tiny town of Manarola on the Italian Riviera. I was sitting out on the balcony of our villa after spending the afternoon at the beach when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him – in Italian! Of course, I couldn’t understand what he was saying at the time, but the gorgeous oval-shaped rock was a giveaway. We drank wine, walked down the cliffside to the harbour and watched the sun set. It was pure magic! Later Daniel would explain his panic as the surprise was almost ruined coming through customs at the airport in Rome. Alarms went off, and bags were searched but much to his relief, it was just his stainless steel drink bottle.
From the beginning, we were very in sync with how we wanted our wedding to look and feel. We knew we wanted to keep things small-scale and ditch most of the traditional wedding fuss. Originally planning a small cocktail wedding for 70 in September 2020, we made the difficult decision to cancel this a few weeks out after COVID restrictions hit Melbourne again. Once the dust settled, we started fresh with a new venue and smaller guest list. We realised the only thing that was important to us was to be married, so we focused on planning a simple ceremony with our immediate family.
While it was stressful at times, mostly due to COVID, we spent time and energy only on elements that were important to us and ignored the rest. Dan is also a strategic planner by trade, so logistically, he was on top of it all. Excel was our best friend!
We wanted everything to be timeless and romantic, gravitating towards spaces with a historical/European vibe. We also knew early on that we were on the hunt for a ceremony space that spoke for itself and didn’t need a lot of extra styling. Once we found the perfect venue, we based our design choices around that. The balcony at the Melbourne Town Hall has so much drama with its beautiful sandstone pillars and marble floors we went minimal with the styling. We used flowers to add a warm, romantic feel and kept these wild and unruly as if they had always grown there.
Viewing real weddings based in Melbourne was definitely helpful, particularly in finding vendors. Pinterest and Instagram also helped, as did looking at previous weddings held at the venue, to narrow down what we liked and what we didn’t style-wise.
It was beautiful and intimate with just our immediate family. The space was everything we had envisioned, the sun shining through the balcony giving everything a warm glow and casting shadows on the marble floor.
Our gorgeous celebrant Bridge helped us plan it so that it was heartfelt and authentic. My sister shared some beautiful words from Mark Twain about marriage, and Dan asked his sister to read Robert Burns’ A Red, Red Rose on his behalf. We had post-ceremony drinks on the balcony and took it all in with our favourite people.
We both wanted something classic and timeless. I knew I wanted minimalistic but still wanted it to feel special. My dress was one of the first dresses I tried on; I continued to look for a while but kept circling back to this Oleg Cassini dress. It was simple and refined, had sleeves which I loved and just the right sized train to feel a bit fancy. In the end, it was the only thing I could envision wearing on the day. I added custom ruching to the sleeves and a gorgeous Lola Varma veil to complete the look. I went back and forth on jewellery for the day but decided to keep it simple, wearing only my engagement ring and my sister’s diamond studs as my something borrowed.
Dan knew immediately that he wanted a three-piece suit, specifically with a double-breasted vest which was actually pretty difficult to find. Luckily, he found one he liked and kept things classic with a white fly-front shirt and black tie. He also wore a beautiful pair of gold cufflinks to match his wedding band. As a nod to his Scottish heritage, both he and his father wore pocket squares in the Ferguson tartan.
Peering through the dressing room windows to see Dan standing there waiting for me among the flowers. Also, standing together during the ceremony squeezing each other’s hands, saying our vows and feeling the pure excitement and joy of finally getting married after all the COVID obstacles.
Meaning of marriage.
Choosing to go through all the ups and downs of life as one because each day is made better simply by being together.
Aisle Song: Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles (Getting married on the balcony where The Beatles stood and greeted thousands of adoring fans it seemed only fitting)
Signing: Baby I’m Yours by Arctic Monkeys, You Give Me Something by Jamiroquai
Kiss/recessional: You’re My Best Friend by Queen
COVID provided all sorts of unwelcome surprises, including planning a whole new wedding. Also, the volume of emails you have to stay on top of – it’s like having a second job!
Words of wisdom.
In the wedding world, it’s easy for things to snowball where you feel like you need more and more. Try to ignore the wedding trends you see on your Instagram feed and focus on what is authentic and important to you.
Also, just embrace the day and all that comes with it, even the mishaps! At the end of the day, all that truly matters is that you are married.
Your ceremony is most often the first curated moment your guests will encounter on your wedding day. So, to help you make a stunningly special impact, we’ve gathered some of our favourite ceremony set-ups, here on the blog.
TAYLOR & DANIEL’S VENDORS
We used Pinterest and Instagram to get a vibe for different suppliers and chose vendors that not only aligned with our style but that we connected with. Dan knew Bridge, our celebrant, as they were both on the board of a local not-for-profit organisation. She is super warm, passionate and well-spoken, so I knew immediately we were in good hands. We happened to meet our lovely photographer Hailey at a wedding fair and instantly clicked as if we’d always been friends. Both Bridge and Hailey were godsends! Ensuring our day ran perfectly and was captured perfectly.
Ceremony venue: Portico Balcony, The Melbourne Town Hall
Reception venue: No formal reception.
Celebrant: Bridge Kelly from Love is Love Celebrants
Photography: Hailey Birch at One Spoon Two Spoon
Styling: Styling by me (Taylor)
Florist: Tori Allen Events
Hair & make-up: Elly Durbridge
Veil: Lola Varma
Shoes: Loeffler Randall
Rings: Natalie Marie Jewellery
Suit: Dyonsu Melbourne
Tie: Calvin Klein
Stationery / Signage: Sign by State of Elliott, stand made by my wonderful Dad.
Hire: Bentwood chairs and aisle rug through Epicure
Honeymoon: We had grand plans to head back to the Italian Riviera, where we got engaged and hit a few other places in Italy and the south of France, but COVID got in the way. We had a mini-moon in Daylesford and plan on heading back over for our one-year wedding anniversary instead.