Real Wedding – Teena & Axel, Collingwood VIC
From their very first date, Teena knew she and Axel shared that once in a lifetime brand of special between them. Five years on, it was only fitting they create a refreshingly luxe celebration of all that they are; simple, stunning style, magical moments and uplifting fun.
It was essential to Teena to honour her Greek heritage and culture, so along with their church service, traditional elements were woven throughout the day. Juxtaposed with softly structured alabaster florals and the warm warehouse backdrop of Craft & Co, this was a perfect blend of classic meets contemporary and history meets future.
Our own couture queen Shehzarin Batha Couture realised Teena’s dream dress, adding a layered tulle overskirt to elevate this beautiful bride to goddess glam. The misty twinkle in Alex’s eye gave it all away, showing like nothing else the impact his wife-to-be had upon him as she walked down the aisle.
From the church to the laneways of Collingwood, every incredible moment was captured by photographer Kim Cartmell.
We met at a friend’s housewarming five years ago. It sounds like a movie, ‘He knew the guy, I knew the girl”! We spent all night chatting (a three-hour-long chat!). We actually didn’t start dating until six months later when he popped up on my Facebook as a suggested friend, I added and messaged him, and the rest is history!
Teena: It’s going to sound crazy, but I knew after our very first date. I came into work the next day, and my work friend asked me how it went. I literally said, ‘I’m going to marry him one day.’ Crazy!
Axel: We were at my friend’s Grand Final Day party, and Teena (who hadn’t met my friends yet) was just off on her own, mingling with everyone and having fun. She didn’t need me to be with her every second, she just fit in so well, and it was easy. It was at that moment that I knew she was the one.
We were at a beach club in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico; Axel had sneakily brought the ring along without my noticing. As soon as we got there, he suggested we ask the waitress to take a photo of us, which in hindsight should have been a dead giveaway that something was happening, as he literally never asks for photos! His plan was to ask me while she was taking the photo, but I was so hot and bothered, the only thing I wanted to do was jump in the pool! It wasn’t until we were sipping on cocktails and gazing at the ocean an hour later that he reached into his bag and popped the question!
So. Many. Emotions.
The planning process for our original wedding date (eight months prior to the actual wedding date) was smooth sailing. I’m a natural planner and knew exactly what we wanted; the wedding was planned and ready to go within six months – then COVID hit. Along with three date changes, we also had to cut sixty people from our guest list, change the reception venue, change photographer (as he was stuck overseas!), the priest was moved to a different church, change DJ (he was not going to be in Melbourne for the new date). It was very stressful but in the end, so worth it.
We wanted our wedding to be light, bright, simple, modern and relaxed.
It was really special to be able to share, embrace and uphold my Greek culture with all of our family and friends.
I had a very clear picture in my head of what I wanted. I went to four different stores before Mum and I happened to walk past Shehzarin Batha Couture. A dress in the window caught my eye, so we walked in, hoping they would be able to squeeze me in, and we were in luck! Shez took one look at me and knew exactly what would suit me.
The dress was exactly what I had pictured, but never in a million years would I have thought of putting on the beautiful tulle overskirt without Shez’s suggestion! The minute I put it on, my look felt complete. Shez and her team were absolute superstars! They were so understanding in dealing with three date changes and some covid kilos. I am devastated that I can’t wear it again, to be honest!
The whole day was magical! But if we had to choose, ‘You can now kiss the bride’, the moment the priest announced us as husband and wife.
A very close second favourite was when Axel and I took a step back to look around and soak everything in; at this moment, every single one of our family and friends were all relishing in the plate smashing and Greek dancing! Everyone was having an absolute ball, and we felt so much love for everyone.
Meaning of marriage.
Unconditional love. Support. Commitment to being the best versions of ourselves for one another.
Aisle: There is no music in Greek Church, but as we started walking down the aisle, my mum (mum and dad both walked me down) started humming the wedding march “Dum, dum, da, dum…dum, dum, da, dum”, it made me laugh and definitely calmed the nerves!
Reception entry: September by Earth Wind & Fire
First dance: Can You Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John (Live version)
Funny stories or near disasters.
Axel and I had practised aspects of our first dance a few times at home in the lead-up. We practised a few ‘lifts’ but hadn’t decided on which one to do. After being in my dress all day, I realized we would have to do an ‘under the knee’ lift as my dress was quite tight, and I couldn’t really move my legs too much. Axel, in all his excitement (and having had a little too much to drink), decided DURING THE DANCE to lift me horizontally (instead of under the knees as we had discussed) and walk (more like stumble) around in a circle! I thought he was going to drop me! Kim captured this perfectly in the photos; it’s a great funny memory to look back on.
Words of wisdom.
Don’t sweat the small stuff; everything comes together beautifully in the end. Enjoy every second; it honestly goes so quickly, so remember to take a step back and soak it all in.
Planning to make your forever promises in a church? We have some beautiful real wedding inspiration to capture your heart and honour your heritage, on our blog, here.
TEENA & AXEL’S VENDORS
Ceremony venue: Greek Orthodox Church: Holy Monastery of Axion Estin, Northcote
Reception venue: The Craft & Co, Collingwood. These guys were like a breath of fresh air after we had to change venues. They were so easy going and a breeze to deal with!
Officiant: Father Jordan Krikelis – he had us in stitches at certain parts of the ceremony!
Photography: Kim Cartmell – Kim was an absolute dream to have with us all day/night; she made us feel so comfortable and relaxed.
Videography: We decided not to use one; my brother filmed key moments on an iPhone 12, which we will put together to a soundtrack.
Florist: Wild in Love – Sarah was amazing! She was so professional, kind and understanding – especially considering the fact that I changed my mind about the flowers three times with three date changes! She blew our guests and us away with her floral magic!
Hair: Real Sonder – I have been going here for years; they are so warm and welcoming. Amy absolutely nails my hair every single time!
Make-up: SP Make-up – Stella is a make-up whiz and also happens to be my cousin!
The dress: Shehzarin Batha Couture – Shehz and her team are not only super knowledgeable and experts in their field but also the nicest and most understanding people I have ever met; they made the wedding dress experience one that my mum and I will cherish forever
Veil / headwear: Jeanette Maree
Shoes: Tony Bianco
Rings: Evita Jewellery
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Sheike
Groomsmen’s suits and bow ties / ties: Expedition Apparel
Catering and bar: The Craft & Co
Favours: Ourselves – the in-laws made them for us!
Cake / Cake topper: Flos cakes and cookies
Stationery / Signage: The Parker Effect
Entertainment: Astound DJ’s
Transport: Kombi love
Honeymoon: Mini-moon to Airlie Beach, Whitsundays. Europe when we can travel again!