Real Wedding – Vivienne & Zoli, Werribee VIC

Real Wedding – Vivienne & Zoli, Werribee VIC


Vivienne and Zoli were keen for a ‘one stop’ event so their wedding day felt like a mini getaway and Werribee Mansion proved to be the perfect place for their day.

Romantic and timeless, their fabulous florals shone, but definitely didn’t outshine Vivienne in her stunning Mariana Hardwick gown.

While their guests hit the dancefloor they popped outside for some moonlit snaps, and Katie Harmsworth was there to capture it all.

In Vivienne’s words…

The meeting.

We met at a bar on a Friday night in July, 2005.  It was the ‘Original’ Alumbra that was held at South Wharf docks. It was a tiny small little place that was between sheds. It was Zoltán’s hot spot for socialising every Friday night with his mates.  I came late to the bar that night and was solo as I had work and was meeting up with my family (believe it or not) because my dad and auntie were celebrating a joint birthday.

If you meet Zoli (short for Zoltán) he is very charismatic, funny and doesn’t seem to mind if he makes a fool out of himself in public and around strangers. So, when he approached me on the squishiest dance floor, it was nothing but laughs, chats and conversation that seemed very innocent and friendly. When I noticed time went past and literally my family and cousins had disappeared, I explained I needed to leave as I wasn’t sure rocking out solo was my thing. To my surprise he asked for my number and the rest is history.


The ‘one’.

I can’t recall having a lightning bolt moment of ‘ohhh he will be the father of my children ‘ but we always had fun being together in our 20’s and I guess we all have moments where we could have chosen to go with someone else or go the other direction. But we never did. We always chose each other every time.


The proposal.

It was a Thursday, business as usual as I caught the train home from work and made the call for Zoli to pick me up from the station. Zoli (always prompt) picked me up and drove to our house. I express interest in going swimming, but I see that he is somewhat ‘fresh’. Fresh – as in being showered and casually dressed. This seemed strange as mostly he would pick me up in work clothes, trackies or topless in jocks if it’s hot! So I was a little surprised (not suspicious though) that he was dressed in smart casual. We pulled up at our house, and I received a phone call from my best friend, so I was chatting on the phone on the way home.  I stepped into our home and automatically looked for our dog to take her out to the backyard but I saw that the blinds to the back French doors that lead to our deck and backyard are shut. As I was about to open the blinds to the backyard, Zoli said ’hey listen, don’t be upset but I’ve got a surprise. You know the weber BBQ I wanted to get? Well I got it? Did you want to see?’ (back story on this weber BBQ I was very reluctant to get it and we have had many funny discussions back and forth about it, so that’s why he would use that to be cheeky!). I laughed and agreed to see it. So when he pulled the blinds up, I soon noticed he transformed our deck into a mini oasis! With palms, balloons, petals and calico draped to surround our entire deck. There was champers, flowers, little notes and of course him on one knee. We bought our home and totally gutted it and rebuilt our house together, so Zoli said ‘there is nowhere else that is more special to me than this house that we built together.’


Planning process.

I’m all about mood boards to cement a look and feel! Then it’s all about going through each stage of the event and seeing how each component is going to be developed and planned. Creating one big document with everything in it so people / suppliers can reference it to know who to talk to on the day. Giving your suppliers as much information as possible even if it’s not their direct area, is beneficial. In all, the two main important documents for me were the creative documents, outlining each area’s look/feel and whom is responsible, and of course, the run sheet.


Style inspiration.

We wanted a ‘one stop’ event and we wanted to stay there as well so it felt like a mini getaway. Werribee Mansion was perfect because it ticked all the boxes with gorgeous grounds, a beautifully presented hotel and spa, and only being a 30-minute drive from the city.  So, this set the tone for us. We wanted it to be romantic, timeless but have a bit of an edge.


The dress.

The dress that ended up being ‘the dress’ was one of the first dresses I tried on. It was completely different to what I had in mind. I don’t believe I dress quite ‘girlie’ and never thought I’d wear a full skirt dress, but as I went on and tried all these other beautiful gowns, I felt like the ultimate bride in this one. Soft, romantic but with a hint of sexiness with transparent netting and lace. I found that the more dresses I tried on, the more my style became soft and romantic.


Favourite moment.

My favourite moment of the day is when Zoli’s twin sister, Virag did a reading about us at the ceremony.  I cannot describe how touching this was, and I couldn’t even try to put it in better words. This is what she read:


She is a paintbrush and he is a calculator;

She adds a bit of artistry into everything she does; he measures twice and cuts once.

He’s obsessively neat while she is steadfastly nonchalant;

His handwriting looks like it has been sketched by Michelangelo;

Her handwriting looks like a perfect mess.

He does the research and she listens to the edited highlights; he stays up all night researching Japanese development of earthquake proof technology and she sleeps soundly knowing that he has done so

She is fashion forward and he dresses for comfort; looking good comes effortlessly for her but for him, there is going to be time spent in the bathroom mirror.

Even though they have so many differences, they love each other, and I think I know why.

He loves her because she is a good person to love
And because when he tells her something special, she knows it’s special
And both of them remember

When he thinks something is important
She thinks it’s important too

And she has good ideas
When he says something funny, she laughs
He knows how to be silly
And she loves being silly with him

She loves him because when she is feeling sad he always cheers her up
I can’t remember when he didn’t love her

It must have been a different world for him then
He would go on choosing her
And she would go on choosing him
Over and over again
And that’s how it would happen every time


Meaning of marriage.

Marriage is about establishing your own crew. A crew that you can nurture and build into something that is rock solid.


Wedding soundtrack.

I walked down the aisle to a string quartet playing  Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling In Love. Reception entry/first dance was Disclosure feat. Sam Smith Latch.


Funny stories (near disasters).

There is never a dull moment with us. I was the calmest bride, I was so chilled and relaxed, but I heard through the grapevines that Zoli was having a bit of audio trouble with setting something up. He was rushing to get ready and struggled with his bowtie etc. Although I felt bad for him, it was nice for the roles to be reversed. Mind you he took a massage that morning as well which went to waste! But, other than that, the weather was amazing, and everything was to perfection!


Words of wisdom.

Be clear on a direction. Make sure the direction reflects you two as a couple and make it bespoke.




Jade and Brock’s day was classic but with incredible modern touches that must be seen, be sure to check it out.



Ceremony and reception venue: Werribee Mansion

Celebrant/Officiant: Yash Bono

Photography: Katie Harmsworth

Videography: Iconic pictures

Styling: The Melbourne Planner

Florist: Candy Mountain

Hair and make up: Renee Camilleri

The Dress: Marianna Hardwick

Veil / headwear: Marianna Hardwick

Bride’s Shoes: No 21

Rings: Charles Rose & Intrinsic Diamonds

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Rachel Gilbert

Groom’s suit: Bell & Barnett

Groom’s Shoes: Jack London

Bow ties / ties: Bell & Barnett

Catering and bar: Werribee Mansion

Cake / Cake topper: Cakes of Distinction

Stationery / Signage: Paper Jam Studio

Entertainment: Stringspace and  DJ Matthew Lavcanski (Matt Lav)

Décor: Custom backdrop and walling built by The Melbourne Planner.  Linen and napkins custom made.

Hire: Harry the Hirer and The Small Things Co.

Honeymoon: Fiji