Christina and Toni incorporated very few DIY projects, instead hiring a team of wedding pros who had similar visions to them, to bring their luxe modern wedding in the Yarra Valley, Victoria, to life.
Tell us a little about yourselves?
Toni is 28 years old and a dental assistant. Toni loves a good time out with her closest friends and any excuse for a French martini!!!
I (Christina) am 30 years old and a Store Manager at Aldi Food Store. I love to spend time with my crazy big Italian family, usually spending summers in Anglesea surfing with my cousins or just the big family gatherings where we eat food for hours!! We are BOTH OBSESSED with our fur baby Kendrick our french bulldog (he runs our household)!
We are obsessed with reality TV, especially the Kardashians or a little bit of Ru-Paul most weeks. And, because we work a lot with different work hours, the days we spend with each other are very special.
Amazing, we are all for a little reality TV!! Can you tell us about the proposal?
Christina proposed in June 2018 to me in a loft room at Crown Metropol. She first took me on a date to the National Gallery of Victoria, which then ended up with a surprise stay at Crown. Little did I know she was about to pop the big question!
She caught me by surprise as I was not expecting to be proposed to at all. Christina loved that I didn’t have any clue, but that didn’t stop her nerves. Once the question was asked and I, of course, said yes! We popped the champagne and rang our family to tell them the great news. Later that night, we also had an intimate dinner planned at Gradi with our closest friends, so it was extraordinary to celebrate our engagement with them.
Any stories from the lead up to the wedding, stressful or funny?
Well, I’m not sure if anyone remembers that Armageddon day (as we like to call it) on November 21st, 2019, the day before our wedding. The day started with severe winds, while the temperature got to 41 degrees. Then in the afternoon, a cool change resulted in a significant storm ripping up trees everywhere. Toni planned all along to get ready at her parents’ house in Kangaroo Ground. Unfortunately, they lost power that night, hoping it would be back on for the next day.
The morning of our wedding came, and we still didn’t have power! Toni’s poor dad and brother were ringing around, trying to organize generators from our neighbor’s and uncle. Toni’s hairstylist arrived at 8 am, and still no power. A hairdryer needs so much energy that it had to have its generator. Toni’s hairstylist, Rae, did a great job keeping calm and not letting Toni know this information. But thankfully, the power returned at 9:30 am that morning. We did not know what we were going to do if it hadn’t!
Other than that, we were fortunate the day ran quite smoothly. The weather was perfect for our day. The only other hiccup we had was one of Christina’s bridesmaid’s dresses strap broke right before walking down the aisle in the car. Luckily, we had a “survival wedding kit” in the car with a needle and thread in it.
What lead you to the decision on the venue?
We got married at the beautiful Coombe Yarra Valley in Coldstream Victoria. We went to a few meetings at other venues to decide where to get married, but as soon as we walked into Coombe, we knew it was the venue for us! It has a mix of vintage history and a contemporary reception place, which perfectly suits Christina’s and my style. Funny enough, three years earlier, Christina and I took both of our parents there for lunch, and they joked how one day we could get married there. Not knowing that day would finally come true.
The staff from day one of booking through to our wedding day were beyond helpful and accommodating, and we couldn’t have asked for a better venue.
What inspired the vibe of your wedding?
T: The inspiration came from the venue itself; it was so perfect you didn’t even have to do much to make the day look incredible. I only like monochrome colors; therefore, having the Bridemaids and Bridesmen wear black would complement Christina and I’s outfits on the day. And the florals were deep green foliage with mainly white flowers and a touch of blush. Having Coombe’s gardens as a backdrop made the color scheme come together perfectly. Even though everything was monochrome with simple green and white foliage, we had to have a little pride celebration included on our wedding day. This is where our cake came into the picture, with a rainbow top tier. It was a subtle feature, but just as important to have it apart of our day.
What DIY projects brought the day to life?
Our sister in law Sarah made our favors. She loves to bake, so we asked if she would make our “Yass Queens” cookies to go in our favor boxes. Then, Toni and I, alongside our best gals, packed the cookies into boxes with personalized M&Ms with our faces on them!
Toni also made the little cones that our petals were thrown in during the ceremony.
We tried not to do too many DIY as we wanted to be stress-free for our wedding day.
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
T: To be honest, I wouldn’t say I like dress shopping. I had previously been to a few bridal places and still hadn’t found one that was me. Instagram was a massive help; as being gay, I wanted to feel comfortable and accepted at the places I was going to try dresses on. Karen Willis Holmes was always popping up on gay-friendly Instagram pages, so I decided to book in with them, and that’s where I found my perfect dress. The ladies were so down to earth and not too over the top at all!
C: I knew from the beginning that I wanted to have my suit custom-made but didn’t know where to start. I knew I needed to find someone who would make me feel comfortable and be just as excited as I was to make my outfit that little bit extra special!! Toni helped me search for designers via Instagram, where we found Couture Menswear. From the moment I saw their designs, I knew they were who I wanted to go with. Shae was terrific from start to finish and made the process that extra special!
Talk to us about the big day!
C: From the moment we arrived in the beautiful gardens of Coombe, where we entered to see our loved ones with the champagne flowing, the sun shone and smiled everywhere. Our closest friends and family surround the 180-year-old oak tree, where I was finally going to marry my beautiful woman. I had butterflies in my stomach, and I couldn’t believe this moment was about to happen! Toni walked down that aisle, looking absolutely gorgeous. It took my breath away!!!
We made sure every moment was a celebration. Coombe’s fantastic staff made sure of it, with everyone’s glasses always full and excellent food to enjoy (after all, Christina comes from an Italian background). Toni and I went around all the different gardens, taking some stunning photos and our videographers capturing all the important moments while we laughed and celebrated with our I do crew.
Then we all made our way into the reception to get the party started, Dancing into the fantastic restaurant of Coombe filled with all our loved ones. As the beat dropped and words were sung, ‘I’m coming out I want the world to know’ Toni, and I danced our way into the room hand in hand, so excited to celebrate and party the night away!!! We cut our amazing two-tier cake, topped with the YASSSS QUEENS cake topper, and revealed our rainbow cake within! This was just the beginning of the festivities for the evening. Every detail in the room was just how we imagined, from our fantastic flowers and flower bombs hanging from the roof to all the fine details on table settings, but most of all, every single one of our friends and family with us to have the most fantastic night.
We spent the entire night laughing, smiling, and dancing with each other but also with every single person in the room! The entire guest list was up dancing the night away, and at one stage, we even had the conga line going through our entire venue. It was a PERFECT DAY!
What are your favorite moments?
T: I would have to be standing at the altar with my soon-to-be wife, under a magnificent 180-year-old oak tree, and looking out to our closest family and friends, knowing that every one of them was there to CELEBRATE and ACCEPT our love for each other.
C: The entire day was a dream come true for me! I never thought the day would come that I would get to marry the girl of my dreams, but also to have had my entire family celebrating the love we have for each other was the best feeling. We wanted the whole day to be a party and for everyone to just enjoy the beautiful day and surroundings with all the people we love, and that’s precisely how the day was PERFECT!!!
Do you have a stand out vendor?
All of our vendors were equally amazing! Each one of them made our day run so smoothly and stress-free. Our photographer Chloe and videographer Annette & Dani were so much fun to walk around Coombe gardens with. They made us feel comfortable in our own skin and mucking around here and there. Our day co-ordinator Georgia and then Shay were the best girls! Being so open and accepting of anything we wanted.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Don’t be afraid to shop around; you need to feel completely comfortable with your vendors. Your wedding day is a reflection of yourselves as a couple. Don’t feel the need to have to do a traditional ceremony or reception because the venue or a person says you have to.
For example, our “I do crew” partners sat on either side of our bridal party, as we were good friends with them. People said it wouldn’t look right or be too busy, but after the wedding, they complimented how good it looked, and it wasn’t those things at all.
Lastly, what does marriage mean to you?
Christina always wanted a big wedding and to one day be married. But for Toni, it never really meant much until same-sex marriage was finally accepted legally in Australia.
T: “That day hit me like a ton of bricks, I was never really a political person, but the fact that it was legalized and finally accepted changed my views on everything.” Having been together for 4.5 years, the day same-sex marriage passed meant we could have and plan a REAL future together. We knew that once we were married, we could finally be recognized on legal documents as a couple and not have to fight for our rights for our future.
Photography by Chloe May
Bridal Boutique KWH Bridal
Cake Miss Ladybird Cakes
Cake Topper Communicake it
Catering Coombe Yarra valley
Ceremony & Reception Venue Coombe Yarra Valley
Celebrant Damon Hughes
Earrings Amélie George
Entertainment Higher Ground
Engagement & Wedding Rings Anton Jewellery
Florist Sugarbee Flowers
H&MU Rachael Anne Evans, Amy Bysouth, Kerry Tseros
Pet Accessories Collar Bow Tie from Pinterest
Printer Stasia Fox Studio
Shoes Jo Mercher, Bianca Buccheri
Stationery & Signage Kg Creative.Co
Suit Designer Couture Menswear
Transport Triple R Luxury Car Hire
Videographer Annette & Dani