A Colorful and Bright Melbourne Wedding Day

Cat and Melbourne fell in love in lockdown, and chose Melbourne favorite, CERES, as their wedding ceremony venue, Brunswick Mess Hall for their colorful and queer wedding day. 

The Proposal.

It was at the tail end of the last lockdown in 2021, and I had known that G had bought a ring for me (after me not so subtly showing her the ring that I really liked many times and her sticking a ring on my finger to measure for size a few months prior). I had, unbeknownst to her, bought a ring at the start of that lockdown. 

I had casually noted to my work wife/codependent emotional support friend from my old job that it arrived in the post a couple of days before our two-year anniversary. We had spoken about getting engaged a bunch and had tentatively planned to wait until lockdown lifted and we could go away somewhere.

We were planning a big night in for our anniversary. After one too many cocktails, the same workmate texted me with a ring emoji (unwittingly making the whole thing happen). G saw my phone, and we both looked at each other and decided that night was the night. Very unceremoniously, and after lots of crying, we did the thing!

The Wedding Styling

As a professional wedding photographer; I absolutely had a pretty clear vision about what I wanted; what I wanted the day to feel like and look like. 

I wanted it to be an incredibly emotional and touching experience for all, with joy at the center of it. 

Aesthetically, initially I made the bold claim that I didn’t have the time, and wouldn’t do any DIY elements. This changed pretty quickly, with me (Georgia) making all of the signage, place cards, table charts and hand-making 20 or so air-dry clay candle holders. The color palette was bold and clashy heavy, reds, pinks, oranges with a sprinkling of yellow over the top. 

Our wedding party was left with a pretty wide vision board of “just wear something that fits in this color scheme.” We then gave the choice of buttonholes or bouquets, if they wanted hair, makeup, both, or none. We were so impressed with how it actually came together! 

To sum it all up, we wanted bright, colourful and joyful!

The Venue – CERES Brunswick

We wanted to get married outside in a lovely place that we could regularly visit and return to in the future. We also looked for somewhere that aligned with our values which is why we chose CERES in Brunswick East. As Brunswick locals, it’s a wonderful place to go and escape from the busy inner burbs traffic, grab a coffee, and go for a walk. 

The Eucalyptus grove was shaded (important for decent ceremony lighting at 3 pm!) and tucked away privately. It perfectly fit 100 guests, and we got to have a few drinks on the lawn afterward.

Ceremony Traditions

It was important to us that we included an acknowledgment of country at the start of the ceremony.

We also asked Precious to speak about the LGBTQIA+ community and allies who fought tirelessly over the decades to achieve marriage equality + made mention of the work that still needs to be done both here and overseas.

We didn’t want to brush that under the rug, it’s why we could even do this thing.

Choosing To Get Ready Together On The Wedding Day

We decided to get ready together with ourselves + the eight members of our wedding party in a (far too small) AirBnB. We didn’t want to be apart, and I was so bloody thankful that Cat was there to calm me down. 

I hadn’t really anticipated just how nervous and emotional I would be the morning of; anytime a vaguely sentimental song came on (or our first dance song- which we had not planned at ALL) I pretty much burst into tears. I was also still quite unwell and worried I wouldn’t be able to dance/enjoy as much as I wanted to. We messed up and didn’t update the address with our wonderful makeup artists after our initial accommodation was canceled, so that was some stress and time crunch that we didn’t plan for!

As soon as our dresses were on, we made sure that we couldn’t see each other until we were walking down the aisle. It was so scary the instant I couldn’t see Cat! I started feeling so panicked and worried that our plans wouldn’t go smoothly. 

As a wedding photographer, I never anticipated being the person running around putting boob tape on 10 mins before we had to leave, but that’s entirely how it played out.

The Wedding Ceremony

Cats perspective: We were very lucky to have a consummate professional and wonderful friend Precious come around to check on both of us before the ceremony. We were both freaking out slightly, so the guided breathing exercises definitely helped calm things down slightly.

The ceremony itself was amazing and we both cried less than we thought we would (Cat saved all her crying for the reception, where there were a LOT of tears). This was probably largely due to nerves or the fact we were heavily disassociating during it. Luckily Precious had run us through the ceremony a few days beforehand so we could extrapolate what had happened. 

Precious also secretly organized for a few friends to speak during the ceremony, which was entirely unexpected and lovely.

Georgia’s perspective: I was so so nervous. I remember every well-laid-out plan exiting my head as soon as the music started. I think I virtually sprinted down the aisle, fueled by nervous energy alone. But when I got to the top of the aisle and saw how nervous Cat was, I instantly softened. We both tried to calm and reassure each other, all the hard logistics stuff was over and it was time to enjoy this insane moment. 

I loved reading our individually written vows to each other between tears and being able to see the support and love from our friends and family.

Having Wedding Portraits 

Photo time was really fun with our wedding party! Finally, being on the other side of a champagne spray (but still getting just as wet!) It was cute hanging out and debriefing. The time absolutely flew, and Anna and Carlo were beyond incredible at guiding us through. We didn’t feel awkward in any way shape or form and absolutely LOVE the results. 

It was such a special time to be able to be together and chat about everything.

The Wedding Reception 

Cat’s perspective:  Unbeknownst to Cat, Georgia had spent a few weeks leading up to the wedding secretly writing a love song to perform at the reception. Historically, the songs that G has written have been sad, sad indie sad girl songs, but she took a break from tradition on this occasion. 

We basically spend every minute together when we’re not at work, so G had to time her secret project writing around Cat’s pilates classes and office work days. 

The day before the wedding, when we were packing for the AirBnB, G purposefully left her guitar at home so to throw Cat off the scent (she later sent her dad back to sneakily pick up the guitar and sound equipment). 

We have some beautiful shots of our friends and family crying while listening to the song, but all the tears that Cat had held back during the ceremony poured out when G started playing.

We had to take a quick recovery break in between the song and our first dance for Cat to get herself back under some semblance of control. Our first dance was to Champion Ruby, a song that means so much to us by a local Naarm artist Ruby Gill. Our mate Carlo who filmed the day later surprised us with a compilation of beautiful moments from the day set to the same song, and we can’t watch it without sobbing (a very talented boy).

The reception itself passed in a bit of a blur, but we knew that it was important to us to get everyone on the dance floor as soon as possible. As soon as food/speeches were finished, our amazing DJ Dani (aka DJ Gaydad) pumped up the tunes. The dancefloor was all killers, no fillers, and we were absolutely exhausted by the end of the night because it was impossible to sit down to take a break due to banger after banger. 

It felt like everyone there was up and dancing for hours. There were doof sticks, limbos, and fireball shots, as well as a pinata smash.

Wedding Planning Advice

As hard has it can be, you don’t need to invite anyone to your day that you don’t want there. It sounds simple but politics can make it tricky. You should be surrounded by people that love you and support you and if you have the slightest hesitation that people will not share in that sentiment, they should not be on the list.

Aside from that, try and have fun! At the end of the day, you’re throwing an expensive party that you want to look back on fondly. Throw out any traditions that do not spark joy, and try not to listen to anyone who tells you what the day should look like. There’s absolutely nothing that you have to do. Make sure everything that happens brings joy and feels like you (as esoteric as that sounds).

If both of you are getting hair and makeup done and wearing dresses that require some time to logistically, add in at least a 1.5-hour buffer between hair and makeup and leaving the house (# regrets) worst case, you’ll have some extra chat and chill time.

Vendors: Hire people you love and trust and would ideally like to be friends with. We were super lucky in that almost all of our vendors are real-life friends; they all made it so bloody easy! You also don’t have to only hire wedding vendors; our DJ plays at one of our fave queer nights, so we knew we wanted them to bring the vibe!

Photography by Lulu & Lime

Caterer Brunswick Mess Hall
Celebrant Precious Celebrations
Ceremony Venue CERES
DJ DJ Gay Dad
Dress Boutique Still White
Dress Designer Brooke Tyson Ritual
Florist Honesty Flora
Hair and Makeup The Distinctive Dame
Reception Venue Brunswick Mess Hall
Rings Hoodooloulou
Styling Bangin Hangins
Videographer Lunar Red Films

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