The Engagement

The proposal happened on one of our annual trips to Byron Bay, which is one of our favorite places to visit. We spent a warm and sunny afternoon walking the Byron Bay Lighthouse Trail and had made it to the lookout at the Lighthouse when we stopped to take in the amazing view. 

Lenny was carrying a backpack and told me she had a headache and asked me to get her some Panadol from out of the backpack. She told me the compartment to look in, and I found a smaller bag which had a beautiful engagement ring inside instead of Panadol. 

She asked me to marry her, and that was that! 

The way she did it caught me so off guard and took me totally by surprise! She did so well to pull off the surprise as usually I’m pretty cluey and always figure out surprises before they happen.

Our wedding was almost two years after our engagement.

melbourne gay weddings

Wedding Day Preparations

We wanted our wedding to be relaxed and outdoors amongst nature, as that represents what we are about as a couple. We came across Baxter Barn and fell in love with its beautiful outdoor space and relaxed vibe of the historic barn. 

Having florals be a big part of the day was important to me. I have a side hustle floristry business called House of Botanics, so we tried to incorporate flowers as much as possible. Wedding floristry is a huge job so I knew I didn’t want to take on doing all of the florals for the day. I wanted to enjoy the lead up to, and the wedding day, as much as possible rather than running around trying to get all the florals finished! 

We had a huge floral semi-circle installation as the backdrop for the ceremony and a “pick a bunch” display, where guests were invited to pick their own bunch of flowers from the display table to take home as gifts from us to them. 

My friend and floristry course classmate, Elise from Petals by Elise, did a fantastic job bringing my flower visions to life! 

We also wanted our friends and family to be involved as much as possible. We wanted the day as personalized as possible, and so our photographer, celebrant and musician were close friends. Our family came together to MC and our junior bridal party was made up of Jess’ six nephews and Lenny’s three young cousins. 

Overall we love a good party and we really just wanted to throw a party that our guests would have a ball at!

The Wedding Day

Neither Lenny I are traditional, but one tradition we did want to incorporate was to spend the night before the wedding day apart. Jess spent the night with her family, who had all traveled from interstate to be there, and Lenny with their closest friends. 

The morning of the big day was spent with lots of coffee and getting ready with family and friends. Our wedding day was in early February, which is usually hot, hot, hot in Melbourne! But the morning of our wedding day was the exact opposite – cold, wet and so windy! With so much of the day planned to be outdoors, we were both sending so many prayers to the universe for the weather gods to pull through with the goods and show some sun! 

By lunchtime, the rain had stopped – just in time for our first look photoshoot! We had planned to have our first look on the beach in Mornington, but it was still so windy that once we got to the beach, it became apparent that photos on the beach were not going to work. Our photographer was amazing and quickly came up with Plan B, which was to shoot in front of an amazing red rock at the top of a cliff, which not only protected us from the wind, but was an incredible backdrop for our first look shots. 

After our first look, we traveled to the wedding venue and enjoyed some relaxed moments with our bridal party, which comprised of Jess’ sister, Mel, and Lenny’s best mate Cal. The afternoon ceremony was held in a field at the venue, and just as it was starting, the clouds parted, the sun shone through, and the wind died down right. The timing was impeccable! 

Lenny waited at the end of the aisle as the junior bridal party, Maid of Honour, and Jess walked down the aisle with her Dad to the Gang of Youths song “The Heart is a Muscle.” It was really important to us both that our ceremony was personalized and reflective of who we are. We also really wanted to be married by someone we knew and loved. It’s such a special moment that we wanted to share it with someone who was a part of our lives and knew us well. We had our good friend Rita officiated, and the ceremony included non-traditional and non-religious readings by close friends. 

Our friend Dave, who is a musician, also played one of our favorite Ziggy Alberts songs to mark those family members who had passed and weren’t able to be there with us on the day. 

We also wrote our own vows and ring exchange. 

After the ceremony, we had photos around the property while guests enjoyed a cocktail hour with an amazing grazing table full of delicious nibbles. 

Our reception was held in the barn instead of outside as it was a pretty chilly night and featured all the usual cake cutting, first dance, speeches, and frivolity! We wanted to make sure we got everyone up dancing, so we made sure our DJ played some all-time classics. 

Lenny is Greek, so we included a number of Greek dances throughout the night including the crowd favorite, the Zorba! There’s also a traditional Greek dance that involves the bridal party dancing around a shot glass of whiskey before taking the shot from the ground, which is always a lot of fun, so we made sure that was part of the night as well. 

We finished the night with a sparkler exit and kicked on with close friends at our wedding after-party!

Advice to Others

Don’t sweat the small stuff! Make sure to be present for each stage during the big day as every single part of the day is a special memory. 

We are so glad that we personalized the day as much as we could by choosing friends to play important roles in the day. This was really special to us and means we get to re-live these memories with them when we catch up now! 

Photography Na Lia Wedding Photography

Bridal Boutique Made with Love 
Catering Baxter Barn 
Celebrant Rita 
Cinematographer Four by Four Films 
Entertainment Mercury DJ 
Florist Petals by Elise 
H&MU Ellegant You 
Stylist Wild Heart Events 
Venue Baxter Barn