After a few false starts, thanks Covid, Laura and Romy had to switch their Melbourne wedding venue last minute to accommodate their modern urban affair.
Tell us about the proposal.
Laura had been planning the proposal for almost a year before it happened. She knew the ring she wanted to give Romy, which was brought back from overseas by a friend. Laura enlisted the help of a friend to set up a picnic in one of Laura and Romy’s favorite National Parks down along the Coast. Laura surprised Romy, complete with sappy music, fairy lights, and a ring waiting for her on our dog Rudie’s collar.
Our engagement was meant to be quick – just under six months, but then Covid happened… and it ended up being more like eighteen months.
How did Covid impact your wedding plans?
Covid kept us guessing right up until the end, both times. We missed our first attempt by a week – Australia went into lockdown a couple of days before we were meant to get married! Things were looking perfect a couple of weeks out from our second attempt, and then it started getting stressful around Christmas time – we lost a handful of guests to Sydney’s Northern Beaches lockdown. We were beginning to panic a couple of days out because a confirmed case in Melbourne had gone to the cricket and the boxing day sales, and it looked like we were headed straight back into another massive lockdown! Having had three days of zero cases in Victoria leading up to our wedding day – blue skies and almost no restrictions, and we couldn’t have felt luckier! We were checking cases each morning the way couples usually check the weather – but everything was fine.
What was the inspiration behind the vibe of your wedding?
We wanted our wedding to be bright and fun, rather than serious and traditional. Once we landed on the bright reds and pinks for our florals and our Bangin Hangin installation, everything else just kind of fell in with that.
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
Laura knew she wanted a bespoke tailor (rather than off the rack or made to measure) so that she could have a bit more flexibility to tweak the cut and design as she wanted. Germanicos were lovely to work with and really made sure Laura’s preferences were reflected in the final product.
Romy was convinced she’d be super lowkey about it. She was going to wear her mum’s dress, and then she would find something online. In the end, nothing seemed quite right, so she gave in and leaned into the full bridal boutique experience. Bluebell Bridal was excellent to work with. Every detail is so considered, and visiting their salon is always a delight. There were so many amazing dresses, but until she tried on Prea James’ Cara gown, she felt like she was playing dress-ups. It was exactly right.
Talk to us about the Melbourne wedding day!
It was a beautiful 27 degrees celsius summers’ day in Melbourne. Taking portraits in the sun was more challenging than we anticipated. So much so that post-portraits but pre-ceremony, we had to sneak home to restick Romy’s chicken fillets! Aside from that, everything went off without a hitch. It was bananas how perfectly everything came together (no small thanks to our suppliers and all the special people who played a role on the day). In the end, it was super relaxed, we had so much fun, and it was a day we’ll treasure forever.
What are your favorite moments?
Getting ready in our home with our closest friends and family was really lovely. It was such a relaxed vibe to get ready together like that, and having our first look with our nearest and dearest was super special. During the reception, Laura’s brother spoke of the generations of queer people who came before us. Who fought for equal rights and weren’t able to get married in their lifetimes- it was a sobering but beautiful moment. Also, we nailed the first dance, which we were so convinced we would stuff up (all our practices had been disastrous).
Do you have a stand-out vendor?
Honestly, all of our vendors were amazing, especially considering the COVID environment, which meant we were also asking them to bear a risk level. Katie from Fourside (the catering company) was so generous in the way that she worked with us to make sure we felt like we could plan a wedding during a pandemic. She talked us down from so many panicked moments! Stina, our photographer, Peter, our videographer, and Melissa, our celebrant, were so lovely on the day and made us feel really relaxed and confident. We were blown away by how the photos and videos turned out – they managed to capture the best versions of us all day! Everyone was honestly excellent – we couldn’t not mention the vendors who just got it done – the flowers and bangin’ hangin’ installation were magnificent!
Did you incorporate any family or religious traditions into the day?
Melissa, our celebrant, was so supportive when it came to us, not including a lot of the more traditional elements in our wedding ceremony. It turns out almost none of it needs to be there, and we had way more freedom with the arrangement of it than what we initially expected. The only formal tradition we wanted to include was an Acknowledgement of Country.
What does marriage mean to you?
Same-sex marriage was legalized at the end of 2017 in Australia. It was really important for Laura that our relationship be recognized in this way. Marriage itself wasn’t as important to Romy. For her, it was more about bringing our various communities together. Having to postpone the wedding heightened our wish to be married. The wait felt indefinite, and by the time we were able to do it, neither of us could remember a time before really really wanting to be each others’ wife.
Anything you are glad you did? Or wish you didn’t do?
We were so glad we had a quick walking-down-the-aisle rehearsal . We would have been really nervous otherwise about where to stand and where to look during the different parts of the ceremony. We’re so glad we got ready together and had a first look before going to the ceremony – this meant the first time we saw each other that day wasn’t at the end of the aisle, which helped us to feel really close and connected throughout the massive day! We’re glad we encouraged people to take home the table flowers so they weren’t wasted.
Still, we really regretted not organising a way to donate our arbor floral installation to a couple who’d had to cancel their wedding last minute due to one of Melbourne’s many lockdowns!
Photography by Gold & Grit
DWH Recommended Vendor
Venue Gather & Tailor
Cake Torte by Mirjana
Catering Fourside Events
Celebrant Melissa Polimeni
Cinematographer Like a Bonfire Weddings
Decorative Elements Bangin Hangins
Dress Boutique Bluebell Bridal
Dress Designer Prea James
Earrings A.B Ellie HDWR
Engagement Rings Catbird NYC
Entertainment DJ Andrew McClelland
Florist Billie Jean Botanicals
Makeup Louise Jean Make Up
Shoes Dear Frances
Suit Designer Germanicos
Wedding Rings Arbor