Funnily enough, we went into wedding planning thinking that it would easy to find the perfect suit for Mel and hard to find the perfect dress for me. I usually would NEVER wear anything like what I wore on the day. My maid of honor, Tayla, and I started looking for a dress for me almost a year out from the wedding. Thinking that it would take us ages to find the one.
We decided to visit a bridal store near my house to take a look and ended up leaving that day having purchased the one! I tried on three dresses, one I loved online that was more my usual style – long sleeves, high neck, etc. A huge flouncy princess gown [this was mostly for a laugh] and then my actual dress, which I thought was so beautiful but would never have suited me… funny enough, this was the one that made me feel the most beautiful, comfortable, and like an actual bride! So many people were shocked by my choice as they had never seen my chest before!
Mel, on the other hand, did not have quite as easy of an experience. Being a female who dresses androgynous while also being short is really quite a challenge. And something that she struggles with always – traditional men’s clothing doesn’t make allowances for hips!
Mel was open with her colors, cut, and fabric; she only had one request, and that was that she wanted to feel comfortable and handsome on the day. We searched for months and months and months and months, trying to find pieces that Mel felt comfortable in. But also formal enough for her wedding day. We were getting to the end of our tether when we decided to go to the shops for a quick look one day with one of our bridesmaids Kristi – who ended up being our good luck charm with many things throughout the wedding prep! She found both the jacket and the pants for Mel and left the shops with them that day! We found her shirt a few weeks later during a six-hour shopping trip from hell with our “groomswomen” while trying to find their outfits [men’s style to suit women’s bodies again] again through a total streak of luck – the last one left, in a shop, we would have never looked in, and discounted at half price!
Deciding not to see each other’s outfits until the day.
We loved every moment of our big day – it still feels like a fantastic dream for us. Often both waking up and saying to each other how much we wish we could do it all over again.
Spending our night before the wedding separately and not speaking until we saw each other at the altar. Mel really wanted to keep to this tradition. Mel spent the night before and the morning of the wedding with both of our families at our place. I spent the night before, and the morning of with our closest friends and bridal party over at a holiday house we rented for over the wedding weekend.
We were both actually very early to the venue – excited and nervous! The venue owner had to sneak my Dad and I into her car and take us for a drive around the property to kill time so that Mel didn’t see me! Mel and the bridal party waited inside the venue until it was go time.
One of the things we loved most about our venue is that there were two aisle walking options. Meaning that both of us as brides got to be walked down the aisle with our parent and met in the middle. Our bridal party all walked down first from the top entrance. And then Mel and her Mum followed and were applauded as she arrived. My Dad and I came out through the barn, walking down the other aisle to meet Mel in the middle.
Our celebrant Candice, who we absolutely love, performed the best ceremony we could have dreamed of. It suited us perfectly. It was very romantic but with a lot of dry humor thrown in! We said our vows. During Mel’s had everyone with tears in their eyes! She has a way with words that I do not! We had a beautiful reading from my childhood best friend Emily. Who then witnessed our marriage certificate along with my soon to be cousin-in-law Johann.
We danced down the aisle under the natural eucalyptus confetti thrown over us by our guests. Sharing many hugs with our bridal party, family members, and guests!
Next, we cut our cake, at the advice of our venue owner, who said that doing the cake cut here usually means your cake actually gets eaten. You then get more time to socialize with your guests before heading off for photos. We had a delicious vegan cake made by Beccy Baker, so delicious in fact, and the whole thing did get eaten! Bar two pieces that the caterer saved for Mel and I [we ate this the next morning while nursing our hangovers].
After cake, we were taken off for photos with our bridal party – one of the funniest parts of our day. As a group of people who are incredibly awkward and have never had professional photos done before, Colin, our photographer, somehow still managed to make this one of the best parts of our day. Capturing images of us and our friends that are so beautiful and really take us right back to that moment. Our bridal party left us to go back to the party, and we went off with Colin and Darren [the venue owner] on an ATV deep into the property to have our photos taken of just the two of us. Again – Colin somehow made this time so much fun. And such a comfortable experience for us and created such beautiful images for us. We laughed all afternoon through the photos and couldn’t imagine having a better photographer!
A top moment for us during photos involved a cow! Mel and I were embraced in a hug when a cow came up behind me and started trying to chew on my hairpiece. Mel saw it coming and chose not to tell me. I only felt it there when I let out a massive breath on to my back, and gave me the biggest fright! We both could not stop laughing – this made for a great photo moment.
Then it was time for us to rejoin our guests for speeches, dinner, many, many drinks, and lots of dancing until the end of the night.
We really couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day celebrating our love with the people closest to us.
To us, it was really important to get married and have the wedding we did for many reasons. One being to really solidify our relationship. To become a family in both the eyes of the law and the eyes of our friends and family – plus to each other. Another one being that we went through so many hard times. With long-distance, struggling, and saving money for Mel’s visa here in Australia. Always feeling like we were waiting to really start our life. We wanted to have the big wedding we did with all our friends and family also to be a celebration of what we have overcome together and where we are today.
Photography by True North Photography
Bridal Boutique Luv Bridal
Cake Beccy Baker
Catering Catering by Clancy
Celebrant Candice Wilson
Gown Designer Madilane Bridal
H&MU Blush’d Brides
Pants Forever New
Rings Wallace Bishop, Michael Hill
Tie James Harper
Venue Cowbell Creek
Wedding Favors Oh Deer Sugar