Real Wedding: Eliza + Alex’s Wedding on a Pier in Melbourne

This wedding and couple are just the sweetest! I loved reading all of Eliza’s stories about why they decided where to have their wedding + all the special moments of their day. She also has the most FUN wedding dress – such a fun dress to twirl the night away! It was designed by Dolly Couture. Thanks so much to Feather + Stone for photographing this wedding and sending it my way to share.

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We knew what we wanted out of our wedding before we even told anyone we were engaged – to get married in our backyard with just close family and friends in a fun, relaxed party atmosphere. But we live in an apartment, and we don’t have a backyard – we spend most of our outdoors time wandering around St Kilda or riding our bikes. Thankfully (after so much searching) the perfect location presented itself: Little Blue. It is a gorgeous indoor/outdoor vintage-styled restaurant that is right over the road from our house, at the end of the St Kilda Pier.

This really set the tone for the day and meant that our wedding day felt just as we had wanted it to – like we were inviting our friends and family to share an almost-normal day in our lives. We didn’t want it to feel “wedding-y” and formal – rather, we wanted it to feel like an awesome party that was also personal and reflected our day to day values and choices. It didn’t make sense to us to apply different values to our wedding than we do to any other big life decision – so we didn’t. When making budgeting decisions, we prioritised having a wonderful celebrant (who we found in Sue Hamilton), great food, drinks and atmosphere for our guests, and memorable, beautiful photography. Everything else we chose, we tried to choose with ongoing use in mind, asking ‘would we wear/love it normally?’ Other than my wedding dress, I think just about everything we bought can and will be used again. (And I am still planning to find a way to wear my dress again!)

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Alex and I did a “first look” in the courtyard in front of our apartment. I thought it was going to be kind of corny, although fun, but it wound up being one of the most emotional and moving parts of the day. It was overwhelming to see each other for the first time all dressed up and it was really special to have it happen somewhere that we walk through every day. Walking down our street and having random people stop to congratulate us also made it feel so real. I am so glad that we had the wedding right over the road from our apartment – all those ordinary parts of our suburb are now full of nostalgia.

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blue petticoat wedding dress

bridal party red sequin ban.do shoes

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Our dance was a big surprise for everyone (except the MC) – we did the Twist to Twist and Shout by the Beatles! We had such a great time – when our MC said “everyone on the dance floor now” halfway through the song, we were mobbed – everyone, young and old, wanted to do the twist with us! We had put together our own music mixes for the night on our iPod, and they worked really well – the venue had an excellent sound system that we plugged the iPod into, and we’d constructed the mixes with cross fading and no silence between songs. Towards the end of the night it really took off, with limbo, and a conga line with me and Alex at the front! We all had such a great time dancing – I don’t think the dance floor was empty once.

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Alex and I spent the morning of the wedding day together doing one of our favourite things – visiting our local farmers market. It’s a five minute walk from our house, and even though it was still raining, we just grabbed umbrellas and raincoats and headed out. We ate egg and bacon rolls in turkish bread and wandered about picking up gourmet cheeses, olives and olive oil to take on our honeymoon, as well as a big bunch of creamy roses. By the time we were back at home and I’d put the flowers in a vase, it was time to start getting ready! It was wonderful to spend the morning together doing something that we know we love – it was the perfect thing to do, as we knew it would centre us and be a relaxing, fun time.

We had the ceremony on the deck of the restaurant, with the city of Melbourne and the bay immediately behind us. It was windy, but everyone could hear and see well, and despite the inclement weather it didn’t rain! Afterwards we had a big group photo with all the guests, and then most of them went off to grab a glass of champagne while we did some quick family shots, then headed in to join our guests. Everyone mingled, ate, drank, and I twirled on request a lot! It was wonderful to be able to talk to everybody and really circulate, and spend time with our family and friends who we don’t see often. One surprise was that the colony of penguins that sometimes lives behind the restaurant came out during the night – lots of our guests left the venue to go around the back and see if they could spot any penguins!

Too soon people were lighting sparklers out the front to wave us goodbye. We grabbed a couple of glasses of champagne, grinned at each other, and I took Alex’s arm. We walked through the crowd of beaming friends waving sparklers in the air and cheering, and back down the pier together.

Also, we could not be more happy with the way Seth and Tenielle from Feather and Stone approached our wedding. They were everything we wanted in wedding photographers and so much more. Easy going, kind, incredibly helpful and fun, they were people we felt absolutely comfortable around throughout wedding planning and on our wedding day. Consistently, throughout the process, F&S were thoughtful, great communicators, and put personal effort into making sure that everything was beautiful and the way we wanted it to be. They were also great listeners – they didn’t just want to know what sort of shots we wanted, but what we wanted our wedding to be and how we wanted it to feel, and then they went about photographing the day in such a way as to make that happen. I was just so glad they were there on the day – both Seth and Tenielle were a calming and grounding force, yet simultaneously totally fun people to be around.

When we received the photos after the wedding, I couldn’t quite believe it – having them photograph our wedding was a dream come true even before we received the photos that came out of it – but receiving those photos was like holding the dream in my hands. They were unobtrusive – almost invisible! – while taking the photos, and yet the end product was absolutely spectacular. They captured a million perfect candid moments. We could not love our photos more.

And good news for those of us here in the US – Seth is originally from Florida and they travel back to the states often, so they are available for weddings in the US also! Thanks so much to Eliza + Alex for sharing your day + stories with us – best wishes!

Vendors
Photography: Feather + Stone (see more from the wedding here) // Venue + Catering: Little Blue (St Kilda Pier Restaurant) // Wedding Dress: Dolly Couture // Parasol: Pink Frosting // Hair + Makeup: We did our own! // Shoes: bride’s shoes with ban.do heart shoe clips // Bridesmaid Dress: Fleur Wood adorned with a ban.do heart // Hairpieces: Our hairpieces were from ban.do as well – I wore the #110 (which now appears to be on sale!) and my sister wore clips with swarovski crystals which don’t appear to be on there anymore. // Groom Suit: Bro Dion (Chapel St, South Yarra) // Floral Design: Felt flower creations were made by Princess Lasertron and live flowers were by Panache (in Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn) // Cake: Cupcake wedding tower was made by Love At First Bite // Invitations: I worked with a friend who used to do graphic design to create our invitations, and then we had them printed at Officeworks, and I bound them with silver ribbons. I did the calligraphy for the envelopes (I like handwriting :) ). We did the same thing with the wedding programs. Our guest book was a gift given to us for our engagement by one of our best friends – wooden initials – that we decided to use as a guest book for people to sign with sharpies. It’s now up on our bookshelf in our living room.

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