Oct 18, 2020
How to get married quickly in Australia: you can’t bear the bollocks, nor frankly, be f*cked: you just want to get it didded’ and get it done.
Or maybe it’s for a VISA situation. I’m not here to judge.
In Australia, the quickest that you can get married through the standard process is one month from the moment that you decide you want to wear the eternal shackles of undying love to your future betrothed.
This can also be done quicker – read on.
To get married, apart from ideally needing to be in a relationship that’s withstood some of the sands of time with someone you (ideally) like, there’s really only a few moving parts that are actually happening: having a short ceremony witnessed, and signing some papers.
The rest of what we associate with “getting married” are really just shiny things that we throw on top: that to be fair, are fun and awesome, and you can also sprinkle a bit of radness on top in various ways.
This is number one, because a minimum of one month before you intend to marry, you need to lodge your NOIM (Notice of Intent to Marry) to your celebrant. They then use this notice to interface with the government.
You can download your Notice of Intent to Marry here.
If you’re planning on getting married in Melbourne for example, this would mean you would either select a Wedding Celebrant if you want a specific character to your ceremony. Your other option, is to instead register it at the Victorian Marriage Registry, or with a small alternative venue such as The Altar Electric or I Do Drive Thru: each of these can provide you with a marriage celebrant and assist in getting you married quickly.
If you are unable to be mobile for your ceremony, ensure you query your potential celebrant on the options available for where you can get married – which include your home.
Knowing that you need a minimum of one months notice, after you have worked out where you are getting married in Australia and by what celebrant, you will then ask them what their availability is like, and how soon they can marry you.
How quickly you can get married in Australia is limited by your celebrants availability. Then you book your date with them.
Your Authorised Wedding Celebrant will run you through all of the paperwork needs, as well as other requirements that you need to meet before marrying quickly (such as, you know, not being already married, and not attempting to marry your sibling).
You must also have two witnesses present, each over the age of 18: your Wedding Celebrant can be one, and your photographer can be the other.
You can get married quickly in Australia in less than one month, by filling out a special form to expedite the process, which has specific requirements you must meet. Go here for the form.
You will still need to find an authorised marriage celebrant that is available to marry you when you wish to get married, so you should make a shortlist of celebrants to cross check availability with as soon as you can.
You’re here because you want to get married quickly, but that’s no reason to not splash a bit of the good stuff on top of it. You can still have a short, sweet and quick ceremony, while also enjoying it.
Find a local wedding photographer to hang out with you, even if just for an hour. I regularly photograph small weddings and elopements all over Australia and it can be a beautiful opportunity to get some beautiful images of you hitting the city or whatever environment you got married in, including your home or a local park.
If the papers are worth signing, that’s worth celebrating over a wine/ginger-beer/milkshake/insert preferred beverage here. Refer back to point #1 – this can be a beautiful moment to capture you two just hanging out. Pick a restaurant, cafe, or activity to enjoy afterwards. It doesn’t have to be big and bombastic either, it can be slow, calm and simple.
Celebrate with your community via a facetime hookup, or reach out to Bottlebrush Films, who can arrange your ceremony to be live-streamed.
And off you go.
Getting married is easier done, than said.
Oct 16, 2020
I am thrilled to share the Hello May wedding of Pepe and Sam as their photographer, featured in the September issue of HELLO MAY MAGAZINE on news-stands now! Is this the most colourful wedding ever? Grab yourself a copy of Hello May to find out.
I was thrilled to be the Hello May wedding photographer for these two marvels, and their wedding was put on at the gritty Melbourne warehouse venue, The Line, with an all-star cast of the most incredibly talented vendors which doubled as their cheer-squad.
Let’s just say, this was a wedding of firsts.
The first wedding where nearly all the vendors got actual tattoos at the reception.
The first wedding where the caterer and the bride ended up in (in) the freezer. It was a hot day.
The first wedding with an inverse neon-crucifix gracing the centre of the reception, and the first wedding where the dance-floor was opened up by the screeching of Slayer, and half the bridal party ended up on a bed in the middle of the reception in a pasta-fight.
It, was, and had, everything, all for this beautiful couple and their intimate community (right before Covid made it cool).
I won’t show the whole shebang just yet, you’ll have to pick up a copy of Hello May on newsstands now.
Wedding Celebrant and Concept creator: Nat Sproal Celebrant
Wedding Photographer: Briars Atlas
Wedding Venue: @the_line_melbourne
Wedding Creative direction + Styling: Good Day Club
Wedding Florals: Babiana Botanic
Wedding Video: Lunar Red Films
Wedding Hair and Makeup: Killer Queen Creative
Wedding Catering: @fatandskinnycatering
Wedding Cake: Torte By Mirjana
Wedding Rings: @midnightkissjewellery
Wedding Ceiling Installs: Bangin Hangins
Wedding Tableware/ table styling: @bettymayvintagehire
Wedding LED crosses and bad jokes: The Arbourists
Wedding DJ: @dj_hot_wheels
Wedding Music: @justme_plusone
Wedding Wine: @minimwine
Wedding Beer: @moondogbrewing
I’m a Melbourne wedding photographer, and I photograph weddings all over Australia, New Zealand, Europe and beyond. Check out this wedding I photographed featured on Hello May – Amy and Bronson.
Oct 12, 2020
Melbourne is full to the brim with interesting, quirky, and Unique Wedding Venues to appeal to every design sensibility under the sun. Our city is kinda like an egg – ask 5 people for their favourite way to consume it, and you’ll get 4 different answers, and one who’d prefer a nut-based alternative. So if anywhere is gonna be able to cater to a wild range of vibes within a small radius, it’s Melbourne.
What weddings are going to look like in Victoria is a little different in the short to mid-term, so this is a list for folks with alternative and unique sensibilities.
When I made this list, I essentially made it for myself: there’s plenty of lists on regular wedding venues out there, but these are the best wedding venues in Melbourne that have a little bit of sass and quirk to them, and cover a range of wedding venue styles, from industrial warehouse, to art deco: these are wedding venues for large weddings, small weddings, and everything in between.
What do an obscure German electronic artist, experiential-theatre zombie-apocalypse, and majestic high-end wedding all have in common? They all found a home at the towering Substation in Newport – in no small way thanks to a philanthropic strategy of intertwinement with the local & international arts community.
The Substation has this classic “we’ve just casually repurposed an industrial Brooklyn warehouse” vibe written all over it, with staggering floor-to-ceiling windows (this criteria would be less staggering if, for example, the windows were in a hobbit-sized home but we’re talking a less vertically-challenged structure here), red statement curtains, and one end lined with more secret little rooms than you can poke a stick at.
With plenty of space to spare both in the main atrium and the rooms below, Melbournes unique wedding venue queen Newport Substation can be mapped to nearly any configuration, including any furniture layout you can imagine, and an on-site burrito stand for guests to tuck into (or the most epic grazing table you can imagine).
Set up a band in one corner, quirky photobooth in the other, hire a leading progressive florist like Good Grace & Humour or Georgie Boy to dress up another end with an impossibly wild installation (or leave it in all it’s all bare glory), and you’ve got a space that’ll be on the tips of the guests tongues for weeks. After they recover from their hangovers.
Check out Nicole and Dan’s incredible wedding at Newport Substation. One of my favourite things about Newport Substation, not to take away anything from it as a brilliant Melbourne venue, is that it takes me back to any number of the incredible and enormous New York Warehouse venues i’ve had the good fortune of being in.
Rupert is kinda like the Tesla flying in outer space with an astronaut next to it and David Bowie blaring from the stereo as it flies towards Jupiter: it probably shouldn’t exist at all, much less where it does, but – it does.
And thankful for it existing, we are. Separated into a Main Dining Hall, Conservatory, and Cocktail Lounge, alternative wedding venue in Melbourne king Rupert on Rupert takes the crown for classic modern New York bar vibes in Melbourne, and wouldn’t be out of place in any of the more recently gentrified areas of inner-Brooklyn: which is also code-word for gorgeously designed, thoughtfully laid out, with a level of subtle considered genius by a design team that makes the space grow on you like the third album from that previously favourite artist of yours.
Geographically tucked neatly away into the “local knowledge” category, pop into Rupert on Rupert on a weekend, and it’s jam-packed with folks who know it’s one of the most unique venues Melbourne has to offer with it’s incredible food and quirky interiors in a classy casual setting.
Rupert on Rupert has three main areas, each of which can be repurposed as you need, and the menu is headed by (x) and a crack-team of friendly maestros who can cater incredibly for vegetarians and vegans alike.
I’m not saying to just get Aunt Jenny on her iPad taking the photos for the day, but I will say that with every inch of the interior so thoughtfully considered at Rupert on Rupert, you could probably point your 2002 Nokia at the urinal and still get an incredible image.
But don’t do that, because it’s extraordinarily weird that you’re still using that phone.
For more inspiration check out Alix and Tim’s Rupert on Rupert Wedding.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Rupert on Rupert website: www.rupertonrupert.com.au
Rupert on Rupert wedding gallery: Alix & Tim’s wedding at Rupert on Rupert
Venue size: Cosy & compartmentalised. (85 seated, 220 cocktail)
South Melbourne’s Half Acre, helmed by the catering mad-hatters at Food and Desire, is a giant secret dropped right in the middle of the wide streets of South Melbourne. Occupying a corner of the suburb that mostly is home to industry, it is – apart from the majestic cacophany of matrimony on a weekend – a gloriously quiet dead-zone of a weekend.
In line with this play on contrasts, it’s actually pretty near impossible to tell what the hell the place even is, unless you’re in the know, or a loaded up wedding guest finds themselves playing horizontal on the nature strip outside.
With all the new wedding venues Melbourne has on offer, Half Acre are a giant, well-oiled diamond (if that’s a thing). Half Acre itself was previously an industrial complex, and retains a lot of that gritty charm in it’s warehouse interior. Half Acre is split into several different areas, giving an enormous range of opportunity for a smaller ceremony indoors, over to their large, high-roofed reception hall.
The grand-master of alternative wedding venues in Melbourne. Beer-soaked carpets, wistful homages to Dave the hot bassist etched into the bathroom walls, and the shady corner where your insouciant friend got lucky.
These are a few things that you definitely won’t find at Panama Dining room anymore.
When stepping into this cavernous room filled with giant arch windows you might be forgiven that in it’s past-life as a music venue in the heartland of the pub-scene, the majestic gateways of Panama Dining Room looking into and around the city were completely covered up.
Since being exposed in all their glory, Panama Dining Room has staked its claim as one of Melbournes best open-bar, dining-hybrid venues, and if you gently squint, it’s easy to imagine yourself in the warehouse-loft of a pre-crash Wall St tycoon in the 80s.
So squint, dear friend, bring that cigar to the lips, and inhale that sweet, sweet smell of pre-2007 venue tobacco laws, while you imagine yourself in that steamy machine of systemic exploitation known as wall st.
Fortunately for those of the stamina variety, Panama did carry one little thing over from it’s days as a live music venue: a 1am liquor license.
So party on, dear aspirational Gordon Gecko.
The Panama Dining Room is located in the heart of Smith St, which places it in beautiful proximity to some of the most iconic and historical parts of Melbournes oldest suburb, Fitzroy. That puts it at arms length away from an incredible lot of great portrait opportunities that can be had even with just a quick little sprint away from the Panama.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Panama Dining Room website: www.thepanama.com.au
Venue size: 160 guests seated, 220 standing
Wedding Venue Location: Melbourne CBD
Bookworms by day, dancefloor worms by night: State Library Victoria is the poster-child for a venues ability to play Jekyll, Hyde, and all their far-removed cousins, and might just be our cities most slumbering giant gem.
There’s much to be said for nostalgia. It is after all, the reason why we fought tooth and nail for an (ill-fated, but I digress) Hey Hey it’s Saturday revival wayback when, and why the the whiff of a can of Lynx can suddenly remove two decades of time and space for those in the mid-30’s bracket.
The savvy folk at Showtime events and caretakers of State Library Victoria know the value of nostalgia, and so they know that once the lukewarm memories of higher education and it’s study pressures have faded into memory, there’s nothing more appealing than inhaling an Espresso Martini and double-stack of canapes in one of the worlds most extravagantly beautiful study halls.
Enter the unusual wedding venue, State Library Victoria.
Thankfully to the mad hatters at SLV, there are a total of five separate, incredibly distinct spaces in which to host your wedding, that can cater from the intimate to over 500 guests. So whether you’ve spent your days as a cave dwelling misanthrope or have as many friends as Tom from Myspace, you’re probably covered.
The lay of the land at State Library Victoria starts at the obviously decadent La Trobe Reading Room, throws a curveball of art via the Cowen Gallery, and ends at the recently revitalised Ian Potter Queens Hall, with the glorious North Rotunda and Isabelle Fraser room in between.
The State Library of Victoria, as well as having a variety of rooms that would be the envy of a Labrynth-trotting Bowie, is smack in the heart of the CBD – lending itself to plenty of beautiful portrait opportunities, classic Melbourne laneways and beyond, and is one of the more left of centre alternative wedding venues in Melbourne.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
State Library of Victoria website: https://venues.slv.vic.gov.au/wedding/
Isabelle Fraser Room: 156 Banquet 220 Cocktail
Ian Potter Queens Hall: 290 Banquet 500 Cocktail
La Trobe Reading Room: 520 Cocktail
North Rotunda: 60 Banquet 90 Cocktail
Cowen Gallery: 220 Banquet 350 Cocktail
Wedding Venue Location: Melbourne CBD
Longsong is what happens when a collective of design-centred mavens pair with culinary master David Moyle, and point their magic towards an historic old Melbourne horse stable in the middle of chinatown.
Majestic tall ceilings, a wave of paper lanterns above and original brick floors from this converted 1900s space, JCB Architects added another space to a growing list of venues in Melbourne keeping as many sympathetic roots to the original uses of the structure as possible, while allowing it to stand alone as progressive and stylish. Add a dash of quirky photographic genius on entry and you have yourselves one serve of Longsong.
Longsong is the benchmark in subtle, sprawling classy alternative vibes in Melbourne, with a 2-tier open space that lets you know exactly what it’s all about as soon as you walk in.
Wedding Venue Location: West Melbourne
Gather and Tailor takes an old inner-city warehouse, and puts it in the hands of the genius, quirky captains of wedding hospitality, Nudo.
5km out of the CBD, smack-against a bunch of shipping containers and an old-school automotive garage, it initially feels like you aren’t quite allowed to have all that room and calm all to yourself – but then you lean into it, and in return are gifted with one of the most unassumingly mighty warehouse experiences in Melbourne, and a small nod to a classic New York warehouse.
With the seasoned hands of the Nudo team and their hospitality empire at your fingertips, Gather and Tailor is a modular set of spaces, and the perfect blank canvas where you can call in as much or as little of the in-house styling as you need.
Check out Ash and Karan’s glorious Gather and Tailor wedding here.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Gather & Tailor website: www.gatherandtailor.com.au
Gather & Tailor wedding gallery: Gather and Tailor wedding
Venue size: Pretty damn big, mate. 300 seated, 450 standing (Across two physical spaces).
The Deck at Circa is nested on the rooftop of the Prince Hotel, in sun-drenched St Kilda. The Deck itself is an expansive, as you’d imagine, deck, with a large covered interior space, and access to some of the other incredible events and wedding spaces inside the Prince Hotel.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
The Deck website: https://theprince.com.au/prince-deck/
The Deck wedding gallery: The Deck Circa Wedding
Venue size: Sit down – 120 guests. Cocktail – 500 guests
Quat Quatta contains some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful interiors and exteriors around (check out Burnham Beeches for another), and the breadth of portrait opportunities on-site both inside and outside are unbeatable. A festooned outdoor area makes for a glorious intimate ceremony space, before the party is carried inside, making the combination of these things raise Quat Quatta as the best art deco venue Melbourne has going.
But, let’s just hold off on all the adjectives and hyperbole for a hot damn minute, though: because something about this venue in particular isn’t talked about nearly enough: the bridal suites.
These old heritage rooms at the wings of Quat Quatta, apart from being a pretty splendid place to get all that bridal-suite stuff done (application of bandaids, eating of cupcakes, necking of champagne, and whatever else goes on in there), are totally gorgeous and a way under-appreciated part of the venues makeup, and one of my favourite areas of the building to take portraits on the day.
Quat Quatta is a place of wild charm and a more traditional-looking outpost that holds more than it’s own with plenty of variety. Check out this Quat Quatta wedding for a lay of the land. One of the most majestic art deco reception venues Melbourne has on offer.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Quat Quatta website: www.quatquatta.com.au
Quat Quatta wedding gallery: Quat Quatta wedding
Venue size: Pretty big, mate. 300 seated, 450 standing (Across two physical spaces)
Luminare is a wedding venue in Melbourne that has become something of a go-to for all things lush and grand, and I find that folks who are drawn to Luminare are also drawn to The Deck (up above) and The George Ballroom (further down this page).
Luminare is a giant, high-roofed events and wedding space, with an enormous deck that runs the full length of the floor, set against their iconic view of the city. This boutique wedding venue is located just a stones throw from the Melbourne CBD.
Brunswick mess hall is a gritty casual warehouse wedding venue in the heart of Brunswick. Somewhat akin in functionality to it’s spiritual cousin Revolver in Prahran, the Brunswick Mess Hall is a restaurant by day, and party-space by night when a wedding is on. Minus the next new thing in electro-dubstep resetting everyones resting heart-rate, or coke-buzzed charlitans in the urinal offering you the key to manifesting abundance.
Brunswick Mess Hall has some of the most gorgeous natural light coming through later in the day, and some brilliant portrait locations in the surrounding streets that make a quick quest out into this quirky neighbourhood at sunset deliver an abundance of opportunities without dragging you away from the party for too long.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Brunswick Mess Hall website: https://thebrunswickmesshall.com.au/
Brunswick Mess Hall Wedding Gallery: On Polka Dot Bride
Venue size: 130 guests seated, 200 guests cocktail
Fortyfive Downstairs is Melbournes best Art Gallery Wedding Venue, and one of the most unique venues Melbourne has on offer. At first glance, for the parents out there, it might bring up the hairs on the back of the neck in the same way that letting toddlers loose around fine china does, but the reality of the space is quite the opposite.
Fortyfive Downstairs is a warming, welcoming space with beautiful rotating art on it’s walls, sat a few floors up from it’s incredible, cavernous warehouse space in the basement.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Fortyfive Downstairs website: https://www.fortyfivedownstairs.com/
Fortyfive Downstairs Wedding Gallery: Fortyfive Downstairs wedding
Venue size: 160 guests seated, 300 guests cocktail
Glasshaus has two distinct wedding event spaces: Glasshaus Inside, and Glasshaus Outside.
Fun fact: Glasshaus inside has an outside outside of Inside’s inside, and inside Glasshaus Outside Glasshaus Inside could probably fit.
Glasshaus is something of a beautiful aviary in a jungle, and nearly tucked inside a front that doesn’t lend you any idea of it being there.
Glasshaus Inside is a warehouse jungle, and no other descriptors will do any justice to the space. If you’re looking for venues similar to Rupert on Rupert, this is the answer south of the river.
See more at this Glasshaus Wedding
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Glasshaus website: https://www.fortyfivedownstairs.com/
Venue size: 88 guests seated, 125 guests cocktail
The George Ballroom is one of the most decadent wedding venues going, and a brilliant example of just how incredible and modular a single room can be. Iconic textured, distressed walls and fixtures, and much like Rupert, the kind of place you can just point a phone camera at in any direction and come out with art.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
The George Ballroom website: https://www.thegeorgeballroom.com.au/
Venue size: 150 guests seated, 200 guests cocktail
Before pandemics and global disarray, The Altar Electric were ahead of the curve before flattening it was a thing, serving up small, intimate weddings in their brilliant chapel in Collingwood, designed by the genius event and wedding stylists over at Good Day Club. There are always new wedding venues Melbourne has popping up, but these folk stand out from the rest.
The Altar Electric is a wedding chapel for three kinds of folks:
1 – Couples who were probably going to book a registry wedding, but wanted a little bit more sass to the occassion
2 – Couples who want Australias answer to the Vegas Chapel wedding
3 – Couples who want to get in, get it done in an incredible and colourful way, and get out into enjoying their day together around Fitzroy and Collingwood
The Altar Electric is one of the most unique venues Melbourne has going, providing everything from intimate shotgun weddings, all the way up to options for a larger number of guests inside the peach-toned walls of their tiny chapel.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
The Altar Electric website: https://www.thealtarelectric.com.au/
The Altar Electric Wedding Gallery: The Altar Electric Wedding
Venue size: 30, to up to 70 if the outside area is used
I had to include this one for all the Lord of the Rings fans out there. This doesn’t quite fit the bill for Melbourne, as it’s just outside of it, but is a secret worth checking out. Before I give the exact location as a potential turn-off, it’s worth saying that if you can stomach sitting in traffic on Punt Rd for an hour to move just 150 metres, then you can also put up with making your way over to Geelong to this beauty, and there’s no trip more worthy.
I still believe Fyansford Paper Mill is one of our real undiscovered gems that should be right at the top of any wedding venue consideration inside Victoria, and unfortunately it’s even tough to get a sense of how brilliant this place is from a proper google search, you almost have to just roll up and see it for yourself.
Cavernous interior, split into two distinct spaces joined by what is an iconic archway in between them, it’s impossible to think this place exists just a short roadie out of the city.
Fyansford Paper Mill – otherwise known ever so romantically as Site 3A – is run by prolific caterers and party-starters Truffleduck.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Fyansford Paper Mill Website: Truffleduck
Fyansford Paper Mill Wedding Gallery: Fyansford Paper Mill Wedding
Venue size: 30, to up to 70 if the outside area is used
The Line in Footscray takes all the grit, texture, and industrial charm of recently gentrifying Footscray and… leaves all it the fuck alone.
Just as every developer with a string of graduate architects are discovering Fisher and Paykel My First Geometry lessons on exterior cladding in the suburb, the folks at The Line have kept the original spirit of the area alive in this rough around the edges gem of a wedding venue.
The Line is a blank-canvas wedding venue, and you know you’re in good hands when the venue is run by a team that also see their space used regularly for community, arts, and market events, which is something of a rarity.
To see The Line in action, pick yourself up a copy of the September 2020 edition of Hello May, where you can see the gorgeous and colourful celebration of Pepe and Sam gracing it’s pages.
There. 17 (seventeen) of the best alternative wedding venues in Melbourne, for lovers and anarchists.
Author: Briars Atlas. Photos may be used with a link back to this website.
This made the list a little late, but be sure to also check out this Two Ton Max wedding. For unique wedding venues in new South Wales, check out this beautiful Sydney Theatre Company wedding. For a unique Mornington Peninsula wedding venue, you need to check out Tanglewood Estate.
Oct 9, 2020
Alex Perry Wedding Dresses challenge any ideas of convention around bridal couture. So much so that this one wasn’t even in their wedding category! This incredible Alex Perry Wedding Dress was seen in another part of the Alex Perry catalogue, and Liv immediately knew it would be the perfect wedding dress.
Liv and Adams beautiful Melbourne wedding was photographed by Briars Atlas and featured inside the pages of Together Journal and you can purchase it here in issue #19, and their incredible sense of style has also been picked up worldwide and seen on Yahoo and Popsugar.
Thanks to Liv and Adam for having me down for your brilliant day in the beautiful gritty centre of Melbourne.
Livs Alex Perry Wedding Dress is also featured in my post on the 5 best modern wedding dresses.
Alex Perry Wedding Dresses online: https://www.alexperry.com.au/pages/stockist-bride
Briars Atlas Wedding Photography: Enquire
Oct 8, 2020
Here’s a preview of the gorgeous Vogue Wedding of Zoe and Adam married at the incredible Leura Amphitheatre in the Blue Mountains, before heading over to their wedding reception at the Hydro Majestic Hotel. These two adventurers and sweethearts wear everything on their sleeves, maybe best shown when Adam took a detour with Zoe and their crew into a private room before their reception at the Hydro Majestic, where the Blue Mountains String Quartet played a piece that Adam had written with them in secret ahead of time. Magic stuff.
Thanks Vogue Australia for sharing these two marvels. See their full Vogue wedding feature here.
See more information on Blue Mountains Wedding Photography.
Sep 22, 2020
Last year I worked with Cassie and the team at Firecracker event (also here on my list of incredible Melbourne caterers), who had created the most majestic grazing table i’ve seen anywhere, let alone in Melbourne, for Liv and Dave’s engagement party in an iconic Melbourne art gallery. The result looked like something of a collaboration between the lush perfection of Annie Leibovitz and impossible symmetry and theatre of Wes Anderson, so I had to ask her how her brain works, how we can capture a slice of it for ourselves, and what genius ideas she has for creating your own grazing table or spread, especially as Covid-19 has cast some uncertainty over what they will even look like in the short to mid-term: how do we create a Covid Friendly Grazing Table?
To that end, Cassie has been generous in sharing some of her own feelings about what solutions there might be and what questions to ask when navigating the scenario of sharing food communally.
Firecracker event’s slogan is “to nourish, connect, and create” and it’s such a treat to have a chat with someone that has their hands plenty full servicing all three of those across a catering business and a venue, both of which have had to be elastic and forward-thinking during covid19 (when for a little while, maybe the only thing on the table is an elopement).
My name is Cassie Lucas and I am the owner and creative director of Firecracker Event. The journey to get where I am today is a long story with a meandering path but in a nutshell it goes like this; born into a loving and affectionate social-foodie family with roots in hospitality, a childhood of caring and nurturing (both receiving and giving) followed by a degree and career in landscape architecture with time spent here and abroad all culminated in me starting Firecracker Event in 2012 and officially launching it as my full-time gig in September 2013.
Our big studio, that we call HQ (stands for heart-quarters as much as head-quarters) is used for all of our event preparation and photoshoots.
During covid HQ has been home to Pick Me Up, our take home meal service and has also become a temporary home for an ice cream van which is fun!
That’s easy. Seeing people experience and be nourished by the food and atmosphere we create.
Our motivation has always been to make people feel loved and seen. That hasn’t changed during this time, in fact it’s been more important than ever. Many people feel isolated and unsettled by uncertainty and rapid change.
We do too!
When the pandemic hit my first instinct was ok, how can we pivot and continue to nourish our community while we can’t be together physically? From that place we launched PICK ME UP, which is a take-home meals collaboration with seven other local, small businesses who we love.
It started out as a gift we could give to our community and quickly became a gift we received as so many people showed up to support us and allowed us to safely stay connected and nourished by one another.
This helped keep our business going and has given us all a sense of purpose which has been invaluable for our mental wellbeing. It’s been a beautiful and reciprocal exchange.
You’re so right! It was such a beautiful intersection. This will be a forever favourite for sure. Liv and Dave know the owner of the antique gallery and when we went for a site inspection, I was blown away by the visual feast around each corner of the gallery.
One of the many things I’ve carried with me from Landscape Architecture is allowing the site to speak and designing with site specificity. This keeps every day really exciting for us because it means that every grazing table is unique. It also means that when we are in a space like Graeme Geddes Gallery – it’s about sourcing props and produce that will work with the space. Not take away or dominate it.
This grazing table had some gorgeous smaller moments you experience when you’re up close (like cutting a piece of cheese) but then also for the overall wow- expansive view. You managed to capture that so beautifully.
Haha! Love this. Really made me think though!
Not Michael Bolton, I think it needs more drama/ energy than that!
I have transported myself to the nights at Cherry Bar in ACDC lane in Melbourne circa 2003 to answer this question. I think it’s more 80’s glam metal, OTT outfits, hair, sets, personalities and expressions!!
Perhaps Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard or Panama by Van Halen.
I like to talk to our clients about what they love to eat, how they dine at home and what family rituals they have. We always do our best to make it feel like it’s their table.
Our use of certain props, like acrylic blocks for height, has really become a signature of Firecracker so there’s always signs of us in our work, that’s what people hire us for!
We had a client that wanted us to make grazing tables for 3000 people in a car park. I was so pumped about the potential but it didn’t go ahead in the end.
Filling the entire table, edge to edge doesn’t allow the produce to shine. It’s like everything is competing for attention and if there’s one thing I know about Delice, it does not need to compete on a table.
This can also be confronting and confusing for guests as they don’t know what to pick and feel intimidated to touch anything in feat of ‘ruining’ the table. What I would say is, do not be afraid of space. If you have some ‘air’ or ‘zones’ for the hero products it becomes more accessible for guests.
The most underrated inclusion is grapes. The way they fall does so much for how your eye moves across a table. We get a bit sad when they are out of season!
I would love to create a grazing table on the highline in New York. It’s a public garden that’s been built on an old lightrail train line. I can imagine where parts of the table are wildflowers and then produce so when you look at it, it forms a part of the landscape.
I would also love to make a gallery sized exhibition of grazing. On plinths, with color, lots of height changes. Dramatic lighting. Lots of smaller moments or rooms of grazing. And Lazy Susans. And I’ve been getting into monochrome grazing tables over the last 12 months.
Can someone help make this happen?!
As with all foods, buy the best that you can.
A small piece of something outrageous is better than a slab of an unripe brie.
The same principles work for a grazing table for 100 as they do for 2 people.
This is the landscape architecture practice of scale.
This isn’t a question but I think it’s worth acknowledging the death of grazing tables.
How will people experience grazing tables in the new COVID normal?
Are guests going to want to share food?
To cut cheese with the same knife as another person?
To be in close proximity to another person discussing what looks good on the table?
Will tables just be for looking but not for touching?
We’ve been thinking a lot about what this looks like and how will we facilitate that same 1980’s WOW expression?
We are thinking that it will be more individual serves. But you know, maybe it’s bigger/longer tables with social distancing and that could be really interesting for how we arrange and curate the produce.
We are workshopping some samples. Stay tuned!
But I think that this makes this particular grazing table even more special because who knows if we will be able to create something like this (to be enjoyed and eaten) again.
If you like this glorious space, you might also like Quat Quatta
Sep 15, 2020
Melbourne wedding celebrant: finding a great one is challenging, and it’s hard to get an idea of whether their vibe is gonna fit your tribe ahead of time. The Celebrant A List is an initiative put together to help solve that, and their Celebrant A-List Ball which I joined majestic celebrant-ey forces with last year, brought together a whole swag of the industries best under one roof in Melbourne.
Since we had so many luminaries of the industry packed into one of Melbournes best bars, it would’ve been rude not to set up a Vanity Fair style photo-corner.
I’ve been super lucky to work with many of these maestros, so read on and enjoy these community marvels and a little insight into the Celebrant A List, and then hire one for your Melbourne elopement.
Lord of the dark-funk, Jac the Hitcher lives here.
If you want to skip the gab (not recommended, but hey, it’s your life), here’s a run-sheet of some of the best Melbourne wedding celebrants that are featured here (in no order):
Lord of all things neon and dark in the wedding celebrant world, find Annie here.
As well as being found under an excellent hat, known as one of the Best Marriage Celebrants Melbourne has on offer, you can find Sean here.
On paper it’s a directory with some hand picked celebrants. Maybe it’s also an antidote to the ‘come one come all’ sites that I find just end up causing us much confusion and anxiety for couples who are by and large going through this process for the first time.
BUT what it actually is a chance to be a little different in the market. All of the directory members are people from my own and some other close confidant’s personal networks.
These were people we already were swapping leads with. So whilst it’s not the definitive and finite list of who’s a quality melbourne wedding celebrant, I can definitely say that all members are quality people and celebrants.
As well as being found wrapped in curtains, Megan can be found here.
Megan is pointing over there, and to find her we’re pointing here.
So the Celebrant A List is also a little community group. We all know which other members are better suited for which kind of couple just based on the initial enquiry.
So my advice would be to get on the directory, to find the kind of wedding celebrant you think fits the bill and send them an enquiry.
If they’re not available, we work as a group to find you someone that is not only free but will also fit what you are looking for.
This legendary Tasmanian wedding celebrant can be found here.
This totally debonair devil can be found here.
Is Brian Jones or David Koresh a funny or poor tasting joke?! Nah but in all honesty, the crew on the Wedding Celebrant A List is from the network of wedding celebrants who were already naturally jelling together.
Everyone on the list is vouched for – we avoid cult like activities, thinking and environments, we feel the market for that is already catered for!
Not just a good looking rack for short-shorts, maybe the best marriage celebrant Melbourne has on offer, find him here.
Haha, what a question! If I was to say what was the mission of the Wedding Celebrant A List, it would be to address exactly this challenge.
We have moved from a world where once upon a time we had to wait until every Thursday night at 7:30PM before our favourite show would be on…now I can binge watch whatever I want, whenever I want.
This is how society works now, so the Wedding Celebrant A List is the kind of place where people can come and not only can we help them feel less overwhelmed we also support each other’s businesses.
With her name an homage to Fleetwood Mac, find Erin here.
It’s for this reason alone why we don’t have hundreds and hundreds of members as we genuinely feel like in the end that helps no one – the couples or the celebrants.
As I already mentioned, just by enquiring with one us, we’re kind of all there to help you find not only the right celebrant but also many other vendors.
We all buy based on people giving us recommendations, it’s kind of the same approach over at the Wedding Celebrant A List.
Well before good ol’ Rona hit the plan was to try and host an event in each major city where we have representation. But now we’re focussed on our big event next year, Hitchmas.
We plan on making this the best business workshop/networking/party kind of event ever hosted in the wedding world.
This cartwheeling legend can be found here
Head back up through this post and click through to any of the brilliant Melbourne wedding celebrants websites.
Finding a Melbourne wedding celebrant can be a bit of a massive task – fortunately, the Wedding Celebrant A List has been assembled to take some of the legwork out of it. Verified legends, take a look and find your Melbourne wedding celebrant below, and then get them down for your Melbourne city elopement.
Sep 3, 2020
Babiana Botanic makes incredible, unique floral designs, thanks to the fine-art background of it’s founder, Anna. We worked together on the wedding of Pepe and Sam at The Line (officiated by Nat Sproal), and we chat a little about her incredibly unique approach to Melbourne florals.
To see more of her impossibly innovative work, check out the wedding of Pepe and Sam featured here (Hello May Wedding Photographer), available on news stands today.
I’m Anna of Babiana Botanic. Most people think working with flowers “must be so lovely and relaxing!”
And yeah, sure – I love what I do and it is at times, lovely and relaxing – but its also 3am wake-ups to get the best flowers at market, long days creating arrangements, carrying buckets up and down stairs of beautiful old venues that don’t have lift access, hands covered in cuts, 1am pack-downs – it can be a brutal job – which just shows you’ve got to really love it – and I do!
I have a Bachelor of Fine Art and have always loved flowers and nature.
My love of Art Nouveau inspired me into the floristry industry where I can create works of art with nature, for people on their wedding days or for other amazing events.
I love doing weddings in Melbourne because it is such a melting pot of people. It means you get such a wide range of clients with a diverse set of needs. There are also so many creative people in Melbourne who want a wedding that stands out and is unique to them.
It means that I get to create amazing colourful weddings, weddings with nods to the couples cultures (Indian, Macedonian, etc), and contemporary weddings that are a little different.
What makes Babiana Botanic special is that we are not afraid to use colour and create something unique. We like to think about flowers as an art form and creating works of art specific to each couple.
We’ve been offering flower delivery to people’s homes during this time off so that we are still working with flowers and offering something to brighten people’s days. We’ve also been in contact and working with all of our couples who have had to postpone their weddings and events to ensure we can go ahead when all these restrictions ease.
I think post-covid, there will be a move towards more intimate weddings with just your closest family and friends, and a move away from feeling the need for a big wedding where you have to invite your third-cousin-twice-removed and that friend you haven’t seen since high-school.
I love colour and doing things differently – and that’s the mark I would like to leave. I want couples to come to me wanting beautiful, quirky, colourful and different designs.
Head to this post for more incredible unique florists in Melbourne.
Aug 13, 2020
These are four of my favourite Castlemaine Wedding Venues, including photos taken at each of brilliant couples choosing to have their wedding in this rustic region.
It’s really late at night, and i’m writing this article for you, dear human-person, on the other end, and i’m supposed to use all this coercive langue that apparently makes internet websites more engaging and all that (“you’ll never BELIEVE how rusticly-rustic to the power of rustic these are”), but, let’s skip all that cheap shit and get to the point, because you’re better than that (it’s a Castlemaine thing).
Castlemaine is incredibly rad, otherwise you wouldn’t be on this post or considering a wedding in the area, and I want to share some great spaces from this totally marvellous region.
I’ve spent a tonne of time out there, and as a general thing within the universe, a visit to it is generally recognised as being far more desirable than a slap over the noggin with a wet fish, so have a look at these scallywags that thought the same, and hire me to shoot your wedding.
Providence gully is a gem of the area, an incredible oasis established in 1858. With a rustic barn, olive grovee, pomegranite orchards and an endless variety of native greenery, this understated marvel is a must see.
I photographed the wedding of Amy and Bronson, held in this precious place, and featured in all it’s glory on Hello May.
Providence Gully website: http://providencegully.com.au/
Katie (othewise known at the inimitable Katie Marx flowers – see her here on Melbournes best wedding florists) and Greg run Butterland Newstead, and took it from an historic factory needing a little DIY love, into and incredibly versatile venue just one good road trip out of Melbourne
Iro and Alex got married at this spectacular property, and you can see more of these hilarious, stylish marvels featured here on Together Journal.
Butterland Newstead website: https://www.butterland.com.au/
The Diggers Store is something of an understated gem of the area, and resembles something of an impossible mix of tiny italian clifftop homestead, mixed with rustic outback, and just a couple of hours north of Melbourne.
After their Queenstown Elopement (also featured here on Hello May), Lilli and Jake brought the party, and their beautiful community, to the intimate grounds of the Diggers Store in Castlemaine, and loaded up with a bunch of strange old film cameras (see here why I shoot film at weddings) I came along for the ride to document it.
The Diggers Store website: http://www.thediggersstore.com.au/
This one slipped into this post, just. Even though it’s about 40 minutes outside of Castlemaine, it still qualifies and is well worth adding to the Castlemaine venue consideration pile. Home of beautiful hospitality, wood-fired pizzas, and plenty of beautiful portrait locations in the surrounding regions to run around in. Go for the woodfired pizzas, and get married on the side.
Kara and Marty had their Castlemaine wedding at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Trentham, and we whipped out for a beautiful portrait session in some unique spots nearby. Head here to see more of their Cosmopolitan Hotel wedding.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel Trentham website: https://www.thecosmopolitanhotel.com.au/
Briars Atlas Wedding Photography – enquire
Aug 10, 2020
Briars Atlas – Melbourne Wedding photography documenting the calm and anarchy of beautiful couples all over Melbourne and Victoria. I’ve been fortunate to be noted as one of Melbourne’s top wedding photographers both locally in Australia’s Capture Magazine, and abroad in New Yorks Rangefinder Magazine, as part of their Top 30 worldwide.
But none of this stuff matters – what matters is that i’m lucky to have one of the best jobs in the world: chasing party-starters and anarchist lovers all over the planet to make something that matters for and with them.
I work with you to make your wedding photography absolutely bangin’, and not something that makes you want to chew a cyanide pill. Read on to see some of the wedding photography i’ve been commissioned on all over Melbourne and beyond.
Jul 29, 2020
Tess and Sam had their Kangaroo Valley wedding in the beautiful rolling hills of the Southern Highlands, New South Wales. While the wedding venues Kangaroo Valley holds are plentiful, that this was held on Tess’s parents homestead made for a private setting and beautifully intimate and personal backdrop, with all hands on deck from their community putting their day together.
The most special moments in this gig are often less about the kiss/dance/standard stuff, and more about doing justice to the little bits of quirk on the day… family quirk, friend quirk, subtle things that mean a lot.
I bought along a 1980s 3d camera for the ride. See why I shoot film.
Tess’s close friend was assumed as not being able to make it to their wedding from overseas, so naturally, given that he was in fact making it there, he hid himself in a tractor trailer underneath a tarp, and then sprung out in front of Tess in a gloriously divine moment of reveal.
Enjoy their little story below.
Visit New South Wales: https://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/south-coast/jervis-bay-and-shoalhaven/kangaroo-valley
Jul 27, 2020
Putting “Covid wedding Melbourne” at the front of Adriana and Calebs wedding title seems to relegate the marriage part (the bit we’re actually all here for) to the back seat. Sooooo, let’s reword that: Adriana and Calebs awesome little elopement (which happened to occur in the middle of the Covid pandemic that they thumbed their noses at and got it done beautifully anyway while staying well within all of the rules and regulations currently in place including the wearing of masks, social distancing, and limitations on who can be present).
Adriana and Caleb had their first date at this park in Coburg, in Melbournes northern suburbs. So that was where they decided to say their vows, and lock it down, with the inimitable Melbourne wedding celebrant Zena Lythgo doing the honours via I Do Drive Thru. I joined up to photograph it and play one of the witnesses.
Since their dogs can’t hold a pen.
I Do Drive Thru is a brilliant, agile initiative out of Melbourne that has enabled couples wanting to get married to get it done in the middle of this coronavirus pandemic, while playing to all the necessary current restrictions around social distancing and the wearing of a mask.
These two marvels got the important bit done – the marriage thing – with themselves and Adrianas mother, and then enjoyed the rest of the day together. Beautiful.
It’s been especially interesting in Melbourne, as our state has been… not playing ball with the restrictions, which has meant the pandemic has had several new clusters of outbreaks, further locking things down.
So the fact that initiatives like I Do Drive Thru and other small wedding venues such as The Altar Electric exist, has been such a brilliant thing for couples putting love and marriage first, and opting to save the party for later.
If you’re looking at getting it done in the middle of the Covid pandemic in Melbourne, head over here for more information on Melbourne City Elopements.
The Altar Electric have been the other frontrunners in this Covid pandemic craziness, and their brilliantly unique wedding venue warehouse space in Collingwood has seen all sorts of celebration playing exactly to all of the rules and requirements in place in the middle of this pandemic.
Head over and read more here: Melbourne city elopements.
Jul 22, 2020
Will and Jac are the agile Melbourne wedding planner duo made up of Catherine and Clare, who as well as being event planners of all sizes and styles, are portable transportation units for infectious smiles. We’ve worked together with brilliant couples in venues from historic Melbourne stables over to bluestone homesteads in northern Victoria.
Clients approach us at all stages of their planning journey – some 2 years out, others with only a month or weeks to go (when things might have turned a little more ‘tense’ – we are counselors too!).
Typically with private property Weddings, couples and their families realise from the outset that it’s a bigger ball game and that professionals are needed to ensure the process is well executed – not only on the day, but in the days leading up when suppliers commencing setting up, as well as when the celebrations are over and you need to return the space as it was originally.
With venues it can be early or late in the piece, with some locations offering more hands-on planning via their onsite coordinators, while others leave it completely to the client to make the space and Day exactly as they wish.
Life has curveballs and with this, there are numerous scenarios when people realise they need help – perhaps work hours have increased, the couple don’t know where to start (this is absolutely normal), the client want to start enjoying the days prior to the Wedding and move from “planner” to “getting married” and like all of us, sometimes there’s just not enough hours in the day!
Absolutely! And we prefer to approach the planning with our couples by having them make and decide who they wish to engage – we do all the leg work to provide them with options and our industry experience, but at the end of the day it’s their celebration, we just make it all reality.
We believe that generally people still foresee Wedding Planners as those referenced in movies like The Wedding Planner and Father of the Bride – but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
We get our hands dirty and have completed all manner of duties to get our Weddings in tip-top condition – our role includes horticulturist duties (repotting plants for styling), seamstresses (being underneath a Brides dress and re-hemming gowns on the day), Sous Chefs (plating up in the kitchen when extra hands are needed), Accountants (budget management) and everything in-between.
We are also both meticulously painful in terms of attention to detail, and will create multiple scenarios for our Weddings so that no stone is left unturned that we can’t then manage on the day.
We are Chief Fire Fighters too and on the day we effectively ensure we have a calm and positive disposition and manage numerous underlying curveballs that pop up – such is life! – while ensuring no-one (except us) are any the wiser.
We can’t go past Private Property Weddings – they are all unique and we love the experience of a blank space going from ‘nothing’ to ‘something’.
These occasions are a logistical beast, the time that we spend curating a working event order and communicating between all parties can’t be imagined, but at the end of the day when we see magic form in-front of our eyes, it’s worth every minute.
Venue wise yes, Melbourne has unlimited options for every celebration, but a few we love are Polperro Estate in Red Hill, The Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld, Tanglewood Estate and Alfred Place by Rockpool Events.
We’ve received many a phone call from concerned parents who have noticed that the somewhat ‘simple Wedding’ picture that their child had wished for has been hijacked by concerns, so they call us to find out how we could elevate these doubts, and then we meet directly with the couple to showcase our services and story.
We generally then join their planning and they are able to start re-enjoying their engagement journey. We’ve been brought on-board to manage family dynamics and play the role of mediator. It’s one scenario where we are “good cop” and “bad cop” (guess who is who?!) and take any unwanted strain off the couple.
But mostly couples realise after the fact what our services are worth.
It’s the ‘big picture’ stuff that we specialise in – we are all about making the day not only seamless for the couple and their guests, but also for their contracted suppliers, as together, the day is all the more memorable!
We can do as little or as much to assist with a Wedding Day. But to be honest we’re both control freaks, so Full Planning is our preferred option.
Personalised service is paramount. We are all about ensuring their peace of mind, bringing their story to the Day, and exceeding expectations at every turn.
These were also concepts that we had as individual planners therefore when brought together as Will&Jac, this has doubled and is exactly why we do what we do!
1. Ensure your Melbourne Wedding Planner quotes are reflective of your needs
2. Utilise what’s at your location as much as possible – repurpose furniture, ensure event conclusion times/noise limits are in line with your wishes
3. Planning a Wedding is a full time job, so allow a professional to manage your process and keep your ticking towards your date in the right manner. A ‘relaxed’ Wedding Day comes from months and months of planning, it doesn’t just happen!
1. Consider public holidays/special events (surcharges etc)
2. Always have a Plan B for your Ceremony and Reception – you just never know!
3. Ensure you ‘click’ with your supplier tribe. You need lots of positivity and stressless spirits with you towards and
Will and Jac / Melbourne Wedding Planner website: http://willandjac.com/
Jul 20, 2020
At Sam and Pauls Thornbury wedding (featuring the iconic Kenny Lover), I linked up with their DJ’s One More Song Entertainment, who carried a ripping vibe across the day and into the evening. You know you’re on a good thing when the crew carrying your tunes are having the time of their life themselves. The duo are Eddy and Aleks, and they filled me in on what makes for cracking music at your wedding and how to plan your wedding music.
These legends are also featured on my list of the 5 best wedding bands in Melbourne.
65 floors! I feel sorry for them. I could talk about what I do all day. In a nutshell though (and as this is a blog!), I’m a business co-owner (with my partner DJ Eddy Mac) and wedding DJ. Eddy and I run One More Song. We’re not a “booking agency” – we’re a wedding DJ business. Weddings are front and centre for us. We just love them!
As well as DJs, we have awesome musicians like saxophonists who play with us. Both Eddy and I run all aspects of the business and work with clients in the lead up to their big day. If one of us isn’t personally DJing at your wedding, we’ll pick one of our rockstar DJs.
I say we’re not an agency because we only work with a small – but AWESOME – group of entertainers (all experienced in playing at weddings) and we’re both so hands-on with the business. There are no desk-based entertainment managers at One More Song – you’re always dealing with someone who lives and breathes weddings!
Is there a better party than a wedding? You have an excuse to get super dressed up, you get fed, watered and spend all night dancing with your favourite people. There is a special energy at weddings that you just don’t get anywhere else. And you definitely feel that behind the decks!
I love DJing at weddings because you get to play epic tunes from all eras and genres. I love so many different types of music – disco, funk, old school RnB, classic house, 90s dance, Motown, 80s synth, hip hop – the list goes on! Getting a pumping dance floor at a wedding involves really mixing it up to get old and young dancing. I truly love seeing people from all walks of life coming together to dance and for those few hours, forget about the mundanities of everyday life.
The one thing that constantly surprises me (but probably shouldn’t) is how much people of all ages love older music. There are just so many artists that have truly stood the test of time (think Queen, Prince, Bee Gees, Marvin Gaye) and always get the party going.
We’re always super upfront with our clients about the process so we can set their expectations. We always tell them that there’s only so much we can prepare – 80 per cent of the work is done on the night. Apart from the key moment songs (first dance, etc) and some “must-play” song requests from the couple, we just need an idea of what our clients DON’T want to hear and some genres/artists they love. Also importantly, we ask them what their friends and family will be into as well.
Then it’s up to us on the night! We use our experience to read the room and build the energy at the right level. You can’t go hard with bangers at dinner and then play ambient jazz during the dance floor. You also can’t play one genre all night or guests will fatigue. It’s a fine balancing act!
We’re blessed as our vibe attracts clients who get all of this and are more than happy to leave most of the work to us. Building that trust with them is essential to us doing the best job possible on the day. We have heard of DJs who are provided with a list of 300 songs to play. That just doesn’t get the best results, so we let our brides and grooms know how we operate nice and early!
Our gigs are not fixed at all! All of our DJs live mix. Yes, we’re organised – we have thousands of tunes catalogued in every which way (folders for different parts of the evening, different decades, genres, sub-genres, etc), but we’re totally flexible and play to the crowd. Sometimes I’ll cue up a song to play and then 20 seconds before I’m about to mix out, I’ll change my mind – it definitely keeps it interesting!
I’m happy to take requests and happy to play Horses (no Nutbush, Macarena or Chicken Dance though… the line has to be drawn somewhere). BUT the caveat is that the request needs to be a song that the newly married couple will be happy with, and it needs to be played at the right time. If someone drunkenly requests Horses and guests are just finishing their mains, well, it ain’t happening!
The flashing knobs and buttons are designed to make us look very skilled, important and intimidate all who try to talk to us. 🙂 No, but really, technology has come such a long way and really helps when it comes to DJing at weddings. For example, we can cue up tracks at different points for key moments like wedding party entrances and use different effects and functions to help smoothly transition between genres – a very important part of being a wedding DJ.
As for the robot with good taste in music, its name is Spotify. The clients I’ve spoken to who had a Spotify play list for their engagement parties have always regretted it. I’ll only be threatened if the robot develops so much that it can read the tiny flicker of excitement in a guest’s eyes when you play a tune they love while they’re still having their entree, or be able to deal with an inebriated uncle who wants you to play The Angels all night. Then MAYBE I’ll be out of a job.
When a couple enquires with us, they receive our shiny “party pack” – an easy-to-digest information pack that has more about how we work, our sample mixes, videos, etc. Then, some couples will either lock us in or book in a phone or video call (or in-person meeting, depending on what lockdown stage we’re in). During this chat, we talk about everything wedding-related and ask the couple about their wedding timeline, music likes/dislikes, their guest demographic, the vibe they’re after, etc! And of course, we go into more detail about how we work and offer some suggestions. After that, it’s a 50 per cent part payment to lock us in!
A packed dance floor is obviously the ultimate goal, but people do need breaks – they might grab a drink, powder their nose, chat to a friend they haven’t seen in a while – it’s all part of it. And you need to provide something for everyone. Generally we’ll make sure the oldies can enjoy the dance floor earlier on in the night and leave the late night sing-alongs for those who are really letting their hair down. As a wedding DJ, you need to respond to what’s happening in front of you. If you’re about to play the bride’s all-time fave song but see she’s heading off to the bathroom, you better find a different track pronto!
This does happen quite a bit (which is why we came up with the name!). It’s hard to pick one track as it really depends on the couple and the vibe, but normally it’s got to be something that has broad appeal, known and loved by both the couple and guests. An upbeat remix of a classic seems to work well – maybe an edit of a disco track. At one wedding last year I played Don’t Leave Me This Way by The Communards and it went off!
One More Song Entertainment website: https://onemoresong.com.au/
Bigger picture stuff? Check out these Melbourne wedding planners.
Jul 18, 2020
Jaime Lee Major is one of Australia’s brightest design stars. Her bridal collection has grown over the last 10 years making her one of the most sought after dressmakers to come out of Australia. Jaime Lee Major wedding gowns are meticulously crafted pieces of art.
A while back I photographed the Perth wedding of Sarah and Dave, which started in a majestic ceremony and ended in an actual rave. Throughout all that this wild Jaime Lee Major creation weathered all the wild glory.
I wanted to do a piece on her because I am inspired by her wild design talent and outer-space way of approaching bridal gowns for folks wanting something a little more on the edge. Her designs are for the fashion-forward bride (the exact words that came out of David’s lips all day at their wedding).
Born and raised in Fremantle (Perth), Jamie Lee Major rose to fame after she designed a gown for Kimbra at the Grammys in 2013. Her blue tulle and Swarovski encrusted dress was seen by 40 million people and she gained a mighty whack of international fame, and said in an interview for VOGUE that she hadn’t really thought about bridal couture but had so many enquiries that it ‘just sort of happened’.
She’s won WA Designer of the year, been featured in VOGUE, dressed Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Rita Ora (to name a few). Major has since left the red carpet behind her now to focus her creative genius on wedding dress designs.
Jaime Lee Major wedding gowns are priced from $5000 to $24,000, but worth every cent. They are pieces of art that she carefully wraps around a human body, and have endless hours of labour put into every last little detail. There are hundreds of thousands of beads, crystals, pearls and stitches in her creations.
The bridal collection features a lot of tulle and exposed flesh, lavishly covered with luxurious embellishments. They’re a Pinterest board dream. You can forget the classic silhouette or cathedral length train.
Jaime Lee is talking frills, cuffs, ruffles, sparkles and bespoke demi-couture tailoring. The materials tend to stray away from classic whites and ivories and delve into lux golds and silvers. Something I’m excited to see more of in contemporary weddings.
If you’re a bride who wants to do things differently then Jaime Lee Major’s collection is awe-inspiring. See-through trouser suits and everything covered in Swarovski will certainly turn some heads and take your Grandmothers idea of the traditional wedding dress for a glorious golden ride. The way the light catches the sparkles and the overstated glamour is perfect for any bridal shoot.
There is no end to this gifted woman’s creativity. She is such an exciting element in Australian wedding scene. One of her recent catwalk gowns used the most insane floristry to bring her ideas to life.
I love capturing everything that makes the day special, the bride’s dress is at the top of my list. Be over indulgent, be bountiful, be sumptuous. It’s a wedding, nothing can be too amplified! Your dress should make you feel like you’ve never felt before and there is no way in hell you can’t feel $1million dollars in a Jaime Lee Major wedding gown.
Jaime Lee Major on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaimeleemajor
Jul 15, 2020
Bangin Hangins are a category unto themselves – who knew that somewhere between “wedding photographer” and “wedding stylist” there was a standalone category entitled “awesome majestic aerial shit from another dimension that hangs from the ceiling before eventually being whisked away and leaving you wondering how you’ll ever deal with the room being it’s regular dull self”. Etc.
Bangin Hangins make installations that are installed in (/on, with, either-or-and-the-other) the ceiling. Installed TO the ceiling. Take your pick. Whatever the correct terminology is, it results into your ceiling being morphed into some impossible colourful, textural playground.
I’ve been fortunate to see the handiwork of this maestro at three weddings now: an incredible at-home wedding with Sam and Paul (ft. One More Song Entertainment – see their piece here on how to plan your wedding music), Pepe and Sam at The Line in Footscray, and at a Tanglewood Estate elopement were we installed our futuristic neon arbours.
Enjoy this brief little peer into their founder Sarahs fireworks brain.
With Covid forcing us all indoors and all manner of brilliant doorstep portrait projects happening, I wanted to kickstart some convos with my local community and find out how the time and strange space is being used, as it’s never been more important to stay connected and sharing.
I am Sarah. AKA Queen of the Bangers. I’m an events based installation artist. My mates generally get the concept, although a few call it Hangin Bangin instead of Bangin Hangins. Which has the potential to be completely misinterpreted.
I like to think the kind of couple we attract are our kind of people. Its nice to work with like minded people who like something a bit left of centre.
My take on colour / form / placement and proportion. All important when putting together a Bangin aerial installation.
We’ve been working on shoots and ideas for future pop ups once its safe. Once these shoots are released, couples might draw some inspo from these.
For the very near future, boutique. So forget inviting that second cousin and cling (at distance) to your favs and let loose. This is my kind of party covid or no covid. Much more fun. I hope we can help make it a Bangin memorable party.
I reckon Bangin Hangins would look bloody ripper draped all around The Deck at Circa.
Jul 14, 2020
I spent 5 minutes with the brainchild behind Australia’s most awarded and highly reviewed wedding videographers – C2 Films – who also doubles as the facial recipient of the best moustache in the southern hemisphere – Marcus Theodor.
By “spend 5 minutes with”, I mean I sent him an email saying “Mate – fill these questions out (if you can see past the ‘stache down to your keyboard)”, but, same-same.
C2 Films have been around a long time. If C2 were not a group of videographers but instead a human at conception, they’d now be a rowdy teenager telling you why your taste in music sucks.
In videography-terms, that’s about three triple-sentences worth (it’s a challenging, high-turnover field). Somehow Marcus hasn’t aged, I suspect it has something to do with being a backyard Wim Hof practitioner.
So it’s safe to say they know their stuff, instead of telling you your music sucks they put it with love into your video, and because of all this are some of the busiest videographers going with a wild diversity of styles they execute on.
Couples love my dedication, they love that I’m all in, all the time. Approachable and make them feel at ease almost immediately.
I live by the motto that the ‘sun rises and sets with the couple’ and if anyone tries to fuck with that, I’ll burn them.
That I was handsome, strong, dark and moody… creative genius battling inner demons.
That I can’t sit still, that I cannot change or affect my world from my keyboard at home.
I need to move, thus taking up a tradie job (renovation) to throw shit around… and discovering that the boys onsite do it hard for very little, and that I’m fucking blessed to get paid for what I do in the wedding game.
Samsara (daughter) would be my go-to movie, for I’m not at the beginning or and the end, I’m just here…
Jul 13, 2020
Here’s a rundown of some of my favourite Melbourne wedding photo locations, organised by the mood they give, to show you what brilliant variety we have in our own inner city for weddings: from gritty industrial, all the way over to the most incredible nature within a stones throw of the Melbourne CBD. Included in all locations are Google Maps pins.
These are my top 15 Melbourne wedding photo locations (I have plenty more hidden gems, but you’ll just have to head out on foot and go exploring yourself to find them).
Be sure to tune in for the very last one – some of my favourite little slices of Melbourne alleys. If you’re getting hitched in the city or inner city or eloping in Melbourne, I know these like the back of my hand as well as a whole bunch of wonderful other little known spots.
These are somewhat more popular locations, but when looking at where to take photos in Melbourne i’ve found they’re ripe for putting a unique spin on each and every time, especially if you’re planning a Melbourne elopement.
The Melbourne Treasury building is the go-to photo location for registry weddings in Melbourne, and one of the most iconic spots for Melbourne wedding photos. With its incredible historic design and layout, it’s one of the best places to take photos in Melbourne. What people often miss though, is that the immediate surrounds of the building have the most brilliant wedding photo locations, perfect for rain-shielded photo sessions, sunset sessions, all of it. If you look closely, you can see some of these at this Fortyfive Downstairs wedding.
I take so many couples around here, and it can’t be overstated how beautifully soft and moody the light is around the structures themselves. Head down Treasury place and explore, it’s all an easy and quick whip around, especially if you’re then heading south to somewhere like The Deck at Circa.
Just west of the Melbourne Treasury building, is the Treasury gardens. While the gardens themselves are beautiful and lush, what I personally prefer from this photo location is to use them as context against the treasury buildings behind it.
Walk about halfway up Treasury Place, head down the paths inserting themselves into the gardens, turn around, and you’ve got beautiful lush greenery depending on the time of year, with the incredible heritage buildings right behind you as the backdrop.
The Collingwood and Fitzroy back streets contain some of our earliest historic houses, since they were the first suburbs inhabited when Melbourne did, well, what we did back then, clear everything and everyone in sight and build lots of stuff.
As a result some of the architecture in the surrounding streets is particularly cute and interesting in equal measure, and make for some of the best Melbourne wedding photo locations.
As a general area, this is a personal favourite and one of the best places to take photos in Melbourne and a go-to for all the best wedding photographers doing their thing.
Something more of a sleeper wedding photo location (ie: more classic, and not immediately striking), Carlton has some understated alleys that are beautiful soft backdrops without fighting the rest of the frame, and an ideal subtle place for Melbourne wedding photos.
Enormous stonework, subtle signage and fittings, the laneways here are worth exploring and just a small dash out of the Melbourne CBD.
One of the best lanes. Find this photo location on Google Maps here.
One of my favourite general areas in Melbourne, and a brilliant wedding photo location to explore. Further north we hit Thornbury, which has an endless amount of textures, historic structures, and all sorts of weird and wonderful signage and exteriors – oh, and Kenny Lover.
30 minutes here will be spent pretty quickly heading up, down and around High St, with art-deco design left right and centre.
See more of Sam and Pauls wedding on Instagram.
Northcote Town Hall is a must visit for simple Melbourne heritage vibes, beautiful columns and light. If Fitzroy Town Hall isn’t accessible, then this isn’t a compromise as a wedding photo location, and it provides the same kind of feel, shelter from rain, and beautiful soft light, with no chance of being disturbed, and super close proximity to bars, cafes, and all of the standard Northcote glory.
There’s also plenty of beautiful textures and walls to find on Eastment st and Westbourne Grove, down the side of the town hall.
This one gets a header all of it’s own. The incredible artwork on the side of the Fonda building is a joy to walk past and pop off some frames in front of, and one of the most distinct wedding photo locations around. Punchy, colourful, geometrically satisfying, this is located just off Smith st, with spades of bars and other historic streets right near it.
A great little stopover if you’re getting hitched at Panama Dining Room or Rupert on Rupert.
I’ve had so many couples stay at the QT Hotel on Russel St, and turning just around to the right of it’s entrance, down Portland Lane, is a no-brainer for some quick portraits when exiting the building to head to the ceremony.
The wall of the Portland Hotel is painted a rich black, and feeds down into deep bluestones below, creating something of an impossible infinity-wall, where it feels like the bluestone is a shelf at the edge of the universe. One of the more unique wedding photo locations in Melbourne.
As if we’re about to lean into the ether, or into Gandalf’s embrace, etc.
Until fairly recently, sweeping sections of South Melbourne have somehow managed to mostly avoid being exploited by our general lack of regulation around architectural design for a suburb so close to the city, and so unlike other heritage suburbs, still has plenty of great things to explore without yet looking like a second-year students first foray into geometric design elements.
As a result, as well as easily feeling like it’s a jaunt into the old world, the entire area around the Town Hall, Clarendon St, and industrial back areas have plenty of textures to explore, and is an ideal wedding photo location just 5 minutes out of the Melbourne CBD.
Abbotsford may just be our closest answer to anything resembling the back streets of New York or Brooklyn (see these Melbourne wedding venues). Abbotsford has it all: incredibly close proximity to Yarra Bend Park (which doesn’t seem like it should or could sit so close to the city), old heritage streets, imposing industrial buildings, and everything in between. Abbotsford is a brilliantly diverse wedding photo location.
A 30 minute session in Abbotsford can get chewed up very quickly, and that’s without stopping off at any of the beautiful little cafes littered around the place. One of the best photo locations in Melbourne, at just a short jump outside of the Melbourne CBD itself.
Looking at the map, Fitzroy Gardens almost sounds ripped out of a Tolkien book. The Faeries tree, Tudor Village, Temple of the Winds. These are all great, but the best parts of these gardens aren’t etched on the map.
Enter from the midwestern paths along Lansdowne St, and some of the more incredible tree-tunnels are visible, then head further in to a couple of “secret” little jungle areas with tight greenery, stone stairs and more. Gorgeous wedding photo location resembling a jungle.
One of my favourite places for Melbourne wedding photos.
Carlton Gardens join the Royal Exhibition building. Carlton Gardens are more known for the aisle of trees leading up to said building (and a water foutain) but the best parts of these gardens are actually around the northwestern edge of the exhibition building.
Architecturally there’s a bunch of textural options around there, but what I like most is the setting sun against some of the smaller characterful pieces of garden around there.
Prahran isn’t necessarily the first place you’d think of when looking for the best Melbourne wedding photo locations, but when I lived there, I made a point of taking any couples eloping here from overseas there, for two reasons.
Firstly there’s more than it’s fair share of architecturally stunning historical charm, and secondly, while there’s the allure of taking portraits in the CBD, in my opinion Prahran punches above it’s weight, and saves all of the regular hassles associated with parking in the city itself, while allowing folks spending a little bit of time here to explore a neighbourhood they might have otherwise missed.
First stop from the Melbourne CBD as we head west, Footscray is a gritty gem, and enormously misunderstood suburb (especially from our dear friends of the east). All the right ingredients for a subversive photo location.
Footscray has buckets of charm in it’s back streets, and as you head over to Seddon (i’d never heard of it either until I moved there), you’re hit with some of the most incredible cottage-style residences you’ll see in Melbourne.
The pièce de résistance. Melbourne has bucketloads of beautiful alleys, and the main choices become things like how much heritage do you want, vs graffiti, vs tourists, vs calm.
All of the major alleys have their own character as a wedding photo location, and at any quarter of the CBD there’s a good handful within walking distance, and are usually crowned as the best Melbourne wedding photo locations.
These aren’t necessarily the “main events” here (sorry), i’m instead sharing some of my favourite Melbourne wedding photo locations containing simple light, and simple texture. For more of my secret ones, keep an eye on my melbourne wedding photography workshops.
Jul 11, 2020
The Fyansford Paper Mill (otherwise known as the Old Paper Mills or Site 3a by Truffleduck) hosts weddings and events just outside of Geelong in the historic corner of Fyansford at Provenance Wines, in what is an absolute little treasure of the area, just minutes from the Geelong city centre. Take a look at this Fyansford Paper Mill Wedding Pre-enactment with the inimitable Georgie Boy.
I spent half a day in it’s incredible stone walls with Melbourne florist Gina (Georgie Boy), making use of the space and each of us following our noses in our respective crafts, with no end-goal in mind but to make something together in the 3 hours spent there. More from this shoot and a little short-film we created at the papermill to be released soon.
Scroll to the bottom for information on hiring for a Fyansford Paper Mill Wedding (or epic battle, midnight ritual, the world’s your oyster).
Fyansford Paper Mill is something of an internet enigma, and has less of a presence than you might expect for a venue that resembles an impossibly beautiful run-down italian castle, just sitting at the edge of Geelong.
Dating back to the precincts industrial era, the Fyansford Paper Mills look like something more likely to have been plucked from the minds of Peter Jacksons set-design team than a venue just outside of Melbourne that you can actually hire for your wedding: enormous wooden beams, an impossibly high entrance divider between the two main stone rooms and a unique blank canvas unlike anywhere else.
Anyhow, you don’t need me frothing over it’s incredible blue-stone walls and regurgitating information you can find readily available on the Truffleduck website, but I will say that outside of an old palace on the side of an Italian cliff, there aren’t any venues i’ve been to that feel anything quite like this.
Lower Section – 200 guests
Upper Section – 160 guests
Cocktail Style – 380 guests
For venues like the Paper Mill outside of Geelong, see Alternative Wedding Venues in Melbourne.
Jul 10, 2020
Jul 9, 2020
Charis white is a Melbourne wedding celebrant with an enormous amount of experience in weddings large and small all over greater Melbourne and Victoria, for every type of couple you can imagine. With all her experience in running brilliant ceremonies, Charis shares her thoughts on how to write a wedding ceremony, how to write your vows, and how to ensure that it’s a smooth experience – especially for the shy and introverted.
Getting to know the couple well means they will have a great ceremony. At a wedding I did recently, a guest asked if I was a friend of the couples. This is the best compliment ever as it shows I really know them and reflected their story in an awesome way.
I ask them if they have an idea about what they want to talk about. If not, then I give them some vow inspiration to look over and guide them along. I also read over the vows and offer advice and guidance.
I tell them to face each other, that way they are only seeing the face of their bestie. If you are nervous, a reassured look can calm you down. I am also up there with them to reassure them and guide them through the process.
When I meet my couples, we have a chat about their day, their expectations and the overall vibe they want their ceremony to take. Once we have chatted through their story, I send them a questionnaire with more comprehensive questions. I also give my clients the draft to look over, it reassures them.
In terms of their vows (see Jake writing his wedding vows), I cast my eyes over them to make sure they are both semi aligned. EG, if one vow is very funny, then I will go to the other person and tell them to weave in a little humour.
That way they are both balanced.
I talk about family and friends in the ceremony. I also love engaging with people prior to the ceremony, especially the oldies and kids.
If there is a way to weave a few friends into the ceremony story, I love to do this and love the relatability of it.
Laura and Walker looking super cinematic. See why I shoot film.
My advice is totally against this. Actually, I bully them into giving them to me prior. JK. If the couple wants me to have their vows, so they do not need to carry anything on the day of their wedding. I ask for the vows prior to the ceremony. I then populate them into the final draft.
My timeline on this is at least two weeks prior to the ceremony. Sometimes I get them the morning of.
However, most couples are pretty good with getting them to me on time. I also look over their vows prior to the ceremony.
Long story short – don’t leave your vows until the last minute!
Follow your gut, trust the process and believe in your team.
See here for how to plan wedding music.
Jul 8, 2020
I Do Drive Thru is a worldwide wedding startup, helping couples get hitched in the middle of Covid19 while adhering to the restrictions and saving the partying for later. Since launching in Melbourne as a drive through wedding service, it’s spread nationally, and has since popped up all over the USA. Melbourne wedding celebrant Mel (who also moonlights as The Ceremony Store) runs us through why it started and how it’s helped couples all over the world.
I’ve been a Marriage and Funeral Celebrant for 15 years and own the companies, The Ceremony Store, The I Do Drive Thru and The Last Time. I am also a Celebrant Trainer with Australian Celebrations Training, Furniture Maker, Writer, Mother and Wife but I have always wanted to be an Electrician.
I am obsessed with learning as much as I can in this lifetime, I am perpetually curious. I try one new task every year until I get good at it, then I move on: I have learnt lock-picking, languages, carpentry, metal-detecting, and written a book.
When COVID 19 became a part of our world I was given medical advice to isolate which meant I could no longer do weddings. The next day I gave away/rescheduled 17 weddings and it was, to say the least; devastating, not just for me, but for my couples. Not only that, I felt horribly guilty giving my weddings to other Celebrants who could possibly get COVID.
That night I lay awake thinking about how I could keep those Celebrants safe and keep working from home during COVID.
To digress, I have always been a bit obsessed with Vegas style weddings and in my early Celebrancy career, I used to ride my red postie motorbike to weddings dressed as Elvis. It just seemed pretty natural that Vegas-vibed drive thru weddings and getting couples to stay in their cars while getting married and keeping the Celebrant distanced was the answer to all of my problems.
The next morning I texted 3 of the most awesome Celes I know, said let’s start this business, and all of them said yes without hesitation and 8 days later, we had a business name, logo, website and a press release. On our launch day we had over 32 calls from the press, 10 enquiries and booked our very first wedding.
Just by chance, my co-founders Kate, Zena and Klara were the perfect combo to get everything going, and the main driver between all of us was the passion to continue working while this crisis was going on around us.
We all love what we do and while we all kind of felt like sitting around grieving for what we had lost, we forced ourselves to build something new to fit with the changed times. Our catch cry became ‘we will work that out later’ as the business moved so incredibly quickly.
I honestly believe that anyone can do anything they set their mind to, impossible isn’t in my vocabulary. Any skill can be learned, any work can be completed no matter what limits there are, so we worked 19-20 hours days for that first week and we pulled it off.
The most rewarding thing about starting the business was the instant gratification we got with the media interest, we knew that our idea was good and the public interest confirmed that.
My gorgeous co-founders put so much trust in me right from the get go. We organised everything via phone, zoom and email, we have only sat in the same space once since we started the business, which is pretty incredible.
On launch day, seeing Klara on the 6pm news launching our business was such an achievement and then to replicate that model in each state over and over and then in the US has been amazing!
We now have 21 Celebrants working Aus wide with us and 2 in the US.
Celebrants weren’t the only people affected by COVID, it’s also the photographers, venue owners, car hire companies, florists, everyone has been affected in our industry. We worked hard to create a model that could encompass as many of these suppliers in local communities as possible, so they could be involved too.
A huge benefit to our business has been that we managed to snag some of the best photographers in Australia to work with us and these artists have provided some of the most epic photos of ceremonies.
Having these professional images to share with potential couples so they can see that tiny weddings can be so intimate and beautiful and moving has been incredible, a professional picture really is worth a thousand words.
Bringing work to all types of wedding industry professionals, while they were feeling pretty down about losing their own work, has given us all the warm fuzzies.
Our couples really range in age, we have had couple in their 20’s to couple’s in their 80’s. The similarity between them is that they really want to get married, but feel like they don’t fit into the white wedding dress/getting given away by Dad/first dance scenario. We have had couples that have stayed in their car for the ceremony, gotten out and married under trees, created convoys so family and friends can come and watch and couples have arrived via cars, helicopters, motorbikes and bicycles.
My fave couple so far is a couple where the Bride recently became paraplegic and she is still getting used to navigating new places and feels a little self-conscious.
Her Fiancé just wanted to marry her, because in his words, ‘she is the most amazing woman in the world’. When they heard about the Drive Thru and she saw that she didn’t have to get out of the car and worry about wheelchair logistics, she cried, because this was the only way she felt comfortable getting married.
COVID is going to be here for a while. It’s not going to magically disappear, and I honestly think this will impact the wedding industry for years.
In the short term we have the uncertainty of not knowing when we can go back to booking big celebrations and it makes planning pretty impossible.
Then when restrictions are lifted then yes, technically, we can go back to bigger celebrations, but is it a celebration if you can’t hug your Nan when you walk back down the aisle? Is it a celebration if you can’t share a shot glass or eat bread out of the same breadbasket?
The effects of social distancing will continue to live on, especially when it comes to celebrating that way that we are used to.
A surprising side-effect to this whole COVID scenario, is that suddenly eloping isn’t taboo, eloping makes you responsible, kinda like a hero, you are protecting your community by having a small wedding and that shift in thinking has been kinda rad.
People have been eloping because there isn’t the stigma attached to it anymore, heck the government practically endorsed eloping when you were only allowed to have the marrying couple and two witnesses present.
My advice to couples during COVID has been to follow your heart and remember that there is a huge difference between a marriage and a wedding. (Check out Will and Jac for Melbourne wedding planning).
If you wanna get married, get married, do it, commit to your lover, that’s so important, don’t let COVID stop you. There is literally no better time to love and be loved than right now, having companionship during a crisis is what will get you through it.
When people ask what you did during COVID how totally romantic is it to say that you married your honey and then shacked up in iso together? (Side note – like this Blue Mountains Elopement).
If your heart is set on a wedding that encompasses family and friends, then wait, but wait until COVID is dead and gone and we can hug again. Have a huge wedding down the track, when you can handshake and dance, but you will have to be patient.
And for those that want both, do it! Have the most romantic, sweet tiny ceremony now and make it all about each other, then have a huge wedding party later on-best of both worlds.
Running a business during a pandemic is tough. Terms and conditions/your contract/Statement of Fees documents are everything. Mine was pretty broad but certainly never covered a killer virus!
I always say to other Celebrants be tough on paper, but soft in reality. You have to have your rules in place, but be flexible, don’t forget everyone is going through something and creating relationships, and word of mouth recommendations in this business is what it is all about.
I always rule with my heart and not my head, so I certainly don’t set the best example for other business owners, but I find if you treat people with kindness then that’s what you will get back.
I have always gotten more out of what I do for others, than what I do for myself, so to create a business that has helped so people feel good and have a bit of purpose during COVID has probably been one of the most rewarding things I have done for a long time.
For more info on how to get married during Covid 19 away from a drive thru wedding, check out these small wedding venues in Melbourne, and this information piece on having a Melbourne City elopement during Covid 19.
To have your small Melbourne City elopement filmed by the best wedding videographers in town, check out Bottlebrush Films as they’re doing filming for overseas guests and relatives who can’t make it.
Jul 7, 2020
I had a chat with alleged government agent/assassin Carlo, otherwise known as the the genius artistic brain behind Lunar Red Films. We’ve been lucky to work together on the wedding of Pepe and Sam, featured on Hello May, with none less than Nat Sproal, Torte by Mirjana, Killer Queen Creative, and Good Day Club.
With Covid forcing us all indoors and all manner of brilliant doorstep portrait projects happening, I wanted to kickstart some convos with my local community and find out how the time and strange space is being used, as it’s never been more important to stay connected and sharing.
My name is Carlo. My friends think I’m a government assassin (can confirm this is a generally held opinion – BA). Me mum thinks I’m handsome, but really I’m just your friendly, neighbourhood wedding cinematographer.
Melbourne is just chock a block full of wonderful, loved up weirdos, who are willing to break convention and tradition and just do their own thing. It means that each couple has brought a sense of heart and soul into their weddings, and have given it a stamp that is all on their own. I don’t know any other city where that happens.
Some people use the term “minimalism” (cue the air wank motion) – I prefer to say “steak and veg”. That’s how I like to shoot – as simple and as free of gimmicks and other fanciful shit as humanly possible. What that leaves me with is me, the camera, and the moment happening directly in front of me. I’m not here trying to manufacture someone else’s feelings, I’m not attempting to set up a moment that isn’t real. Everything I point my camera at is genuine and, hopefully, the couple remembers the feelings they have for each other in the moment as opposed to me yelling at them to behave a certain way.
I like to cap my weddings per season at a certain number. It means that I’m able to give each wedding my creative focus without being snowed under by work and burn out. When covid hit, I only had a handful of weddings left to shoot down the line, so it gave me a little extra time to edit the weddings I had already shot to perfection.
I feel like weddings and celebrations will continue to get more and more. unconventional the more couples and future clients realise that they don’t have to do what’s come before to have a good time or to profess their love out to the world. More colour, more rule breaking, more heart. Basically just more of the good stuff.
Jul 6, 2020
Brooke Tyson Ritual – some of the most incredible bridal designs on the planet, with delicate contours and flowing textures, and what a treat it was to photograph them in a (real) blizzard, atop a volcano in New Zealand, draped over our incredible model, Fran, for the Story and Light photography workshop hosted by the genius wizardchildren over at Bayly and Moore.
Featured here is the Brooke Tyson Ritual Luna gown, as well as their Flora gown.
Story and Light was sponsored by the brilliant Australian film-lab Atkins, who kindly developed and scanned all of these images, shot entirely on Kodak Film. More on analogue wedding photography.
Removing herself from the perilously wild volcanic blizzard (despite the hardy protection of the Luna gown), here, we see Fran emerging from a more friendly forest, in the Brooke Tyson Flora gown.
Above and below is the Flora gown. Anyone that has ever met a New Zealander knows that the Ritual collection benefits from the classic kiwi ingenuity, developed in and around curious brain-zaps that test the edges of what bridal gowns should look like.
Celebrating free-spirits and with inspiration taken from cinema and folklore, the Brooke Tyson Luna gown was pretty much made to be draped across Franc and then whisked by a blizzard in on top of a volcano.
Brooke Tyson are also featured here on my top 5 best modern wedding dresses.
For more wedding dress designs from another planet, check out Jaime Lee Major.
If you like Brooke Tyson, you might also like these incredible wedding jumpsuits.
Jul 5, 2020
The Yarra Valley is one of the most totally majestic regions in Victoria, which you already know if you’re planning a wedding out that way. Yarra Valley Wedding venues are places that celebrate the natural beauty of the area, as well as the unique food, wine, and accommodation.
As someone who grew up in the Yarra Valley, i’ve got a special passion for the are and it’s a treat to lay out some of my favourite spots in the region. These days I photograph weddings in the Yarra Valley year in and year out, but a couple of decades ago it was tearing around the streets on a BMX instead.
To either of those, it’s got a special place in my heart and if it doesn’t yet have one in yours, it soon will.
These Yarra Valley wedding venues are some of the best wedding locations Australia has to offer, let alone in Victoria. I’ve photographed a fair few Yarra Valley winery weddings in my time. They’re stunning. The evening sun pirouettes through the vines, and if you’re lucky, drops an incredible rainbow your way (looking at you, hills of Zonzo Estate).
There are an innumerable amount of Yarra Valley wedding venues to choose from, so I’ve compiled a short and sharp list from first hand experience for you to peruse and explore, sink your teeth into whilst navigating a latte like-say, etc.
Because this area of the world is so spectacular, i’ve also included some useful local insights to occupy yourselves with either side of your wedding day itself. It’s all well and good picking a ceremony and reception venue but that’s only half of the fun. Where will you get ready? Where will you sleep?
Where will you cure the hangover?
I’ve looked into some dazzling accomodation for you and your guests to lay your heads. Being secluded and private on a vineyard is one thing, but people not being able to find the place or their way back to bed is another!
The accommodation I’ve picked is local to your potential venues so people aren’t spending too long travelling before or after. I’ve looked at a range of affordability too so everyone can enjoy this wonderland. It’s little things like this I find help the day run smoothly and keep spirits high.
Remember, there is going to be a lot of sore heads the next day so I‘ve snuck in a few great places to catch your first married bite the morning after too.
All of these venues are pretty marvellous in their own way, so these are listed in no particular order. When you go and visit them you’ll know which one is the one, and I recommend booking a meeting with their events coordinator to show you around. The awesome crew that run them, the wild scenery, the charming ceremony spaces and the versatile reception areas will all ring true with you in one way or another.
Read on to find out exactly why these 5 have made it to my list. Each one offers something quite different. I obviously love wedding venues that have unique photo opportunities and sublime backdrops, and we are not short of them here. I also love it when venues have really thought about the couple and their guests’ whole experience. Whether that’s offering a bridal day room, onsite ceremony and accommodation, or an award winning dining experience. It’s those little extras that make your wedding the talk of the town!
I’m kicking off my list with these maestros because this is a venue for the photos and the food! My two pleasures in life. I remember turning up at the Zonzo Estate for the first time and being pretty knocked out by it’s rolling hills. Set in an old milking barn the emphatic main building with sloped roof, huge glass panelling and sleek interior design makes for an idyllic modern yet traditional setting. They have a particularly cute outdoor area under festoon lights where newlyweds do the ‘zonzo twirl’ contrasted by the evening’s sweeping landscape. A bonus of this estate is that you can opt to have your actual ceremony on site with a choice of three glorious spaces overlooking the rolling hills. No chance of anyone getting lost en route to this reception. The three options give you the chance to express yourself that little bit more, and make for a venue that you can make your own.
The real dark-horse of this place though, the gem of Zonzo Estate, is their Italian dining experience. Let’s face it, no one wants shit food at a wedding (this can’t be drilled home hard enough ahead of time). If guests taste buds are being tantalised, then the vibe is too (if you’re looking at a venue that doesn’t have onsite catering, make sure you check out this post about the best wedding caterers in Melbourne). People need fuel for the dance floor! Zonzo Estate have won several awards for their wedding restaurant reception so it’s official that their food is to die for. They’ve been in the business over a decade and know what they’re doing. Zonzo have their own wedding coordinators on site to help you make your Yarra Valley winery wedding dreams come to life in the most seamless and stress-free way, and they run like clockwork.
Intermission: be sure to check out my larger post on Zonzo Estate.
I love the shit out of being a part of couples wedding here – beautiful industrial structures juxtaposed with all things rustic, and a moving platter of beautiful vibes all on the one property. While you’re on the Zonzo train, you might also like these beautiful rustic wedding venues in Victoria.