Tell us a little about yourselves!
Harry and I have been together for the better part of a decade. We’ve both moved around a lot over the years - between the two of us we’ve lived in Sydney, Las Vegas, London, Germany, Brunei, Madrid, Auckland, Perth, Darwin, and now Melbourne. We moved here about a year and a half ago with our King Charles Cavalier, Winston, and we’ve never felt more at home. Both of our friends and families live all over the world - neither of us had met anyone with an equally spread out family before we met each other!
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
Da Noi was the very first restaurant we visited in Melbourne when we were finally out of lockdowns in late 2021. Da Noi is Italian for “our place” and it truly feels as though you’ve walked into the owner Pietro’s personal Sardinian kitchen - it’s so cosy, romantic, and the food is mind blowing. We had such a special time, every visit thereafter we kept saying how fun it would be to bring our friends and family so we decided to recreate that first night for our wedding day.
Once we had the reception locked in we just needed a spot to get hitched. The Botanic Gardens are right nearby and we loved the permanence of a Garden wedding - we think it will be so special to one day bring our child or grandchild to the spot where we married! We were lucky enough to have a senior Naval Chaplain marry us and so it worked perfectly as he wasn’t bound to a particular church - so we decided, the gardens it is!
How many guests did you have?
Just our immediate families, godparents, and a few old friends. 22 in total.
Tell us about your outfits.
When we were first engaged I pretty quickly bought a beautiful Oscar de la Renta gown from a warehouse sale in London - but it wasn’t meant to be. When we decided on Da Noi I wanted something more sleek and simple to match the venue. I’d seen some of Luci di Bella ’s gowns on Instagram so I went in for an appointment and was blown away by the cut and quality of her dresses. Her slip dresses have just the right amount of structure while still giving the beautiful movement of a bias cut silk dress. She created a custom tulle blouse for the ceremony with ruching around the wrists and a V-neck. I felt so 'Bridey' all day - I loved that I was wrapped in silk and tulle from head to toe. For the evening I took off the blouse and added a fluffy feather boa. I’d only taken it out of the packet moments before leaving for the reception - and yet it was one of my favourite parts of the night! I suddenly went from feeling like a Bride to feeling very old Hollywood glam. For Harry, a black tie dress code was one of his only wedding requests. He added medals as a nod to his military heritage and cufflinks with the crown of King George V gifted by his father, and once belonged to his great grandfather for serving in WWI. For the reception, Harry swapped his Suit Vault tuxedo jacket for a velvet smoking jacket from MJ Bale - ready for an evening of Italian food by an open fire!
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?
Honouring our friends and family. Given our loved ones live all over the world, we knew from the beginning this would likely be one of the few times we’d have so many of them with us at one time. We really wanted to celebrate them and considered our wedding day an opportunity to reflect on not just our relationship with one another but the people who have supported us over the years. The night before our wedding everyone came by our place for welcome drinks - Harry gave an off the cuff speech introducing each guest and explained why they mean so much to us. We also gave everyone a small gift of Betty’s Yorkshire biscuits from Harry’s hometown in England along with personal thank you notes. It was a very special way to kick off the festivities and I hope made everyone feel welcome!
Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?
We downsized our wedding due to the pandemic - I think because I had less of the big things to plan I went a little nuts on the small things. Our day was filled with small, sentimental details. Some of our guests picked up on these throughout the day which made it so fun - almost like a wedding Easter egg hunt! For example, on the morning of our wedding I gifted both of our mums a small bookmark designed by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany’s. My mum had given me one when I was a little girl and coincidentally Harry gave me a piece from the same collection when we first started dating, which I wore as my ‘something old’. We also wanted to honour my late Nana who I was very close with and Harry adored. My ‘something borrowed’ was her ring, which always reminds me of her and the sparkle in her eye. A few days before our wedding my best friend surprised me with a small pendant with a photo of Nana to tie around my bouquet. On the day I looked down and knew she was there with us - which also helped calm my giggles at the beginning of our ceremony! Although Harry’s grandparents couldn’t travel to be there with us we equally wanted to honour them. The first time I met Harry’s grandmother she gifted me a ring holder - even though Harry and I had only been dating a few months at the time! I had it with me on the morning of and have used it every day since. Harry also had a timepiece gifted by his grandfather - all our grandparents were very much in our hearts even if they couldn’t all physically be with us on the day.
Any tips for couples getting married?
Don’t dwell on the hiccups. We had a few silly things happen and they’re ultimately the things we look back and laugh about!
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
We loved all our vendors and couldn’t recommend them enough. Da Noi is a must for a special night out if you’re ever in Melbourne. Jenna Fahey-White behind the camera was incredible - she put us at ease and we trusted her implicitly. And we loved Luci di Bella and Suit Vault for our outfits too - the best of the best!
Photographer : Jenna Fahey-White @jennafaheywhite | Ceremony Location : Gardens House | Reception Location : Da Noi @danoi95 | Celebrant : Senior Chaplain Murray Lund RAN | Entertainment : Four Seasons String Quartet @four_seasons_string_quartet | Flora : Victoria Whitelaw @victoriawhitelaw | HMUA : Caitie Kenzie @caitie_kenzie_mua | Cake : Da Noi @danoi95 | Stationery : Sweet Dates Prints @sweetdatesprints_ | Madeleine's Dress : Luci di Bella @lucidibelladesign | Harry's Outfit : Custom tuxedo from Suit Vault @suitvault , Velvet jacket from MJ Bale @mjbale + Accessories from Turnbull and Asser @turnbull_asser | Engagement + Wedding Rings : RJ Pearce Designer Jewellers @rjpearcejewellers | Madeleine's Shoes : Dolce Firme @dolcifirmeshoes | Harry's Shoes : Loake