Gemma and Coops

There is something about a simple and classic wedding. I’m not sure whether it’s the nod to tradition, the simply beautiful romantic stories, or the beauty and the elegance of the occasion- today’s Melbourne wedding fits all of the above. It’s a beautiful Melbourne day with a beautiful romantic story to tell.

Gemma explains how she met her husband Michael (Coops!). “Michael is from country Western Australia and I grew up just outside Melbourne and we met in London through friends of Michael’s that I had met when traveling in South America.  The romance blossomed as we ventured around London, country England and across the globe, but it all started in a dark late night club on a dance-floor in London East End….a definite disco pash!”

Julian Beattie of Kariz Matik Photography captured today’s images. Julian has a beautiful rawness to his work, a humor and a sensitivity.  Julian’s work never fails to make me smile!

Gemma and Coops chose to have their wedding jewellery made by the one jeweler. Gemma explains “We had all our jewellery made by Michael Albrecht at Albrecht Jewellery. Michael made my engagement ring, an antique inspired three stone cushion cut diamond piece set in white gold.  I absolutely love it so we went back to get Michael to make our wedding bands.  I actually like my engagement ring even more now with the plain white gold band sitting next to it!”

Gemma wore a Wendy Makin gown. “My dress was by Wendy Makin.  I discovered it by a chance in a ‘so not me’ over the top bridal emporium in the city!  It was the second dress I had tried on, I slipped it on with absolutely no expectation and instantly I loved it!  It was one of her made to measure gowns but Wendy is based in Brisbane.  As part of her services she comes to Melbourne three times per year catering for clients like me. I met Wendy in November of last year when she took my initial measurements, whilst we chatted away I mentioned that I was going to be in Queensland over New Year and she kindly offered to meet with me whilst I was up there on holidays and a on a public holiday Wendy invited me to her showroom to re measure me so the dress would be perfect.  And it was, absolutely amazing; I just wish I could wear it again! It was funny I never thought I would care so much about a dress, but that frock is etched firmly in my heart!”

Gemma walked down the aisle to an old favourite. “I walked down the aisle to the acoustic version of Romeo and Juliette as covered by Lisa Mitchell on Triple J’s live at the wireless.  It was a song that we both loved when we first heard it early one Friday morning before work.  It didn’t matter to us that it was really a tale of a tragic love story, to us its represented the start of our lives together, take a listen, it’s a cracking version.”

Gemma and Coops were married at St Thomas Aquinas in South Yarra. Gemma remarks “The church was originally built as a small chapel and opened on 21st February, 1915 but building was reconstructed in 1954 and given a Spanish Baroque facade. Michael’s parents Brian and Rosemarie Cooper were married there on a Tuesday night in September.  2011 marks their 40th wedding anniversary; we thought that was a nice omen for our ceremony to be there too.”

Michael’s talents played a role in the stationery design, Gemma explains. “Michael is a digital designer and he styled all our stationary.  His expertise is in the digital online sphere, he came up with idea for a wedding website.  We sent out traditional hard copy invites but all the RSVP’s were directed through our website as were gift ideas, directions, accommodation options, details for our Sunday recovery.  Everyone loved the web idea and it was a way we could highlight Michael’s expertise and be a bit more environmentally friendly.  We are planning to upload all our wedding photos so that we can share them with all our guests.”

Gemma and Coops family played important roles on their wedding day. “We were really lucky to be able to have so many of our family involved in the wedding. Michael’s aunty (Genevieve Baulch) is a florist and she kindly did all the floral arrangements for us. I carried a bouquet of cream David Austin roses, button roses, tuber roses and cream lisianthus with greenery. I can still remember the smell of the flowers, they were just beautiful, and the aroma filled the car on the way to the church.”

The groom was well dressed. “Michael bought his suit from Travellers Apparel in Collingwood.  We actually met Peter the owner when we went in and he decked Michael out in the sharpest looking black slim fitting suit in the store.  They tailored it to fit him perfectly, it was beautiful.  So great in fact that my brother Billy who was our MC and Dad rushed out and bought their suits from Travellers Apparel too!  Needless to say all the men looked pretty suave!”

The couple had their photos taken around Melbourne. Gemma says “We were very lucky again to have family who are purveyors of fine automotives. My Dad actually drove my Uncle Marcus and his wife on their wedding day 20+ years ago as he is my Dad’s younger brother, so it was rather fitting for Marcus to drive us in his lovely Mercedes Benz.”

Gemma’s bridesmaids wore nude coloured gowns. Gemma recalls “My two sisters Hannah and Maggie were the bridesmaids.  The dresses were bought from a small boutique on Bridge Road in Richmond (Victoria).  We were lucky to find such beautiful dresses just around the corner from home and with no hassle or fuss at all. The girls really looked beautiful, it was a great choice of dress for both of them considering how different they are.”

Gemma and Coops held their reception at The Boulevard in Kew. Gemma explains “We loved The Boulevard from the moment we walked in as it felt like you were in country with all the greenery and trees but then there was a magnificent view of the City.  We wanted to share a meal with our guests but keep it casual and relaxed at the same time, so we opted for a shared style menu.  This involved roaming canapés and entrees and then shared platters on the tables for the mains.  It encouraged our guests to mingle with each other whilst enjoy the amazing foods The Boulevard had on offer. I would highly recommend this style of dining if you have lots of guest at your wedding that may not know each other, which we did as Michael is originally from WA and I am from Victoria.  It’s a pleasant way to get people talking.”

To personalise their day, Gemma says “We tried to do most things that were possible ourselves or ask family to be involved.  We did the invites, reception styling our selves and got our family to help with flowers, cars, and videoing.  We were very lucky our families we as excited being involved as we were.”

Although the first dance was met with a little bit of dread, Gemma and Coops took to their task with gusto. “Ha-ha the first dance! This was probably the part of the day we were least looking forward too, neither of us are Frank Sintara or Ginger Rogers but we do love to dance not just with everyone staring at us.  So we went with something fun that always gets us on the dance floor and most others.  It was Lionel Ritchie’s All Night Long!  Daggy and out dated some would say, but it sure signalled everyone on the dance floor for the night, it definitely was a floor filler!”

For the reception, Gemma and Coops hired The Accent Band “We wanted the wedding to be just like a great party.  Full of friends and family, smiling, dancing and having the best night ever!  So we got a band, The Accent Band.

Noel Gardiner is the band manager and is an absolute professional, cracking musician and gentleman.  We met the band prior to the wedding saw them in action and also met with Noel to discuss the “flavour” of the evening.  On the night they were great, my feet were so sore from dancing I had to take my shoes off!”

Congratulations Gemma and Coops! Thank you for allowing us to share your wedding today today on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Julian Beattie of Kariz Matik Photography for sharing today’s imagery!