Daniel and Lisa

Macca and I had been friends for over ten years before finally taking it one step further. Hence the reason that I still struggle to call him Daniel. He’ll always be Macca to me!  We got engaged two and a half years later on the bluff at Torquay, a place special to Macca growing up and now somewhere that also warms the cockles of my heart!

Macca likes to joke that he proposed, we went to sleep and I woke up the next day with the whole wedding planned! Well, it wasn’t quite that bad but, being someone who works in events, I certainly had some initial ideas, more of exactly what I didn’t want rather that what I did want!  Chair covers and bows were a huge no-no for me, I wanted our wedding to be a true reflection of our personal style.  After some problems with our initial venue we made the choice to move our wedding to the Abbotsford Convent. It was honestly the best decision we made, Melanie & Shelley from Bursaria Fine Foods were amazing from the very first meeting. They were so freaking lovely, accommodating, knowledgeable and just downright nice that we would class them as life long friends now!

We chose to have the ceremony and reception in the one location to make it easier for our guests, the convent has the most amazing spots for photos including beautiful architecture, stunning gardens and this amazing old industrial looking wall that meant we didn’t need to leave the grounds. I walked down the aisle to “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley, a song that we both love dearly. Quite the tear jerker it seems!


I chose my wedding dress the first day I looked, which I think stressed Mum out initially! I had a good idea of what style I was after and was lucky enough to find the perfect dress at Brides of Melbourne on Day 1 of looking. Not long after the store went into receivership and I had a mild freak out. I needn’t have worried though; I got a call almost immediately from Kellie at Bella Donna saying that Wendy Makin was still honouring all of the sales through BoM. Even though I’m pretty sure she hadn’t received any of my deposit! I mean, how amazing is that?!  Wendy, Kellie, Claire and Allison at the newly formed Brides on Collins were seriously amazing. So so lovely and helpful, I really can’t thank them enough. My dress was actually comfortable, beautiful and affordable – who knew that even existed!

We looked into hiring suits for the boys but Oxford were having this crazy sale back in January so we just ended up buying them. Total bargains!! We ordered personalized cufflinks for the groom, groomsmen and grooms father on etsy. They were made from old typewriter keys and each had their initials. The poor guy on etsy had to source five different typewriters to cover all of the M’s!!

My bridesmaids chose their dresses from Swish, I had to resist buying one for myself too but figured I could borrow theirs one day! I loved their dresses, the colour worked amazingly at the convent with the natural surrounds too which we didn’t even think about! Our photographer Tim’s amazingly talented fiance is Mae Taylor who did our hair and make up. Mae is seriously the nicest person in the world! She brought her gorgeous friend Carly Sterling along to help with the girl’s hair on the day and it was just like having two friends over for a good gas bag!

Our invites were designed by one of my best friends,  Kristy Tull and we had them printed by Night Owl Papergoods in Alabama. They were printed onto recycled wood – so cool and a real talking point! They seemed to suit the natural look we had going on and with Macca being a chippy it seemed to really fit!

Etsy was in my favourites on the computer for months in the lead up! We ended up buying loads of stuff from on there, personalized bracelets for the girls to wear; beautiful cufflinks for my Dad; matching cufflinks for the groom, groomsmen and grooms dad; paper bags for the lollies; “All you need is love” tags to tie to the napkins; our signing book (with a hard timber cover to match the theme); my hair comb; custom made cushions for the courtyard with our intitials on some, the date on others and of course a kombi one; some beautiful love quote art which we framed on our gift table; custom handkerchiefs for our mothers. Ummm yeah, quite a lot it would seem!

I had worked at a wedding ceremony for a friend of a friend a few years back and saw the fabulous Jon Von Goes in action. I knew then and there that he would have to officiate my wedding some day. We met with him one day in Richmond and I remember him asking about our music. Turns out he grew up with Billy Miller who was in our band. Small world! He was so personable and made the ceremony light hearted, funny and 100% about the couple getting married – us! We both enjoy a good dose of humour in our daily life and wanted to reflect this somewhat in our vows. I may or may not have promised to support Macca when the Hawks lose and to keep the lolly jar filled at all times. Not your traditional vows but we did have some really nice stuff in there too! We could not have been happier with our ceremony, it reflected us to a tee and we have had SO many people comment on it since, JvG was fantastic, he totally set the tone for the whole day and was everything we could have hoped for and more.

We had planned our ceremony under the Baby Oak in the gardens of the convent, however the day before the weather was looking ominous so we booked a clear roof marquee for the Rosina room courtyard with some simple festoon lighting. I am lucky enough to have worked at Harry the Hirer for almost six years so they were amazingly generous with our special day!  We made the decision to move the ceremony from under the Baby Oak tree to the courtyard and we both agree it was a better fit in the end. The marquee with it’s clear roof gave the courtyard a beautiful ambience and it also meant our guests literally did not have to move when drinks starting flowing post-ceremony! In the end we were lucky enough not to get any rain, though with all of our grandparents having passed on we think we may have had some divine intervention at play. 🙂

We somehow ended up with a bit of an unofficial theme for the day which was nice. I had purchased some gorgeous little tags to tie to the napkins with name tags saying “All you need is love” from etsy. Macca’s Mum, unbeknownst to us had also purchased an old sign from Daylesford saying, you guessed it, “All you need is love”! Throw in a Beatles cover band and it pretty much stuck!

Flowers are something that I love and always have in the home; I think I would spend my last $20 on fresh flowers over food given half a chance! My Matron of Honour, Carly Speakman, was kind enough to offer her auntie-in-law Jennie Speakman, a retired florist to look after our flowers. Jennie has known our family for years so we had the utmost faith in her. I printed a few photos, listed the flowers I love and hate, and left it totally in her hands. Our flowers were amazing! And plentiful! We were so so lucky to have Jennie do our flowers; I still smile when I think about them now!

I figured we needed older cars to suit the venue, though the beautiful old Rolls Royces, Jags and the like didn’t really suit our style. Macca has a mild (major!) obsession with Kombi vans hence the decision to use George & Mildred – matching kombis from Kombi Love. The Kombis were a hoot! We used Mildred in some of our photos to add a bit of fun which we were rapt with.

I was also able to bring in some beautiful bentwood chairs and coloured table linen from Harry’s.  We used a few different coloured cloths (silver, ivory, pistachio and oatmeal) to give the room a different feel and steer away from the traditional ‘white’ look of most weddings.  We wanted to add some personal, quirky touches for the day.  I bought a little stamp kit on eBay and proceeded to hand stamp all of the name tags, table names (we named the tables after Beatles songs rather than numbers), lolly buffet tags and seating plan.  We bought an old glass paneled door (minus the glass!) on eBay, painted it and then hand stamped all of our table lists to display in each ‘pane’ of the door.  It ended up looking really cool and now sits proudly in our lounge room, while we decide what on earth to do with it!  Macca cut up some timber logs to use under the cake, lolly jars etc and made a little timber box for the lolly bags.  It was quite the ‘hands on wedding’, the little touches are the things that mean the most to me so I really wanted to put some effort in.

Being the sweet tooth that Macca is, a lolly buffet was a must.  We used this as our bonboniere for guests also.  I researched hiring something in, and as beautiful as they are, it wasn’t really something that would fit into our budget.  So we decided to do it ourselves.  It was surprisingly easy in the end, I purchased some lolly jars (which I later on-sold) and utilised some from the venue.  I hand stamped the tags and thank you bags and we purchased all of the lollies from the best kept secret in MelbourneThe Biggest Lolly Shop in the World. It was a HUGE hit! I think we went through about 20kgs of lollies, though Macca is still dirty that no one made him a bag to take home! To keep in the theme we had a macaron tower provided by a family friend at Macaron Monster instead of a traditional wedding cake. Can someone say ‘sugar overload’?!

Our main goal really, was to have a big party with our amazing family and friends. When asked why he wanted to get married by his best man (and best mate!) Macca’s direct quote was “I want to have a massive party, and show everyone how much I love my woman”. So that’s pretty much what we did! We got most of the formalities out of the way early so that we could make good use of the dance floor into the night!

We had our first dance to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by The Beatles straight after mains. Macca has grown up listening to The Beatles, so it was a no brainer that his mate Eddie and Eddie’s Dad Bill (aka The Love Brothers) would be our wedding band. They play at the Snake Pit at The George in St Kilda most Sunday nights and are fabulous! Eddie sings Here Comes the Sun beautifully so it was really special to dance our first dance to a favourite song sung by a good friend.

One of the best pieces of advice I had was to surround yourself with vendors you like, but also ones that are happy to listen and are excited to share the experience with you. You need their infinite knowledge and expertise, but you still need to get along with them too! We certainly followed this advice and Macca (being the good judge of character that he is) gave his tick of approval of everyone along the way.

My favourite comment was after we met with Timothy Burgess our photographer. Me (with trepid anticipation): “Well, what did you think?”.  Macca:  “He really has the most amazing eyes…”.  Me: “Um yes, he really does.  But what about the photos?”  Macca: “Oh yeah they’re amazing, lock him in!” Haha! I am lucky enough to have met Tim through work and was familiar with his work (he’s done a few weddings for Harry’s peeps!). Where do I event start?!  Our photos are amazing amazing amazing, even if I do say so! We nick named him Ninja Tim after seeing them as we didn’t even know he was taking half of them. I remember when he asked Macca to lift me and spin me on the lawn. Good lord!  I thought “He’s going to drop me”, “He’s going to do his back in” “These are going to look so cheesy” but I think they ended up being my favourites!! They take my breath away! With a 4pm ceremony on the last weekend of winter, Tim was fighting the light every step of the way but I think he captured the day beautifully. He got a lot of the candid shots we were after (and so many more that we didn’t know were possible). He really captured how much fun we were having throughout the whole day which is awesome! We got him to hang around a bit later into the night to get some great snaps of our guests which we then printed and sent out with their thank you cards.



 Our wedding day was so much fun, so full of love, laughter and happiness.  We wouldn’t change a thing and would do it all over again in a second – if we could afford it!

 Photos by Timothy Burgess


Ms Gingham says: Lisa has given us so much insight into her wedding planning! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us!

Lisa says: “I recently married the man of my dreams Macca (Daniel McCarthy), we were friends for ten years before we finally took the plunge into relationship town and we haven’t looked back since. He truly is my best friend and makes me laugh every day!”