Michael and Jane

Mick and I first met while both out with friends in St Kilda – I had often told my friends that meeting your future husband at a pub was such a cliche but look what happened!

We had been together for four and a half years when Mick proposed whilst on holiday in Tasmania. Mick had sweated for 2 days waiting for the right time but his plan of a proposal at the summit of Cradle Mountain failed due to a heavy rain storm that swept in. Instead, he made me get up at 7.00am to go for a walk in the forest in the rain where he proposed with the most beautiful custom designed emerald-cut engagement ring! I’m not normally a morning person, but after that I sure was!! Our parents thought something awful had happened when they got phone calls at 7.30 in the morning!

I got ready in a beautiful suite in South Yarra with my parents and my bridesmaids – my best friend and my sister. Our makeup was done by the fabulous team from Make Up with Me. Highly recommend! I went to school with one of the artists and had a great time reminiscing as we got pampered! Another old school friend did our hair.

My dress was from Karen Willis Holmes which I selected with my Mum in Sydney. Again, highly highly recommend!! The girl’s dresses were from Stellini. I selected the colour and length and they picked a style that they liked.

I wore my Mum’s veil, my best friend made my headpiece, and I had my grandmother’s pearls wrapped around my bouquet.

Being a Melbourne girl, I thought what better way to travel to our wedding than on a tram! So after having a special afternoon champagne with my best friends and family at the Hotel before the ceremony, we walked up Toorak Rd with photographer in tow and hopped on the tram! We certainly got a few interesting glances but it was a fun way to calm the nerves and was very funny to get a round of applause as we got off at the gardens!!

We got married at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne in January. Lucky the Melbourne weather was kind to us! An all-in-one venue was a must for us, wanting to reduce the time between ceremony and party, to reduce travel for our many interstate guests and also to reduce environmental impacts from transport. I walked down the aisle to ‘Ave Maria’ by Beyonce, my Granny’s favourite song.

We had no set theme for our wedding. We kept with a navy and white colour scheme, and just tried to keep it very relaxed, easy going and fun! We wrote our own vows, Mick promising me I could buy 1 dress a year (as if!) and I promised to make him chocolate brownies (his favourite) every year for his birthday! We exchanged handmade rings that we had made for each other at Larsens Jewellers as part of their Wedding Experience (highly recommend!).

We provided our guests with drinks and snacks on the lawn after the ceremony while we went off for photos in the gardens.

For us, our wedding was not just about us, but the coming together and a celebration for our families, so it was important for us that everyone played a special role. From being in the bridal party to readings, being MC’s, we had our mums as our witnesses and Mick’s dad held and passed on our rings. We couldn’t have had such a magical day without the help and support of our wonderful parents and families.

Brent Lukey was our photographer and he was absolutely brilliant. I actually discovered him after seeing his work on Polka Dot Bride! Organising the wedding from interstate, we only  met him 2 days before the wedding, but he managed to understand us and what we were after and his shots were like the true storytelling of our day which is what we were after. He was wonderfully candid, unobtrusive, easy going, adaptable and we couldn’t have been happier with our choice!

Our reception was held at the The Terrace, Royal Botanic Gardens. We made all of our own stationery, all the napkins for the tables, and the photo place cards – every guest had a photo with either Mick or I from some point in our lives. They were such a hit that we were late being announced at the reception as everyone was too busy laughing and showing each other their photos to take their seats!!

I took on the task, with the great help from an aunty, of making our cake. It ended up slightly bigger than anticipated! But the 10kg of chocolate brownie on the bottom layer disappeared at the reception so it must have turned out alright!

We made our own photo booth – my dad made a display frame and we bought a digital polaroid camera which was a hit. We included a copy of the individual polaroid shots from the night with everybody’s thank you cards.

Our first dance was to Donovan Frankenfurter ‘Dance like Nobody’s watching’. At the end of the night we provided buses for everyone to a nearby bar where the party continued until Mick and I walked home at 2am, getting a few honks from passing cars and reminiscing all the way!

Images by Brent Lukey

Ms Gingham says: I love garden weddings and there’s something about the Melbourne botanical gardens wedding that I find so elegant. I guess it’s because I’m a Melbourne girl too!

Jane says: “My name is Jane, I am a paediatric oncology nurse, living in Sydney. In January, I married my best friend of 6 years in my home town of Melbourne. I love all things ‘weddings’ and my own was greater than anything I could have imagined.”