Jeff and Melissa

The wedding planning process for us was amazing from start to finish. I was very lucky that Jeff was really involved in the planning. Even though he works away, he wanted to help me make the big decisions for our big day. We planned a classic wedding, with vintage touches.

Jeff and I met in high school. We started dating at the end of Year 10, at the tender age of 15. We’ve been together ever since! We are so lucky that we found each other at such a young age. He proposed to me while on holiday in Bali, the day before 0ur 10 year anniversary. It was a magical proposal while staying in a private villa at The W Retreat & Spa. I was completely taken by surprise and although I managed to tell Jeff he was supposed to get down on one knee (through tears!) he still had to ask me if I was going to say “yes” which of course I did!!

My dress was one of the first things I organised. I knew I wanted a fitted, mermaid style gown and after trying on a few different dresses I found the perfect Demitrios gown at Hobnob Bridal in Highgate, Perth. It was embellished with applique, beads and crystals and the skirt was gorgeous fluffy layers of soft tulle and organza, with a unique shoulder strap.

I spent a lot of time online getting ideas from sites like Pinterest, Etsy and of course Polka Dot Bride. Etsy was really great for finding lots of unique accessories. I purchased my hair comb, bracelet, bridesmaid jewellery, guest book, cake topper and dress hanger all from there.

One of my favourite parts of my outfit where my shoes. They are Badgely Mischka and it was a bit of a gamble buying them online from the US but it paid off because they fit perfectly!

The day before our wedding, it rained for the entire day. I must admit I was a little stressed out but on the morning of the wedding there was a tiny bit of drizzle but the rain stayed away for the rest of the day and we had great overcast weather, which was wonderful for our photos! Our photographer was Mladen from Objektiv Photography. He was fantastic. I had lots of ideas and he was really open to everything and took some absolutely amazing shots that we will cherish forever.

The morning of was so much fun, I spent the time getting ready with my bridesmaids and my mum. I was surprisingly calm, at least on the outside. But as the time got closer I started to get really nervous.

We arrived at the ceremony location (Council House Gardens in Perth CBD) 5 minutes early! Our gorgeous celebrant, Josie Arnold, said I was the only bride she has ever seen early to a wedding! Walking down the aisle was probably one of the most nerve-racking things I’ve done in my life. Probably a combination of not wanting to trip over and also having all those eyes on me. Seeing Jeff’s face made everything else disappear into the background and once I met him at the top of the aisle, I started to feel so much more relaxed. We had a light hearted, sweet ceremony. Our celebrant, Josie, did the most wonderful job writing our ceremony. She really took the time to get to know us and our story and subsequently our ceremony really reflected us completely. Saying our vows to each other after over 11 years together was one of the most amazing moments of my life. We had a few laughs, particularly when Jeff said “I will” too soon before Josie had finished her line. I think he was just keen to get things made official!

We had a gorgeous ring bowl made for the ‘ring warming’ ritual during the ceremony. It had our initials engraved on it, plus the date and “Better Together” (which kind of became our little unofficial motto as we had our first dance to that same and our cake topper read the same). Our rings were tied to the bowl and passed around our guests during our ceremony so each person could say a special wish for us and give their blessing. It was a nice way to involve our guests in the ceremony.

After the ceremony, we had some photos around that same location and in Perth’s Supreme Court Gardens. And, knowing how much Jeff dislikes photos, I arranged our second location to be at The Trustee Bar & Bistro on St Georges Terrace so we could all relax and have a drink before heading to the reception.

Prior to entering the reception (The Boatshed Restaurant, South Perth) we had some photos on the jetty in front of the restaurant. It was awesome seeing all our friends and family waving and whistling at us while we shared a moment together. Our photographer captured one of our favourite photos of Jeff dipping me with the Perth city skyline in the background. Magical!

Walking into the reception was like a dream. Claire, the weddings coordinator at The Boatshed had done the most fabulous job at bringing our vision to life.  She’s amazing. She made our seating plan and menus to match our invitations. All the flowers on the tables matched our bouquets. She decorated the venue with candles and flowers in little jars and vases. It was the perfect blend of classic wedding style with vintage touches.

After entering the reception, we went straight into our first dance which was to Jack Johnson “Better Together”. Jeff played this song to me just after he proposed so it has a really special meaning to us.

We wanted to get our speeches done quite early so we could relax and enjoy the evening. Jeff and I did a speech together. He spoke of the importance of our family and friends in our life and how he couldn’t wait to start the next phase of our life together. I spoke about my love for my parents and grandparents, in particular my mum. I opted not to do a bouquet toss and instead presented my bouquet to my mum during my speech. There was not a dry eye in the house!

The rest of the night was incredible. The food and drinks were flowing all night and all our guests raved about how amazing the food was. I could not recommend The Boatshed enough. The dessert buffet, in particular was a hit. We didn’t want it to end, it was overwhelming to be surrounded by so much love.  I know EVERY bride and groom says this but it is completely true. The day goes so quickly and it is really important to take a step back and take everything in.

Another piece of advice would be don’t let little things get to you on the day. There were a few little things that went wrong on the day, but nothing could dampen the mood of the day. I was determined to let nothing bother me and it made it so much enjoyable for me just to let go (especially because I am a bit of a control freak!)

Although we did not have a videographer, we were very lucky that a very special friend put a stop-motion video together with thousands of images she took on the day. It is a gorgeous tribute that we love so much.

Images by Objektiv Photography

Ms Gingham says: A beautifully classic wedding. Congratulations to Melissa and Jeff and thankyou for sharing your day with us!

Melissa says: “I am newly married to my high school sweetheart of over 11 years. I loved every moment of the wedding planning process and I am loving being a ‘wifey’.”