Melita & Richard
When you have a love of theatre, glamour and style then a wedding with a twist, like today’s beautiful art deco wedding might just take your breath away. The bride and groom had a very clear vision going into their planning, describing their wedding as “Echoes of the La Belle Époque and Art Deco ages meeting our love affair with champagne, good food, dapper clothing, great folk and roaring parties — classic yet theatrically quirky.” They chose photographers Bayly & Moore to capture their day.
“For the two of us, it was pure and utter love at first sight. Richard and I both found ourselves at the theatre one evening; he was suited up, looking dapper, with camera in tow as the official photographer for opening night and I was there in my fancy frock as an invited guest. After watching him for what seemed like forever, I approached tentatively, told him I liked what he was wearing and then disappeared before he could catch my name (or my blushing face) or before I could hear him reply “I… I love you!” (yes, he really did!). Perth is a small city, so we happened to bump into each other again and for the next six months became fast friends. Then in a moment of happenstance, we met up for a beachside swim at twilight before the Australia Day skyshow. Never had fireworks looked so magical in the night sky, nor had either of us felt so comfortable ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing’ in public like children. It was at that moment we knew that we couldn’t deny the love and remain just friends. We were absolutely head over heels for each other. Being the romantic he is, Richard proposed a little over twelve months later at the ruins of an old church atop a mountain in Scotland with an amazing antique ring (and of course captured the whole thing on camera!).”
Melita wore a beaded gown she found on eBay by designer Sue Wong. She remembers it as being a highlight of her wedding plans “I loved finding the dress of my dreams. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted a wedding dress with ostrich feathers and old-world jazz era details. My maternal grandmother was an opera singer and just oozed that kind of sparkle and style. I wanted to make her proud, in spirit. And in a completely unexpected find, I discovered my dress on eBay while looking for a cocktail dress for a party. It couldn’t have been more perfect (or wonderfully priced!!).”
Fox & Rabbit created the floral arrangements for the day, Melita remarking, “I had a really strong concept in mind for my bouquets (there had to be feathers!) and Rebecca created the most divine arrangements. My bouquet trailed down my dress, just lovely. She is a very clever lady.”
Finishing the bride’s art deco styling was a feather headpiece by Reny Kestel Millinery. Melita noting, “I rocked up at her door only a few weeks out from the wedding and she absolutely nailed the look I was going for. Feathers all the way!”
Melita and Richard chose Trinity Uniting Church for their ceremony. Explaining, “Trinity Uniting Church on St Georges Terrace is a beautiful, quaint and intricately-detailed church in the centre of Perth CBD. It is also the very same place my grandparents were married at 72 years earlier. Since they are no longer with us, it was an absolute joy to be standing where they did all those years back and make the same kind of lifelong commitment. Getting married in the same church as my paternal Grandparents. Their names, and now ours, are in that wedding registry book at the church. We think that’s awesome.”
Melita loved, “Seeing all the details of our vision come together. It was just so much fun to not only spend time creating a fun and joyous event, but to also be part of it on the day.”
Of her walk down the aisle, Melita tells, “I chose A movement called ‘Thaxted’ from Holst’s ‘Op.32: Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity’ which was reworked by Richard’s cousin (who is a composer). It held a lot of meaning for the two of us, and it sure was fun to walk down the aisle to! My Dad wasn’t able to walk me down the aisle due to having Parkinson’s disease and a recent spate of surgeries, so he met me at the end and presented me to Richard. It made me swell with pride to see him at the end of the aisle on one side, and my beloved on the other. He also knocked our socks off when it came time to dancing — he made his way into the centre of the crowd, zimmer frame and all, and whooped and hollered and partied with the rest of us!”
Melita loved, “The undeniable feelings of love and support by all on the day. Family and friends travelled far to be with us and shared in our excitement. Both sets of parents were so overjoyed as they sat together in the front row. As my Dad said “we’re all coming along because we love you two and want to celebrate with you!” and it really stuck with me all throughout the day.”
“We had a dear elderly lady who entertained our guests while we were signing the registry and our friends were playing an item, ‘Strangers’ by The Kinks. She walked in through a side door off the street and proceeded to dance for all to see. As soon as the song finished, she grabbed her bags and left again. Those kind of unexpected moments made the day so memorable!”
After the ceremony, guests gathered for a jazz hour, Melita explaining, “We held a jazz hour in the church’s lunch room, which was perfect for putting on a spread of champagne and chocolates for our guests against the backdrop of a friend’s jazz trio.”
The bridal party hired a tram from Perth Tram Company for their transport on the day.
Melita’s bridesmaids wore dresses from Frock and Frill, Charlie Brown, Unique Vintage, Jigsaw, ASOS and Tutu du Monde. She remarks “I had a vision for myself and my bridesmaids to be dressed in fun, sparkly, party dresses of various colours and style, but in the same tonal family. It meant hunting online, looking in shops and even chasing down a girl in a bar to see where she had bought her dress. The crazy thing was that it wasn’t until the day of the wedding that I finally saw all the dresses at once, along with my own — thank goodness they all came together. I loved choosing the outfit for my three-year-old niece — I thought she looked adorable in her dress and sparkly skull cap.”
“One of our favourite locations for the photos was the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia where we first met, and a little restaurant just up the road, where we had our first date. We just rocked up unannounced and sat at ‘our table’. The girls working that day were so excited for us (we’re frequenters!) that they poured a couple of glasses of champagne and we had a toast.”
Of their photographers, the bride remarks, “Bayly and Moore were friends first, photographers second. There was no question but to ask them to shoot our wedding. These intrepid travelers have such a great eye and style and attitude combined with the kind of personality traits you want present on your day – fantastic with people and insanely cool, with the ability to blend in the background and possessing an eagle eye for those special moments.”
Dinner was held at The Trustee Bar & Bistro on St Georges Terrace, Melita noting, “An art deco building that has been exquisitely restored and one that serves sensational food.”
Jean Pierre Sancho created a colourful macaron tower in place of a traditional wedding cake.
With Melita being a graphic designer, she designed the accompanying stationery for the wedding day, including the favors! Telling “Our favourite pieces were the favours — we created a rather tongue-in-cheek booklet called “The Jeffersons’ Concise Guide to Suaveness and Style: In which we discuss the rather dandy but always necessary practicalities of mastering the art of good breeding and other graces” in keeping with our Belle Époque look.
We wanted it to be theatrical and quirky and ridiculous! It featured our favourite ‘tips’ for living life in style, such as recipes for our favourite cocktails, how to tie a bow-tie, a hilarious excerpt from the 1930s on how to kiss properly, and what makes a winning poker hand. We gave these to guests along with playing cards that featured our monogram and invitation design, and a playlist of jazz era songs that we had playing at our reception.”
Food was a high priorty for Melita and Richard, who served a feasting style menu. “We really wanted to have long table feasting which was executed exceptionally well by The Trustee. Our dinner included some favourite dishes including duck confit, wagyu beef and cheese boards with bacon jam, all paired with Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Ruinart champagne. After dinner, the middle tables were cleared for dancing which gave it a cosy, albeit raucous, vibe.”
Dancing was the highlight and perfect ending to the evening, Melita remembering, “Instead of a first dance, we just partied the night away with our guests. The first song to kick off the dancing was Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Move On Up’, which led into a menagerie of disco tunes and 80s rock ballads.”
Congratulations Melita and Richard on your spectacular wedding day! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Thank you to Sophie of Bayly & Moore for sharing today’s celebration!