Megan & Josh
There is such a festive feeling to Megan and Josh’s flower filled winery wedding. The cheer of Megan as she walks down the aisle, the little touches the couple included in their ceremony to make sure each member of their bridal party got to stand beside them, long communal tables at the reception and a custom made sign that encouraged guests to well, dance their hearts out. It was all beautifully captured by It’s Beautiful Here .
Megan tells the story of how they met, or rather, how they connected. “Josh and I grew up in the same suburb, went to the same kindergarten (different groups – wombats and echidnas!) and even lived a street away for each other for sometime. However we never really crossed paths until we were 19. We met through a friend who met Josh in her first year of Uni. At the time, I had a boyfriend and Josh claims that he ‘planted the seed of doubt’ at that time. A few years later we met again at my friend’s birthday. Josh (who rarely remembers anyone!) remembered me from when we met, and I just remember how I felt to be around him. We danced all night and had an amazing time together. A few months later we crossed paths once more; surely this couldn’t be a coincidence? And from there, we didn’t look back. As Dr Seuss once said: ‘when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with our weirdness, we call it love.’ ”
Megan chose to wear the “Lottie” gown by Jane Hill , she tells, “I feel funny saying this, but as gorgeous as wedding gowns are…they often look rather similar to me. They look stunning, but I had never come across something that I thought was ‘me.’ After much online perusing, I still was not excited by anything in particular, until I spotted the most exquisite gown I had ever seen. It was a Jane Hill dress called ‘Lottie’ (what a gorgeous name!). It was love. I felt this connection with this gown and believed it to be out of my league, so to speak.
Regardless, I had to make an appointment at the boutique. I was extremely nervous, as I didn’t in anyway feel like a ‘normal’ bride; not particularly glamorous or fashion forward, living in t-shirt and jeans on a day-to-day basis. I had not had great experiences at other stores previously and was a bit anxious about the process, I did not need to be. Despite the calibre of the designer, I felt welcomed and relaxed instantly. The lovely ladies were accessible and made me feel valued and beautiful. I thought to myself that when I try this dress on, it won’t look like the pictures and probably won’t suit my short frame, but when I put it on…wow wow wow!
I’ve read and heard about these moments! I looked at myself in the mirror and was overwhelmed. I didn’t anticipate feeling this way about a wedding dress. Being quite short, I have never quite felt like an elegant woman. ‘Lottie’ made me feel sexy and beautiful, and it was a ‘Megan dress’, something that looked and felt like it was made just for me. The fishtail shape, low back, gorgeous crochet lace layered over an oyster coloured silk was to die for. There was no doubt in my mind that this was ‘the dress.’ Lottie was love at first sight!”
Megan notes, “Close family and friends were instrumental leading up to and on the big day. Their help and kindness came in many forms, for example: a family friend, Ken, generously offered his sensational vintage car to drive us to the ceremony; our friend Michael made our take on the traditional guestbook and our best man Blair created our awesome and unique invitations!
Not being a particularly glitzy couple, Josh and I really valued all the homemade touches from our day. Josh’s Mum, Kaye generously made the bridesmaid dresses which were a simple, elegant knee length, white shift dress with a scoop neck, V-neck back and lace sleeves to tie into my wedding dress. My Mum, Adrienne made the bonbonnieres, which were her delicious gingerbread biscuits, decorated with white icing made to look like lace. Family friend Tom filmed and created an incredible documentation of our special day. Josh made the menus, place cards, seating chart and thank you labels. My friend Anjie created the magnificent sign above the dance floor: ‘everybody dance now!’ ”
For her walk down the aisle, Megan remembers, “There are some songs that give you shivers, goose bumps and leave a lump in your throat all at once. ‘Real love’ originally by The Beatles, covered by Regina Spector is the most beautiful version I have ever heard. This is one of those songs that does something to you when you hear it…the opening piano riff is both haunting and dreamlike. The lyrics resonated with us and once I played it to him (Josh), the decision was already made: this was the one.”
Megan and Josh chose Zonzo for their wedding, noting, “Josh and I were both born and bred in Lilydale. Home, family and friends play a central role in our lives therefore it was important to be married somewhere that felt like home. We love good quality food and local produce; the Yarra Valley offers all of this and more…as well as being what we considered our backyard growing up. We had been to Zonzo winery in Yarra Glen for a friend’s anniversary dinner and instantly fell in love with the surrounds. Not only was the food absolutely sensational, it also has a more relaxed vibe than other wineries we had been to and the trend so far had been going with vendors that were more ‘us.’ We felt the long communal tables and share platters would create a more social and laid-back atmosphere. Being an Italian restaurant also fit in with my Italian heritage. Zonzo ticked all the boxes for us, and how can you go past an outlook like that?”
Julia Doeven officiated the ceremony, Megan remembering, “Our wedding possessed best of both worlds: stylish but relaxed, a big awesome party with our personalities setting the pace for the day. We wanted fun and games from the very beginning – not just at the reception.
Our Celebrant was vital in bringing our casual and upbeat ceremony to life. Julia Doeven is literally the happiest person we have ever met! She is a beautiful person and an amazing celebrant who we gelled with straight away. We instantly knew that we didn’t want anyone else marrying us!! Julia’s enthusiasm is infectious, and she worked hard to ensure our ceremony reflected our personalities.
Visual elements included an incredible backdrop of the Yarra Valley and a stunning floral arch. Josh’s sister and my brother performed the two readings we chose: ‘The beauty of love’ about the beauty of old love, and a quote by Dr Seuss about mutual weirdness! Josh and I were quite informal during the ceremony, even giving each other a sneaky kiss once I walked down the aisle!
We even incorporated a few quirky elements, like the bell ringing from the storybooks on tape (to turn the page). When this sound played, our bridal party rotated their positions. We wanted to do this, as there was no hierarchy in our team: each of the members of our bridal party has played significant roles throughout our life and we wanted each of them to take turns standing beside us. Other cheesy moments included the ‘Baywatch’ tv theme song concluding our ceremony!
It was important to Josh and I to write our own vows. Here’s some of what was said: I will be your greatest supporter, biggest fan, cheering for you with an oversized ‘number 1’ foam finger. I will treasure you like actual treasure. I will continue to make laughter and fun an integral part of our lives. I will love you with all your perfect imperfections, because it is those things that make me love you the most.”
Silvermist Studio worked with the couple to create their rings, Megan tells “Wedding bands are forever, so Josh and I budgeted to have something distinct. Josh designed my engagement ring and the talented Tim Peel from Silvermist Studio in Healesville brought it to life. We were so happy with my engagement ring that we went back to have our bands made there also. My band was simple, platinum and slightly curved to sit around my engagement ring. Both our rings were engraved with each other’s names and our wedding date. What made Josh’s band special was the small section of gold included in the platinum, which came from his late Father’s wedding band. We love our wedding bands; we will be wearing them forever so it was important that we found the right jeweler, materials and style.”
Of their photographers, Megan says, “Josh and I are quite casual and laid-back. We knew we didn’t want staged photography; instead we wanted someone who could capture the atmosphere and all the ‘in-between’ moments from our day. I came across Its Beautiful Here on Polka Dot Bride and had a great feeling that we would be a perfect fit for each other! I loved their organic style, mood and ability to encapsulate not only the vibe of the day, but people’s qualities in a non-invasive manner. We met the talented Kat Soutar and Scout Kozakiewcz at a pub and over a cup of coffee we clicked with these talented and down to earth women. Done deal! Kat and Scout felt like part of the family, being with us the entire day from casual lunch on the back deck prior to getting ready, to the party portion of the evening when our reception turned into a laser-fest discotheque!”
Bunched Together created the floral arrangements for the day while Megan and Josh chose Cassy Morris of Fig + Salt to make their wedding cake, the bride noting, “The choosing of vendors happened very and easily naturally for Josh and I. We generally went on ‘feel’ so if something didn’t feel like us, we didn’t go there. But it seemed like most of the people we researched, were recommended or stumbled across all seemed to be an excellent fit for Josh and I. We had great relationships with all our vendors, many of them feeling like old friends, and we made friendships with others that we still maintain today.
I think our florists were a standout for us. Initially Josh felt ‘we didn’t need flowers’ (what??) and we wanted to keep costs low where we could. I had driven past ‘Flowers by the road stall’ many times on my way to The Patch for work. Dropping by their stall one afternoon I discovered that Belinda McDerott, owner and operator of the roadside flower stall had joined forces with Amelia Lazdins to form ‘Bunched Together.’
They were very accommodating and understood our budget, but were so keen and excited to be a part of our day that they were happy to help us create amazing floral for our day whilst keeping it affordable. As I didn’t really have a specific theme in mind, they were incredibly eager to design our floral based on my described ‘vibe’ and personality. I didn’t have any qualms and trusted in their capability and creativity. Belinda and Amelia went well above and beyond their call of duty to create something I didn’t even think possible. Their beautiful spirit and chilled nature made them an absolute joy to work with. We received overwhelming compliments on the floral and this is testament to the ladies keen eye, vision and passion for what they do.”
“Mash up: ‘Give it to me’ by Rick James and ‘Solid as a rock’ by Ashford and Simpson. Dance off / improvisation / krumping affair. I think people were expecting a high calibre, choreographed dance piece from us due to my dance background and the fact that I have choreographed wedding dances for some of my friends previously. But for those who know Josh and I, know we like to cut up a rug on the d-floor! It was always going to be a fun, comical dance that would draw on our lively and eccentric personalities. So instead of a traditional first dance, it was more of a ‘dance off’/ in the moment dance! It began with Josh and I dominating in the ultimate dance off, followed by our favourite ridiculous and bizarre moves, and to finish off, some close slow dancing to some cheesy tunes! ”
Congratulations Megan and Josh! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to It’s Beautiful Here for sending this wedding our way!