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Elly & Hayden

Elly and Hayden’s intimate Richmond wedding is one of those days where you wish you could quietly knock on the door, they’d spy you and push you into the centre of the dance floor. It’s small and beautiful and it is so very heartfelt. Elly and Hayden chose Pierre Curry  to capture the magic of their day.

Elly recounts the story of how they came to be. “We are two political junkies, so of course, we met at Parliament House in Brisbane. Hayden remembers the first moment he saw me – concentrating hard as I prepared for a big speech. I have to admit I have no memory of him being there. It took a few more months of dedication on his behalf before I finally agreed (in the middle of a drag queen show) to go on a date!”

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These Are A Few created magnificent magenta floral arrangements. Elly telling, “The flowers – god, the flowers were just the most gorgeous, rich colours and the great things was, I had absolutely no idea what they were going to look like before they showed up on the day.”

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Elly chose a wedding gown by Carla Zampatti. She remembers, “My dress was bought in a mad scramble three days before we left for Melbourne. My original choice was custom made, but when I showed up to my final fitting, nothing looked right. As we left the store, I told my mum it didn’t matter – it wasn’t about the dress. At first, she agreed, but as we drove home, suddenly she had a change of heart, swinging the car around. “You have to love your wedding dress,” she said. “We’re not giving up that easily”. So we raced to the city with an hour to spare before the stores closed. Luckily, we went straight to Carla Zampatti. Not only was the store assistant fabulous and extremely helpful, but there were multiple choices, so I actually had to call a close friend who dashed straight over to help me decide. Talk about a close call!”

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The couple met before the ceremony for a first look and photographs.

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Of their photographer, Elly tells, “Ask anyone at our wedding what they remember about the day and most people will bring up Pierre. Pierre was the hit of the day. Firstly, he made Hayden and I feel so comfortable, to the point that we actually felt we had known him a long time. We never felt like taking photos was a chore – the complete opposite – it was the best part of the day! Roaming Melbourne with Hayden holding hands and just getting to be us. Secondly, when we got to the ceremony, I don’t even remember him being there! But when you look at the photos he was right up close capturing all the emotion and joy that we felt.

Thirdly, when it came to celebrating at ‘the reception’ Pierre was our 19th guest. While he still managed to take beautiful photos he also got along with my family – enjoying the night with everyone else. Finally, when we received the photos a few weeks after the wedding, both Hayden and I were blown away. Every photo is stunning. Every photo captures the feelings of the day and every photo we still love looking at – six months later!”

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“We’re from Brisbane, so we underestimated Melbourne afternoon traffic and terrible taxi services – big time! Hayden, Pierre and I ended up waiting in Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens for over an hour for our family to arrive for photos. Luckily, our wedding planners (again, thinking of everything) packed us a picnic basket. So I relaxed on a park bench with Pierre’s puffer jacket over my shoulders, a knitted blanket over my knees while eating doughnuts and drinking tea. While it was a mad rush to get family photos taken before the sun set, I loved having that extra hour with Hayden and we gained some hilarious photos of family members all dressed up dashing across the grass!”

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Elly and Hayden chose Bendigo Street Milk Bar, Richmond for their wedding, noting, “We only had 18 guests at our wedding, so we always knew we wanted a unique and cosy venue. When our wedding planners suggested looking at cafes, I instantly knew it was going to work. Hayden and I love long breakfasts on the weekend and there’s nothing better on a cold winter’s day than a snug cafe. Luckily, our wedding planners were regulars at the Bendigo Street Milk Bar so they were able to convince the owners to host their first wedding. The cafe was the perfect size to fit a long table to seat our guests for dinner and a cosy room out the back for the ceremony. Not only was it beautiful but the staff were lovely, helping everyone feel at ease. The food was delicious homemade Italian, cooked by the owners and their family.”

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“I loved how our wedding planners used the idea of the milk bar throughout the wedding, without making it look like a ‘theme’. The place settings on the table were made from paddle pop sticks, with beautiful calligraphy spelling out each guest’s name. On the two sides of the ceremony area, milk crates (spray painted white) were packed on top each other with flowers woven throughout. It made for a very unique backdrop and was just enough ‘milk bar’ to pay tribute to our fabulous venue! ”

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“We decided to take photos before the ceremony, which was such a joyous experience, so by the time we got to the venue, we had forgotten we hadn’t gotten married yet! So we held hands and rushed down the aisle together with no music just cheers.”

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Julia of Julia’s Celebrancy Services officiated the ceremony, Elly remarking, “The ceremony was short and filled with love – just what we wanted. We acknowledged the one key member of our family who couldn’t make it to Melbourne – Percy, our puppy! Our family (on pre-arranged instructions) booed loudly as the celebrant read the legally required text, including that marriage, is between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others (boo!).

We wrote our own vows. As Hayden is the shy one in our relationship, I think the expectations for his vows were lower, but man did he blow it out of the water. I don’t think anyone took a breath as he spoke. And before we knew it, the whole thing was over. I have, to be honest, I never felt nervous – the whole ceremony we were surrounded by our dearest and closest friends and family, so how could we not feel safe and loved?”

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Short and Spook not only created the stationery for the day but also planned and styled the wedding, Elly remembering, “The entire wedding was planned and executed in less than 10 weeks. The original plan was to wait until the end of the year, however, after a month in the hospital, my doctors recommended I move the date forward. Regardless of the date, we were under strict doctors orders that we had to hire a wedding planner and they had to do all the work. So that’s exactly what we did and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

The ladies at Short and Spook were the heart and soul of this wedding. I don’t think it would have happened without them. It certainly wouldn’t have been so beautiful. Their style and dedication are unquestionable. But more importantly than the luxurious table linens and pretty invitations they put together – Courtney and Steph supported me throughout the entire planning experience. They made it fun, effortless and no stress. At a time when I was still quite unwell, their phone calls and hilarious texts were just the interruptions I needed. They are remarkable, creative and talented human beings that I will never be able to thank enough for giving us a lifetime of great memories.”

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Of the first dance, the bride remembers, “Al Green – Let’s Stay Together had a special place in our hearts ever since Barack Obama belted out some lines during a campaign rally. Apparently, he likes singing it to Michelle! Did we mention we are political tragics?”

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Congratulations on your marriage Elly and Hayden! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us! Thank you also to Pierre Curry  for sharing today’s celebration!