Barbara & Aaron
So much of Melbourne is about the love of coffee. So when we spied Barbara and Aaron’s elegant Top Paddock wedding with its quintessential urban vibe, we couldn’t go past it and of course – it was filled with espresso martinis! Barbara and Aaron worked with Jason Vandermeer to capture their wedding.
Barbara tells us the story of how they came to be. “Aaron and I both work in the commercial construction industry. We happened to work on the same project site many moons ago where Aaron was the spunky crane driver. I was totally smitten from the get go. But at first Aaron played hard to get and didn’t give me much attention at all! When people ask about our early days together Aaron brags about how I worked tirelessly to get his attention but I put it down to a girl knowing what she wanted. After I wore him down (his words not mine) we tried to keep our relationship under wraps whilst working together but we were hopeless. I guess when you love someone there is no hiding it!”
Celebrations kicked off with black and white wedding invitations created by Wedding Paper Chic , says the bride, “We didn’t really set a style and theme before we started planning our wedding it was something that evolved during the process. We wanted to keep it modern classic. Black with white text invitations, white floral arrangements and a modern venue to name a few. The most important thing for us when planning the wedding was the atmosphere. We wanted our day to represent who we are as a couple. We wanted the day to seem more of a modern day gathering rather than a celebration. Most importantly we wanted a day where our guests enjoyed themselves as much as we did.”
Barbara wore a strapless lace gown by Nektaria, she tells ,”My dress was a custom designed gown from Nektaria. Nektaria was the first designer I met with and I instantly knew that I wouldn’t be interested in anyone else. She was able to translate my scattered ideas and collection of inspirational images in creating the most beautiful gown. My custom gown was a strapless design with a detailed French overlay. The underlay was of a soft pink hue which worked well with my skin tone. I wanted something that wouldn’t overpower me and complimented my overall look. I wanted something that was modern yet timeless.” Her bridesmaids wore two piece outfits with skirts from Nicholas.
The couple were married at Tennyson Lawn in the Royal Botanical Gardens. The simple white decor from Place Settings with flowers by Kate Hill Flowers. Barbara notes, “Our ceremony was held at Tennyson Lawn at the Botanical Gardens. We picked this area as it’s perched on a hill and you get the best view of the city. We wanted a ceremonial space that was beautiful and set the tone for our day – light and playful.”
Barbara walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of Sam Smith’s “Latched” performed by James Leroy.
Maree Livy officiated the proceedings, the bride remembering, “We wanted our ceremony to have a relaxed vibe – nothing too formal where we could share a laugh and giggle too. The main focus was telling our guests our story and Maree (our celebrant) was able to do so perfectly.”
Kate Hill Flowers styled the white and green floral arrangements for the day, the bride remarking, “Kate Hill Flowers were extraordinary. Kate personally delivered and set up the flowers on the day. She was so amazing to deal with and was able to develop and deliver my ideas more than I could ever imagine. Kate and her team did an exceptional job and went that extra mile to make our day special.”
Of their photographer, Barbara remarks, “Both Aaron and I felt very comfortable and confident with Jason’s abilities from the get go. We were really happy to give Jason the creative lisence in doing what he does best. The only brief we gave to him was to capture the special moments naturally not just between us but the most important people in our lives – our guests. On the day Jason was calm and just went about the day doing his thing. The thing I love most about Jason is he didn’t interrupt the ability for Aaron and I to have the moments during the day. Particularly when we were with our bridal party – he let us sip on our champagne and have a laugh with our crew. I’ll never forget the day we received our photos. We were so happy with the end result. He captured the moment that perhaps we wouldn’t have remembered. They were perfect. I cannot speak more highly of Jason and the memories he documented for us.”
The couple chose Top Paddock for their reception, the bride telling, “Our reception venue was held at Top Paddock in Richmond – an iconic Melbourne café which we transformed into a stunning setting to celebrate our day. We chose Top Paddock because Aaron and I are both urban people who enjoy spending our weekends sitting at cafes eating rich food and sipping coffees. I guess you can say this venue not only suited our wedding style but who we are as a couple. Furthermore, when it came to choosing a wedding venue we wanted to look outside the box and pick a venue where our guests most likely haven’t celebrated a wedding before. We wanted to try and do something different and choose a venue that perhaps wasn’t seen as traditional.”
“Our focus for our day was not only the celebration of Aaron and I coming together as husband and wife but our guests as well. We really wanted to make sure that everyone had the best time. We wanted it to feel like a party and try to sway away from the stuffy boring traditions that weddings can sometimes have. To help with this we knew we had to nail a couple of things. Food, drinks and music!”
Ed Dixon Food Design kicked off the vibe with decadent grazing stations for guests, the bride explaining, “Ed Dixon Design Catering helped us in providing the most spectacular food. Being a cocktail style wedding and coming from a first generation Italian family I was apprehensive of the type and quantity of food. But it was absolutely perfect! The grazing table was a hit and the food was endless!
The food and service that they provided were a talking point even from all our guests. Even 4 months on everyone raves just how good the food was. The point of difference for me was the service on the night. I had their staff coming up to me every so often to check if I needed anything or even a simple gesture of giving me a fresh glass of champagne. It’s the small things but those are things that you remember and the ones that help you enjoy your night even more.”
The reception kicked off with the first dance, the bride remembering, “Our first dance was James Morrison – I Won’t Let You Go. It is one our favourite songs and the lyrics resonated particularly for our special day as it’s about holding onto each other no matter what.”
“I know everyone says this but the whole day was just perfect. It was exactly how Aaron and I imagined the day would be. There were many memories and stories from the day but the moment I remember and think of the most was later in the evening. Aaron and I took a moment together and looked back as everyone sipped on their espresso martinis and danced the night away and said to each other “we did it!” That was such an amazing moment to know that the hours of preparation had paid off. We knew we had just created a memorable day not just for us but for our guests.”
“You can’t have a cocktail wedding without cocktails! We created an”Espresso Station” where we had an actual Top Paddock barista making their iconic coffees all night. Once the formalities where over we released the espresso martinis. Everyone was loving them – even the oldies! They really set the tone for our night and most certainly gave our guests a sore head the next day!”
There was plenty of dancing thanks to music by Eddie Mac and Hayley Teal. “Entertainment on the night was crucial so we didn’t muck around and sourced a DJ from Top Dog Entertainment. We had DJ Eddie Mac who was able to read the crowd perfectly and play the tunes that got everyone on the dance floor. We also had Hayley Teal accompany the DJ with her amazing vocals. She was a point of difference and got everyone in the mood to party.”
“Overall all of my vendors exceeded my expectations. Looking back on the day you just realise that everything just happens and everyone just does what they need to, to get the job done. That’s the best part of the wedding planning. Spending endless hours in preparing and then having it all come together perfectly.”
Barbara and Aaron chose Zoe Coldham Studio to capture a film of their day. I love how Zoe captured the urban feeling to the utterly romantic day.
Congratulations on your marriage Barbara and Aaron! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Jason Vandermeer for sharing today’s celebration!
Polka Dot Dream Team...
The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!
This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Wedding.