Charly & Chad’s Urban Garden Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Charly & Chad

In a day that the newlyweds planned as “relaxed and fun-loving” – one that started with a secret meeting point and a saxophonist-led parade and ended with dancing to a six-person band under a stunning ballooon garland – well there was no room for a day that was anything but “Charly and Chad”.

Captured beautifully by Madeleine Kate, the newlyweds, who were married by the dear friend that introduced them all those years ago, were out to infuse every moment of their day with personality and unique touches that represented their own love of life, family and friends.

The bride chose Wishbone & Ivy to make her modern gown, telling ” I wasn’t going to spend much on my dress and went dress shopping only to have the fun experience with my mum. After trying on the dress for fun, all of that changed pretty quickly! I loved the back detail and the modern sophistication of the handmade lace against the sheer delicate mesh. I loved that the design didn’t show too much skin but was still feminine and unique.”

Chad and Charly chose not to have a bridal party but instead spent the morning getting ready with their favourite people. The bride noting “We decided quite early on that we wouldn’t have a traditional bridal party – we feel extremely fortunate to count too many people as our closest friends and it was really important to us that they enjoyed the night and didn’t feel burdened with tasks. So instead, we opted to include all our closest friends in pre-wedding activities and a couple to make cameos throughout the night (ie the celebrant, ring bearer for each ring, witnesses and MC).”

The actual venue was kept a secret from guests, who were asked to meet at a separate location. Charly explaining “To make the night a bit more fun and engaging for our guests, we made the location a surprise – they were only told to meet at Docklands Library at 6pm. From there, a roving saxophonist and waiters with trays of champagne escorted the guests around the pier to the surprise pop-up venue, The Secret Garden By Tommy Collins.

The Secret Garden By Tommy Collins, right on the Yarra River, turned out to encapsulate everything Chad and Charly wanted for their day, the bride noting “When we heard about Secret Garden’s set up, we were really excited about making the night an adventure for our guests too. Secret Garden offered a garden setting by the water with sparkling city lights as the backdrop – we couldn’t have asked for anything more. Secret Garden also catered for both the wedding and reception to be held at the same venue which was important to us.

The Tommy Collins team really went above and beyond to create a luxurious and memorable experience for our guests – they came up with great ideas such as removing the front of the marquee to join the indoor and outdoor spaces, setting up drink stations along the walk from the meeting point to the venue and welcoming guests with cold towels as they entered (it was 29 degrees Celsius).”

“I walked down the aisle to ‘Tenerife Sea’ by Ed Sheeran. We both love Ed and have thoughtlessly sung along to the song plenty of times before and then a few days before the wedding it came on and we finally heard the lyrics loud and clear and couldn’t believe how fitting it was. My dad walked me down the aisle, despite only a few days earlier a cyst in his knee burst rendering him unable to walk at all. It ended up being a very slow walk…”

The couple’s matchmaker and close friend officiated the ceremony, Charly telling “Our ceremony was super casual. Our celebrant spoke of how and why he introduced Chad and I, before Chad and I speaking about each other, our relationship and our hopes for our life together. We then exchanged our vows which we had written ourselves. We tried to keep our vows both meaningful and humorous whilst also sharing some of our stories with our guests (most of whom only know one of us).”

Of their photographer, Charly raves “We asked Madeline to be our photographer as we knew each other through mutual friends and had seen her work at friends’ weddings and on social media. We knew she was great at capturing moments and that’s exactly what we wanted. Neither Chad or I wanted to spend time away from the party to pose for photos so Madeline’s style suited us perfectly. Fortunately, she convinced us to take 5 minutes outside the venue to get a few shots on our own after the ceremony – she did an amazing job so I’m really glad she talked us into it! Madeline was so bubbly and lovely with the guests – several guests commented that she was not only unobtrusive, but a pleasure to have around!”

“We were so lucky – despite being totally subject to the elements, we had perfect weather which made the setting, backdrop, atmosphere and mood perfect. We loved the surprise element of the day and creating something different for everyone to enjoy. But the most special aspect had to be having all of our favourite people in the one place – it was so humbling to have so many amazing people travel from every corner of the globe just to celebrate our wedding.”

Flower Jar styled up bright and beautiful floral arrangements for the day, including rose petal cones of hot pink petals. Charly adding “Given the venue already came with an abundance of greenery and florals, we didn’t have to add much. Flower Jar covered the archway (under which we were married) and garnished the balloon garland and giant helium balloons with deep maroon, lilac, pink and white florals.”

“There is a beautiful photo of us during our first kiss that was taken under the floral archway as everyone showered us with rose petals. The colours of the flowers really popped against the blue sky and background and the rose petals give the photo movement.”

Guests gathered for speeches and dancing under a marquee, Charly remarking “The garden and marquee were littered with giant white helium balloons with fern tassels and a 10m long white and silver balloon garland, also interspersed with greenery and florals, hung along the center beam of the marquee.”

A classic favourite was on the cards for the first dance, Charly remarking “We chose ‘All Night Long’ by Lionel Ritchie for our first dance as it starts slow, has a great build up and guests of all ages would have fun dancing to it. We wanted to make sure everyone was on the dancefloor with us as soon as possible…it worked!”

Great music and dancing was high on the list of important factors for Chad and Charly, who hired The White Tree for their dancing tunes. “The live band reflected our love of music and dancing and they were fantastic at getting everyone involved – it’s not that often that many of our guests would dance to a live band so we loved creating that atmosphere.”

Congratulations on your marriage Chad and Charly! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to Madeleine Kate for sharing today’s stunning photographs!


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