Simone & Jordan

Simone and Jordan wanted their wedding to be, in the bride’s words “Melbourne, winter, romantic, simple, intimate”.  The couple, who chose a romantic Winter wedding at The George Ballroom kicked out tradition. There was no sit-down reception, no white gown, no bouquet toss. Instead, there was a whisky bar, an amazing dance floor and unexpectedly, a sick, from food poisoning groom. The show, however, must go on, and on it did in the most beautiful way. Caroline Sada Photography captured every bit of beauty from these two and their very personalised day.

The couple, who met though friends, became engaged right before a group holiday. The bride remembering “I popped out to get some supplies before we headed off for a week in Venus Bay with 8 of our closest friends. I came home to pack the car and pick up Jordan, and as I walked in the door Jordan said: “you have to see this on my laptop” which he had set up on the dining table. I sat down and Jordan hit play, the most amazing video he had created started playing, which had all our photos and movies from our travels, intertwined with our favourite songs and inside jokes, even going back to a joke we had shared on our first date! I, of course, started crying and when the video had finished I turned around to see Jordan on one knee proposing. He popped out two pre-prepared glasses of champagne for us to enjoy the moment. We jumped in the car to Venus Bay and shared the news with our family via phone on the drive. Even though I knew the proposal was coming at some point, the engagement was still a surprise and made even better by being able to celebrate with champagne and fresh oysters with our close friends when we arrived at Venus Bay.”

The George Ballroom set the scene for the cozy Winter ceremony and resulting dance floor, the bride telling “Jordan tells people that he knew as soon as I walked into The George Ballroom that was where we would end up getting married. I refused to admit that I was so attached to a venue, priding myself on taking a very methodical, logistical approach to wedding planning… so we went to see a few more venues. The George really captured our style: stylish, a bit grungy, a piece of Melbourne history, in the suburb where we had our first date, I really fell in love with the romance of the whole place… so that was indeed where we ended up, and it was amazing!”

Beautiful floral arrangements were styled by Blush Floral Design. “Because we had picked such a beautiful venue, we really wanted to make sure the flowers enhanced the room, rather than detract from it. We had large vases of proteas either side of the alter, and then some small vases scattered throughout the room. We used those same flowers in the bridesmaid’s bouquets, and my bouquet had some king proteas and trailing jasmine. Kelly from Blush Floral Designs did an amazing job of really hearing the style and mood we wanted to create with the flowers, and she was such a joy to work with. She used blushing bride for the guys’ buttonholes to compliment the style of the proteas in the bouquets, just stunning.”

The bride opted out of a traditional white gown, instead choosing a two-piece ensemble with blush, printed skirt created by Birgitta Helmesrson. She explains “I went to 3 bridal stores with my mum, my mother in law and my sister, and then again with a friend. It felt so fake and forced to try on these expensive, heavy dresses in a sterile store with other women around doing the same thing, it was like I was playing dress up in someone else’s closet. I found a few images of high waisted skirts that I liked and sent them to Birgitta, and then went into her cozy store in Fitzroy for an initial informal chat. I really liked her philosophy of minimal waste, meaning she told me exactly how much fabric to buy, and the minimal off cuts she either reused in another piece or gave them to me in case I could use them. I sourced the fabric myself from Tyler’s in Richmond, and Birgitta did the rest.

The whole process with Birgitta was so simple, she’s super easy-going, and I felt like the dress we created was exactly my style. I paired the skirt with a simple silk cami from Portmans and had it tailored, and wore that with both my bridal skirt and gold skirt for the reception. I still get lots of wear out of the cami, it’s so versatile!”

“My sisters were my bridesmaids (Janelle and Phoebe). Jordan had his brother Sam, and his two friends David and Andy. My brother Stephen was half groomsman, getting ready with the guys, and half bridesmaid, standing with me and my sisters during the ceremony (I saw afterwards he somehow scored himself a bouquet to hold too!).”

Simone walked down the aisle with her father to the cello version of Chet Faker’s “Talk is Cheap”.

The couple chose Tessa Mudge to officiate the ballroom ceremony, noting “The ceremony was very intimate, we wanted it to reflect our relationship, so we were going for fun, simple, meaningful and we’re keen to keep it brief! Tessa did a great job of walking us through the ceremony, it was lovely to step out to walk down the aisle and see so many people we love standing there before me. Jordan and I wrote and said they same vows, then we had three “readings”. Prior to the wedding, we had asked some of our close friends three questions about how they would describe our relationship, their favourite memory of us as a couple, and when they knew we would get married. We cut all of the stories together, and Sally, Jordan’s mum, read out the highlights. We also had two of our friends, Clare and Nick, tell their favourite stories about us, and naturally , hey both had the room in stitches!”

Simone notes “We loved having our nieces and nephew there, they brought such joy to the ceremony, one of the nieces Nyah is such a busy body, you can see her in the background of so many photos during the ceremony and speeches trying to get in on all the action!”

Guests celebrated with a cocktail reception, full of sweet and special touches. Simone tells  “Jordan and I are really into food and wine, so we put a lot of effort into that during the planning stage. Jordan loves his scotch, so our good friend Matt put together a scotch bar sampling whiskeys from around the world. The Yamazaki was a crowd favourite! I really love gin, in particular Hendricks, so we made sure we had that on the menu too.”

The Cake Guys (the bride’s sister!) created a delicious doughnut wedding cake. The bride explains “All of our vendors were amazing, it was like planning a wedding with your friends. We prioritised working with vendors who we got along with well, and they all really listened to what we wanted. Kelly with the flowers was amazing, going out of her way to be flexible around our schedule, Tessa our celebrant was a lovely calming spirit on the ceremony, Caroline was so easy to work with, and the George did a great job of running the show. Janelle and Phoebe, my sisters, went above and beyond with the cake and signage, running around on the day to help get everything organised, James our MC was a perfect mix of charm and humour and Tim our DJ did an amazing job of organising all the audio requirements and reading the room for the music. It was a great team effort, so easy to trust everyone which took all the stress out of the process and made it really enjoyable.”

The groom, was not so well on the day, explains Simone “In hindsight, Jordan getting food poisoning two days before the wedding is a funny story, but at the time it was just awful. He had it quite badly, so spent the two days prior in bed, and the morning of the wedding when I dropped him off to get ready I wasn’t sure he was going to make it to the altar, he was so white and could barely walk! Thankfully his groomsmen got him up and about, and our good friend Jon is a doctor so was able to get Jordan a magical concoction from the chemist which I think really saved him. Jordan started to feel better just after the food was gone, and not soon enough to enjoy his whiskey bar! The staff at the George were awesome, they had put together a platter of food for us to enjoy in the bridal suite just the two of us, but Jordan couldn’t stomach it, so they ran down the street and got him some dry biscuits! The photos are quite funny to look back on, there are little moments where you can see how terrible he feels, but he still looks back on the day fondly, I’m glad he was able to really enjoy the last hour or so of the dance floor!”

Of their photographer, Simone notes “Caroline was a dream to work with, and her photos are just stunning. They have this raw, romantic feeling about them, where every photo feels like you are peaking into a magical moment, we couldn’t love our photos any more than we do. Caroline captured the essence of the day, everything was so organic and natural.”

“There are so many highlights it’s hard to pick one, but for me, it was probably a speech given by Charlie, Jordan’s nephew (7 years old). I had planned everything and wasn’t expecting any surprises, so when Charlie got up to do a speech for us we were both so touched! He had written it out the night before and asked his Dad if he could do it as a surprise for us. We loved all of the speeches, both of our dads, and our friend David, gave amazing speeches, touching, funny, thoughtful, just everything we could ask for.”

Family and friends were an important highlight of the day. Simone noting “We spent a lot of time in the week leading up to the wedding writing our thank you speech. It was really important to us that we conveyed to everyone how much they meant to us, and how much we appreciated them being there, not just on that night, but throughout our lives together. We approached the night as an opportunity to express our thanks and love to all of our family and friends who could be there.”


Simone, who changed into a sparkling metallic skirt as the night got underway remarks “We didn’t plan for a first dance, we really tried to keep away from anything traditional just for the sake of tradition. We did get pushed to the dance floor at some point, but I couldn’t tell you what song we danced to.” The bride, did, however, plan an amazing playlist. “We put a lot of effort into creating a perfect playlist of songs. My poor brother in law was given our playlist to work with, and for some reason it was proving difficult to get everyone on the dance floor. Surprisingly, he hit a winner with John Farnham’s “Your the voice”, every single guest was on the dance floor with arms around each other belting it out at the top of their lungs. Dance floors can’t be forced!”.

And the night, did not end there, explains the bride. “After the wedding we went to Cantina on Fitzroy Street, where we had our first date. The Polaroid camera was passed around all night, and we have them in an album now. The actual ceremony was so busy, and over so quickly we really didn’t feel like we got to speak to anyone! Having the time at Cantina afterwards was such a great idea, as we got to sit with people and enjoy the night, reflecting on the wedding.”

Congratulations Simone and Jordan. Thank you for sharing the beautiful stories of your day with us. Thank you to Caroline Sada Photography for today’s stunning images!