We were engaged on our last night in Paris overlooking the city (on the ferris wheel) on a trip to France in November last year, however we both had to admit we didn’t really understand what was involved in planning a wedding and hadn’t given the idea too much thought until we were engaged! We floated ideas of eloping, perhaps a surprise registry marriage or an engagement party wedding, but we settled on the Melbourne Museum for June 30th this year. Who could pass up the chance to be married in such an iconic Melbourne location, surrounded by dinosaurs and other historic treasures?

We decided to do things our way, which included:

  • Selecting a date that allowed 14 weeks to organise the wedding…. It seemed easy at the time!
  • An overseas ‘bucks party’ with the groom and his friends arriving back in country 3 days before the wedding.. what could go wrong?
  • Waking up and getting ready together in the hotel on the day of the wedding
  • Our first look at the hotel and photos before the ceremony, which allowed maximum time to be spent with guests on the day
  • Our photographer Rachel Breier gave us a lift in the back of her car to the wedding after our Uber had a 10min wait (how is that for service!).
  • We had no bridal party, instead celebrating with all those they love

I wore a Suzanne Harward gown (Galaxy 2.0) and veil. Its modern mesh fabric and classic outline suited the both the venue and my personality perfectly – it also had pockets! Heath had his suit, along with his two brothers (Guy and Scott) and Grandfathers (William) made for the occasion at Germanicos in Melbourne.

My beautiful mother, Debbie Burns who is a school teacher, made all the flowers for the occasion – which included the bridal bouquet, button holes, corsages, table arrangements and foliage installations! Whilst my Dad, Bob and Heath’s friends Ben and Damir helped us to install everything the evening before.

We had a very emotional ceremony in the Kayala Room, which was officiated by celebrant Megan Watson, which included many tears and much laugher! I proudly carried my great grandmother Ester’s – who has now passed – broach on my bouquet, which I recall fondly playing with as a kid.

Surrounded by dinosaurs, we had 100 guests to help us celebrate to the sounds of live jazz tunes, cocktails and canapés in the Science & Life Gallery.

A full sit down reception followed in the Treetops Rooms. We all danced the night away to tunes from the Baker Boys in the Te Pasifika Gallery under carved paddles and crab-claw sails created by Islander artists.

Guests took home homemade marmalade and plum jam that I’d made with fruit grown on our family property in Kinglake.

I’m a keen equestrian and couldn’t pass us up the chance to have a photo with the Phar Lap in my wedding dress, so Heath politely agreed!