I love a wedding where the setting is modern, the decor chic and stylish, and the whimsy evident. From the groom’s own restored Lotus making an appearance, to the fun balloons dotted everywhere. We’re so darn happy that   Tessa Shannon Photography was there to capture this stunning day as it unfolded because it’s one we can’t wait to share!

It seems it always meant to be for these two, who hit it off right from their first date. “I  was working as a Rental Agent, and Chris ordered an Appraisal on his home,” tells Lara. “I remember the moment I saw him, he took my breath away. Three days later after a few professional emails he called and asked me to have dinner with him. Our first date was absolutely perfect and there hasn’t been a day since where we haven’t spoken.”

The bride donned a few special pieces for her day. “My Aunty came from England for our day, she bought with her my “something old” which was an amazing antique diamond broach that my sister had also worn on her wedding day.”

The bride found a local dressmaker to make her dream gown, she tells “I knew I wanted something classic, and comfortable I knew that I didn’t want to spend too much. I got sucked in by Instagram and found myself booking appointments with fancy bridal stores with lacy tight-fitting gowns. One night my sister sent me a link to a dress online and the second I saw it I knew it was the one. I cancelled all of the appointments and got in touch with a wonderful dressmaker who had made my sister’s wedding dress a few years earlier, she was overseas at the time. But would arrive back 6 weeks before the wedding and said she would make it for me. Tick, the dress was done. It was absolutely perfect!”

Lara convinced her groom to buy a new suit, the chosen piece by InStitchu landing him the “the perfect black suit, with a sky blue lining”.

Lara and Chris worked with Jacqui M Design on their flowers, telling “I’ve always known that I would have white long stem Columbian roses. So elegant and always stunning. I have to admit the flower girl crowns were a direct copy of the crowns at Megan & Harry’s royal wedding!”

The bride only just made it down the aisle with her father thanks to an accident a few weeks earlier! She remembers “My dad walked me down the aisle two weeks after breaking 4 ribs in a bike accident – for a moment we were wondering who would be walking who! But he was great and I couldn’t have imagined anyone else. The song Chris and I picked was Here comes the Sun by the Beatles. We wanted something that we would hear on the radio and would remind us of the moment. It was also perfect because it felt like we had been waiting for this day for so long and it was finally here!”

Lara and Chris chose Somerville House Chapel for their ceremony, says Lara “We were married in my School Chapel, the same place my sister was married. It’s such a gorgeous chapel and the perfect size for our guests. Our ceremony was perfect, the Chaplin was just lovely and not distracted at all by our gorgeous flower girls and page boys who sat to the side swapping toys and books and playing.

Chris’s Mum read a beautiful poem “the lovely dinosaur” which could have been written about us, it summed us up perfectly! And even got some little ‘roars’ from our littlest page boy!”

“It started raining after our ceremony” remembers Lara. “The plan was for family and close friends to hang around for photos but that wasn’t going to work. Instead, we headed straight to The Refinery which meant we arrived an hour earlier than they were expecting. They just took it in our stride and we were so grateful, the extra time we had milling with our family and friends was just perfect and really slowed everything down which was so nice.”

The groom’s beloved Lotus acted as transport for the newlyweds. “Chris’ 1960’s lotus is his second love.” explains the bride. “He drove himself and Andrew to the chapel and then we drove together to the reception venue. It was really nice to have that time together, just the two of us, mind you, it was a tight squeeze to get in in my dress, and it rained the whole way there. Because the car doesn’t have aircon we had to keep the windows down or they would fog up! I spent the whole time trying to keep the rain drips off my dress, and using a cloth to de-fog the windscreen. We laughed about how “us” that moment was.”

Lara found their photographer online, reminiscing “I found Tess on Instagram, I loved her dramatic style (Chris calls it dark & stormy) and we love her journalistic approach. We just seemed to have exactly the same expectations for the day. Her photos are everything we dreamed of and she was so easy to work with!”

The bride to be? Completely surprised when Chris popped the question one random Tuesday. She remembers “Somehow he still managed to surprise me. It was a Thursday and Chris picked me up from work, but instead of being is his normal grubby work clothes he was all dressed up. He said we were going out for dinner, we were going home for me to have a shower and get changed. Going out for dinner was the last thing I felt like after a busy day at work but when I came downstairs Chris said that we weren’t going far, and he led me outside to our courtyard where he had a lovely cheese platter and bottle of champagne on ice, under our festoon lights he got down on one knee and I burst in to happy tears. It was so perfectly us, just a casual Thursday night engagement.”

The modern industrial setting of The Refinery set the scene for a sit-down dinner, Lara tells “The Refinery for our reception is the sister venue to our favourite restaurant Rogue Bistro. Rach and Dan who run both venues create the most hospitable environment with out-of-this-world delicious food! When we got in contact with Rach to see if we could book Rogue for the wedding she announced that they were just about to launch the new space, which at this time was still an old warehouse! We had so much faith in Rach and Dan that we booked the venue and watched it unfold over the next couple of months to the most stunningly perfect space!”

Guests were delighted by a bar full of desserts – the groom’s special request1 Lara noting “All Chris wanted was to be married and have dessert. It was everything he imagined and it took centre stage at the venue. He talked about nothing else in the lead-up! And made sure he sent his work friends lots of photos!”

“Our vendors felt like family, Tess and Rach and Jacqui M who did the flowers, we trusted them all explicitly and they made everything happy just perfectly!” tells Lara.

Admits Lara “I didn’t want to do any DIY – Chris and I were really busy at work in the lead-up, we had both just been promoted to supervisory roles and we just didn’t need the extra pressure. The week before I did decide that we would do a take-home gift – I was able to get some freshly baked croissants and tiny jam jars through work and we individually bagged them on the morning off – my cousin actually did all the work – but he was happy to be paid in leftover croissants.”

The couple performed their first dance with a little help from Youtube! Lara tells “Christopher did not want to dance. But we found a clip on Youtube that taught us the basics and a very short little song and it was absolutely perfect. The song was “How long will I love you” from the movie About Time.”

A big congratulations to you both Lara and Christopher! Thank you for taking the time to share your stories with us. Thank you also to Tessa Shannon Photography for today’s beautiful images,