Danielle & Adam’s Relaxed Fitzroy Wedding at Panama Dining Room

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Danielle & Adam

If there ever was a wedding, that held all of Melbourne’s signature, then I think Danielle & Adam’s relaxed Fitzroy wedding at the Panama Dining Room might just be it. There’s a stunningly beaded Anna Campbell gown, a modern restaurant backdrop, beautiful blooms and it’s all topped off with gorgeous imagery by It’s Beautiful Here. This one? It’s one of those stories you want to grab a glass of wine and sneak right into because this wedding s filled with all the right stuff- love, heart, soul and a heck of a lot of friendship.

In fact, it was a friend that led these two together, and it was this very friend that acted as MC for the night, which was filled with stories, not the least of which, told by the couple’s celebrant. The tale of how Adam popped the question “Our cheeky Celebrant Jon Von Goes told everyone who was there that the “romantic” spot Adam picked to propose was actually a place where we’d previously ‘parked’ significantly… which was hilariously accurate. Adam had encouraged me to go and pick out a ring about a year beforehand, and once I’d found one that I fell in love with, he made sure he’d gone back to secure it. Then hid it in his ski pants (either very clever or very very stupid!) for a year until it was the right time. It was our first date night out after we’d had our second child, and on the way to dinner on a balmy summer evening he suddenly dropped down on one knee on busy Nicholson Street in Fitzroy. After much giggling and squealing and not actually remembering to say the right word it finally dawned on me that I had to say yes!”

Danielle kicked off the day with a nod to her mum, by donning her dress! She explains “I put on my Mum’s wedding dress from the late 80s before I put my own on. It was such a blast with everyone in the house getting a kick out of how amazing it looked! My Mum thought it was hilarious and my Dad was beaming.

I’d always grown up LOVING my parent’s wedding video and idolising my mother on her wedding day for being so incredibly beautiful, so it was lovely to put it on and not only feel like a princess (because who couldn’t under all that tulle!) but physically feel like we were the same size (as we are very physically similar). It was also just such a kick for my parents to see me on my special day paying homage to theirs.”

Daniella’s actual wedding gown? A beautiful beaded Anna Campbell number found on a weekend shopping trip, she tells “I took my mother in law, mother and sister out bridal dress shopping. They all had a clear idea of what kind of styles suited me best and I did agree, but I hated the ‘bridal’ experience. It all felt too over-the-top. I had a few days of crisis where I researched evening wear and tried on a few things, but nothing clicked. It was by pure luck that Anna Campbell’s seconds and samples warehouse is a 5-minute drive from my house, so I took my Mum and two small kids to try on a few things. Her classic, relaxed style really appealed to me and it wasn’t long before we’d found something that had a really vintage flair to it. My toddler said “Mummy’s got a pretty dress on!” and I was convinced.”

To ensure they maximised their time with guests, Daniella and Adam met for a first look in Fitzroy Gardens accompanied by only their photographers. “We chose our photographers Kat and Scout because they were so down to earth, completely trustworthy and very good at capturing the beauty in the special little candid moments.” Tells the bride “They really nailed it. They managed to show us at our best, loving each other, having an incredibly fun day, the joy in the ceremony, the laughter. The guests! It’s what it’s all about.”

The modern Panama Dining Room was the most beautiful setting for Daniella and Adam’s ceremony and reception, the bride explaining “We wanted it to be as easy as possible for the guests, so we wanted to have the ceremony and reception all in one venue without any time or travel in between. We did all of our family photos in the Fitzroy gardens beforehand, then at 5pm had our ceremony at the Panama Dining Room, rolling straight into canapes and cocktail hour (we ducked out for about an hour to walk around Fitzroy, then have a glass of champagne on the rooftop of the Panama) and we were back for the start of our sit-down dinner.”

Lulu Bird styled floral arrangements of greenery with fresh white flowers. Daniella noting “I put all of my trust in Lucie from lulubird. I knew she’d worked at the Panama before and had done an incredible job with the arch floral display. I knew I wanted to keep it simple, with a lot of greenery that would match the Panama, but also include some modern succulents (I’m a big fan of growing succulents, more on that later) and white flowers. Simple, elegant, but with a modern twist. What she came up with fit the bill perfectly! (And there were a lot of succulents in there from my neighbour’s garden!)

The nods to the bride’s parent’s wedding continued, with the choice of song for the processional. Danielle remembers “Our friends Erickson and Deanna (who are in a band called Oh Deanna) covered Celine Dion’s The Power Of Love. It was featured in my Mum and Dad’s wedding video from the 80s and I just had to recreate that same emotional feeling I had when watching it as a kid. Deanna’s sweet and sultry voice made a guilty pleasure into a very cool modern cover of a song. I have always wanted it as my walk-down-the-aisle song! It helps that I knew Adam was the one when he completely unashamedly sang it with me at the top of our lungs in the car together.”

Danielle and Adam worked with Jon Von Goes on their ceremony, noting “Our ceremony was the awesome off-the-cuff work of Jon Von Goes. The guy is a talkback radio heavyweight and a kooky, intelligent and witty celebrant who really understands both how serious and how much love and joy goes into a wedding. His emphasis is on keeping it relevant (so we wanted it to be short and to the point! About US!) as well as making it entertaining and getting a lot of audience participation (including a couple of our friends who starred in our stories of first meeting as well as getting together, as well as making sure our kids and our parents each got a round of applause!) We didn’t worry about the readings, but instead put a lot of thought (and a bit of funny) into our vows.””

“Honestly our favourite part of wedding planning was, getting to spend time together working on a project that was ultimately about us” remarks Danielle. “I look back fondly on the times we met with our celebrant Jon and having dinner together afterwards, our process of deciding what venue to pick (we took our baby on a trip around the inner north, having a beer at each potential venue destination!) and talking about how much we loved each other, what things would best reflect us (our music, our friends playing important roles, wild-card elements, just lots of fun).”

The newlyweds ensured they included their children in the day “Our daughter Emily stole the show with her sweet nature and desire to be the centre of attention. Alexander was sadly very overwhelmed and over-excited and according to him he ‘didn’t have a very good time’. But I got to have some special quiet moments with each of my kids – Alexander held my hand a lot of the time and walked me around Fitzroy gardens as we had the previous weekend just the two of us scouting photography locations. Emily (11 months) is still breastfeeding and we got to have a quiet moment after the ceremony as she needed some close contact and a feed.

We didn’t want to wait to have children and we’re glad we didn’t conform to expectations in that way. To have them there and involved was very special. They won’t understand the significance for ages to come, but they’ll appreciate it. It also makes it a mature wedding – all of the vows, the solemnity, we truly understand and LIVE that kind of partnership day-to-day as parents.”

Tells Danielle “We loved our private and not so private moments. Our first look, our photos with just the two of us, spending time on the dance floor together and of course when we got to leave! The party continued on as we went back to the hotel.”

The bride spent months gathering succulents, potting them up into arrangements which decorated the reception and acted as wedding favours for the day. Her handiwork even extended to the wedding cake, of which she remembers “Although it didn’t quite turn out in the photos I’m proud of my cake skills as I did the whole thing myself. The little placeholders were pebbles we wrote on ourselves after figuring out that the cost of printing individual place cards seemed disproportionate to what they needed to be. A lot of small details like this we solved as a team (the pebbles were Adam’s idea, the execution of it was my job)”.

Danielle remembers “We got to have a glass of cheeky champagne on the rooftop of the Panama with our bridal party, then we came back in and while waiting for our mate Dean to introduce us, he’s basically telling the entire room that ‘you know that one in a million? That one person you can’t live without? Well, tonight these people have found that one in a million. It’s me – Dean’. We cracked up so hard.”

“We had been very selective about our guest list. We put an emphasis on making sure we invited our friends and people who meant a lot to us. This is important as we were surrounded by family and friends we’d had a lot to do with and spent a lot of time with. You don’t want to spend your time at your wedding talking to relatives you don’t know, you want to boogie on the dance floor with your mates.”

For their first dance, the newlyweds chose “The Wonder Of You” by Elvis, telling “It’s just a classic and as our DJ pointed out from our musical choices, we’re happy to be daggy and romantic. We could’ve chosen so many songs which mean so much to us both, our playlist and musical cues were all equally important to us.”

And the dancing? Not just limited to the newlyweds! One of Danielle’s favourite memories is hitting the dance floor with her father “My Dad and I have a tradition of ripping it up on the dance floor, so despite his bad knee, we did a Father-Daughter dance. We got the DJ to lead with some classical music as we came together and started to waltz, only to cut straight to Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen) so that we could get some of our excellent dance moves out there.”

Capping off a beautiful day? Danielle and Adam chose Nathan Kaso Weddings to capture this beautiful film of their day together.

A big congratulations to you both Danielle & Adam. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your day with us. Thank you also to It’s Beautiful Here for today’s beautiful images.


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