Sophie & Mark

How do you plan a wedding when you’re not really into all the traditions that usually come along with such an event? Strip it right down! That’s what Sophie and Mark did, and in doing so created their perfect day, complete with a simple wedding ceremony with family, then a party with epic music, pizza and cocktails… and their best friends! Being in their favourite place with their favourite people was important to the couple, and three photographers (Jeff Andersen Jnr, Andy Zito and Melissa Cowan) were on hand to capture the magical moments that unfolded on the day. Below, Sophie shares their love story and the reasons why they wanted an intimate celebration with their loved ones over a large wedding…

Mark and I have been together for 13 years, since we were 16. We had always been mates at secondary school, but I asked Mark to my Year 11 formal and we soon realised we had the hots for each other and the rest is history!

When it came to our wedding, we discovered we’re actually pretty anti-wedding. We wanted to keep things very low key and easy, and just have a celebration. We’ve been together for over a decade non-stop and I think that deserves to be celebrated. We were both turning 30 too, so it seemed like a good time to do a 2-for-1 party. He’s a June baby and I am July baby, so a joint birthday seemed appropriate and we decided to tag a wedding on to it!

So, we decided to surprise our best mates and extended families. We kept the engagement hush-hush, but our immediate families knew. We got married just in front of our families, which was the most surreal experience. I couldn’t recommend it more, having a super small ceremony and bringing it all back to what it all truly means…

We were married in August at a location called Deep Rock in Yarra Bend Park, at the end of our street! It is a location we both love and cherish. We love where we live and often find ourselves on long walks in Yarra Bend Park and often stopping there for a moment.

My dad Martin and dog Maximus walked me from my apartment to the footbridge where everyone was waiting. We then proceeded on foot together as one big family to Deep Rock.

I wore a long fitted sequinned dress with a fringe along the bottom by New York designer Rachel Comey. For anyone that knows me well enough, they know I’m obsessed with sparkles so there was no doubt I was going to wear something sparkly for the big day.

I wore Steve Madden sequinned boots under the wedding dress too. The boots are amazing but killed my feet (I rarely wear heels) so as soon as we announced that we got married, I quickly changed into a mini sequin dress by Torannce and pink, sparkly Converse. I found both dresses very quickly and still love them both and can’t wait to wear them again!

My beautiful and creative mum Catherine made my bouquet the day before. We went to our local fruit and veg shop, picked out whatever might look lovely and Mum went about creating it. It was perfect!

Our ceremony was quick and to the point. Mark and I are the youngest of both our families so our audience knew our story and they’ve all seen us grow up so we didn’t need to drag it out! Our beautiful celebrate Sarah Dobson (Mrs Hitch Celebrant) did the most spectacular job. We loved how she kept what we loved about each other secret!

Our official photographer, Jeff Andersen, is super cool and creative. He’s done a music video and promo photos for Mark, whose day job is a musician. Mark loves his work. He told us what he was thinking and we completely trusted him – all his images turned out perfect! We also love how they are different to your usual wedding pics.

The party was at our local, Lulie Tavern in Abbotsford. Lulie is such a rock and roll venue – they play the best music and serve the best pizza from Rita’s, which is next door. It was the perfect venue for our guests who enjoyed the endless pizzas, cocktails and tunes.

My beautiful best friend Wei-lin created our grazing tables and we organised for a donut wall to be delivered to the venue, and we brought some Krispy Kreme donuts in! Everything else was taken care of by the team at Lulie.

I was exhausted by the time I got to Lulie, but once we announced our little wedding surprise I was BUZZING AGAIN! The roar and love we felt in that room as soon we announced that we had married earlier that day was really special.

The dance floor was epic – I’m pretty sure I danced from 9pm to 1am straight!

My advice for future marrieds is to have fun, stress less, breathe and enjoy every single moment – it’s gone in a flash! Also, don’t listen to anyone else – do what you want to do. Your day needs to reflect who you are.

Sophie and Mark’s wedding video by Lachy Films

Ms Floral Says: Congratulations Sophie and Mark! I love that you did things your way and married in a spot that had meaning to you as a couple, surrounded by your nearest and dearest.