A wedding full of Polish, Russian and Serbian traditions, babushka dolls, vodka and dancing, set against the backdrop of beautiful, rainy Melbourne? A must-see. Erin and Dejan, who married in November last year at Melbourne Town Hall, had their hearts set on an elegant, city wedding that would be a lot of fun for their guests. The pair nailed their brief, with a picture perfect ceremony, iconic Melbourne portraits and a joyful reception with lots of celebrating at Fenix Events. The couple’s special day was captured by photographer Courtney Laura. Below, Erin tells us how her special day unfolded.
Dejan proposed to me on a trip to Europe in 2018. We were in Slovenia visiting his parents. Dejan had gone out the day before to buy the ring with his dad. He convinced me to climb to the top of the castle in Ljubljana and that’s where he proposed!
For my dress, I knew I wanted something very simple and timeless. I’m not a huge fan of lace on myself so that immediately eliminated a lot of dresses! In the end, I only went to two bridal shops, tried on about eight dresses and picked the one I liked the most! It was by Mikaella Bridal. Done and dusted in one day!
I went outside the box for my shoes. I knew that I wanted a red pair and ended up with a red/multi coloured pair that were perfect!
For my flowers, I knew that I wanted natives. I love waratahs so that was my feature flower and colour. My bouquet was made up of waratahs, small straw flowers, billy buttons, proteas, leukadendrons, flannel flowers, gum leaves and gum nuts. It was so heavy!
The groom wore a blue Bell & Barnett suit as he didn’t want black. We went with plain white shirts and ties with deep red flowers to match the bouquets.
Our ceremony was at Melbourne Town Hall. Dejan and I love the city we live in so we knew we wanted a city wedding. We looked at lots of different venues but in the end we chose Melbourne Town Hall for the simplicity of the balcony.
My dad walked me down the aisle to ‘Only You’ by Joshua Radin. It was a cover of the Yazoo original.
For my wedding ring, my mum gave me my nana’s engagement and wedding rings and I had them redesigned into one ring.
We wanted our ceremony to be very simple and not too long! We asked One of Dejan’s groomsmen to do a short reading for us called ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton. We chose it because it made us laugh.
We originally thought about writing our own vows but in the end we decided on the traditional ones and were glad that we did.
Our celebrant was Meriki Comito and she was perfect! Easy to work with and helped us create our perfect ceremony.
During our ceremony, we thought we would have a bit of fun. Once we were pronounced husband and wife, we had a shot of vodka as a nod to my Polish and Russian side of the family.
Our photographer was Courtney Laura. We had seen her work at a wedding fair that we went to at the last minute. She came and met us for lunch and showed us some of her work and we made our decision! She made us feel so comfortable when we were doing our portraits and got lots of natural photos. We knew we wanted urban/city shots and they are fantastic!
Our reception was at Fenix Events in Richmond. We chose Fenix for the beautiful scenery along The Yarra. The staff at Fenix were also extremely helpful and answered all our questions, and were more than willing to accommodate the little extra things we wanted as part of our reception.
We had two babushka dolls as our wedding cake topper because I love them and they represent my paternal nana. Our cake was by Miss Ladybird Cakes.
Our table runner was made up of the same flowers as my bouquet, and our centre pieces were random mixes of the flowers to sit on the base of the candles. The natives fit in perfectly with view of the gum trees on the banks of The Yarra. The beauty of natives is that they last a really long time. I had my bouquet in a vase at home for weeks afterwards and we still have two of the centrepieces on our bedside tables!
Dejan’s family are Serbian so we had a few traditions thrown in as well. He had his cousin hand around the buklija, a big flask filled with rakija to all the guests throughout the reception. We also had periods of the evening where we danced to kolo, a traditional circle dance where all the guests join hands to dance.
We also had lots of vodka and rakija flowing throughout the reception which I’m sure helped all of the guests get up and dance!