Carly & Gareth

Melbourne Cup Eve in 2019, turned out to be just the best kind of city day for Carly and Gareth’s wedding – “it’s always such a great time in Melbourne and who doesn’t love a public holiday hangover!”. The pair enlisting their favourite bar to play host to the festivities, the bride donning the most jaw-droppingly beautiful sequin-clad wedding gown and photographer Niki Photography to join them along for the ride. The result? A story that you’re going to love every single moment of.

That dress? It set the scene for the day to unfold, tells Carly “Our theme was fun, fabulous and floral. Based it off my dress really, we have been together for so long we just wanted a party atmosphere, with great food and booze as this is what we enjoy.”

It was sixteen years ago that these two first laid eyes on one another reminisces the bride. “Gareth (Chops everyone calls him this except for his Mum) and I meet through mutual friends over 16 and half years ago when a friend of his way DJing at the bar that is now Beer Deluxe, one of our first Christmas’s together he gave me a black and white framed photo of Fed Square and I asked what it was for? He said this is the first place I saw you! I had forgotten all about it!”

And then, a trip to Africa, a lifelong dream for the bride, turned out to be the very best spot for Gareth to pop the question. “We were on our dream holiday in Africa in September 2016, Chops always said he would propose when we got to Africa he would propose only took us 12 years to get there! We were at Lions Camp in the South Luangwa in Zambia, a beautiful and remote part of the world, we were on our last night there and he came back from a swim as I was napping, he sat on the bed and said, I have something for you, and gave me a little pouch and inside was a ring that had little lion paws on it, he said it was for that finger pointing to my engagement finger and said, something like, I love you and will you marry me! Which of course I said, yes and cried!”

The bride chose her friend’s businesses Flowers by Genny, to create the floral details for the day, remembering “The flowers I had were a gift from my beautiful friend Genevieve, she does it as a hobby, but I hope one day she can turn it into a business as she is so talented at it, she used the protea flower, it’s a South African flower and then added some natives and they looked beautiful, then the girls just carried a sign flower and the boys a simple boutonniere.”

Carly donned a gown of sequins – the beautiful piece designed by Mac Duggal found at Duchess Boutique. “I had done some research online as I knew I wanted something not white, maybe gold and Duchess seemed to have some designs I liked.” shares the bride ” I took my best friend and maid of honour, Kate with me on a Saturday in late May 2019, I really hate shopping, so I knew I wanted something off the rack. I tried on 2 dresses, both from Mac Duggal, a designer from the States that Duchess stocks and the one I chose were the second one, the one I wore, we were done in about in half an hour.”

City bar Whitehart set the scene for Carly & Gareth’s festivities to unfold. Carly explaining “We chose Whitehart because we had always wanted food trucks and all the types of food we love to eat at our wedding, and Whitehart only have food trucks, plus I used to be the sales rep when I was slinging beers so I knew them quite well and they are bloody legends, Jacob, the Venue Manager is so great and the whole team looked after us so well. Couldn’t have asked for a better venue, we were so happy. It’s such a beautiful space and it right in the heart of the CBD.”

Carly and Gareth met before the ceremony, so they could make the most of the light for photographs – something very important to the couple. Carly noting  “Niki Schuch is amazing! She is a friend of ours and she did a terrific job, we couldn’t be happier. She had only just had her second baby weeks before and they joined us for the wedding, she is a little ninja, is very relaxed and takes the best pictures.”

Although the day was thoroughly modern, Carly added a few sentimental touches to her look. “My Mum gave me a piece of her Grandma’s jewellery and Kate my Bridesmaid brought me a beautiful hair clip and gold bag with a photo of my friends from the country town I grew up in – Leongatha, the 8 of us have known each other for 30 years.”

“I gave Chops a few looks I thought might work for the day,” tells Carly of Gareth’s look for the day, found at Politix. “We went to Politx as they seemed to have the look we wanted to go for, we wanted everyone to be dressed in mismatched but coordinating colours, we weren’t too precious about it. He tried on a couple of options and we settled on what he wore.”

The relaxed vibe was exactly what these two wanted for their day. “Nothing was more important to us than sharing our day with family and good friends, it was like a backyard BBQ party that we used to throw at our old house, slow-cooked meats, dumplings and seafood, with cocktails, beers and great wines.”

Guests enjoyed a feast catered by Bluebonnet BBQ. Bride Carly noting “Bluebonnet BBQ was a real hit with the guests, they always do amazing food and we were very lucky to have them.”

Carly was walked down the aisle on the arm of her father. “We chose a song by Lamb, one of our favourite artists we have seen many time and the song was “Lullaby”. My Dad walked me down the aisle and he looked smashing” she tells.

The couple chose Benny Roff to officiate their ceremony, noting “We wanted our ceremony to fun and full of laughter, which it was, our celebrant Benny Roff is a legend and definitely brings the fun to it! We also got our Mum’s to hand our wedding bands to us so they were both involved and my brother, Clay to walk my sister Beth down the aisle so all my family was involved in the ceremony.”

The couple chose their favourite people to surround them on the day, noting “Kate, my maid of honour is an interior designer and she has an incredible eye for detail! She bought a dark pink dress online from Myer, and we were going to get Beth, my sister to buy a red dress as we thought that might match. Kate rang me about a month out and said she wanted to change her dress and did I mind, I trust her and I wanted her to be comfortable so I said no worries. Then my sister was down from Queensland that weekend before was going to buy a red dress then, she only had my niece Brodie in May. She bought a couple of options and brought them to Kate’s place to get ready on the day. Turns out none were really working, and then Beth tried on Kates dark pink dress, and it all worked perfectly! So lucky, Kate saved the day!”

And then? Time to dance, Carly & Gareth choosing Florence & The Machine to play as they took to the dance floor for their first dance. “We didn’t want to have one, not really our style, just played,
“You Got The Love” by Florence and the Machine then we got straight into our playlist mixed by our good friend DJ Max Radovich.”

A big congratulations to you both Carly & Gareth! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to Niki Photography for sharing today’s celebration!