It was Anthony who knew he’d found something special when he met Beth. “We actually met in high school, which seems like a lifetime ago now. Anthony kept asking me out and finally during our first year of university I agreed to a first date.” But it didn’t take Beth long to cotton on “and knew straight away that we would be together for a pretty long time. It was the best feeling to actually make us official in front of everyone we loved.”

These two celebrated their story in my very favourite season, winter, on a crisp and golden Melbourne day. Filled with a backdrop of urban streets, we know this one, in line with The City Issue is going to inspire you to think differently about the grey, gritty streets.

Captured by Selena McLaren, the pair added stunning details- like glittering candles and moody florals to their day, but also family tradition, the groom’s Italian heritage weaving it’s way throughout the day and adding plenty of special, sweet touches (like the wedding favour homemade biscotti made fresh by the groom’s mum and grandmother). “Our wedding was planned quite quickly and really we wanted to just have a big party” says Beth. “I disliked a lot of the traditional wedding symbols and traditions so we wanted to make it as relaxed and modern as possible.”

Anthony managed to surprise Beth with a romantic proposal on a holiday to Hamilton Island. Our bride shares the story. “Anthony secretly organised for us to go away for the week to Hamilton Island. He co-ordinated with my best friend at work to get extra days off so we could relax. For the proposal, we walked to the top of the hill and watched the whole island at sunset – it was perfect! He’d also designed a beautiful opal ring as another surprise, which I absolutely love!”

Beth couldn’t find what she wanted anywhere, so she worked with Popovski on her custom made wedding gown.  “I didn’t really like any of the traditional dresses that I’d seen so I decided to have some ideas made into one dress by Stacey at Popovski. She created a beautifully comfortable, classic silk dress that I loved. I wanted a high neckline but a low back and Stacey was able to do both. I had a train but was able to tuck it up for the dancing later on. Having a dress made was a bit more stressful because you do have to make a lot of decisions but it ended up being a much more affordable option, especially considering I hadn’t found anything I’d liked.”

Moody winter blooms, which added to the stunning winter tones of the day were by Raven And The Rose. Beth noting  “Ame from Raven and the Rose did my cousin’s wedding the year before so I knew the flowers would be absolutely beautiful! I spent lots of time researching and it was my favourite part of the planning.

We loved the darker winter tones of deep reds and then some bright pinks too. The flowers were the best surprise on the day because I didn’t know exactly what they would look like but they just brightened up our outfits and the reception so much! Being a winter wedding, they stood out amongst the white and black too. We also had two flower stands as an arbour for the ceremony, surrounded by candles in front of a black curtain.”

Beth and Anthony maximised their time on the day with a first look, joining their wedding party at their favourite bar to get some amazing shots. Beth explains “The Everleigh was the location for our first look and family photos. We loved the stunning interior design so much and were also able to enjoy some fancy cocktails during the photos. It was a warm and cosy setting where we could spend some time relaxing with our families before the formalities. We took some of the shots in the afternoon light in Napier and Gertrude Street and they turned out so much better than I’d hoped!”

“Selena was the best!” raves Beth of the couple’s wedding photographer. “So relaxed and professional and just went along with everything we wanted to do. Lots of people have commented on how great the photos were and we just love how they captured every moment of the day. I always enjoy looking through our photos and remembering how much we fun we had.”

The couple were transported on the day in Anthony’s dad’s 1956 Mercury.

Warehouse venue Two Ton Max was just what Beth and Anthony wanted in a venue “Two Ton Max were also incredibly helpful and accommodating” remembers Beth. “We had both our ceremony and reception at Two Ton Max so no one would get cold moving in between! It was actually the only venue we looked at and we loved the fact that it was a big, beautiful warehouse straight away. It also meant that we could decorate any way we wanted. It was the perfect space for a big guest list too!”

Although she dived headfirst into planning, Beth has sage advice for brides and grooms to be. “My Instagram and Pinterest boards helped heaps and so did advice from my friends who had been through the process. But really, just enjoy the day as much as you can even if it feels like it will be stressful because everything strangely does all fall into place. I would also suggest taking the family and first look photos before the ceremony to give you maximum time to dance with guests.”

Beth tells “I initially wanted to walk down by myself but then my mum and dad walked down alongside me was really special. The music we chose was an instrumental version of Peter Gabriel’s “Book of Love”.”

Beth and Anthony were married by Sophie Cleary, sharing of their ceremony “Our ceremony was quite formal but also light-hearted and relaxed in certain parts. Our amazing celebrant Sophie did such a great job of calming us and helping to make us feel so comfortable during the whole process. She made the ceremony very special and also humorous too, which our guests loved. It felt so special to be able to make promises to each other with everyone by our sides. I had my brother read out an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and my best friend Erin read a poem, “Always Love Each Other”, by Larry S. Chengges. Then we walked out together to “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac.”

Dinner was important to these two, who count their tasting night as one of their favourite wedding planning memories. “I think the food was something Anthony and I really wanted to make sure we got right and after going to the tasting we were sure everyone would be very full and satisfied. The rest of the planning was a little stressful but this part meant that we got to sit down together, on our own and get truly excited for the meal that we would be sharing with everyone.”

The day was filled with Italian touches, an Italian inspired menu, each guest receiving homemade biscotti made by the groom’s mum and grandmother as a wedding favour and the cake? A lush stack of fresh cannoli! “The one thing we tried to focus on was being able to have lots of time to spend with our guests. We didn’t want our wedding to end too quickly so we made sure the venue could extend their times till 1 pm. That left lots of room for great speeches and lots of time on the dance floor.

We also really wanted good food and so we asked if Two Ton Max could create lots of delicious pasta options for us to have on our menu – like a winter feast! Anthony and I love cannoli so Anthony’s mum organised a beautiful layered cannoli cake as our dessert. Our decorations were mainly from the flowers and candles but we also used the lines of “love is all you need” in a neon sign as the backdrop behind the bar just to add a final touch!”

“I really loved the whole day but I really enjoyed the getting ready part with my bridesmaids because we could relax and spend that special time together. But when I walked into the venue I just couldn’t believe how stunning everything looked. I guess because you spend so long picking everything out and deciding on every detail, I was just so happy to see how all the decorations and flowers looked so beautiful together.”

“The speeches added lots of special family memories to the day, which we are really grateful for.”

The groom surprised his new wife, with a guitar serenade, Beth remembering “Anthony surprised everyone by playing a beautiful song on guitar to me after the speeches (an instrumental version of ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’ by Elvis Presley). Lots of tears appeared at that point! Then we all danced to ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ by Whitney Houston straight after that to get the dance floor going and everyone joined us.”

Dance floor action? The best time of the night says Beth. “My favourite memory was probably dancing with everyone and having so much fun. I think that’s the best part about weddings- everyone is just so happy. I loved looking around and seeing everyone smile back at you. Everyone tells you it is the best day of your life and I didn’t really believe them until ours was over and I actually did have the best time! Wish we could do it all over again.”

A big congratulations  Beth and Anthony! What a wonderful time we had sharing your story. Thank you to Selena McLaren for sharing today’s photographs.