Melissa & Michael

Embracing the unexpected, Melissa and Michael used their original wedding details to create a beautiful lock down wedding in the country. Wearing her breathtaking floral wedding dress, the couple are still planning to throw a party at a later date, yet made the most of having a smaller celebration to begin. Quince & Mulberry captured the memorable day.

Bride and groom both share, ”We wanted it to be pretty relaxed and just a fun day. It was all about the beautiful hills – and Mel’s dress!” Having met on eHarmony, Michael remembers, ”After exchanging a few messages, we organised to meet at South Bank in Brisbane. I was a bit nervous, because Mel can be a bit brief in text, so went early for a couple of sneaky beers.” Fast forward with us to the future, where Mel is joking about investing in diamonds. Michael tells, ”I secretly organised to see a jeweller and had a ring made. One Friday night, Mel got home from work and Ruby (our dog) was on the balcony with a ring box tied to her collar. Then we had champagne and a cheese platter.”

Wearing a beautiful floral gown, Melissa wore a delicately patterned coloured dress with sweetheart neckline. She tells, ”Our wedding venue was originally meant to be Brookfield Hall – which is a lovely hall set in the showgrounds, and surrounded by green. Looking through wedding dresses online, none of them seemed to be ‘me’. I found a couple of patterned dresses at Wendy Makin so made an appointment. When I tried on the flower dress it just seemed to be me and fit with the hall and style of the wedding perfectly. Plus, it has pockets! When we had to move the wedding due to COVID, it was still perfect. My grandfather passed away a few weeks before the wedding, and when we were in Melbourne for the funeral, my aunt gave me my grandmother’s pearls to wear on the day – it was a lovely way to have them with me.” With COVID and the unknown of whether the wedding would go ahead, Michael wore a suit he already owned.

Having a distillery with gorgeous views to use as their venue made the idea of a lock down wedding much more manageable. Melissa shares, ”The wedding (both ceremony and reception) was planned for Brookfield Hall, and we will hopefully have a sequel reception there next year. Due to COVID and restrictions, we decided to have the wedding at Michael’s sister’s property, Laceys Hill Distilling Co. We are very fortunate to have had such a beautiful location available in the family! I didn’t carry a bouquet, because we didn’t really have an aisle. Alana Salm, our celebrant, was fantastic and organised the flowers for us – when we changed to the mini-wedding, Alana was all over the ceremony set up. She sent a picture of my dress to her florist, who did the lovely ceremony arrangements and Michael’s boutonniere based on the dress. We had no idea what they were going to be until the day.”

Ruby, the couples beloved pooch, was the bridal party, wearing a special collar and lead for the day from The Daily Edited. Remembering their ceremony, Michael shares, ”It was quick, fun and relaxed! Alana likes surprises and she made our ten guests sing parts of ‘Islands in the Stream’. We had no idea! But it was a lot of fun.” Melissa tells, ”The aisle song was ‘Gumption’ by Hans Zimmer from the movie ‘The Holiday’. In the end there was no walking down the aisle – I got driven down the hill in the ute, and this was playing while we were getting out (and trying to get Ruby to calm down).”

Keeping their countryside wedding simple and small meant adjusting some details. Michael and Melissa did all the food themselves, sourced all of the details and set the dinner table. They remember, ”We had no first dance this time around – next year! It will be ‘Wanna Dance with Somebody’ by Whitney Houston! We ordered a cake from the Cheesecake Shop, the family all pitched in to do the fairy lights and the rest of the set up. Michael’s brother -in-law is a gin distiller, so even the gin was DIY! One our friends’ did our original invitations for us as a wedding present and one of our friends was also going to make our cake – can’t wait to see it next year now – she’s very talented!”

With changes constantly afoot and our bride and groom unsure at times if they could even have their 10 guests, planning went ahead with every thoughtful detail included. They share, ”Michael’s mum passed away when he was young, so we made sure we had a photo at the ceremony. We still had ‘wedding’ details even though it wasn’t the big day initially planned – our sign, 100 coasters with the date on them, our engraved guest book. I love a playlist and a lot of effort went into this one.”

Photographer Quince & Mulberry captured the lovely wedding celebrations. Melissa tells, ”Kate is so lovely! I found her after googling weddings that had been a Brookfield Hall, we met up for a drink and just clicked. She just gets the shot without you even realising. Puts you at ease and is just always laughing and smiling. She’s great! She also tried valiantly to get Ruby to cooperate (but Ruby was just too excited).”

Embracing the different nature of a wedding in 2020, Melissa and Michael share their favourite moments from the day, remembering, ”Well, 2020 – we’ll always have a story to tell! While I was getting my makeup done Michael came to ask if he was allowed to have a beer. We didn’t do the night before tradition, and Michael had seen the dress long before the wedding. Being able to have the wedding at Michael’s sisters’ made it extra special, with a home cooked dinner. Our poor guests being forced to sing which was great and they were all good sports!”

Thank you to our gorgeous bride and groom for sharing your beautiful wedding with us, and congratulations! Thank you also to Quince & Mulberry for your amazing images.