Streamer walls, food trucks, rainbow bouquets, pom pom garlands, the entire vibe for this day “wedding fiesta! ” Diana & Steven planning a day that not only honoured the groom’s own heritage but was filled with the brim with bright, beautiful colour. “Steven’s family migrated to Australia from El Salvador just before Steven was born, so he has a strong Central American heritage. We’d travelled together to Central and South America a couple of times and absolutely adore the colourful culture and party vibes. We wanted our wedding to be a celebration and representation of who we are and what we love. The fiesta theme helped us bring colour and fun to the celebration and allowed our family and friends to really let loose and enjoy the night.”
Motta Weddings was behind the cameras on this one, capturing the day that was every bit the celebration, right in the backyard of Diana’s parents’ home. And if you need even more evidence of the benefits of an at-home wedding, the name of April? Take this from Diana “I absolutely loved that our guests were able to let loose and have a good time. Early on in the night, roving tequila shots were being handed around, Steven and I hadn’t organised them but we weren’t mad about it! Just another example of how great it was to have a backyard wedding, we didn’t have to stress about people getting too wild, booze costing us too much or being kicked out at midnight! It was a real vibe!”
Diana and Steven’s story began at a Schoolies event, Diana shares the story “We met just out of high school at “schoolies”. We were both down at the Mornington Peninsula, just outside of Melbourne, celebrating the end of our schooling careers with our respective group of mates. By chance, Steven and his friends had met some of my (Diana) guy mates down by the beach and invited them to a house party that night. In a way it was a real ‘sliding doors’ type moment, I hadn’t been invited to the party but decided to tag along with the boys on a very last minute whim that night. I met Steven early on in the evening but we didn’t get around to talking all that much. Just as I was leaving later on that night, he suddenly appeared to say goodbye and we exchanged numbers. We met up again the next night at the local pub and then started dating when we were both back in Melbourne. I don’t think anyone ever expects a “schoolies” fling to last, but we’re 11 years on and still going strong!”
Steven was dressed by Hugo Boss. says the bride. “He wanted something a little bit different and special for the big day. The colour was great and had a little speckle of light blue through it, which added a little extra pop.”
Diana gives a particularly big rave to her hairstylist and makeup artists – NEIKE Hair Salon and Dusk Bridal. “Dom was a godsend for our hair styling. Neike Hair (Dom’s salon) was recommended by Jen (my make up artist – also amazing!) and her salon in East Keilor is now where I go for my regular appointments. She works so hard and I absolutely adore her and the team. For makeup, Jen was a bloody delight on the day. She was such a calming presence and really made me and my gals feel our best.”
We want ALL the details of Diana’s jumpsuit! “I chose to wear a jumpsuit as opposed to a traditional dress. “She explains “I never really imagined what my wedding day would be like and never had visions of myself in an OTT gown or big fluffy white dress. My first few experiences in bigger bridal stores felt a bit awkward and generic – it wasn’t for me. Then I went to The Bridal Atelier in Melbourne and found the perfect jumpsuit by Theia Couture. The experience at The Bridal Atelier was great, I felt comfortable from the start. Mum cried, and I knew it was the one.”
Every part of this day was bright and beautiful says Diana. “The strong theme throughout the day was COLOUR, and I think all of the little colourful details (from the flowers to the cactus pots to the pom poms to the table runners) definitely tied everything together and made the whole ‘fiesta’ vibe come alive! The tipi was also a huge hit and I loved the fairy lighting and festoon lights, it really set the mood for a laid-back and fun party atmosphere.”
The couple chose Footscray Community Arts Centre Amphitheatre for their ceremony, sharing “Footscray Community Arts Centre offered a beautiful outdoor amphitheatre for the ceremony. We live nearby in the first home we purchased together a few years before we got married. It felt special to get married in the area where we were building our life together, made even more special by holding the backyard reception at my family home. We wanted the whole day to feel laid-back and personal, as opposed to what you might expect from a more ‘traditional’ wedding.”
Diana chose an acoustic cover of Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend” by Stevie Ann for her walk down the aisle.
“It was truly special having all of our nearest and dearest together and seeing everyone having so much fun! It’s probably the one and only time we will have had so many family members and friends together in the same space – which is so so special! The love we felt was off the charts.”
The couple were married by George Gregorio. “We wanted the ceremony to be really personal. We wrote our own ceremony introduction and vows, and my dad’s best friend (Uncle George to me) was our celebrant. It was such an honour to have someone marry us who knew us both so well.
The ceremony began a little something like this “First and foremost, we are here today to celebrate love. To celebrate that no matter who we are, where we’ve come from, what we believe – we know this one thing: love is what we’re doing right.
All of us here today have our own love stories. Some are short, others long. Some are yet to be written, while others are just getting to the good part. There are chapters in all of our stories that are sad or disappointing — and others that are exciting and full of adventure. Diana and Steven are excited to welcome you to share in their adventure here today.”
“Alex made such a great impression on us from the start and was amazing on the day” raves Diana of the couple’s chosen photographer. “Weddings run a tight schedule and he had the perfect mix of patience and hustle! Most importantly, he made us feel so comfortable. We’re not huge on PDA in our regular lives and our wedding day was the first ‘photo shoot’ Steven and I had ever done together – so the awkwardness was real. Not that you can tell by looking at the photos though! We couldn’t have been happier with the moments he captured. Our guests even commented on how great he was and were impressed by the multiple cameras he had rigged on his back, running around and snapping moments from all angles – like a photography ninja!”
Even the weather played nicely for these two. “We were really really lucky that the weather turned out so great for us! We got married at 3.30 pm but in the morning (up until around 1 pm) the weather was hideous. I remember getting my make-up done at Mum’s house and watching the wind and rain roll in, literally looking out on our reception set-up in the backyard as my uncles and aunties secured the hatches on the tipi and started removing all of our paper decorations before they were destroyed. My whole heart sank and I kept thinking the vision I had for the day was ruined. The rain eased off just as our guests started arriving at FCAC and the sun came out for our ceremony! The evening was a little overcast but the night was mild and perfect.”
Diana tells you if you are yet to walk down the aisle, “The best piece of advice we got was to find moments throughout the day to slow down because it’s over in a flash! Seems cliche but I’d pass on the same piece of advice to future marrieds to be – mostly reminding them to find a few quiet moments alone together throughout the day/night and really feel and process the love around you. Oh, and if you’re planning an outdoor wedding in Melbourne – prepare for all seasons…. just in case!!”
The flowers at this wedding, as I am sure you will agree, were absolutely show-stopping. They’re the work of floral designer Babiana Botanic. “I briefed my florist on the colour colour colour! ” laughs Diana. “I knew that flowers would be essential to creating the ‘fiesta’ vibe. My jumpsuit was quite simple and I was relying on the flowers to really make my outfit pop and tie in the ceremony to the reception. We didn’t go over the top with flowers – opting for bridal party bouquets and buttonholes for the boys, along with some hairpieces for both mothers of the bride and groom. Anna at Babiana Botanic did an amazing job – I couldn’t have been happier and can’t tell you how many positive comments we had from our friends and fam! The flowers were a true highlight.”
And then the backyard reception could begin! “We had a backyard reception at my parent’s house” explains the bride. “They live on quite a bit of land in the western suburbs of Melbourne so we were able to set up the tipi, food trucks, tables, seating, sound system, lighting, photobooth, toilets, cool room etc. When we first got engaged Mum joked that we could use the backyard to get married, oh how we laughed! The ironic thing was that eventually, we decided it was the best option! After looking at a few venues around Melbourne we really couldn’t justify the cost. In the end, despite the stress of organising the day ourselves, it really turned out better than we ever could have imagined.”
The wedding decor (including that epic coloured streamer wall!) was truly a labour of love, says the bride. “We planned the whole wedding ourselves and organised everything for the day including drinks, food trucks, toilets, sound, lighting, tables, seating, photo booth etc. We obviously had a lot of help from our fabulous vendors but some of the decoration elements we did ourselves, such as Bunting for the ceremony (made by Diana), the cactus pots and table numbers (hand painted by Steven’s sister Nathalie), the hanging pom-poms (made by Diana), seating chart (made by Diana’s sister Julia) and the streamer wall (made by Diana’s best friend Alysha).”
Diana and Steven chose Dos Amigos to cater their wedding, and caravan bar Boutique Event Co for the drinks. “A big shoutout to Boutique Event Co. who were so so lovely to deal with and kept our guests VERY happy” says Diana.
Diana and Steven took to the dance floor to the sounds of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”. “It’s always been a song we both love, and was actually playing in the background when Steven proposed. Seemed fitting to use it for our first dance as husband and wife.”
A big congratulations to you both Steven and Diana! Thank you so much for sharing your wedding day tales with us. Thank you also to Motta Weddings for sharing today’s beautiful day with us.