If there are any couples who deserve medals, I think everyone will agree, it is those who dealt with planning a wedding during a worldwide pandemic. “Because of the pandemic, there were a few points throughout my 11 months of planning where we had doubts we would be able to go ahead” admits today’s bride Lina, who managed to plan and survive a multitude of lockdowns (hey Melbourne!) despite the intense uncertainty.

“Everything was in the clear all of the month before and then we went into the 5-day snap lock down the week before our wedding. We came out of it on a Thursday and were married that Saturday. My wedding will always be special to me because it’s one of those things that feels like it was ‘meant to be’. We didn’t have to postpone or change our date at all, we were truly blessed. My heart goes out to anyone who was even slightly affected by the pandemic, it would have been devastating. We were so lucky. Joel and I had faith and family praying for us, and it all worked out.”

And with all that incredible luck on their side, the pair chose a stunning rustic winery setting in outer Melbourne, invited Zoe Louise Photography along for the shebang, and planned a day that was just as they dreamt- a little rustic, a little modern, very simple and oh so incredibly beautiful.

And if you take nothing else (which you will, because the beauty in this one is aplenty) take this sage advice from Lina herself. “Remember why you’re doing this. The planning can be so stressful, and there may be times where you don’t feel on the same team as your partner. You might get so caught up and overwhelmed in trying to create “the perfect wedding.” Remember to take a few moments to remind yourself that this is a celebration of love and commitment! It might be a lot of work, but it’s the beginning of your next chapter together. Let that motivate you.”

The entire day unfolded at rustic Melbourne winery The Green Vineyards. It fit in perfectly with Lina and Joel’s vision for the day, which Lina describes as “rustic and minimal. My colour was a burnt orange/rust, which I used for the bridesmaids’ dresses. The colours for everything else were built around this. The venue was perfect for the atmosphere I wanted to create.”


Joel and his groomsmen wore suits from Peter Jacksons. Lina remembering “I put some images together for what I wanted the suits to be, which was just grey, and then sent Joel off with a few of the groomsmen to go and get them. They were meant to be a lighter shade of grey but Joel and the guys really loved the suits and they were such a good price. In the end, the dark grey still worked with everything so I was happy.”

The bride had a distinct vision in mind for the ceremony decor, noting “For the aisle decorations I didn’t like the common wire stands. I saw a wedding on Pinterest that used wooden boxes instead and I loved it. So I had a friend of my mum’s make them for me and they were perfect. Chloe again did such a good job putting the arrangements together.”

“Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran, played acoustically by Belle Lynch was a running theme throughout the day. “Joel and I also had our first dance to this song. Belle played the song acoustically and it was perfect.”

Lina and Joel worked with Brigitte Kelly to make their ceremony official, Lina sharing “The room was completely naturally lit and the flowers and seating were perfect. The green of the vineyard behind us complimented the naturalness of the wood and flowers. I wanted the ceremony to have a very natural, rustic, earthy feeling.
Joel’s Grandpa did a reading during our ceremony. He used to be a pastor so he put a piece together with Bible verses from Genesis.”

The flowers? Stunning! They were the work of Elsa & Gray says the bride “Chloe from Elsa & Grey did such an amazing job with the vision I gave her!! Again all I did was put together a Pinterest board of what I wanted. My vision was for a wild and undone look in colours that complimented the bridesmaids’ dresses.”

Lina found her dream wedding gown (and veil!) at Grace Loves Lace. She tells “I wore the “Honey Silk” gown by Grace Loves Lace. I chose it because it is minimal and yet still makes a statement with the detail of the back. A big statement gown is not my style nor would it have matched the venue. I think the dress I chose is most flattering to me especially as I am quite petite.

I put together a Pinterest board to get a vision for what I liked, and then I did some research to find a designer/store/brand that had dresses in my budget. I found Grace Loves Lace through making my Pinterest board. I instantly fell in love with the Honey Silk gown, and it was the first dress I tried on when retail finally opened up after Covid. Due to how late I was trying on the dress I had to make my decision quickly. I tried on about 8 dresses from Grace Loves Lace, and nothing came close to how perfect the Honey Silk gown felt.”

Lina and Joel have all the rave reviews for their photographer. “Zoe did such an outstanding job with our wedding photos! I still can’t believe how many good photos we got even though I should not be surprised. You can see from her Instagram and website that she is brilliant at creating stunning photographs. I was a little bit worried about where we were going to take photos at the venue as there was not a lot of natural, open space.

Zoe found the field around the back of the venue and I could not have imagined a better set up. It was so perfectly fitted to my style and the aesthetic of the wedding. Zoe was also a lot of fun to shoot with! She was a wonderful director and our portraits came out mostly candid which is exactly what I wanted. We only had her booked for 6 hours but she definitely captured the essence of the wedding amazingly in that time. I honestly could not be happier.”

“I honestly can’t even choose one favourite detail of the day!” admits Lina. “Everyone involved in the wedding was so crucial to making it what it was. I honestly loved every part of it.”

The couple were lucky enough to have a dear friend help them with their stationery for the day. “One of my best friends and bridesmaids, Shanae Matley, is a graphic designer and helped me with all of the stationery” explains Lina. “She designed the invitations, menus, shot glasses, seating plan and timeline. She also helped with all the paper choices and printing. The designs were stunning and the wedding would not have been the same without her! Everything Shanae did for me, I loved so much.”

Guest favours? Custom shot glasses! Lina explains “For the wedding favours we had custom shot glasses and mini succulents. Shanae (one of my bridesmaids, and a graphic designer at Shanae Matley)  put together such a lovely design for the shot glasses, and then I ordered them through Custom Favours. My mum spent a few months before the wedding putting the mini succulents together! They were so cute. She had a wide range of different succulents in little pots and they had a sign with what type of succulent they were. Then she put them in bags and added a little thank you tag to them.”

The newlyweds took to the dance floor to “Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran. Says Lina “My musician Belle Lynch played a beautiful acoustic version for us.”

Congratulations to you both Lina and Joel! May you have the most beautiful life together! Thank you both and thank you to Zoe Louise Photography for sharing today’s stunner of a wedding!