We couldn’t let the GOLD ISSUE go by without a glorious gold & colourful themed wedding gracing the pages of Polka Dot You, now could we?! Melane & Marcus’s Old Glamour Cocktail Wedding, captured by Jenny Wu Photography, features an exquisite gold sequin gown, epic bold florals, dapper elegant suits and so, SO much love! Melane tells us how she and Marcus came to be, and about their stunning wedding day… 

Marcus and I met many years ago when we both worked for the same company and I would travel to Melbourne (from Sydney) for work. We became friends but had minimal contact as I moved on to other career opportunities. Fast forward to 2019. We got back in contact with each other and decided to try the long-distance thing. The decision was made for Marcus to relocate to Sydney and COVID sped the timeline up so we wouldn’t be separated by borders. Marcus packed a bag in 10 minutes flat and drove to Sydney so we wouldn’t be separated.

We had discussed marriage when we discussed relocation. The proposal was low-key – some balloons and champagne and candles. I told Marcus ahead of time I didn’t want an engagement ring as we would be renovating and I really wanted new carpet! We began planning a relaxed and vibrant coloured wedding. We chose Canberra for the same reason it was chosen as our nation’s capital- it’s between both Sydney and Melbourne! There were a few nervous moments with border closures but everyone was able to come together on March 27th, 2021 for our special day.

I opted to be practical and declined an engagement ring as we’re setting up our home at the time. We worked with Larsen Jewellery to custom make our wedding bands. They are stunning and were well priced.

I enjoy fashion but I have zero clue when it comes to suiting! We went to M.J. Bale as the best man is based in Victoria so we wanted somewhere with multiple shopfronts. The service we got was fantastic! The retail assistant sorted the suit, shirt, and tie and then gave us the details we would need to send to the best man. Marcus is very easy going but the only thing he insisted on was that he could wear was his R.M. Williams boots. We compromised and he at least wore a new pair for the big day.

I had so much fun getting ready for the wedding on the day! My hairdresser Sara Beth MacPherson was from my usual salon and my makeup artist Dove was so easy and friendly. We just blasted some music, drank champagne, and laughed. I felt very relaxed and also thought they did an amazing job. On the night I was told often that I looked like an old Hollywood movie star!

I knew I didn’t want a traditional wedding dress so I began a search for an evening gown. I stumbled across When Freddy Met Lilly on Instagram. A Brisbane-based wedding boutique. I chose a champagne gold full-length sequinned gown from the bridesmaid/formal section, sent my measurements, and had it made to order. It was delivered a few months later and was perfect! All for only $500!! My wedding shoes cost more!

At around 2 pm we did a “first look” and took portraits. It was so nice to spend time with each other and our bridal party before the chaos of the wedding! It felt intimate and went a long way to calming the nerves.  It was a nice moment and it was relaxed and fun to take bridal party pics before the ceremony. Seeing Marcus and spending time with him took all the nerves away. It also meant we could go straight from the ceremony to reception and not have to spend time away from our guests.

We chose a small florist in Canberra that specialises in bright arrangements. I sent a few pics for reference and said we wanted pinks, purples, yellows, and oranges. The rest was all up to them! The brief to Barton Flower Bar was bright and they nailed it!

Our photographer Jenny Wu was professional and relaxed and we are so happy with the moments she captured. I did some research and loved Jenny’s style. She was our first choice and we locked her in after a meet and greet in Canberra. She is so calm and easygoing – it’s like having a friend hanging out with you. There were moments captured that I didn’t even notice she was there for. We relied on her guidance to determine the timeline for our entire day. It was so helpful!

We chose Canberra for a few reasons – Marcus’s family and friends are Melbourne based; mine are Sydney-based. So we thought let’s meet in the middle and make a weekend out of it! Canberra has also fared well through Covid so restrictions were minimal.

We chose the QT Hotel Canberra as we liked the quirky and colourful vibe and it was in a great location.  We had the ceremony at 4 pm in the QT Lounge. After the ceremony, we moved straight into cocktail hour and the reception so we could maximise mingling and dancing – all at the same venue.

The QT Lounge is on level 15 and has views over Lake Burley Griffin. We’ve stayed at the hotel before and loved the food and service. I have to give a shout-out to Natalie from the QT Hotel. She was able to make recommendations for everything from timing, to vendors, to logistics and no question was too silly!

I also have to give some love to our hashtag which was #alwayssandboerever. Marcus gave me sass because I paid The Wedding Hashers to come up with it but no one we knew was able to come up with anything close. Best $30 of the budget I spent!

For walking down the aisle to Marcus, I knew I wanted something by Vance Joy. Marcus and I listen to a lot of Vance Joy in the car and I also loved the Aussie angle. Not too long before the wedding day, he released “You” with Benny Blanco and Marshmello and I thought “This is it!” The trio from Baker Boys Band did an acoustic version. It was gorgeous. It gave me shivers walking down the aisle. For the recessional, we went with “Rip Tide” also by Vance Joy. Not a usual choice for a wedding but it’s fun and I never get sick of hearing it!

My 16-month-old niece Laylah was our flower girl. She was supposed to hold my bridesmaid’s hand to walk down the aisle. When we stepped off the elevator and she saw everyone she refused to walk. She ran the opposite way and I had to just step around her and keep moving. We always knew it was a bit of a gamble and now we have a story to remind her of when she’s older! When the ceremony ended she became a ball of energy – she ran and danced alllllll night.

Marcus and his family are Christian. When we began dating I also started attending church and have become part of a really loving community. Our minister Steve Mannyx and his family came to the wedding and officiated our ceremony. He gave a great sermon based on Ecclesiastes 4.9-12. His wife Nicole has spent a lot of time with me learning the bible so we wanted to include her. She read 2 Peter 1.3-11.

I really loved our cake! I had no idea what I wanted so I sent pictures of my flower inspiration and my dress to La Ombre Creations and they designed it from there. I loved that it matched my gown and never would have thought of that. It was chocolate orange flavoured and tasted as good as it looked!

We had amazing musicians from Baker Boys Band during our reception. We had the trio play for the ceremony and then for a few hours until the cake was cut. They sounded amazing and I regret I didn’t get the chance to enjoy them more.

We wanted our wedding to suit our personalities so we thought about what we would actually enjoy. Marcus is laidback and likes simple things. I’m a bit bolder and enjoy a bit of glam. So we went for a chic and bright cocktail wedding!

We didn’t want many traditions so we didn’t have the first dance. We cut the cake to ‘Something like this” by Chainsmokers and then had everyone go straight to the dancefloor!

One of the trio from The Baker Boys Band took over DJing for the night. I gave instructions that I didn’t want anything like the Macarena or The Nutbush played. At one point through the night my friend Cynthia rushed over to me and said “I just requested The Nutbush and was told the bride won’t allow it!” My brother Ryan joined us and said,
“The DJ said the bride won’t play The Nutbush. I told her I’m the brother!” I gave into peer pressure and gave the DJ the thumbs up. The dancefloor filled instantly!

My advice for couples planning their weddings would be to choose good vendors – they don’t necessarily need to be the most expensive. You want to work with people who understand this is your special day and are actually happy to be a part of it, not just going through the motions. Try to bring in elements that represent both of you as individuals and as a couple. Decide what is not negotiable for each of you and compromise from there! I also highly recommend doing a First Look if you’re open to it!

Thank you to Melane & Marcus for letting us relive their gorgeous golden day, and to Jenny Wu Photography for sharing the images of their wedding.