After a postponement due to COVID and a switch up of plans, Siobhan and Will finally got their wedding day. The couple opted for a casual city wedding with lots of good food and good dance moves. They started their day at Moon Dog Brewery for a drink and some portraits in the surrounding streets, then headed to Burnley Gardens for their ceremony. After the nuptials, everyone headed to Mountain Goat for roaming oysters, photos in front of the most epic, colourful Bangin Hangins wall installation, heartfelt speeches and fun on the dance floor. Behind the camera on the day was Amanda Alessi. The couple also live streamed their wedding for interstate and international loved ones thanks to Bottlebrush Films.

Siobhan and Will met in Abbotsford in 2016. Siobhan played hard to get for a while but decided she was “done for” when Will took her to Kyneton for the day and packed a picnic that included two types of tea, plus cheese and pickle sandwiches on his homemade bread. They’ve been inseparable ever since.

When talks of marriage were in the air, Siobhan placed one condition on the proposal – Will had to ask her dad’s permission. The couple were on holidays in the USA, driving from Seattle to San Francisco in a camper van. Unbeknownst to Siobhan, Will had gotten up to go for a run one morning in Oregon and FaceTimed her dad to ask his permission. “We think they expected Will to run back to the camper van and ask me immediately because my parents FaceTimed us everyday ‘to check in’, which in hindsight was very suspicious but at the time I just thought they were being cute!” says Siobhan. Will finally popped the question in Redwood National Park a few days later. Unlucky for the parents, his timing coincided with the Californian wildfires so they had zero phone reception until they got back to San Francisco a few days later. The couple designed a ring together after they got home with Lott Studio in Abbotsford.

On their wedding day, Siobhan wore shimmery pink, high-waisted, sequinned party pants from Jenny Packham and a white crepe top with a draped front and a cape from Bianca Spender. Her shoes were from Bared and her earrings from Lucy Folk.

She says the process of choosing her attire was an absolute nightmare! “The only thing I knew was that I didn’t want to wear a white dress, which was not particularly helpful! Our original wedding date was pushed back by seven months because of COVID-19 which just gave me more time to procrastinate!” In the end, she found her pants on The Outnet, and the rest of her outfit was built around the pants and purchased two days before the wedding. “Nothing gets you attention like walking into a shop and saying ‘I’m getting married in two days, please help me’,” says Siobhan.

As for the groom? Will wore burgundy chinos from Scotch & Soda, a white Calvin Klein shirt, green braces from Alta Linea and boots from R.M. Williams.

Siobhan says, “We both chose our attire with the intention that we wanted to look and feel like ourselves and we absolutely nailed it.”

Rather than getting ready separately and having photos taken of that process, the couple knew they wanted to get ready together and spend an hour or so by themselves before the ceremony with their photographer, Amanda Alessi. “I think they call it a first look but it didn’t really count because we had already seen each other!” says Siobhan. They went to Moon Dog in Abbotsford and had a beer, then walked around the backstreets with Amanda. “These photos are unreal and we’re so grateful that we got to spend some time alone enjoying the calm before the storm!”

Siobhan was gifted her late grandmother’s wedding ring – a solid gold band that she wore for 67 years, never once taking it off.  Her engagement ring (by Lott Studio) was designed around the band. She says it thrills her and Will to carry a piece of her grandparent’s love story.

Will (along with his dad and Siobhan’s dad) were gifted button holes by a friend in Sydney who couldn’t make the day because of the NSW/VIC border closure.

The couple tied the knot in Burnley Gardens. Their reception venue (Mountain Goat) suggested the gardens for their ceremony and Siobhan and Will just loved it when they first saw it. “It’s the University of Melbourne’s horticulture campus and a botanical garden so it’s a little hidden gem right down on the Yarra.”

Siobhan was walked down the aisle by her mum and dad to ‘Postcards in Italy’ by Beirut.

Siobhan and Will had a Catholic ceremony. “We were thrilled to be able to be married outside but it’s not very common for Catholic ceremonies and requires permission from a number of people,” explains Siobhan. “Our celebrant was really progressive and was happy for us to skip the Old Testament readings because feminism and chose some New Testament readings that spoke to us as a couple.”  They were after a low-key intimate ceremony surrounded by nature and Burnley Gardens delivered for them. A storm rolled in during the ceremony but because of the way their guests were positioned, only the couple could see it. “We must have looked so anxious about getting married but it was just because of the crazy clouds we could see heading our way!”

The newlyweds exited the ceremony to ‘Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day’ by Morcheeba.

Wedding flowers were skipped in favour of a no-waste backdrop by Bangin Hangins at their reception venue. Although they both love flowers, they didn’t like the idea of everything being thrown out immediately after the wedding. “Bangin Hangins made the backdrop of our dreams. We used it as a makeshift photo booth and had all our speeches in front of it.”

An oyster bar was a must-have for their reception, and the couple found Oyster Butlers who provided roving waiters who shucked oysters for their guests. It was a real highlight that all of their guests still rave about.

Mountain Goat was chosen for their reception based on location and the warehouse aesthetic. “It felt right that we would lock things down so close to where we had first met,” says Siobhan. The couple immediately clicked with the venue manager and knew it was the place. “When we had to change our wedding date, we were absolutely devastated that Mountain Goat was no longer on the table (they stopped doing weddings at the end of 2020),” explains Siobhan. “We reluctantly faffed around for a few weeks looking for a new venue until I called Brad (the venue manager) and begged him to do one final wedding on January 2, 2021. Lucky for us they agreed and we were absolutely thrilled with them.” Siobhan and Will say the venue was fab and were so helpful in what was such a difficult time.

Bottlebrush Films live streamed the ceremony and reception. “We had already planned to do this for our family overseas but when the NSW/VIC border shut in mid December, it turned out to be the best money we spent.”

Because most of Siobhan’s family and friends were caught out by the border closure and couldn’t make it, their MC arranged for special messages to be read out from loved ones. He also arranged a group chat where everyone exchanged photos of how they were celebrating, shared commentary on what they could see on screen and even shared the dance floor playlists with them so they could party along. “It made the whole thing so interactive for our family and friends who couldn’t be there.”

Siobhan’s grandpa was also stuck in NSW so family and friends threw a party to watch the live stream, even getting dressed up. The bride and groom FaceTimed him from the reception and clinked champagne glasses from afar. “Being surrounded by the people we love, whether it be in person or via the live stream, was really special,” says Siobhan.

Catering at the reception was by The Farm Cafe.

Amanda Alessi was the photographer on the day and Siobhan and Will say she was unreal. “We were so vague about what we wanted and she really took our half formed thoughts and delivered beyond our wildest dreams.” Amanda was also incredibly helpful when their first wedding date had to be changed and helped the couple to look at alternative venues when it looked like Mountain Goat wasn’t going to work. “She was also the one who suggested we ask Bottlebrush to livestream rather than getting a friend to film on Zoom. There might not have been a wedding without Amanda!”

Siobhan and Will had their first dance to ‘Real Love Baby’ by Father John Misty.

They say that working with vendors that understood their brief and that they clicked with made their day special. “We think during COVID this is particularly important – our plans changed so frequently, having good relationships made it much easier to manage when the shit hit the fan on multiple occasions.”

And their advice for those currently in the middle of planning a wedding? Don’t feel like you have to do something just because tradition says you should – it’s okay to challenge the norm and do what feels right or suits you as a couple.

Thank you Siobhan and Will for sharing your beautiful day with us! We’re thrilled you finally got to celebrate with friends who were there on the day and via live stream. Thank you also to Amanda Alessi for the stunning images.