Mel & Chris’s Autumnal Acacia Ridge Winery Celebration shot by Tim Doig Photography was meant to happen five times before the actual wedding took place! Each week of their rescheduled wedding a lockdown was announced on the Thursday before their date. Needless to say, they went all out when the event finally went ahead – dancing, drinking, and celebrating extra hard as they finally got to have the day they had been waiting two years for! Mel tells us about their day…

We are high school sweethearts. We were at the same high school the whole time however we never actually met until we were set up by mutual friends who were seeing each other at the time, at a house party. We never met or had any classes together however I was friends with his best friend.

Even weirder (and this may sound made up but I swear it is true) is that I specifically recall having a dream about Chris back when we were in high school and in the dream we were dating – this dream happened before we met! I remember one of the first things I told Chris at the house party the night we met was that I had a dream about him – something that would freak any normal teenage guy out however he stayed for more! It was obviously fate.

Chris took his sweet time in proposing (took him 12 years!) but that is him to a tee – he will do things in his own way, in his own time, so I knew it was gonna happen I just didn’t know when. He proposed on Christmas Day in our lounge room while we were dressed in matching Christmas PJs. He had put the ring box in a shoe box and had wrapped it and given it to me and when I opened it obviously no shoes, it was the ring box! It was honestly perfect, he did really well at being able to surprise me after all these years. And he had my engagement ring custom made (using some diamonds and gold from rings which belonged to his late Nan) and it is absolutely perfectly me. I still can’t believe how well he did.

One big thing, not special, more unfortunate about our wedding is that we had 4 dates cancelled by Covid previously, we finally got through it on the 5th date! Our original date was 31 May 2020 which was our 12 year anniversary. I’ve always wanted to get married on our anniversary date and was so happy I managed to get the venue I wanted on the date I wanted. However, this got postponed due to the first Covid-19 lockdown.
We tried again for a November 2020 date but that didn’t go ahead either due to another lockdown. We finally thought we’d be able to get married on the 28th of May 2021 but we literally went into yet another lockdown, 3 days beforehand – that was a tough one to handle. Then booked for 28 August 2021 but the lockdown lingered so again had to cancel. We then booked our 5th and final date of 27 May 2022 and FINALLY got there – this was 4 days shy of our 14-year anniversary.

So after 14 years together, 2 years engaged and 4 covid cancelled dates, we finally said I Do!!

We chose a nice rich blue from The Iconic for the suit as it goes really well with Chris’s blue eyes – he looked so handsome!!

I adore all things lace so always knew I wanted a lace, dainty, vintage-style dress with sleeves. I actually bought my dress on a trip to Adelaide with my dad from Adelaide Bridal Emporium. It was the last one I tried on (almost giving up hope) but it was perfect, the length and the fit were just made to measure. I needed to make minor alterations to the sleeves. Lace long sleeve, detailed buttoned full back and long lace train – amazing.

We have both lost our grandparents so unfortunately, they weren’t able to be with us on our special day however we incorporated bits of them here and there. Chris has a VH Commodore Sedan which was originally his Pa’s, it is his pride and joy – he picked me up in it for our first date, and we have a lot of great memories in that car. He drove this to the wedding and we have some great photos of him and his groomsmen with it, something we’ll cherish.

I wore one of my Grandma’s rings as something blue, borrowed and old. A lot of the lace doilies we used/incorporated into our decorations came from either our Nan or Grandma’s collections so that’s nice too.

Acacia Ridge Winery in Yarra Glen. I had seen many pictures of it pop up on my socials over the years before the proposal and I always had it in my mind. It has the vintage, rustic but vibrant vibe we love – brick, vines, rustic timbers, barn. It’s an absolutely magnificent venue.

My dad John walked me down the aisle. Our ceremony was done by our lovely celebrant Cathy – I wanted it to feel familiar and friendly like a family member was telling our story and that’s what it was like.

I chose to go with artificial flowers as I don’t like wastage – I’d rather be able to reuse and cherish them. I was beyond happy with how they turned out, you really couldn’t tell they weren’t real, it’s amazing. Had many comments from people about their quality. They were done by a Melbourne based small business, English Rose.

Tim Doig Photography was our photographer. Tim was absolutely amazing!!! He stuck by us through all 5 date changes and was just absolutely brilliant. So friendly and fun, when we were nervous or felt awkward taking photos, he gave us tips or made jokes to lighten our mood. He made everyone feel so at ease and joined in with the laughs – a lot of comments about how attentive and fun he was.

There are so many amazing photos I really can’t pick a single favourite. There is one photo of me with my dog Nugget that I absolutely adore and also one of Chris with his VH car that is gorgeous. There is also a particular one of me and Chris in front of the hay bales where we are mid-laugh that I love as I can remember the moment and we look so happy. There is also a photo of my nieces and nephews who were our flower girl/pageboys that my whole family loves, it’s them playing in the vines, such a great shot.

We are both lovers of all things rustic, vintage, and old-world and we wanted our day to reflect that, just like our life/house does. We made all of our decorations, signage etc ourselves and love how it all turned out. Things like using lace doilies for the tables, and old jars for the table decorations, we made our seating chart using old silver trays that we made blackboards for.

Not my favourite, but one I am definitely thankful I added was the fact I got lilac platform Crocs to put on for the dancefloor potion of the night – I LOVE Crocs I have a bit of an addiction and my sisters made fun of me for it but I said they’ll be great and they were – my feet were sore from the heels so putting on the Crocs and continuing through the night was a brilliant idea. Everyone loved them, made a lot of people laugh as they know it’s very ‘me’.

We did lessons with the lovely Judith at Diamond Creek Dance Centre, and we were very proud at being able to pull it off. We were both so nervous we’d stuff it up but once we were there it was great and we enjoyed it. The dance was to a cover of “10,000 Hours” by Anthem Lights (one of my favourite groups who do a lot of covers).

Our caterers The Mobile Catering Co. were absolutely phenomenal. The venue was a BYO catering type and we had struggled to find someone that suited what we were after. Whilst we love food, we aren’t into fancy stuff, we wanted good, hearty food with enough of it that everyone can be full. And by god was there enough, there was almost too much food but that’s how we like it, we’d rather people eat as much as they want than let anyone go hungry. We were able to customise our menu and even add things they didn’t offer. They were so accommodating, the price per head was the best value you could ever ask for. We got 4 courses including canapes, entree, main and dessert and all of it was amazing, delicious food. Their staff on the night – from the owner (who attended and made sure to introduce himself to us and all our family), to their servers were all lovely, attentive and professional. Couldn’t recommend them more highly!

Make sure your wedding reflects you both and no one else – don’t let anyone else impact how you want things to be – in the end, it is about you two. Also, I had a lot of people tell me to take a moment to ourselves during the night and this is the best advice I ever received, it goes so fast, so just take that second to breathe it all in!

Thanks to Mel & Chris for sharing their gorgeous day, and to Tim Doig Photography for capturing the day so beautifully.