When Grace and Talei tied the knot, they wanted a celebration, that was not just about them but about the people who mean the most to them. “The wedding planning was quite stress-free, we kept it simple, picked the things we loved and it came together perfectly. Overall we just really wanted to enjoy the night with all the people that have watched and supported our relationship over the years” explains Grace.  The pair spent the entire day together, even stopping for a pre-ceremony drink.

“We didn’t do things that are expected at a wedding. We just didn’t feel like it was us. We also included our daughters and our nephew in our cake cutting haha. It was a little chaotic but so much fun!” There were touches of their island and Chinese culture, a sparkling glittering gold and white gown, and a beautiful photography by Paper Bear Wedding Photography. This is a day without pomp and ceremony, but instead, with what mattered most to Grace and Talei – and that to us is utter perfection! ”

It seems these two were always meant to be, friends who became lovers, so it’s oddly surprising their paths hadn’t crossed much earlier says Grace. “After meeting each other we found out that Talei’s mum and my dad knew each other when they were teenagers, Talei’s dad and my dad grew up as neighbours, Natalie went to primary and high school with my cousin – the list goes on.”

And as is the way with these things, Grace and Talei came to a mutual agreement to marry. “There was fancy proposal story; it was a conversation in the car on a road trip” laughs Grace. “In between songs, with  me saying to Talei who was driving, “shall we get married?” After 13 years of loving each other, it was just a natural progression of our lives together. And let’s be honest, we wanted an excuse to throw a party.”

Talei and Grace found their gowns online (one of them from Noodz Boutique). Their look stunning in classic (and unexpected) – white and glittering gold. Grace explains “Talei chose to go the more traditional route and wear a white dress which is the opposite of what everyone thought she would wear! Everyone thought she would wear a suit. She is so easygoing and not the type to fuss over an outfit and ordered a dress online, and it was meant to be because it fit like a glove and looked amazing! Her dress had a high neck, and hand-sewn sequins throughout the detail on the dress. I love how people are still commenting about how shocked they were (in a good way) when they saw her walking down the aisle in her wedding dress.

When we decided to tie the knot I wanted something not so traditional as I never envisioned the big white wedding, I love all things sparkly and knew I wanted something a little glam. So went in a gold long-sleeved dress. Which I also bought online! Haha people actually cannot believe we bought our wedding outfits online lol.”

For Grace and Talei, part of the joy of the day, was that they spent every moment together. “I loved that Talei and I got ready together with our whole wedding party. It was so much fun” remembers Grace. “Pre-wedding we stopped at Hop Nation Brewery for a few drinks and photos. The staff there were so friendly and accommodating. They gave us a private area for us to chill. Was so much fun.”

The flowers on the day were dried, tells Grace (who made the floral arrangements herself!)  “We decided we wanted to go with dried flowers, as I wanted us and the bridesmaids to be able to enjoy our bouquets long after the wedding day. We also wanted to go with neutral colours, because we were going with black for the wedding party and gold and white dresses for us.”

The brides walked down the aisle to “Is This Love” by Corrine Bailey Rae. Grace was escorted by the couple’s daughters. “We loved celebrating with our daughters. and then being able to walk me down the aisle. Our songs that we chose throughout our ceremony were all special and meaningful to us.”

Grace and Talei were married at The Post Office Hotel. Grace sharing “From the moment we saw the Post Office we loved it! We loved the chilled setting with beautiful greenery walls, the layout of the venue was just perfect for the vibe we were going for. We wanted the ceremony to be at one location. And we loved the location of the Post Office, so accessible for our guests. The staff are amazing, our event planners were so easy to deal with and just made the whole process easy.

Everyone commented on how much they loved the share plates as the main. It made it feel like you were sharing a home-cooked meal with your family. The food was delicious. The venue set up beautiful signature cocktails on arrival and during the cocktail hour they set up canapés, antipasto and oysters. Everything was perfect!”

The couple was married by Tania Broom – Heart Of Victoria in a beautifully poignant ceremony. Grace remembering “We wanted our ceremony to be intimate to reflect our love for each other. There were so many tears of joy. We wanted to be able to unapologetically declare our love and commitment to each other without judgement. We included “The Promise” by Heather Berry as our reading.

We loved our beautiful celebrant Tania Broom. Communicating with her was a breeze, she was organised and calming. Great sense of humour too.”

Says Grace “We loved having Talei’s parents here from Perth as we weren’t sure if they were going to be able to make it due to the uncertainty of the border closures. Talei’s grandparents are from Sydney and my brothers are from New Zealand. And Talei’s cousin Marie (bridesmaid) and fam come in from the U.S.”

Guests were lucky enough to take home not one, but two favours, wrapped chopsticks as a nod to the Talei’s Chinese heritage, and handmade cookies from Grace’s business Cookie&T, personalised with the newlywed’s names. Dessert (cake!) was made by  Niuafe Malupo “Niuafe who made our wedding cake and desserts, nailed the cake design we wanted. He incorporated a touch of island style in the cake which we loved. So yummy too.”

The newlyweds slipped out at sunset for portraits on the rooftops of Melbourne. Grace offers up this advice if you’re planning your wedding. “When it comes to planning your big day, stay true to yourselves as a couple and do the things you love. Don’t be afraid to go against the status quo. Keep love at the forefront and be excited for this next chapter of your journey together.”

The couple note photographer Paper Bear as one of their very favourite vendors of the day. “Words cannot express how amazing Christian was. We wanted our photos to reflect our personality and he delivered! He is unique and authentic. He made us feel so comfortable, with no awkward poses! His photos are natural and in the moment. Christian captures feelings.”


In keeping with the spirit of the day, Grace says they wanted to keep the formalities – right down to the speeches short and sweet, but it turned out there was a bit of a surprise in store for them. “I know everyone must say this but the whole day was just so special. We hadn’t seen our families in two and half years (thanks covid) so this was the first time we had seen a lot of them in a long time.

We kept the speeches and formalities short and sweet, but our MC (one of Talei’s oldest friends, having her as the MC was so special)  did this wonderful thing where she went to each table and one person from each table stood up to say something to us. It was so sweet to hear unexpected speeches. Such a nice surprise.”

Although Grace and Talei opted out of a first dance. “We are both freestylers when it comes to dancing. And we didn’t want to torture our guests with a choreographed uncoordinated dance.” The two did make sure the dance floor was a big part of their day, “However our dance floor was pumping. And the dance floor is more fun when everyone is on it.”

A big beautiful congratulations to you both Grace and Talei! Thank you for sharing your day and its stories with us and thank you to Paper Bear Wedding Photography for sharing today’s images.