Mel & Darcy had a clear vision for their wedding. “We wanted dark romantic vibes and since the guest list was relatively small for a wedding, we wanted it to feel intimate and fun.” And Sydney came to the party. A moody grey sky (and accompanying rain) set the scene for this soulful celebration. And this celebration? Well, as evidenced by the beautiful photography by  Across the Forest, had it all. Beautiful attire (like Mel’s velvet green wedding dress, yes as amazing as it sounds) a heartfelt ceremony, and even a buzzing dance floor.

The story begins at a cinema, where Mel and Darcy were both employed. “We became friends scrubbing stairs after a collapsing roof,” admits Mel. “We were both in transitional periods in our lives and bonded over those changes before we started dating.”

Darcy asked Mel to marry him after a romantic picnic in the country. “Darcy was amazing. We had a little holiday in Mudgee and the place we were staying at had a little stream running through it at the back of the property and we had a lovely picnic under a shady old tree. We reminisced on our relationship and just enjoyed being in nature.

Darcy packed up some of the picnic and asked me to wait a moment before I came back to our room. When I walked back, roses were leading to the door and Darcy had managed to put up fairy lights everywhere. He was so nervous and I was brimming with pure joy. I did get over excited and everything was a blur and I emphatically said yes and went to hug and kiss him but accidentally ended up head-butting him.”

Mel’s wedding gown? A beauty of deep and rich forest green she found at Flutter Dress, topping it off with a golden headpiece from Carbickova Crowns. “I wanted a colour that I looked good in and a material that I felt comfortable in so ended up with a forest green velvet gown. I was worried that I would not feel like a bride but I felt magical. The velvet was quite literally a nice touch – it was nice to have something soft to touch to settle any nerves I felt on the day.”

The floral arrangements, by Cassandra Kempster-Roberts, embraced the mood the couple wanted, says Mel. “Our florist nailed the brief of dark romantic. The mockups that Cassandra presented were amazing and were my saving grace throughout the wedding planning process as I could just look at the mockups and feel good that the flowers were going to be great and they were! There were greens, dusky pinks, burnt oranges and rich reds that looked wild and untamed and just stunning. Walking with my bouquet I felt like a woodland fairy queen.

We were incredibly lucky to have some truly wonderful vendors that just nailed it. The fact that it all came together in about 6 months is astounding. We couldn’t have been happier.”

Darcy and Mel chose urban venue The Kittyhawk for both their ceremony and reception, telling “We were looking for a venue that could do it all and The Kittyhawk did it! We had been to dinner there and admired the decor, vibe and amazing food and drinks. We were very lucky that we didn’t have to worry about adding too much to the space as the space was already so special. The old-fashioned rum house design of the space gave a unique feel to the evening and brought a sense of classy fun and the venue offers to design a signature cocktail for your event. It was a complete hit.”

Darcy worked with Suitably Tailor Made for his custom suit, telling “I wanted to go for a colour that complimented Mel’s and I was feeling a lighter colour since it isn’t something that I usually wear. I wanted to feel a little special and stand out. We ended up finding an online tailoring business working out of Melbourne called Suitably Tailor Made and I was drawn to their camel-coloured suit.”

Sentimental sparkle played a shining role, thanks to the jewellery designer, who tells Darcy.  “The only heirloom was that with Melissa’s wedding ring. Mum gave me the rings of my grandmother and great-grandmother and the diamonds were used in a new ring design. We worked with a fine jeweller named Meg Maskell Fine Jewellery who did an amazing job with it.”


Mel walked herself down the aisle to the sounds of Cody Fry’s song “I hear a symphony”.

Mel and Darcy chose Andrea Calodolce to perform their indoor, intimate ceremony, Mel sharing “Our celebrant was amazing in capturing our story and our love. We wanted something personal and while it was for us, it was so lovely to be able to tell our story to family and friends. There was a lot of laughter and love.”

“We were told repeatedly how much everyone enjoyed the ceremony and were impressed by how personal it felt” says Darcy. “We weren’t including any readings so it was great that it was filled with snapshots of our relationship. It captured the intimate but cozy-welcoming vibe we hoped for.”

“It may come as a shock to the couples just how quickly the “I do” part of the vows come” laughs Darcy. “It certainly took Mel by surprise whose shocked and questioning “I do?” wasn’t quite the declaration that I think most people imagine when they think of their wedding. It was, however, incredibly funny. It was the most memorable part of the ceremony for a lot of people. I know it is for me.” Mel added, “I will add that Darcy counterbalanced it with a very firm and confident ‘I do’ of his own.”

Remembers Darcy “My favourite photograph is of Mel standing amongst the green in the Royal Botanical Gardens. She looked stunning.”

The newlyweds made the most of the natural surroundings near the city with their photographer – who they adored! “Across The Forest was amazing. From the get-go, Anton was very friendly and took notes of our style and what we were looking for. They sent a lovely care package during the planning process with bath bombs and other goodies for managing stress. It was very nice to have them be so considerate. On the day, Anton was looking for interesting areas in the space to use and was throwing plenty of ideas for setups at us when we had time for photos. He was everywhere but almost unnoticeable as he took candids. He even managed to print off several photos as a teaser package on the day which was amazing. I have no idea where he was keeping the printer.”

Although they kept it simple, there were plenty of special, heartfelt touches dotted through the celebration. “I made the wedding favours which was a lovely little box with Ferrero Rocher inside. I was very fortunate to have my father Philip Tansey make the welcome sign for the wedding and the signage for the Guest List. My cousin Sydney Blankenship also painted lovely flowers matching the theme on the welcome sign.”

Food and drink? Well and truly in abundance for this wedding, and the importance of it forming part of Darcy’s wedding day advice. “My two pieces of advice are that people tend to spend huge on the alcohol and they neglect the food. Not everyone drinks but everyone eats. I would bet money that no one left our wedding hungry.  We had the opportunity to make a signature cocktail with help from Kittyhawk. We called it the Red Carpet and it was some kind of cherry liqueur & Prosecco mix. It was a huge hit with the guests and now we also have a special drink that we can make on our anniversaries to come.

Also, while the organisation can be incredibly stressful, it is grounding to remember that the people coming to see you care about you a lot. They aren’t going to notice if things aren’t perfect, they will just be there to support you.”

The first dance was simple, but of course, romantic, tells Darcy. “We danced to “Photograph” by Cody Fry. I am… not gifted at dancing to put it lightly so we kept it straightforward and just took a moment for me and Mel to be close and kind of just focus on our day. I was surprised by how quickly it went. I would recommend practising in the shoes and learning how to handle a dress with a train a little since they can be a lot to handle.”

The dance floor was always going to be packed, and it even ended with tradition! Reminisces Darcy “My friends and I have developed a tradition where we end a night out with “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal, which the DJ was more than happy to accommodate.”

The biggest congratulations to you both Mel & Darcy, Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us. Thank you also goes to Across the Forest for sharing this beauty of a day with us.