What happens when someone has heard hundreds of wedding stories? How do they even decide to tie the knot? Today we find out, because today we’re sharing the beautifully simple, wonderfully relaxed, registry office wedding of Melbourne jeweller Kate of Eli Speaks Jewellery.

With their beautiful two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Juni in tow, and when it came time to plan a wedding, the pair knew they wanted something relaxed & joyous, with not too many transitions.  “We wanted an intimate feel, and to enjoy the day with our loved ones without being bogged down in details” explains Kate, who along with Sam, invited Elise Scott Photography to document it all.

Kate and Sam fell in love over a six-hour day as they wandered from a cafe in Northcote through Yarra Bend Park, “with constant conversation until my drained brain had to gently ask him to go home!” laughs Kate, “I knew something interesting was up though, as I watched him walk away from my house.”

Sam always maintained marriage wasn’t for him, and Kate was happy to go along, “neither of us likes to cause a fuss or have all eyes on us like a traditional wedding felt” But her one request? As a jeweller (and jewellery lover!) that she wanted a ring. “We had a rare date with nature, sans child, while my Mum was visiting from NZ. As we walked around the You Yangs trails, he asked if he could get a banana from my backpack.

We stopped at a particularly nice lookout, and he grabs out, then fumbles with, a jewellery pouch in my branding. I was quite confused. Out pops a very stunning ring, and he said “Would you like to maybe make this official with me one day?” I was so shocked I just said “What?! What are you doing?!” before inspecting the ring and saying “Jo (Jo Makohin) made that” and eventually said “Yes!” Haha. Jo is a friend and a very talented Jeweller that I’ve worked with for years. Sam was in safe hands with her designing and handmaking the ring. I love it.

I believe his design brief was mainly “I want Kate to look at it and say, F**k, that would be hard to make!” Sam is a woodworker, and a fellow maker, so he understood the importance of a quality bespoke ring for me.  It was beautifully timed by Sam with my Mum’s visit so that she could be part of the moment with us.”

Photos by Eli Speaks Jewellery

Kate of course, made her and Sam’s wedding rings under her Eli Speaks Jewellery label. “I handmade both our wedding bands. I’m a Jeweller, so it’s only fitting, right? Sam has big knuckles, so his ring needed some clever thinking to fit him well. We decided on a hinged style of ring to snap closed at the base of his finger, avoiding the need to get it over the knuckle first. It was made in 18ct yellow gold, with a trapezoid ruby set into the top. You can’t marry a Jeweller and not have a fun ring!

My band is much more understated and delicate. 18ct yellow gold, set with a row of carre cut diamonds. I wear it on my other hand though, as nothing should interfere with the beauty of my engagement ring. It’s surprisingly difficult designing your own ring! I’m so happy I didn’t have to for my engagement ring.”

Kate wanted a wedding dress that was minimal and modern, sharing “It has to be something comfortable, and that ideally, I could wear a bra with! I had little interest in going around wedding shops trying on dresses, so I went straight for the online options. We organised the whole wedding in 8 weeks, so I didn’t have time to overthink it, which is a good thing for me!

I initially ordered a dress made to my measurements, which arrived 5 weeks before the wedding and was terrible. Non-refundable. Lesson learnt! I then panic-purchased two other dresses from Kookai, and Chancery (The Iconic) just before we left for a two-week Christmas holiday in New Zealand. Thankfully, the Iconic purchase turned out to fit well and be exactly the style I was after. Some minor alterations and done! I added a pearl capelet to add some fun and glam to the outfit, and paired custom-made heels from Poland (because I have ridiculously small feet and can’t buy shoes anywhere!) in lemon suede. I had to order these before I decided on a dress, and just hoped they would work out. They arrived two weeks before the wedding and needed adjustment to the ankle strap. I picked them up from the lovely Anna at On The Mend 2 days before the wedding!

I made my earrings, with freshwater pearls and yellow gold drops, set with champagne and white diamonds and peach sapphires.”

Sam’s look blends that smart casual look too, complete with yellow shoes, remembers Kate “Sam was in charge of organising his attire. He chose well, thankfully! Cream linen jacket, white open shirt, and deep green pants from MJ Bale, tailored to fit well. He wears Vans almost always, so I conceded these were fine for the wedding if they were a brand-new pair! He went with bright yellow Vans.”

The beautiful citrus toned floral details were the work of Petal Pop Flowers. Says Kate  “Oh the flowers! I could talk ALL day about the flowers. I loved them!
I didn’t think twice about getting Ange from Petal Pop in Brunswick to do our flowers. I have long admired her work and knew she would nail the brief of yellow, orange and peach seasonal blooms, with natives. We kept it super simple with just my bouquet, a mini bouquet for Juni, a larger display in a vase for the venue, and corsages for both my Mother and MIL. Bucked tradition there…Men don’t need those, women do!  I feel they made the day. The soft pops of colour tied our outfits together, and added that special feel to the day.”

“Our daughter was kind of our flower girl, but at 2 1/2 we didn’t want to put any pressure on her to perform for the occasion. She had a mini bouquet to match mine, and a pearl-studded hair bow to match my capelet. She also wore yellow shoes and a peachy dress.”

Kate and Sam held their wedding ceremony at the Victorian Marriage Registry. “The registry offices in the Old Treasury Building in Melbourne are beautiful, and they ticked the legal box for us. We wanted, short and sweet, but sufficiently formal, so we could move on to the fun part!”

Not feeling comfortable walking down the aisle and being “given away”, Kate and Sam walked into their ceremony together, mingling and greeting guests as they went.

Says Sam of his favourite memory of the day, “the thing that I’ll remember most was how relaxed and at ease I felt. Having a small wedding meant we only had room for the people closest to us. I don’t always feel comfortable being the centre of attention, but everywhere I turned I was greeted by faces I know and love, all having a fantastic time.”

“We went with the standard registry office ceremony” remembers Kate. “We have said many beautiful and meaningful things to each other over the years, so didn’t feel a need to write our vows. We wanted, it short and sweet, but sufficiently formal, so we could move on to the fun part! We had immediate family, plus a handful of close friends who had travelled to celebrate with us present at the ceremony. It was intimate, and low-pressure, with a good dose of laughter.”

Of their photographer, Kate raves “Elise is an absolute treasure. I have worked with Elise throughout my business and have always been very impressed with her ability to capture the intended feel of things. It was a no-brainer to have her do our wedding, as I already trusted her and felt comfortable around her. She has a hidden talent of seeming almost invisible too… which is great for a wedding.”

The reception was keeping in line with the relaxed mood Kate & Sam wanted. “We chose Hotel Collingwood on Smith St for a fun but relaxed cocktail and canapé party afterwards. We wanted an intimate feel, and to enjoy the day with our loved ones without being bogged down in details. They dealt with all the food and drinks, and had the perfect all-weather courtyard situation.”

And with Kate having come out the other side? Here’s her golden advice for you. “If you can, keep it simple, and small. Post-pandemic I hear a lot of people, clients included, wanting to keep things intimate and do it in their own way. Even a small wedding is a lot to organise when you’ve never done it before. So don’t make it harder for yourself if you don’t have to. Take as many moments as you need to just soak up the atmosphere. You organised it all, you want to enjoy it and remember it.

Also, don’t skip the photographer, even if it’s just for 3 hours like us! Those photos carry everything I loved about our day, including the parts I didn’t notice because I was too involved.”

Kate and Sam, what an absolute honour to be able to share your beautiful wedding day! Thank you so much for telling your stories and thank you to Elise Scott Photography for today’s beautiful images.