Matt & Gillian’s colourful and vintage wedding at Footscray Park Bowls Club was intimate in every sense of the word.

Choosing Brett Scapin Photography to capture their gorgeous day, Matt & Gillian wanted a no-fuss wedding, that was fun, had an open bar and had plenty of laughter.

Love stories often have unexpected beginnings, and Gillian and Matt’s is no exception. It all unfolded on an enchanting Easter holiday in the breathtaking King Valley, a day that would forever be etched in their memories. As the couple leisurely thumbed through the pages of a newspaper, a seemingly ordinary quiz took an extraordinary turn when Gillian decided to add a bonus question of her own. Little did Matt know that this spontaneous addition would set the stage for a life-changing moment where Matt would say ‘I do’.

However, their story didn’t commence on that momentous Easter day. Gillian and Matt had shared countless memories long before, having spent several years as co-workers at a charming café.

We invite you to join us on this remarkable journey as we recount the cherished moments that brought Gillian and Matt together. Their wedding is not merely the union of two souls; it is a testament to the enduring love that began with an unexpected quiz question and truly commenced “At a cafe where we worked together for many years.”

Gillian only had gushing things to say about her handsome groom. “Matt was going for a Don Draper look so he wore a light grey suit with dark accessories. He looked pretty hot.”

Gillian looked stunning in a gown she made herself and tells us that despite teaching herself to sew along the way, it all worked out. “I had a hare-brained idea that I could try making my own dress. I thought it was worth a crack and if it didn’t work, I could leave it to fate and grab something off the rack the week before. But it worked! I was sewing on buttons the night before but it worked!

“The whole dress was based around a spectacular pair of earrings from ‘We Dream in Colour’ that I picked up from Village Idiom in Yarraville,” Gillian said. “I’d never sewn a dress before, or drafted my own dress pattern, so I taught myself as I went using YouTube and local advice. The fabric was from Fabric Deluxe in Footscray. I’m pretty proud. It only cost about $350 all up. That and about a thousand man-hours. I also wore some RMs because I saved so much on the dress and I couldn’t walk in any of the wedding shoes I shopped for.”

Gillian chose the incredibly talented Rex Hairdressing to help complete her wedding day look.

Telling us who was in their wedding party and what they wore, Gillian says, “My co-MOHs were a couple of best friends, my brother, Richard, and my cousin. Matt had his brother and a few best buds up there with him. Our niece, Evie, was the flower girl. The bridesmaids wore some comfy dresses we bought online and the groomsmen wore suits we purchased through a friend. The bridesmaids all wore different shoes with pops of colours so that they were comfy and could put their own style into their outfits.”

Looking like the happiest bride in the world, Gillian tells us, “I walked down the aisle on my own two feet. The aisle song was ‘Always Alright’ by Alabama Shakes because we’re always alright.”

Matt and Gillian’s ceremony included humour, diagrams, and family celebrants! “My uncle was our celebrant and he made a lot of jokes and did a bit with a whiteboard and a Venn diagram. We chose to start it a bit silly to take the edge off the intensity of pouring your heart out in front of everyone. We wrote our own vows and they were really lovely and emotional,” Gillian said. “We actually got legally married at our dining table in the morning to get the official part done. We surprised our bridal party as we were getting ready by having an authorised celebrant friend of ours pop in with all the paperwork. It was nice.”

Going for splashes of colour, Gillian tells us about her stunning flowers. “The flowers were from Green Space Melbourne. We picked them because they do plants as well and I really love plants. I think my request to them was ‘Imagine Frida Kahlo came to Australia and joined a bowls club.’ I wanted big splashes of colour.”

Gillian’s favourite moments of the day? “Getting married in the morning and having Uncle Tim as our ‘celebrant’ for the ceremony. It added such a fun personal touch to the whole thing.”

Gillian and Matt chose the formidable Brett Scapin to capture their stunning day. “We got in touch with Brett Scapin through some friends of ours who used him for their wedding and whose photos we loved! We caught up with him for a beer not long before the wedding and had a chat about what we were after and we fell in love with him immediately. On the day, he moved around seamlessly and was incredibly accommodating. We were very sad to see him go at the end of the night and wished he could have stayed for the rest of the party!”

Seeking a venue that was relaxed, Gillian and Matt fell in love with Footscray Park Bowls Club. “We chose Footscray Park Bowls Club after visiting it for a friend’s 30th. It’s such a cool and relaxed venue with great spaces and an awesome old-school bar. It was perfect.”

Wanting their day to feel personal and casual, Gillian tells us “We really just wanted to make sure that it was a fun day for everyone involved, that included an open bar – all night! no waiting around, candid photography, informal seating & breakout spaces.”

Adding DIY elements to any wedding can be incredibly special. Gillian and Michael tell us the elements they put together, including ones which strengthened their relationship. “The dress! We also made some wooden signs and had friends over to paint them up. Matt and I put up 150 metres of fairy lights together which was very tangly and difficult but was a real relationship strengthener in the lead-up to the big day.

Gillian and Matt made sure their wedding party had a feast, choosing food from The Paella Pan and Rocco’s Deli Yarraville.

While Matt and Gillian loved all of their vendors, there were a few that stood out.”Brett, of course! We also couldn’t have asked for a better and more accommodating venue than the Footscray Park Bowls Club. They made every part of planning the wedding as painless as possible with their open communication and willingness to let us take over the space and really make it our own.”

Visiting old memories, Matt and Gillian chose a familiar song for their first dance. “We danced to ‘Wagon Wheel’ by Old Crow Medicine Show. It was a song we used to put on at the cafe a lot in the early days of falling in love.” They danced all night to beats from Queenie.

When asked what advice Gillian and Matt would give to future couples, “Make your wedding fun! It’s just a big party after all!”

The top five things that made their wedding special? “The venue, the people, the vibe, the outfits, Uncle Tim.”

A massive congratulations to Gillian and Matt and a big thank you to Brett Scapin for sharing this gorgeous day with us.