What happens when you throw a wedding with comedians, improvisers and musical theatre performers in attendance? Louisa and Andy’s joyous, quirky, vintage-inspired wedding perfectly details how chaotic (and fun) it can be. Set at the Panama Dining Room in Fitzroy, this quirky wedding was the perfect way for Lou and Andy to celebrate their marriage.
Kyra Boyer was the photographer for this quirky wedding, alongside their cinematographer Anthony Noack. “Kyra was absolutely incredible. I really can’t recommend her enough – she has a brilliant eye for colour and light, her skills are just top-notch, and she was so much fun to work with to boot – we will treasure her photos forever,” Lou exclaimed.
After a trip to Edinburgh, Andrew and Louisa realised their friendship had developed into something more. “We’re both performers in The Big Hoo Haa! Melbourne, the city’s longest-running improvised comedy show, as well as Spontaneous Broadway, an improvised musical, so fate thrust us together onstage a fair bit! In 2019, we both went to Edinburgh to perform solo comedy shows at the world’s biggest arts festival,” Andy recalled. “We decided to live together there as mates to save on that noble city’s ridiculous accommodation costs during Fringe, and our friendship deepened to the point of smooching. After the exhausting festival, we decided to head on a little holiday with some other performer mates, and amongst the romantic atmosphere of the Grecian Isles, surrounded by good friends, good food and some paradisiacal island views, we became each other’s better halva.”
Escaping the lockdown blues, Lou, Andy and some friends took a trip to the Mornington Peninsula after Melbourne’s brutal lockdown had eased, where, unbeknownst to Lou, Andy was planning to propose! “Andy suggested we go for a walk from Cape Schank Lighthouse down to Bushrangers Bay. Once we got there, we settled down in the sand dunes to watch the waves, Andy got down on one knee (as much as one can in a sand dune) and then he used the same line his dad had used with his Mum – ‘So, I was thinking of going on a honeymoon in a little while and was wondering if you might like to join me?’ (the answer was a resounding ‘yes!’ of course). Unbeknownst to me, two of our friends were in on the proposal and were waiting for a text message from Andy to set a few things in motion back at the house,” she excitedly explained. “So with 10 minutes notice, the rest of our friends were alerted to the fact that we were engaged and they needed to learn an entire song and put out the champagne and my favourite foods to be ready for our arrival. Luckily, most of those friends worked in music theatre and were able to pull it together just in time, so that when we arrived back at the house, our friends were already all standing out on the front lawn, singing “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. It was a truly incredible moment and I cry every time I think about it. Then we all toasted with a magnum of champagne and spent the night eating, drinking and playing board games.”
The cinematography was a last-minute addition that Andy and Lou will treasure forever. “We booked him late as we weren’t sure we wanted or could afford video as well, but we know now that we would regret so much not having the videos he took of the speeches, ceremony and dances. He did a superb job and cut clips of the day together wonderfully in both long and shareable formats. I would urge every couple to get a videographer on board, preferably Anthony, as they are more than worth it,” stated Andy.
With a love for clothing and men’s classic formal wear, Andy looked sharp in his Fred Astaire-inspired outfit. “I spent just as long preparing what I was going to wear as Lou, if not longer. I love classic men’s formal wear, so for the biggest night of my life, I insisted on having everything utterly correct for white-tie standards,” he explained. “I used the white-tie guide in the Gentleman’s Gazette. If you follow the guide strictly, it can get crazy expensive, though, so over the period of many months, I bought almost everything second-hand. I also compromised a bit. My socks were humble wool instead of silk, my shoes weren’t high-heeled opera pumps, and I didn’t bother with real-gold watch chains or cufflinks, but once I had everything together, although it was a lot of work, it was cheaper than I could have hoped and looked spectacular. I even managed to get a silk collapsible top hat. They haven’t been made since the last hat-silk looms were destroyed by fire in the 1920s, but Lou used her language skills to pick one up for me on German eBay.”
As a special final addition to his outfit, Andy found a vintage bloodstone ring, with a fun double meaning carved into its surface. “I had a heck of a hard time finding someone in Australia who could carve a design into its face. I wanted a baby swan on the ring to represent Lou’s home state, WA, but also because a baby swan is called a cygnet and it was being carved onto a signet ring. Lou loves a pun and it was perfect for us. After a very long search, we found just one person in Australia who was willing to carve such a difficult gem. Susannah Gai over in Adelaide did an amazing job, making my perfect ring.”
Louisa wore a beautiful vintage-inspired dress from Luci di Bella, altered to create her dream dress. “I wanted an ankle-length, 50s-style wedding dress and found it really tough to find in Australia! I knew I wanted to be able to dance and not feel like I was dragging a huge gown around. Nothing was quite right until I stumbled upon Luci di Bella. She was able to make a few changes to an existing design (shortening it, adding pockets and of course adding a big ol’ shoulder bow), and it was perfect.”
To complete her outfit, Louisa found some art deco-style hair pins from Boutique by Brenda Lee on Etsy, a pair of gold Loeffler Randall heels, and finally, a golden locket that Andy had gifted her a few months prior.
The marvellous Panama Dining Room was the venue for the day, showcasing Mount Dandenong through its arched windows. “I have DJed weddings at Panama many times before and knew that they put on a fun, accommodating and well-fed night. The food was sublime. Panama hosts a huge number of weddings, but it is also a well-regarded restaurant, and it makes superb modern cuisine. The venue’s colour scheme is deep greens, dark wood browns and white, with a huge number of darker house plants that complement that vibe. It went very well with our own colour scheme of pinks, whites and deep greens. The staff at Panama were a dream to work with, particularly Wes and Amber, who were responsive and a ton of fun.”
One of Andy and Louisa’s favourite parts of planning their quirky wedding was the dinner they were treated to by Panama Dining Room a few months before the big day. “You get to try all the dishes and wines and put together your own personal menu. Their food is just so incredible (we both landed on the beef cheek with skordalia as our favourite dish – delicious) so that was a pretty fun date night amidst all the stress off the other wedding planning business!”
Capturing the quirky essence of this couple, was their photographer Kyra Boyer. “I had met her DJing at earlier weddings and knew she liked good music, so when she took us to the Fitzroy Gardens for pre-wedding pics she put together a playlist of brilliant tunes that got us in a very playful mood as we swanned about the conservatory and gardens,” Andy explained. “She was great at directing people in to or out of shots, being firm, whilst never rude, and she got literally a thousand excellent shots of the day. We are so grateful to her and would recommend her to anyone.”
“Flowers were definitely our most last-minute addition! We struggled to find somewhere without a huge minimum spend, as we just wanted some simple and colourful flowers here and there; Panama Dining Room is already gorgeous and covered in greenery,” Louisa explained. A few weeks out from their wedding, the couple stumbled across Flower Jar. Their playful, colourful style perfectly fit Louisa and Andy’s vibe – it was a miracle! “Angie couldn’t have been more helpful! My bouquet was absolutely gorgeous and Andrew had a lovely carnation boutonniere – the ‘done thing’ when one wears a white tie!”
As they walked down the aisle, a dear friend, Greg, played the “Barbar” theme on the piano accordion. “It’s a really sweet melody that we both loved from childhood.”
The ceremony itself was a relaxed and sentimental affair, led by their wonderful celebrant, Hollie James. “She was the perfect mix of funny, sentimental and supremely organised – and made our ceremony so special,” Louisa reminisced. “We wanted to have a relaxed ceremony, full of love with plenty of room for spontaneity, so we had our dear friend and fellow performer Hollie James as our celebrant. She had the perfect fun and playful vibe, whilst being appropriately official when she needed to be. We had two readings from the Inclusive Bible (Ruth 1:17 and Song of Songs 8:6-8) and one from one of my favourite childhood books, The Amber Spyglass. One of the most special parts of the night for me was the vows – we wrote our own, but they were amazingly similar – just goes to show how perfect we are for each other!”
All the stationery for this wedding was designed by Louisa, with the help of Canva and her friend, artist Anne Barnetson, who was the artist behind this little cartoon. “One of my favourite bits of stationery was our little ‘wedding gazette’ – a last-minute addition that we popped on everyone’s place settings with a cheesy little news article about us getting married, along with details of the running order and menu – and I also made dance floor bingo cards so that friends could guess what songs might be played and tick them off throughout the night.”
Like any wedding, there were a few hiccups along the way – and (luckily for her) one of those hiccups happened to Louisa’s dad and brother-in-law. “Both were flying in from Perth and had both put their wedding outfits in the same suit bag; they arrived in Melbourne to find their suit bag had been lost by the airline! Luckily, my dad is a well-dressed fellow and had another jacket on hand, and my friend Jordan was able to swoop in at the last moment and bring a spare suit to the wedding for my brother-in-law. Forgetting that all this drama had unfolded while Andrew was off getting ready elsewhere, I commented to him at the wedding: ‘doesn’t (brother-in-law) look great in that suit! It’s amazing how well it fits him.’ Andrew, who had no idea it wasn’t his suit, was suitably baffled.”
Not only was the night filled with charming vintage touches, but also many surprises. “During the speeches, my dear friend Emmet arranged for some friends to sing The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows”, just like they had after the proposal, with some alternate lyrics and even Auslan thrown in. In fact, all of our speech-givers sang as part of their speeches without us even requesting it!”
Forgoing a first dance, these newlyweds instead did a first song. Together they performed “A Kiss At The End Of The Rainbow” from A Mighty Wind, with Louisa on the ukulele and Andy on the harmonica. On top of this, another surprise sprinkled into the night was the fully choreographed dance to “Life’s a Happy Song” from The Muppets. “Halfway through a dozen of our more musically-inclined friends joined in, flash-mob style. It was absolutely joyous and brilliant fun,” Louisa recalled. “I loved choreographing what was essentially a flash mob as our first dance and having a bunch of mates over to learn it.”
Music is an important part of Andy’s life and as a full-time DJ, he had many DJ friends he wanted to include on the day. “Weddings are my bread and butter, but I also have a long-running indie-pop club night in Melbourne and have been lucky enough to support Cher and Robbie Williams. Lou is also a trained music theatre performer with a deep love of indie music, so the tunes were a top priority for us,” he recounted. “We asked four DJ friends to play sets for us: Brenna was on romantic music for couple dancing, Dan on poppy 90s-00s alternative, Kieran on soul, 60s and UK indie and Ian on big indie and pop bangers to round out the night. I also prepared big background playlists so we only heard songs we loved throughout the entire evening. They all danced as enthusiastically as the crowd to their sets and knew what songs we enjoyed well enough to play the classics and to surprise and delight us with selections that were more ‘ours’ whilst still working for the whole floor.”
When asked about their top five moments of the night, they shared the same answer: “Marrying the absolute love of my life has to be number 1. Above it all, that is the point, and it was the greatest, happiest moment of my life, ” Andy said. Louisa said, “It’s true – there were so many special moments, but the best thing of all by a long shot was marrying my best friend. So – ditto!”
After all the formal wedding events had wrapped up, the newlyweds and some of their guests popped over to Le Bon Ton for some late-night cocktails, sharing their joy from the night before turning in.
Kyra Boyer – thank you so much for capturing the quirky, vintage perfection of this wedding (and for letting us share it!). And to Louisa and Andy, a huge congratulations to the newlyweds – may you have many more performances together!