Entering Fran and Rob’s reception space was like walking straight into a fairytale. The magical setup was only magnified by the fun, airy atmosphere the couple brought into the room. Their autumn wedding was filled with navy, gold and neutrals that perfectly complemented the luscious greenery of their venue.

Fiona & Bobby Photography captured the day alongside the couple, and answered every question imaginable. “In the prep for the day, we had a lot of questions, and we were always met with non-judgemental and very knowledgeable answers. They had some great recommendations when we were struggling to find things.”

Sometimes, we meet the right person at the wrong time and have to let go of that love. And sometimes, fate steps in and brings that person back to us. Frances and Robert are the perfect examples of this phenomenon. The first time they met was on a dating app, and after a few dates, they realised the timing just wasn’t right. They got their second chance when they were both ready. “By chance, we both saw each other on the same app again and matched! I reached out first, offering dinner and a chat; the rest is history. Funnily enough, I had many regrets after the first meeting and thought about contacting Rob quite often,” Fran explained. “I was certain he didn’t want to ever hear from me again. When we matched on the app again, I took it as a sign he’d be open to talking and reached out. I knew the first time we met it was meant to be, and it was the same feeling the second time around. I like to say that it was love at first boop. When we went on our first date, he booped me, like you would boop a dog, and I knew it was meant to be. He looked so mortified afterwards, though!”

As talks of marriage circulated their conversations for a while, they knew it was time to pop that all-important question. “Dating in your 30s is a different experience. Whilst you’re still learning about life and everything in between, you have a better understanding of who you are and what you want, and when you know, you know! Rob organised dinner at the place where we had our very first date, Mario’s; delicious Italian food,” she noted. “We walked across the street because it was pouring rain, and Rob spoke about how we first met, got down on one knee, and before I got to answer, a group of people walked past and were cheering for us. Rob got up and said, “I assume that is a yes?” it was then that I realised I had gotten distracted by the cheers and congratulations…!”

In his wedding party, Rob had his brother-in-law Daniel as his Best Man and two of his and Fran’s friends, Petar and Dan, as the groomsmen. “We have regular catch-ups with our group of friends (which includes Fran’s brothers) once a week, so when we were thinking about the party, it made sense to include them. And we are so glad we did. We had the best day together, and as always, there was a lot of fun, laughing, and very inappropriate jokes. This made a huge difference, as everybody got along, making us feel comfortable and relaxed.”

Robert knew what style of suit he wanted from the beginning. Since their wedding parties would be dark navy blue, he wanted to stand out in a lighter blue. Rob and his mum visited Bentex Suits to bring his vision to life. He wore a vest with this magical paisley pattern to match the groomsmen. “The suits looked great on the day, and I was really happy with it. It was comfortable and fitted so well; a good quality suit!”

Their favourite details from the day were the little touches they sprinkled throughout. Meaningful mementos to bring those they love the most closer on their big day. “Whether it was the orchids in the flowers for Fran’s Dad or Rob’s pocket watch to represent his grandfather, or the cross that Fran had pinned on the inside of her dress, or the cake knives and champagne flutes that were a gift from Fran’s Mum when we got engaged, the pictures of Fran’s Dad and Rob’s grandfather we had made into little keepsakes, how we cleverly tried to brand ‘frobever’ as much as we could, the cufflinks that Fran had made with their dog’s faces on them, all the little details meant so much to us. Each detail represented a part of who we are, our past and our future together.”

Fran had always known she wanted her brothers beside her when she got married, so when Rob proposed, she knew Dom and Ed, along with her sister and another mister Jesse, were to be her Co-Maid of Honours. She didn’t want to play favourites and pick just one Maid of Honour, so they all had special duties on the day.

Fran was unsure what type of gown she wanted to wear or what she would feel most comfortable in. Her mum had been sending lots of ideas and styles to start her journey, and one of her friends had recommended choosing a boutique with lots of variation in styles for her to try on. She made an appointment at Sweethearts Bridal in Blacktown to find the gown of her dreams. “As my luck would have it, I fell in love with a Martina Liana dress on the day, and as much as it pains me to admit it, my Mum was right about the types of styles!”

Her brother is a talented designer who created all of the wedding stationery for the couple. “On the morning of the wedding, Fran’s house was up early (for Eurovision), but also to glue and sew some fresh flowers to the ribbons for the church pews.”

They had the ceremony at St Brendan’s Church in Annandale, as requested by their families. “Fran’s only requirement was that if she was getting married in a church, she wanted to choose it – so she chose St Brendan’s in Annandale. The church is where her parents got married, and there is a long family history there with the church and school.”

With her mum on her arm, Fran walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “My Girl” by The Temptations. “I had to coax her to do this and told her that it would be slack if she made me walk alone. My Dad passed away very suddenly in 2021, and our song was ‘My Girl’ by The Temptations, so it felt like he was walking with me. I did also walk very fast and one of my Aunties told me to slow down. I was also insanely nervous and said to my Mum, ‘There’s a fuckload of people here,’… and when everyone around me laughed, I realised I said it louder than I intended!”

It was difficult for Fran to find readings that resonated with her, and couldn’t really give my input in the decisions aside from rejecting any readings that had any sentiment around a “silent wife”. “Poor Rob knew what he was getting himself into,” she explained. “At the end of the day, we both reflected that the church itself was just a venue. If we had it over, we might have pushed a bit harder to have a smaller non-religious ceremony because it was the words said, signing the paper, and being surrounded by the people in our lives that we love and care about that were the most important parts. We respect our families enough to understand that it was important for them to have it there, and we were happy to accommodate.”

One of their favourite stories was when the wedding party was getting their portraits. “We went for our portraits first, and our wedding party noticed that we were parked near a ‘wives’ club. ‘Naturally, they looked it up, and lots of jokes were made on the day; we thought it so funny and significant that we insisted on a photo outside!”

Fiona & Bobby were the photographers for this magical wedding, who Fran and Rob had instantly clicked with. “Their energy is so positive, and they just get it. They know what they’re doing and create a safe and comfortable space to do it in. It was non-obtrusive, and they had many ideas and prompts that they knew would work to get the perfect shots,” they shared. “Together with the team at Cloudherd for the video, we are overwhelmed with such warmth and happiness when we look back at our final photo gallery and video. They all managed to capture us and who we are so authentically. A couple who is going to grow old and weird, Frobever! We can’t wait to use them again, hopefully soon!”

The top five things that made their wedding so memorable were:

“1. We got to celebrate the fact we will be together frobever!

2. Having our family (which includes our chosen family) around us on the day and being able to share this moment with them was very special

3. To be able to include all of the little details and all of the memories

4. Having our kick-ass bridal party on the day

5. How all of our efforts to learn a dance paid off, and it went so well (despite Fran’s dress not wanting to cooperate), and everyone’s reaction to it!”

When searching for their reception venue, Rob and Fran had five venues shortlisted to visit, and they spent a day wandering through them all. As soon as they walked into The Garden at The Grounds of Alexandria, they knew it was the one. “We got such a good feeling from it. Some of the hanging plants reminded Rob of his Grandparents’ backyard, and we felt good walking through it.”

Silva from The Grounds Florals by Silva was the florist behind this incredible setup. “The one really specific request we had was a few orchids throughout everything, as Fran’s Dad’s favourite flower was the orchid,” shared Fran. “We remember sitting down with Silva in the venue, and she was walking through some ideas, and when we left, we both said how much we loved her vision and her passion. You could see her creativity, and we knew it was going to be amazing. She left us with an ‘I’ll make it extra’. And she was right! We danced into the venue with our entrance song and were blown away by the flowers. It was beautiful and magical; we loved it. It was perfect.”

When deciding their wedding date, they wanted it to be tied to something significant while still being quirky. So they settled on a date reminiscent of a joke her later dad had made. “When we were sitting down and going through dates and calendars, Rob said, ‘What day was Copha Cabana Day?” We saw it worked for us and knew it was the perfect date. What is Copha Cabana Day, you ask? On May 14, during lockdown, Frances’ Dad sent an email. It stated: “Today I want to show you what I have built. I have built a Copha Cabana as you can see in the attached picture. As Barry Manilow once sang “at the Copha…Copha Cabanaaaaa where music and passion were always the fashion…….at the Cophaaaaa…..turraaa……luraaaa” In honour of this, and in a nod to Dad, we decided to choose this day in remembrance of him.”

Fran’s brother Dom was given the heavy task of filling in for the Father of the Bride speech and absolutely knocked it out of the park (one of his specialties as a baseball player!). “It was one of the best speeches we’ve heard at a wedding. It was well written, and his confidence (aka ego) is strong enough that he spoke really well. It had many laughs and tears; it was perfect, and Dad would have been very proud.”

After a friend’s recommendation, Fran and Rob attended dance lessons to learn the basics in preparation for their first dance. “It was a crazy time in the lead-up to the wedding (work and life are always busy already without adding on wedding prep), and practising gave us time together. It was so much fun that we are about to start Salsa lessons! A huge shoutout to Cristina from Sydney Dance Rhythms who is talented and patient with us! We are very glad we did the dance lessons.”

They chose to dance to “La Vie En Rose” by Louis Armstrong. “We have a lot of songs together, but none were right for a first dance song. We were going through songs, playlists, and recommendations, and by chance, we wanted to hear some from Louis Armstrong. The moment his signature trumpet played, we both looked at each other and knew it was the song.”

Congratulations Fran and Rob on your quirky, magical wedding! Thanks to Fiona & Bobby for sharing it with us.