Channeling moods of the Greek Islands, all white rendered finishes, soft draping, olive trees in abundance and delicious fig scents, the transformative nature of styling is rich in Chloe & James’ opulent wedding in the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria Australia.
Inspiring visions of church ceremonies, breathtaking architecture moodily lit with scattered pillar candles and receptions that are destination inspired in their essence, the team from The Style Co have imagined a sensory story for their Senior Planners wedding. A magical space, all wild and fragrant, spilling with canopies draped in muslin and foliage, lined with olive trees and alive with fig scents. A story rich in layers, each tiny detail from florals cascading effortlessly down tables to a menu inspired by eating seasonally, transporting guests to the shores of the Mediterranean.
Documented by LANE handpicked brand Erin & Tara, these frames will mesmorise…
HOW WE MET: We met at a friends birthday party when we were both 16. I was hesistant at first, but James persisted for months. We have grown together over the last 11 years and we feel so blessed to have met each other so young.
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: James proposed at the end of an 11 week European holiday in Malta where his family is from. I never had the chance to meet James’ grandparents before they passed away and we wanted to make the trip to visit the beautiful village of Paola where they were from. James proposed to me on the front steps of the Church where they had been married 60 years earlier. It was such a beautiful moment. He had then organised a champagne lunch in Valetta followed by massages and ended the day with a candleight dinner overlooking the bay. It was so nice to be able to enjoy the entire day together, we waited untill the next day to tell all our family + friends so that we could just enjoy that time to ourselves.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: A life long partnership, friendship + love. Sharing in all that life will bring
WEDDING LOCATION: Both our ceremony and reception was held in the Mornington Peninsula. We wanted to create a getaway for our guests and it was really important that we celebrated the entire weekend together. My background is Greek Orthodox so Red Hill seemed perfect as there is a beautfiul Greek Monastery there and we did not want guests to travel far. Our ceremony was held at the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Panagia Kamariani and we then had an open-air marquee reception at Mantons Creek Estate + Vineyard in Shoreham. We organized transport for guests from nearby hotels and had recovery drinks + pizzas the next day at Tussie Mussie Vineyard Estate.
THEME/STYLE: We always knew we wanted our big day to feel like a Mediterranean getaway. The Greek Islands are by far our favorite holiday destination. At one stage we even consider getting married on one of the islands, but not all of guests would have been able to make it, so we decided lets celebrate with our nearest and dearest and bring the Greek Islands to them!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Erin from Erin + Tara Photography captured our wedding day so perfectly and organically! James and I both felt comofortable with her from the very beginnning, it was important to us that we chose someone who we geneuinely wanted to share in our day. Her images are a true reflection of our day and we loved her candid style of photography that still had an editiorial feel. Our photos are a constant reminder of how amazing our wedding day was!
BRIDE’S DRESS: Steven Khalil designed my dress. I have always loved his gowns and when I met with him it felt right. He understood my vision and I loved his honesty. I wanted a modern bohemian gown that was classic, but still sexy. The dress was a french lace long sleeved gown that was very fitted and had an open back with a lace panel across the back. The train was really long with lace applied through it and had V neck with scalloped trimmings. I wore a flat veil with lace detailing on top of my head, which sat slightly off the shoulder.
BRIDE'S SHOES: I wore strappy nude patent Giuseppe Zanotti heels. I actually looked for shoes for months and found these online at the very last minute. I really wanted a non-traditional bridal shoe that gave the outfit a bit of an edge.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: The Bridesmaids wore white fitted Watson x Watson dresses. I loved the style and I was lucky enough to have Watson x Watson re cut the style for me as it had sold out. We then had the dresses altered so all the straps sat a little differently and complemented the jewelery that each Bridesmaid was wearing.
FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS: I had a dress made for our beautfiul god daughter who was our flower girl out of the same lace that was used for my wedding dress. She even had an open back like my dress and wore a floral head crown. Our page boys wore navy chinos and a white shirt and suspenders from Bardot Junior and I had custom grey linen bow ties made for them to match the Groomsmen
WEDDING RINGS: James chose a simple brushed white gold band with a polised edge. I went with emerald cut diamonds all around the band in a claw set to match my 3 stone engagement ring.
JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES: I wore simple 3 stone crystal earings from Fielsol with my veil to the ceremony and then changed into a custom made Halo that Tesori Bellini made for me out of Swarovski crystals. I wanted to wear a headpiece however had a really specific vision in mind and Marisa did the most amazing job! I was inspired by the crystal set details in Marchesa's clutches and wanted something that was solid in a mix of geometric shapes and would sit continuosly around the head. Marisa used Princess cut, Emerald cut and Navette crystals. The entire piece was made from scratch with each crystal was hand set.
The Bridesmaids also wore crystal earings that Fielsol customised for us.
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: James had his suit custom made by Oscar Hunt. He wore a blue suit as it suited the more relaxed outdoor vibe of the wedding with a white shirt and a white linen bow tie. The Groomsmen also wore blue suits by Joe Black, but they were a few shades darker so that James would stand out. We had custom light grey linen bow ties made for them.
HAIR: The dress was quite detailed so I wore my hair out in soft relaxed waves, I didn’t want my hair to look too ‘done’. Marie Uva did an amazing job and also added some extensions to give me more body and length. The girls also had soft waves, some had it out and the others wore a low soft pony tail.
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: We went for Letterpress stationery for both our save the dates and wedding invitations on a gorgeous crisp white cotton card with grey text. We had Jasmine Dowling create some beatiful custom lettering and then used some soft blue/grey watercolours on the main invitation to give it that relaxed getaway feel. We then used Jasmine's custom lettering in a soft blue/grey watercolour throughout all of the on the day stationary. The wording for all of our signage was really important in setting the tone for the day so we kept it quite playful.
FAVORS/BONBONNIERE: We wanted to keep the favours quite simple as we felt we were providing guests with a unique experience. We actually opted to give out traditional sugared almonds at the conclusion of the ceremony as we loved the symbolism behind giving guests 5 sugared almonds. We also had a wrap station at the end of the night and guests were able to take home the beautiful flowers. Guests staying at nearby hotels were also greeted with a welcome letter from James and I and some local made brownies.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: I’ve always had a love for freshly cut unruly arrangements. In keeping with a relaxed getaway feel I wanted the florals to look organic with lots of foliage cascading down the tables. My colour palette of vibrant pink meant we got to use an abundance of David Austin roses (our amazing florists imported these from Kenya) with jasmine, peppercorn, fresh mint, viburnum, trailing ivy and asparagus fern.
My bouquet and the bridesmaids flowers were just divine! My bouquet was made of a mixture of fragrant locally grown roses combined with imported Kenyan David Austen roses in all shades of pink. The tendrils of jasmine completed the organic look that I wanted. The bridesmaids were a similar structure with a vibrant pink palette.
VIDEOGRAPHY: There was no option for us but to go with Humdrum Films – they are truly the best and we adore all of their work! I work with Jared and Jacob a lot and their energy is amazing, I love the way that they capture weddings and their cinematic style.
PREPARATION: Both James and my family rented large houses in the Mornington Peninsula and stayed there with our family and bridal party for the weekend. I stayed at the stunning Tussie Mussie Vineyard retreat will all of my family & bridesmaids and it was such a nice start to the weekend. We all had dinner together the night before overlooking the vineyard and then got ready there. We drank champagne, ate delicous food and enjoyed getting ready without having to rush as we had a late ceremony. James and I spent our wedding night at the Vineyard in the separate cottage and we had a huge recovery lunch on the property the next day. Tussie Mussie has beautiful outdoor areas so everyone sat outside on the lawn and enjoyed woodfired pizza and drinks all afternoon in the sun!
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR: At our ceremony we wanted the beauty of the church to be the focus so we kept the styling very minimal by scattering pillar candles along the length of the altar.
The brief for our reception was to create a Mediterranean getaway in the picturesque Mornington Peninsula. When I think of our favourite hotels on the Greek islands I think of all the beautiful interiors, textures and smells like white rendered finishes, soft draping fabric, an abundance of Olive trees and a delicious fig scent.
We incorporated all of this into our design, from the custom rendered bars to the canopies draped in muslin and foliage. Olive trees were dotted around the space as well an abundance of fig candles to create a relaxed mood. The linen for the tables was also custom sewn so that an underlay wasn’t necessary, giving the space a gorgeous grey base so that the stunning pink floral centrepieces could pop. The look for the florals was consistent with my bridal bouquets, local and imported roses in shades of pink with fresh mint and jasmine tendrils cascading down the table.
The foliage installation suspended above our bridal table was one of my favourite elements. It was so wild and fragrant. It was made up of an abundance of five different foliages; oak, vibernum, trailing ivy, jasmine and asparagus fern. I sourced the white rattan lanterns from Weylandts, these recently went into our home and are a constant reminder of our beautiful day.
Further details on the tables included personalised menus again using the beautiful Jasmine Downling handwriting and handmade plaster tealights that were scattered around the venue.
WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST: I’m the Senior Wedding Planner at The Style Co, so it was only natural that I planned my own wedding and then left the design to my super talented colleagues. It’s such an honour to be a part of such a reputable, hard working team who pour everything into what they do. To have them do what they do best for James and I will always be a memorable experience. Walking into the space and seeing the design come to life still gives me goosebumps….it was everything we wanted it to look and feel like.
CAKE: Jo from Splendid Servings made one of the most beautiful cake that I’ve ever seen! It was made of four tiers; Cherry Ripe, Lemon + Coconut, Chocolate with fresh raspberry, Salted Caramel, finished in shaved coconut and adorned with fresh florals and greenery.
WEDDING SONGS: Greek ceremonies do not have modern music, instead we had chanting as we walked down the table.
Our first dance was Sean Marchetti's live version of Stand by Me and towards the end we had
live Saxophone kick in as we asked our parents and the bridal party
My Dad and I danced to ‘You’ve Got the Love’ sung live by James’ little cousin who is the most amazing singer – she had everyone in tears!
Our last song for our sparkler send off was Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay.
ENTERTAINMENT: We had an accoustic musician Sean Marchetti play for pre drinks and canapes and also over dinner in the marquee. He has the most amazing voice and our guests still comment about him. He sung our first dance and the we had a DJ, Saxophonist and Percussionist take over as guests moved outside onto the dance floor. We were quite specific with the song list we provided Rutherford Entertainment as we really wanted everyone to party! The Saxophone and Bongos added a great live element. We also had some Greek musica and the Saxophone also played along to that which was lots of fun.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: Food and Drink is super important to James and I and our families. We really wanted to create a shared Mediteranean Feast for our guests, so we customised a menu with Tommy Collins Catering and it was beyond perfect. Tommy Collins have a stong focus on seasonal and local produce and most of the menu was locally sourced.
Our guests were greeted with Moscow Mules and Pink Lady cocktails on arrival and served drinks & canapes in the pre dinner drinks area.
They were then served shared Entrée and Main in the marquee and once everyone moved onto the dance floor we had a dessert station and roaming Espresso Martinis served. The night ended with mini soulavkis as a late night snack.
Compressed lime scented watermelon, haloumi
Air dried cherry tomato tart, ricotta, dehydrated black olive, Parmesan crisp, baby basil
Tuna tataki, crème fraiche, French breakfast radish, black garlic
Smoked chicken breast ‘sandwich’
Otway Pork kromeski, apple purée
Salt and pepper calamari, lemon aioli
Entrée – to share
Marinated and grilled Quail, grapes, walnuts and chive
Roasted Bug tails, fennel puree, orange, dill, and fennel pollen
Tempura zucchini flowers, Mt Zero farro, mint, peas
Main – to share
Crispy skin Cone Bay Barramundi, grilled local asparagus, fregola, Salsa Verde
White cut chicken breast, crumbed chicken sausage, celeriac puree, on broccoli ‘couscous’, currants, pine nuts, seasoned with crispy/salty chicken skin
12 hour Slow roasted Flinders Island lamb shoulder, hand picked green beans, Yarra Valley Persian feta
Slow roasted Gippsland beef sirloin, hand picked green beans, Yarra Valley Persian feta
Red Hill heirloom tomatoes, black olive oil, Shaw River buffalo mozzarella, basil cress
Charred fig, rocket, walnut
Triple cooked Rye potatoes, rosemary, sea salt
Passionfruit, vanilla meringue, raspberries, cream (Eton Mess)
Pistachio, white chocolate, strawberry, basil
Loukoumades, honey, walnut
Peanut butter cheesecake, chocolate cookie
Ouzo flavoured blood orange tartlets
Mini souvlakis Marinated chicken, chips, mustard aioli, onion, parsley
TRANSPORT: Our bridal party was transported in Black Audi Q7’s and James and I had a black BMW.
CELEBRANT: Father Elefterios Tatsis at the Red Hill Greek Church married us. We loved his energy and passion.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: Lots of Pintrest and The Style Co.!
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: Walking down the aisle towards James surrounded by the people we love most in the world was the most magical feeling. It almost felt like a dream, as the Church doors opened the most beautiful light filled the church and I just remember James’s face and the look on all of our guests faces – it was just perfect. Our first dance under the stars was also a moment I will never forget. Sean Marchetti sung his version of ‘Stand by Me’ which we always said would be our wedding song, our bridal party and parents joined half way through and we all started singing along to the song together – it was so much fun!
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE… I know everyone says this but it is just so important to be completely present and take in every moment. You can be organised and plan the most perfect wedding but on the day you just need to let it all go and focus on what the day is truly about, it goes so quickly. I was so relaxed and calm on the day and just enjoyed the whole experience.
CHLOE & JAMES CONTACTS
PHOTOGRAPHY: Erin + Tara
BRIDE'S DRESS: Steven Khalil
BRIDE’S SHOES: Giuseppe Zanotti
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Watson X Watson
BRIDESMAIDS SHOES: Tony Bianco
FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOYS: Flowergirl dress was custom made, Page Boys: Bardot Junior
GROOMS FORMAL WEAR: Oscar Hunt / Joe Black
WEDDING RINGS: Sols Diamonds
JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES: Tesori Bellini / Fielsol
HAIR: Marie Uva
MAKEUP: Chantelle Baker
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: The Style Co. / Hand lettering by Jasmine Dowling
FLORIST: The Style Co. http://thestyleco.com.au/
CAKE: Splendid Servings
CATERING: Tommy Collins
WEDDING STYLIST / WEDDING PLANNER: The Style Co.
CELEBRANT: Father Elefterios Tatsis at the Red Hill Greek Church
WEDDING VENUE: Mantons Creek Estate
HONEMOON DESTINATION: Fullerton Bay Hotel in Singapore + Six Senses Maldives
ENTERTAINMENT: Sean Marchetti / Rutherford Entertainment
TRANSPORT: 1300 Limonow
VIDEOGRAPHER: Humdrum Films