We have long been drawn to the beauty of aging, to buildings that show their years and patina that tell stories of passing time. We’re drawn to venues that are evocative of something more, walls that have seen love and loss, where decay is but a referent to the movement of life itself.
Set inside the beautiful walls of Melbourne’s George Ballroom, Amy and Abhi’s wedding was inextricable from the poetry of the years: a venue that dates back to Victorian times, an engagement ring fashioned from antique stone and a ceremony inspired by the traditions of the world’s oldest religions…
Photography by I Got You Babe.
NAMES: Amy and Abhi
WEDDING DATE: April 22, 2017
GUEST NUMBERS: 140
HOW WE MET: Abhi and I met at work. I had just started as a graduate and Abhi had moved from the Gold Coast to Melbourne for a job at the firm roughly 12 months beforehand. After a few fleeting interactions at the firm’s Friday night drinks, we had a reasonably long chat at the 80s themed Christmas party (in our eyes it was reasonably long, in the eyes of others it was extremely long!).
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: We got engaged in my favourite place in the world, Bright, Victoria. I holidayed in Bright all through my childhood and it holds many special memories for me, particularly, memories with my late Grandpa. Abhi proposed at a lookout over the city. I had no idea what was about to happen. He insisted on driving up to the lookout (usually we hiked) and this was the first sign to me that something was up.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: Partnership, support and adventure.
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WEDDING LOCATION: We wanted both the ceremony and reception to be fairly central in Melbourne. I always like to do things a bit “differently” so wanted a pretty unique reception venue. After visiting a few warehouse/industrial venues, The George Ballroom in St Kilda was the perfect mix of something different but with a sense of charm and elegance.
The ceremony location proved more difficult. We wanted a civil location that was not gardens/outdoors (Abhi was too concerned about Melbourne weather). We finally found the Werner Brodbeck Hall, which had a great sense of grandeaur and age.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Lilli Waters of I Got You Babe was our photographer. The first thing I was drawn to in Lilli’s photos was the light. It seemed to leap across her photos. Lilli captured some amazing moments between Abhi and I, as well as our guests. These candid moments are invaluable memories. Above all else, we loved how Lilli captured the autumn colours that were all around us. Autumn is our favourite time of year which is why we chose to have the wedding in April.
BRIDE’S DRESS: I wore a custom couture gown by Georgia Young Couture. My dress was complete lace with a silk lining. It was a-line, with a boatneck, lowback and long sleeves. Getting my dress made was one of the best experiences of the wedding for me. Georgia was incredible to work with. Not only is she so talented, but she also was so understanding and patient! I completely changed my design 4 months out at my first fitting and she just took it in her stride. I felt absolutely awful about it! I cannot recommend Georgia more highly to any future brides.
BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: My two bridesmaids wore burgundy long sleeve full length gowns with a keyhold neckline from Reformation. My man of honour wore MJ Bale navy pants with a Jack London burgundy jacket, white TM Lewin shirt and navy tie.
WEDDING RINGS: My engagement ring is a square sapphire surrounded by circular diamonds, with a yellow gold shank and platinum setting. It dates to the early 1900s. Abhi purchased it from Mary Titchener in Toorak and we went back to Mary for our wedding rings (both plain yellow gold rings). Mary has an incredible selection of vintage jewellery and is abolutely charming to work with.
GROOM/GROOMSMENS’ ATTIRE: Abhi’s navy suit was from Oscar Hunt in Melbourne with a navy bow-tie. His white shirt was also made by Oscar Hunt. The groomsmen’s suits were from MJ Bale and again, a navy colour. Ties and shirts were from TM Lewin.
HAIR: I wanted to wear my hair out and as close as possible to how I wear it everyday. My view is that trying out a new style is not for your wedding day!
MAKEUP: On a day to day basis I mainly only wear eye-liner and mascara so again, wanted to keep my make-up pretty similar to what I do on a day to day basis. The focus was my smokey eye, but I also wore a lovely lip colour from Nars called “dolce vita”. My hair and make-up was done by Jannice Wu. The bridesmaids make-up was done by Janice, and their hair (as well as the man of honour’s) was done by Tyla Miller.
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Again, we kept things pretty simple with the invitations. Belinda of Bella Stationery created our invites (which I loved from their simplicity and uniquiness). We didn’t have RSVP cards and instead, just created an email for RSVPs
FAVORS: We chose to donate to the Cancer Council of Victoria instead of providing typical bonbonnieres. Each guest received a daffodil flower pin from the Cancer Council. We also arranged for our florist to wrap up the flowers at the end of the night for the guests to take home.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: Rachelle of Wild Daughter was our florist. I don’t even know where to begin. Rachelle created florals that were out of this world. We were pretty simple with our brief to Rachelle. We basically only specified the colour palette and the types of arrangements required. The rest was left in Rachelle’s hands. I still remember entering the hall for the ceremony and being stunned at the florals. There was a silver handrail that runs down the side of the aisle and I had asked Rachelle to cover it with a few vines. Rachelle created an absolute work of art! It was a amazing piece in and of itself! I also could not have loved my bouquet more. Rachelle was just absolutely lovely to work with.
PREPARATION: I got ready at my Mum and Dad’s house. Abhi got ready at our new place in Northcote. For me, the focus was on breakfast (my favourite meal of the day!) and my mum made me delicious eggs on smashed avo.
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR: The George pretty much speaks for itself as a venue, so we didn’t feel the need to add much more styling. The candelabras were provided by the venue. The rest of it was purely down to Rachelle’s amazing floral designs. Again, her work just stole the show!
CAKE: Fig & Salt created our wedding cake. I was lucky enough to stumble across her work when a friend brought me a piece of her gluten free cake to try (I’m sadly coeliac). Abhi loves everything salted caramel, so Fig & Salt’s dark chocolated mud cake with the salted caramel pour-over was an easy choice!
WEDDING SONGS: I walked down the aisle These Arms of Mine by Otis Redding. Our first dance was La Vien Rose by Louis Armstrong.
ENTERTAINMENT: Our DJ was Scooter/John of Top Shelf DJs. He was an absolute gem! He came to our rescue at the last minute when we needed the music for the ceremony burnt onto a CD. John played a mix of RnB/Hip-hop, golden oldies as well as some Bollywood, so we had all bases covered! I couldn’t recommend his services more.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: We had a 3 course sit down meal. Drinks were served.
TRANSPORT: I was lucky enough to arrive in a family friend’s vintage blue Mustang.
HONEYMOON: We had an amazing 5 week holiday in Europe. Favourite place was the Luberon Valley in the South of France. Amazing food and scenery.
CELEBRANT: The Celebrant was Captain Aaron Stobie of the Salvation Army Church. He is a family friend and it was great to share that moment with someone we knew.
READINGS: One of my best friend’s Megan read an excerpt from Jane Eyre. Abhi’s mum did a Hindu reading/prayer.
ANY OTHER SPECIAL DETAILS: A highlight of the wedding for me was getting to wear my Grandmother’s tiara that she wore on her wedding day, and that my Mum wore on her wedding day also. I was very close to my late Grandpa, so wearing the tiara allowed me to feel that he was part of the day. I was honoured that my Grandmother asked me to wear the tiara.
Another detail of the wedding which made it personal to Abhi and I was the inclusion of elements of a Hindu ceremony in the civil ceremony. It was a wonderful touch and helped the ceremony further be a true reflection of us and our history.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: Walking down the aisle and seeing Abhi’s beaming smile.
ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING
PLANS: You won’t actually spend all that much time
together during the reception. I lost Abhi after the first
dance and felt like I didn’t see him until it was all
over. Everyone says the same thing, but it truly does fly,
make sure you are conscious of sneaking off for a moment to
yourself if you can.
AMY & ABHI’S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: I Got You Babe
BRIDE'S DRESS: Georgia Young Couture
BRIDE’S SHOES: Sam Edelman
BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Reformation
GROOM’S FORMAL WEAR: Oscar Hunt
WEDDING RINGS: Mary Titchener
JEWELRY & ACCESSORIES: Whistles
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Bella Stationery Studio
FLORIST: Wild Daughter
CAKE: Fig & Salt
CATERING: Damm Fine Food
WEDDING VENUE: The George Ballroom
ENTERTAINMENT: Top Shelf DJs