A contemporary art gallery in their hometown of Gippsland was the ideal setting for Grace and Shanon’s intimate, winter celebration. Bold, textured canvases decorated the bright space, giving life to the abundance of playful blooms that spilled from plinths framing their aisle. A strong, vibrant palette of citrus hues and forest tones stood out against the polished concrete floors, complementing the art-strewn walls.
The celebrations continued in a dimly lit room where a communal-style table was adorned in chocolate brown velvet, wrought iron candelabras, and overflowing florals. It was the perfect alchemy of meticulous detail and unexpected styling, with Grace’s 60’s inspired gown detailed in feathers and delicate pearls, offering a mood of playfulness for the evening’s festivities.
Every detail of this beautifully curated event was captured by Lane favorite, Bianca Virtue.
Names / Grace & Shannon
Wedding Date / 26th July, 2020
Guest Numbers / 20
Budget / $18,000 USD
How We Met
Shanon worked with one of my brothers and always teased him that he wanted to marry me! Over time we became best friends and eventually couldn’t imagine our lives without each other.
Our Engagement Story
Shanon proposed to me at the top of Mount Hotham while we were snowboarding. This is one of our favourite activities to do together, so was the perfect place.
Marriage to us Means…
Loving one person unconditionally and sacrificially, for the rest of your life.
Our intimate celebration took place within the picturesque Gippsland countryside and fell into place only two weeks before the wedding (thanks to COVID-19 and a surprise venue closure).
I reached out to a local artist named Kerrie Warren who is known for her abstract expressionist art, to enquire about using her studio for our ceremony. Kerrie’s studio features concrete floors and white walls and is situated on manicured grounds only ten minutes from my house. Kerrie had never hosted a wedding before but generously allowed us to use her space. Finding this venue was so invigorating and brought some much-needed excitement back to our wedding planning. Everybody commented on how ‘us’ it was; and in hindsight, we would go as far as saying we wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Gippsland is our home and its breathtaking landscapes are close to our hearts. We shot our portraits at The Garden at Broughton Hall, a stunning property overlooking the Tarago reservoir. The owners, David and Phillip, kindly allowed us to use their grounds, in addition to their Bentley and glamorous pooches.
Following our portraits, we met our family and friends at Hogget Kitchen for dinner. When it came to food, having Chef Trevor Perkins cook for us was a no-brainer. Trev and I have worked together creatively in the past and I adore both Trev and his food. His restaurant has also been our favorite place to go on date nights, so having him cook for us was a sentimental choice.
Following the wedding rehearsal, the entire bridal party retreated to Green Hills Farm where we ate local woodfired pizza for dinner, played records, and sat around the fire sharing childhood stories and bad jokes. It was the perfect way to spend the wedding eve and was one of my favorite parts of the whole weekend.
On the morning of the wedding, my mother and mother-in-law joined us for breakfast and pampering. We spent the day exchanging gifts, lounging in our silk pj’s, sipping tea, eating scrumptious food, and admiring the views at Green Hills. Due to the Melbourne Metropolitan lockdown, one of my bridesmaids was unable to attend the wedding, so we took a quiet moment to speak on the phone. The environment was so fun and calm; I couldn’t have imagined a more wonderful way to spend the morning.
Overall Style / Aesthetic
My intention for the styling was to reference classical elements with a modern twist. I drew inspiration from the European art galleries of my childhood, my passion for art and my love of modern texture. From the fonts and print to the table settings, each design choice was considered, meaningful, a celebration of local talent, and a representation of us.
For the ceremony, I wanted my guests to feel as if they had been transported to a modern art gallery in Europe. We chose “The First Hit” canvas by Kerrie Warren as the centrepiece for our ceremony backdrop; all the styling elements were inspired by the colours and textures found within this piece.
We borrowed matte black chairs from friends and used Kerrie’s ceramics and plinths alongside our welcome sign in the entryway. Framing the main canvas, our florist created dreamy arrangements which cascaded down white plinths and onto the concrete floor. Every wall space was adorned with an explosive and colourful canvas which Kerrie herself had created.
I always knew I wanted the romance and magic of long table dining; I love the buzz of people passing plates and dimly lit rooms. Our long table was adorned with chocolate brown velvet, twisted iron candelabras and colourful floral installations. Each place setting featured a black textured plate, with a knotted linen napkin. For the wedding favors, we gave our guests a personalised Belgian chocolate block, wrapped in “The Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo.
The open kitchen meant that our guests were able to watch as Trevor and his team prepared and served each course. This brought so much life and wonder to the room.
The moment I saw the captivating work of Bianca Virtue – I knew that she was the perfect photographer for us. I saw in her work a shared love of beauty and an appreciation for detail and candid moments; this meant I could rest assured knowing that no special moment would go unnoticed.
Bianca overcame so many COVID hurdles to capture our day, and we couldn’t be more grateful that she did.
I’m a bridal designer and boutique owner of Twelve South Bridal, so when it came to the dress, I found it difficult to choose only one. I loved the idea of keeping it simple with a crepe gown, but was also drawn to the extravagance of embellishments and flirty textures.
It took me many late nights of tea and sketching to settle on the design for my ceremony dress. I wanted it to be timeless, reflective of my personality and long-sleeved. I drew inspiration from historical elegance, architectural lines, modern texture, and timeless style.
My couturier (Catherine Shepard) and I have worked together on countless bespoke gowns for my own brides, so when it came time to create a dress for myself, it was a really natural and special experience to share together.
We created the gown from ivory crepe and used crinoline throughout to give it movement and a beautiful fall. The gown featured an off-the-shoulder neckline, with long sleeves, asymmetrical draping, and a billowing circular drape on the skirt.
My reception dress was inspired by Audrey Hepburn, vintage Givenchy, 60’s glamour, and a little party. Covered in ivory ostrich feathers and dotted with pearls, it was also made from ivory crepe and featured a simple strapless sheath gown underneath. Over the top, was a high-neck, wide-sleeved top, with a curved hem, falling into a dramatic train at the back.
“COVID-19 taught me to let go of my expectations for a wedding and focus on the importance of establishing a healthy marriage.”
One Day x Alias Mae “Dria Heel”. A traditional heel with a soft point, made from ivory leather with a modern crushed satin twist.
I wanted each dress to be different in color and texture, but harmonious in style. All the bridesmaids wore a midi length wrap dress with bishop sleeves in metallic gold, olive green, and black with gold foil.
Mimco “Atalaya” heel. White leather pointed toe slingback, with straps, a sleek block heel, and feature pleating on the toe.
I designed my rings with the incredible team from Diamondline Jewellery in the Melbourne CBD. My engagement ring is a classic, radiant cut yellow diamond, set beside clusters of smaller, brilliant-cut white diamonds. For my wedding band, we opted for a matching band of white diamonds to complement the engagement ring. Shanon’s wedding band is simple, brushed silver with a beveled edge.
Jewellery / Accessories
I fell in love with the artful “Bloom” veil by New Phrenology and felt that this was a one-of-a-kind investment piece, which would make a beautiful heirloom for my children. Having spent the majority of my life drawing flowers, I instantly connected with the stunning illustrations by Alli Koch and loved how they reflected my personality. I also wore the “Everdeen” statement earrings by Kendra Scott. These were a must for me, as they flawlessly married my love for modern simplicity and vintage glamour with their unique setting and use of shape.
For my reception, I carried a vintage pearl clutch which I found at a local Opportunity store.
“Planning a wedding during a global pandemic was certainly memorable. When our venue closed, Shanon and I banded together and planned a whole new celebration in only two days. Working through all the ups and downs brought us closer, and meant that we felt totally victorious knowing that love had won.”
Shanon and his groomsmen wore a pure merino wool classic black shawl tuxedo, by the incredible team at YSG & Co. Each tux featured a handpicked custom lining, with personalised embroidery on the inside. I also surprised Shanon with a Tommy Hilfiger watch and Ralph Lauren cologne on the wedding morning.
I wore my hair in a simple low bun with a centre part, which felt natural and authentic for me.
Elle and I kept it simple with a classic colour palette, adding warmth with a subtle peach to the cheek and lip, an elegant winged liner and her signature glowy skin.
My invitations and stationery were created by my dear friend and Art Director, Lucy Calway. Lucy is a creative genius and understood my vision immediately; we opted for clean/modern lines and a classic typeface, which we carried throughout all the print design.
Our invitations were black typeset on white textured card, wrapped in Vellum paper, black paper twine, and finished with a black wax seal. We kept it simple with black envelopes and a link to our website for the RSVPs.
Lucy created a welcome sign and placards to match.
Flowers & Bouquets
Our flower arrangements were created by our local florist The Willow Branch, who resonated with our energy & aesthetic from the very beginning; and patiently walked beside us through all my wild ideas and COVID hurdles.
Our final design was inspired by the winter season and the romantic shapes and unique textures of historic still-life flower paintings. We opted for lush, organic, and wild cascading pieces at the ceremony and reception, ranging from strong, bold colors including orange, yellow, and forest green with softer hues of browns, peach, and white.
The florists sourced many locally grown blooms, as well as other seasonal flowers, including poppies, sweet peas, potato vine, tribuchina, orchids, ranunculus, roses, and sage.
I wanted my bridesmaid’s bouquets to reflect their dresses, each being colorful, quirky, and unique. In contrast, I carried a traditional, all-white bouquet with minimal foliage. Each of our bouquets was tied with a romantic, ivory velvet ribbon.
Food & Beverages
Food was an integral part of the experience that we wanted to give our guests; we wanted them to feel spoilt, comfortable, and full. Trev designed a sit down, four-course menu based around all our favourite foods. Trev specialises in a seasonal, local and nose to tail approach.
We ate quail, croquettes, cheese and charcuterie, smoked beef and lamb, glorious winter vegetables, chocolate fig tart, and white chocolate and citrus bavarois.
Hogget’s restaurant manager (and owner of ARC Wines), Jessica, selected a delicious range of Victorian wine to compliment the menu.
Europe came to us in VIC at The House on the Hill, a Tuscan-style private villa, nestled on Olive Grove overlooking Westernport Bay, San Remo.
I walked down the aisle to ‘Til I’m Ninety Nine’ by Nathan Angelo; we wanted something relaxed and upbeat, plus it’s one of our favourite songs to sing in the car. We also had the ‘Two Of Us’ by Birds of Tokyo playing while we signed our certificate, and I created a playlist of all my favourite jams for the reception.
A dear industry friend DJ Nige brought his turquoise Vespa “Diedre” to the studio and played music throughout the ceremony.
Sources of Inspiration
I drew most of the inspiration for the styling from the locations themselves. I felt that by complementing the spaces, I wouldn’t look back and regret my design choices. For the dresses and tablescapes, I looked to Pinterest and my collection of historical fashion books.
A Memorable Moment…
Planning a wedding during a global pandemic was certainly memorable. When our venue closed, Shanon and I banded together and planned a whole new celebration in only two days! Working through all the ups and downs brought us closer, and meant that we felt totally victorious knowing that love had won.
One Thing I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Wedding Plans
That my wedding day wouldn’t truly reflect who I was until I let go of my expectations and comparison and had the confidence to be content in my decisions.
If I could give other Brides-To-Be one Piece of Advice
The most important part of a wedding is getting married. COVID-19 taught me to let go of my expectations for a wedding and focus on the importance of establishing a healthy marriage. This mindset removed so much pressure and made the wedding planning experience so freeing. I wish that I’d had this mindset when I began my wedding planning. Now I encourage all my brides to take the pressure off and focus on the ultimate goal of marrying their best friend.
Photography / Bianca Virtue
Bride’s Shoes / One Day x Alias Mae
Bridesmaids Shoes / Mimco
Grooms Formal Wear / YSG & Co
Wedding Rings / Diamondline Jewellery
Bride’s Pyjamas / Jasmine & Will
Hair / Revillo Hair
Makeup / Elle James Makeup
Florist / The Willow Branch
Catering / Hogget Kitchen
Honeymoon / The House on the Hill Olive Grove
Entertainment / DJ Nige
Gift Registry / Thankful Registry
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