Each week, we’ll deep dive into one Aussie couple’s wedding day to bring you all the details about the important stuff. From the practical things like the dress and vendors to the words of wisdom they wish they’d heard before their big day, below you’ll find everything you want to know.
Oh, there are lots of beautiful photos too.
Who: Nicole, 29, and Andrew, 30, from Victoria.
Wedding date: June 17, 2017
Number of guests: 200
Wedding budget: Approx. $50,000
Photography: Kim Cartmell, “absolute legend!!!”
Nicole and Andrew's love story
"Andrew and I met through mutual friends, I added him on Myspace (that’s how long we have been together for) and thought he was hilarious. Whenever I would see him out, I would always end up spending the night talking to him. We had similar interests that our friends weren’t exactly interested in, so we just clicked."
"Marriage to us means commitment. Some days are not easy but other days are the best days you will ever have. It's about compromise and finding a happy balance.
"You learn very quickly it doesn’t matter how many times that day you have done the dishes or how many times that week you cooked dinner, not everything needs to always be announced. We just want to be happy. Everything else is kind of just falling into place."
The wedding dress.
Wedding dress: Anette of Melbourne
"I like to dress very plain but with a bit of an edge, so wedding dress shopping for me wasn’t fun to start with. I took my mum and a close friend who I knew would be completely honest with me. Whilst my mum was making me try on glitzy and glamorous type dresses, my friend would keep me calm and tell me just to roll with it."
"I wasn’t really interested in anything I was seeing. I didn’t want a sweetheart neckline, I didn’t want straps, I wanted something with a high neck because that’s what I felt comfortable with. I knew I wanted sleeves too, I think the main reason I wanted a winter wedding was so I could wear sleeves. I hate wearing white and wasn’t one of those people who dreamed about their wedding when they were a little girl. I would much rather be a guest and wear something in darker colours.
"I was obsessed with this Balmain dress Kim Kardashian wore for an event. It was black and gold with cold shoulders. I envisioned something like that dress but in white. A few people had mentioned Annette of Melbourne to me and everyone I had spoken to about them only had great things to say.
"When I met with Rose the designer, she spoke to me for a good 10 minutes then got me to walk up and down a few times. Within a few minutes she had a design for me. Annette of Melbourne are known for their corsetry work and I knew I needed a dress designed and fitted to my body - I couldn’t buy off the rack with my curves!
"Thankfully, Rose literally designed the Kim K Balmain dress for me – but added the bell sleeves! I couldn’t believe it. With a few tweaks along the way we ended up designing the dress that was perfect for me. The moment she showed me her sketch of my dress, that was my 'aha' bridal moment."
Nicole's bridal hair, makeup and final touches.
Wedding makeup: Makeup by Gin
Wedding hair: Tina Petidis
Wedding shoes: Mi Piaci
Veil: Anette of Melbourne
Other: Small handbag made by Nicole's nonna
"I just wanted to look like myself on the day because I don’t like to dress up when I don’t need to. I didn’t want to look completely different on my wedding day, but I wanted to look my best but also feel comfortable."
"I didn’t want to have to look 'a certain way', which most people make you feel about bridal style. I put my own little touches on everything. I would literally go to work in a matching tracksuit if I could (I wear a lab coat so I think I could make this happen one day), so for all the future low key casual brides out there, don’t stress, I feel ya! If I can do this, you can too.
"That said, I have naturally curly hair but I asked my stylist to straighten the hell out of it for me! I felt good in my dress, my hair was perfect and my makeup was lit! Getting ready, my house was full of my family and close friends which just started the day with so much excitement which made me so happy.
"My veil was the masterpiece. I started to Google veils because I didn’t want a traditional veil, I felt they were very outdated. I wanted something different and that was going to finish the dress off so I went for a cape veil. It suited the June winter vibe and I look back on my photos and I’m so thankful I went with it! I was definitely giving off major Game of Thrones vibes.
"I also carried a small bag in the shape of a doll that my 93-year-old nonna made for me. She made a similar one when my mother got married and I always said I would want one when I got married. I told her early on that my dress would have a cape veil and sleeves, so she made the doll have a cape and sleeves too, so cute!
"I got changed into my Vans at the end of the night too."
The bridal party.
Groom's outfit: Calibre
"Andrew and I agreed on not having a bridal party. I have about 50 female cousins all around the same age and we are all very close, so I felt bad having to pick and choose. I also have a handful of close girlfriends that I also felt I couldn’t choose between."
"I've really pictured us having a big bridal party, maybe just a maid of honour and best man, but we decided on just us two being up on the altar in the end, giving everyone else the chance to relax and enjoy the day. We had both of our brothers sign the registry as our witnesses, which I thought was really nice and made sense to me.
"My best friend Carla said a speech for both Andrew and I at the wedding. I know she is a little salty she didn’t get the Maid of Honour title but she knows she was a very special part of our day. We also had our nieces and nephew as flower girls and page boy, they were so cute!
"A lot of people said we would regret not having a bridal party but I don’t regret it at all, it felt very special just having the day to ourselves."
The ceremony and reception.
Wedding ceremony venue: Good Shepherd Chapel, Abbotsford Convent, VIC
Reception venue: The Rosina Room at the Abbotsford Convent
Celebrant: Father Peter Rankin
Flowers: Strathmore Flowers
Decor: Style My Day
Stationery: Makers Co.
Wedding cake: Lamanna Patisserie
DJ: Joseph Damiano from Karizma Entertainment
MC: Simon McClusky, "absolute legend."
Wedding singers: Two Play Entertainment
"We had our wedding at the Abbotsford convent, so it made sense to marry in the Good Shepherd Chapel on site. We chose to stay traditional to our family upbringing and marry in a catholic church, the Good Shepherd chapel is stunning inside and out with beautifully restored pews and stained glass windows."
"The reception was important to us because we got to celebrate the night with our family and friends and have the party we had always wanted. We chose to hire a DJ because we aren't really into band covers; bands are cool but we prefer to be listening to the real thing.
"We have known our DJ for a long time so he knew our taste, we didn't have to give him much direction as what we wanted to hear. We walked into the reception to 'Touch the Sky' by Kanye West. It was the happiest feeling ever. We looooove Kanye (if you couldn't already tell!).
"The food at the convent was incredible! I still have people tell me to this day it was the best reception food they have eaten! Bursaria did a really good job. For the cake, I went with my favourite ebony and ivory cake from LaManna patisserie, kept it really simple and just let my florist decorate with a few blooms. Simple but edgy, which was our theme."
The moments that made Nicole and Andrew's wedding day special.
"I would be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious on the morning of our wedding. I was calm, but when all my family and friends came over, sh*t got real very quick!"
"One of the most memorable moments of the day was my dad walking me down the aisle to my wedding singer singing a cover of 'Ultra Light Beam' by Kanye West. During that moment, I was staring straight at Andrew, who was just smiling.
"Our first dance was to 'Redbone' by Childish Gambino. We love hip hop and this song is absolute fire. It was such a great way to open the dance floor - to this day, people still message me every time they hear that song and it reminds them of our wedding."
Would Nicole and Andrew change anything about their wedding?
"I don’t like to look back with regret. Everything was great on the day... besides me walking through mud one hour into being in my white dress."
"Styles are forever changing, so I wouldn’t say I would change anything because I know it's what I wanted at that point in time. If I had our time again, I'd try not stress as much on the day and just let things slide. Planning a wedding can be stressful at times, but it's only as stressful as you let it be. I tried my hardest to stay on top of everything. I also wish I had more space to invite some friends I couldn’t.
"Would we spend $50,000 on our wedding again? Yes and no. In the wedding industry, they can literally charge you whatever they want because they know you need it. At the start of planning you have a budget and fight for good deals, but by the end of it I had this “I'll pay anything I just need it in two weeks time” kind of mentality. I just wanted it to look good and everyone to have a good time.
"The advice I would give brides is quite practical: always meet with your photographer and videographer before you book and pay a deposit, these two are some of the biggest costs for the wedding. Check with people first if they can recommend anyone, it's always good to go with people you know do a good job and actually are respectful on the day. They might cost a little extra but if they have been recommended its because they are trusted and known to do a great job."
All images supplied by the couple and Kim Cartmell Photography.
Before signing or paying for anything wedding venue related, please listen to the wise words of Aleisha McCormack on the latest episode of Hitched where she unpacks all the questions to ask and where you can save some pennies.
Love weddings or getting married and need to ask all the questions about venues, flowers, photographers, wedding dresses, EVERYTHING? Come join Mamamia's wedding planning podcast Facebook group Hitched.