Laura & Matt

BALLARAT – 1st April 2016

Breaking traditions is something these two do well, starting from Laura proposing to Matt in an adorably cute pillow fort, experiencing the nerves of what most men do. That gorgeous satin emerald green dress that inspired their 50’s themed wedding, all held in Ballarat, in the backyard of ‘mum’s house’ whilst the most beautiful vows were read. Take a look a this unique and loveable couple and their own take on what the perfect wedding looks like.



I admired Matt from afar for quite a while before we were both invited to the same birthday party. I made a total fool of myself trying to impress him, and would never have seen him again if we hadn’t both been out on the town with the same friend a few weeks later. I again, flirted outrageously, but managed to get his phone number, and over text with a bit more time to filter out my crazy, he finally gave me a chance and we started dating.



We were on holiday on Philip Island, and while Matt was in the shower I made the most poorly constructed pillow fort of my life. I gave him a watch, and was so nervous that I got about three words of my speech out and had to read the rest off my phone after he accepted.



I love 50s fashion, and I knew from the start that I didn’t want a traditional dress. I did try on a few white floofy gowns, and I did love them, but I didn’t love the price, which like most things wedding related was the size of a decent house deposit. I started looking at 2nd hand places, and the dress I went with caught my eye in a local Rockabilly themed shop, Lana Rose. I love green, I loved the length, and the petticoats made the dress perfectly swooshy, which was important for dancing! It also ended up costing me a neat $200, which really helped with budgeting. With my dress chosen, we thought we’d ask the people coming to the ceremony to dress up in similar theme, and then mentioned that dress up was optional for the reception guests as well. Everyone really got on board, which was just so lovely.

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My makeup artist worked at Lana Rose, where I bought my dress, and showed me a couple of pictures of other weddings she had done with a similar theme. To be honest, her own eyeliner was enough of a reference for me, and we used her for myself, my mum and my two bridesmaids, and she managed to create perfect looks for all of us on the day. At the last minute, I decided to get my hair done too, and my usual hairdresser from Vanilah squeezed me in and did a fantastic job.



We chose to have the ceremony in mum’s backyard largely to cut back on costs. We considered doing it at one of the local reservoirs but we wanted to be able to have a cooling off relaxed period afterwards. It ended up being perfect. The weather was beautiful, and I felt at home.

Our celebrant, Jilly Martino, used to be my manager, and we made one of those very strong connections almost instantly. She was casual but heartfelt, and so inclusive. She directed most of the ceremony from beside us, allowing us to stand close together and meaning that most of the photos from the ceremony are just the two of us. She took the lead in all the aspects we weren’t sure about, whilst still tailoring it to us, and was so amenable to any changes we wanted. At the end, she said “You may now kiss each other” rather than “You may now kiss the bride”, and it was little touches like this that just captured how well she got us.

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One of the first decisions we made was using Ballarat wedding photographer Emma from Pretty Flamingo Photography as our photographer. I set up meetings with three photographers over two days, and she was the third. After meeting with Emma, we just clicked, so for me it was more about having someone I was comfortable with, who I would be happy sharing my wedding day with. She did an amazing job, I am so happy with the photos, but I was also thrilled with the way she got us to be so relaxed, while she was taking photos of us. Matt can be a bit shy, so having him comfortable and laughing and talking, was such a treat.

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When thinking of ways to save money, the biggest cost always seemed to be on the venue. We had solved the ceremony part, but didn’t want mum to be stressed out over food rather than enjoying the day with us. We looked into food trucks and sit down dinners, and ended up with the idea of asking our guests to buy their own meals and drinks, instead of getting us gifts. The Lake View was fully supportive of this, and they also happened to have a really nice function space upstairs. We chose to have a private meal downstairs, with the 20 people from the ceremony, and then invited another 50+ to come party with us upstairs. I actually have no idea what our final number was, but the Lake View were awesome about it. We prebooked some delicious nibbles and they assured us if people were going hungry, we could buy more platters on the night and they would just bring them up. It was amazing and casual and above all, welcoming.

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Our goal on budgeting was to spend less than $10,000, and eventually we reduced this again to $5,000. Our end cost was roughly $3,000, and the result was an amazing day that we hope was a more memorable and fun day than it might have been if we had gone the traditional route.



Theme: Geeky 50’s love
Brides Dress: Queen of Hearts green tea length from Lana Rose Fashion
Accessories: Handmade bouquet made from Harry Potter books and buttons
Cake: Cupcakes made by friend
Makeup: Sophie Livitsanis
Suites: Messer & Opie
Rings: Alexas Treasures and Angus and Coote
Ceremony Venue: Mum’s backyard
Celebrant: Jilly Martino
Photographer: Pretty Flamingo Photography (Emma Roberts)
Reception Venue: Lake View Hotel, Ballarat
Number of Guests: 20 to ceremony, 70 to reception
Overall Cost: Less than $3000