Amanda + James by Briars Atlas

One of our long tables had table names in the wrong order which I noticed halfway through the reception but all of my family said they loved being mingled in rather than sitting across from their partners so it worked out in the end anyway!

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
J: Previously worked as a cocktail bartender, then photographer, now working in construction as a part of a family business. Still have a passion for photography and hold strong family values. Love spending time with my wife and our two sausage dogs Cherry & Soda.
A: I’m a (nearly) qualified Social worker but when we met I was working in social media marketing. I have always loved creating, mainly through food and decorating. I love people, which is not just the love of my life but my friends and family too. James is a very charming introvert and I am a very shy extrovert so we make a good match.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
J: We actually knew each other in high school, kicked around with the same circle of friends. First impression was she was a cool indie kid who listened to Klaxons & Grizzly Bear. Touched base years later wanting to go on a hike so I could take photos. Realised we were way different than we used to be and it just worked.
A: When we ‘re-met’ we went on a hike, which led to drinks, which led to hanging out every other day and then marriage. But when I first met James in high school I thought he was really cool, especially because he was a massive emo kid which was our friendship group’s vibe at the time.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
J: The proposal was a case of ‘best laid plans’. Had three different occasions where I was going to propose and something always got in the way. After collecting myself I kept it simple, made her an amazing dinner on a day I had off, got everything all set and proposed in our tiny Ivanhoe apartment.
A: I was in a towel after just getting out of the shower on a random Monday night after work and he was down on one knee. We both can’t really remember what was said but being intimate and just us was very us.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
J: Green. We wanted to get married in a venue easily accessible to everyone with a heap of greenery in the venue. It was all about something that was comfortable to us. All in all, we threw the best part of the year and would not have changed a thing.
A: I think for us the main factor was actually convenience, we wanted something fun that had all the elements we loved (like James’ obsession with neon lighting and mine with the colour green) but was easy to manage on the day – which it was! It felt equal parts laid back and lux, with a mix of more traditional things and very ‘us’ elements like having our dog walk down the aisle.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
A: The venue was amazing and in an area we love, plus Panama is already decked out in faux plants and has beautiful windows. Oli our photographer was also so worth it (although I’d consider him high value rather than a splurge) because as someone who hates getting my photo taken, he just made us feel so comfortable on the day and truly felt like a friend we have just invited along. Plus the photos are absolutely amazing!

I surprised James on the day with an audio guest book from At the Beep which he (and our guests) loved. We didn’t want a videographer so having people’s voices recorded in time, and the background music, is really special to us. Plus James loves vinyl records so it will be nice to listen to that and out first dance songs every year on our anniversary.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
J: To be brutally honest I wasn’t stressed on the day at all. Once the wheels were in motion. it was go time. I suppose I have my lovely wife to thank for that because she is the spreadsheet queen and runs a very tight ship.
A: I am a bit of an over planner, and considering this was our 3rd attempt due to COVID, there was nothing stressful on the day at all. One of our long tables had table names in the wrong order which I noticed halfway through the reception but all of my family said they loved being mingled in rather than sitting across from their partners so it worked out in the end anyway!

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
J: My main outfit was a three-piece forest green suit. Inside the jacket pocket, I had embroidered ‘til death’ which was our neon sign on the day. Sadly we were supposed to be married in September so wearing a heavy fabric suit on a hot January day was not ideal but as the layers came away, it showed everyone it was party time. One of my favourite details was my black Gucci tie with a bee on it. I call Amanda my ‘čeba’ (Slovenian for Honey Bee) so it was a nice little detail for me.

A: I had a pretty simple dress for the reception which was made by Linda in Northcote. It was inspired by quite a few dresses I’d seen online but added in the detailing of back buttons which I think is classic and made me feel really ‘bridal’. I also wore my Mother in Law’s cathedral veil which was such a nice touch and she really appreciated it. My shoes for the ceremony weren’t even visible but they were very low heeled Loeffler Randall which I think has been a bit of a bride staple the last few years as they are very classic in style, although they released the vegan green version after I already got mine but I would have loved a pop of green in the shoes.

My reception outfit was a jumpsuit made by the absolutely lovely Julie Goodwin, she made the whole process so special and I ended up loving my jumpsuit too much I decided not to change back into the dress after the dance. I also wore some salsa shoes with my jumpsuit for our dance, which was probably one of my favourite parts of the day. I used to be a tap dance teacher and although I’d never done ballroom or partner dancing before, I knew I wanted to do something fun for our first dance, and after only 5 lessons (which were the most fun ever) we had the best time on the day and every time I look at those photos I get a big smile on my face.

Ceremony Location + Catering: The Panama, @thepanamadiningroom / Photographer: Briars Atlas, @briarsatlas / Celebrant: Ceremonies by Ally, @ceremoniesbyally / Styling + Hire: The Small Things Co, @thesmallthingsco / Planner: Events by Emma Currie, @eventsbyemmacurrie / Flora: North St Botanical, @northst / Cake: Katielou’s Cakes, @katielous_cakes / Stationery: Villa Studio, @villastudioweddings; State of Reverie, @stateofreveriestudio / Car: d’Luxe Classic Car Tours, @dluxeclassiccartours / Audio Guestbook: At The Beep, / Amanda’s Ceremony Dress: Linda Jane Doble, @lindajanedoble / Amanda’s Reception Jumpsuit: Julie Goodwin Couture, @juliegoodwincouture / James’ Custom made 3 piece suit: Angela Nicolades (6-8 Bonham Place, Richmond) / Ring/s + Amanda’s Earrings: Chloe McColl, @chloemccolljewellery / Shoes: (Her) Loeffler Randall, @loefflerrandall; (His) McCloud, @mccloudshoes / Tie: Gucci, @gucci / Makeup: Killer Queen Creative, @killerqueencreative / Hair: The Distinctive Dame, @thedistinctivedame / Bridesmaids’ Attire: Varying, I decided very early on that I wanted my bridesmaids to wear whatever they wanted, but only theme was green / Groomsmen’s Attire: The groomsmen all wore grey with the best man, James’ brother, having a pattern on his