Dalena + Julian by Cassandra Catic

Julian will always try to claim that during our first date, I tried to ghost him towards the end by making up an excuse to walk the dog a second time that day. This moment for us is always up for debate as I was dog sitting for a friend at the time and her dog was super energetic.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
My husband Julian and I both work in healthcare. I love cooking, trying out new recipes and a good Pinot. Julian loves eating, always training for a half marathon and a nerd at heart. Together, we are always thinking of our next adventure. Whether that be our next meal, new experiences, travel or board game.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
We first met briefly at work. I just recall Julian stood out as he wore nice boots when working in an emergency department. Soon after we reconnected after fatefully swiping on each other on a dating app. We went on a first date at Rice Paper Scissors and a cool pop up Harry Potter Bar which went for 6 hours. Julian will always try to claim that during our first date, I tried to ghost him towards the end by making up an excuse to walk the dog a second time that day. This moment for us is always up for debate as I was dog sitting for a friend at the time and her dog was super energetic.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
We discussed about this together and could not pinpoint an exact moment. We moved from dating to moving in with each other within 6 months of dating. From the get go, we shared common interests, humour and ideals. Julian has always said that he knew I was the one when I woke up at 3 am with him to watch the world release of the Rise of Skywalker movie trailer. From the beginning, we both realized how special the little moments we share together and the unsaid mutual understanding of being a team.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
Julian’s meticulously planned proposals were set back multiple times due to Melbourne COVID lockdowns and unforeseeable family events. Work demands and trying to replan Julian’s 30th now under lockdown conditions kept myself busy. Julian’s proposal was inspired by our first overseas trip together to Japan just before COVID struck. One evening, he told me we were going to grandma’s place to check in all was well. When we got to the house, he opened the door and all you could see were candles set up running down the hallway. He proceeded to hand me a suitcase and an envelope that contained an airplane ticket with the destination “Tokyo”. Jules guided me to a room and said I am taking you to Japan today and opened the door. In this room, he decorated the room in a Japanese style hotel room with all Japanese inspired décor, amenities and snacks. We proceeded to go out to the courtyard, where there were fairy lights and lanterns all set up around a cute proposal picnic set up. We sat down and Jules gave me the photo book he made for our first anniversary. I turned the pages, passing photos of our favourite moments together, until I came upon a page detailing “ will you marry me ?”. As I looked up, Julian was on one knee with the ring, saying the most beautiful things and asked me to marry him. I couldn’t stop crying and it was such a surreal moment for both of us.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
The brief we gave to Bow Creative helped us define our pastel modern romantic theme for our wedding. We wanted the natural beauty of our ceremony and reception locations to shine so we chose a French Garden-esque colour palette. Lush white and pastel coloured florals, and pops of lilac and cornflower blue throughout to add a sense of whimsy and romance vibes. Our ceremony was in the Chapel at Stones and we decided to forgo some traditions and ended up adding our own personal spin on the ceremony stationery encapsulating who we are and the interests that brought us together. We kept the tablescape neutral and minimalist with neutral menus and place cards, sage texture linen napkins, and a range of contemporary candles. Ceramic bud and stem vases lined the tables filled with mixed whimsical florals with hints of liliac to tie the ceremony styling to the reception. Jess at Sassafras completely nailed the brief of creating a lush hanging floral installation mimicking a canopy of jacaranda trees for the reception.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
Photography. These are the memories to cherish and celebrate our happiest day and hopefully the photos I can show to our future kids and grandkids. It encapsulates the vibes and emotions of our wedding day.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
During our first dance, I misjudged the timing and space for the twirl in the move to the big dramatic waist lift. I accidentally elbowed Julian in the face and screamed in dismay. We kept dancing, kept our cool and laughed it off as we transitioned from slow dance to the fun dance component of our wedding. We actually have surprisingly good photos of our wedding dance.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
I knew I wanted a dress that was classic with a modern touch. I did some research on Instagram and narrowed down on some designers. I made an appointment at Mariana Hardwick not expecting to walk away with my wedding dress that same day. Initially, I have planned to go with a floral lace design material or beaded detail v-neck figure hugging dress. However, when my bridesmaids handed me the Greta Dress, I was initially worried as the style was not what I had imagined myself in. Upon trying it on, I instantly fell in love with it. It was simplistic elegance and was unexpectedly what I had envisioned. I wasn’t planning on a reception dance but I love to dance so getting a second gown to party in was a must! So back I went to Mariana Hardwick for a sparkly number that was going to be sexy and fun! We ended up choosing a champagne embellished gown which turned out to be an unexpected bargain as it was on sale.

Ceremony + Reception Location: Stones of the Yarra Valley, @stonesoftheyarravalley / Photographer: Cassandra Catic of Blossom Daisy Creative, @blossomdaisycreative / Videographer: T-One Image, @tone_image_melb / Celebrant: Marry Me Megan, @marrymemegan / Entertainment: Melbourne Entertainment Company, @melbentco / Styling: Bow Creative, @_bowcreative / Linen: Table Art, @tablearteventhire; Cloth and Confetti, @clothandconfettihire / Candles: Flort Designs, @flortdesigns / Chair Hire: Place Settings, @placesettings / Florals: Sassafras Wedding, @_sassafraswedding_ / Cake: Zanie Oon, @zanieoon / Stationery: Petite Paper Co, @petitepaper.co / Groom’s Attire: Calibre, @calibreaustralia / Bride’s Ceremony & Reception Dress: Mariana Hardwick, @marianahardwick / Ring/s: Faith Jewels, @faithjewelsmaison / Groom’s Shoes: Aquila, @aquila_est1958 / Bride’s Shoes: Harlo, @harloau / Bridal Jewellery, Earrings & Veil: Amelie George Bridal, @ameliegeorgebridal / Makeup: Makeup by Jane, @makeupjane_ / Hair: Cathy In Beauty, @cathyinbeauty / Bridesmaids’ Attire: ASOS / Groomsmen’s Attire: Gibson Clothing