John + Tom by Its Beautiful Here

For our wedding, it’s all about “camp.” As a queer couple in 2023, we saw marriage in a different light. Our focus is on bringing everyone we love together for a joyous celebration.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
John is a fashion retail manager and I am an engineer in sustainability. We both love disco, drag and, in particular, the great Australian icon, Kylie Minogue. John trained in opera singing while younger, so has always loved classical music and shares that passion with his family.

I am a little bit simpler and had always said “The Sound of Music is the greatest film of all time. It’s got something for everyone, including the best picture Oscar and the villain will always be a villain.”

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
We both knew that we were the ones from early on. I said “I love you” first, only a few weeks in. We are the same in a lot of ways, most importantly our values and humour. However, we have a different way of looking at things that complement each other. The engineer to the creative.

It has felt easy since the start. The first time I cooked for John, I picked up some chicken at the supermarket and asked “Are you a tits or a thighs kinda guy?” Fortunately, John gave the only correct answer of “thighs.”

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
I really had grand plans that were dashed by COVID-19. We designed a ring together with some diamonds from one of my grandmother’s rings. I had planned on recreating their first date on the anniversary of their first date. The restaurant was booked. I planned on forcing John to recreate walking passed each other again, but this time, when they turned around, would be on one knee.

That did not happen. The week of the anniversary, Melbourne went into another lockdown. The plan changed to having Ides at home with a more intimate affair at our first apartment together. The apartment already holds so many memories that John even had the floor plan turned into an artwork for my 30th.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
As soon as we mentioned the Sound of Music to our celebrant Sally, her eyes lit up. You don’t go to such an exuberant actress and performer if you want a cookie-cutter wedding. However having Sally come in, singing in a nun’s habit, might have just been that step too far for some family members. We’re already challenging the traditional ideas of marriage. However, Sally decided that she would surprise us with an acapella version during the ceremony. We both looked at each other and laughed. We knew as soon as Sally put her mind to something, she would do it and that’s one of her best traits. Besides being funny, warm, welcoming and engaging, she’s a tough showbiz manager and everything ran smoothly because of it.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, and is there a story?
At the start, we sat down with our friend Casey to do the graphic design for the wedding and came up with a colour pallet. That reflected the natural greens in the hedge, filled in with camp pinks and purples, topped off with a little bit of traditional white.

Tom’s only requirement was that he wanted a fabulous flowing veil and clothes that would fit his thick thighs. That meant going custom. I, on the other hand, had more of a vision. I wanted it to be a little drag and reflected that in the dramatic suit cut. For the shirt and veil, I thought, he may as well go straight to the source and a drag designer. The mother of all mothers Aysha Buffet happened to be at one of my fittings and when she said “That’s camp”, I knew he was on to a winner.

VENUE Butler Lane, @butler_lane / PHOTOGRAPHER It’s Beautiful Here, @itsbeautifulhere / CELEBRANT Sally-Anne Upton, @civilcelebrantsal / PIANIST Jayce Mcneill, @jaycemcneill  / DJ Rutherford Entertainment, @rutherfordentertainment / LIGHTING, DISCO BALLS AND CANNON Wwave Audio Visual, @wwave_audio_visual / FLORA Glasshaus, @glasshausdesign / CATERING & BEVERAGE Butler Lane, @butler_lane / CAKE Miss Trixie Drinks Tea, @misstrixiedrinkstea / GRAPHIC DESIGN Case of Wine, @caseofwine / COUPLE’S SUITS Institchu, @institchu / TOM’S VEIL Amelie George Bridal, @ameliegeorgebridal / JOHN’S SHIRT & VEIL Bryn Costume / MAKEUP ARTIST Dana Levison Makeup Artist, @dana_makeupartist / TOM’S HAIR Maddie Callow Hair, @maddiecallowhair / JOHN’S HAIR Prophecy Hair, @prophecyhair

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