Kaitlyn & Duayne by Be Here Be Now

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship … Duayne works for an international travel tour company and Kaitlyn is a Marketer in the property industry.

We both love travel, exploring new places and immersing ourselves in new cultures. We both share a love of Spain, including the country, culture, and food… so much so that we named our dog Churro (after the Spanish donuts)!

Our relationship grew out of our mutual love of travel- Duayne was working as a travel agent at the time at my local shopping centre. I was planning a trip, and was motivated to actually book my trip when I saw the cute travel agent in the window! We hit it off pretty quickly after talking about Spain (and with a little chasing from my end) and the rest was history!

From there, our relationship has always been really influenced by travel; we even got engaged at Melbourne Airport. Duayne organised a personal message on the international arrivals board when I was picking him up at 5 in the morning following a work trip.

For us, our relationship works because we’re genuinely just best friends who support each other’s individual dreams and goals, but always continue to put each other first. We just got really lucky that we found each other and are able to love and support each other as we are- full dorkiness and all!

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details …

We just wanted our special day to feel our own. We wanted it to feel relaxed and natural, and to take (subtle) inspiration from our love of travel.

One of my favourite details of the day was our table numbers. We ditched the standard number convention and named our tables after countries that were special to us (particularly Scotland and Greece, which paid tribute to our family heritages). Since we had both travelled to all the countries that we used for table numbers, our table signs also included pictures of us both in those countries so everyone could understand what those places meant to us.

Overall, the key vibe we wanted for our wedding was that it felt very “typically Melbourne”- we both love Melbourne and coming home to it after travels, so we wanted it to feel like home. When choosing our venue, we figured what could be more Melbourne than having the city as the backdrop for our ceremony. When we first saw pictures of the view at Crown Aviary, we knew it was perfect and that being on the rooftop of Crown Casino couldn’t feel more like Melbourne if we tried!

We opted to have our first look in the Royal Botanical Gardens and photos in the city laneways, and are so pleased that we did because our photos now have the same “Melbourne” feel.

With our styling, our hands down favourite feature was the combo of our “Til Death” neon sign (hired through Good Day Rentals) and the two peacock chairs that we sat in. This was our starting vision when planning our styling, and was inspired by the fact that we were often told to make sure we spent some time just sitting back and watching our friends and family having fun, so I wanted to make sure we had the perfect seats to sit in for that! When we purchased the chairs, they were actually fluro green and my mum (being the legend that she is) painted them light grey so that they would match with the light grey bentwood chairs at the venue (another weird detail I was weirdly specific about)!

Tell us about your main outfits:

We both wanted to feel really classic in our outfits but wanted to let our personalities shine through.

Duayne really wanted his jacket to be a bit different and wanted to opt for something a bit different to his groomsmen so they didn’t look like a “boy band”. To show off his personality, Duayne wanted to include his favourite colour yellow and wore a watch with a face that was the same colour as his old beloved yellow jeep! Duayne added a sentimental touch by wearing his Papou’s (grandfather) tie clip. When trying on his suit in the store, the team were so helpful in helping him bring the look together and giving him advice on how to finish off the style to a T. It was their suggestion to opt for really shiny shoes, and although hesitant to wear shoes he “could see his own reflection in”, they ended up complimenting the look perfectly and were a favourite part of his outfit.

For myself, I wanted to find a balance between classic and a bit eclectic. I feel in love with the Karen Willis Holmes Cassie dress as soon as I tried it on, but over time I felt that the high neckline just wasn’t me, so the team in the Armadale store came to my rescue and altered it to be a v-neck. It was pretty nerve-wracking having the dress cut while I was wearing it because that neckline had never been done on that dress before, but I knew as soon as they started cutting the fabric that it was the right decision! There’s nothing I love more than burgundy velvet so I opted for that on my shoes, and after buying about three different pairs of earrings, finally found the statement pearl earrings from Isabella May that just felt right. I also added my great grandmothers sapphire ring as my something borrowed and something blue, which was really special to wear and matched perfectly with the art-deco style beading on the skirt of the dress.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

It’s so hard to pinpoint just a few favourite moments, the whole day was, for us, the best day ever. It was all the personal and unique moments that we hold really dear.

During our ceremony, we included a hand binding tradition using the Scottish tartan of Kaitlyn’s family as a symbol of welcoming Duayne into the family, just as Kaitlyn taking Duayne’s surname represents the same.

After the ceremony, we went off for photos in a yellow taxi and actually had so much fun. We were so lucky to have the best suppliers and it just felt like we were hanging out with friends. After the photos, we stopped off to sneak in a churro snack break. It felt like such a fun adventure walking through our Southern Cross Station in our wedding outfits on a mission to get churro’s.

One of the moments we will always treasure was seeing how much fun our families had. It was amazing to see our grandparents tearing up the dance floor (even Duayne’s grandma was doing donuts in her wheelchair)!

The speeches were a special part of our night. Duayne completely winged his speech and somehow still managed to have the speech of the night! He re-enacted the scene from my favourite tv show (The Bachelor), and plucking a rose from my bouquet, guided me towards the dance floor and asked me to accept his “final rose”. Still, to this day, our friends still ask if Duayne had planned that in advance and talk about how special that moment was. It felt like something out of a movie, and was the perfect transition into our first dance!

Another fun moment was Duayne’s best man had him re-enact a running race from his high school running days with our two MC’s. The three of them ran around the venue, with Duayne breaking the ribbon in slow motion, winning the race!

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

When planning our wedding, we received so much great advice that we now share with our friends who are in the planning stage of their journey. Probably our favourite piece of advice was from our photographer Christian, who made it really clear that the day was ours to make it exactly what we wanted it to be, and the only thing we actually had to do was to get married. After hearing that advice, we felt free to pick and choose things because it felt good and authentic to us, not because we ‘had to’.

We loved that we did a first look before the ceremony, which took all the nerves away and made the day feel so much longer! Now we tell everyone that our first look was one of the best parts of our wedding day and are so glad we broke tradition and spent some time together before the ceremony!

And our last piece of advice… definitely take a few days off before the wedding to relax and soak everything all in. We started our pre-wedding break with a couples massage and breakfast at our favourite local café. Taking the few days off allowed us to remove ourselves from the everyday stresses of our lives and let us just soak in each and every moment and really feel present and together.

Venue & Catering: Crown Aviary | Videographer: Iconic Pictures | Photographer: Be Here Be Now Photos & Film | Celebrant: Dean Aitken | Entertainment: DJ – Adriano Randello | Hire: Table Top Towers & Good Day Rentals | Styling Assist & Flora: Violet and The Fox | Cake: Sweet Bakes | Cars: Bentleigh Garage | Bride’s Dress: Karen Willis Holmes | Bride’s Veil: Borrowed from sister in law | Groom & Groomsmen Suit: Dyonsu | Bride’s Ring: Mark Lash | Groom’s Ring: Michael Hill | Shoes: Revolve & Windsor Smith | Bride’s Earrings: Isabella May | Bridal clutch: Camilla | Bride’s Ring: Great Grandmother’s | Groom’s Tie Clip: Grandfather’s | Groom’s Watch: Breitling | Makeup: Jacinta Hair & Makeup | Hair: London & Co. | Bride’s Fragrance: Byredo – Rose of No Man’s Land | Groom’s Fragrance: Paco Rabanne – Black XS | Bridesmaid Dresses: The Gown House