Lauren + Stefano by Maegan Brown Moments

To get our guests to interact and mingle we printed each guest a task on their menu to do throughout the night, this was anything from doing a shoey out of the groom’s shoe to taking a shot with someone you just met.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love

Lauren: I work in digital & e-commerce within the fashion retail industry. I love a glass of wine and a plate of pasta. You can catch me on the dance floor dropping it low to Cardi B or find me buried in an Excel spreadsheet. I have a pug named Beans and she is my first love. 

Stefano: I am a creative who works as a Digital Designer and Videographer within the fashion and wedding industry. I love listening to soul, RnB music, and I love being outdoors in nature. If you hang out with me, you will always see my camera pointed straight at you. The token camera guy in the friendship circle. 

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
Lauren: I first met Setefano through his sister who I am good friends with. I remember she had me over at her house one day when I met Setefano for the first time. I think my words to his sister were something like “Your brother is HAWT!” We all eventually started working together at a wedding reception centre and we all became good friends. We use to go out together and work together, which lead to an incredible friendship before we started dating a few years later.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
Stefano: We would spend a lot of time laughing at things that I think most people wouldn’t understand. We have a similar sense of humour which I love. Lauren is playful and down to earth and I love that about her. The moment I realised I would spend the rest of my life with this amazing human, we were laying in the grass looking up at the evening sky at a festival. I just remember feeling so content.  

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
Stefano: We were in the middle of a pandemic and here I was trying to secure the ring and plan a proposal. When the lockdown eased, I spent days running back and forth to the jewellery designer trying to get the ring organised. When I finally got the ring we were back into lockdown so my plans for a proposal had to go on hold. I remember waiting weeks for the lockdowns to end and I had the ring hidden in a jacket pocket in the closet. I had the ring for a month in lockdown before I decided one night that I couldn’t wait any longer. I ordered our favourite pasta dishes via Ubereats, got out a couple of bottles of wine and created a cute little lockdown dinner. It was now or never. I proposed in lockdown in our living room over our favourite Ubereats meal. It’s not what I had planned but it was more than a dream come true. We spent the rest of the night on zoom calls with family and friends.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

Lauren: We really wanted something unique that encapsulated our personalities. The venue was the first thing we chose which really set the tone for the rest of the wedding. We chose Sophia at The Prahran Arcade as it was a new venue and hadn’t had many weddings held there. The architecture and history of the building is stunning and has the uniqueness we were looking for. From there, we built a mood board that was romantic, dark & moody, ethereal and editorial and it fit the location perfectly. Jo from Twig & Type really helped bring the vision and great ideas to life. From the hours she spent melting candle wax to create our amazing ceremony plinths, to the dreamy floral installations. We could not speak more highly of her quality, dedication and talent. We added touches of our personality into all the small details of the day. Our wedding favours were olive oil & coconut oil bottles to represent our Italian & Tongan backgrounds and we designed the labels on the bottles to be a replica of the Le Labo Santal 33 bottle as this was my wedding perfume on the day. 

To get our guests to interact and mingle we printed each guest a task on their menu to do throughout the night, this was anything from doing a shoey out of the groom’s shoe to taking a shot with someone you just met. As proof, we asked guests to film it or it didn’t happen. It was such a fun way to get both of our families and friends to get to know each other.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Stefano: Photo and Video were the most important things for us. Not only do you get the memories to re-live but the content for socials was quite important to us. Love a good wedding spam on Instagram! We absolutely loved our photographer Maegan and our videographer Sam, they brought such a vibe to the day and made it so fun.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

Lauren: In the lead-up to our wedding I was learning how to do a Tongan dance as a surprise for Setefano on the day. I spent 6 months trying to come up with excuses as to where I was going when I went to learn the dance with his sisters. I had all the vendors in on the secret, from our photographer to our venue to the MC. There were so many times I thought he had figured it out or he was suspicious about where I was going all the time but turns out he was none the wiser and the surprise on the day was everything I could have dreamed of and more! He was so shocked and so happy and my favourite memory from the night.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

Lauren: Finding a dress was the hardest part of the wedding planning journey for me. I didn’t enjoy the process at all until I found my amazing dress designer Antoinette Fusillo. Prior to meeting Antoinette I went to numerous dress shops to try on dresses. Every single place I went to had dress samples to try on, the issue was that the sample dress size were anywhere from a size 4 – 8. I am a size 12 and trying to squeeze into a sample size became upsetting. It was hard to imagine the sample dresses in my size. I had dreamt about my dress for such a long time and the experience was far from what I imagined. This is when I decided I would get my dress made to suit my body and style. I searched high and low and find the team at Antoinette Fusillo. I can’t express how kind and talented Antoinette and her team are. They completely turned around my experience of finding a dress to be everything I imagined and more. They went the extra mile for me in every way and every time I left a dress fitting I felt on top of the world and I could not be happier with the final piece.

CEREMONY & RECEPTION LOCATION: Sophia at The Prahran Arcade, @sophia.prahranarcade / PHOTOGRAPHER: Maegan Brown Moments, @maeganbrownmoments / VIDEOGRAPHER: Lightwise, @lightwise_ / CELEBRANT: Married by Damon, @damonhughescelebrant / CEREMONY ENTERTAINMENT: Jaydean Gabriel,, @zacrobertson6 / RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Rutherford Entertainment, @rutherfordentertainment / STYLING & FLORA: Twig & Type, @twigandtype / CATERING & BEVERAGES: Sophia at The Prahran Arcade, @sophia.prahranarcade / STATIONERY: Groom, @setefanot / BRIDE’S GOWN: Antoinette Fusillo @antoinettefusillo / GROOM’S SUIT: Samuel Diamond Tailors, @samueldiamondtailors / RINGS: Janai Jewellery , @janaijewellery / BRIDE’S SHOES: Harlo Shoes, @harloau / NECKLACE: Sarah & Sebastian, @sarahandsebastian / EARRINGS: Tiffany Duliege Studio, / MAKEUP: @hollymakeupartist / HAIR: @amy__monty / FRAGRANCE: Le Labo Santal 33 / BRIDESMAIDS ATTIRE: Anthropologie, @anthropologie