Marisa + Frank by Shardey Olynyk

It’s always just been easy between us; we have never felt like we have to try to be someone different to impress the other or hold back our weird side. We just understand each other, and that was special to find.

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

Frank is a soccer coach and that is a passion of both of ours, we both played for years until recently and is still a massive part of our lives now. I [Marisa] am a Paediatric speech pathologist. I absolutely love working with kids, and they brighten up my days without having to try. We are both very lucky to be as passionate about our jobs as we are, and we admire that in one another. Outside of work, we mostly hang out with our doggo Zion, bring him to the dog park, the beach or even down to the pub for a parma if the Melbourne sun is shining.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

We met on Derby Day in 2018, we were set up by my [marisa’s] cousin but forcibly introduced by Frank’s close friend on the day, neither of us had quite plucked up the courage to introduce ourselves prior to that LOL! I was immediately intimidated by Frank, a handsome man in a suit and with his sunglasses on. He was shrouded in mystery, and I was a nervous wreck – we had a very brief interaction that day, and I thought absolutely nothing of it. But alas, a Facebook message was sent later from Frank that night, and as they say, the rest is history.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

After the first date! It’s always just been easy between us, we have never felt like we have to try to be someone different to impress the other or hold back our weird side we just understand each other and that was special to find. I think we quickly realised that we shared a lot of the same morals and values in life, which we consider to be fundamental to having a meaningful relationship. We also laughed constantly when we were together, which was a big green flag on my end, and considering I struggle with the romantic side of things, it felt like a miracle to find a man like Frank, who often sent “just because” flowers.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

Frank proposed at Port Melbourne pier close to our 2 1/2 year anniversary, it was a location we frequented often during our first months of dating or as we jokingly called it our “summer fling”. There was a bit of a running joke between us because I [Marisa] rarely wore my contacts to the beach, so was just a bit blind and could never admire “the view” of the city skyline and funnily enough, the engagement was no different, for some reason I chose not to wear contacts that night so once again I had a blurry city skyline as the backdrop for my proposal. Nonetheless, we lived in a little engagement bubble for the first few hours of dinner before we started calling and celebrating with family and friends. We wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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

My vision was always a garden chic style wedding with soft pastel and fabric accents to compliment the space. We definitely wanted something more refined and elegant, and once we found Coombe in the Yarra Valley, we instantly knew it was our venue. It offered a ceremony in the “Italian garden”, and as both of us have Italian backgrounds, it couldn’t have been a perfect spot. The beauty of the venue meant we could pair back the other elements and let its beauty speak for itself, and we couldn’t be happier with the final product. The soft pastels, for me, are timeless but still a bit different and suit the garden/winery vibe perfectly.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

The venue is always going to be your biggest splurge, so we decided to trust our gut and find a venue that encapsulated us as a couple and could deliver on our non-negotiables. Picking Coombe in the Yarra Valley was a no brainer; for it was able to fit a perfect number of guests for us, had a beautiful Italian inspire garden for our ceremony, and there was also an option for an outdoor dancefloor, which was always my dream. Being a foodie, I needed a venue with the most delicious food because we were not skipping a meal on our wedding day, so Coombe was the perfect splurge at the end of the day because it delivered on all our non-negotiables and had the most beautiful staff just as a cherry on top. 

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

Rain rain and more rain, the night before, the morning of, you name a time and it was probably raining – something i was not anticipating in the first week of February but again Melbourne’s weather can never be predicted. I was negotiating with the venue to ensure I could have my ceremony in the Italian garden, and we were all watching the weather apps like a hawk – which thankfully predicted sunshine an hour before the wedding, so our contingency was not needed. And, for once, as predicted, the sun did come out and shined brightly during the ceremony and according to an old wives tale, rain on your wedding day is good luck, so who’s going to complain in hindsight?

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

My dress was off the rack from The Bridal Curator in Armadale, a dress from the store’s own label. I initially saw a glimpse of it on Instagram and was excited about it, i had been to a few boutiques before The bridal curator and hadn’t fallen in love with anything and was honestly a bit down in the dumps. It was displayed in the store front, i pointed to it said “that’s the one” and from the moment it was on, my family and i were in total agreeance it was the only one for me. Wearing Louboutin’s was a dream of mine [and also my mum’s i think secretly] so we splurged a bit there but they have been an awesome investment and were incredibly comfy on the day!

For Frank’s suit, I had planted the seed of a white blazer for months leading up to his appointment with Zacmens tailor, and he took very little convincing once he saw it on. It was the perfect vibe for a garden wedding in summer and complimented my dress perfectly, I think. Of course, he needed to add his own flair, so he made it so that he and his groomsmen created an Italian flag when their blazers were open [one groomsman had green, one had red and Frank had white].

CEREMONY + RECEPTION Coombe Yarra Valley, @coombeyarravalley FLORIST Leilani by GG, @leilani_by_gg PHOTOGRAPHER Shardey Olynyk from Na Lia Weddings, @naliawedding OFFICIANT Marry Me Megan, @marrymemegan MAKEUP Stephanie Piazza, @stephpiazzaartistry HAIR Salon Koula, @salonkoula BRIDAL DRESS The Bridal Curator, @thebridalcuratoraustralia BRIDAL PARTY DRESS Hexie Studio, @hexie_studio SUIT Zacmens, @zacmenstailor BRIDE’S SHOES Louboutin, @louboutinworld NAILS The Gel Gal, @thegelgal ENTERTAINMENT Hey Jack, @heyjack_co; Soul House Entertainment, @soul_house_ TAN Perfect Tan by Carol, RINGS Top Image Jewellery, @topimagejewellery CAKE Cake 4 Me, @cake4me_ EVENT SET UP Harry The Hirer, @harrythehirer_events; Having A Party, @havingapartyevents GELATO CART Vanilla & Co, @vanillancoau