Patti + Christopher by Briars Atlas

As I peered over the top edge of the card, there he was with a ring asking me to spend all of our tomorrows together.

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

Patti is a custom tailor by day and a master chef by night.

Chris spends his days rescuing innocent civilians from having to sleep on the streets, some call him a superhero, some call him a locksmith.

We are travel addicts who thrive on exploration and adventure. We have an insatiable curiosity for new cities and cultures, always eager to say yes to even the most absurd experiences as long as we do it together. Whether it’s agreeing to have a meal with strangers on the streets of Tokyo and ending up on their YouTube channel, sampling exotic foods.. like scorpions and sperm sacs, losing our friend for one night in Havana to the Cuban mob, or hopping on a motorbike on a remote island in search of untouched private beaches. We try to approach every adventure and interaction with a sense of wonder… and our fingers crossed.

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

We met at a little bar in Windsor in 2016.

Chris: I thought Patti was charismatic, intelligent, and extremely funny. She was also beautiful, well-spoken, and well-dressed. I realized that I was going to have to amp up my game if I wanted this one to stay.

Pat: The stranger before me, simply put, was remarkable. In more ways than just the physical. He was gorgeous, knowledgeable and gently spoken. Chris emanated a quiet fortitude. A man of his calibre normally comes with a complimentary inflated ego. However, he left the ego at home and just packed the confidence. The first date was a captivating prologue, I had to buy the book.

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

Chris: About 6 months in, while I was having dinner with my mum in Camberwell and telling her about Patti, I had a quiet realisation in my mind that she is actually the one.

Pat: Aside from the immediate, palpable physical attraction, over the coming months, I realised that Chris provided a type of emotional safety that was somewhat unfamiliar to me. He brought me peace and security and really embraced who I was. We gave each other the space and permission to be completely authentic. It wasn’t a grand gesture or profound moment for me, it was the simple and gradual realisation that Chris felt like home.

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

Chris: I had set myself a deadline for her birthday, but because it was Covid lockdown, I couldn’t find a creative way of doing some sort of grand proposal. So after months of racking my brain on how to do it, I realised that all it required was for it to be genuine and heartfelt. June 17th arrived so there I was in my trackies with a bunch of flowers and a rather important question for her.

Pat: It’s my birthday. I had opened my eyes in the morning to see my boyfriend sitting up next to me with a big beautiful bunch of flowers, a hot cup of coffee, a giant smile on his face and a birthday card. Chris is a man of few words, so when I opened the card to find more than “Happy birthday, darling”, I eagerly read it through. The closing sentence read:

“This year, I don’t have a gift for you, but I do have a question…”

As I peered over the top edge of the card, there he was with a ring asking me to spend all of our tomorrows together. I was completely caught off guard; I had no idea this was coming … I hadn’t brushed my teeth yet, and I wasn’t even wearing pants at this point, but I sprung out of bed and directly into his arms with an enthusiastic YES.

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

From an aesthetic standpoint, my imagination ran wild with creativity.

The brief: ‘Great Expectations’ meets ‘Bridgerton’.

An indoor wild garden feel, artistic and unpredictable in shape and expression. Opulent, dramatic, overgrown and untamed yet steeped in elegance and a type of moody romance. The juxtaposition of aesthetic gentility paired with a vibrant and humorous atmosphere was the ultimate goal.

The vendors understood the assignment.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Flowers, photography and videography.

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

In the car and on the way to the wedding, my six-year-old niece and flower girl needed to pee. And rather urgently. A public restroom was not an option, and waiting 8 minutes to get to the Ballroom was also not an option. She needed to go IMMEDIATELY. The Chauffeur had to pull over on Dandenong Road, covertly concealing her between my fanned overskirt and the Bridal car while she took a ‘not so tactical’ full-force wee on the nature strip on a main road in broad daylight. In the midst of this, I busted the hook and eye on my corset from the all-encompassing upper chest inhale I took at that moment.

Was I late for my own wedding? Yes, I was.

Is it hilarious in hindsight, Yes it is.

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

Pat: Brides of Armadale created the custom wedding gown of my dreams. We collaborated on the design, and the dress was everything I could’ve imagined. It matched perfectly with the vision I had for the space and the mood for the day.

Chris: Not every groom can say that their wife-to-be is a custom tailor and made a bespoke tuxedo for them. Made from the finest cloth – a Holland and Sherry ‘Masquerade Collection’ Ivory Jacquard Silk tuxedo, with an Onyx stud front shirt and a pure silk self-tied bowtie. Freshly shined patent leather shoes and ‘lock and key’ cufflinks, compliments of my bride on our wedding day.

CEREMONY & RECEPTION The George Ballroom, St Kilda, VIC, Australia PHOTOGRAPHER Oli Sansom – Briars Atlas, @briarsatlas VIDEOGRAPHER Luke Gemmill – The Beginning Studio, @thebeginningstudio STYLIST & PLANNER Patti Axiotis, @pattiwhackk FLORIST Pomp and Splendour, @pompandsplendour CELEBRANT Heidi Rayment, @hitchedbyheidi ENTERTAINMENT Shelley Amar – Top Dog Entertainment, @topdogent; Violinist – Imelda Baligod, @melli_y HIRE Patti Axiotis, @pattiwhackk; The George Ballroom CAKE Miss Ladybird Cakes, @missladybirdcakes STATIONERY Dot & Grain, @dotandgrain JEWELLERY Janai Jewellery, @janaijewellery BRIDAL DRESS Brides of Armadale, @bridesofarmadale HAIR & MAKEUP Carla Dyson, @carladysonmakeup BRIDE’S FRAGRANCE Chanel – Mademoiselle TUX Bespoke Tuxedo Made by Patti Axiotis – Tom James Clothing, @pinstripe_patti, @tomjamesclothing GROOM’S SHOE Paco Milan Patent 1935 GROOM’S FRAGRANCE Givenchy – Gentlemen Only