SAM + DAVE by Jason Vandermeer Photography

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

People call us as hipsters and I suppose we are. We met on Tinder about 5 years ago. I was on the couch in Carlton North, Dave was on the couch in Brunswick East (next suburb over), and here we are today.

Modern love in the age of the internet! Initially we bonded over our music tastes. We are big music nerds and we went to a lot of gigs early on in our relationship. We love all things creative; we love art, music, fashion (one of our favourite shows is Project Runway) and food. I am an illustrator by trade, and Dave thinks his job isn’t creative as a primary school teacher, but I’ve seen him in action during iso and I would beg to differ! Also, Dave is a big dancer, and loves to shake his booty. It’s so good to have a partner who loves to dance! 

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…

I wouldn’t say that we were strict with how we wanted things to look. We loved the vibe at Rupert and had spoken to Mali (from Rupert) and knew we’d be in safe hands. With Rupert’s plants and warm and inviting feel, it was an easy extension to how we wanted our day to feel.

Hilary (from Billie Jean Botanicals) is one of my best friends and I trusted her completely with the florals for our day. All Dave and I wanted was to have as much colour as possible for something that was going to look natural, sort of like the flowers had grown up and out of the ground and around the space where our ceremony was. What Hilary created was BEYOND belief and it was the most beautiful, amazing, natural, sculptural thing we’d ever seen. I wish we could have somehow preserved it and kept it forever! Lucky we had Jase and Tom capturing it all. Hilary was also a bridesmaid in my wedding party so she was rushing around in the morning setting up the flowers at Rupert, then zoomed down to my parents’ house to get her makeup and hair done. I don’t know how she did it all, it was an unbelievable effort and I am forever grateful to her. She’s a superstar!

In terms of the day itself, the biggest stressors were just whether people are going to have a good time and whether there would be enough food. We are both big party people and feel music at a party is crucial to whether a night ends up being good. If the music doesn’t flow, people won’t stay on the dance floor. We wanted to make sure that every track we selected was going to be a good one. I remember when we first started the Spotify playlist we had hours of music. Cutting down the tunes to the final list we ended on (timed perfectly to end the night), was a very difficult process! But we got there in the end and it was perfect. People were on the dance floor from even before our first dance, right up until the end. The best!

One other part we really wanted to be memorable for both us and our guests was our ceremony and speeches. There’s nothing worse than hearing words you’ve heard a thousand times before, or a super long speech that drags on at a wedding (so the dance floor can’t start). Our vows were really special, funny and lighthearted and so were our speeches. Everyone did such a great job!

Just about everyone that was involved in our wedding was either a friend (hair, makeup, flowers, photographer, cake), family member (my dress) or someone we’d met before (Tom filmed a friend’s wedding earlier that year). It really made it super special. 

Tell us about your main outfits:

I love fashion – particularly unique pieces that I try to find that aren’t super common – and wanted to create something of this nature for the wedding. I was so lucky to have mum’s cousin, Sue Haworth, make my wedding outfit. Sue is an extremely talented seamstress and designer. She used to work for the Melbourne Theatre Company in the costume department, so to say she’s talented, is an understatement. Sue and I worked closely together to create my dress – which was gorgeous, unique and perfectly tailored to me! I wouldn’t have changed anything. Dave wanted something simple, formal and classic for his wedding outfit and Formal Red helped us to choose a classic black and white tux. We then added some playfulness with a spotty bowtie which matched the groomsmen’s ties. 

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

A couple of days before the wedding I was super lucky to go to around the Macedon Ranges to flower farms with Hilary (my florist, bridesmaid and bestie), meet the growers she works closely with and handpick some of my own flowers for the big day. It was so fun and special to spend the day together, driving around Victoria, picking out blooms and getting an insight into floristry life. We even got Maccas on the way home for lunch. What a day!

Before the ceremony we did our photos and got to pop into a few spots around Collingwood to get our snaps. We had ice-cream at Piccolina and got some awesome group shots at the Union Hotel where Dave and I had our first date!

Nicola’s additions to our ceremony were perfect. She was the perfect combination of warm, funny and sentimental that we wanted in our day.

Dave’s originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, so it was really special that both his family and a few family friends made it all the way over for the big day.

One thing I won’t forget was my earring fell out during the ceremony (the back fell off) and one of our lovely friends, Laura saved the day by giving me the back of her earring to fix it! A funny moment.

I think also our first dance was also really fun. We didn’t really practice it at all, we just knew the song quite well (Wings – Silly Love Songs), and afterwards found out people thought we had rehearsed a dance and everything. Nope!

I mentioned it above too, but also just the vibe of the whole night. Everyone was dancing from start to finish and it was just the perfect, big party, with all our friends and family that we could ever want. Best wedding ever! 

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

It’s pretty fun. You should do it! If you’ve survived iso, you can probably survive marriage. 

Photography: Jason Vandermeer | Videography: Tom Ohehir | Ceremony and Reception location: Rupert on Rupert | Celebrant: Nicola Gerard | Bride’s dress: Sue Haworth | Groom’s outfit: Formal Red | Rings: Seb Brown | Bride’s shoes: Maryam Nassir Zadeh | Groom’s shoes: R.M.Williams | Makeup: Angela Fay Makeup | Hair: Angela Souk Yee Soong | Bride’s Fragrance: Aesop – Tacit | Groom’s Fragrance: Commes des Garcon – Wonderwood | Groomsmen’s outfits: Formal Red and Kirsty wore a Mossman suit | Flora: Billie Jean Botanicals | Cake: Janine Panou | Invite: Samantha Curcio |