I proposed on December 4th 2021, it was something that we had spoken about for a while but I still managed to pull off an epic surprise, and I think I nearly killed Vanessa in the process due to the shock. I came up with an elaborate scheme involving neon signs, pink sand, rose petals, breaking and entering, and Weet-Bix.
Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
Vanessa: I am a passionate writer, and have been working in the creative field for about 10 years. I draw most of my inspiration from fashion, poetry, design and art. I love exploring self-expression through style and words, of course. I have always been a super independent person, I think I get this from my mum. She was raised by my grandmother and great grandmother, who are both incredibly independent women with great life stories that have inspired me throughout my own journey.
Jason: I am a bit of a science nerd, I have a PhD in thermal engineering and enjoy spending time researching, reading and coming up with innovation solutions for my work as a thermal engineer. I love sports, I used to play basketball, and I am a lifelong Essendon supporter. I’m a pretty easy going guy, I don’t need much to make me happy, a good piece of beef cooked medium rare at the most, some apple pie and big glass of cold milk….a running joke which you can see in some of the getting ready pictures.
How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
Our first date was at Howler in Brunswick just after new year’s, it was a super-hot summer night, I had been in the pool all day, so I didn’t really put much effort into my outfit or hair or anything that night, I didn’t hype the date up in my head at all, I kinda just went with no expectations. When Jason walked in to the bar, my first impressions of him was that he had very kind eyes and I was immediately attracted to him. After chatting for a bit, I remember he asked me if I wanted a drink and I told him to surprise me. I quickly messaged my friend, Alycia, and said it’s going well so far…jokingly she said this will be the real test, if he picks the perfect drink then he’s the one. He came back with a mojito no sugar syrup…I couldn’t believe it! I hate sweet cocktails, and whenever I order mojitos or even espresso martinis I ask for no sugar syrup.
Jason: My first impressions of Vanessa was that she was very bubbly and confident…she was also easy on the eyes and I remember she was wearing fluffy pink shoes. We had great chats about family and life and the things we’ve both accomplished. I then asked to get her a cocktail, but I know nothing about cocktails so I was nervous. Luckily, the one that I randomly picked was one that she loved (thanks to the bartender who helped me). I knew after the first date, I wanted to see her again and I followed up immediately to set the next date.
Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
Jason: I proposed on December 4th 2021, it was something that we had spoken about for a while but I still managed to pull off an epic surprise, and I think I nearly killed Vanessa in the process due to the shock. I came up with an elaborate scheme involving neon signs, pink sand, rose petals, breaking and entering, and Weet-Bix.
Vanessa: Everything was PINK, the entire floor was covered in rose petals, there were candles everywhere, and a little table with a little pink ring box was up against the wall. I truly almost died, it took me about 15 minutes to catch my breath from the fright!
It blew my mind, the level of detail and thought that Jason put into this surprise is something I will always be so grateful for. The fact that he even got pink sand for the candle trays to match the candles and rose petals is so funny to me! What’s even funnier is that apparently he had been there waiting for me since noon, texting my mum to check my whereabouts. He had covered most of the space in petals so he was confined to a tiny area of the apartment. I also had no food except the Weet-Bix he would have for his breakfast sometimes, so that’s all he ate all day. I got home at 7pm (so he was stuck there for 7 hours) and he never left once because he was too scared if he did I would come home just as he went out for some food…that’s commitment hahaha!
Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
I didn’t have an overarching theme but everything was based around the venue. I absolutely love the library and I wanted everything to tie in and fit that space. It was also important to me that every detail was personalised and intentional, I didn’t want it to feel like it was copied and pasted from a wedding Pinterest page. I wrote every word, I thought about every tiny detail…down to a decal on the bathroom mirror.
A lot of it was gut feeling, I just knew what felt right and rolled with it…and did my best to balance our family traditions with what felt right for Jason and I. The colour palette was inspired by some florals I had seen. I loved the balance of the soft neutrals, with the pinks and purples and then that fun pop of chartreuse to spice it up a bit.
Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
Vanessa: I messed up my vows! It was important to me that Jason and I wrote our own personal vows in addition to the traditional ones as part of the ceremony. I had gotten right to the end without crying or messing up, but on the very last line, I had the most embarrassing Freudian slip, which our photographers managed to catch! (you can see the horror on my face) Instead of saying I knew you were the one….I said I knew I was the one…so telling hahaha. I was mortified, but honestly looking back it’s one of my favourite moments because everyone just burst into laughter.
Jason: A wardrobe malfunction with my Best Man Ali’s suit, but he was prepared on the day with a sewing kit, stain remover, lint roller…he really took his role seriously, so he managed to stitch himself back in and he didn’t have to stand up there by my side shirtless.
Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
Vanessa: I love Vivienne Westwood, she is one of my favourite designers, so I knew I wanted a Vivienne Westwood inspired gown…I say inspired because I could never justify spending 10s of thousands on a dress just for one day! I feel so lucky to have found The Bridal Curator, who managed to bring the vision to life within budget. He took my Vivienne Westwood references and created a piece that fit my body so well and incorporated the elements I love like puff sleeve, draping, and a square neckline. The dress was an interesting process, I saw nothing until the first fitting, and because I am not sample size and had a vision for what I wanted, I never got the experience of walking into a store, pulling from the rack and instantly loving it. So, I never had that ‘say yes to the dress’ moment even when I tried my bespoke dress for the first time. I didn’t cry or have any sort of emotional response from seeing a bride in the mirror, which in the moment kind of made me question myself. But now, looking back I think that was the best part about this dress. It didn’t feel like I was cosplaying a bride, it just felt like me.
Jason’s suit was Great Gatsby inspired (Jason’s words), we just felt it would suit the vibe of my dress, and also the library venue. He actually took a swatch of my dress fabric to Oscar Hunt Tailors to match the correct shade of ivory too, and I think he just looked amazing honestly.
Ceremony location: St Ignatius’ Church – Richmond / Reception location: State Library Vic, @library_vic; @weddings_showtimeeventgroup / Photographer: Kat + Scout – It’s Beautiful Here, @itsbeautifulhere /
Videographer: Greg – Once and for all, @onceandforallau / Celebrant: Father Jude Pirotta / Entertainment: Heartbreak Hotel (Dj & photobooth), @heartbreakbooth; Live saxophone during cocktail hour in the La Trobe Reading Room – Brennan Hamilton-Smith, @seriousaboutclarinetguy / Styling: Bride / Planner: Bride (however the venue was run by @weddings_showtimeeventgroup / Wedding Producer: Chloe Cummins / Flora: India Robinson ‘Blossm Bby’, @blossmbby / Catering + Beverages: Showtime Events Group, @weddings_showtimeeventgroup, @showtimeeventgroup / Cake: Matilda of ‘Proof Bakehouse’, @proofbakehouse / Stationery: Jem & I, @jemandi_designs / Bonbonniere: Lauren, Words With Heart, @wordswithheart / Jason’s Attire: Oscar Hunt Tailors, @oscarhunttailors / Vanessa’s Attire: Curator The Label by Sam Pappas, @curatorthelabel from The Bridal Curator, @thebridalcuratoraustralia / Ring/s: Joseph George, @josephgeorgejewellery / Vanessa’s Ceremony Shoes: LMS ‘The Lisa’ shoe, @lmsthebrand / Vanessa’s Reception Shoes: Melissa x Y Project shoes, @melissashoes.aus / Jason’s shoes: BK Wolfe Essendon, @bk_wolfe / Other accessories: The Millie Savage Ruby Heart Ring, @milliesavage_ / Bag: Simone Rocha Pearl Detail Clutch Bag, @simonerocha_ / Cufflinks: From Vanessa’s Dad / Makeup: Suzy Sela, @suzyselamakeup / Nails: Dawn – Quiche Nail Studio, @quichenailstudio / Hair: Tony Kamleh, @tonykamlehhair / Fragrance: Baccarat Rouge 540 layered with Maison Margiela Replica ‘Whispers in the Library’ both purchased from Mecca / Bridesmaid Dresses: Sheike, @sheikeandco / Maid of honour: Rachel Gilbert, @rachelgilbertau / Groomsmen: Oscar Hunt Tailors, @oscarhunttailors