MADELEINE + DANIEL - Morning Micro

By Sally Hughes, Melbourne Marriage Celebrant

Madeleine and Daniel flew from Brunei to Australia to be married in the morning sunshine at Zonzo Estate in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. They spent time among the vines with their photographer Suzie Potter of London Ivy Collective and then married before a small group of family members and friends.  After their micro ceremony (and a quick costume change) the newlyweds made their way indoors to The Stables, a stunning light-filled space, to enjoy a celebratory lunch. 

Madeleine and Daniel’s low-key celebration was a wonderfully unhurried and intimate one. Further proof that micro weddings can be just as beautiful, meaningful and enjoyable as the large-scale variety.


Celebrant: Sally Hughes for Signed and Sealed

Photography: Suzie Potter of London Ivy Collective

Ceremony Venue: Zonzo Estate

Flowers: Sugar Bee Flowers

Madeleine’s Dress: White Runway

Daniel’s Suit: Zara Man

TRENDING - Rose Petal Recessionals

By Sally Hughes, Melbourne Marriage Celebrant

Rose petals are making a comeback, folks! And it’s thanks to pictures like these that couples are opting to bring back the tradition.

The tradition of showering newlyweds with small objects dates back centuries. It’s widely believed that rice and grains, precursors to petals, were thrown as a way of symbolising rain; a sign of prosperity, fertility and good fortune (i’ll be sure to mention that to couples when downpours are imminent!). Coloured paper confetti then became all the rage until dresses became stained and venue operators became tired of cleaning it up. Petals came next, but like all trends, their popularity declined somewhat. Again, venue operators played a role here because, like paper confetti, coloured petals stain carpets and tiles too. However I have noticed that some venue operators will now allow white or freeze dried petals.

Anyhow, enough of the history lesson. Petals have made a comeback! When thrown well, they look great in photos and they inject a little fun into the recessional. EVERY couple laughs while their friends take aim - and these photos prove my point.

A few tips for rose petal recessionals:

1. Have your Celebrant instruct guests to throw petals above you, not at you. While it is rather funny watching a couple cop a face full of blooms, it won’t be the most pleasurable experience for them. And the photography and footage will suffer.

2. Ditch petal cones. Guests don’t want to balance a cone of petals on their laps during the ceremony. And those in the standing section should be hands-free so they can applaud your extremely witty and hilarious Celebrant and wipe their tears during a sentimental exchange of vows. A bowl or basket of petals is all you’ll need.

3. Distribute petals during the signing of the certificates. No one wants to hold a handful of petals for more than a few minutes. As per point 2, guests should be hands-free during the ceremony, so just ask a friend to walk up and down the aisle to distribute during the signing.

4. If petals aren’t your thing, consider glitter cannons, sparklers (provided fire bans aren’t in place), pom poms, leaves or bubbles.

ZOE + DAN / Katie Harmsworth Photography / Coombe Yarra Valley / Tori Allen Events

ZOE + DAN / Katie Harmsworth Photography / Coombe Yarra Valley / Tori Allen Events

AMANDA + MATT / Lost In Love Photography / Zonzo Estate / Sugar Bee Flowers

AMANDA + MATT / Lost In Love Photography / Zonzo Estate / Sugar Bee Flowers

FIONA + PAUL / Stewart Leishman Photography / Immerse / Debbie O’Neill Flowers

FIONA + PAUL / Stewart Leishman Photography / Immerse / Debbie O’Neill Flowers

TAYLA + TODD / Sigrid Petersen / Coombe Yarra Valley / Sugar Bee Flowers

TAYLA + TODD / Sigrid Petersen / Coombe Yarra Valley / Sugar Bee Flowers

AMI + MATT / Michael Briggs Photography / Zonzo Estate, Yarra Glen / Sugar Bee Flowers

AMI + MATT / Michael Briggs Photography / Zonzo Estate, Yarra Glen / Sugar Bee Flowers

AMELIA + WILL / Blossom Daisy Creative / The George Ballroom / Floretta By Grace

AMELIA + WILL / Blossom Daisy Creative / The George Ballroom / Floretta By Grace

ANNALIECE + ALEKS / Michael Lean Photography / Dayne Robinson

ANNALIECE + ALEKS / Michael Lean Photography / Dayne Robinson

CAROLYNE + MARTY / Robert Hock Photography / Coombe Yarra Valley / Sugar Bee Flowers

CAROLYNE + MARTY / Robert Hock Photography / Coombe Yarra Valley / Sugar Bee Flowers

EMILY + CAM / Warren Photography / Stones of the Yarra Valley / Red Earth Flowers

EMILY + CAM / Warren Photography / Stones of the Yarra Valley / Red Earth Flowers

JEN + JARMON / Shot From The Heart / Lyrebird Falls / Sassafras Flower Design

JEN + JARMON / Shot From The Heart / Lyrebird Falls / Sassafras Flower Design

MELISSA + JED / Aria Photography / Zonzo Estate / Silver Suede Flowers

MELISSA + JED / Aria Photography / Zonzo Estate / Silver Suede Flowers

BETH + JUSTIN / Dijana Risteska Photography / Zonzo Estate / Sugar Bee Flowers

BETH + JUSTIN / Dijana Risteska Photography / Zonzo Estate / Sugar Bee Flowers

LIV + NATHAN / Beck Rocchi Photography / Coombe Yarra Valley / Sugar Bee Flowers

LIV + NATHAN / Beck Rocchi Photography / Coombe Yarra Valley / Sugar Bee Flowers

KATE + STEVE / Katie Harmsworth Photography / Stones of the Yarra Valley / Sugar Bee Flowers

KATE + STEVE / Katie Harmsworth Photography / Stones of the Yarra Valley / Sugar Bee Flowers

ANIKA + ANDY / Fifteen Photography / Yering Station / Sugar Bee Flowers

ANIKA + ANDY / Fifteen Photography / Yering Station / Sugar Bee Flowers

TING TING + KENNETH - Married in the Valley

By Sally Hughes, Melbourne Marriage Celebrant


Ting Ting and Kenneth met in Hong Kong and relocated to Australia as young adults. Within a short space of time they not only mastered the English language, they earned university degrees, established admirable careers and adopted two fluffy white pooches. Though they’ll return to their homeland for a big wedding next year, they wanted their legal marriage ceremony to be a low-key affair, conducted in their adopted country.

Within minutes of my first conversation with Ting Ting, I was drawn to her bright personality and her sentimental nature. Though she had indicated that she and Kenneth wanted a simple “Legals Only” style of ceremony, I sensed that they might enjoy making a little more out of the occasion. And so I suggested that they dress up, ditch their backyard for a beautiful, wide open space and hire a professional photographer for an hour. They loved the idea!

Ting Ting & Kenneth eloped at Zonzo Estate, a stunning wedding venue, vineyard and restaurant in the Yarra Valley. Their parents flew over from Hong Kong to witness the happy event and to keep a close eye on pooches Christmas and Pinkie, Joanne from Lily Infusion Weddings acted as our official interpreter and the incomparable Rick Liston captured it all on camera.


Celebrant: Sally Hughes for Signed and Sealed

Photography: Rick Liston

Ceremony Venue: Zonzo Estate

Ceremony Interpreter: Lily Infusion Weddings

CHRISTINA + WARREN - Seaside Elopement

By Sally Hughes, Melbourne Marriage Celebrant

 

elope

ɪˈləʊp/

run away secretly in order to get married.

Christina and Warren were married before four friends on St Kilda Pier in what was one of the happiest and most heartfelt ceremonies I've conducted.  While most of the world was busy going about their working day, time seemed to stand still for Christina and Warren.  They looked into one another's eyes and reflected on the decisions that had led them to each other. They spoke of their love and admiration for each other and of their gratitude for the relationship they had cultivated.  They laughed, they cried, they grinned as their friends gave impromptu speeches and then, we all drank spicy margaritas!

Warren+Christina6 (Marie-Luise).jpg
Warren+Christina40 (Marie-Luise).jpg

NAT + PETE - A Rooftop Elopement

By Sally Hughes, Melbourne Marriage Celebrant

 

I have long admired Nat’s work as a stylist. On countless occasions I’ve seen her transform ceremony venues into jaw-droppingly beautiful spaces. When I met her many years ago, I was equally as impressed by her warmth and humility. When Nat and Pete asked me if I would conduct their elopement ceremony, I felt so very honoured.

Nat and Pete were married on a warm Autumn afternoon on a rooftop terrace in Sandringham.  Nat entered the rooftop with her mother to Evermore's I'll Never Let You Go  wearing a sheer lace gown she designed and made herself. She even assembled her own bouquet of white O'Hara roses.  She's seriously clever!

With the brightest of blue skies above them, Nat and Pete stood before their parents, grandparents and siblings to celebrate a relationship that began on the slopes of Mount Baw Baw some fifteen years prior. 

Nat and Pete’s ceremony unfolded in such a relaxed way.   Their small gathering of guests (including their good friends John from Warrenphotography and Marcus from C2 Films) involved themselves throughout - laughing, crying and commenting without reservation. Their love for Nat and Pete, their unrestrained displays of emotion and the strong sense of celebration is something I shall always remember.

"My thoughts go out to you my immortal beloved, I can live only wholly with you or not at all. Be calm my life, my all. Only by calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together.  Oh continue to love me, never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.   

Ever thine. 

Ever mine. 

Ever ours.”

(Ludwig van Beethoven)

Congratulations Nat and Pete and thank you for inviting me to share in the beauty and excitement of your intimate celebration.  I sincerely loved every moment spent with Team Jordan!

 

Celebrant: Sally Hughes

Photography: Warrenphotography

Videography:  C2 Films

Venue styling: The Bride - Natalie Jordan

Nat's gown:  The Bride - Natalie Jordan

Nat's hair: Dani North Wedding Hair

Pete's suit: Peter Jackson

 

Outdoor Wedding Venues - Public Spaces

Melbourne is blessed with so many beautiful parks, gardens, beaches and reserves.  From time to time I'm asked by couples for recommendations. That's easy! Here are some of my favourite public places.

City & Inner Suburbs

Nymphaea Lake West - Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra

Nymphaea Lake West - Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra

Nymphaea Lake East - Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra

Picnic Point - Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra

Princes Lawn - Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra

Dog Flat - Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra

Tennyson Lawn - Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra

Tecoma Pavilion - Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra

Rose Pavilion - Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra

For information regarding permits for the Royal Botanic Gardens, contact Blakes Feast

Fawkner Park, South Yarra

Treasury Gardens JFK Memorial.jpg

John F Kennedy Memorial - Treasury Gardens, East Melbourne

Fitzroy Gardens Temple of the Winds Rotunda.jpg

Temple of the Winds Rotunda, Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne

Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden, Royal Domain, Melbourne

Lady Janet Clarke Rotunda - Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne

Flagstaff Gardens, Melbourne

Carlton Gardens, Carlton

For information regarding permits for Fawkner Park, Treasury Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens, Pioneer Women's Memorial, Queen Victoria Gardens, Flagstaff Gardens and Carlton Gardens, contact the City Of Melbourne

Grollo Equiset Gardens - National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

For further information relating to the requirement of a permit for the Grollo Equiset Gardens, contact

National Gallery of Victoria and Peter Rowland Catering.

St Vincents Garden, Albert Park

For information relating to permits for St Vincents Garden, contact the City of Port Phillip

North

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Edinburgh Gardens Rotunda, Fitzroy

East

Malvern Gardens.jpg

Malvern Gardens, Malvern

Hedgeley Dene Gardens, Malvern East

For information regarding permits for Malvern Gardens and Hedgeley Dene Gardens, contact the

City of Stonnington

Alexandra Gardens, Kew

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Canterbury Gardens Rotunda, Canterbury

Maranoa Gardens, Balwyn

For information relating to permits for Alexandra Gardens, Canterbury Gardens and Maranoa Gardens, contact the City of Boroondara

Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, Blackburn

For information relating permits for Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, contact the City of Whitehorse

Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen

Westerfolds Park, Templestowe

For information relating to permits at Westerfolds Park, contact Parks Victoria

National Rhododendron Gardens, Olinda

For information relating to permits for the National Rhododendron Gardens, contact Parks Victoria

The Secret Garden - Sky High, Mount Dandenong

Tim Neville Arboretum, Ferntree Gully

For further information relating to permits for the Tim Neville Arboretum, contact Knox City Council

South

Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne

For information relating to permits for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, contact Blakes Feast

George Pentland Botanic Gardens, Frankston

For further information regarding permits for George Petland Botanic Gardens, contact  

Frankston City Council

West

Williamstown Botanic Gardens, Williamstown

For information relating to permits for Williamstown Botanic Gardens, contact  

Hobsons Bay City Council

Werribee Park, Werribee South

State Rose Garden - Werribee Park, Werribee South

For information relating to permits for Werribee Park, contact Parks Victoria

Footscray Park, Footscray

For information relating to permits for Footscray Park, contact the City of Maribyrnong

Bayside

St Kilda Pier, St Kilda

For information relating to permits for St Kilda Pier, contact Parks Victoria

Catani Gardens Rotunda, St Kilda

St Kilda Botanical Gardens, St Kilda

For information relating to permits for Catani Gardens Rotunda and St Kilda Botanic Gardens, 

contact the City of Port Phillip

Brighton Bathing Boxes - Brighton Beach

Kamesburgh Gardens, Brighton

Band Rotunda, Sandringham

For information relating to permits for the Brighton bathing boxes foreshore, Kamesburgh Gardens, Brighton Town Hall gardens, and the Sandringham band rotunda, contact Bayside City Council


If you plan to hold your ceremony in a public place, be sure to check with local council or Parks Victoria to confirm whether a permit is required and the conditions of the permit.  Conditions may relate to site and insurance fees, bond payment, hire duration, maximum group size and whether structures such as marquees and market umbrellas can be erected. 

Looking for a little more outdoor inspiration? Take a look at my blog Outdoor Wedding Venues - Private Places


Sally Hughes
Authorised Marriage Celebrant

 

Images:

Royal Botanic Gardens courtesy of Blakes Feast

Pioneer Women's Memorial courtesy of John Torcasio

Carlton Gardens courtesy of Sally Hughes

National Rhododendron Gardens courtesy of Cosplay

Footscray Park courtesy of Sally Hughes

Band Rotunda, Sandringham courtesy of TappaNappa