Fern and Oliver enjoyed being engaged so much that they weren’t in any hurry to actually get to the marrying bit! “Oliver proposed in December 2019 and we got married in June 2021, 18 months of enjoying that engagement love bubble,” the bride tells us. “But if we knew you got a whole new love bubble when you got married, we would have done it sooner! 

Their big day was “always going to be colourful and fun”, adds Fern, so it’s no wonder they called in epic flower wrangler Mrs Gibbons Flowers to fill the stylish Calile Hotel with beautiful, bright blooms. “We really wanted it to be one big party.” And by the looks of these awesome snaps by Jimmy Raper Wedding Photography, it was exactly that! 

THE VENUE “We only saw one! It was so tough with COVID and the ongoing threat of lockdowns. We knew we needed to keep it close to home. We contacted The Calile Hotel and they had two Saturdays left for 2021 (after many postponed 2020 weddings took up the dates), so that was that. We locked it in that day. The ceremony was an easy one as well, we held it in the chapel at Stuartholme School, which is where I went to high school. The chapel is beautiful and other girlfriends of mine had been married there as well so it was really special.”

FAVE DETAILS “The stationery was so beautiful, Vanessa Nguyen did such a great job, it tied in so perfectly with the flowers by Mrs Gibbons Flowers. It was bright and fun and I felt like I hadn’t seen anything like it previously. Vanessa hand-painted all the names on the place cards as well. It felt classy without being ostentatious.”

THE DRESS “The dress! Oh, the dress. What a journey it was. My initial vibe leading up to the wedding was to purchase something online that was understated and to pair it with an epic veil. I had a Net-A-Porter package arriving every week, but nothing felt right. Eventually, I landed on this beautiful Vanessa Cocchiaro jumpsuit that I was intending on pairing with a Harriette Gordon veil. Ten weeks out from the wedding I went into Bloom bridal boutique to try on the veil and ended up trying on the Harriette Gordon Lantern gown, and I was sold. The jumpsuit was a mere memory. Thanks to some very quick work from Sam at Bloom and the team at Harriette Gordon, my dress was ready to go the week before the wedding. It all fell into place and the dress couldn’t have been better. The complete opposite of my original relaxed vibe (who was I kidding with that?!). 

TAKE ON TRADITION “The celebrant, Fr Richard James is a really close family friend. His family and mine have been very close since his daughter and I started grade 1. I knew it had to be him that married us. He is an Anglican Priest though and the church was Catholic, so we had to jump through a few hoops but I wasn’t going to have it any other way. After multiple meetings we got the green light and it was perfect. It felt so special to have someone marry us that had been such an important part of my life and also that we could do it in the chapel where I spent my high school years.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “Be organised! I am very organised, spreadsheets galore. But you have to be. There are so many moving parts it can really spiral if you aren’t on top of it all. And trust your vendors, they know the drill! Lean on them for advice and don’t listen to outside influences. Just go with your gut and what you and your partner ultimately want.”

WE’RE GLAD WE… “had the rehearsal dinner the night before at Same Same (where we got engaged). Aside from being sentimental, it was also a great way to relax into the weekend with our wedding parties and families.”

STANDOUT VENDORS “Are we allowed to say all of them? We were blown away by all of our vendors. Every one of them made the day magic. Would recommend them all in a heartbeat.”

We here are Hello May happen to be pretty good friends with a few of these amazing vendors and can 100% attest to their total amazingness. Head to Jimmy Raper Wedding Photography’s directory listing to have him nap your day, and definitely chat to Mrs Gibbons Flowers about getting some of the best blooms in the biz.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Jimmy Raper Wedding Photography Event Planner Kate Redgen at The Calile Hotel Florist Mrs Gibbons Flowers Stationery Bliss & Bone (e-invites, website), Vanessa Nguyen (place cards, menu & drink cards, seating chart) Ceremony Stuartholme School Reception & Catering The Calile Hotel Cake Cakes by Judy C Entertainment Benny Hanna Music Celebrant Fr Richard James (family friend) Rings A.G Designer Jeweller THE BRIDE Gown & Veil Harriette Gordon Bridal Boutique Bloom Shoes Fendi Earrings MINERALEIR via Mode Sportif Hair Jules Neale at Mikki Auld Hair Makeup Gemma Elaine Bridesmaid dresses Paris Georgia (yellow dress), Saloni via Matches Fashion (pink dress), Costarellos via My Theresa (gold dress) THE GROOM Suit, Shirt & Bow Tie The Cloakroom Cufflinks Mont Blanc via The Cloakroom Shoes Harrisons Barber Empower Barbershop Groomsmen’s suits The Cloakroom