If Justine & Gabrielle hadn’t decided to downsize their nuptials and move them forward to March, we’d be sharing a very different wedding today! Nipping in just before 2020 went further downhill, these two promise their small and intimate 25 guest wedding was a total dream and they wouldn’t have changed a thing. Keen to support female-run small business throughout their day, this beaut duo put a lot of effort into sourcing their on the day vendors, all of whom they were stoked with, including some of our all-time faves Lola Varma and Ayzia Jade Photography. Hosted upon the lush grounds of Aravina Estate, we recommend scrolling down for the oodles of details these two have to share…

THE VENUE “We live in Melbourne but were set on a small outdoor wedding somewhere beautiful. After a serendipitous turn of events, we decided that the Margaret River region in WA was the place for us. We had never been but had always wanted to go and what better time to experience it but for our special day. We started researching venues in the area and one place that stuck out for us was Aravina Estate in Yallingup. After one phone call, our decision was made. It just could not have been easier. They were incredibly friendly, accommodating and made everything very easy for us (who would not have the opportunity to view the venue until two days before the wedding). They literally took care of everything for us including printing personalised wedding menus for the table on our day. An added bonus was that the venue and grounds were absolutely stunning and the menu we were able to create our own menu from was amazing. Leading up to the wedding, whenever a local would learn we were having the wedding at Aravina they would exclaim at how beautiful the venue was and what a great choice we had made.”

THE OUTFITS “At the time I (Gabrielle) first tried on my dress we had no idea we were going to have the wedding in WA, but as fate would have it my dress ended up being from a Perth based designer – Lola Varma. At the time, Lola Varma did not have any showrooms in Melbourne but when my maid of honour contacted the Perth showroom on a Saturday, they just happened to be having a pop up in Melbourne that same weekend. They didn’t have any time slots available but were kind enough to create a time slot for me before they opened at 8 am the next day. It was the first (and only) dress fitting I went to and I fell in love instantly. The overall experience was incredibly easy and Courtney (founder and designer) made me feel so comfortable. Having Insta stalked the collection I went into the fitting pretty sure on what outfit I was going to get but came out with quite a different style. I would have never tried it on had Courtney not suggested it and I couldn’t be more grateful that she did, it could not have been more perfect.

My (Justine) suit was from Melbourne based designer P Johnson Femme. I had tried many off the shelf suits leading up to my first fitting however I noticed that female suits don’t seem to be designed for my shape. P Johnson Femme was a great experience and offered a full service where they tailored the suit exactly to my body shape. It was exactly what I had envisioned.”

MARRIAGE MEANS… “Forever having somebody to argue with about what you’re having for dinner. All jokes aside, marriage is actually a massive deal for us. With the age-long fight for equality and the 2017 plebiscite fresh in our minds, the equality before the law that our wedding day signified was something we did not take for granted. To all of those brave champions who went before us, who fought for a society in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians could feel safe and recognised, and who fought, in much harder times, to create a society in which this equality before the law was even a possibility – we thank them for their courage and persistence.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “Considering the time at which we’re writing this and where we’re located (Melbourne) our advice to couples planning a wedding would be to stay home, socially distance and wash your hands so that restrictions can be eased and you can actually have a wedding. For the couples at freedom in the rest of the country, remember what it’s all about – love. Try not to get caught up in all the wedding jazz, don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s your day and it’s about your love, not about anyone else, pleasing anyone else or being all things to all people. Outsource as much of the planning/setup as you can afford.”

STANDOUT VENDOR “This would have to be our photographer Ayzia. After our meeting with Ayzia, we knew that she was the perfect person to capture our special day. We really connected and she even managed to convince Gabrielle (who absolutely hates having her photo taken) that she would get her through the shoot. She just made us comfortable and understood exactly what we were looking for. She went above and beyond for us on the day, offering to stay in the area for a few hours on the wedding day and drive us to a special location after the wedding for an intimate photoshoot – this absolutely topped off our day. And the results – well the proof is in the pudding!! What an absolutely stunning collection she produced for us – we could not be more thankful for the serendipitous turn of events that brought us together.”

Keen to book some of these rad vendors for yourself? You’re in luck! We have easy peasy contact forms for Aravina Estate and Ayzia Jade Photography so please do click through for more. But first…

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Ayzia Jade Photography Florist Zest Flowers Venue & Catering Aravina Estate Cake Sweet Stylin’ Sound Hire Sound Pro Entertainment Olivia Watson and Chelsea Todd Celebrant Anita Revel Rings GN Designer Jeweller (Gabrielles), Natalie Marie Jewellery (Justine) BRIDE (Gabrielle) Dress Lola Varma Accessories The Sota Collective Hair Blushh Hair Studio Makeup TXC Collective BRIDE (Justine) Suit P Johnson Femme Earrings Peggy and Twig Hair Blushh Hair Studio Makeup TXC Collective