“We’re both pretty simple people who don’t like being the centre of attention,” today’s gorg couple Vanessa and Ben tell us. “So we took the silver lining that COVID threw us and embraced it in a way that was just ‘us.'” Yes, folks, it’s another tale of a grand wedding sadly shut down by the pandemic – but as with most of these stories, it has a happy ending!

“We had planned our dream wedding at a Margaret River winery back in our home state of Western Australia for 7 November 2020. Everything was locked in and ready to go. However, with border closures showing no signs of easing, we had to make the decision to postpone.” So an elopement it was to be, this time keeping things much simpler: “a ceremony at the State Library Victoria followed by dinner at our favourite restaurant in the city, City Wine Shop, celebrating with eight close friends.”

Vanessa and Ben’s wedding is proof that small on numbers doesn’t mean skimping on style. The bride was beautiful in her Rebecca Vallance gown and Amélie George Bridal earrings, the groom looked swish in M.J. Bale, and talented lens lady Sofia from Enchanted Wedding Photography was there to capture every moment.

THE VENUE “We took one look at the Latrobe Reading Room in the State Library Victoria and looked no further! Ben and I met at uni back in Perth, and our relationship grew during many library study sessions, so getting married in a library seemed fitting.”

FAVE DETAILS “Every moment was just perfect, and beautifully captured by the amazing Sofia from Enchanted Wedding Photography. One of my [Ness’] favourite things was my bouquet. I had arranged a bouquet from the florist around the corner from home, Flair Flowers & Design in Richmond, and they knocked it out of the park. They drew on my love for garden roses and sourced local blooms that were perfect.”

THE DRESS “I had a beautiful gown made by Hera Couture for our big wedding that fit the winery/marquee event we had planned, however it didn’t quite match the simple city elopement we were now planning. We decided to go with a cocktail dress code, so I went searching for the perfect dress, finding it at Rebecca Vallance in Armadale, Victoria. I paired it with simple nude heels I already had in the wardrobe and beautiful pearl earrings from Amélie George Bridal.”

REFERENCES “I bought one bridal magazine and it was the Hello May Real Wedding Special!”

WE’RE GLAD WE… “In the spirit of paying it forward, and with the help of our incredible Perth wedding photographer Flossy Photo, we were able to donate our unused WA wedding photography package to a young couple planning their own elopement.”

STANDOUT VENDORSShowtime Event Group at the State Library Victoria was just incredible. We weren’t their usual wedding clients and didn’t fit with the packages they offer (wanting a Monday evening, ceremony only, and only eight guests) but Colleen and her team came to our rescue. They were so supportive, tailoring their service to our unique event. With their help, the palatial Latrobe Reading Room felt cosy.”

If you need your own Melbourne-based star vendor team, check out all our fave Victoria locals on our directory. Enchanted Wedding Photography is over there, as are M.J. Bale and Amélie George Bridal if you’re still locking down your look.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Enchanted Wedding Photography  Stylist Colleen Haggarty via Showtime Event Group Florist Flair Flowers & Design Ceremony State Library Victoria Reception & Catering City Wine Shop Celebrant Weddings By Jess Rings Tiffany & Co. THE BRIDE Gown Rebecca Vallance Shoes Tony Bianco Earrings Amélie George Bridal Hair & Makeup Tonic Hair & Makeup Agency THE GROOM Suit & Shirt M.J. Bale Shoes R.M. Williams Watch Roamer of Switzerland Barber Jackson Warren via Beefs Barbers Malvern