How many people can say they went on a first date that lasted 7 hours? Surely at that point you know your swipe right has hit the jackpot. We bet when Mike was traveling around Australia he never thought he would find his happily ever after but low and behold Claire came into the picture and it’s been the best decision ever since.
#RCREALBRIDE Claire wore the breath taking Eva Plus by Pronovias. Seduction in its purest state. A dress made to win hearts. The elegance and magic of tulle and lace team up in this mermaid dress, fitted at the natural waist, with a V-neckline and an illusion back, combined with matching long sleeves. A design that stands out for the lace and guipure appliqués on the hips and skirt, which give it a very personal touch where the details make all the difference.
Photographer: Kat & Scout from It’s Beautiful Here
THE FIRST SIGHT
We met on Tinder! Mike had just arrived in the country from Canada. He knew no one and wanted to meet people and make friends. His plan was to stay in Australia for one year. He wanted to travel around and have some adventures before returning back to his home in Prince George, British Columbia. But then I derailed all that and fast forward three plus years and we are married and have a little puppy called George! Our first date was at The Ugly Duckling in Richmond and lasted at least 7 hours! We chatted and laughed so much. I nearly didn’t go on the date because I was feeling lazy but luckily my housemate at the time pushed me out the door and we’ve never looked back. We’ve navigated visas and long distance to stay together and it hasn’t always been easy but it has always been worth it.
Mike proposed just before Christmas in 2017 while we were visting his family and friends in Canada. I’d had a skiing accident that day (always the clumsy one!) which included a trip to the local hospital and a delighful leg brace to help my torn ligament but things turned around when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I had no idea it was coming and we both cried a LOT.
There were MANY jokes about how many painkillers I’d had that day (which was true) but I assre you I would’ve said yes regardless!
It was really hard for us to decide where to get married. His family are in Canada and Croatia, so we thought about those countries, and I’m from Adelaide and that’s where all my family are. But ultimately, we met in Melbourne, we live in Melbourne, and this is where we wanted to get married. Once we decided on that, Mike was adamant that it be somewhere beachside. He figured if the Canadians were coming all this way we may as well show them our Aussie beaches! We also wanted to keep logistics simple as a lot of people were travelling, so keeping it close to the Melbourne CBD was important. We looked at about 5 venues before we settled on the Port Melbourne Yacht Club. It is right on the beach and there was a gorgeous deck over the water plus the beautiful St Jospeh’s Church just around the corner.
Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Mike get a bit teary at the end of the aisle
The MCs who had everyone in absolute stitches welcoming the bridal party and so on
Dancing with all our guests for hours – the dance floor went off!!!
When our gorgeous photographers took us down to the beach for a late night photoshoot with Beyonce’s ‘Drunk in Love’ video as the inspo. I am a hugeBeyonce fan (our first dance was to Crazy in Love!). They played the video clip and we laughed and danced and the photos are my favourite. Just us barefoot on the beach in the dark.
The Eva Plus gown I purchased was the first wedding dress I ever tried on!
The definition of Love At First Sight!
I was really nervous about dress shopping, dreading it in fact. I had no idea what I wanted except I didn’t want strapless. I am quite a curvy girl and was worried everything wouldn’t fit and it would be horrid. But my sister was in town for the weekend and suggested we go have a look along with one of my best friends so I booked my appointment!
And I shouldn’t have worried – because Ellen at the Armadale store was an absolute gem and picked this dress out for me to try. I loved it and when I walked out of the change room my friend and sister both cried!
The lace detail was gorgeous and I fell in love with the beautiful long sleeves. I feel like it hugged my curves in the right places and made me feel beautiful. The train was stunning and the button detail down the back I also loved.
I tried on another three dresses after that one just to confirm but the Eva was the winner!
FINDING THE ONE
As mentioned above I had an amazing experience. Ellen was a fantastic help. We got a dress and veil sorted in no time. She knew based on my likes and dislikes and body tyoe what would work. Her help was fantastic.
ADVICE FOR OTHER BRIDES
Trust your gut! If something doesn’t feel right or a vendor isn’t being responsive then speak up!
Also there are no rules, do exactly what you and your partner want and make it your own. I put so much trust into Hilary from Billie Jean Botanicals and she did the most amazing job. The flowers were one of my highlights.
Also pick what matters to you! To me, flowers and photos mattered. So that’s where our money was spent. Cars and decorations were less important, so we budgeted accordingly.
Also, can you give us a tip on how to keep a happy relationship?
Never be mean. You can argue and disagree over things but never get personal and never say mean things to each other.
Gown: Raffaele Ciuca
Photographer: Kat & Scout from It’s Beautiful Here
Venue: Port Melbourne Yacht Club Church/Celebrant: St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Priest: Father James Grant
Flowers: Billie Jean Botanicals
Cake: Miss Ladybird Cakes
Hair: Ashlea Aitken
Makeup: Toni Anderson
Shoes: Dolci Firme
Suits: David Marcs
DJ: Andrew Veli
Bridesmaids Dresses: Assorted