This proposal story is one in a million! I dare you not to shed a tear! Romance blossomed in the heart of hipster Melbourne and an intense, whirlwind romance began for this gorgeous couple.
Helen wore the classic Drabea gown by Pronovias . A dazzling design in crepe and tulle. A mermaid dress, fitted at the waist, that hugs the body and streamlines the figure, with a halter neck decorated with gemstone appliqué around the edges, pronounced armholes, narrow diamond straps and a spectacular V back. The skirt opens out low at the back into a spectacular train in the same fabric as the dress. A unique, simple and dreamy design.
Photography by Andrew Curry Photography
THE FIRST SIGHT
We met on a cold, rainy winter’s night in May 2018 at Little Mess, a bar on Sydney Road in Brunswick (just opposite Raffaele Circa infact!). We sat out the back in the beer garden under a heater and talked for hours about relationships and what we hoped for our futures. Shaun had a big beautiful smile and held my hands across the table. When I left that night I knew something had just changed in my life. We met again on the Sunday night at the same bar and then spent every evening together for the following ten days, travelling back and forth between Bayside and Coburg where we lived at the time, often meeting in Brunswick and Fitzroy. It was an intense, whirlwind romance set in the heart of hipster Melbourne (which we both loved) but we both knew what we wanted very quickly. Within 5 months we’d moved in together and after a year we were engaged.
Shaun proposed on our one year anniversary. He told me we were going for a nice dinner in the city which would start with cocktails at Campari House. When we arrived, Campari House was empty except for us (something Shaun had pre-arranged) and after our first cocktail, Shaun gave me his phone to ‘watch a funny video whilst he went to the bathroom’. When the video started Shaun came onto the screen, and what proceeded was an 8 minute long video, filmed over months, of Shaun visiting all the locations of our first few dates, driving to Bendigo to design my engagement ring and asking my parents for my hand in marriage. It also included a video clip from just after our first date where Shaun said to the camera ‘I’m filming this because I think I just met the woman I want to marry’. The video finished with directions to a nearby building on Bourke St, to an elevator and finally, to the 8th floor. I followed the video and arrived at a rooftop overlooking the city, where I found Shaun and violinist playing our favourite song from an album we listened to during those first weeks of dating. Shaun proposed with a ring he had designed himself incorporating my birthstone, gold from his grandma’s ring and diamonds from the Kimberley where I work. After lots of champagne overlooking the city we went for the nice dinner. It was truly perfect and we decided that night that we would get married at that same rooftop.
Our ceremony was in Fitzroy Gardens. We wanted somewhere beautiful and understated and the dramatic city backdrop framed by the Old Bandstand of Fitzroy Gardens was perfect. The ceremony was at 4:30 on a beautiful, warm, sunny day and was followed by a 6pm reception at The Stolen Gem rooftop bar where we got engaged. We thought 270 degree views of the city where we fell in love would be a perfect backdrop for our wedding. We wanted a fun, relaxed wedding which felt like us and didn’t necessarily follow all the wedding ‘rules’. We had an open cocktail bar and canapés which included a flaming pork spit. We had short speeches, a beautiful cake made by my Mum and a DJ instead of a band. We danced all night under a perfectly clear night sky lit by the surrounding city lights.
Hard to choose-the whole day felt like a dream. I loved spending the morning with my family and my bridesmaids, I loved waiting to walk down the aisle to meet Shaun, I loved reading our vows and reminiscing on our story in-front of everyone we love, I loved dancing with my grandparents who had travelled over from the UK, I loved cutting the cake so lovingly made by my mum and I even loved leaving the rooftop-a little tipsy on a warm summer’s evening to go to spend our wedding night at the Grand Hyatt. Everything ran perfectly and we couldn’t have wished for a better wedding day.
I wore the Drabea gown by Pronovias. I tried this gown on on my first day of wedding dress shopping and loved it straight away. I was looking for a simple and elegant dress a little different from the norm. The simplicity of the Drabea gown was striking and the dramatic train looked beautiful in photographs.
The thing I liked most about the dress was that it felt like my style and felt like myself in it-which is a difficult feature to find in a full length white dress-it’s unlikely you’ve worn anything like it before!
FINDING THE ONE
I had a lovely experience at Raffaele Ciuca. I found wedding dress shopping a little overwhelming as there is so much choice and we didn’t want to have a long engagement. Natasha at the Brunswick store was particularly helpful and made the experience relaxed. Natasha suggested I choose a dress that allowed for the focus to be on me rather than the dress and advised me that the simplicity and fit of the Drabea gown did just that. Natasha made the experience very enjoyable.
TIPS FOR ALL THE BRIDES TO BE
You can easily organise a wedding in under a year! We were married 8 months after our engagement and this was plenty of time. We weren’t stressed and we really enjoyed the build up to our wedding-it didn’t feel like we had to wait forever and we didn’t have time to over think on the details.
Have a wet weather plan. We had a perfect summer’s day but we were lucky and there was some anxiety about the weather in the days before as we didn’t have a back up!
Everybody tells you the day goes so fast and it really does. We took some advice from our parents to bring our wedding forward from 6pm to 4:30pm to extend the day and we were really happy that we did. We also decided to have a videographer last minute and this was one of the best decisions we made-if you have the room in your budget, consider a videographer because I can guarantee you’ll watch that video hundreds of times! We also took the opportunity to take a few moments alone during the evening to remind each other of how special this day was.
—LIST OF VENDORS—
Dress: Raffaele Ciuca Bridal
Photographer: Andrew Curry Photography
Videographer: Wildbird Films
Ceremony Venue: Fitzroy Gargens
Reception Venue: The Stolen Gem
Florist: Adam the Flower Man
Celebrant/Pastor: Susan Bradley
Makeup: Makeup By Amanda Wicks
Set Up: Weddings of Distinction
Cake: Stephanie Green (Helen’s mum)