They met at the local YMCA! Anyone have the Village people song playing in their head? Maybe it was Rita teaching Zumba that made Cal’s heart dance every time he saw her? Now if this isn’t plot from a great 80’s rom-com, we don’t know what is?! Credit to Cal for his persistance and dedication gaining Rita’s attention and affection after years of waiting. Congratulations love birds!
#RCREALBRIDE Rita wore the striking 707 by Demetrios. This stunning adorned sleeveless V-neck gown with Sweep train and striking low sheer back with lace and buttons exudes vintage glamour.
Photographer: Jess Nicholls
THE FIRST SIGHT
When I started studying at Deakin University I thought it would be a good idea to join the Deakin YMCA on campus. Little did I know it would have such an impact on my life – I got a job at the desk there, taught ZUMBA classes there but most importantly, I met my husband there! When I first met Cal we were very friendly but I never thought anything romantically. Cal tried to ask me out and I rejected him! Years in between I saw him with many girlfriends and we remainded friendly. Friends say that Cal kept a keen eye on me during this time though! Then the stars finally aligned. I finally graduated and I was about to move on from university and it was the natural progression to make sure we kept seeing eachother! Our first date was at “Cookie” in the city and after a few drinks we finally shared our first kiss.
Cal and I have been extremely lucky in living out our dreams of travel – we backpacked Europe together in 2017 for almost 10 months. It was a challenge, trying to make ends meet but it was very rewarding and special as we met both our families in Warsaw, Poland and Calabria, Italy. Towards the end of this trip, with only a month to go, Cal proposed during our last hours in Norway before boarding a plane to London. It was the best end to an amazing trip!
Our ceremony was in St Anthony’s Shrine Church in Hawthorn East. We chose this Church as it has special significance in our family – my parents were married here, my brother and I were baptised here and my great grandfather’s name is on the back wall to honour a group of immigrant Italians who helped construct the Church.
Our reception was at the Harbour Room in St Kilda. The room is light, with a big dance floor and beautiful marble bar in the centre, easy access for our guests! Initially, we chose this venue because of the cosy feel to have everyone in the same place and the big windows overlooking the beach… luckily we were indoors though as there was an unexpected hail storm on our day – a big surprise for March!
Ahhh what a question! It is a day where all your nearest and dearest come together to celebrate the love we have for eachother and that alone cannot be compared to! Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing all these people at once, standing at the altar with Cal and watching everyone watch us exchange our vows. And seeing everyone at once while we gave our thank you speech will be images forever etched in my memory and moments I will be forever be grateful for.
Surprisingly, I did not try on many dresses before I found the one! I had three appointments in one day and I never made it to my third. I only tried on 4 dresses in tota. I found the Demetrios 707 online while looking at the Raffele Ciuca website and I instantly fell in love with the detail and beading.. the shape.. the back.. ahhhh so amazing! And I added the detachable tulle skirt with a beaded belt and kept things traditional with a layered tulle veil too. During fittings I never wanted to take it off and since the Wedding I look at my dress with love in my eyes just wishing for a day to wear it again!
FINDING THE ONE
I went to the Sydney Road store with my mum and it was the best experience! The stylists are very confident and helpful in assisting with sizes, colour, recommendations on changing tones etc. Before we knew it mum and I were in tears with a glass of champagne!
After the very exciting wait I then went to the alterations store with my Nonna’s, Aunties and girlfriends and got the dress altered to my body shape… it was a very streamline experience. I cannot recommend RC enough and I wish I could go through the process all over again! In fact, my future sister-in-law has just ordered her dress at RC and I cannot wait to see it!
ADVICE FOR OTHER BRIDES
Don’t sweat the small stuff! It is absolutely crazy that you can spend over a year of your life planning your wedding, which in the end is a day that goes for a few hours, it goes extremely quickly! So my biggest tip is to not get preoccupied with things you cannot control and even when overwhelmed just keep enjoying every moment. Looking back now and I realise how precious all the planning moments were too.
Also, can you give us a tip on how to keep a happy relationship?
To keep a happy relationship – make sure to have regular date nights and continue to try something new with your partner regularly to keep the relationship fresh and keep learning and discovering new things together.
Gown: Raffaele Ciuca
Videographer: Iconic Pictures Photographer: Jess Nicholls Venue: St Anthony’s Church & Harbour Room, St Kilda Church/Celebrant: Father Bernard Morawski Flowers: Pomp & Splendour Cake: Floriana Cakes Hair: Wild Hare Salon Makeup: Melissa Helena Shoes: Nine West Invites: DIY Suits: Formal Red Band/DJ: Protact Entertainment Bridesmaid Dresses: Bariano Bonbonerie: The Biggest Lollie Shop in the World Rings: Benjamin’s Jewellers