REAL WEDDING: Vicki and Chris

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Vicki and Chris’ wedding was never going to be a cookie cutter affair. They are both wonderful, intricate people with a superb sense of adventure and a playfulness that can’t be quashed. When they came to me and mentioned that their wedding was going to be a steampunk affair, the only question I had was…where do I sign?

Today I talk to Vicki as she recounts her magical wedding day.

How did you meet? We met doing improv theatre. We were both Rookies with the Impro Melbourne Ensemble and had been performing together for a while. Conversations about books and writing, and hijinks through Melbourne Cemetry followed and we just clicked.

Tell me about the proposal… So Chris had bought the ring and had been planning to propose to me for a while, but was waiting for the right time. Then we found one weekend where we were able to get away without the kids. We stayed in a gorgeous little French cottage in Rye. We went to dinner the first night but Chris didn’t think it a romantic enough venue, so he waited until the next morning and proposed to me in bed with ‘Claire De Lune’ playing in the background. It was incredibly romantic.

What was the first thing you decided on when you were arranging your day? The very first thing we decided on was who would design our outfits. We’d decided not to go with the traditional white dress or the usual wedding trappings, so finding a designer who could create what we were looking for was a challenge. We ended up finding an absolutely wonderful Melbourne Designer – Carly from Lyris Designs – who created magic for us on the day. It was really important for us to get it right and do it without breaking the bank. Carly was amazing to work with.

How did you choose your dress/suit/outfit? After the proposal we started looking at wedding dresses, venues and generally trying to wrap our heads around both what we could afford and what we wanted to create, and truth is we both got a bit depressed by the usual trappings. It just didn’t seem like us. Then one day Chris just went: “Why don’t we just do steampunk” and my heart nearly exploded with excitement. Once we had the theme, the job became one of what out of all the amazing steampunkary we would incorporate into our own outfits. We set up a whole heap of steampunk Pinterest boards and trawled through every steampunky inch of the internet to create our vision boards for what we wanted.

What was the reason that you chose the venue that you did? It was actually Chris’s brother Rob who suggested it. Again we’d been looking for venues that would fit our theme and hadn’t really found anything that fit both budget and inspiration. Then Rob reminded us of the amazing Sovereign Hill. We went and took a look and immediately realised we’d found the perfect location for our special day.

Did you have a cake/cheesewheel? If so what flavour did you chose? We found a terrific cakemaker in Ballarat called Pretty Special Cakes who made us an incredible steampunk cake. We chose three flavours – lemon delicious, apple cinnamon and the gorgeous nanna baileys.

How did you both plan the wedding? Were there any major compromises made? I took a coordinating role but we frequently talked through theme options and would regularly sit down with the kids to explore different steampunk things we could incorporate. The major compromises were in the number of guests we invited – we had to stick to a smaller number for budgetary reasons although we could have gone with a lot more. We also (for budget reasons) didn’t invest in cars and flowers and we took a risk in not having a professional photographer. But our friends and family really stepped up to the plate for that last one, so we feel justified in having made that compromise.

Tell me about the venue… Sovereign Hill is a gorgeous recreation of an 1850’s Australian Gold Rush Town. It has everything from an old theatre, to ye-olde pubs and churches, lolly shops and of course gold prospecting. As soon as we saw it we knew it would be perfect for the vibe we were wanting to create.

We’re glad we… went with Steampunk.

We’re happy we didn’t bother with… the cars and other trappings that weren’t really necessary.

The best thing about our wedding was… that we actually managed to relax and have a good time.

What type of vibe were you after? We were definitely after a fun, immersive vibe. We wanted to create something people could really have fun with and that would also be inspiring and fun for us. Even though it was challenging to pull off, the decision to have a Steampunk wedding was easily the best decision we made.

How was the lead up to the wedding? We were nervous but mostly about making sure that everything was ready and that we hadn’t forgotten anything. (Turns out we did forget to choose a song to dance to!) Mostly we managed it by laughing a lot, keeping each other grounded and taking turns to freak out but never freaking out together.

What was the best piece of advice you were given in the lead up? Let go of the need for it to be perfect. (You have more fun that way)

Has life changed since you got married? In many ways no because we’ve already got a family and were living together. But in some ways yes. All my neices and nephews (from Chris’s side) now call me ‘official-Aunty-Vicki' and it really is a thrill to be able to call each other husband and wife instead of the ambiguous ‘partner’.

Is there anything you would change about your wedding day? Oh my god yes! I had prepared this song to sing to Chris in Greek. It's a beautiful, passionate song of love - called 'Whispering Heart' and I'd practiced it hundreds of times before the big day. Then, in a state of what I can only describe as supreme frazzle-fication, I didn't actually go ahead with it. I'd definitely give myself a kick up the butt to get on stage and do it if I had the day to do over. As it is, I'm keeping it for when we do our steampunk-renewal-of-vows.

What’s your best piece of advice for couples that are arranging their wedding? Make to-do lists and delegate the tasks. Leave plenty of time for last minute things to go wrong. But also embrace the inevitable chaos.

Who was your favourite stand out vendor? We really loved working with everyone – from the cake maker, to the musicians, videographer and designer – everyone was so inspired and inspiring to work with. But we particularly loved working with you Precious. A lot of the best ideas for the ceremony were things you she brought to the table, and you made some amazing suggestions that we used in other parts of the wedding. You also brought such a joy and sense of fun with you that you really helped us relax and enjoy the whole thing. I mean even your outfit rocked!!

Anything funny and unexpected happen on the day? We had fun. That was unexpected to me.

Precious was brilliant to work with. She was fun, enthusiastic about our theme and plans, and provided lots of excellent insights and ideas that we incorporated into our day. Very highly recommend. She infused our special day with fun and warmth.
— Vicki

VENDORS Photographer - Vicki’s sister-in-law Marita, and amazing friend Jaklene Vukasinovic. Videographer - Ben from One Fun Thing. Venue - Sovereign Hill. Catering - Sovereign Hill. Cake - Pretty Special Cakes. Invites - The very wonderful Ivy Hajduk who I work with. Dress - Lyris Designs. Suits - Lyris Designs did Chris’s coat. Her shoes - Funtasma Shoes. His shoes - Doc Martens. Music - Byron Triandafilidis from Zourouna.

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Precious Fawcett