suzanne & michael


Photography by  Lucy Spartalis, She Takes Pictures He Makes Films | styling by: Weddings of Desire


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HOW WE MET | “Michael and I first met at Leader Community Newspapers, where we both worked as journalists. I thought he was very handsome and kind, but it wasn’t until several years after our first meeting that we started dating.” 

HOW HE PROPOSED: HIS STORY | “I proposed to Suzanne on a weekend away in Lorne, on Victoria’s Surf Coast. It was a special trip marking our five year anniversary. I proposed to her with a silver bracelet I had purchased from Pieces of Eight gallery in Russell Place. I selected it because the roses adorning the bracelet reminded me of her beauty and style. I knew Suz would want to choose her own engagement ring, so I figured that was an activity we could enjoy together. She selected a sapphire engagement ring designed by Melanie Katsalidis and later chose two wedding bands designed by Suzi Zutic, also from Pieces of Eight.”

HOW HE PROPOSED: HER STORY| “When Michael proposed during our trip away to Lorne celebrating our anniversary I was wearing my pyjamas. I was surprised and so incredibly happy! We also happened to be staying in a beautiful converted chapel called The Chapel which was a lovely coincidence.
I was very excited about the prospect of planning a wedding. I’m a hopeless romantic and had been thinking about marrying the love of my life for some time. I loved the idea of having all of our family and friends together for a fun and meaningful celebration.” 

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FLORAL WHIMSY | When Suzanne was a little girl she had insisted she would be a ‘rose keeper’ when she grew up, much to the amusement of her family. “My floral dreams of a romantic, whimsical garden wedding became a reality thanks to our florist and stylist.” Each floral element was detailed and beautiful creating a romantic atmosphere. From the wedding aisle lined with flowers leading to the floral arch at the ceremony to inside the elegant Rosina Room where a floral wall installation had been created, “It was reminiscent of a Dutch Masters painting and took my breath away,” Suzanne said. “There were the most beautiful blooms paired with sculptural greenery in signature urns inspired by European chateaus. The contrast of scale and colour created a romantic theatricality and had unique elements such as lemons for bright pops of yellow.”

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A WEDDING OF DESIRE |  In planning their wedding, Suzanne spent a lot of time on Pinterest and had long conversations with her sister about all of the details. “Michael was very supportive and helped bring together all of the elements. We also enlisted the help of wedding stylist Laura Harvey of Weddings of Desire. She took all of my styling ideas on board and brought our dream to life. She created a lush floral wonderland which was truly special. Our friends and family are still talking about the flowers!” 

“There was a lot to organise, but it was exciting and fulfilling,” Michael said. “When our wedding day came around, it felt like we had accomplished something amazing by bringing all of our loved ones together to celebrate at the perfect venue on a superb 25 degree December day. Luckily for me, Suz was amazingly well organised and had such a clear vision of what our wedding should be. She deserves all of the credit!”     

BEST MOMENTS | “I distinctly remember waking up on the morning of December 3 with an unprecedented level of nervous excitement,” Michael said. “I think I paced around the room for about 10 minutes before I stepped into the shower! The hours leading up to arriving at Abbotsford Convent were a blur, although my groomsmen did a great job making the occasion fun and, consequently, keeping me relaxed and calm. The highlight of the ceremony, without a shadow of doubt was my first glimpse of Suz as she walked across the convent gardens towards the flower archway. She looked so beautiful and happy; it was easily the best moment of my life.”

THE VENUE | “Abbotsford Convent has been a venue we have loved visiting since we started dating in 2010. We considered other venue options but we kept coming back to the convent. It was the perfect location, so close to the heart of the city, and we love the Heritage Gardens.” 

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SUITS & FROCKS | Both Michael and his groomsmen wore classic, black tuxedos with bow ties and braces. As a point of difference, Michael’s shirt had a wing-tipped collar. The bridesmaids wore vintage inspired floor length gowns in a colour palette of grey, blush and sage. “Our beautiful junior bridesmaid wore a floor length blush gown, and our flower girl wore
a lace and tulle dress with a floral crown. Our page boys had incredibly cute tuxedoes.”

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AN ODE TO THE PAST |Suzanne wore Karen Willis Holmes’ bespoke ‘Molly’ gown featuring a lace bodice with boat neck and cap sleeves over a strapless corset with tulle skirt and train. “I also wore a velvet sage belt and rolled edge tulle veil. I loved that my gown was vintage inspired which is
a style that I adore and gravitate towards. I felt it evoked a romantic bygone era. I tried on quite few different dresses and styles but as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one. My sister was with me and got a little teary. Later we did a happy dance!”

In keeping with the vintage feel of Suzanne’s gown, Prunella’s floral styling with its beautiful aesthetic and luxurious sculptural style conjured visions of a 19th century garden. “Their arrangements are so pretty and unforgettable. My beautiful bouquet featured roses and peonies, as well as a selection other seasonal flowers. The soft colours worked perfectly and my bridesmaids and I loved them.”


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SUMMER PERFECTION | “We were lucky to have a beautiful sunny day with warm weather and blue skies. I was incredibly nervous in the morning but my parents and bridesmaids (four of my best friends and my sister who is also my best friend) were so supportive. I almost burst into tears when my dad arrived looking so dapper in his tuxedo. However my nerves completely disappeared as I walked down the aisle of flowers in the Heritage Gardens with my mother and father. When I finally made it to Michael I gave him the biggest hug.”

“Our celebrant suggested we write our vows and I am so pleased we did as it was such a special part of the ceremony. I vowed to support Michael’s favourite sporting teams and embrace his unique dance moves which had a few our guests giggling.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the sound of bells rang out as guests celebrated with the wedding bells they had been given.

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DELICIOUS DETAILS | “Our wedding favours were pots of Western Australian honey with specially designed porcelain spoons made by
the incredibly talented ceramicist Bridget Bodenham.” 

Designed by Cake Ink, Suzanne and Michael’s wedding cake featured 3 polished tiers with lace and gold-scalloped detailing and finished with an abundance of sugar flowers, which resembled the beautiful flowers arranged by Prunella. There was banana, caramel and chocolate tiers.


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THE PERFECT SETTING | Vintage chandeliers hanging from wooden beams, hundreds of candles and vintage cut-glass vases set the scene for Suzanne and Michael’s wedding reception. The colour palette featured blush pink, sage and grey with gold accents. For the table settings grey-blue and dusty pink linens were paired with gold cutlery. The flowers showcased pastel pinks, cream and peach with pops of bright pinks and pale yellows. “Our palette was inspired by our invitations designed by my sister Nicole, a visual artist and graphic designer. The concertina style invitations had hand painted watercolour paintings of floral wreaths, flowers and portraits of Michael and myself as well as our crest and calligraphic gold foiling. They were so beautiful and we will treasure them forever.”

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FUN & DANCE | For their first dance Suzanne and Michael took to the floor with Otis Redding’s ‘These Arms of Mine’ before injecting a bit of humour and dancing to Toni Basil’s ‘Mickey’. “I call Michael Mickey G so it was a fitting song!” At one stage all our guests were in a conga line around the Rosina Room.” 

Suzanne and Michael also had a Champagne tower. “We wanted to create a sense of fun for both us and our guests, as that’s reflective of the people we are. Our Champagne tower was part of that and our guests were in hysterics the whole time, as we somehow managed to fill all of the glasses in spite of our awkward pouring techniques. We didn’t realise how long it would take to fill all of the glasses but as soon as they were ready there was a mad rush which was wonderful.” 


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credit goes to :




gown: Karen Willis

shoes: Rachel Simpson -

photographer & videographer: Lucy Spartalis and Alastair Innes of She Takes Pictures He Makes Films

wedding venue: Abbotsford Convent,

planner & caterer: Bursaria,

reception decorations: Weddings of Desire,

flowers and floral decorations: Prunella,

cake: Cake Ink

stationery: Nicole Robson,

stylist: Weddings of Desire,

groom & groomsmen: Oscar Hunt

bridesmaids: BHLDN

flower girls & page boys: Stellina Cute Couture,
Young Designers Gallery

hair: The Distinctive Dame,

makeup: Dana Leviston,

transport: Triple R Luxury Car Hire.

first night: Park Hyatt Melbourne,

additional suppliers:

The House of Honey

Bridget Bodenham

Chandelier Hire

Champagne Towers Australia



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