Stephanie & James’ Snow White meets Americana retro wedding

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 | Photography by Ben Swinnerton
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The Offbeat Bride: Stephanie, Tram Driver (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: James, Student

Date and location of wedding: Old Treasury Building, Melbourne, Australia — August 9, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: James and I tried to plan a day which incorporated our views, interests, love, and childishness into an event we felt we and our guests could all enjoy. We both agreed that the day should be a celebration of unity rather than stressed planning, so we knocked everything we could out of the way and both made promises to stress less in general. Some of the highlights we felt were really important and awesome were: the late afternoon ceremony (bride and bridesmaids got to sleep in! BONUS POINTS!), the group first dance which fused our multiple religions, traditions, and heritages together, and a gorgeous City Circle tram (because I'm a bit of a gunzel).

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We also had a horse and carriage ride that my parents surprised us with because they knew we'd opted for no transport by having our ceremony and reception only a block apart. There was a kick-ass rainbow sprinkle cake we DIYed with our mother and aunt, personalized DIY menus, shots (that we drank too much off), and invitations we slaved over for weeks. We also loved our venue, Bobby McGees, because really, who doesn't get into a celebratory mood partying it up inside an old converted Americana '50s disco?

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Tell us about the ceremony:
Our civil ceremony was short, sweet and over in under six minutes. We tried to make it a declaration of our love and throw out anything we felt was too much and unnecessary. We didn't have readings, and instead said super short vows which ended in, “to infinity and beyond” including Buzz Lightyear poses and friends photo-bombing.

Our biggest challenge:
I feel like the biggest challenge we had was trying to please everyone whilst also pleasing ourselves. This came down to involving mostly family values and the fact we were 100% dead keen on having a reception with no white walls, no white linen, a somewhat out-there menu (as most of our guests were safe eaters), and not being able to incorporate flowers due to allergies. I'd read about addressing individuals and accepting their proposal for ideas yet pushing them aside in a polite manner. We both found that most people just wanted to be heard and involved, and arguments began only because many weren't aware things could be done different from what they'd experienced prior.

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For many older family members, it seemed bizarre to them that we wouldn't be having multiple ceremonies to cover all of the family religions, because that's just how it was done. Working with everyone and explaining our mindset helped iron out any problems.

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My favorite moment:
This is going to sound incredible clichรฉ, but the most meaningful moments of the wedding were the ones that seemed to please the guests the most, as well as our moments we got alone where we could just take in the day and embrace what was happening. One stand out moment was the group first dance which fused together multiple cultures into a symphonic nine-minute remix of Mediterranean and Slavic traditional dancing along with Chuck Berry, whom we both adore.

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My funniest moment:
The funniest moment was trying to cram 130 people into a room that could only seat 50. Of course, with friends and family who are determined to get in on the action, and cousins that were more than happy to stand on window ledges, and friends who created a human pyramid at the back of the room, we all squeezed in.

Throughout the night at the reception, we found a lot of people were tripping over the last step on the way down to the dance floor. To make them feel a little less awkward, we incorporated an impromptu game where the first person to yell out “TAXI” and then help them up got to pick the next song and create a cocktail of their choice.

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Comments on Stephanie & James’ Snow White meets Americana retro wedding

  1. I love absolutely everything about this wedding, and this ADORABLE couple <3 The utter joy on their faces got me right in the feels. The rainbow sprinkle covered cake is fantastic, and I love the "Happy Socks"! The sweet baby girl in the red dress is entirely too precious! Cuteness was in abundance with this wedding. ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats!!!

    • Thank you! This comment makes me smile so darn much! We had an awesome day and Im glad someone can see it reflected in the photography.

  2. Le – SWOOON! Beautiful wedding! Love the furry cape-lets on the tops of your dresses.

      • Hey! Bride here. Those super cute shawls I found online at a store called Tragic Beautiful which is Oz based and you can also find them at who do super fast and cheap shipping ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  3. This is friggin adorable. I’m going to be in Melbourne in a week and a half! Maybe I’ll end up on your tram. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • That’d be wicked! I’ll let you go crazy on the gong! The transport here is super fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I love this. Just the right balance of elegant, personal and fun. May I ask where you got the purses/hanging bouqets fir the bridesmaids?

  5. Love the shot with the tram… just learnt a new Aussie slang term, despite being Aussie myself!

  6. I LOVE the theme of the wedding, so unique and different and not that typical wedding we often see. Amazing reception and the wedding dress was very fairytale like.

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