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Wedspiration > Real Weddings > REAL WEDDING: Akiaja + Tommy – The Refinery
Real Weddings
REAL WEDDING: Akiaja + Tommy – The Refinery
A traditional tea ceremony, a ‘first look’, a two-piece bridal outfit, a cat wearing a bow-tie… there’s a lot of good stuff to unpack in Akiaja and Tommy’s day. Not least the amazing industrial Brisbane wedding venue they chose.
Words by Karina Lowndes
22 July 2021

Akiaja and Tommy’s Brisbane wedding at The Refinery was a weekend-long series of special moments that included a traditional tea ceremony, a first look, a bunch (figuratively and literally) of flowers and an entire guest list of enthusiastic dancers that naturally made for one memorable DF (that even included a good old conga line – complete with cowbell).

Beautifully captured by Tessa Shannon, you can see their entire celebration below.



How did you and Tommy meet? We met on Tinder! Our first date was at The End bar in West End in 2015 and the rest is history.

The proposal: Tommy proposed to me on Mt. Tate in Japan by a beautiful lake. I was so shocked that I accidentally swore at him.

Wedding venue: We wanted a venue that had an amazing atmosphere, good food and that could hold both the ceremony and the reception. The Refinery was perfect for all of this! They also set up everything and include wedding stationery, table settings, candles etc. We also loved the event manager Rachel as she was so so helpful throughout the whole process – it was the easiest choice!

The vibe: We wanted it to feel intimate and romantic! We had a shared-feast menu and lots of flowers. We wanted it to feel almost like a big dinner party.

Traditions: adopted, adapted or ditched? We weren’t very traditional! I had my Mum and Dad walk me down the aisle and we also met up before the ceremony for a “first-reveal” and to do our bridal party portraits. We really wanted to spend as much time with everyone as we could after the ceremony, so we also opted for candid shots rather than the traditional family photos typically done after the ceremony.

The day before our wedding, we also had a tea-ceremony at Tommy’s parents house and had a lot of our family photos then.

I’ll always remember… The ceremony was so lovely and my favourite part of the day. The dance-floor is a very close second!

The outfit/s: I wore a Prea James two-piece. I really wanted something minimal, with cute accessories! I also wore a Prea James pearl veil, pearl earrings from Peggy and Twig and Loeffler Randall heels.

Tommy wore a dark navy suit and black bow-tie from Black Jacket Suiting. He also wore his R.M. Williams boots, which he already owned.

We also bought our cat Francis a bow-tie to wear with the boys when getting ready!

Standout vendors: All of them! Honestly, we really lucked out and had such great vendors who all worked so well together, but in particular:

  • Tessa Shannon – our photographer.
  • The Refinery – our wedding venue.
  • Mrs Gibbons – our florist.
  • Sarah May Alexander – our celebrant.

But like we said, we could list all of them!

Soundtrack: Aisle song: “Angels”, by The XX. Recessional: “You’re My Best Friend”, by Queen. First dance: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”, by Frankie Valli.

Hit or near miss: We accidentally had our first dance immediately after our cake cutting to the wrong song. We misheard and just started dancing – but it was fine, we just went with it and started the dance floor early!

Words of wedding wisdom: If possible, try to go with a venue that includes lots of extras like stationery and table settings etc. It will make your life so much easier!

CREDITS: Photos Tessa Shannon // Venue, catering and stationery The Refinery // Celebrant Sarah May Alexander // Flowers Mrs Gibbons // Cake Petal and Peach // Bridal gown Prea James via Sphere // Brides shoes Loeffler Randall // Accessories Peggy and Twig // Bridesmaid dresses Bec + Bridge // Groom and groomsmen suits Black Jacket Suiting // Rings MJS Jeweler // Hair Jody Callan // Makeup Andria Malouf // Music Hamilton Band.



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