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Wedspiration > Real Weddings > REAL WEDDING: Ali + Mel – Zonzo Estate
Real Weddings
REAL WEDDING: Ali + Mel – Zonzo Estate
Tossing up whether to do a ‘first look’? Mel and Ali, who tied the knot at a stunning Yarra Valley wedding venue, wrestled with this idea too and post-wedding, have some great advice to offer other couples.
Words by Karina Lowndes
9 June 2020

Tossing up whether to do a ‘first look‘? Ali and Mel, who tied the knot at a stunning Yarra Valley wedding venue, were initially hesitant, thinking a first look would ruin the ‘moment’ of the aisle walk. But post-wedding, bride Ali tells us, “can confirm, it definitely didn’t ruin the moment!”

In fact, it allowed them to shake a few nerves pre-ceremony and have their photos taken before the festivities kicked off. It was a beautiful day, made even sweeter by the jars of Nutella they gifted to guests.

Congrats on getting married. First, could you tell us about how you met, any funny first date stories and a bit about the proposal?

We met at a school camp – we were both leaders and would play riddles with some of the kids and the other leaders. After the camp ended, Mel made a Facebook group called ‘Riddle Me This’ and would post daily riddles for all the camp leaders to answer – I only found out later that his sole reason for creating that group was so I would DM him my answers and he could pick up a conversation without it being weird!

We had been dating for three and a half years when Mel proposed at my Uncle and Aunty’s farm in Shepparton. He (with the help of our families) cleared out the barn, strung fairy lights and laid down a red carpet and had easels in all of the stalls with a different photo or moment from our relationship over the years! Like an actual walk down memory lane. Super sweet!

In a few sentences, how would you describe your wedding day? Was there a particular vibe or theme you went for?

I guess our wedding was our two styles combined. I really wanted the minimalistic aesthetic, which is why we went for essentially white, black and wood (which Zonzo Estate complemented SO well) and Mel wanted fun and sweet, which is why we had custom Nutella jars as wedding favours, funny bridal party entries and dances and just an epic time on the d-floor.

cool VIC wedding venue
cool VIC wedding venue
cool VIC wedding venue

Did you write your own vows? 

We wanted to fit all the important stuff into our thirty-minute ceremony, and keep it super personal to us as a couple. We kept our vows short and sweet to allow more time for prayer, readings and a worship song. Our faith is really important to both of us and we wanted to incorporate this as much as possible into our vows / ceremony.

What’s the best piece of advice you took on when planning your wedding?

The best piece of advice we took on would be to do what we wanted to do. We felt like when we were getting married, everyone had an opinion on one thing or another, even if they weren’t particularly close to us. We ended up doing what was important to us and our families and had a wonderful day.

What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started planning?

We were simultaneously planning a wedding and looking to buy a house for the first eight months of 2019. I wish we knew how vital our weekends would be to getting stuff done together – ticking off our to-do list – and spend MORE time doing wedding stuff early on in the year than looking through open houses together.

Now that you’re married, what’s the best piece of advice you can give other couples?

Ask for help! Your tribe is around you to not only help you ON the day of your wedding, but in the lead up. If you need help sticking labels on Nutella jars or hand addressing envelopes (for example), your family, friends and bridal party will be there for you and it’s definitely not too much trouble for them. I am someone that offers my help, but is very hesitant to receive help from others. If you shake off this mindset, your day and the lead up will be a LOT easier and less stressful.

Did you scrap any wedding traditions?

We didn’t do a bouquet or garter toss at the reception, we both felt that was très American and also wanted the time for eating.

Finish this sentence. The best (or most unique) thing we did at our wedding was…

Our first look. We were initially hesitant to do a first look, thinking it would ruin the ‘moment’ of the aisle walk, however it actually allowed us to get all our photos done in the sunlight, loosen up a little with our bridal party and then actually get married! Can confirm, it definitely didn’t ruin the moment!

CREDITS: Photos Nick Skinner Photography // Video Throwstone Photography // Flowers Foxy Evergreen // Ceremony, reception and catering Zonzo Estate // Cake Blue & Ruby Cake Art // Bridal gown and veil Karen Willis Holmes // Brides shoes Jo Mercer // Accessories Swarovski // Bridesmaid dresses Kookai // Bridesmaid gifts Linden Cook // Grooms suit Andre J Menswear // Grooms watch Fossil // Groomsmen suits Bossini // Groomsmen gifts Ebay // Bowties and socks Otaa // Rings All Diamonds // Hair Gemma Boutros // Makeup Katie Vadnal // Music Ei8ht Entertainment  // Celebrant James Harrison via CityLife Church // Transport Mercedes Benz Berwick.


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