If there’s one thing to take away from Parisa and Zach’s Melbourne wedding at Churchill it’s this: spend money on quality vendors.
While Parisa and Zach certainly did a lot of the legwork and added their own personal touches – including tweaking the order of events, creating custom playlists and honouring those who had passed in their own way – it was their team of talented vendors including florists and stylists Prunella who brought it all home and created Parisia and Zach’s dream of a wedding that felt like “a weekend in Tuscany”.
Captured by Two Front Teeth you can check out their entire celebration below and read about Zach’s insanely romantic proposal.
How did you and Zach meet? We first met at church! I spotted him sound-checking his guitar and thought he was the most gorgeous boy I’d ever seen. Then whenever he was in the same room, I’d sneak glances at him and find any excuse to talk to him, all the while thinking he’s so hot but it’ll never happen.
And years later, found out he’d had the same first reaction and was thinking the same thing all along. Between that and then never being in the same country at the same time (I left to London to study and when I was back, he left to Austin, Texas for work), none of this came out until one hot summer night in New York City when he finally confessed his feelings, YEARS after we first met!
The proposal: I was definitely surprised! My friends invited me to a “birthday picnic” at the botanic garden near my house during the 5km radius restrictions. They led me into the trees where Zach was standing, in front of the cutest Neverland-esque set-up. He’d written, recorded and mixed a song, which he played – and gave me a notebook with the handwritten lyrics – before getting down on one knee.
Wedding venue: We were in lockdown while we were venue-hunting and so found our beautiful venue, Churchill, online – and honestly, it probably made the process easier. Our priorities were having an al-fresco reception, an easy-to-work-with venue team, a beautiful and unique venue, and being just far enough out of town to be able to make a weekend out of it (i.e. the closest thing we could get to a “destination wedding” with border closures) but close enough to Melbourne for guests to get home if they needed.
We fell in love with Churchill on our first visit – it met all the checkboxes we had, and then had a charm that’s hard to describe. We could see our wedding unfolding as we walked through each of the spaces around the venue, and we didn’t get feeling that with anywhere else.
Wedding vibe: Our vision was to make the wedding feel like a weekend in Tuscany – summery, epicures, effortlessly elegant and dreamily transportive. We had little details like citrus and basil notes across our drinks (in our sodas, sparkling waters and seltzer – thanks to our wonderful venue that allowed us to build our own menu), food, gelato, and even had Le Labo basil and mandarin hand-soaps and lotions placed in the rest rooms. The guests then went home with a Le Labo mandarin or basil shower gel for the next morning to make the experience last a little longer.
Hit or (near) miss: My dad and brother came to the house where my bridesmaids and I were getting ready for a first look before we all drove over to the venue. I gave them a time 45 minutes earlier than they needed to be there to be safe, but they still arrived 1.5 hours late and I was livid. The girls and I arrived to the end of the aisle quite late because of it – but at the end of the day, the girls and I didn’t notice (until we were told after the day), no one will remember, and the rest of the wedding still ran to time.
I’ll always remember… Seeing Zach at the end of the aisle. Any nerves I’d had completely disappeared when I saw him standing there, and I just got so excited and smiled waaaay too big all the way down the aisle.
My other favourite was having my niece and nephews in their flower girl and ring bearer outfits rush up to us for cuddles after the ceremony – and catching a glimpse of my youngest nephew, who opened the ceremony coming down in a remote control Audi TT (to match our car). They were so much fun and so much crazy – and they were taken away after the ceremony for a slumber party with some babysitters, so hanging out with them was short and so sweet.
Traditions: adopted, adapted or ditched? There was such a spirit of generosity around our wedding – it was really special. We covered all wedding expenses for our bridal parties (clothing, shoes, hair, make-up, accommodation) and in turn, they showered us with love and threw our bridal shower, hen’s night and buck’s getaway of their own accord. It’s a tradition that I’m glad we kept, I think everyone (including us) felt so loved because of it.
A tradition we ditched was the usual order of events. We had our first dance and cut the cake on our entrance to the reception, it made the rest of the night feel easy and flow naturally.
I amended the tradition of something old, borrowed and blue and instead picked pieces to honour my mum who passed away about 18 months before our wedding – I wore her diamond earring (and at our second Bengali reception, her gold jewellery). Also to honour her, we had a vase of beautiful flowers on the chair next to my dad at the ceremony, and this was brought along with us to cocktails and the reception throughout the night.
The outfit/s: I wore a custom Mariana Hardwick “Lucia” gown – and going to the atelier with my girls on half-day afternoons to watch the layers of tulle come to life was one of my favourite parts of the wedding process.
Zach wore a custom P Johnson tuxedo. We both found our atelier/tailor by visiting showrooms in person with our bridal party and had so much fun doing so. Having perfect-fitted pieces on the day itself, it feels like it’s your wedding and you’re the centre of it.
After the reception dinner, I changed into a Grace Loves Lace “Moonshine” midi and kept my Loeffler Randall “Camelia” sandals on (they’re so surprisingly comfortable) for some unhindered dancing.
Standout vendors: Two Front Teeth – Wei Xong has the most insane eye. I’m still looking at our wedding photos months down the line and finding new favourites each time.
Churchill Events and Prunella Flowers – Vanessa and Caris were incredible! They have such a beautiful eye for detail and bring the right balance of calm and excitement.
Mariana Hardwick – I’m obsessed with my dress and loved every minute with the team.
Gelato Messina Fitzroy & Spoonbill catering – for a feast our guests have been raving about for months since, and for making my gelato cake dreams come to life (with some really good packaging and clever dry ice work).
C2 Films – Marcus brought a great energy and lots of helpful direction to the day, and we love have video footage to relive it all.
Soundtrack: Aisle song: Zach did a custom medley for this. We had “Homecoming”, by Kanye West for the entrance of our nephew, an instrumental version of the song he wrote for the proposal for our other ring bearer/flower girls and bridesmaids and “Around the World”, by Frank Sinatra for the MOH and bride. Hymn: Live keys/vocals medley of “My Tribute”, by Andrae Crouch and “Alpha and Omega”, by Israel Houghton. Recessional: “Move On Up”, by Curtis Mayfield. First dance: “Godspeed”, by Frank Ocean.
Words of wedding wisdom: Best piece of advice to bride-to-be friends is take care of your body! Make a skin plan as far out as you can so you can use the right products/treatments in the immediate lead-up without contraindications (e.g. I stopped my retinoids months before the wedding so that I could get epidermal levelling done in the days before – best decision EVER and use vitamin C-based serums in the weeks leading up).
If you plan to use the pill, that also needs planning months out – find the right one without side effects (it took me three different brands), if you’re going to skip sugar pills for your honeymoon – make sure you give it a test run so you know if there’s a side effect profile for you.
Drink heaps of water. Avoid crash diets, if you’re being under-nutritional shows externally and also impacts on your mental health. Keep your besties clued in to everything – if you’re feeling down, have negative self-image thoughts, etc. – they’ll pull you out of whatever mess is going on in your head and have you feeling like the glowing, beautiful, boss bride that you are in no time.
The future: I’m so excited for what’s to come – everything that we’ll build together, the home we’ll create and the every-growing collective of incredible humans we’ll be able to love on, and call our family and friends together.
There’s a rest, strength and refreshment in marriage that goes beyond anything I’d ever really expected. With that as a home-base, it feels like each of our capacities are expanded, like two plus two equals ten thousand.
CREDITS: Photos Two Front Teeth // Video C2 Films // Venue Churchill // Flowers and styling Prunella // Celebrant Russell Evans // Catering Spoonbill Catering // Cake Gelato Messina // Stationery and signage State of Elliot // Bridal gown, veil and earrings Mariana Hardwick // Bride’s shoes Loeffler Randall // Bridesmaid dresses Billy J // Second dress Grace Loves Lace // Groom’s suit P Johnson // Ties Tom Ford // Rings Larsen // Hair Shauna Elizabeth Hair // Makeup Tiffany Love Makeup // AV Impress Audio & Lighting // Wedding favours Le Labo // Robes/PJs Homebodii.
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