Adriana and James dreamed of a wedding in Italy, but, as with many, covid interfered with their plans. That hasn’t stopped them from creating a true Tuscany atmosphere in Melbourne, with its inherent stylish rusticity, focus on good flavors and the charm of imperfection. We talked to the bride to find out more details about how it was, as well as the romantic history with her now husband.
How did you two meet?
James and I met at the age of 16 and had an instant connection. We became part of a close group of friends and shared many memories of growing up together in those early years. We had tried dating from the beginning but neither of us were good at it, so we ended up having some on-again off-again moments until we got together again at the age of 21. That time apart helped us to mature and figure out that we really wanted to be together and we are so much stronger for it - everything happens for a reason!
What do you do for a living and for fun?
I am a designer for the bridal brand KYHA Studios, and James writes home loans for a bank. We are very social people and love being out with friends or hosting at home.
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
We had often dreamed of a destination wedding in Italy, but due to covid and because of our elderly grandparents, we could not travel, so we wanted to capture some of that essence in whatever we ended up doing. We wanted somewhere out of the city and with accommodation on site or nearby, to create a mini holiday for our guests to really relax and enjoy the celebrations. My concept was rustic but artfully considered and Italian-inspired, focussing on good flavours, creating a warm ambience, earthy, organic florals and textural details. Nothing glossy or too perfectly neat - we wanted to make sure that the wedding felt like the two of us.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
Our venue was Stones of the Yarra Valley - we chose it for a number of reasons. The entire property is meticulously designed to be reminiscent of Tuscany, and you feel instantly transported when you arrive. James actually proposed to me there in a tucked away secret courtyard two and a half years ago, so it was very sentimental for us to be there again, and staying in the same suite on the night of our wedding as when we got engaged!
How many guests did you have?
We had 162 guests.
Tell us about your outfits.
I was lucky enough to design my wedding gown and party gown. I had a very strong idea of what I wanted for my wedding gown for many, many years. It’s interesting because working in design and seeing wedding gowns every day, I thought it would be overwhelming and impossible for me to decide, but when I sat down to start it I looked back through some very old inspiration I had saved and I knew this was the concept that would be right for me. I felt quite daunted by the expectations, but I’m glad I stuck to the concept I had always envisioned. For my second gown, I again wanted something quite different, opting for a black base with silver encrusted beading remeniscent of a galaxy of stars, and I wanted it to be fun and bring the party!
What flowers did you choose for the bride’s bouquet?
My “bouquet” was actually just a single, white, long-stemmed rose. When my gown was coming together, we realised this element needed to be pulled right back to give the overall look more impact, instead of having elaborate flowers that would compete with the gown. It kept a balance and stood out so beautifully against the blush coloured ruffles.
What was your first dance song?
Our first dance was La Isla Bonita by Madonna. It felt right to us to have an upbeat, fun first dance song. We have a number of Spanish songs that are close to our hearts as we spent time travelling in Central and South America with our closest friends and just the two of us. It was the time of our lives and the music brings us straight back there every time. This song is from a special memory in Cartagena. James and I were at a rooftop bar and started dancing to it. It was not at all a special evening and I think there was hardly anyone else there, but it became such a magical evening and one of those moments when you realise you need to be with this person forever.
What was your wedding cake like?
My very talented cousin made my wedding cake. It was pistachio and rose water with a meringue buttercream icing. I wanted it to be delicious and something different from the traditional mud sponge cake flavours. The icing was left very hand done and rustic, and it had small edible flowers pressed in all over, a pulled back element to balance the extravagant floral arrangements.