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Jess + Paul's Modern City Cafe Wedding

Posted on 23 Oct, 2017
Jess + Paul's Modern City Cafe Wedding


How did you meet your partner? We met in the early hours of the morning at Motel night club in South Melbourne. I saw Paul and thought he was pretty good looking so approached him. We went on a few dates but we were both leading busy life’s at the time and eventually, we lost contact. Around a year later, we bumped into each other again and decided it was time to give things a shot. 2 years later and we were engaged!

How long have you been together? We’ve been together for 3 years.

Do you have a proposal story? Paul and had bought a property in Brisbane (without seeing it!) so decided to go for a weekend away. One afternoon during a stroll through the beautiful Brisbane botanical gardens Paul got down on one knee and popped the question. It was such as emotional time for us, we both couldn’t stop crying!

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 12th March 2017

Ceremony? The Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo

What made you choose there? We wanted something with a really Melbourne feel. Paul actually found it on a gig guide so one morning we decided to go to brunch in the adjoining café, 1000 £ Bend. As soon as we stepped into the chapel we knew it was the one. We loved that it has a quirky, and non-traditional vibe about it. They actually do lots of same-sex ceremonies, divorce parties and you can have Elvis marry you.

Reception? Hobba, Prahran.

What made you choose there? We wanted something that felt like ‘us’. We thought about what we enjoy doing, and sitting in cafes ranked pretty high on our list.We thought the modern warehouse feel really suited the style we were after. We also liked the idea of guests being able to do a mini pub crawl down Chapel Street between our ceremony and reception so the location was perfect.

How did you find it? We were driving to a 30th birthday one night and drove down Malvern Road. We saw this warehouse with lights everywhere with music blazing and knew it was something special.

How was the weather on the day? All week the forecast had been showing 21 and rainy. However, on the day it was 29 and really humid. The Bang Bang Boogaloo is a fairly small venue to squeeze 130 guests into so we were all a touch sweaty, but we really couldn’t complain about the weather!

Where did you get ready? We found Linda Gardiners Airbnb online. This art deco building is seriously stunning. We initially planned for just Paul getting ready there, but we eventually decided it was too beautiful to waste, so we went back for a drink after the ceremony. It was such a beautiful time for us to have a quiet moment to ourselves and take in the day.

The Wedding Details

Theme? We didn’t start with a theme at all, just chose things that we liked. We knew we wanted the iconic blue doors at the Bang Bang Boogaloo to be a feature of the wedding and therefore needed strong colours to contrast with the doors, so eventually noticed most things we choose were either gold or bright red and pink flowers. Around a fortnight out from our wedding, we realized what our theme was!

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? We knew we wanted something inner city so used Melbourne as our inspiration. I spent a lot of time online looking at Hello May and Nouba to refine our style.

Bridal Party? We really struggled to choose a bridal party so we opted not to have one. We gave close friends important jobs such as speeches, reading etc. And of course had a pre-wedding party with our closest friends.

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Our 3 nieces were our flower girls

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Jess looked stunning in the 'Blake/Mimi' combination from our D.Y.G. collection - in stores now!

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? My friends and I tried on dresses from many shops in Armadale, Karen Willis Holmes ended up being our last stop. I actually ended up putting a deposit on a dress from Rachel Gilbert, but had a change of heart. I’d seen the ‘Blake’ bodice in a few wedding blogs and knew it was the one before I even tried it on. I was really grateful I changed my mind!

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I had seen the 'Blake/Prea' combination dress featured in Hello May and Nouba and loved how simple yet modern it was.

How many gowns did you try? Around 15

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Armadale High Street. All the staff we were amazing but Bronte, in particular, was amazing. We never felt pressured into choosing a dress and the whole experience was really pleasant. I was actually a bit sad the last time I went in to pick up my dress.

What did you especially like about your gown? I adored the split up the front of the Mimi skirt. It gave it a really modern feel and was a lot of fun to swoosh around on the dance floor. I ended up on a friend's shoulder late in the night, so the split was helpful for that too!


Where did you get the groom’s suit? Country Road suit and a Calibre shirt. 

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I rarely wear jewelry so didn’t plan to wear anything other than my engagement ring and some simple earrings.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? We purchased a veil from KWH which a friend of mine sewed little pearl daisies on to.

Where did you get your shoes from? Ninewest


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Choose suppliers who you trust and get along with. You end up working closely in the lead up to the wedding and more importantly on the day.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t try on too many dresses or overthink it! There are so many beautiful dresses out there, don’t get fixated on finding ‘the one’. Just something that you love.


Photographer – Jess Nicholls. The photos were really important to me. Jess and her second shooter Freya got along so well with my friends and I and really understood what we were after.

Florist – Sophie Claire Flower I can’t speak highly enough of Sophie. I wasn’t really quite sure what to expect with the flowers.  When I first got the to chapel and saw the garland over the door and how she’d decorated the Bang Bang, I was speechless. I forgot to look at Paul at first because I couldn’t stop staring at the flowers!

Music – The party.  Who are actually friends of ours! They were so much fun and had the best stage presence. One highlight of the night was Paul and I sitting on friends shoulders in a huge circle dancing to INXS two worlds colliding. They were amazing!

First Dance – My happiness, Powder finger.

Celebrant – Marrying You Two. Who is actually another friend of ours! He was so engaging and suited the venue (and us!) perfectly.

Stationery – Online invite using Riley and Grey

Menu – We opted for a rustic style menu. Hobba is known for delivering honest, locally produced food with big flavour. 

Hair – Shaky Scissors, Nicola Lewis

Make-Up – Heather Woll

Wedding Bands – Paul Bram