A mid-ceremony downpour and a quick change of ceremony location did nothing to dampen the spirits of Alex and Jimmy, wed at the stunning Willow & Stone Estate in beautiful Ballarat.
This pair created a modern yet romantic celebration that was all about having fun and celebrating the love they share.
A black-tie dress code contrasted beautifully against the lush greenery of the venue and soft pinks, grey and moody overtones tied the theme together.
Dan Brannan was the legend behind the lens and you can’t help but fall in love with the tears, smiles and party vibe he captured throughout the day.
In their words…
We met in Croatia while we were both taking a three-month backpacking trip around Europe. We started chatting and immediately realised we were both from Melbourne and had a bunch of mutual friends, including two of our would-be bridesmaids! After a week cruising the Croatian coastline, we were smitten, so spent another two weeks together in Florence and later Barcelona before rekindling our romance upon returning to Melbourne.
No specific moment, but we knew from the first time we met there was something between us. I remember wanting to say I love you and stuttered over it a few times but saying it while watching a movie on the couch. Jimmy reciprocated a few weeks later standing in the ocean at Frankston beach. By that time, I was sure.
Jimmy absolutely nailed the proposal. On a rainy Melbourne winter night, on our favourite bridge overlooking the city, Jimmy got down on one knee. It was so romantic and beautiful. He then kept the surprises rolling by having my completely oblivious Mum waiting on the pub near our house to share the news, followed by a second pub full of our nearest and dearest friends and family ready to celebrate with us.
We really wanted to make sure we did everything together. Luckily, we were on the same page about almost everything so the planning process was really fun! Al working in events for her job made things much easier, allowing things to go smoothly in the lead-up and on the day. Ultimately, it was a really stress-free process and came together just as we imagined. We wanted to celebrate in style with our favourite people and make a real weekend out of it. For this reason, we chose an out of town venue, the stunning Willow & Stone Estate in Ballarat and a Friday afternoon to keep the party going into Saturday. It was everything we hoped it would be and perfectly captured us as a couple. We consciously made decisions on the running of the day to maximise the fun, thinking about all the small details and it made all the difference.
Modern romantic was the loose theme we were working to but we really just took things we liked and tied it all together as we went. Our venue provided most of the inspiration we needed so after we picked a colour scheme we loved, it was easy! Guests wore black tie which against the lush greenery of the venue looked amazing. Soft pinks and grey tied together the more moody blacks in our dinner table and the Bridesmaid’s green velvet dresses added richness to the overall look.
I was always going to wear a Suzanne Harward gown. I’ve had my eye on her gowns for years, actually posting an earlier version of the gown I wore on my Instagram page three years earlier! From the moment you step into the studio, you are made to feel so comfortable. The girls really know how to put you ease! I definitely had a good idea of what I wanted, but the girls were very patient and we had some fun with a few different styles and fabrics to reaffirm my thoughts! We got down to two gowns, one I had envisaged and another very different style. After going back and forth twice with the two, I came out in my envisaged gown and we all burst into tears. It was the one. It was very much a movie moment! We then pulled together a different skirt option for the gown and from there the fittings bought it all together. Every time I walked into the studio for a fitting, I felt so relaxed. We had a lot of fun! I can’t thank the Suzanne Harward team enough for the entire process!
We have two! The first was just after our first dance when everyone joined us on the dance floor. It was the end of the formalities of the day and we could really just relax! Dancing to our favourite song with all our favourite people was the best feeling. We’ve never felt so much joy! The second was after everyone had left. We sat up on the lawn with a bottle of whisky and bubbles and debriefed on the day. Swapping stories and sharing our favourite parts. It was so romantic and a really perfect way to finish the day.
Meaning of marriage.
For us, we didn’t anticipate anything would really change by getting married but it was important to us to stand in front of our nearest and dearest and have them share in our love. Becoming the Fisher family is also important to us both in shaping the next phase of our story.
Bridesmaids: Love me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding
Bride: Forces by Japanese Wallpaper
Aisle and entry: World of our Love byClient Liaison
First dance: Georgia by Vance Joy into Shut up & Dance by Walk The Moon.
Final Song: Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn
Funny stories (or near disasters).
Quite a few for someone who did 12 updated versions of her run sheet! It had been drizzling on and off throughout the day so our guests huddled under umbrellas, waiting for Al to come down the aisle. Of course, almost as soon as Al made it down to Jimmy and the ceremony was underway, the sky really opened up and we all had to run for cover!! Luckily, the beautiful Willow & Stone isn’t short of amazing locations so the spontaneous back up ceremony spot was actually beautiful and one they hadn’t used before! Everyone was a good sport and rolled with it and once the ceremony was done, we had beautiful sunshine for cocktail hour!
Secondly, we ordered one bridesmaid dress first to check sizing and the different ways of tying the necklines. When we ordered the additional four, they came in a slightly different colour which we only realised a week before the wedding! We ended up ordering another dress which the dressmaker assured me was the same as the other four which then arrived in a different colour again! Luckily, being velvet and the light catching them all differently you couldn’t even tell on the day! So much so, the bridesmaids didn’t actually tell me the replacement dress was different and I didn’t notice!!
Third – Our wedding helper (an events industry friend of Al’s) was so unwell they couldn’t actually come to the wedding!
How much people genuinely want to help and be involved! With our wedding helper unable to make it, we called upon an awesome group of friends who took the run sheet and were amazing! Al was able to stay in bride-mode and not event-mode which was the ultimate aim for the day!
Secondly is how much pure joy you feel on the day! Everyone says it’s the best day ever – it really is!!
Words of wisdom.
Do your photos pre ceremony!! We shared a beautiful and intimate first look moment, that meant we could relax and really enjoy the day from there onwards! By the time the ceremony rolled around, we were both having so much fun and were able to be really present in that moment! It also meant immediately post ceremony, we could enjoy a drink with our guests and start the party straight away and the day felt longer.
Our hashtag is #ohfishal
Ceremony and reception location: Willow & Stone Estate, Ballarat – Could not recommend more highly! Leisha lives on this stunning property and although is not your ‘wedding planner’ goes absolutely above and beyond to make sure everything is perfect!
Celebrant/Officiant: Jo Betz – An absolute angel. She made things so easy and her words were perfect. We often go back and re-read our ceremony script just to read her beautiful words.
Photography: Dan Brannan – No words for this legend! Dan was so laid back and captured our day perfectly. The photos speak for themselves but the way he worked the day to keep things so relaxed and fun is a true gift!
Videography: Haven Still & Moving Images – The lovely Emma was a delight to work with! She has such a lovely kindness about her and worked in really well with Dan. She worked her little butt off all day and was there to capture the entire thing!
Florist: Table centrepieces by Mary Mary Studio – Kate from Mary Mary is an industry friend and my only choice for beautiful florals. From my inspo pics, she completely nailed the arrangements and is always wonderful to work with! Bouquets by my talented bridesmaid (who is actually a physio & mum) Ella!
Hair: Ryan and Jess from Vanity Salon (Ascot Vale)
Make-up: Simone Lee Brennan Makeup
The Dress: Suzanne Harward gown
Rings: Ian Frances Jewellery (Mornington)
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Etsy
Groomsmen – Formal Red Tux Hire & MJ Bale shirts
Bow ties / ties: Otaa
Catering: Charlton Catering
Bar: Willow & Stone with BYO whisky bar
Favours: Gin bottle placecards
Entertainment: One More Song feat DJ Eddy Mac, Hugo (drums) and Kenny on Sax – Eddy was a star! So easy to work with and gave us the party we wanted! Our people loved the sax and drums combo. So much fun! Acoustic by Matt Bradshaw – Matt is a beautiful friend of ours and we couldn’t have imagined having anyone else be part of our day. The aperol and canapes were washed down perfectly with his amazing voice.
Décor: Elderberry Events – tables, chairs, soft furnishings, crockery & cutlery – Orla was amazing! She is so relaxed and laid back and worked with my vision to pull everything together! We loved the custom fabric backdrop she made for us!
Hire: Harry the Hirer – Linen, marble bar – Best in the business! The marble bar was a spoil item but looked perfect in the marquee and was super stylish for serving our Espresso Martinis and Whisky!
Honeymoon: Port Douglas minimoon, Europe in October 2020
Custom Neon Sign: Neon Collective
Custom Converse : Etsy