Wedding date: 25 March 2019 // Number of guests: 54
Bucking the tradition of a big fat Greek wedding, Rebecca and Dean opted instead to celebrate their special day with their loved ones on a somewhat more intimate scale in the beautiful surrounds of Queensland’s Scenic Rim. The result? A stylish affair that was closer to an elegant dinner party (or a skinny Greek wedding!). And, we love!
QB: All good love stories start somewhere; tell us how and when you met …
R&D: We were working in the same seafood retail shop together, and Dean was the first person I met when I went for my interview. We quickly discovered that we went to the same university and actually had a Statistics subject together. To this day, I swear I would still be stuck at Uni trying to pass that Statistics subject if Dean hadn’t helped me! I often joke that I married him to make us even for him helping me pass that subject.
QB: Tell us about your lives together …
R&D: Prior to our engagement we had dated for six years and had lived together for three. Family is really important to both of us so we are so lucky that both of our families have been so welcoming and supportive of us throughout our whole time together. Dean enjoys the relaxed country lifestyle that comes with my family, and I love the Greek food and craziness of his family!
QB: What does marriage mean to you both?
R&D: Dean and I are very aware that a successful marriage takes hard work, and as much as you want it to be, it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. Marriage to us means a lifelong commitment to taking the good with the bad, to support each other, to trust and love each other, to celebrate the wins together and to look past the losses together.
QB: Make us laugh, make us cry: who proposed to who, and how?
R&D: Dean took me to Maleny on one Sunday for a picnic which was quite out of character for him. He wasn’t his usual self and I later found out this was due to the nerves kicking in! We were listening to music enjoying our cheese, crackers and wine when he got down on one knee and popped the question. Of course, I said yes, but what surprised me more than the question was that Dean had organised for his brother sneakily hide in the bushes to take photos of the proposal! It was fantastic to have family there to celebrate with us immediately after it happened and to have the photos as memories. It actually started raining shortly after the proposal so he timed everything perfectly!
QB: How and why did you choose your venue?
R&D: Growing up I always imagined getting married outdoors surrounded by nature, and the idea of getting married inside a church didn’t feel right to me. With Dean coming from a Greek Orthodox background, we wanted to be able to incorporate his background as much as we could, but the Greek Orthodox church is quite strict and didn’t allow flexibility for us to write our own vows, or get married anywhere except in a Greek Orthodox Church. We were so fortunate to find a local Greek celebrant which meant we could incorporate Greek Orthodox traditions into our ceremony but not be limited to getting married in a traditional church setting.
Once we had gotten over that initial hurdle we went to look at Spicers Peak Lodge at Maryvale. This was actually the only venue we physically visited, as once we saw it we knew it was what we were looking for. The mountain views, the bluestone fireplaces, the intimate setting, and the Scottish highlander cows – it was exactly ‘us’.
The venue also had accommodation which allowed our closest friends and family to stay with us the night prior to our wedding as well. This was particularly special for us as the night before was my parent’s 35th-wedding anniversary, so it was amazing to kick off our celebrations with such a special achievement.
QB: What was the inspiration behind your wedding style?
R&D: As much as I love up-to-date trends, I wanted us to be able to look at our photos in 30+ years’ time and not feel our wedding had dated. To this end, I very much kept to a classic colour theme of white complemented by lots of greenery. And, since we were getting married in such a visually stunning location, I didn’t feel the need to incorporate many other styling elements into the day. Reception seating was at one long banquet table which made it feel like a beautiful big dinner party with our closest family and friends and wanting to keep the focus on this element, we opted to only further set the scene with fairy lights, table garland and candles.
QB: Did you incorporate any traditions or perhaps do something a little different?
R&D: We still wanted to honour some traditions so we had a mixed Greek Orthodox ceremony, which meant incorporating traditional blessings into the ceremony. We lit candles, had a reading in Greek, wore Stefana crowns joined by ribbon to symbolise us becoming one unit, and the best man (or Koumbaro in Greek) was involved in the ceremony to help with our blessings. This was particularly special for Dean’s grandparents and I am so glad we were able to surprise them with what we had planned. Other small traditions included sugar almonds as our favours, but unfortunately, there was no plate smashing (much to our guests’ disappointment)!
QB: Were there any standout suppliers?
R&D: All of our suppliers were fantastic and I had so much trust in them all. I think the standout though would have to be the band – BenJam. They really got the party going and we had people who were loving them so much they didn’t leave the dance floor all night! They handed out tambourines and maracas to the guests which really added to the atmosphere (they also graciously allowed one of our guests to take over the guitar and play with them!). They also played ‘Mariachi-style music’ post ceremony which the guests loved.
QB: Do you have any words of wisdom to offer other couples?
R&D: Take time to slip away from the reception to have a night-time shoot with your photographer. The reception can get quite overwhelming at times, so it is a great opportunity to sneak away and share some special moments with each other. Escape from the craziness and savour the day.
QB: Did you (or will you) enjoy a honeymoon? If so, how and why did you choose your destination?
R&D: We decided against spending a day and a half on plane travel, and chose to road trip around the South Island of New Zealand for three weeks instead. Surprisingly enough, our favourite spots on our honeymoon included secluded cabins on rural properties surrounded by sheep, rather than 5-star hotels. My favourite was an all-glass eco-cabin with views of the Banks Peninsula. Stargazing from our bed through a glass ceiling was truly memorable.
QB: Please share any other details …
R&D: Allowing my bridesmaids to choose their own dresses was important to me as I didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable on the day. Everyone has different body shapes, and I know how difficult it can be to find a style that suits everyone, so allowing them to choose their own dress to their individual budget and style felt right.
LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Photographer: Edwina Robertson Photography // Ceremony & Reception Venue: Spicers Peak Lodge, Maryvale // Dress: Bertossi Brides, Paddington Weddings // Suits: MJ Bale // Bridesmaid dresses Zimmermann // Wedding Planner & Coordinator: Spicers Peak Lodge // Rings: Diamondport // Florist: Kate Dawes Flower Designs // Cake: Story Book Cakes // Accessories: Stephanie Browne // Stationery: White Letter Company // Signage: Peach Perfect // Videographer: Free Sky Films // Celebrant: Maria Armenis