In Melbourne’s eclectic Footscray, Sarah and Leigh transformed their enduring love story into an unforgettable celebration. After 13 years filled with globe-trotting adventures, building a life together, and welcoming their son William, this dynamic duo decided to commemorate their journey with a spectacular bash, marking the end of a three-year engagement extended by unforeseen global challenges. Their connection, kindled in the raw energy of a metal/emo club before digital dating took over, blossomed from a youthful spark to a profound partnership, leading them to plan a wedding that was a genuine reflection of their shared experiences and deep bond.
Leigh’s proposal to Sarah was a testament to their relationship’s foundation: resilience, love, and a dash of spontaneity. Intended to be a grand gesture in Venice for their 10th anniversary, the universe had other plans, challenging Leigh to adapt his proposal not once, but thrice, as the world grappled with the Covid pandemic.
Instead, Leigh transformed their home into an enchanting setting, complete with fairy lights, candles, and their Australian Shepherd donning a bow tie—creating a moment of pure magic amidst uncertainty. The balcony, illuminated with the words “MARRY ME,” set the stage for a proposal that, despite its deviation from the original plan, was nothing short of perfect. Following Sarah’s joyous “yes,” the couple celebrated with a lovingly prepared meal, marking the beginning of their next chapter.
Wedding Inspiration and Theme
Sarah and Leigh’s wedding theme, “Till Death Do Us Party,” deliberately moved away from traditional moulds to highlight their unique combination of rustic aesthetics and punk rock ethos. The celebration took place at The Line in Footscray, where its raw, industrial setting perfectly aligned with their vision. This choice was more than just about location; it was a homage to their beginnings in the punk and metal music scenes and a reflection of their adventures together. From a specially curated playlist that brought back memories of their early days to choosing a food truck for crepes over a conventional wedding cake, every element was a nod to their personal tastes. Their aim was simple yet profound: to craft a wedding that was unmistakably ‘them’—an event marked by joy, love, and a touch of nonconformity.
In a wedding that promised to be anything but ordinary, Sarah and Leigh’s attire was a statement of style, comfort, and personal expression. Sarah, with a vision firmly in her mind, collaborated with Emily May Bridal to create a two-piece wedding dress that perfectly balanced elegance with a touch of edginess. The dress featured just the right amount of midriff and skirt puffiness, allowing for playful moments and a nod to her individuality. Her transition from emerald green heels to Converse Chuck Taylors was a testament to the day’s spirit—formality meets fun. Leigh’s attire, tailored by Oscar Hunt, struck a balance between sophistication and his laid-back personality, with cream-coloured chinos, Chelsea boots, and an olive green blazer, foregoing a tie to stay true to his “not a tie guy” persona. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were given the freedom to choose their outfits within a deep colour palette, ensuring that the wedding party looked cohesive yet individual, mirroring the day’s overarching theme of personal expression.
Vendors and Experience
The couple’s choice of vendors played a pivotal role in bringing their unique vision to life, each contributing their expertise while embracing the wedding’s unconventional theme. Danae from Me & My Camera captured the day with her vintage-style film and photography, seamlessly blending into the celebration to document the candid moments and raw emotions. The styling and prop hire by One Big Day Event Hire transformed The Line into a punk-inspired paradise, balancing industrial chic with bohemian touches. Hailey Paige Flowers adorned the venue with native floral arrangements that complemented the urban setting and added a touch of nature’s beauty to the industrial backdrop. The Royal High Jinx, stepping in as a last-minute addition, proved to be serendipitous, filling the night with their quirky and engaging performances that got everyone on their feet. Each vendor, from the caterers to the celebrant, Hester Mary, was carefully chosen for their ability to resonate with Sarah and Leigh’s vision, contributing to a wedding that was as smooth as it was memorable.
The ceremony at The Line, Footscray, was a heartfelt display of Sarah and Leigh’s love and commitment set against the venue’s distinctive industrial backdrop. Guests were greeted with espresso martinis and a sprawling grazing table upon arrival, setting the tone for the celebration to come. The aisle, adorned with mismatched bohemian rugs leading to a circular arbour decked in native flowers, created a picturesque setting for the vows. The soundtrack of instrumental modern songs added an ethereal touch, culminating in a deeply personal moment as Sarah, accompanied by her son William, made her entrance to the strains of Stone Sour’s “Looking Glass.”
The ceremony was a blend of tradition and personal touches, including an acknowledgment of country and the couple’s handwritten vows, which brought laughter and tears in equal measure. The unique inclusion of a shot of traditional Istrian alcohol to commence their married life together was a nod to Sarah’s heritage, making the ceremony not just a union of two hearts but also a celebration of their blended cultures and shared life.
As the curtains between the ceremony and reception areas at The Line were drawn back, the space transformed into an industrial-chic celebration zone. The setup featured wine barrels and vintage velvet couches, creating cosy nooks for guests amidst the dance floor’s energetic buzz. One Big Day Event Hire’s styling prowess was on full display, marrying the venue’s raw aesthetics with native floral and plant arrangements handpicked by Sarah.
The reception was punctuated by informal speeches, a heartfelt thank-you from the couple, and an open mic for spontaneous tributes, all leading into a spirited first dance to a rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” The Royal High Jinx’s performance ensured the dance floor remained the night’s focal point, with the band’s eclectic tunes echoing the couple’s punk-rock spirit. The choice of roaming food service allowed guests the freedom to mingle, dance, and enjoy the ambience, perfectly encapsulating Sarah and Leigh’s vision of a wedding that was as much a grand dinner party as it was a celebration of their union.
The party didn’t end with the reception; it continued at Back Alley Sally’s next door, where a rooftop area awaited those keen to extend the night’s revelry, offering a seamless transition to Sarah and Leigh’s unforgettable day.
DIY Touches and Personal Details
Sarah and Leigh’s wedding was adorned with personalised touches that not only showcased their creativity but also added a layer of intimacy to their special day. Embracing the DIY spirit, they designed and created miniature Nutella jar favours, each with a label featuring their names and wedding date, a sweet reminder of their celebration. Additionally, test tubes filled with mini M&M’s offered a playful nod to Sarah’s scientific background. The couple’s commitment to personalisation extended to the floral arrangements; while Sarah’s bouquet was crafted by Hailey Paige Flowers, her mother lovingly created the bridesmaids’ bouquets using foliage from the local creek, adding a deeply personal and sustainable touch to the wedding aesthetics.
The ceremony featured medenjača, a traditional Istrian alcohol made by Sarah’s grandparents, symbolizing the couple’s heritage and the blending of their families’ cultures. Furthermore, the kombi van, which doubled as a unique guest book station, allowed guests to capture memories with Polaroid photos, leaving heartfelt messages for the newlyweds.
Reflections and Advice
Looking back on their wedding day, Sarah and Leigh shared insights and advice for future couples embarking on their wedding planning journey. Their foremost tip: don’t hesitate to ask for help. The couple emphasised the importance of involving friends and family in the planning process, noting that many loved ones are eager to contribute to making the day special. Sarah also reflected on her decision to wear her wedding dress throughout the night, suggesting that future brides consider a reception outfit change for comfort and ease on the dance floor. The couple’s inclusive approach to inviting children to their wedding underscored their desire to ensure all guests, regardless of family dynamics, could celebrate together. Sarah regretted not having a hens party, recognising in hindsight the value of celebrating with close friends and family before the wedding. This piece of advice highlights the importance of embracing traditional pre-wedding festivities as opportunities for bonding and making memories.
Images Me & My Camera | Bride's Dress Emily May Bridal | Bride's Shoes Midas | Groom's Suit Oscar Hunt | Rings Kirra-lea Jewellery | Hair Michael Hairdresser | Makeup Emily McGrath | Ceremony Venue the Line | Celebrant Hester Mary Marries | Reception Venue The Line | Flowers Hailey Paige Flowers | Catering Graz'd by Bec | Entertainment The Royal High Jinx | Stationery/Invitations VistaPrint | Transport Melbourne Vintage Kombi Hire | Styling & Prop Hire One Big Day Event Hire | Crepes Crepes for Change | Leather Jacket Zara | Groomsmen Blazers YD |