Inspired by Emir Kusturcia’s Serbian romantic comedy Black Cat White Cat and their attendance of a 4-day long 400-person family wedding in Serbia, Jel and Zac planned their own take on a wild, festival-like wedding, originally with a massive 10-day love fest overseas. Unfortunately, after numerous postponements due to COVID, the couple decided on a downsized affair at The Altar Electric in Melbourne. Once seeing the venue with its many disco balls, animal prints, the red velour and all the glitter, the duo knew they found the perfect amount of too much. The couple gives us all the details from ‘the best small party ever’, photographed by Melissa Butters.
Love at First Sight
A chance meeting, Jel and Zac locked eyes on the Gold Coast in 2007 after University Games. Both in their early 20s and hanging by the beach, Zac asked Jel about some interesting art work on his back which was no doubt courtesy of his boozy friends the night before. Eventually, the two embarked on a summer romance but parted ways in 2008, realising they were way too young. Fast forward 3 years later and the two found themselves connecting again. “I had the desperate idea of trying to find Isaac after not speaking for 3 years by looking for random flights to Perth where he is from, on the hope that I would run into him and express my undying love,” says Jel. “At that very moment I see a Facebook message from Zac: Hello stranger. It’s been a while. I am moving to Melbourne later this month. I think you owe me a beer.” The rest, as they say, was history!
Being self-proclaimed quirky fashion fiends, the two had plenty of fun customising their outfits for the big day. Jel wore an Alessandra Rich open back satin dress with crystal detailing, matching crystal earrings and Balenciaga metallic silver boots, before changing into Re/Done tennis sneakers for the afterparty. Zac on the other hand, wore a Tom Rebl snake print jacket, parachute pants by Brenden Morris and a custom opal bolo tie by Chantelle. “Pulling looks together that matched but without knowing what each other had planned brought a level of fun to the process that would have otherwise been quite stressful, especially with Isaac leaving a lot of detail to the last minute – he was decorating his shoes the morning of the wedding!” shares Jel.
The Ceremony at The Altar Electric
After realising their overseas wedding was off the cards, the couple almost went through with getting married at a registry, though they were still attached to their wild festival idea. “We pressed ahead with something that embodied our original plans of unique romantic chaos on a much smaller scale,” says Jel. Luckily, The Altar Electric came to their rescue and took care of everything in terms of vibe and decorations. “The incredible trio at The Altar Electric really came to our rescue; they were so relaxed, so flexible, fun and incredible to deal with,” remembers Jel. “We booked the Shotgun package plus the extra half an hour – so straight after the ceremony we had our first dance, a mini speech, official paper signing and champagne, and rakija shots all round.” Despite their revised plan, the couple still kept some fun bits inspired by the Serbian movie Black Cat White Cat. “Before the ceremony we held the hilarious traditional Bridal Sale where the groom had to convince the bride’s brothers to let her out of the car and down the aisle – Mel our photographer captured this beautifully,” says Jel.
Wanting to take the opportunity to personalise a few details, Jel and Zac incorporated a few DIY projects for both sentiment and budget purposes. With the help of her talented sister-in-law Chantelle, Jel began practicing jewellery making in early 2020 to create handmade wedding rings. Jel didn’t just stop at handmade rings though – she also made her own veil, the masks, the puppy’s outfit, the bouquet and even boubonieres for the bridal party! Not wanting to be left out of the fun, Isaac also put his DIY skills to work, decorating his shoes the morning of the wedding with help from his sister Rosie.
The Afterparty at Lulie Tavern
The couple tells us the afterparty held at Lulie Tavern just down the road from their ceremony had a relaxed, American rock bar vibe with excellent service. “These good folks really looked after us in terms of food and drinks all night – the family was treated to their incredible selection of vegan American style burgers and related trimmings and their drinks were to die for – both the wine list and the delicious cocktails they kept serving up!” says Jel.
A Message to Their Vendors
“The vendors we ended up working with for the final day were absolutely incredible,” gushes Jel. “We lost a bit of heart in the process of cancelling the big wedding, but with those lessons learnt we found some amazing gems! Each of them added in spades to the magic of our day, and to top it off they were incredibly lovely people to deal with. It felt like having friends all the way through and by our side.”
Images Melissa Butters Photography | Bride's Dress Alessandra Rich | Bride's Shoes Balenciaga | Bridesmaid's Dresses Versace | Rings Jel and Chantelle Milosevic | Hair Margeaux from the Distinctive Dame | Makeup Amy Bysouth | Ceremony Venue The Altar Electric | Celebrant Dee from The Altar Electric | Reception Venue Lulie Tavern | Catering Lulie Tavern | Hair Lizzie Hare from Cherry Bomb Hair | Venue Flowers Bloom Boy | Clothing Alterations Alice Haute Couture | Engagement Ring Suzi Zutic | Bride's Earrings Alessandra Rich | Bride's Clutch Lanvin | Veil, Puppy's Outfit, Bouquet Jel | Bride's Afterparty Sneakers Re/Done | Groom's Tie Chantelle Milosevic | Groom's Pants Brendan Morris | Groom's Jacket Tom Rebl | Groomsmens suits Jack London | Bridesmaid's Coat Alpha 60 | Bridesmaid's Belt Gucci | Cake The Hatter and the Hare |