Argot, Colony and stuff about internet protocol stacks.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


As this blog is generally focussed on my thoughts on distributed computing and my ongoing advances with Argot, it is unusual that I would delve into personal elements of my life. However, this post will be a little different, as a month ago my long time partner Tracii and I got married. Both of us were so impressed with how the day went that I felt it necessary to record a few of the memories and provide some links to the many wonderful businesses and services that made our day extra special.

Obviously, the elements of a wedding don't come together by themselves. While I like to think I put my fair share of the effort into the planning and organisation, I must thank my wonderful wife for the real heavy lifting. She kept track of when everything had to be done and did a great job bringing together venue, car, band, flowers, celebrant, photographer & invitations. She also brought together the colour scheme for the day, and her success in doing so can be seen in our wonderful photos.

We got married at Stones of the Yarra Valley in Coldstream, Victoria. This is not the cheapest venue in town, but wow, what a stunning location to get married and have a party. Steve and Vonnie Frazer who own and run the place have obviously done plenty of weddings in their time. They were very patient and happily answered all the small questions that we had, and their staff made sure everything ran to schedule on the day.

The food and wine provided at the reception was delicious and our guests all gave us lots of lovely feedback. Our only negative issue was that the seating arrangements we had organised somehow got lost in translation on the day, which meant that fifty percent of our guests were not where we had expected them to be. Regardless of this, everyone had a fabulous time.

A really important aspect of any wedding day is obviously the photography. I'd probably say that having a photographer whose work you like and that you have some rapport with is among the most important things to get right. We used my cousin Lauren Marshall, whose work is fantastic for someone who is just starting out with wedding photography. All the photos displayed here are by her and her assistant Rebecca Humphries, and clearly show how great their work is.

A surprise stand out service of our day was the chauffeur and car that we hired through Art Deco Wedding Cars. The two tone convertible 1951 Mark V Jaguar is obviously a beautiful car. However, Guy Gleeson who owns and runs the business did an amazing job on the day. He provided umbrellas to stop us from squinting in our photos, lollies to get kids attention during the family portraits, and sprayed water on Tracii's bouquet to freshen it up directly before she entered the chapel. He also allowed us and various kids (and even some adults!) to have photos taken in and around the car.

Another stand out for Tracii and I were the band. Music has such an important role in setting the mood for the reception and was a highly important element for both of us. One of Tracii's favourite Australian bands is The Blackeyed Susans who have been together for twenty years. When Tracii first suggested hiring them to play we honestly didn't think we'd have a chance at getting them to agree, however they were actually surprisingly enthusiastic and well priced.

Although we weren't able to get the full band as the drummer and double bassist were on holidays, Rob Snarski and the others did a superb job. Having an original band play their music made the night even more memorable.

Another important element of the wedding was the design. A good designer can create a theme which is carried through invitations, place cards, guest book & thank-you cards. I'm very lucky to have a wonderful sister Joanne, who has been doing graphic design for over twenty years through her company Socket to Me. She took our thoughts and created products that exceeded our expectations. During the creative process, Tracii and I were able to heavily influence the design, with Jo using her talents to bring our ideas to fruition.

A major part of any wedding are the outfits of the bridal party. Tracii's dress and bridal jewellery came from Ravish at Knox City, in Wantirna South. She managed to find a dress which fitted her off the rack and looked exquisite. We were very fortunate to have my Mum pay for Tracii's wedding dress, do all the necessary hem alterations and make the veil.

Tracii's son Dane wore a suit hired from Prinzi Collections in Carlton. Dane's silk tie and handkerchief were also created by my Mum, as was the handkerchief in my suit.

Tracii and I scoured the city for the right suit for me. After looking through heaps of places we found Rick at Soho Workshop in Little Collins St, Melbourne who went out of his way to meet our needs. After listening to what we were after, Rick suggested that he had a suit at his other store that would work beautifully with our colour scheme. Not only was the suit the perfect fit and colour, but he was also able to provide us with a one-off matching waistcoat that another customer had custom made, but changed their mind about. By some miracle, this waistcoat was an almost perfect fit! Soho Workshop also supplied the shoes, belt, shirt and tie and tailored everything to fit in the week before the wedding.

Detail was added to the wedding through the floral arrangements in the bouquet, reception, chapel and button hole flowers. We were lucky enough to have a friend who just purchased a florist business. Michelle Dann runs Alchester Village Florist in Boronia, and did a wonderful job with every element. She was given a basic idea of colour scheme and which flowers to use and managed to create arrangements which we were both very impressed with.

Tracii's hair and make up was done by Debra Atkin who also recently purchased a business, Colour Me In Hairdressing in Kallista, who also did a fantastic job.

The wedding cake was supplied by Fantasy Cakes in Doncaster , who were given a design and description by us and delivered a gorgeous chocolate mud cake on the day, which everyone agreed tasted divine.

Our celebrant Maree Livy helped us bring together a service which reflected exactly what we wanted. Between the three of us we created a ceremony which we were happy with, and on the day she delivered it accurately and didn't incorporate any surprises. Her tone reflected the happiness and joy of the occasion perfectly.

The bridal party and a lot of our guests chose to stay in the Yarra Valley after the wedding at the beautiful Yering Gorge cottages. The staff organised a 24 seater bus to take our guests to and from the wedding, as well as a delicious buffet brunch on the following day. The wonderful environment at Yering Gorge certainly added to the relaxed feel of the wedding experience.

Special mention must also go to Tracii's friend Dr Tim Byron, who flew down from the Gold Coast to play a selection of Sigur Ros songs on the grand piano during the ceremony.

Other suppliers who we used and recommend are:

G&N Jewellers who made our custom wedding rings, Novat Shoes who custom made Tracii's wedding shoes, Natskin Balgownie who provided facials, manicures, pedicures for the bride and massages for both of us on the morning of the wedding, Paper Indulgence who supplied our stationary for our invitations and place cards, as well as the guestbook, Pink Noise Audio who provided the PA equipment and sound engineer for the band, as well as taking care of the iPod playlists we provided them with, and Kudos Villas in Daylesford whose luxurious accommodation ensured that we had the most relaxing and romantic honeymoon imaginable.

At the end of the day, it was the sharing of a special moment in mine and Tracii's life with our friends and family which was the most important of all. Overall it was a fantastic and hectic day that will never be forgotten.

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