Lets start at the beginning, when and how did you and your partner meet?
Jonathan (JB) and I met in 2013 at a Futsal (soccer) National Tournament in Canberra. JB played in the senior men’s team and I played in the senior women’s team. It was love at first site for one of us; Jonathan!! Haha. JB tried so hard to get my attention and chat to me, and I played hard to get like any good Greek girl would. The tournament went by with us being Facebook friends with a couple of photo likes here and there.
The following year we both returned for the same tournament, and JB ups his game. He was much more talkative this year and, in his words, “planted the seed” for our future together haha! Once again the tournament finishes and we go our separate ways. It is not until 2015 that JB builds the courage to start talking to me more regularly and go on a couple of dates. It took him a while but we got there in the end! It didn’t take me long to realise JB was the one, he is one of a kind and makes me so happy!
Tell us about the proposal ..
Melissa won Employee of the year at Melbourne City Football Club (work) and had won a trip to go to New York and work with New York City FC for two weeks. When JB (Jonathan) found out he then remembered their trip to NY in 2016 and how they fell in love with Central Park. JB then started his plan to romantically propose to Melissa in Central Park. JB contacted Melissa’s work and told them about his plan, they loved it and agreed to help by putting him in contact with New York City FC. JB then liaised with them to organise a photographer and create a fake PR event in central park that Melissa had to attend.
Their best friends (who also doubled as their celebrant on the wedding day) were also in NYC at the time. JB called them and informed them. They kept Melissa occupied whilst JB was uncontactable during his flight to NY. JB stayed at his aunties house for the night only to be awaken by Melissa with a good morning/goodnight call and JB not wanting to give anything away quickly rushed Melissa off the phone and promised her it would be a great day.
The next day JB met up with the photographer to talk about where, how and when he would propose in Central Park, on the way JB is notified from the liaison at NYCFC that Melissa is already at the park early waiting for this fake PR event. JB walked through the park with constant fear that he would bump into Melissa early and might have to propose in a random spot in Central Park. Whilst approaching Bow Bridge JB noticed Melissa sitting on a bench waiting. The photographer called Melissa and told her to walk over the bridge, the event was just on the other side.
As Melissa started to walk over the bridge JB had his back turned to her and with the signal from the photographer JB turned around and surprised Melissa in the middle of Bow Bridge. He went down on one knee, confessed his love for her and asked her hand in marriage. With on lookers and a small crowd Melissa said yes and the rest is history!
PS: Jb flew all the way to New York for two days and then flew back to Melbourne! Pretty sure he spent more time in the air!
The Dress! Tell us about your experience finding the dress .. How did you decide on the one?
My dress story certainly starts in disaster but does not end that way all thanks to the beautiful and talented team at Calèche Bridal. I purchased one dress from a different designer in which I had a terrible experience and ended up with a dress that did not fit me and couldn’t be further altered.
Never fear, Calèche Bridal came to the rescue. I had viewed one of their beautiful dresses at a stockist in Melbourne and loved the design. So the next day mum and I booked a flight to Adelaide for a consultation/fitting. This was three weeks before my wedding day!! Yes, only three weeks! The beautiful Liz and Shannon worked with me to re create the design I had seen, with a few beautiful lace and fabric alterations. I was so indecisive and they were so patient with me and ensured to allow me time (that we didn’t have) to decide on lace/fabrics and design. I flew to Adelaide three times in three weeks and the Calèche Bridal team was so accommodating each time, spending extra time with me at each visit.
I was never really set on what my dream dress would be and this made it really difficult to decide on a style. However, I always wear clothes with high necks/collars so I knew I couldn’t go wrong with this look. I have always been a plain and simple girl, less is more. I knew I wanted something timeless and elegant.
The final product was incredible and I am so thankful to the entire team at Calèche Bridal for creating such a beautiful custom dress for my special day. I highly recommend Calèche Bridal, they really do go the extra mile for their clients.
Can you give us some details on your wedding location?
We live on a 20 acre property and absolutely love the lifestyle, waking up every morning to beautiful views of paddocks and trees, hearing only the sound of the animals and breathing in the fresh air. We always wanted something that reflected our love for nature, more relaxed with a country feel but still beautiful and elegant. When we first visited Stones of the Yarra Valley for lunch we were absolutely blown away and knew one day we wanted to get married here. From this day the venue has held a special place in our hearts. We love going back to visit and reminisce on our special day.
Stones of the Yarra Valley is located in Coldstream Victoria surrounded by century-old oak trees, vineyards and blue-tinged mountains beyond, from every angle you stand there is something truly remarkable to take in. Absolutely gorgeous and even more amazing in Autumn.
What was your favourite moment of the day?
Too many to choose, I have listed a few.
a) Walking down the aisle was such a surreal and breath-taking moment for both Jonathan and I. I will never forget locking eyes with him the entire time and feeling so many overwhelming emotions in the one moment. Whilst my eyes were locked to him, I could feel the love and support of our family and friends, such an incredible feeling.
b) Jonathan’s speech was so touching, he acknowledged everyone in the room and said some beautiful things about our families and friends. It was a very emotional day for Jonathan and his family as his mum passed away in 2011 and could not be with us on our special day. There was a moment in JB’s speech whereby he was about to speak about his mum but he paused for a minute or so and couldn’t get the words out. His father, 3 brothers and I stood up and went over to him to support him. He then found the strength and courage to speak about his mum. It was a very emotional moment but very beautiful and many tears were shed.
c) Our Spanish dance routine! We had sooo much fun rehearsing and performing this and everyone was so impressed by our dance skills haha! Everyone joined us on the dance floor and I remember taking a second to look around and everyone was smiling and genuinely so happy. It was a beautiful moment for me.
Hens Day! If you had one, please tell us all about it!
I always wanted something low key for my hens day and my beautiful bridesmaids nailed it! My hens day started off at our 20 acre property outside of Melbourne with my nearest and dearest. A small intimate group (aunties, parents, grandparents and friends). We indulged in some delicious grazing boards, played some well thought out games and enjoyed each others company with a glass of wine or two.
The keen ladies kicked on and we had some dinner in the city and then went to a bar/club to dance the night away!
Because one hens day is never enough, my bridesmaids organised a weekend away the following week. We went to Daylesford and spent some time at Hepburn Springs pampering ourselves and exploring the different restaurants and cafes.
Lastly, is there any advice or words of wisdom you have for future brides?
Yes definitely, don’t get caught up in trying to create the best wedding based off all the others that you have been to or seen on social media. Plan the wedding that YOU want, let it reflect who you both are and don’t get caught up in all the planning that you lose sight of the real meaning of the day. Most of all have FUN, enjoy the lead up and the day because it all goes so fast and you will wish you can have the day back! Take it all in and cherish the family and friends that attend, be sure to stop and catch yourself looking at all of your guests and see how happy they are to be there and witness you get married. Truly breath-taking! Lastly, and most importantly take a moment with your husband on the day to soak it all in, whether it is during your photos or right before your reception, definitely worth it.
Photographer: Ashleigh Haase Photography; Cinematographer: Artistic Films; Florist: Dear Henri; Ceremony venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley; Reception venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley; Cake: Butter Baking (Natasha); Wedding favours: Cancer Council Donation – Lapel pin and small donation note for each guest; Signage: Styled by Stephanie; Entertainment: Orchestra by PK (Greek Bouzouki Player), DJ Mercury Hire (reception), Tobi Music (ceremony and canapes); Celebrant – Christos Apostolakis (friend/family); Transport: RR Classic Car Hire.
Bridal gown designer: Caleche Bridal; Veil: Caleche Bridal; Shoes: Jo Mercer; Jewellery: borrowed from my mother and grandmother – I wore my grandmas engagement ring on the day in honour of my grandpa who passed away a few years ago; Hair: Hair by Brittany Galea; Makeup: Make up by Jade Kisnorbo; Bridesmaid dresses: Zimmerman; Bridesmaid shoes: Jo Mercer.
Suit: MJ Bale; Cufflinks: Alexa Lane; Groom and Groomsmen Shoes: Florsheim; Groomsmen suits: Zara.