After 12 years together already, Jay and Raks were well-aware that marriage wasn’t going to change much and, instead, was going to be their final declaration of commitment to one another and (of course) throw one heck of a party. Both originally from Auckland, New Zealand, this duo set out to create a “Melbourne experience” for all their guests. (Jay and Raks wedding was first featured in our issue 17).

“The majority of our guests were travelling from all over the world, so Raks and I really wanted to find a venue that showcased how we liked to live in Melbourne. We wanted them to experience what Melbourne meant to us and why we love it so much here so we narrowed down our venues to rooftops, gardens and warehouses,” says the couple, who stumbled Laurens Hall and instantly fell in love.

“We thought it was perfect. The large open space, high ceilings , timber stacks and various racks full of objects all created a unique space that we knew everyone would love. So many of Melbourne’s gems are found in storage locations inside a converted warehouse. Our wedding venue had an industrial feel which we based our styling around. We used natural materials such as metal, concrete and timber for decorations and just let the sheer beauty of Lauren’s hall be the main feature. That venue has so much going on without needing to ‘dress’ it up too much,” they tell us, adding that their favourite detail from the day was a surprise they’d planned for their loved ones.

“We decided not to do wedding favours for our guests. Raks and I have been to numerous weddings where the favours have been left at the end of the night. Instead of this we opted to have a whiskey bar and espresso martinis for everyone to enjoy on the night. We revealed them for everyone after we cut the cake. No one expected it and the look on everyone’s face as we opened the sliding doors was priceless.”

Admitting they were very selective when choosing their vendors, these newlyweds put together a real A-Team of suppliers like Jai of Free the Bird Weddings and Blakes Feast. “Each of our vendors had to reflect us as a couple. In this process we did axe a few as we just didn’t get along. The more relaxed the vendor is the less stressed the marrying couple are. Each of them made our lives easy and the day was a breeze. There was nothing too big or small and there was never we cannot do that.”

Another standout, Jay confirms was Rocky of Glasshaus– a Melbourne based florist who undoubtedly had the bride’s back. “Rocky was great from the start. She understood our budget and worked with us to create what we wanted within our range. My bridesmaids forgot their bouquets in the excitement of leaving our house. Luckily we were heading to Glasshaus for some sneaky snaps and to pick up my bridal bouquet so Rocky and her amazing team quickly whipped up two more.”

CREDITS Photographer Jai Long Free the Bird // Florist Rocky at Glasshaus // Printer Paper Point and Print on Wood // Ceremony and Reception Venue Laurens Hall // Catering Blakes Feast // Cake Bills Farm // Prop and Furniture Hire Danns Event Hire Co. // Entertainment Melbourne Ultimate Mobile DJ’s / Celebrant Sally Hayes // Bride and Groom’s Wedding Bands Uniform Black // Bridal Gown Designer Rachel Gilbert // Hair Piece Amber Sceats // Lingerie ASOS // Shoes Sportsgirl // Hair UVA Salon // Makeup Meggie Mapper Makeup // Bridesmaid Dress Shona Joy // Groom and Groomsmen’s Suits Paul Smith // Tie OTAA // Shoes Bared Shoes // Socks Happy Socks // Barber Beefs Barbers.