Real Wedding in Melbourne, Australia: Emily Simms & Pierre Ghougassian

Melbourne Town Hall, Australia - 17 August 2018

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The Love Story

How did the two of you meet? Pierre and I first met at Pontoon, a trendy bar on St Kilda beach (the old Riva). I went there with my friend Anna (one of my bridesmaids), and as soon as we walked in, she said, “oh there’s my friend Pierre at the bar!”.  Turns out she used to be very good friends with a girl that dated Pierre for 2 years, about 9 years ago.

How did he propose? Pierre’s birthday is the 14th of February, Valentine’s Day, and I had arranged to take him out for dinner at The George on Collins.  He suggested we get a nice photo out the front before we go in.  So, we asked a nice passer-by if they could please take a photo for us.  He then turned to me and proposed.  The lady taking our photo, switched it to video mode, so we have both photos and videos of the gorgeous moment.

The Wedding

How did you find the experience of planning a wedding? From where did you take your inspiration? I was always very clear about what I wanted, and Pierre likes my taste, so he trusted me in choosing everything.  As we only got engaged in February, and our wedding was August, we decided on things very quickly.  The style I went with, was glamorous and a sort of antique feel.  The George Ballroom where our reception was, is simply stunning, so not much needed to be done to the room.  We had simple garlands down the centre of the long tables, and arrangements around the welcome sign, seating chart, bar and wedding cake.  I did find all of the planning incredibly stressful at times, as I was doing everything by myself.  It is like a full-time job!  So much coordinating, and of course every bride wants it to all go perfectly, so the stress of that all adds up.

Where was your weddingcremony? Our ceremony was on the balcony of the Melbourne Town Hall.  I loved the columns, and I found it in keeping with the style of The George Ballroom.  I really wanted everything to flow nicely.  

How many guests were there?  We had exactly 100 guests. We wanted only our closest friends and family there.

Did it involve anything unusual?  I suppose the only thing considered unusual was that our wedding was very bitter sweet for us.  My beautiful older brother had taken his own life only 3 weeks prior to our wedding, so it was incredibly difficult, and when it first happened, I couldn’t even comprehend the thought of a wedding.  But I like to think he was there, shining down on us.  It was also the only day that week of really beautiful weather (for the middle of August!), and I like to think that was Michael’s doing.

Where was your reception held? Our reception was at The George Ballroom in St Kilda, with 100 guests. The George is simply amazing.  It is by far the most beautiful venue I think I have seen in Melbourne.  The way they have restored it is so divine, it was the perfect setting for our wedding day.

Did you employ a certain style or theme for the day? I tried to stick with a glamorous, old world sort of theme.  I was adamant about there being no black, and there wasn’t any at all.  Everything was white, cream, soft pinks and rich, deep pinks.  The florist really outdid herself!  The cutlery, the napkins, everything just worked exactly the way I had hoped it would.

Please describe your bridal gown, your husband’s suit and your bridesmaids’ dresses: My gown was designed and made by Tanya Didenko Bridal Couture. I have dealt with Tanya for 3 years now.  She has made me some stunning dresses to wear to various events over the past few years, so it was a no brainer that I would go to her for my wedding dress.  I never tried on any wedding dress at all.  I went to her with photos of different designs that I liked, and took inspiration from each of them.  She knows me quite well now, knows my body shape and knows my style, so it all worked really well. The groomsmen’s suits were made by Remy, who is actually Pierre’s youngest brother.  He owns a bespoke tailoring business, situated in Sydney.  The bridesmaids’ dresses were all designed by Love Honor.  I sent them through a number of inspo shots, and they made them exactly as we had discussed, and they fit the girls perfectly.

Please describe your flowers (colour, variety, type of bouquet): I told the lovely Nat from Foxy Evergreen, that I didn’t want standard flowers.  I can’t stand your average old rose.  I was quite specific about that.  The one flower I told her I absolutely wanted, was phalaenopsis orchids in a magenta sort of colour.  And no Australian natives!  All whites, soft pinks, deep pinks and lots of greenery.  I also told her I didn’t like a posy of flowers.  I like the cascading sort of look.  We couldn’t have been happier with her work.

Please describe your photographer’s services. Did you choose a certain style of photography (i.e. b&w, nostalgic, candid, photojournalism)? Ramy from Ateia was amazing.  He was so easy to deal with, from start to end.  I think my words to him when we first met were, no 90’s style glamour shots please!  I’ve seen so many bridal shots that seem to go for this look, and that is definitely not our style.  I wanted it romantic, glamorous and fashionable, without looking dated.

Who did your make up? I did my own. (Emily Simms makeup), my maid of honour did her own (though she isn’t actually a MUA).  Amelia Webb did Anna’s and Bec’s makeup.

What music or entertainment did you use/provide? We chose Main Entertainment for all of our music.  We found Isaac via a Google search, and he was outstanding.  He has a beautiful voice, and sung live acoustics for our ceremony and during different parts of our reception. He then turned into a DJ later on in the night.  I can’t recommend him highly enough.  Not only is he incredibly talented, he is also a fantastic guy and great to deal with.

What cake did you choose and what did it look like? We chose a cake from Nikos Cakes.  We went for 2 different layers, one vanilla citrus and one vanilla berry.  We opted against chocolate cakes, as we had some chocolate and coffee dessert canapés.  We chose the 3-tier cake, mostly because Nikos suggested that because both Pierre and I are quite tall.  I wasn’t sure what difference it made, but it did look great!  We had a white rendered cake, with gold foil on the bottom and top tier.

Where did you go on your honeymoon? We have just left arrived in Bali for our honeymoon, for 10 days. 4 nights in Ubud, the rest in Seminyak. Last month we went to LA, NYC and Toronto as a pre-honeymoon holiday, so we could only take a short trip after the wedding, due to work commitments.

What was the highlight of the day? The highlight of the day was definitely when we first saw each other down the aisle, and walking down the aisle with my dear old dad.  It was a beautiful moment, and one I will never forget.

What is your best wedding planning advice? My best advice is to make sure you know what you want, before you go talking to suppliers.  Scour the net, Pinterest etc, for inspo.  If you don’t know exactly what you are after, then I feel this is where confusion can start to creep in, and you become unsure if you’ve chosen the right thing or not.  You need to be clear and concise, so that you don’t feel disappointed on your big day.  Think about yours and your partner’s taste, and try your best to emulate that on your wedding day.

The Details

Dress & Veil: Tanya Didenko

Photography: Ateia

Videography: C2 Films

Welcome Sign/Event Printing: Inktank Printing

Styling: Giant Invitations

Singer/Entertainment: Main Entertainment

Florist: Foxy Evergreen

Cake: Nikos Cakes

Graphic Design: Catsy Creative

Wedding Invitations: Bwedding Invitations

On the day Stationery: Adorn Invitations

Emily’s Robe: Home Bodii

Hair: Rachel Vitullo

Makeup on Bec & Anna: Amelia Webb

Makeup on Emily: Emily did her own make up

Lashes on Emily: Melb Lashes

Skin prep for Emily: Clinicalase

Tan on Emily: Le Tan

Bridesmaid Dresses: Love Honor

Shoes & Headpiece: Jeanette Maree

Earrings: Shannakian Fine Jewellery

Cars: Triple R

Cutlery: Gold Cutlery Hire

Napkins: Di Simmons

Suits: Remy

Emily Simms: @emilyghougassian /

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