Melbi and Andrew: Lovefest
Bohemian vibes, a relaxed atmosphere and a festival feel describe the wedding of Melbi and Andrew. Held in a historic 1850s house in the lush hinterland of Nowra, with six acres of ornate gardens and a rustic barn, the event was conceived as a free-spirited extravaganza.
“Working and living in Sydney, I did not want to have a wedding in a Sydney venue as it would remind me of work,” says Melbi, who, as an events manager, had the expert knowledge to bring the celebration to life. “Merribee was recommended by a friend. We loved it and booked it immediately. It took six to eight months of planning altogether. We booked key items early and the rest of the details a few months prior. Being an events manager, it felt fun and easy.”
The couple met at a mutual friend’s birthday party in Circular Quay seven years ago, which Melbi attended with her good friend, who is now married to Andrew’s brother. “It’s a very convenient set-up for the four of us,” Melbi says, as she reminisces on that magical night, which became the underlying theme for Andrew’s proposal. “He had organised a romantic night at Cruise Bar where we first met. Andrew got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I went into a wild frenzy, crying and I was completely overwhelmed. Andrew had to calm me down, but then I put the beautiful ring on and it fitted perfectly. My family were waiting downstairs and when I saw them, I fell to the ground like a drama queen. Everyone was so excited and so happy. We all celebrated at Cruise Bar together.”
Donning a light-blue jacket and some chinos, Andrew looked the part for the casual affair, and Melbi looked dazzling in a geometric-style, tight, ankle-length dress, trimmed with feathers, reflecting the free-spirited theme. “I wore two dresses,” says Melbi. “One for the ceremony and one for just before the first dance and before the party started. I have worn the dresses again since the wedding.”
With her professional experience, Melbi knows how to throw a good party. The couple hired a jumping castle and had custom-made temporary tattoos created for the reception. Melbi recommends brides-to-be adopt this same easy-going attitude. “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” she says. “Who cares if the song list was in the wrong order, only you will know that. Want a jumping castle? Book it! Make it your own and soak up the party.”
Words: Daria Kurilo
Photography: April Mac Photography