Dane and Mitch
An intimate wedding with just 14 guests was exactly how Dane and Mitch envisioned their special day. Melbourne’s renowned restaurant Cutler & Co. played host to the celebrations as the gents wanted their wedding to feel like the “ultimate dinner party with our nearest and dearest!”
Mr T - How and when did you meet?
D - We sat next to each other at a show in Brisbane in 2011, and just got talking. It was a bit of a nonstarter that night (mainly because I was missing all the signals) and it wasn’t until Mitch tracked me down on Facebook that we got together for a date. Things moved pretty rapidly from there.
Mr T - Tell us a little about the early days of your relationship...
D & M - We were pretty inseparable from the start and met each other’s families soon after. In both cases we came out to our families in the process and are lucky enough to be accepted and supported. Perhaps it’s the industries we work in, but consciously or not, we have built a world for ourselves where we don’t really experience the usual prejudices.
Mr T - What does marriage mean to you?
D & M - Marriage was never something either of us longed for, and we didn’t even think of it much as it wasn’t an option in Australia for a lot of our relationship. But after seven years together we came to really see the value in it. It’s like saying “I’m all in!” We got engaged prior to the law change so had planned on having the wedding in the US. Luckily for us though, the equality bill finally passed and we were able to marry in Australia!
Mr T - Who proposed and how?
D - I proposed to Mitch in LA in 2017. After an aborted attempt the previous day at an overcrowded Griffith Observatory, I asked the question in a private garden in Graystone Parklands. Nothing grand, just an intimate moment and a beautiful view.
Mr T - When did you get married?
D & M - We got married on the 21st October 2018.
Mr T - What was the main influence behind your wedding day?
D & M - Food! A huge part of our relationship has been enjoyed around great food, both in restaurants and at home. We also love to entertain and this felt like the opportunity to throw our ultimate dinner party with our nearest and dearest!
Mr T - What was the most important thing to you surrounding your wedding?
D & M - From the beginning we wanted something intimate, where we could spend some real time with each of our guests but still get time with each other. This was the main driver for having only fourteen guests. Also, having a small guest list allowed us to afford a much more extravagant feast!
Mr T - Where did you find the bulk of your inspiration?
D & M - We both spend an unhealthy amount of time on Instagram, so it definitely played a part in the process. That being said, there was no desire to recreate someone else’s wedding. We really just used the wedding as an excuse to work with businesses we like, regardless of their relations to the wedding industry. For example, asking our friend Georgia Cannon to create a tablecloth out of one of our favourite fabric designs from her range.
Mr T - How did you choose your suppliers?
D & M - The toughest part was choosing a venue, as we were pretty open to any location as long as the food and fit out were both great. We toyed between Cutler & Co. and a similarly regarded restaurant in Sydney, but Cutler & Co. were just so much more personal and accommodating. They treated our little wedding just like it was a full venue event!
When it came to choosing a photographer, we wanted someone who would nail the candid shots, and avoid overly staged photos. That’s why we opted for our friend Sav, who is better known for her photojournalism and band photos.
Mr T - Any standout suppliers?
D - We loved the experience at P Johnson so much that shortly after ordering our suits I applied for an apprentice tailor position and have loved working there ever since.
D & M - Flowers were the only real decoration, and we just let Hattie run with her instincts and create what she thought enhanced the space. No colour palettes or themes. She handled our vague instructions really well and I think the flowers are one of our favourite aspects of the wedding.
Mr T - Did you find it difficult to translate more common traditions into a ‘same-sex’ wedding?
D & M - We did away with most of the traditions, there was no aisle to walk down or wedding parties to plan, and we got ready together. We just kept it all very natural, and our awesome celebrant Megan really guided us through this process.
Mr T - What was the most difficult thing about planning your wedding?
D & M - We kept things pretty low key, but it still took a fair amount of time and effort to organise and coordinate everything. That was why it was good to work with a restaurant and allow them to take care of everything venue based. We really just dropped off the printed menus and table cloth and their event coordinator Esther handled the rest.
Mr T - Where did you spend your honeymoon?
D & M - We couldn’t quite make it work at the time, but we’re in the planning stages of a trip for August. We’re thinking somewhere in Europe and hopefully passing through Asia on the way.
Mr T - Any advice for other same-sex couples planning their day and finding it difficult to navigate the journey?
D & M - This is all new territory, so there’s no need to confine yourselves to traditions that were never designed for us. It turns out there are only a hand full of lines in a ceremony needed to make it legal, so only include what feels relevant to you. Just get a great celebrant who will write a personalised ceremony from scratch so you don’t end up with a rehashed version of someone else’s wedding. The ceremony Megan made for us was short and sweet, the way we wanted, but still made us both laugh and cry.