Zach and Julian
For Melbourne couple Zach and Julian, the natural Australian landscape was a major influence behind their wedding, and in particular the Margaret River region. They love the bush, beach and wineries hence this region was the choice for their February wedding.
Location Maragret River, W.A | Photographer In The Wilds Of Someplace
How and when did you meet? We met at Julian’s 22nd birthday party. Zach was 18 years old and his housemate worked with Julian. Even though Julian was a few too many wine’s deep, there was an instant attraction and we were inseparable all night…. and for the next few months. Zach being so young decided everything was getting a bit serious, so we went our separate ways. Fast forward three years, we met up again and it was like no time had passed!
Tell us a little about the earlier days of your relationship... Our relationship has always been easy. We think that both of our families and friends saw how good we were for each other from the start, so everyone around us has always been very accepting and loving! In the early days when Zach first brought Julian home, Zach’s mother Amanda was a little apprehensive after noticing Julian had a tattoo on the side of his head! Julian was quick to win her over though.
What does Marriage mean to you? Marriage to us meant the next step in our relationship. We knew that we wanted to always be together and were already building such a fulfilling life. We wanted our wedding to be a huge celebration of love – Julian being from Western Australia and Zach from Victoria meant that most of our family and friends hadn’t spent much time around each other before, so it was a very exciting feeling bringing all of them together at our wedding. We love each other unconditionally and marriage just felt like the next natural step in our relationship.
Who proposed and how? Julian proposed to Zach after many months of planning, at the top of Mount Wellington in Tasmania. Julian had planned a surprise trip to Tasmania for Zach’s birthday and the day we arrived we drove up Mount Wellington. Standing awkwardly trying to hide the ring box in his pocket, Julian found a secluded spot and said “Babe, I want to spend the rest of my life with you you know?” – Zach agreed and Julian said “So how ‘bout it?” No beating around the bush in this relationship, and it was a definite YES! Coincidently, only a few days later same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia.
When did you get married? We got married on Saturday 9th February 2019 in Western Australia. When we started planning our wedding we knew half of our guests would be travelling from either Western Australia or Victoria. Margaret River was somewhere where we’d spent quite a bit of time together and we always loved our trips there – we love the bush, beach and wineries and always make such great memories. So we decided to have our wedding there and it was the best day of our lives! We were so glad we chose such an amazing part of Australia and most of our guests are already planning their next trip back there.
What was the main influence behind your wedding day? We wanted to showcase the beautiful scenery in the Margaret River region so we chose to keep the ceremony simple and to use Australian Native foliage as our table centrepieces. Our bouquets and buttonholes were also natives and the whole wedding had a very relaxed vibe. We were so confident with our wedding venue – the food and wine there spoke for itself.
What was the most important thing to you surrounding your wedding? From when we first started our wedding planning, we decided we wanted the day to involve what we loved and not follow too many traditions. We organised a huge winery tour the day before the wedding so our guests got a chance to mingle and get to know each other beforehand which we think was a great idea, it meant on the wedding day everybody was comfortable and ready to enjoy the night. We wanted to only have people there that knew us as a couple and were going to be a part of our future. On the day we didn’t want anybody to feel any pressure – from the relaxed dress code, to the couple of f-bombs that were dropped during the ceremony (accidental of course), to the short but impactful speeches by our closest friends and family – everything was all about our guests having the most amazing day along with us.
Where did you find the bulk of your inspiration? We had a pretty clear vision from the start of how we wanted our wedding set up. We did a lot of research and purchasing online (Etsy is amazing) and we slowly got together all the bits and pieces for a great setup. From the start we knew that we wanted the wedding to have a light and earthy vibe so our decorations, outfits etc were all chosen to complement the scenery in Margaret River. Zach had to tell Julian at one point to stop trying to make all the guests wear only “light” clothes and nothing too “colourful” on the day…
How did you choose your suppliers? Living in Melbourne and getting married in Western Australia was at times difficult as we didn’t have the luxury of visiting places/people face to face. We wanted to speak to our suppliers over the phone and ensure we got a good feeling and were on the same page with everything. Our bridesmaid Ella has a passion for photography so helped us find our photographers who were amazing. We were in Margaret River a year before the wedding and had shortlisted a few venues, but we knew walking into Flutes, seeing the surroundings and chatting with Penny (The Events Manager) that this venue was all that we wanted and more. Everything else was researched and found online.
Any standout suppliers? Our photographers (In The Wilds Of Someplace) were incredible – they were such a calming presence on the day and while having our photos taken we felt so natural and at ease with Holii & Ash. As the night progressed it felt like they were just other guests having a great time and getting to know everyone. We are blown away with how the photos have come up and couldn’t have wished for anything more.
Our venue, Flutes Restaurant was also a standout – especially Penny who helped make our day what it was. Penny was so accommodating and reassuring that we always felt like she had everything under control and would make our day the unforgettable celebration that it was.
Did you find it difficult to translate more common traditions into a ‘same-sex’ wedding?At some points we did wonder how we would incorporate the common traditions into our day, but we knew we had a clear vision of the wedding and in the end were grateful that we had no rules to follow (as such). We walked down the aisle together following our bridesmaids, we had a cheese tower cake which was a hit, we threw the bridesmaids bouquets, and so on. We just wanted the day and night to be a big party and for everyone to feel the love! The day after the wedding one of our guests said that she couldn’t even tell who were friends and who were family, because even though a lot of people didn’t know each other beforehand everyone was besties by the end of the night, which we thought was really nice to hear.
What was the most difficult thing about planning your wedding? The most difficult part was planning it in a different state. We were so happy with our location choice but at times it was hard to visualise it all coming together when we hadn’t even met some of our suppliers, seen the furniture we’d purchased or had any run throughs. It definitely all came together in the end and surprisingly not one thing went wrong which was amazing – apart from Julian’s mother noticing a spelling mistake on the wedding invite and pointing it out just days before the wedding (control freak Zach was not impressed!)
Where did you spend your honeymoon? Funny story actually, we had planned all along to hire a van and drive down to Denmark, then on to Esperance camping in caravan parks. We spent the first night camping, and after such a high from the wedding we decided the next morning that living in a van for the week was not going to cut it. We booked a beautiful Air BnB back in Margaret River and stayed there for the next few days which was perfect. We relaxed at the beach, visited wineries and reflected on the most incredible week of our lives. Our ‘real’ Honeymoon is in Oct/Nov 2019 where we’ve booked a 4 week trip to the United States – visiting New York, San Francisco, Vegas and Los Angeles. Of course the first thing we booked was our tickets to see Lady Gaga in Vegas – Julian’s her biggest fan.
Any advice for other couples planning their wedding and finding it difficult to navigate the journey? Don’t put too much pressure on trying to incorporate wedding traditions, it’s your day and you should make it your own – you know your guests and what they will love. For us, the most important thing was good food, good music, flowing alcohol and guests who we wanted to be there (not ones that we felt obliged to invite). As we said earlier, we felt like there were no rules for same-sex marriage, which was a blessing because it meant we were able to create the perfect day.