Joe and Theo
As self confessed plant nerds, Joe and Theo's Glasshaus wedding couldn't more accurately represent them. Boasting an international guest list and loads of greenery, these two lads (both originally from the UK) celebrated their wedding in one of Melbourne's most recognisable nurseries.
How and when did you meet?
We met back in January 2011, while working together at a trend-forecasting agency in London. It was Theo’s first day and I could see he was struggling with first day nerves. A few hours into the day, I plucked up the courage to introduce myself and – in true British fashion – offered him a cup of tea. From that point on, the spark was officially lit!
Tell us a little about the earlier days of your relationship...
At first, our relationship remained completely professional. We didn’t work closely with each other and were based in separate studios. Our main interactions would come in the form of a quick ‘Hi, how you doing?’ in the office kitchen.
After a month or so, we exchanged phone numbers and would often grab coffee or catch a movie together outside of work. During this period neither of us were openly gay. Looking back, it seems totally naive of us – what would have been considered “dating” for most other people was, in our minds, just two friends hanging out!
After about 6 months, our relationship had intensified. I was sure of my own sexuality and my feelings for Theo...but I still had no idea if he felt the same. Following a home-screening of American Psycho (a film not known for its romantic qualities), I sent Theo a text message, confessing my love. At this point, Theo lived at the opposite end of town to me, and so spent the next hour without phone reception on the Underground as he travelled home. I endured a nervous, hour-long wait before the words, ‘I feel the same way too’ flashed up on my phone!
Who proposed and how?
Theo popped the question during a planned birthday trip down on the Mornington Peninsula. During the day, we’d grabbed a bottle of local red wine and some country-style pies, with plans of having a cosy night in by the fire at our Airbnb.
Unfortunately that plan was quickly scuppered! When we arrived, we realised our accommodation had no kitchen facilities and despite our best efforts, the log fire seemed impossible to light. Not one to be defeated, Theo ran a steaming hot bath in an attempt to stay warm.
Theo became unusually quiet so I nervously asked what was up. His response: “I’m thinking of asking you to marry me.” To which I replied, slightly confused: “Are you just thinking about it or are you actually asking me?”
When did you get married?
We got married on 3rd March 2019. As we had a lot of family and friends visiting from the UK, we wanted to try and lay on the great Aussie weather. What we weren’t expecting was a 38 degree scorcher on the big day!
What was the main influence behind your wedding day?
Initially we’d had our hearts set on a venue in the Victorian countryside. But due to practicalities – and some pretty harsh music restrictions – we quickly changed our tact and focussed on a more urban location.
Aesthetically, we knew we wanted nature to play a part somehow. We’re both total plant nerds (our flat often resembles an indoor jungle) and we wanted this to be reflected in the day itself. When we viewed the spaces at Glasshaus, we knew they were the ones for us.
During the planning, the venues became an even bigger influence and we carried the green-theme across much of our styling – we opted for forest green and sage stationery, gum-leaf confetti, monstera pin badge favours and complimenting suits to boot!
It was also important for us to both acknowledge and celebrate the same-sex nature of our nuptials. Had it been 18 month earlier, prior to the marriage equality vote, things would have been completely different. Small touches allowed us to tip our hat to this momentous occasion – from sporting flashes of rainbow on our shoes to serving Stomping Ground ‘Pridelweiss’ beer during our reception.
What was the most important thing to you surrounding your wedding?
As we’d decided to host our wedding in our adopted home of Melbourne (and not on UK soil) we’d always expected a fairly international guest list. One of our main priorities was to ensure everyone visiting from overseas could enjoy everything this amazing city has to offer.
Because of this, we designed a personalised map and city guide as part of our invitations, and planned loads of activities in the week leading up to the wedding – from boozy wine adventures in the Yarra Valley to a private walking tour of our local neighbourhood. It not only helped ease any of our pre-wedding nerves but also meant our guests were very well acquainted ahead of the big day!
Where did you find the bulk of your inspiration?
As designers, we luckily had no shortage of creative references. We leaned heavily on some of the usual suspects – Pinterest, Instagram and wedding blogs (including Mr Theodore!) We also looked at loads of design books and websites for more general inspiration.
Joe created all the wedding stationery from scratch. Being a graphic designer (and self-confessed control freak) was often a blessing... but sometimes a curse. We’re still swamped with paper samples!
How did you choose your suppliers?
Researching and choosing suppliers was probably the part that was most time consuming. We were fairly meticulous with exploring our options (and probably asked way too many questions) but we wanted to make sure we could collaborate with our suppliers rather than order our wedding from a set package.
Choosing a celebrant was one of the things we found most daunting. For most other aspects we were able to define what we were looking for. But when selecting a celebrant, we had no idea where to start!
Luckily we stumbled across Matt Finch on the Mr Theodore Directory. After an initial wine date, we knew he was the man for the job. Matt did an amazing job at putting us at ease and retelling our story. On the day, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
Any standout suppliers?
We have to give a special mention to Georgia Verrells, our super-talented photographer. She literally didn’t stop shooting the entire day/night and captured so many special moments.
Plus our venue manager at Glasshaus, Ainsley Donald! What a woman! From trying to accommodate our elaborate first dance ideas, to celebrating our decision to serve Vegemite Shapes at the ceremony – she had every base covered.
Did you find it difficult to translate more common traditions into a ‘same-sex’ wedding?
In the early stages of the process, we definitely found it difficult navigating the predominantly heterosexual wedding industry. Almost all of the websites, magazines and advice we were consuming were often catered to brides, which made it difficult to translate to our situation.
Tracking down queer wedding blogs and Instagram accounts helped us sharpen our focus and visualise what we wanted our wedding to be like. As a result, we reimagined some of the usual traditions, allowing us to be much freer of expectation. We replaced a wedding cake with an ice cream cart, renamed our ‘Groomsmaids’ to our ‘Girl Gang’ and shimmied our way through Cheryl Lynn’s disco classic ‘Got To Be Real’ for our first dance (much to the delight of some of our guests!)
What was the most difficult thing about planning your wedding?
Keeping a sense of perspective. We would often find ourselves getting completely swept up in an idea or equally, getting hung up on a tiny detail. A heated conversation about napkin colours (of all things) was the breaking point that brought us back to earth. From that point on, we would always remind ourselves why we were actually getting married to try and remember the bigger picture!
Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We spent a week in Byron, cruising the beautiful beaches on bikes and sipping cocktails by the pool. We travelled home via Sydney, for one last hurrah with our London friends before they headed back.
Any advice for other couples planning their day and finding it difficult to navigate the journey?
Trust your gut and don’t compromise on the things that are important to you.
Entrance Song My Friend, Groove Armada
Exit Song Finally, CeCe Peniston
First Dance Somebody To Love, Troye Sivan / Got To Be Real, Cheryl Lynn
Photographer Georgia Verrells
Suits Paul Smith
Rings Susan Ewington for Arbor
Flowers Glasshaus Florist
DJ Eddy Mac from One More Song
Wedding Favours Designed by Joe, made by Neon Republic
Girl Gang Gifts Sailorboi
Celebrant Matt Finch
Catering The Farm Cafe
Furniture Pepper Sprout