At Cnk we love a unique wedding, like that of police officers Lexie and Troy at the Old Melbourne Gaol.
The magic of the slightly spooky, historic Old Melbourne Gaol, all lit up for a wedding party, was perfectly captured by photographer Mark Dayman. Lexie and Troy were kind enough to share their beautiful photos and their story with us, in Lexie’s words.
We are both police officers; Troy is a detective and I’m a forensic scientist. Our first meeting was when Troy and a colleague of his delivered an exhibit to my office for testing. When he left he said to his colleague; “I’ll marry that girl one day”. Nearly two years later, Troy finally summoned up the courage to ask me out and our first date was at the drive in! We had wine and nibbles and chatted all through the first movie, before I fell asleep during the second one.
This is a long story, so we’ll go back to the start. I accidentally read an email on Troy’s phone that I wasn’t supposed to see, which was about Troy’s plan for his proposal. I had ruined the surprise! Troy was upset and I was even more so… every girl dreams about being surprised, and I had clearly messed that up for myself. We both tried to forget it happened and put it behind us.
Soon after, we went on a holiday to Vietnam and Cambodia. Before we left, all my friends were saying that Troy would propose, but I knew he wouldn’t, as I had already discovered the real plans, and ruined them for myself. I still joked around with Troy on the way to the airport though, saying “I hope you’ve packed the ring!”.
This was our first overseas trip together and Troy was overly protective about the backpack we carried everyday. Almost obsessively and annoyingly so, but I wasn’t expecting anything so I wasn’t at all suspicious. When we arrived in Hoi An, we went to the beach, supposedly for a quick swim. We were on the sand and Troy started saying all these sweet things, while I was looking away and about to roll my eyes, before I finally turned around to see him and noticed he was on one knee, holding a ring! I was completely taken by surprise!
After the proposal, Troy revealed he had been hiding the ring down the front of a pair of spare jocks he kept in his backpack – the backpack I packed every day! He also told me that he had had a number of other backup proposal plans, including a sunrise proposal in Angok Wat, a dinner proposal at the Banyan tree rooftop restaurant in Bangkok, and a romantic proposal on a weekend away in Kingaroy (my home town). As these all sounded like amazing proposals, I made Troy do every one! We told our families we were engaged after the first proposal in Hoi An, but only shared the news publicly with friends after the fourth and final proposal.
THE WEDDING PLANNING PROCESS
I wanted as much organised as early as possible so that I would have less stress leading up to the big day. We selected our church and reception venue very early on, picked a date that suited everyone and went from there. We booked all the big things like our photographer, band and rings early, then took our time making decisions about the smaller details, like our cake and flowers.
We used Google and Pinterest a lot to inspire ideas, and even came up with some of our own. I would come up with a lot of options for each element, and Troy would cull them until we had a final decision. We also did a lot of DIY and would just chip away at is slowly, before or after work.
We had a lot of lists, which I found really helpful as we didn’t need to keep things in our minds and could really see progress. We also had a little calendar going, with things to get done each week leading up to the wedding. It was a rough guide but really seemed to work, and made the process smooth.
We went out for dinner with friends after our engagement, and one of our friends was in the process of getting her dress made and recommended Helena. The following week, I dragged Troy to a bridal expo and Helena had a stall there. We thought it was meant to be, so we went and met with her and haven’t looked back.
CHOOSING THE OLD MELBOURNE GAOL
I had heard of gaols being used for weddings when I was on a holiday in Ireland and thought it was quirky, then when we got engaged we looked into it properly. We thought that given our professions this was only fitting, very unique and hadn’t been done amongst our family and friends before. I started searching for possible gaols and found the Old Melbourne Gaol. I threw the idea out to Troy, not really expecting him to go for it, but he loved it!
It appealed to us because we’re both police officers and it’s a quirky option for us. It’s unique, somewhere different from the usual venues. We both love Melbourne and thought it would be great to combine the wedding with a long weekend somewhere, so our guests could have a “getaway”, like a destination wedding without the overseas element. It was also roughly halfway for our families, as mine are in South Australia and Victoria while Troy’s are mostly in Queensland. We thought it was only fair if everyone travelled a little, rather than just one side of the family travelling far!
The whole lot was amazing! Everything and everyone involved were perfect and just as we had planned, we only wished it could have gone on longer!
A friend of our’s broke his foot at some stage during our wedding, and Troy thought he must have been really drunk so he asked him to leave!
ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES
Relax and enjoy the ride. Plan early – there will be lots of last minute things to do, but if you have the big things done and locked in there will be far less stress. Also, as weird as it sounds, go with the flow. If you have your heart set on something particular, go for it, but if you aren’t sure exactly what you want, just go with the flow, so if things aren’t exactly as you imagined, it’s no drama. The day will be perfect and people honestly will have no idea whether you wanted a cake topper, or what kind or shade of flowers you planned.
YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH US AT CNK
It was brilliant. We can’t thank you highly enough. We had constant communication (which may have been annoying for you guys), but it kept us at ease throughout. We had all sorts of random requests which were catered to. All the staff were wonderful and only too willing to help. Khrissy was lovely and answered all queries. Nigel and the kitchen staff cooked the most amazing meal – all the guests were raving! Hans was great, organising everything and even organised to help us with moving some things from our hotel to the Gaol! We couldn’t have asked for a better team.
CEREMONY VENUE: German Lutheran Church, Melbourne
RECEPTION VENUE: Old Melbourne Gaol
PHOTOGRAPHER: Mark Dayman Photography (Melb)
VIDEOGRAPHER: We decided against it due to the budget, but when we arrived home we discovered one of our friends had grabbed a whole lot of footage and made us a video. She’s not a videographer, but it was still amazing and made us cry!
DRESS: Helena Couture Designs (Qld)
GROOM’S SUIT: Roger David
HAIR AND MAKEUP: Felicia Sarwono (Melb)
RINGS: Bespoke Jewellery by Vince Palmer (Qld)
FLORIST: Green Goddess Flowers (Mildura)
CAKE: Cakeit4U (Qld)
BAND: Cedar (Melb)
CARS: Always Classic Cars
BOMBONNIERE: I made them myself!
This post was written by the CNK team