Clare Gioules’ ability to read maps attracted now husband, Jason Chown.
Clare signed up to RSVP with the caption ‘I can read maps.’ “After travelling, one talent I had acquired was reading maps. They often say girls can’t read maps, but I always wanted to prove that girls can do anything guys can do,” she says. “As luck would have it, Jason  has zero sense of direction and immediately contacted me!”
Their Melbourne wedding several years later was, as 35-year-old Clare describes, starting to turn into My Big Fat Greek Wedding. “As I have lots of cousins, and cousins’ cousins, this became the running joke, so we just went with it,” laughs Clare. “It’s traditional on my side of the family that you must invite anyone that is remotely related. Jason’s family is a little smaller.”
They married with a ceremony at St John’s Catholic Church in Heidelberg, followed by a reception themed ‘European village market’ at Fitzroy Town Hall. Explains Clare, “My mum was born in Macedonia, and when they moved out here all the Macedonian and Greek weddings were traditionally held at the Fitzroy Town Hall. They loved that we picked it as it brought back lots of memories.”
With just 25 guests from the Chown clan, Clare says, “Jason’s wedding speech started with ‘when we started planning this wedding, I wanted a small intimate affair’ — we had 165 guests – 140 he didn’t even know!”
“He went on to say, however, ‘As I look around the room tonight, I think we’ve achieved exactly that.’”
Photos courtesy of Anthony Milnes Photography.
The bride’s Karen Willis Holmes’ gown with layers of tulle was a stunner.
“There is no judgement in our relationship, we love each other for exactly who we are,” smiles Clare.
“I wanted to replicate our home life at our wedding,” says Clare of the European style menu with “delicious feasting platters.”
Venue decor, including metres and metres of beautiful, bright coloured bunting, was taken care of by styling wizards, Two Birds Events.
“I may have the sense of direction, but Jason has the sense of humour,” smiles Clare.
Bomboniere: UNICEF donation / Brides Gown: Karen Willis Holmes Pty Ltd / Brides Shoes: Designer Shoe Warehouse / Bridesmaid Shoes: Wittner / Bridesmaids Accessories: Trent Nathan, Myer / Bridesmaids Dresses: Baccini & Hill / Cake: DIY / Caterer: Going Gourmet, Taltarny Winery / Celebrant: Father Terry Kean / Ceremony Music: Bride's dad / Ceremony Venue: St Johns Catholic Church Heidelberg / Entertainment: The Bombastics / Flowers: Family friend / Grooms Attire: Gibson / Groomsmen Attire: Gibson / Groomsmen Shoes: Own shoes / Hair: Meg Hair & Makeup / Honeymoon: New York / Invitations: Zazzle / Lolly Buffet: Home made / Makeup: Meg Hair & Makeup / Pageboy Attire: H & M / Photographer: Anthony Milnes Photography / Reception Venue: Fitzroy Town Hall / Rings: Diamond District, New York / Venue Decor: Two Birds Events / Wedding Night Accommodation: The Olsen Hotel / Wedding Planner: Two Birds Events