Marja Barisic and Martin Heard met while working at the Regent Theatre and would later marry in that same magical venue – in show-stopping style.
“We knew our reception had to be at the [theatre’s] Plaza Ballroom where it all began,” says Marja, who met Martin while he was an apprentice chef and she was part of the food and beverage team. “But something in the universe was definitely on our side, as magically, we got a unique opportunity to get married on the Regent Theatre stage – in between two Grease shows,” she explains.
Set for January 24, 2015, Marja says, “A theatre wedding it was going to be… The guests would have VIP lanyards and a copy of the official show programme. They also had real theatre tickets for entry, just like they would to a musical.”
Referring cheekily to their wedding as an “Event Spectacular,” Marja and Martin, both 32, planned a string of awe-inspiring experiences for their 230 guests, starting with the bridal march. “As I appeared at the back of the room with my dad by my side, the choir (that was hiding in the front row of the dress circle upstairs) stood up and heralded my entry… then segued into ‘How do you solve a problem like Maria?’ [from The Sound of Music], as I continued to walk down the aisle to everyone’s bemusement.”
Flanked up on stage by their “support cast” Martin read an emotional tribute to his girl of five years before Marja responded in the only way she knew how. “I started singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,'” she says. The song not only had the words she wanted to say, but was also the anthem to Martin’s beloved Liverpool Football Club.
If Marja’s surprise serenade wasn’t enough, halfway through, the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic choir joined them on stage to bring the song to a grand finale! “All I wanted was to let him know how much I loved him and that he was my world,” recalls Marja. “When I saw the tears in his eyes, I knew he understood with all his heart.”
The energy of the show continued at the reception in the ballroom downstairs, with the newlyweds bursting through a football banner reading “#eventspectacular” to kick off the celebrations. Guests were in for more surprises when the desserts were unveiled by spotlight while ‘Pure Imagination’ from Willy Wonka played. The curtains drew back revealing a ‘sweet stage’ – “a magical spread of lollies, cake, marshmallows and fruit surrounding a huge chocolate fountain,” describes Marja. “I dipped the first strawberry in, and signaled to everyone to come and join me. I have to say, it was a sweet success!”
Photos courtesy of Jerome Cole Photography.
Martin and his cast were dressed in their show-stopping best by Black Tie Classic.
Marja, a Manchester United fan, proved just how much she loves Martin serenading him with the Liverpool theme song!
Marja “couldn’t resist” Martin’s charms in the Plaza Ballroom kitchen when they first started dating four years before he proposed.
Skip to 12 minutes to see Marja’s spine-tingling tribute to Martin along with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic choir!
VIdeo by Dreamlife Photos & Video.
Bomboniere: PhotoLife / Brides Gown: AliExpress / Bridesmaids Dresses: Lynn Bridal / Cake: Nathan Conlin / Celebrant: Jon Von Goes / Ceremony Music: Royal Melbourne Philharmonic / Ceremony Venue: Regent Theatre / Entertainment: DJ Mimi, Dekdrum / Flowers: Flower Temple / Grooms Attire: Black Tie Classic / Groomsmen Attire: Black Tie Classic / Hair: Nathalie Prince / Invitations: DIY, Wayne Joyce Design, Melbourne Laser Printing / Lolly Buffet: Chocolate Fountains Australia / Makeup: Nathalie Prince / Photobooth: Not Just Visual Photobooths / Photographer: Jerome Cole Photography / Reception Venue: Plaza Ballroom / Videographer: Dreamlife Photos & Video / Wedding Night Accommodation: Westin Hotel