Marrying in front of thousands of strangers was a dream come true for Melbourne pair Elizabeth Henderson and Sam Butcher.
Sam, 30, had proposed to his high school sweetheart Liz, 29, four years ago, but the arrival of baby Johnny, now three, and a tight budget put wedding plans on hold – until a unique solution was found.
“Mum saw an article in the paper calling out for couples that would like to get married on the main stage in between band sets at the St Kilda Festival on Valentine’s Day,” Liz explains.
“I jumped onto my computer to apply. Two days later we got a call from the celebrant that came up with the idea, Kelly Rossi, saying that she would love to marry us on the stage and I had just 16 days to plan a wedding!”
Liz, a singer, dancer and actor, was thrilled to marry Sam on a stage in their St Kilda Festival wedding and the unique opportunity allowed the pair to have the day of their dreams.
“Our celebrant knew that we were financially stricken and put a call out for any wedding suppliers and vendors that would be interested in helping us out and being a part of sharing the love on Valentine’s Day. We were inundated with offers… Sam and I were overwhelmed with the kindness of strangers that came forward to help make our day one to remember,” Liz says.
The couple wed on February 14, 2016 in front of 100 family and friends (and thousands of festival-goers!), making headlines and being interviewed by television news crews. “As a performer, how perfect it was to get married on stage! We could invite absolutely anyone… Our coffee shop guy even got an invite!” smiles Liz.
The celebrations continued at Bells Hotel Rooftop Marquee in South Melbourne, overlooking the city skyline.
“It was the most unique and special wedding ever! We got to share the love on Valentine’s Day with absolutely everyone and the kindness of others made it all possible. It was a dream come true,” Liz says.
Photos courtesy of White Shutter Photography.
“My beautiful mother sent an email out asking for a bridal store to help me with the dress of my dreams. Eternal Bridal were the first to contact mum and the dresses on their website were incredible,” Liz says.
Sam looked sharp in his three-piece suit and skinny tie supplied by Black Tie Classic.
“The Today Show came to interview me in the morning as I got ready… We were also on all news stations that evening and when we woke up in the morning we were second page of The Herald Sun,” Liz says of their time in the limelight.
The Melbourne couple’s wedding rings were made even more special by the fact they were all family heirlooms.
Bomboniere: Grace of Melbourne / Brides Accessories: Kelly Kuipers Couture / Brides Gown: Eternal Bridal, Hayley Paige / Brides Shoes: Christian Louboutin, Brighton Pizzazz / Cake: Wicked Cake Chick / Caterer: Bells Hotel / Celebrant: Kelly Rossi / Ceremony Music: Playlist / Ceremony Venue: St. Kilda Festival / Entertainment: St. Kilda Festival bands / Flowers: Da Bloom / Grooms Attire: Black Tie Classic / Groomsmen Attire: Own attire / Groomsmen Shoes: Own shoes / Hair: Emily Terry Hair and Makeup / Honeymoon: Thailand / Invitations: Grace of Melbourne / Lolly Buffet: Candy Couture Creations / Makeup: Emily Terry Hair and Makeup / Pageboy Attire: Black Tie Classic / Photographer: White Shutter Photography / Reception Venue: Bells Hotel / Rings: Family heirloom / Transport: White Shutter Photography / Venue Decor: Contour Weddings and Events / Videographer: Family and friends / Wedding Night Accommodation: The Blackman / Wedding Planner: Contour Weddings and Events, Anne Scott Virtue, Kelly Rossi