Renuka + Joseph | Italian-Style Wedding

Wedding Stationery:
Giant Invitations
Ceremony Venue:
Saint Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church, South Melbourne
Reception Venue:
Quat Quatta
Gown Designer:
Jane Pridmore
The Green Room Flowers
Groom's Suit:
Prinzi Collections

One evening at a buzzing Spanish restaurant and wine bar just outside of Melbourne, Australia, the love story of two young Aussies began. Renuka and Joseph enjoyed each other’s company over dinner as they shared their similar passion for cuisine and travel. One sunny afternoon in November, Joseph surprised Renuka with a romantic engagement. “We were enjoying some antipasto, wine, and cheese while watching little ducklings splashing in the lake with their families. My (now) fiancé was distracting me by telling me to watch the little ducklings causing a splash over in the corner of the lake. When I turned around to ask him which ducklings he was talking about, he popped the question and I said ‘yes!!!’,” recalls the bride. 

When shopping for her gown, Renuka wanted to embrace their Italian-style wedding while honoring her late mother who passed away unexpectedly in 2015. “I wanted to create a gown with elements of my mother’s original wedding gown design. I wanted to make something simple but also elegant and modern — a gown that also honored aspects of my mother’s personality,” describes the bride of her long-sleeve traditional wedding dress. 


One of the bride’s colleagues introduced her to Jane Pridmore, a wedding gown designer who worked in couture fashion for Melbourne fashion designer, Con Ilio. After seeing her portfolio, the bride knew Jane would be the perfect fit to create her custom dress. 

You can’t have an Italian-style wedding without incorporating specific Italian elements. In 2018, the bride and groom-to-be traveled to Venice, Italy, and visited Burano — an island just a ferry away from Venice that’s known across the world for its lace. “I was searching for a statement piece of lace, something that was handmade, unique, and special. I told him (Joseph), I was creating a wedding gown in honor of my late mother and wanted to find something beautiful and special that I could attach to the bodice of my gown,” Renuka says. “He was happy to accompany me on this journey. I searched every store in Burano and was not satisfied until I found Martina Vidal Venezia. After an hour of searching in the store, I was presented with a special cut of handmade Ivory lace, which would become a part of my wedding gown in 2021.”


Renuka’s custom gown was created with 100% ivory silk with an 8-foot Cathedral train and 18-foot Cathedral veil. “There were unique aspects to the dress inspiring both traditional and modern design. On the day of the wedding, it was the most beautiful dress I had ever laid my eyes on or worn before,” the bride reminisces. 

For their 85-person celebration, the bride planned an Italian-style wedding with personal elements incorporated. They held a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony followed by an elegant wedding reception held in Melbourne. Renuka states that the ceremony was one of her favorite moments of the day, “The church ceremony was all very special with our String Quartet and angelic singers in the background.” She also loved the photoshoot where she and her husband were able to spend some quality time together while the photographer captured romantic images. 


Renuka says if she were to do it all over again, she would have added some extra quiet time the night before the big day to decompress. Her advice for wedding planning couples? “It’s a busy day, brides!! Make sure all your last-minute tasks are checked off at least two days before the wedding, it’s smart to be well-rested for the day, so you enjoy the day even more.”


Vendors Cont.  — Videographer: Cinestyle Studio | Makeup: Jessica Casonato MUA | Hair: Maria K | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Gowns: J’Adore | Groomsmen Suits: Oxford | Catering: Quat Quatta | Celebrant: Father Bruno Carerra


All images by Andrew Avi