Inside Melbourne artist Minna Gilligan’s wedding

“We had full control over how we were going to present the space, and there weren’t too many set and cast features to work with, except the gardens of course, but they were a positive attribute.”

Whom Fashion magazine, we have a real soft spot for aesthetically pleasing weddings. So when Melbourne artist Minna Gilligan’s wedding graced our Instagram feed in all its orange autumnal glory, we knew we wanted to feature her.

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Working primarily with painting, collage, and drawing, Minna is known for her vibrant, Technicolor art and her forays into fashion through collaborations with brands like Kuwaii and Rachel Antonoff. When it came to bringing her vision of her wedding to life, her penchant for bursts of vibrant color and her keen eye for detail made her memorable for all the right reasons. Below, she gives us an intimate look at her big day.

What place did you choose for your wedding and why?

We chose Abbotsford Friary as the venue for our wedding. I had had a studio there in 2018, so I knew the grounds quite well. Many of the other venues we saw were on a smaller scale and did not allow guests the experience of moving through different spaces. We had our ceremony in the gardens, then moved to the Rosina Courtyard for drinks and canapés, and finally to the Rosina Function Space for dinner, speeches and dancing. I liked that moving through the spaces gave different points of the evening a different energy.

We had full control over how we were going to present the space, and there weren’t a lot of set pieces to work with, except the gardens of course, but they were a positive attribute. My mother made all our flowers. She is a florist and we worked together to come up with a color scheme and a loose concept, [and] so she took it from there. It was absolutely magnificent, and the images were truly standouts for everyone who attended.

How many guests did you have?

we quite [had] hit 100 guests. The wedding was on March 26 of this year, which was also one of the first big waves of COVID. We expected to have some last minute cancellations. Luckily we only had a couple!

How was the search process for your dress?

There was a bit of drama with the dress, but it worked out in the end and I was super happy. Because our wedding was largely planned during lockdown, I had to wait until restrictions were eased to try on dresses. So this meant I was trying on dresses with only a few months to go before the wedding, which I thought would be a long time, but [it] it turns out that it is as if there was no time at all in the time of the wedding dress. It’s weird, a lot of people expect you to know the process of getting a wedding dress, but most people have never done it before and have no idea what to expect and need to be guided through the process a bit more.

I paid a rush fee to secure the dress faster, and when it arrived, it needed major adjustments that I didn’t expect, and I also didn’t know how important the process of altering a wedding dress was and when we got it. the dress was only a few weeks away. Then the person we chose to alter the dress literally went AWOL a week before the wedding, wouldn’t answer her phone, and didn’t show up for an appointment we made. I was freaking out. When I finally got hold of her, the dress was in shreds, like it was chopped. I literally cried.

Nearly $1000 worth of mods later, it arrived and dropped it off at my house a couple days early. I let out the biggest ‘Ugh’ of my life! My advice to anyone thinking of buying a wedding dress in a more traditional sense. [is to] assert yourself and make it clear that you need to be walked through the process. You are spending a lot of money! Also, if it’s avoidable, don’t lock yourself in so you don’t have to rush things! And research the person you’re going to ask to alter the dress because that’s pretty much the most important part, and I had no idea.

What about the boyfriend?

Simon bought his suit from Masons in Melbourne CBD. I went with him, and it was literally a wonderful experience. All the vendors we had were generous and really helpful. The suit is from Corneliani, which is an Italian brand. Simon had also bought two ties for the day and couldn’t choose between them so he ended up changing his tie when my clothes were changed!

In terms of beauty, tell us about the look you chose that day and what was your inspiration. Did you do your own makeup or did you use a makeup artist?

I was so happy with my makeup and hair. I just wanted to feel myself but in a more glamorous version! I always wear a red lip so that was a must. Then I just wanted a subtle eyeshadow and a bit of blush because it’s my favorite. My makeup artist was Dana Leviston and she was absolutely fantastic. Amelia Mills did my hair and I loved it. Dana and Amelia were also a great presence to have around in the morning, and that was important to me.

Did you choose the bridesmaids’ dresses or did they choose theirs?

I chose my bridesmaids’ dresses, in close consultation with them! My bridesmaids were both my sisters, so they weren’t ashamed to say if they didn’t want to wear something. Initially, I had the idea that I wanted them with matching little scarves, but they were horrified at that idea. I guess it was for the best.

I chose gingham for the bridesmaids dresses because I wanted a bit of little house on the prairie ambient. Her earrings were from Shrimps and they were callous so they matched the loose theme! I adored the bridesmaids outfits, I think I almost had more fun putting those looks together than I did myself!

What kind of cake and food did you eat that day?

The cake was a real highlight, it was from Digby Cakes. I approached her with a maddening idea and kept emailing her to make sure she was going to be ‘high enough’. I wanted him to make a real statement, [and] it definitely did! It was not only delicious but completely beautiful and fun. He was so tall and heavy that he nearly fell over while being delivered – Simon practically had to do a slow motion dive to go and save him!

My nanna made the lace heart for the top, I bought the little wedding figurine and hand painted it to look more like us, quite a fun process! The meal without cakes was from Peter Rowland Catering as they have a contract with Abbotsford Friary.

You can follow Minna here.

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