Meet the couple
Alastair Mann is a Carpenter and Cass Troja is a Primary School Teacher. They met three and a half years ago at the Terminus in Richmond where their lifelong conversation started. Cass thought Al was handsome, had great skin and very manly hands. Alastair described Cass as being unpretentious, friendly and having a beautiful smile. Over the next few months they established they had similar principles and values and they very comfortably became a couple.
Now they’re husband and wife, and expecting a baby girl in May 2019!
Cass: Alastair proposed to me in our Eltham home on a cold autumn evening in front of the open fire. I had chosen the ring, Al had bought it and I was patiently waiting for the proposal. Even though I knew it was imminent, I was still caught completely off guard when he got down on one knee blocking myview of Better Homes and Gardens. :)
How did you choose your ceremony and reception venue?
Alastair and I had dinner at Fondata 1872 early in 2018 before we were engaged. The food was delicious, and we loved the setting. When leaving I cheekily said to Al, “This would be a great place to get married.” Five months later we were engaged, and one year later we were married on the lawn at Fondata. The perfect place for a Yarra Valley wedding.
We loved the idea of having both the ceremony and reception at the same spot, and we wanted a ‘rich Australian’ setting. Additionally, Alastair, an Eltham boy, remembers going to Weller’s Pub as a kid with his family so this added to the appeal.
What was your wedding theme or vibe?
We didn’t really have a theme but rather we wanted the wedding to simply reflect us as individuals and as a couple. We incorporated some traditions (I definitely wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle), but ultimately we kept it relaxed and simple.
What made your wedding unique?
A few things. We had a lovely surprise when I fell pregnant while planning the wedding, so I was 20 weeks pregnant on our wedding day, which explains the little bump! It wasn’t cake! Due to the fact I couldn’t drink and because we lived five minutes from Fondata, I put white ribbons on my 2010 Ford Focus and drove Al and myself to and from our wedding. In fact, we even gave Al’s brother and nephew a lift home! We didn’t have a bridal party – we got married on our own Afghani rug and I wore red shoes! Why not?
Is there a story behind your dress and veil/headpiece?
I always knew I wasn’t interested in a ‘traditional’ wedding dress. I didn’t even commit to wearing white until both Al and my Mum politely said, “but how will everyone know you’re the bride?” So, I took the hint. I knew as soon as I put on the Zimmermann dress that it was the one! Polka dots, pleats, room for my growing bump and uninterrupted views of my favourite red shoes!
What’s your best advice for planning the perfect wedding?
I’m a real planner and I like to be organised but honestly, even with all the planning and organising, something won’t go to plan! However, it will still be PERFECT! Do what you need to do prior to feel ready, then just let go and relax into the day with your loved ones.
What were the highlights?
I absolutely LOVED the ceremony. I loved seeing everyone’s smiling faces and was so humbled by people’s presence. Our celebrant Deb had written the most beautiful story about us. It was funny, heart-felt and celebrated our union perfectly. Some of our guests commented how nice it was to learn even more about us as a couple. Having our little girl in my tummy was also an unexpected highlight. Yes, I was a sober, bloated and exhausted bride, but we loved that our little family had already begun to blossom.
Number of Guests: 98 / Budget: $25,000 / Wedding Date: 28 December 2018
Florist: Botanical Styling by Liz
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Fondata 1872
Stationery: Caitlin Wynne
Celebrant: Debra Keating
Entertainment: Dhivaan Naidoo
Wedding bands / Engagement ring: Michael Wilson Jewellers
Bridal gown designer: Zimmermann
Earrings: Ruby & Sage