Elegant Dive Bar Wedding Down Under

Amanda Peppermint Photography

January 18, 2020

Both big music fans, Broden and Marnie met at a Jezabels gig in Brisbane. They bonded quickly, geeking out over their mutual music taste, and after exchanging thousands of messaged post-gig, they became a couple. They didn’t officially get engaged in the traditional sense. They were apart for a few months (Marnie in London and Broden in Australia) and one night during a marathon five-hour Skype call they just kind of mutually decided that they should get married. Instead of an engagement ring for either of them, they got matching mallard duck tattoos on their chests.

They were married in September, back in Brisbane, and once they found their venue, Cupo, they knew it was the one. “We wanted the same kind of vibe as the dingy bars and music venues we love to hangout in”, wrote the bride. “We wanted to capture the vibe where we feel at home but we also wanted some dashes of class in there – somewhere you could imagine a rockstar hanging out. We wanted it tough around the edges with just enough glam and one hell of a party.”

The venue was very industrial with graffiti on the walls, exposed ceilings, pallet walls and an all together grungy vibe, so they chose decor elements to complement. “We wanted to balance that with a touch of elegance through flowers, vase candles and red velvet vintage couches. Music also had a very prominent role, which would be surprising to no one who knows us. We brought our personality and love of music through things like decorating the stairwell with gig posters (just like a music venue would be), styling our signage and stationary like the back of a record, decorating the pallet wall with lyrics and gig posters and adding little touches like a guitar case wishing well. We wanted our personality to shine through, but not overrun what was already there in the space.”

They also wanted their ceremony to be really personal and to feel like their own. Paul Voge was their celebrant and he helped them put together a service that ignored tradition and was entirely about them. “We tried our hardest to make the ceremony as much our own as we could, whether it was Broden having a song (If We Were Vampires by Jason Isbell) to walk down the aisle to or having our friend give a speech in the middle of the ceremony. With the amount of effort we had put into the day we knew we couldn’t just let this be the ‘standard’ part of the day. Perhaps the hardest decision for us was working out the music. Broden was pretty set on his, where as I debated right up until the last week before settling on Ready to Start by Arcade Fire. We both knew that we wanted something energetic and triumphant to leave to and tried 1000 different things before we really nailed it. We excited to After the Party by The Menzingers.”

Having such a DIY wedding (they didn’t hire a planner and set everything up at the venue themselves the day before) was exhausting and Marnie has the following advice for other DIY-loving couples: “Our advice is that there is not enough warning about how big and exhausting the day before actually is. The pre-wedding day needs a warning label. I thought I had everything planned, ready and under control and was fully expecting to check into the hotel and spend the afternoon sitting by the pool with family and the wedding party.”

“In reality, we were up from about 5am, I didn’t eat until 4pm or go to bed until after midnight, and was run off my feet the whole day. From family and friends arriving, doing last minute errands and generally just getting everything ready, you won’t stop. I certainly wasn’t prepared for this, so I’d say make sure you’ve got the day free, even if you think you’ve got everything under control, and if you can take a few days in the lead up, the more you can do in the few days prior, the better!”