The 2021 Victorian ABIA Awards were held last week, and the Melbourne Bridal Expos team would like to congratulate all the Finalists and Winners for their persistence and courage this past year.
Once again, some of the best in the wedding industry were recognised for their hard work last week, and this year the esteemed line-up for the 2021 Victorian ABIA Awards found the honour a little more uplifting than usual. Given the challenges for the wedding industry over the past eighteen months, being part of this group is an amazing effort.
Many of those who featured as finalists, runners-up, and winners in this year’s Victorian ABIA Awards are exceptional businesses that have proven themselves as dedicated professionals time and time again. Their commitment to providing couples across Victoria with wonderful wedding experiences makes them deserving of every accolade.
Every business at this year’s awards is a credit to the industry. Melbourne Bridal Expos has worked closely with some of these businesses over the years, and we would like to give them a special mention for their achievements!
Marry Me Helley: Finalist – Marriage Celebrants
Marry Me Helley is one of Melbourne’s favourite Marriage Celebrants, highlighted by her Finalist status at this year’s awards. She is known for her vibrant, joyous take on wedding ceremonies, capturing the unique elements of every couple.
“I am a naturally outgoing bubbly person, with a personality to match and I absolutely love meeting people. I have a great rapport with all types of people when I meet them to discuss their wedding..
I guess it’s because my excitement and genuine interest in you and your wedding shows through when we meet.
In fact, my husband says he never sees me at parties or events, as I’m always off talking to new people and having a ball! He describes me as vivacious and a non-stop talker!
I have conducted 100’s of wedding ceremonies, naming ceremonies and renewal of vows – all unique ceremonies – tailored to suit the people involved.
This is more than a job to me – this is my absolute passion!
I feel so honoured and privileged to be a part of your day! I am completely dedicated to you as my client.
Unlike other Celebrants, I don’t rush off to other weddings. I believe that you, as my client, deserve my full attention and availability on the day – and it also allows for any unexpected delays.
My extensive experience, creative ideas, and life experience helps me write an authentic, truly reflective ceremony that speaks about you and your love.
I know what marriage is about – I’ve been married to a wonderful guy for many years. He supports me 100% and has taken on the role as your Audio / PA man! We work together as a team to ensure your day goes smoothly.
If you engage me as your Celebrant, here is my Guarantee to you –
- Experience, Passion and complete commitment to you and your ceremony!
- A unique, personalised ceremony that absolutely reflects you, your love and your story
- Romance, Fun and Celebration!
All you will have to do is relax, gaze into each other’s eyes, and enjoy every minute of your day!”
Passion8 Photography: Runner-Up – Wedding Photography
Probably one of the most competitive categories in the ABIA Awards, coming in Runner-Up position is no small feat. This puts Passion8 Photography right up there with the best in the business. You can’t go wrong when you hire Andrew for your wedding photos!
“Andrew Harrison, established as a Professional Photographer in 2000.
He has a keen artistic eye and allows your story to unfold naturally, letting quiet moments and connections happen. Andrew’s unique photographic style is developed on the day, capturing the distinct emotion and feeling as they truly happen. He and his wife Fiona, also a photographer are a fun couple. This shows in the photos Andrew takes.
Passion8 Photography run by Andrew Harrison is based on the creative talents of many years experience as a Melbourne, Phillip Island & Sunshine Coast wedding photographer. He approaches photography in a fresh, fun, professional way and takes pride in the friendly, professional service he provide to brides and grooms. It’s a testament to his outstanding service that he constantly receives referrals to friends and family members from his previous clients.”
Stu Art Video Productions: Runner-Up – Wedding Videographer
Your wedding video is an all-important reminder of your beautiful wedding day, so you need to make sure you leave it to experts like Stu Art Video Productions. Stu is known for capturing weddings and creating art, so snapping up the Runner-Up title in this category is no surprise.
“Stu Art Video Productions are a multi-award winning wedding business. Voted no.1 by brides in Victoria numerous times, including the 2019 Australian Bridal Industry Awards, located in Melbourne, Australia.
With a 5 Star rating on both Facebook & Easy Weddings with over 100 customer reviews, our reputation speaks for itself.
We are committed to producing high quality comprehensive wedding videos at rates that won’t break the wedding budget. Our non-evasive ‘fly on the wall’ approach, allows us to film your special day in beautiful cinematic clarity without getting in your face.”
Matt Jefferies Entertainment: Finalist – Disc Jockey / Finalist – Photo Booth
Matt Jefferies Entertainment is no stranger to the ABIA Awards, this year grabbing the Finalist tag in both the Disc Jockey and Photo Booth categories. Matt Jefferies provides a complete service for wedding entertainment and is known for creating magical wedding celebrations for couples all over Melbourne.
“A great Wedding DJ can be the difference between a pumping dance floor or a dance floor desert. And building a vibrant, energetic dance floor experience requires a combination of skill, instinct, experience and communication.
Matt brings these skills to the Wedding DJ Services table. With many years of Wedding entertainment experience, he has crowd reading down to a fine art that will make your celebrations and dance floor jump! Well-honed crowd-reading instincts are vital for any Wedding DJ who aims to provide an exciting music and dance experience for wedding guests.”
Designer Chocolate by Chocolate Works: Winner – Bonboniere
Designer Chocolate by Chocolate Works has been winner or runner-up in the Bonboniere category at the ABIA Awards almost every year for over a decade.
“With over 20 years of experience in the Chocolate industry and 30+ Bridal Industry awards AND winning best Victorian Bonbonniere in both 2018 & 2019 you can be confident we know how to impress your guests.
All our delicious ‘Melt in the Mouth’ couverture Chocolates are made fresh to order right here in our factory in Dingley, Victoria. You will fall in love with the taste of our beautiful premium chocolate, specifically designed to cater to the Australian palate. The options for customisation and personalisation are endless with our huge range of papers, ribbons, accessories and colour options. Each order is handmade fresh to order and is lovingly designed to reflect your theme, colour scheme and personality.”
Raffaele Ciuca: Runner-Up – Bridal Gown Boutique
This boutique of beautiful, elegant bridal gowns always takes our breath away, and deserve every accolade they receive in the industry.
“Specialising in wedding dresses, Raffaele Ciuca is a 4th generation family business celebrating 65 years of experience in bridal. From humble beginnings in men’s tailoring, Raffaele Ciuca has expanded to become Australia’s most trusted and renowned bridal destination. Making brides look and feel a million dollars on their wedding day is what we do best. Our philosophy is simple; exceptional service, range and value. With boutiques in Brunswick and Armadale, our collection is the largest in Australia and features a mix of silhouettes, sizes and styles to suit every bride. Raffaele Ciuca is home to some of the most exquisite local and international wedding dress designer labels including Pronovias, Maggie Sottero and Berta Bridal.”
Bridesmaids Dressing Room: Winner – Bridesmaids Dresses
Bridesmaids Dressing Room has proven year after year why this business wins this title at the ABIA Awards. This team is dedicated to making bridesmaids feel gorgeous while the brides relax.
- Your girls to look and feel comfortable on the day (without compromising on the style factor).
- Your girls to wear a style that looks spectacular on them AND compliments your wedding gown (without stealing your thunder of course!). “They can’t look better than ME!!!” – admit it, we know you are thinking it! ha ha
- People to say “WOW – Where did you get the bridesmaid dresses from?”
- Something different that reflects your personal style and ties in with your overall wedding theme.
- Styles and colours that are going to flatter your bridesmaids’ unique body shapes and sizes.
At the Bridesmaids Dressing Room we don’t just “sell” dresses, we want to help you with your dress selection process, to make sure your bridesmaid dresses “tick all the boxes” for what you are looking for.”
Nikos Cakes: Runner-Up – Cake Designers
Nikos Cakes has been a regular fixture at every year’s ABIA Awards, renowned throughout Victoria for some of the most divine wedding cakes ever. This year they came in Runner Up in a highly competitive field.
“From humble beginnings in 1987, Oakleigh Quality Cakes has established its reputation as a leading supplier in Melbourne’s thriving cake industry. Through a commitment to quality and service, founders Nick and Tass Poupouzas and their dedicated team have produced some of the most spectacular and unique cake designs.
Our award winning team of cake designers, consultants, pastry chefs and artistic decorators will assist you in creating your dream cake so that the centrepiece on your special day surpasses your expectations in both looks and taste. If you can dream it, we can achieve it!
We invite you to come and join us for a coffee and browse our showroom, which is located above our bustling cafe. With over 90 amazing cakes on display, and the largest selection of flavours in Melbourne, you are certain to find a design that suits your taste, theme and budget.”
Cakes of Distinction: Finalist – Cake Designers
As a Finalist in this year’s awards in the Cake Designers category, Cakes of Distinction creates bespoke hand-crafted wedding cakes to every couple’s unique specifications.
“Maria personally creates beautiful and unique hand-made sugar and wafer paper flowers which are colour matched to the colours and style of your event.
All cakes are produced from the finest of ingredients. Maria offers a variety of delicious flavours and fillings to impress you and your guests that will tantalise your tastebuds.
Brides are welcome to book an appointment and enjoy a sample of the selection of flavours and filling combinations available.”
Mustangs in Black: Runner-Up – Cars & Transport
Mustangs in Black were in amazing company in this category and managed to come in as Runner-Up. It’s hard to beat an impeccable black Mustang when it comes to unforgettable entrances.
“Mustangs In Black is a multi-award winning family business, and we have been operating since 1998. Our fleet of classic black Convertibles, Coupes, Shelbys and Eleanors are beautifully presented and meticulously restored, and we are the only Mustang company in Victoria with 2 Convertible Eleanors.
Our cars are available for weddings and proposals; school formals, debutante balls and graduations; engagements, anniversaries; hens and bucks nights; birthdays, winery tours and other day tours; concerts, sporting events and awards nights transfers; airport transfers; corporate events, work functions and Christmas parties; film and tv work, advertising campaigns, fashion shoots and promotional work; and much much more. Whatever your occasion, we aim to give you exceptional service and an experience you will never forget!
All our vehicles are chauffeur-driven by our experienced and professional male and female licensed drivers, and carry full insurance.”
Photo Credit: Icon Photography
Enrik Limousines: Finalist – Cars & Transport
The team at Enrik Limousines has been snapping up ABIA Awards every year for a very long time, and has over a decade of experience transporting excited couple’s to their “I Do’s”.
“We love weddings! We love making our couples special day memorable and fun.
We love leaving you with a wonderful memorable experience which is more than just driving.
Our chauffeurs are professional, reliable and fun. Our customer service is second to none, and whilst everyone talks about customer service, we live it and have the runs on the board. We have over 15 years of experience in this space, have won numerous awards for being the best in the wedding transport category, and have over 500 reviews online! We don’t just talk it, we live it and we are proud of it. On such a special day, why would you risk it to just anyone!
Luxurious and classical, our Chrysler and Mercedes Benz limousines and sedans are ideal for your limousine hire Melbourne, whatever the occasion. Wedding car hire, school formals/debutante balls, anniversaries, wine tours, concerts, hens nights, birthdays or just out for a romantic dinner, let our professional (licensed) chauffeurs make your limousine hire in Melbourne one to remember.”
Weddings by Jay Allen: 3rd Place – Ceremony Music / Finalist – Disc Jockey
A brilliant 3rd Place for Weddings by Jay Allen in the Ceremony Music category and Finalist position for the Disc Jockey category! Jay is a celebrant and DJ that is focussed on creating magical experiences for couples.
“My name is Jay Allen, I am a Multi-Award Winning Civil Marriage Celebrant (CMC) , Master of Ceremonies (MC) and Wedding DJ.
My goal at every wedding is the same.. To celebrate YOU as a couple, to work with YOU to create an event that’s uniquely YOU and to ensure that the night YOU want is the night YOU get. Your wedding should always be about YOU!!!
I would love to be your Marriage Celebrant, I would love to be your Wedding DJ/MC or I can combine my powers to be both Marriage Celebrant and Wedding DJ/MC in one convenient, time saving, stress reducing package.
I know that planning a wedding can seem stressful, I aim to be the relaxing & easy part of planning your wedding. Whether I am your Celebrant, your DJ/MC or both. I use my 20+ years of experience to help bring your vision to life.
For me it’s not just about being a fun and engaging celebrant &/or entertainer, its the ‘behind the scenes’ things I do that really makes a difference. Making sure everything runs smoothly and taking the stress off you, so you can enjoy this very important life event.
Parnassus Function Centre: Winner – Ceremony Venues / Finalist – Reception Venue / Finalist – Function Coordinator
We don’t have to tell you that Ceremony Venues is a highly competitive category, and to take out top place is beyond phenomenal. Not only that, but Parnassus Function Centre also placed as Finalists in the Reception Venue and Function Coordinator categories. This is a divine venue that offers second-to-none service in Drouin East, and now they have the award to prove it!
“What makes us different from other venues?
Parnassus is definitely a WOW venue,
As soon as you drive up our driveway and take a glimpse to your right you get the views straight away,
You walk down a bricked path into our venue to be greeted by high cathedral ceilings, a roof full of fairy lights and floor to ceiling windows that look out to our wooden pier that continues out giving the impression of a floating walkway, and of course the panoramic views of the Rolling hills of Gippsland from every angle.
But all of that isn’t what makes us different from other venues,
It’s our team and it’s what we offer our clients.
By booking with us you not only get so many inclusions, but you also get an award-winning team behind you,
We are a family owned and ran business, from our passionate event manager to our multi award winning chefs with over 60 years’ experience combined who pride themselves in quality produce and flavour.”
Zonzo Estate: Runner-Up – Ceremony Venues / Runner-Up – Restaurant Reception / Finalist – Function Coordinator
Zonzo Estate in Yarra Glen is famous in Victoria for its ceremony locations and unforgettable wedding experiences. It’s no surprise that they took out the Runner-Up spot in both the Ceremony Venues and Restaurant Reception categories, as well as Finalist in the Function Coordinator category.
“Not just a place to say ‘I do’. We pride ourselves on making each and every encounter seamless with your own Wedding Coordinator.
A mix of contemporary and down-to-earth spaces, with acreage to luxuriate in, means a unique wedding is waiting for you at Zonzo.
Cappella is amongst the most unique places to tie the knot in Victoria, let alone Yarra Valley. A striking, modern take on the chapel, Cappella is ideal for couples looking for a contemporary and refined ceremony venue that’s a little different. The view is something else, too.
This outdoor ceremony location boasts the best view in the Yarra Valley. Walk down an aisle of a luscious green lawn surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills. The styling options are endless.”
The Shearing Shed: 3rd Place – Ceremony Venues / Finalist – Reception Venue
Getting married on wonderful Phillip Island is made easy with The Shearing Shed. Tie the knot at The Billabong or The Barn for a ceremony that is a mix of rustic luxury. Follow your nuptials with a reception that is filled with fine food, dancing and laughter.
“The Shearing Shed has four generations of stories to tell. We love that we can continue to add to these stories by inviting you to enjoy The Shearing Shed as well.
Weddings are an incredible time to showcase to your family who you are as a couple and your venue creates an underlining theme for an unforgettable event that will be talked about for years to come. Our outstanding service and experienced staff are here to create a flawless event, so that you can kick your heels up and celebrate with your loved ones. Our team of chefs are here to tempt you with their culinary delights of modern Australian cuisine and present you with local and seasonal produce. Our unique location offers guests a private venue, easily accessible by taxi or private vehicle – only a few kilometers from Cowes.”
Crown Melbourne: Finalist – Ceremony Venues / Finalist – Function Coordinator
Kick up your heels with all your favourite people as you exchange vows at Crown Melbourne, another regular name at the ABIA Awards. Choose from the Garden Room, Crown Aviary, Crown Metropol or M-Rooms for your ceremony.
“We offer a personal wedding co-ordination service to help create your perfect wedding day.
Our wedding planners have extensive experience in the wedding industry and will be with you every step of the way to ensure your wedding is perfect.
To talk to one of our wedding specialists, please call the number below or click on the enquire now button.”
Brown Brothers Winery: Finalist – Function Coordinator
Brown Brothers might be predominantly known for its exquisite vineyards and wine, but the Milawa-based winery is also brilliant at coordinating weddings!
“Say ‘I Do’ in the picturesque grounds of our Milawa winery, choosing old-world charm and rustic romance as the backdrop to your perfect day. Naturally Australiana and proudly so, the grounds of Brown Brothers are alive with canopies of native flora, historic cottages and heritage sites, and an outlook unlike any other: beautiful gardens framing distant mountains, as far as the eye can see.”
The Riverstone Estate: Winner – Restaurant Reception
The Riverstone Estate in Coldstream is one of the most sought-after venues in the Yarra Valley, proven by its win in the Restaurant Reception category. Enjoy expansive views, the glorious rustic homestead with your choice of reception packages.
“The Riverstone Estate is a 75-acre property set on the banks of the Yarra River, amid Melbourne’s famous Yarra Valley wine country.
Building on the reputation and history of the region, The Riverstone Estate is known for producing exceptional food and wine, with breathtaking 360-degree views.
The central showpiece of the property is a classic storybook homestead & function space built from Bluestone and 100-year-old Oregon timber which was reclaimed from the Newmarket sale yards.
The vineyard was established in 1995, with the first vines planted in December of 1996. Wine making commenced in 1999, supplying local restaurants and exporting small quantities to China and Japan.
To this very day, The Riverstone Estate continues to produce amazing wine and hospitable experiences that delight all visitors.
Come and discover our story with a visit today.”
Romeo Bastone Couture: Winner – Couture Gown Designer
This is certainly a special category, and Romeo Bastone Couture is highly deserving of the accolade. For a unique, custom-created gown, you can’t beat their design experience and service.
“Established in 1991, Romeo Bastone Couture offers timeless bridal wear for the modern, innovative bride .. Classic / Boho / Romantic / Modern / Silhouette .. Bespoke Couture Designer & Director, Josephine Romeo Bastone, create each silhouette in house with her talented team, using bespoke techniques, involving an impeccable cut, moulding and sculpting to the body shape to create a “Couture Work of Art” of perfect individualised design and fit.
Romeo Bastone Couture renowned for its undisputed service and quality aims to maintain this reputation by creating harmony between body and gown, and take care to ensure every gown is a perfect, individual fit. Romeo Bastone Couture, has enjoyed outstanding success with a flawless reputation that is second to none. Each gown is meticulously and individually handcrafted in house using only the finest fabrics and French Laces sourced worldwide. Romeo Bastone Couture has been long recognized for it’s embodiment of intricate yet delicate use of beading and embellishments resulting in inspirational beautiful designs that reflect each brides/clients style and personality.”
Weddings of Distinction: Winner – Hire & Furniture / Runner-Up – Decorations & Styling / Runner-Up – Independent Wedding Consultant
The team at Weddings of Distinction knows how to style a wedding to perfection, with a vast selection of décor and hire items to choose from. It’s no shock they won the Hire & Furniture category as well as the Runner-Up honours in the Decorations & Styling and Independent Wedding Consultant categories.
“Weddings of Distinction is Melbourne’s original garden wedding specialist. We have built an excellent reputation by providing stylish and cost-effective garden weddings for over 20 years. We also specialise in decorating, planning and coordinating wedding receptions, various functions and corporate events.
At Weddings of Distinction, we promise to provide you with comprehensive and informative wedding or function planning services and solutions, which will enable you to enjoy your day without worrying about any organisational hassles. We work with you to create beautiful, elegant, long-lasting memories and bring you all the expertise, enthusiasm, and aesthetic excellence you’ll ever need to turn your ideas and inspirations into reality.
We look forward to getting to know you and making your dreams come to reality.”
Opal Formalwear Hire and Sales: Runner-Up – Grooms Fashion
Opal Formalwear Hire and Sales specialises in turning grooms into princes on their wedding day (and for making sure their entourages also look spectacular). As runner-up in the Grooms Fashion category, we recommend checking them out if you’re after a wide array of styles to choose from.
“We don’t just sell you a suit. We pride ourselves on being experts in consultation and fitting. Opal will always make sure your suit fits not only you, but also the occasion.
Opal is equipped to make your event exceptional. For your wedding, we take into consideration things such as the colour scheme of the wedding, and the outfits of the bride and bridesmaids. We want to ensure our grooms walk down the aisle feeling confident and handsome on their special day.
We’ve Got Style
Opal Formal Wear is always the most up-to-date in Melbourne on men’s fashion. Our suits for sale and hire are made with high quality wools and Bemberg linings, so you know your suit is not only of high distinction, but that it’s also durable and lightweight.
We like to dress you with the times. The future of men’s suit style is filled with slim-fitting cuts in smooth greys and mid-tone royal blues, 1 or 2 button jackets, and flat front, straight cut trousers. Jackets and Chinos is a big part of our collection, for the modern winery type weddings. Both classic and modern trends change all the time, but you can trust Opal to always stay ahead of the game and on trend.
Opal Formal Wear offers experienced and professional service in Blackburn, Melbourne. To purchase or hire a formal suit for a special occasion, visit our store or call us today on 03 9894 2991 to make an appointment.”
The team at Melbourne Bridal Expos wants to congratulate every single winner, runner-up and finalist in this year’s ABIA Awards. All awards and accolades are very well-deserved, and we are all looking forward to an exciting 2022. Keep up with all the wedding industry news, expos and events with our online directory.