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Inside the summer wedding of Melbourne designer, Caitlin Mullaly – Fashion Journal

8 minutes, 21 seconds Read

“I actually found the process of making the dress to be very meditative and intimate. It emotionally reconnected me with the beauty and joy of craftsmanship.”

Here at Fashion Journal, we make no secret of our love of weddings. We’re suckers for a bit of romance, and have a soft spot for weddings that are a little different, whether it’s a Las Vegas elopement or a huge, debaucherous party.

Two years after a proposal at Hopkins Creek festival “in the midst of the party”, Melbourne-based designer Caitlin Mullaly and her husband Cam tied the knot in a summer ceremony at the 50-acre Camp Sunnystones. As the Co-Founder of womenswear label Veils of Cirrus, Caitlin’s wedding was a celebration of love and local artistry. She made her three-part bridal outfit herself from champagne silk and duchess satin, and the couple’s guests enjoyed a Long Prawn feast finished with two flower-laden Anneliese Brancatisano cakes.


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Loosely based on an elevated school camp experience, Caitlin and Cam’s day was whimsical “with an elegant twist”. Below, Caitlin gives us an intimate glimpse into the day.

How did you meet your partner, and how did the proposal happen?

Cam and I have different recollections of how we met, but my account is accurate! We met in passing at Freedom Time NYD festival in 2017, and then throughout that year we kept on bumping into each other at house parties. It wasn’t until the next New Year’s Eve came around that the sparks began to fly!

Cam informally proposed at Hopkins Creek festival in 2022 in the midst of the party. He said he wanted to do a proper proposal but he knew I’d like to pick my own ring. My grandma had left me her stunning art-deco white gold and sapphire ring when she passed, so we restored it and he did the ‘real’ proposal in October of that year while we were away for the weekend along the Great Ocean Road.

What venue did you choose for your wedding, and why?

We went with Camp Sunnystones in Merrimu, near Bacchus Marsh. After a long search for the perfect place, we happened upon Sunnystones and immediately felt it was right. I loved the idea of doing it at a school camp for several reasons: I had wanted an unconventional, blank canvas venue where I would have free rein to style the wedding myself and have all our guests stay overnight (without blowing the budget).

The camp has all of the facilities needed for a wedding and is situated on 50 acres of gorgeous property bordering the Long Forest Conservation Reserve. The building itself is architecturally beautiful – way beyond what you’d expect from a school camp! It is stone-built with great windows overlooking the view, wood fires and a Tuscan-feel courtyard with fruit trees and grape vines.

Having said that, we had to do a lot of work to transform the interiors of the homestead into a bougie wedding venue. We brought rolls of fabric and a sewing machine up on the bump-in day and covered all of the couches and cushions so it didn’t give off ‘school camp’ too much.

How many guests did you have?

About 100, which was the perfect amount. Most stayed overnight in the camp dorm rooms.

Where was your outfit from, and what was the process of sourcing it like?

I designed and made my dress myself! I am a fashion designer by trade – I run the Naarm-based label Veils of Cirrus with my business partner Amy Forbes – so naturally, I had to design my own dress. At first, I thought this might be a crazy idea because I knew how much time it would take and there was the very real possibility of it becoming a major source of stress.

But I actually found the process of making the dress to be very meditative and intimate. It emotionally reconnected me with the beauty and joy of craftsmanship. It took many months and I had to chip away very slowly before I had a fully finished dress. Towards the latter stages of the process, I was fortunate enough to work with my talented friend Jack Hancock who runs The System, a garment-making consultancy and design practice.

Jack taught me patternmaking at university and was an invaluable resource in helping me refine my patterns for the wedding dress as well as advising and assisting me with couture-level finishes. The dress is made in three detachable parts – the skirt, the corset and the bustier – which can all be worn together or as separates. It was made from a beautiful champagne silk duchess satin which I purchased from Franke Stuart in Hawthorn, contrasted with a raw slubby silk noil which I used for the boned corset.

When the party kicked off in the evening, I switched out my long skirt for a mini pleated silk taffeta skirt that I whipped up a few days before the wedding. The veil I made too, and the shoes I sourced from New York-based designer Amy Crookes. The bejewelled metal bows that are attached to the bustier were made by my talented friend Harley Herrera who smelts down recycled aluminium and makes unique beautiful jewellery.

What about your partner’s outfit?

Cameron: My wedding outfit was from Bespoke Corner Tailors Melbourne. Thankfully I was able to lean on Caitlin’s expertise and having looked around online, the quality of materials and design at Bespoke Corner shone through to both of us. With me being relatively inexperienced in formal menswear, Patrick from Bespoke was able to guide me seamlessly through the process.

The choice of fabrics and the design features were informed by the wedding location, the (approximate) colour that Caitlin would be wearing and my desire for a classic look with some special touches for a special occasion. The fittings I did with Patrick were fantastic, it was a novelty for me to dedicate that level of time and consideration to how I would be dressed. I don’t get too many opportunities to wear a waistcoat, so letting that [be the] star as the party heated up was a lot of fun!

In terms of beauty, tell us about the look you went for on the day, and what your inspiration for it was. 

For my hair and makeup, I hired the wonderful Jordan Hallewell. We had worked together on photoshoots before and I completely trusted in her diverse skill set. She is also an absolute hoot!

Jordan and I wanted to strike a balance between doing something creative and keeping a natural feel to it. The inspiration for my hair was from Alexander McQueen’s AW06 runway The Widows of Culloden.

The models had locks of hair coiled up as if in rollers, with unkempt wispy strands delicately cascading down; it is a beautiful juxtaposition between order and disorder. My naturally curly hair happened to be perfectly suited for our own version of this style. For makeup, Jordan did a great job of bringing out my natural features. I didn’t wish to walk down the aisle feeling unrecognisable.

What did you do to celebrate after the wedding?

We were fortunate enough to escape for a week to Noosa on the Monday following the wedding. Both of us were so fatigued from the emotional highs, the social contact and all the decision-making that had taken place in the lead-up to the wedding. Noosa was the perfect place to collapse and process it all. In June, we will be embarking on a several-week-long trip to Europe for our extended honeymoon!

What kind of food and entertainment did you have on the day?

For catering, we collaborated with the artistic food practice Long Prawn. We wanted something out of the box, beyond the scope of what a traditional wedding caterer would offer, and Long Prawn was just that. I had collaborated with Long Prawn previously when they had commissioned Veils of Cirrus to make custom aprons for their culinary events at the NGV and TarraWarra.

They hadn’t really dabbled in wedding catering before so at first I felt it was a bit of a risk, but they were up for the challenge and it certainly paid off. What I loved was that we started with a concept and a mood board way before menu development took place, which is how I work as a designer. I wanted to play off the ‘school camp’ theme and took inspiration from David Shewry’s restaurant pop-up ‘Attica Summer Camp’. Campy, nostalgic and tongue-in-cheek with an elegant twist.

We didn’t want to do a formal sit-down three-course meal so instead we opted for a plentiful help-yourself style banquet which felt apt within the school camp setting. Long Prawn brought in all these fancy performative elements which I loved because I wanted to lean into the over-the-top theatrical tropes of a wedding.

For example, they had us initiate dining proceedings by sabering a bottle of champagne into a pot of Crème Ninon soup. They also had their chef cook up spiral fish sausages on a Schwenker grill over hot coals, which was very school camp-esque.

Our wedding cakes were made by Anneliese Brancatisano, who I couldn’t recommend highly enough. She created a messy stacked meringue as well as a three-tiered wonky cake with distinct layers: chocolate/boozy cherries, red velvet/ricotta and vanilla sponge/salted praline. Sadly there were no leftovers.

For entertainment, guests were welcomed with an oyster bar and a glass of bubbles as cellist Evelyn Searle played ambient music in the background (and then later played for our ceremony procession). In the evening, we had DJs Solar Suite and Chaz play back-to-back sets with a fresh mix of house, techno and some classic crowd-pleasers. As the night descended, we had a rave cave going with our friends taking turns on the decks and ramping up the BPM.

Follow Caitlin for more here.

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