• Photography: Lisa Nardella Photography.

A traditional church wedding

By Bride and Groom 22 January 2020

Torn between a traditional church wedding and a garden ceremony, Melinda Cirillo and Aaron Dowell combined the two and enjoyed the best of both worlds for their special day.

In front of an amazing arch, filled with cascading flowers, the couple said ‘I do’ during a romantic service conducted by Father Joe Taylor in a place significant to the Cirillo family − St Mel’s Catholic Church, Shepparton.


“St Mel’s was our family church when I was growing up. When I walked into the church I was in awe of how gorgeous it all looked and feel privileged that Father Joe was happy for me to have what I wanted,” Melinda said.

Planning for the couple’s dream day began long before their engagement, with Melinda scouring Pinterest and saving her favourite styling ideas.

Drawn to rustic detailing and masses of greenery and flowers, the bride-to-be put her faith in the team at Sabac to create the stunning décor for the church and reception at The Woolshed @ Emerald Bank, Kialla.

Floral chandeliers, bold table centrepieces, timber signage and gold accents all contributed to the theme.

Melinda’s decisiveness extended to wedding dress shopping and instead of involving her entire bride tribe, opted instead to keep things simple and took only her mum Virginia.

“We went to Melbourne one day – not planning to look for wedding dresses at all,” Melinda said.

“Mum suggested we have a look and I fell in love with the first and only one I tried on.”

The dress, an ivory princess-style, had a beaded lace bodice, sheer lace back, full skirt and three-metre train.

“On my wedding day I decided I would keep my wedding dress a surprise for my bridesmaids – and everyone else. My mum helped me get ready instead and I know she feels so honoured to have been a part of this,” she said.

The late spring day, with glorious sunshine filtering through the trees for the post-ceremony photo, shoot gave the couple – who met through work in 2014 – time to reflect on the occasion.

“Something that Aaron and I believe was very memorable to us, was when Father Joe pronounced us husband and wife,” Melinda said.

“This was such a beautiful moment and something that we will remember forever. Oh, and our first kiss as husband and wife was really cute!”

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See more photos from Melinda and Aaron​​​​​​'s wedding day over on our Instagram.

 ​​​​​Wedding date: Saturday, November 17, 2018

Bride’s parents: Virginia and Gilbert Cirillo

Groom’s parents: Robyn English and Robert Dowell

Ceremony: St Mel’s Catholic Church, Shepparton

Reception: The Woolshed @ Emerald Bank, Kialla

Photographer: Lisa Nardella Photography

Bride’s dress: Kylie J Bridal by Christina Rossi

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Michele’s Bridal & Formal Wear, Shepparton

Suits: Joe Paul Menswear, Shepparton

Flowers: Sabac, Shepparton

Cake: Goulburn Valley Cakes, Shepparton

Hair: Gloss Hair & Beauty Boutique, Shepparton

Make-up: Maison Belle Beauty, Shepparton

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