Although Jarrad and Michael Duggan-Tierney's 100,000-plus followers on Instagram know them as "The Real Dads of Melbourne," their love story began long before social media existed—in 2001, to be exact. The couple has a chance meeting in Tasmania in 2001 to thank for the start of their romance and since then, Jarrad and Michael have celebrated plenty of life milestones together, even welcoming a son, Reid, in 2010. But it wasn't until 2018 that the famous dads got engaged, with Jarrad filling a room with balloons covered in images of their 17 years together. (Michael undoubtedly said "yes.") For their wedding, the couple landed on a May 11, 2019, date, giving them plenty of time to plan a celebration that was more than 17 years in the making.
And after visiting several venues, Jarrad and Michael eventually decided Alfred Place by Rockpool in Melbourne, Australia. "The venue we felt represented our own personal style. We loved the classic, masculine feel," says the couple. "It's also owned and catered by a leading Australian fine-dining food group, so we had no doubt our guests would enjoy it." Wanting to create a memorable, timeless experience for everyone invited, their guests were at the center of every decision the couple made. And, finally, after months of mood boards, meetings and samplings, Jarrad and Michael's small, intimate and elegant vision finally came to life on May 11, 2019.
The couple opted to get ready together along with their son, Reid. All three wore matching custom black tuxedos by Arthur Galan. Michael accessorized with a sleek black watch from his late father.
Ahead of the ceremony, Reid presented his fathers with a handwritten note sending them well wishes on their wedding day. He also served as their ring bearer.
The family decided to take photos together before the wedding, which allowed them to focus on celebrating with family and friends after the ceremony. "It was the best decision we made," says the couple.
Jarrad and Michael created an unconventional aisle, utilizing their venue's main staircase for the trip. Escorted by their mothers, the carpeted staircase was dressed with candles and an "abundance of white roses, orchids, and lush green foliage."
We wrote our own vows, and neither of us heard them until the day of the wedding. They were very different!
Officiated by Megan Watson of Marry Me Megan, the couple exchanged personal vows. They also commissioned Lara Dabbagh, star of The Voice Australia, to sing her original song "Smiles" during the ceremony. In what they later describe as one of their favorite memories of the day, Reid announced Jarrad and Michael as "husband and husband" as his dads sealed the ceremony with a kiss.
At the reception, the newlyweds served a custom coconut-infused Negroni dubbed "Mr+Mr Negroni." Naturally, the event was as personalized as the ceremony, with custom bar signs, a personalized escort display, and a neon sign featuring their initials!
Going along with the couple's intimate and elegant vision, tables were decorated with white roses and orchids in black vases and flameless tapered candles. Place settings were dressed with dark green velvet napkins and gold flatware.
When guests found their seats, they were in for a sweet surprise. To keep their wedding as personal as possible, the couple left notes addressed to each guest inside their menu.
For their first dance, Jarrad and Michael changed into matching sequin jackets designed by Arthur Galan. After finishing their meal with a slice of lemon coconut cake and white chocolate ganache, the couple gave their guests another surprise—a performance by top Australian artist Conrad Sewell.
Reflecting on their big day, the couple agrees that "narrowing down the choices, when the sky is the limit" was the most difficult part of planning. That said, it looks like they wouldn't change one thing about their very special day.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Alfred Place by Rockpool Events || Wedding Planner: Creating Beautiful || Officiant: Megan Watson || Grooms' Attire: Arthur Galan || Bridesmaid Dresses: Cappellazzo Couture || Groomsmen Attire: Formal Red || Ring Bearer's Attire: Arthur Galan || Engagement Rings & Wedding Bands: Paul Bram || Floral Design: Creating Beautiful || Paper Products: Sketch and Etch || Photobooth: Shutter Hub Photo Booth || Ceremony Music: Lara Dabbagh || Reception Music: Sarah Stone, San Joseph, Conrad Sewell, Chloe Wilson || Catering: Rockpool || Cake: One by One Cakes || Rentals: Harry the Hirer || Favors: Glasshouse Candles || Transportation: Star Chauffeured Cars || Accommodations: Crown Towers Melbourne || Videography: Tango Films || Photography: Yervant Photography