Rushing down the aisle

Renee Bertolus and Dean Mather were finally able to tie the knot, a day ahead of schedule. Pics: RACHEL DEVINE, SESAME ELLIS

By Gabriella Payne

For most people, your wedding day is a huge life-defining moment filled with excitement and anticipation, but for local Beaconsfield couple Renee and Dean, the pressure was turned up a notch as they raced to beat the clock – and that they did.

Renee Bertolus and Dean Mather got engaged about 18 months ago, and thought they’d better push their big day back a bit, in order to avoid the worst of the pandemic – but they didn’t escape so easily.

With their original date set for Saturday 29 May, the couple found themselves having to reschedule due to a snap statewide lockdown, and as they passed by their second date, Sunday 6 June still in lockdown, they thought they’d better reschedule again, this time giving themselves over a month leeway – but that still wasn’t enough.

The couple thought that third time they’d be lucky, but with the wedding planned for Friday 16 July, they watched warily as the Covid situation began to escalate in Victoria and on Thursday morning – before it was announced – they decided to spring into action and get this show on the road.

“We’d been watching [the Covid situation] really closely, and then at about 11am on Thursday we were like, nup, we’re moving it, and pulled the whole thing forward 16 hours, or 24 hours almost, to Thursday night,” Ms Bertolus said.

“It was just insane the amount that everybody just pulled together,” the beaming bride said.

“We got married in the Yarra Valley so there were a lot of vendors from across the Beaconsfield/ Ringwood/ Yarra Valley area as well who all went to lengths to make it happen.”

Ms Bertolus said that there was a huge amount of chaotic energy on the Thursday morning as her and Mr Mather “divided and conquered”, contacting all their vendors and asking if squeezing in their big day before the clock struck midnight would be possible or not – and they were not disappointed.

“Every single vendor came to the party – we were so fortunate,” Ms Bertolus said.

“The venue said they’d never done a wedding at night before, but we all just rocked up and our event hire company had brought in extra candles and lights and I walked down the aisle to a sea of candles, it was just stunning.”

“It was dark and it was raining, but everybody was out there and we just felt so special,” she said.

“We felt like we were in this big bubble of love. We knew that we were all going into lockdown again and it was like, let’s do this thing and have a party before we all have to go back in.”

Ms Bertolus and Mr Mather wanted to make a huge shout out to all their incredible vendors, including their hair and make up team, florist, the venue, their photographer, the celebrant, dress alterations team and everyone in between, who pulled out all the stops to make their day one to remember for all the right reasons.

“Even though everyone was rushed, it didn’t look like a rushed job,” Ms Bertolus said.

“There were no corners cut and everything just looked amazing!”

Despite some of their guests not being able to make it, Ms Bertolus said that they had been blown away by how much everyone had been able to achieve on such short notice and their wedding would certainly be one for the history books!