karenwillisholmes

Unit 501 Flourmill Studios, 3 Gladstone Street 2042 Newtown NSW, australia
Phone: 61 2 9519 3901

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Anna + Andrew's pretty Victorian garden wedding

Posted on 20 Jun, 2017
Anna + Andrew's pretty Victorian garden wedding

Background

How did you meet your partner? Through ex-mutual partners believe it or not! We came together later on both single at a local bar.

How long have you been together? 5 years in total.

Do you have a proposal story? Andrews proposal was SO Andrew. We had arrived in New Zealand to visit some of my family, first stop after a redeye flight was my Grandpa, he had a big day planned for us so we promptly had a nap, then visited family friends where they have the most beautiful garden and I had always said I would love to get married there. Andrew knew this and took the opportunity to pack the ring in his pocket and to take me down to the garden to propose! Well, I didn’t know any of his grand plans and got chatting to Joanne the lady of the property in her kitchen, Andrew was pacing up and down demanding it was time I came outside and looked at the garden with him. My grandpa could see his eagerness so him and Tom, the owner of the property took him out and showed him around. Obviously not what Andrew had in mind, finally we all met up in the rose garden which runs along a gorgeous little creek, Andrew finally had me alone with him when we heard shrieks from the creek and Tom, who is in his 80’s was just about slipping into the creek – mission aborted and Tom was to be rescued! Time was of the essence we had to make it to my grandma’s nursing home for her Friday night drinks and bingo games! We hurried there and with the ring in tow ... finally, the end of the evening and we were driving home ... Andrew EXTREMELY quiet, we got home and he launched out of the car and hurried off very quickly inside the house. So much so that my Grandpa noticed and asked him he was alright, I said oh he probably was busting to go to the loo not worried at all. Once inside he had collected our jackets and was boiling the kettle, he said 'I think we will have a cup of tea outside and watch the sun go down' I was about to say I was doing something, he quickly said now and went outside and set two chairs up on the edge of the hill looking out to the garden, it really was very beautiful! All of 45 minutes later, great conversation was had and I was about to head inside when a few nervous mumbles of a speech asking me to marry him, and the rest is history! – typing this now I feel like yes I probably should have suspected all his behaviour was odd and that setting chairs up on the hill to watch the sunset in a beautiful garden should have given it away but it really didn’t, that was just Andrew on a daily basis – gorgeous and weird!

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 28th January 2017

Wedding Location? Private Residence on the Mornington Peninsula

What made you choose there? The location was chosen to be on my parent’s property, they own 10 acres and have a beautiful garden. Holding an event such as their daughter's wedding was a perfect opportunity to showcase their beautiful property that they had put so much time and effort in and built from scratch in the past 10 years. I was extremely proud of them and it made it all the more sentimental.

What made you choose there? I love the concept of keeping the ceremony and reception all in one place, they had a perfect location for a marquee on the tennis court. I had always wanted to do a marquee garden wedding because then you could dress and style the area as you pleased, and no shutdown time so we could party all night long!

How was the weather on the day? The weather was better than you could dream of! A beautiful, warm, sunny day, but not too hot - we were extremely fortunate!

Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? No real reason, we wanted a warm summer wedding, December was always going to be chaotic and one of my bridesmaid's weddings was in February so it had to be January. We decided a long weekend would be fun for those who have to travel from a distance so the 28th of January it was!

The Wedding Details

Theme? My style is very simple and minimal, so we kept it to white with touches of green foliage and copper.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest and Instagram are an amazing source for inspiration and ideas. I have always known I wanted the classic white with green, garden wedding and I was fortunate enough that I had a beautiful garden to draw inspiration from along with my Dads business ‘Fytogreen’ that supplies vertical gardens and has a whole garden nursery at my fingertips!

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? From the moment the property was decided as the location for our wedding we were all busy in the garden planting, weeding etc. you name it, preparing the property for an event took a lot of hard work, time and a group effort. A whole family affair! The plants down the aisle way at the ceremony were a vision I had from the beginning so months out from the wedding I planted seedlings into pots and nurtured with water and fertiliser most days. Believe it or not, I don’t have much of a green thumb but with Dad’s expertise they grew beautifully, I was really excited to have these little babies line the aisle.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? All our bridal party was our nearest and dearest. Each of them has been involved in our life in so many ways. We are so grateful to have friends and family like them. We clearly found it hard narrowing it down to we just chose them all!

Sarah Taylor – Maid of Honour, has been my best friend since mid-high school years, and our daughter Milla’s Godmother. A beautiful gem and a ball of fun. She was 7 months pregnant and still bent down to do up my shoes!! Best. Friend. Ever.

Jessica Barker – Another friend from high school years. She is my calming influence we just get each other, she is an absolute beauty inside and out.

Lucy Cahill – We grew up together living as neighbors, Lucy and her family have been a part of my life since I can remember. She has been a massive strength to me since we had our beautiful babies only 1 month apart from each other.

Angela Booth – My sister in law, a gorgeous soul and a huge support to Andrew and I.

Emily Booth – Also my sister in law, a beautiful bright spark who is extremely caring. It was very special having my new sisters sharing this moment with me.

Groomsmen – who/relationship?

Karl Lombardozzi – Andrew was unable to choose a best man so Karl was one of the groomsmen to give a speech which he did alongside Matt Dunne – an elite speech, they did a great job! Andrew and Karl have grown up together playing football since they were young boys, have had some great adventures and I would say most places Andrew has been or stories he tells has Karl involved in some way or another.

Matthew Dunne – Matt and Andrew have known each other since they were 12 years old. Traveled and lived in Canada together, he is an all round great guy and is also our daughter's Godfather.

Damian Russo – Damian met Andrew when they were 14 years old through cricket. He is a great friend who would do anything to help anyone he cares about.

Grant Masterson – Grant has also known Andrew since early teens, has grown up with Andrew through many stages in his life (oh the fashion!). A genuine great guy, both our families are very fond of him, he is like part of the family.

Kyle Docherty – Kyle lived with Andrew in Canada for a few years. Many funny stories and laughs they have had together. All of Andrew’s groomsmen are great guys, they hold a special place in both of our hearts and he is lucky to have such a great group of friends, it’s a real credit to him.

Flower girl – who/relationship? Milla Booth – our little angel who was just 1 year old. She was a little gem, cuddled into Aunt Emily’s arms throughout the whole ceremony watching on curiously without making a peep!

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Anna looked divine in our BESPOKE lace 'Annika' gown. 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I have always loved Karen Willis Holmes since before becoming engaged, they were the first boutique appointment I booked and it was just such a simple and easy process.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Instagram and wedding magazines.

How many gowns did you try? Too many, I have lost count but my top contenders were all Karen Willis Holmes!

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Karen Willis Holmes Armadale, Melbourne. 

What did you especially like about your gown? My dress fitted like a glove, I was extremely comfortable throughout the day/evening you could tell it had just been made for me. Not only was I thrilled with my dress and all its finer details but the customer service I received from the moment I walked into Karen Willis Holmes Melbourne was warm and welcoming and they went above and beyond to assist me and all my many visits (I think I visited 4 times before I decided on THE dress!!) not once did they mind. They were also super supportive of the fact I had just had a baby and was hoping to drop dress sizes throughout the coming months, I will be forever grateful.

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? I had a set colour I wanted in my head so I actually bought the fabric from a fabric store in Melbourne and had a local dressmaker copy one of my favorite dress styles that I thought would suit all the girls (keeping in mind my M.O.H was going to be 7 months pregnant at the time of wedding) I was super happy with the end result, one dress for 5 different shapes and sizes was nearly impossible.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? M.J.Bale

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I kept it simple, diamond earrings for me and a coffee coloured teardrop earring for the bridesmaids.

Where did you get your shoes from? Mollini from StyleTread

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a teardrop cathedral length veil, simple and didn ’t hide the beautiful back details of my dress, this was from One Day Bridal.

Other

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? I would tell other brides to focus on the important items to them and not listen to other people's opinions, too many times I got myself confused or stressed because I felt overwhelmed and asked too many people's advice when I should have trusted my gut. 9/10 I went with my initial thought! 

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t have a set idea, the right dress will come and it may be completely different to what you thought you would walk down the aisle in but it will make you feel beautiful.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day? I loved having Kate from Events By Kate, she made sure the day ran smoothly and was something I didn't worry about or that my friends and family had to worry about doing and everyone could enjoy their day without any stress! Because ultimately that’s what it's all about, a fun day filled with love, laughter and drink that everyone you care about is celebrating your marriage to the love of your life!

Suppliers

Styling/Planning – Events By Kate. Kate and her husband Mick and team did an incredible job setting up, and making sure the day ran seamlessly – highly recommend the team, especially for private property events they will take all stress and worry out of the day so you can enjoy yourself.

Photographer – Shelley Price Photography.  Shelley is super professional but laid back all at the same time, we were thrilled with our photos and on the day we hardly knew she was there, she was just like another wedding guest!

Florist – Cecilia Fox.  We loved all the arrangements Cecilia delivered, not one was faulted.

Videographer – Life in Light. I highly recommend Stevan, our wedding film was amazing, it really captured the love and energy from the day, it will be cherished forever and I am so glad we did this.

Music – Baker Boys Band and Soloist sister duo Maia and Sage for the ceremony.  Both parties did a fantastic job, we have used the Baker Boys Band previously and they never disappoint!

First Dance – Crazy Love – Michael Buble

MC – George Tothill, A family relative. George did a super job, he had us in fits of laughter, we still have people commenting on what a great MC he was, some even thought he was a hired professional!

Celebrant – Heather Boundy. Heather was marvellous, she ran with all our ideas and got our sense of humour, it also helped she was Andrews teacher back in high school!

Stationery – Simple Press

Menu – Moreish Catering. Elle’s menu to choose from was mouth watering! We were thrilled with the food on the day and her professionalism to making sure everything at her end was superb.

Cake – Regnier Cakes

Hair & Make-Up  Sophie KnoxSophie is a beautiful person, having her with us for the day getting everyone ready was just like having another friend there, not only is she down to earth but I could not fault her work, the hair and makeup she did on every single one of us was beautiful and natural. I was very happy with her.M

Greenery and Vertical Gardens – Fytogreen Australia

Furniture Hire – Place Settings

Marquee – The Marquee People

Photo booth – Shutter Hub Photo Booths

 

 

Dominique + Daniel's Hunter Valley winery wedding

Posted on 14 Jun, 2017
Dominique +  Daniel's Hunter Valley winery wedding

 

Background

How did you meet your partner? Daniel was the duty manager of the pub I worked at and hired me on the spot. We worked together for 6 months before he asked me out on a date.

How long have you been together? We got married a week before our 7 year anniversary.

Do you have a proposal story? We went on a picnic one evening at dusk, were drinking some red wine, and we began reflecting on how we started dating, nearly 7 years previous. I mentioned how he never actually asked me to be his girlfriend, we just fell into dating, and that was that. Daniel then said, 'Well Dominique, I know I never asked you to be my girlfriend...but I am asking you now to be my wife ...'

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 18th November 2016

Location? Ironbark Hill, Hunter Valley

What made you choose there? As soon as we saw the venue we knew this was the place, with the vineyards, chapel and reception on site, sandstone and chandeliers, it was perfect.

How did you find it? Looking through websites of wedding venues in the Hunter Valley.

How was the weather on the day? Very warm, 41 degrees.

Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? It was the closest date to our anniversary that the venue had open.

The Wedding Details

Theme? Green and white. 

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? My florist was the real inspiration for it all. She was incredible and developed many of the ideas herself.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I created our invites and place settings DIY.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

Alex Woloschyn - Sister

Katie Dowzard - Best Friend and my florist!

Tina Harridge - Best Friend

Mel Sturgess - Best Friend

Groomsmen – who/relationship?

Ty Hayward- Best Friend

Mitchell Finnigan- Best Friend

Luke Maloney- Best Friend

Jason Molesworth- Best Friend

Wedding Dress (the most important part!)

Dominique looked stunning in our 'Mabel' gown from our WILD HEARTS collection - in stores now. 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? From the moment we were engaged, I began looking at gowns. As soon as I saw the 'Mabel', I knew this was the one. I still looked at many other dresses, but none of these compared to Karen Willis Holmes' designs.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Instagram, various blogs, friends that have worn KWH designs.

How many gowns did you try? 5 gowns at KWH- which were all incredible!

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Paddington, Sydney 

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the simplicity it held. I see it as a modern take on a traditional style.

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Each dress was different, however, they were all purchased from David Jones.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? The suits were from Grand Frank Menswear. 

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? Each of my bridesmaids wore Samantha Wills earrings, which I gave to them as a gift on my wedding day. I wore a headpiece from Anna Campbell.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? The headpiece was from Anna Campbell, and the veil was from Grace Loves Lace.

Other

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Have fun and enjoy the process, you won’t ever get to go through it again, so don’t rush any decisions and enjoy the moment.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go and try them on - they look far different on the models then they do on you personally. A dress might suit you more than you would first realise.

Suppliers

Photographer – White Lane Studio

Florist – The Botanical Workshop

Videographer – White Lane Studio

Music – Matt McLaren

MC – Mitch Garling

Celebrant – Mark McLennan

Stationery - DIY

Cake – My friend made this - Clair Mieluk

Bombonieres – We decided to donate money to Breast Cancer Australia, rather than handing out gifts to our guests.

Hair – Kristy Stead

Make-Up – Daniella Galla

Wedding Bands – Ocean Palm Jewellers, Wamberal

Dominique + Daniel  |  Hunter Valley Wedding  |  NSW Australia from White Lane Studio on Vimeo.

 

Amanda + Nicholas' romantic Sydney harbour wedding

Posted on 07 Jun, 2017
Amanda + Nicholas' romantic Sydney harbour wedding

Amanda & Nick held a romantic wedding at Sydney Harbour with their friends and family.  Amanda was after a soft, romantic garden themed wedding, with soft pinks, whites and peach tones set against dark greens in her blooms. For these art lovers, there was no other place they wanted to get married in but in the Habourside Room at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  They were blessed with a gorgeous, warm summers day with the backdrop of the harbour.  A true contrast to the moment Nick proposed to her - in front of an igloo in icy Finland. Amanda wore the Saskia/Selena combination with the Selena trains from the BESPOKE collection.

Background

How did you meet your partner? We met through our two mutual friends Jimmy and Ali. Nick knew Jimmy through school and I knew Jimmy through Ali who I went to university with.

How long have you been together? 6 years

Do you have a proposal story? We were in Finland over Christmas 2015, we'd just arrived at our Hotel in Luosto and Nick suggested we go for a walk up the mountain. It was getting dark (there's only 5hrs of daylight during winter) so we were about to head back, but we both spotted an enormous ice igloo amongst some trees. Intrigued, we stumbled over shrubs and snow to check it out. Nick was determined to take some photos of me in front of the entrance, then he raced down and stood in front of me for a kiss before dropping down on one knee and asking me to marry him.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 18.11.16

Ceremony Location? McKell Park, Darling Point Sydney

What made you choose there? Our reception venue was on the harbour, so we thought it would be great to transport our guests via ferry, we looked at a few different harbour locations. But one Sunday afternoon we drove to McKell Park and fell in love with how quiet, lush and intimate it was. Not to mention the fact that it had its own jetty for the ferry. It was perfect!

How did you find it? Our lovely Wedding Coordinator, Lauren, suggested it.

Reception Location? Harbourside Room, Museum of Contemporary Art

What made you choose there? That view! I also have a strong affinity with art and design and we loved the idea of being on a rooftop on a summer evening.

How did you find it? We were looking at venues around the harbour and the MCA just popped up and felt right.

How was the weather on the day? It was a hot, sunny 33 degree day, but it meant at night the balcony of the MCA was warm and balmy.

The Wedding Details

Theme? Flowers - Softs pinks, whites and peach tones set against dark greens. I wanted to go for a soft, romantic garden theme. Flowers were complimented by long oak tables, and eclectic white, clear and brass gold vases of various shapes/sizes. Place cards were an ocean blue watercolour to mimic the harbour colours.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Gardens and magazines.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I designed our wedding invitations and hand painted all our place cards with watercolour. A special shout out to my dad, Mark, who made our wedding arch, it is something I will treasure forever. He also made our menu holders.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? My Maid of Honour was my sister Nicole and my bridesmaids were Ali, Jess and Katie who were all university friends.

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Our Best Man was Nick’s brother Andrew and our groomsman were; James and Scott who were Andrew's school friends and Jon, Nick’s cousin.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Amanda looked stunning in the 'Saskia' Bodice and 'Selena' skirt from the BESPOKE collection. 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I followed Karen Willis Holmes on Instagram and then went to the website. I loved what I saw and booked my first dress appointment at Karen Willis Holmes Paddington Boutique in Sydney. The 'Selena' was the very first dress I tried one, and all the subsequent dresses I tried on could never beat the feeling I had when wearing the 'Selena'.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Instagram, Pinterest, One Fine Day Wedding Fair, White Magazine.

How many gowns did you try? I probably tried on maybe 15 or 16 from 5 different stores.

What did you especially like about your gown? The way it made me feel, the organza of the skirt fell so beautifully and it was just the right amount of drama (I called it my drama dress). It just felt incredible and I felt like a bride.

​​

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Rodeo Show. I searched high and low for bridesmaid dresses and found Rodeo Show’s bridesmaid edit had a great range of styles and the navy was such a beautiful shade that went well with everything.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Andrews suit was from Hugo Boss, and the groomsman’s suits were hired from Peppers.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? My necklace and earrings were from ByCharlotte. The girls wore their own necklaces and I gave them simple Swarovski stud earrings. The robes we wore were from Le Rose and their gifts were pink Mon Purse cosmetic bags with their nicknames embossed on them.


 

Where did you get your shoes from? My heels were from Sophia Webster, she has an absolutely gorgeous range of bridal‘ wing’heels. I bought them from Quincy in Woollahra. Halfway through the night, I changed into pink Reebok sneakers for dancing!

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a veil from Karen Willis Holmes. 

Other

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Limit how much Pinteresting you do. Once you start locking in your venue, ceremony location, dress etc you begin to narrow down the style of wedding you’re creating, there is such a thing as inspiration overload. Stand by your choices and have fun planning the best party with your husband to be.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t rule out any styles before trying them on. I went in thinking I’d buy a fitted lace number and I was so against strapless, but that’s exactly what I bought and felt amazing.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day? We are so happy to have spent the day with our loved ones.

Something Old? A wedding poem from my Aunt given to my mum on my first birthday, mum gave it to me a few days before our wedding.

Something New? Shoes

Something Borrowed? Missed one

Something Blue? A little blue bow was sewn into the KWH dress which I thought was such a beautiful touch.

Suppliers

Photographer – Justin Aaron Photography, so wonderfully talented. We had a great Engagement shoot with him which made us feel relaxed and at ease for the big day.

Florist – Coralie from Wild Blossom, she was awesome and did an absolutely gorgeous job on our wedding arch, our bouquets and the reception tables.

Videographer – Tom, from The Story of Us. He was great, didn’t even know he was there half the time. That’s a sign of a great videographer.

Styling – Decorative Events they were so wonderful, patient and accommodating.

Wedding Coordinator –  Lauren from Audrey and Angus our day could not have gone as smoothly and we can not thank Lauren enough for all her hard work on the day.

Music – Soulganic, we saw them play live at Little Jack Horner in Coogee and I immediately emailed them to check their availability.

First Dance – Hey Ho, The Lumineers. It didn’t exactly go to plan, but we just rolled with it.

MC – Tom, one of Nick’s good mates.

Celebrant – Jessie Cacchillo, she was so lovely. After meeting with her we knew our ceremony would be in good hands.

Stationery – I designed our invites and had them printed by D&D Letterpress. Leah from My Creative Space designed all the hand lettering for the invites and hand wrote all our guest’s names on our place cards.

Menu – Fresh Catering

Entrée

Spiced veal tagliata on BBQ pumpkin, toasted organic granola & vadouvan dressing. Seared diver scallops, porcini butter, goat’s cheese rotolino & crispy kale.

Main

Grilled beef fillet, gratin potatoes, daube jus and roast organic chicken, parmesan polenta, walnut pesto & confit shallot.

Dessert/Cake -We had two glorious Andy Bowdy Cakesthey were amazing and delicious. The first was a chocolate fudge, salted caramel, roasted peanuts, chocolate mousse, snickers, chocolate cookie crumb and chocolate fudge drizzle. The second, a malted milk crumb, strawberry cheesecake mousse, vanilla butter cake, salted caramel, wild strawberry gel, baked cheesecake chunks, pistachio crunch & fresh berries.We had one for our engagement party and everyone raved about it, so we thought why not have two for the wedding. Cake toppers were from Grain & Co.

 Bombonieres – Delicious Jams and Relish by Drunken Sailor Jams (our friend Justin makes them). Flavours were Forest Fruits Jam, Pear Vanilla and Whiskey Jam, and Smokey Tomato Relish.

Hair and Make-Up – Liv Lundelius, gorgeous make-up that wasn’t too heavy, really natural and it lasted the whole day!

Wedding Bands – Protea Diamonds

Extra features – Bride and Bridesmaids got ready at The Langham Hotel on Kent St, one of the most beautiful hotels in Sydney, the staff were lovely and accommodating.

Photo booth  –  Photo Corner – they were great, we had an attendant there the whole time.

Hire – Sammy and Lola, we hired marquee lights, neon sign and vertical festoon lights. The festoons made for a gorgeous vertical backdrop along the wall of the MCA.

AMANDA + NICK from The Story of Us on Vimeo.

 

Highlight Vendor // Milton Gan

Posted on 31 May, 2017
Highlight Vendor // Milton Gan

Milton & Amy are the team behind Milton Gan Photography, a fun and lively duo based in Sydney, Australia.  Recently, Milton spent the day in our flagship store in Alexandria, chatting to all of our brides to be about their upcoming day.  Milton's fun and carefree nature brought a new energy to the boutique which our brides just loved!

Milton Gan Photography pride themselves on finely crafted wedding photography & believe in capturing your day with authenticity, love & creativity- exposing the special little moments shared between couples & their friends & families.  The pair clearly burst with creativity, Milton comes from an advertising background and Amy, from marketing in the fashion industry.  Milton's passion for photography turned into a full-time profession when he moved to Sydney, met Amy and the pair embarked on their incredible journey as Wedding Photographers 6 years ago.  Their attention to detail is carried through from start to finish- offering an end-to-end service complete with their clients being presented a beautifully crafted album after the wedding. They have established an incredible partnership with Queensberry, one of the finest album companies to help tell their clients love story.  Teaming up with such a prestigious company also ensures the quality of their photos are shown in the best light from start to finish.
Milton Gan has captured some stunning Karen Willis Holmes gowns over the years & below are some of our favourites.

GET TO KNOW MILTON GAN

Your Name: Milton Gan

Location: Chippendale, NSW

Business name: Milton Gan Photography


Amy & Milton, celebrating their own wedding

Let's start at the beginning. How did your business come about? After a long career in the London advertising industry, I moved to Sydney in search of my true calling. My passion for photography started to steer me in that direction then one day I stumbled across a wedding blog and was blown away by what I saw. In that moment I knew my future was going to be in wedding photography. I photographed my first wedding in 2010, went full time a year later, and met Amy (my wife and second photographer) the following year. We have now photographed over 200 weddings and are booking out dates well ahead of the rest of the market.

What inspires you? I'm constantly inspired by artists, entrepreneurs, and companies who push boundaries, challenge convention and continuously innovate. I’m also inspired by my wife Amy who, apart from being my second photographer, is also a consultant, educator and mentor in the fashion marketing industry.

 


Natalie in our 'Jacqueline' gown shot by Milton Gan Photography

How do you start your day? I’ve always been a night owl so mornings are usually a late start with a strong coffee, but after discovering yoga I’m trying to change my routine to start the day with an early morning class

What is your favorite thing about your job? Apart from getting invited to enjoy 40 weddings a year I also love being involved in the photographic and wedding industries. For the past two years, I was the NSW President of the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) and I continue to be an accredited member and a competition judge. I also mentor and educate other photographers and regularly network with some of Sydney’s best wedding vendors to keep our amazing industry fresh and innovative.

What is your advice to couples planning a wedding? Whilst there are lots of traditions and cultural or religious influences that may try to shape your wedding day, remember that there are no rules and no rights or wrongs. It’s your day so have it your way and let it represent who you are. Your venues are usually the first thing to book followed by your photographer but if there’s a particular photographer you want you could always base the wedding around their availability - that’s what we did! And whilst I might be biased I would advise every couple to take their decision about photography seriously and invest in the best photographer they can find, taking into account their photographic style, their personality and the style of albums they offer. You want to feel you can enjoy having them around you for a day and can trust them to do their job so you can focus on having a fantastic day.

Favorite city? Paris. We love everything about it and it will always be very special to us as it’s where I proposed to Amy.

Anything else you would like to share with brides-to-be about your work. We’re acutely aware that most people don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera so our documentary style frees you up to be yourself and have the best day ever. We’re also aware that the day isn’t about us - no one decides to get married because they want to have a photoshoot! So we make sure the bridal party photo session is super relaxed and takes up no more time than is necessary so you can get back to enjoying time with your guests.


Penny in our 'Rachel' gown shot by Milton Gan Photography

VENDOR DETAILS

Milton Gan Photography 

Address - 2/3 Queen Street, Chippendale, NSW
Ph - 0424 531 368
Email - milton@miltongan.com
Instagram - here
Facebook - here
Website - here

 

Betsy + James' English Countryside Wedding

Posted on 31 May, 2017
Betsy + James' English Countryside Wedding

Background

How did you meet your partner? 
James and I met in 2007 at work in England but didn’t particularly notice each other. We both left the company; James moved to Sydney and I moved to Singapore. It was only eight years on when James moved from Sydney to Amsterdam and worked for the same company in different offices that we reconnected. So fast forward to 2015 and James and I met up whilst he was over in Singapore for the F1 and the whirlwind romance began. At the end of the first weekend James wanted to talk about how we could move things forward, the second weekend he came back to Singapore, cutting his holiday in Lombok short, and at the end of the second weekend he said “this is happening, I’m putting my foot down, unless you say otherwise?”. We spent a month face timing for hours at a time and then I went to Amsterdam and things blossomed. After a weekend getaway to Bruges and a few beers, we said: “if this is what we think it is, who's moving?”. We talked about when we would want children, when would we want to get married and worked backward on a loose plan – by the end of the year James had moved in!

How long have you been together? 20 months (just!)

Do you have a proposal story? 
James and I went to an Indonesian island just off Singapore called Bintan for a long weekend where we stayed in a stunning private villa overlooking the South China Sea. James had booked me in for a massage as I had had a full on couple of weeks at work but unbeknown to me he set about putting fairy lights and flowers around the villa and chilled a vintage bottle of champagne. When I walked back into the villa there was a trail of candles from the front door to the balcony where Ben Howards album was playing. I wasn’t sure what was happening and wondered if James was proving a point because I had mentioned I didn’t think he was very romantic but then he was down on one knee and there was an open jewellery box in his hand with a stunning ring. 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 30th March 2017

Ceremony & Reception

Location? Hedsor House, Taplow, England

What made you choose there? Despite living abroad, I had always wanted to marry in England. We wanted a location that wasn’t dependent on the English weather and being expats, despite both working in the creative industry, we wanted to minimise the amount of personal touches we would need to prepare and ship over from Singapore so we went for Hedsor because it was a stunning venue irrespective of whether you dress it up or not. The glass dome center hall used for the ceremony was also just so beautiful.

How did you find it? 
Honestly? For some reason, Hedsor didn’t come up in my various internet searches and nothing I had seen felt very ‘us’ until that point. I typed in my hometown into google maps and then switched the search word to 'wedding' and zoomed out – that’s when it came up. There was an open day a few days later so I asked my parents to go and facetime us to tour us around – so actually the first time we saw it was at 11 pm in bed in Singapore via face time. You could tell they loved it but didn’t want to influence us. A little while later I had the opportunity to travel back to England with work so I went to see it along with a couple of other options. It wasn’t ideal doing it without James but we didn’t want to wait long to marry and waiting until our next trip at Christmas reduced the chance we could marry in 2017.  James just said go for it so we booked it! Luckily when we went back at Christmas he loved it – phew!

What made you choose there? Aside from the above, completely coincidently it was also because my parents AND granddad used to go to Hedsor House when it was used as a training center at their previous companies – I didn’t know my granddad but everyone says what an amazing guy he was. So because the house had links to our family, it felt serendipitous to stumble across it again - my dad jokingly welcomed everyone to his stately home in his speech!



How was the weather on the day? Utterly stunning. Blue skies and unusually warm for the time of the year - it was actually the warmest day of the year and we were able to have reception drinks outside playing croquet (quintessentially English)! It rained on the day before and after so we were incredibly lucky!

Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date?  We were offered two dates in March, the 9th, and the 30th. We chose the 30th because it would have been 11months since we were engaged.

The Wedding Details

Theme and where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? 
Acorns was a theme running throughout the day. My granddad said at my parent's wedding 'may these two little acorns grow into a great oak tree' (from the saying from great oaks little acorns grow) and it had become a symbol of family to my side of the family.  Even the house I grew up in was called little acorns! Hence loving the oak leaf detail in the 'Sophie' gown! The wedding stationary featured acorns, James had acorn cufflinks and my parents had even collected, baked and painted acorns in the previous autumn in preparation for table decorations. James’ family also collected damson berries to make his grandmother's damson gin recipe, which was individually bottled and given as wedding favours.  These favours doubled up as people’s name cards. We also had a basic colour palette of navy, soft greys, pinks and gold running throughout the day.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What?  James is a designer so did all of our wedding stationary himself. The gin bottles were hand filled, applied and tied with homemade damson gin. Then beyond my dress being DYG we also had a lot of bespoke pieces made including my stunning bridal sandals from The Tui Collection, Singapore, my headpiece with oak leaves by Luisa Vass and James's suit from Private Affairs Tailors, Singapore.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? 

Jade. Friend

Karen. Friend

Groomsmen – who/relationship? 

Sid. Bestman

Walberth. Bestman

Andrew. Usher and brides brother

Andy. Usher and groom's brother-in-law

David. Usher

Tristan. Usher

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Besty looked stunning in a Karen Willis Holmes DYG combination gown- The 'Sophie' bodice and the 'Nina' skirt

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? Karen (bridesmaid) and I took a trip to Sydney in July to visit one of our friends who had been diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year. We knew she wouldn’t be up to having us hanging around the whole time so Karen kindly booked some wedding dress appointments too and we were planning a really fun girly weekend. Tragically Sarah passed away one week before we got there. We were incredibly shell-shocked and numbed by the news as we hadn’t been expecting it at all but decided to go anyway, to spend some time with Dan, her husband and kept the wedding dress appointments. It was a pretty surreal weekend trying on dresses, crying and spending time with Dan. At times it didn’t feel appropriate that I was trying on wedding dresses whilst Sarah’s life had been so unfairly taken too soon, but I got it into my head that if I got a dress from Sydney I would have a little piece of Sarah with me on the day. I had tried on the 'Sophie' gown in David Jones but wasn’t sure about the skirt. I knew there was a DYG option so when I came back to Sydney a month later for Sarah’s memorial, I went to Alexandria. Hannah Kate was utterly divine with me – I think I cried about Sarah within the first 2 minutes of arriving.  Hannah offered me champagne (it was the FIRST time I had been offered champagne in my whole wedding dress experience, which was A LOT!) – when she gave me a small bottle to swig out of I knew KWH had just the right balance of classic with a twist, which is just my style. 

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before?  David Jones

How many gowns did you try? Being an expat finding THE dress was harder than normal. I didn’t find a dress in England when I was back and the sample sizes in Singapore were two dress sizes smaller than me, so it was pretty tricky. I think I had tried on the best part of 60-70 dresses by the time I found my dress.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? From the flagship store in Alexandria, Sydney.

What did you especially like about your gown? The full skirt, the slimming waist, the unexpected neckline (I always go for strapless) the oak leaf embellishments in the bodice… the unexpected lack of lace or tulle. 

​​

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Sheike – they did a country wide search for me and sent them to Bondi junction – a friend bought them for me and another bought them over from Sydney – it definitely helps to have international friends!

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits?  James’ suit was from a local tailor in Singapore. We opted for black tie so all the groomsmen just wore their own suits.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party?  A headpiece with matching smaller ones for the bridesmaids. Matching slave rings. Antique earrings borrowed from my mum. Fur shrugs in case it was cold which we used in the evening

Where did you get your shoes from? James is only a little taller than me so I wanted flats. I think living in a hot country and wearing sandals all the time meant I didn’t want just any pair of sparkly shoes. I spent HOURS searching and in the end asked Tui, a local shoe designer if she could make me a pair. I found some embellished beading which I thought matched the Sophie bodice and gave her a sample of the dress to match the leather and she made these stunning one of a kind shoes. I was given both an old and new sixth pence to put in my shoe for good luck so managed to stick these in under the arch of my foot too!

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Yes, cathedral length from Britten

Other

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? When you have your makeup trial, meet your artist with your ‘normal’ look. I met Sarah without any makeup on and said I wanted to still look like me. But I typically wore a reasonable amount of makeup normally anyway so it wasn’t enough. Give her a point of reference! 
Unfortunately, you’re going to have drop outs, so hold off confirming your numbers and paying the final bill until the very last moment.
Organise everything down to a tee, but let it go on the day and just enjoy it. Have all the family shots you want, you’ll regret not having them.
Get a videographer – it’s amazing watching it back!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Just like with normal clothing brands, you need to find a brand that ‘fits’ you. Every designers cut of the same silhouette is different so you have to just keep trying until you find something that feels right. Be open to trying on different designs to the ones you thought you would like. I started off wanting a bum-hugging V-neck lace cascading into tulle dress and ended up with A-line satin and not a piece of lace in sight.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. There are not many occasions you have the opportunity to be surrounded by those you love and we felt so blessed to have so many people to be with us celebrating. Both near and far, but especially those who traveled from further afield.

Something Old? Sixth pence piece

Something New? James bought me a bracelet

Something Borrowed? My mum's earrings

Something Blue? Flowers in my bouquet

Suppliers 

Photographer - Barker Evans

Florist - Ruby and Grace.

Videographer - Will Warr

First Dance - Steve Winwood - Higher Love

Stationery - James Bebbington

Menu - Caper and Berry

Cake - Melissa Woodland Cakes

Garter - Caroline Cole, Bespoke

Hair & Make-up - Sarah Yeo

Wedding Bands - Grew & Co

Nightgown -  Safina Dreams

KAREN WILLIS HOLMES BESPOKE 2017 COLLECTION - DROP 2

Posted on 25 May, 2017
KAREN WILLIS HOLMES BESPOKE 2017 COLLECTION - DROP 2

We are excited to announce that we will be releasing the second half of our  2017 BESPOKE collection in the coming weeks!  Please follow social media closely for exact delivery dates over the coming weeks.  

NICKI

Wide V-neckline wrap gown with waist tucks that elegantly drape over the bust and through the side split skirt. Long, sheer georgette bell sleeves gather perfectly into a slim cuff. Back is open cut and low.

PARIS WITH FEATHER COLLAR 

The embellished art deco inspired feathered collar worn with our Paris gown. 

ROSALINE/MARINA

Low, wide V-neckline with embellished tulle and rose motifs delicately appliqued over the fitted bodice. The nipped in waist falls into a slightly asymmetrical 4 tiered tulle and organza skirt with a webbed hem for subtle structure.

PARIS

Boat neckline, fitted bodice with elegant long sleeves. The back is fastened with delicate covered buttons and opens up to a cut-out, low back. It features a slimline skirt which nips in at the knees before splaying out into a full, elegant godet train. The feathered collar can be worn on top to add an embellished, art deco touch.

SHOOT CREDITS

Photographer - Kas Richards 

HMUA - Sophie Knox 

Model - Peyton Edwards 

Location - XO Studios, Brunswick 

Gowns - Karen Willis Holmes

Lucy + Callum's stunning Tweed Coast wedding.

Posted on 23 May, 2017
Lucy + Callum's stunning Tweed Coast wedding.

Background

How did you meet your partner? We met through a mutual friend on a beach holiday in Ocean Grove, a classic summer romance. 

How long have you been together? 5 years

Do you have a proposal story? Callum took me for a weekend away in the Yarra Valley. We stayed in a beautiful winery where we had a 5-course dinner, he proposed to me outside a beautiful little chapel in the vineyard under the stars.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 24th of September, 2016

Ceremony Location? Cabarita Foreshore, NSW

Why did you choose this location and how did you find it? We wanted to get married next to the ocean as we both love it so much. We had originally thought we’d get married in Bali but after a trip there changed our mind. We then moved our minds back to the NSW coast. The Tweed coast is so beautiful and we had gone to Cabarita Beach one day by chance. We were looking at locations close to our reception venue when we found the perfect location on the grassy foreshore with a perfect beach background.

Reception location? Madura Tea Estate, NSW

What made you choose there? The venue was so unique! It had a similar feel to a vineyard but much more lush and green. It also was in a valley surrounded by mountains, which I really liked.

How did you find it? I had seen the location on few wedding blogs that I followed and I just couldn’t go past it.

How was the weather on the day? Perfect. Sunny and 24 degrees, no wind. I couldn’t have asked for a better day

Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? Not particularly, we knew the weather is usually quite nice around the time, which was what we needed for an outdoor ceremony

The Wedding Details

The tealight candle holders and welcome sign were re-used from my sister's wedding 2 years prior. The glass prisms on the tables were from Kmart and filled with Forrero Rochers for a sweet treat at the end of dinner.

Theme? The theme was a cross between Garden party and Rustic. There was a lot of green and white with gold and pink accents throughout our décor.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? I styled the wedding myself with some help from my mum. There was a lot of time spent scanning Pinterest pages and wedding blogs. Social media also played a big role. Following different wedding companies on Instagram gave me inspiration and helped to tweak my ideas to make the day more personal.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? All of my chalkboards on the day were DIY by a family friend saving us a lot of money. It was difficult to do a lot of DIY as we got married in a different state to where we live, meaning we would have had to transport it all.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Sally- My older Sister and  Courtney- My best friend

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Hamish and Angus - Callum’s two oldest Brothers. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Lucy looked stunning in our sequin 'Tulip' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection. 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I had seen Karen Willis Holmes gowns in a few online wedding blogs and I liked the general style and make of the dresses which drew me to the boutique.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Blogs/Magazines and online.

How many gowns did you try? At least 15 over 3 separate days

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? High Street Armadale, Vic

What did you especially like about your gown? I had tried on many other gowns that didn’t suit me and some just didn’t feel right. When I tried the 'Tulip' gown on I felt comfortable and it felt right, I tried on a few more after but came back and purchased it within the week as I couldn’t find anything quite like it. It made me feel elegant and sophisticated but also had a floaty feel which I really liked.

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Review

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? We re-used the suit Jackets from Callum's brother, Hamish’s, Wedding 2 years prior. They also wore Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes, GAP chinos and shirts from Jack London. The bow ties were from The Tie Bar.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? My dress was so detailed that it didn’t need anything to finish it apart from my earrings were from Etsy. The girl's belts were from Forever New, their earrings from Lovisa and their shoes from Famous Footwear

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes are from Mod Cloth.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My veil was the one-tier full length silky tulle from Karen Willis Holmes and my comb was from Etsy

Other

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Try and stay calm. Remember that the day is about marrying the man of your dreams and everything else is a bonus .Any bride will tell you it’s easy to get hung up on the little things.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Keep looking, your dream gown will be just around the corner, where you least expect it. Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day.

Something New? My beautiful dress

Something Old and Borrowed? My grandmothers promise ring

Something Blue? My bridesmaids.

Suppliers

Photographer – Figtree Picture

Florist – Pollen Weddings

Music – The Wedding DJ (DJ Kristin)

First Dance – This old love- Lior

MC – Wesley Hetherington

Celebrant – Mine Forever, Melissa Fahey

Menu – Osteria Weddings 

Cake – Two Little Bakers

Hair and Make-Up – The Beauty Lineup

Wedding Bands – Megan Webb Jeweller

Trunkshow - Bella Bleu

Posted on 18 May, 2017
Trunkshow - Bella Bleu

The gorgeous Bella Bleu Bridal Boutique is hosting a Karen Willis Holmes trunk show, starting tomorrow! Owner Andrea Novak prides herself on creating a space for brides that is non-traditional & tailored to each bride's personal style.  It is an intimate and relaxed space where whoever enters is surrounded by fashion forward designs from local and international designers crafted from the finest fabrics.  
Located in Winnetka, located just on the North Shore of Chicago, this is a must-go-to boutique for brides in the area. Worth the travel too if you live a little further out!

The trunk show will run from May 19 - May 28 & appointments are essential. Sharing with you some of the incredible pieces that will be at Bella Bleu until the 28th. More details on this exciting event below this post. 


The stunning Bella Bleu Boutique located in Winnetka, Chicago, USA. Featuring plush lounges, warm wood floors and a calm, inviting environment.


The 'Agyness' gown


'The 'Caitlyn' gown


The 'Aria' gown


The 'Celine' gown


The 'Lauren' gown


The 'Cassie' gown


The 'Cindy' gown


The 'Caitlyn' gown


The 'Poppy' gown


The 'Nerada' gown


The 'Taryn + Camille' gown 

BELLA BLEU KWH TRUNK SHOW

Featuring gowns from the BESPOKE, DYG, WILD HEARTS & KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES collections. If you have been looking at a KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gown then this is an event not to miss!

Address - 912 Green Bay Road Winnetka, IL, U.S.A 60093
Dates - 19 - 28 MAY 2017
Book an appointment online - http://www.bellableubridal.com/book-appointment/
Email - info@bellableubridal.com
Phone - 847-386-7406

Karen Willis Holmes BESPOKE 2017 Collection - Drop 1

Posted on 18 May, 2017
Karen Willis Holmes BESPOKE 2017 Collection - Drop 1

Get excited ladies, a handful of new pieces from the 2017 BESPOKE collection are currently in the workroom getting finished & we have news that over the coming weeks, they will be in Karen Willis Holmes boutiques nationally. Shot by the amazing Kas Richards, this collection focuses on new exciting silhouettes- introducing square cut V-neck ball gowns as well as fitted gowns with slinky skirts that sit close to the body.  The strength of the heavy twill in gowns like 'Taryn / Camille' is softened by soft georgettes, organzas and layered laces. The effortlessly cool hair and makeup on Peyton Edwards was achieved with help from the talented Sophie Knox, who we always adore working with.

Please follow social media closely for exact delivery dates over the coming weeks.  

LAUREN

Off the shoulder bodice with a delicate fold-over neckline that swoops into an elegant, low-cut back. The fitted skirt hugs the curves and nips in at the knees before splaying out into a full elegant train.

TARYN + CAMILLE

Low, wide V-shaped neckline with a corseted, simply tailored bodice in heavy twill. A wrapped, full skirt with a gathered waist and an elegant side split. Hidden pockets add a fresh modern twist to this statement gown.

NEISHA + HELENA

Bustier bra cup bodice with delicate embellishment and fine straps. The slim stretch base has a romantic overlay of souffle georgette skirt which is tailored through to the knees and splays out into a godet strain.

NEISHA + HELENA + TRAIN

The above gown with the addition of a detachable asymmetrical organza train that gently waterfalls to the front.

NEISHA + FRANKI

Bustier bra cup bodice with delicate embellishment. Worn with the 'Franki' tea length tulle skirt. 

PRIMROSE + PARKER

Soft hint of a bustier bodice with delicately draped lace and organza strips over the bust finishing into a fitted waist. The skirt is panelled in organza and is fitted to the hips before falling into a full hemline with soft tulle layers. The sheer, full skirt reveals an elegantly fitted stretch base skirt underneath.

BLAKE + MIMI

Classic bustier bodice with bust top stitching detail.  Worn with the slimline fishtail 'Mimi' skirt which features a centre split reaching just above the knees. 

ALECIA + NATALIA

Sweetheart bodice with delicate spaghetti straps. Mixed lace is draped over the bodice into a fitted waist. The skirt is panelled in organza with godets running through each seam. Fitted to the hips before falling into a full hemline with soft tulle layers. The sheer, full skirt reveals an elegantly fitted stretch base skirt underneath.



SHOOT CREDITS

Photographer - Kas Richards •  HMUA - Sophie Knox •  Model - Peyton Edwards • Location - XO Studios, Brunswick • Gowns - Karen Willis Holmes

Shadowed // Collaboration with Mauro Palmieri

Posted on 10 May, 2017
Shadowed // Collaboration with Mauro Palmieri

Sometimes the stars align and everything just falls into place perfectly.  This was the case when we recently shot this breathtaking collaboration with the AMAZING Mauro Palmieri. Mauro is not only a beautiful soul but a true artist with an incredible eye for detail and art direction. With a background in more than fashion photography, we adore his take on our gowns, showing them in all their raw beauty. 

Inspired by the transparency between strength and fragility, this collaboration highlights the delicate nature in which these two states sit. The soft elegance of muted sequins is juxtaposed against the use of strong shadows and negative space.
Heavily featuring sequined gowns with intricate detail that expose the high level of craftsmanship. There is an emphasis on the slim fit of these stunning gowns, heavily sequined to flatter all shapes. The essence of this collection holds an air of art deco glamour, whilst still being modern yet understated.

These gowns are available in Karen Willis Holmes boutiques and selected stockists internationally, limited stock and sizes available so get in quick.

FLORENCE - Fitted longline bodice with stunning beading and embroidery design, flowing into a soft georgette skirt and finished with a belt.

AGYNESS - Featuring a high center-front neckline with cut-away low back, fitted bias skirt and all over embellishment with exquisite neckline detail.

CAITLYN - All over sequin fitted gown with v-neckline, cap sleeves & sheer tulle back with embroidery detail. Finished with a belt in the same design. 

PEONY - V-neckline gown with sheer tulle back & centre back button detail. Richly designed with floral beading and embroidery on the bodice with a paneled skirt, fitted at hips into a flowing hem. Finished with a belt.

NERADA - All-over sequined halter-neck gown with low-center back and bias cut skirt. Exquisite beading detail at the neckline.

TULIP - Sweetheart strapless gown with a delicate floral beading and embroidery on the bodice. Fitted skirt at the hips with flowing hem and centre back gathered detail. Finished with a belt.

POPPY - Boat neckline with a sheer tulle overlay with richly sequined detail over a strapless bodice. Sequins disperse at the neckline & into the skirt. Centre back button fastening at the neckline and finished with a belt {Worn here with a train overlay} 

BEATRICE - V-neck bodice with A-line skirt, delicately beaded and embroidered and finished with a belt.

ROSALIA -  Sweetheart strapless gown with richly sequined detail over bodice. Floral beading dispersed at the neckline & into the skirt. Centre back button fastening and finished with a belt.

IVY - V-neck gown with sheer tulle back featuring delicate floral beading detail over a strapless bodice. Beading dispersing at the center back & tulle skirt, gathered at the center front. Finished with a belt.

CREDITS  //

Photographer – Mauro Palmieri

MUA + Hair – Sophie Knox

Model – Lottie from Viviens Models

Lara + Ben's stunning Hunter Valley wedding

Posted on 02 May, 2017
Lara + Ben's stunning Hunter Valley wedding

Background

How did you meet your partner? We met in high school through mutual friends. 

How long have you been together? 11 years (this year) Ben and I got married after being together for 10 years.

Do you have a proposal story? Ben took me away on a surprise weekend which started with a beautiful picnic set up in the Botanical Gardens overlooking Sydney Harbor (which was when he proposed). He then took me down to Jervis Bay for the weekend where we stayed at Paperbark Glamping site. It was perfect.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 21.10.2016

Wedding Location? Circa 1876 - Hunter Valley

What made you choose there? Ben’s family have owned property in the Hunter Valley so we have been up there many times for weekends away which made the Hunter Valley an easy pick for us as we have so many amazing memories there and feel as though it is a second home. Circa 1876 ticked all the boxes for us. Ben and I wanted a venue which allowed us to have an outdoor garden style ceremony with a rustic feel to it. It was important to us that we had our wedding at a venue where we could have our ceremony, photos & reception all in the one place without having to leave our guest or our guest having to travel. We wanted our guest to be able to relax and enjoy the gorgeous venue while we had our photos around the property.

How did you find it? We were always looking at venues around the Hunter Valley but Ben’s sister suggested the venue as she had come across it on social media

How was the weather on the day? Perfection! The sun was out most of the day with a little bit of cloud leading into the afternoon which helped cool the temperature down to a pleasant 23 degree spring day, we couldn’t have asked for better weather.

Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? Ben and I have always wanted to get married in Spring so everything is beautiful and green, but it can get very hot in the Hunter Valley leading up to Summer so we wanted to do it early Spring which is why we chose October. We chose to have our wedding on the 21st as this is Ben’s favorite number. The 21st is also the date of his birthday so I am sure it was to help him not forget our anniversary ha ha.

The Wedding Details

Theme? We didn’t have a stylist and we didn’t really have a theme. I guess we wanted our wedding to have a rustic feel to it but most importantly we wanted it to be our own.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Inspiration came from a mixture of places from Pinterest to Instagram. We collected images and ideas we liked and tried to put our own spin on it.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? My sister Skye and I did all the table flowers and mason jar flowers for down the isle. Our groomsman Chad made all the wedding signs and my bridesmaids Sally did all the signwriting.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – My sister, Skye and best friend Sally Whatnall.

Groomsmen – Chad Wheeler and Mitch Brunell, Ben's Best Friend

Flower girls - Our gorgeous nieces;  Harlow, Indiana and  Poppy.

Page boys - Nephew , Te akau King. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Gorgeous Lara looked stunning in our BESPOKE 'Saskia' gown in BLUSH - in stores now. 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I had seen so many beautiful and different gowns on KWH Instagram and loved the idea of the BESPOKE gowns. 

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? KWH Instagram & Website

How many gowns did you try? I lost track....a lot!

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Paddington, Sydney

What did you especially like about your gown? What drew me to the 'Saskia' gown was the contrast of the lace detail in the bodice and the tulle aspect on the skirt. The tulle added a classic wedding dress feel to my gown and unlike any other tulle dress I tried on the tulle was soft and fell beautifully. The lace detail on the bodice of the gown added a soft romantic aspect to my dress which I thought suited our wedding perfectly. The moment I put the 'Saskia' gown on I fell in love with the colour. It was not white or ivory or any colour that I had seen a bride wear before and I loved that it was different and less traditional.

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Show Me Your MUMU 

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? MJ Bale

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore a small pair of diamond Stud earrings as I don’t wear much jewelry and I wanted to keep it simple. My bridesmaids wore Samantha Wills Bridesmaids bar necklaces which I gave to them when I asked them to be my bridesmaids.

Where did you get your shoes from? Windsor Smith

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore flowers in my hair which the amazing Merrin Grace created for me.

Other

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Enjoy it

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? If you love it, get it.

Suppliers

Photographer – Justin Aaron

Florist – Merrin Grace Floral Designs

Music – Tillee Music

First Dance – Ed Sheeran – Kiss Me

MC – Kate Walker (Sister)

Celebrant – Maureen Stephenson

Stationery – Monique King (Sister & Graphic Designer)

Cake – Deleen Morrison

Hair and Make-Up – Chic Artistry

Wedding Bands – Aristides Fine Jewels

Highlight Stockist // Blanc de Blanc Bridal Boutique

Posted on 28 Apr, 2017
Highlight Stockist // Blanc de Blanc Bridal Boutique

Angelea, owner of Blanc de Blanc Bridal boutique in Pittsburgh, Pensylvania has one of the prettiest, most elegant stores we have seen! Stocking some of the most enviable international designers including KWH, we just adore their modern aesthetic, which sings out to the bold, daring yet forever timeless bride.  

The new store has opened its doors in an airy lofted firehouse, offering a refreshing, unique and non-traditional atmosphere for their brides.  Their mission is simple "to make finding your dream wedding gown an experience like no other. We understand that searching for the perfect bridal gown can be a long process, so we make sure that our brides have nothing but a pleasant and wonderful shopping experience. Assisting brides is not only our job but our passion as well".  Lucky brides in the area will be able to visit our Karen Willis Holmes Trunk show which will be held in this stunning space from April 28- May 7. See more details below this post.

Your name? Angelea Kuruc

Store name? Blanc de Blanc Bridal Boutique

Where is your store located? Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a historical firehouse.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started your store? I have always been into fashion and design for as long as I can remember.  After going from my University in Fashion Design, I loved to New York City to work in the bridal fashion industry.  I scored my first job working with a Brooklyn independent bridal designer and just fell in love with the indie bridal movement and I wanted to bring a really cool and modern boutique to my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. 

What does a typical day for you involve? I wake up, make a Nespresso and do a post on Instagram.  Take my dog for a walk then get ready for my day and head into the boutique.  Once I arrive at the office, I start by checking emails and meet with my bridal appointments for the day.  

Why do you love your job? It is incredible to have the opportunity to meet with brides and amazing women from different backgrounds.  I love hearing their love stories about how they met their fiance (e) and all of their unique wedding plans.  The best part is helping them find their perfect wedding gown that they will wear on one of the best days of their lives. 

What are your favourite KWH gowns and why? I fell in love with the 'Fontanne' gown because of all the intricate and directional bead work. That gown is truly a work of art and I am in “awe” every time I see a photo of the 'Fontanne'.

What is it your clients love about a KWH gown and who do you see as the ‘KWH bride’? My brides love how different the KWH collection is from all of the bridal gowns they see out there.  The KWH bride is a woman who wants to make a bold and classy fashion statement on their wedding day. 

Any great proposal stories from clients you have worked with? One of my bride’s fiance tricked her into thinking they were going to a wedding in Miami and he made a fake invitation and everything. He flew the bride's family down as well and he proposed to her with her friends and family all around. 

What are your tips or advice for brides searching for their gown? Stay true to yourself and the vision that you have for your wedding day. Choose a gown that makes you feel like the best version of yourself and something that you don’t want to take off. 

What is your coffee order? Depending on the weather, hot or iced black coffee.

Favourite city? Florence, Italy.  That city is just magical

Best way to spend $50? A bottle of wine or a few, some snacks and a night with my closest girlfriends. 

Best advice you ever received? Follow your heart and do what it takes to pursue your dreams. 

Anything else you would like to share with brides-to-be about your store and what you offer? Our boutique offers an intimate shopping experience for brides who are wanting a modern and unique bridal boutique. 

TRUNK SHOW DETAILS

28th April - 7th May - Featuring gowns from the BESPOKE, DYG, WILD HEARTS & KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Collections

28th - 30th July - Featuring gowns from the KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Collection

STORE DETAILS

Blanc de Blanc Bridal Boutique
Address 1806 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, PA - U.S.A
Ph 412.884.8000
Web Click here
Instagram Click here
Facebook Click here

Emily-Claire & Erik's stunning Swedish Wedding

Posted on 26 Apr, 2017
Emily-Claire & Erik's stunning Swedish Wedding

Emily-Claire and Erik's wedding was far away in Sweden, held in a barn in the woods.  August in Sweden is meant to be the best time of the year for weather but this stunning couple got the exact opposite. They were delivered one of the worst days in summer and rained the entire day.  However being in the woods, the weather created some absolutely magical photos as the couple meandered through the wet terrain, holding on to each other as they laughed and enjoyed their special day.  Emily-Claire planned the wedding from Australia which proved to be a difficult task but everything came together beautifully, with most of the wedding details designed by Emily-Claire herself.  The day was captured by Janneke Storm, who has an incredible eye for detail and capturing the small moments.  Emily-Claire wore the long sleeve 'Tillie' lace crop in a corded lace and the 'Natasha' skirt in georgette, a combination that is informal, playful and romantic, reflecting the Brides personality perfectly. 

Background
How did you meet your (now) husband? We studied together at university but the way we first really ‘met’ was on a ski trip in the Alps in France, we got stuck in a ski lift together.

How long have you been together? We have been together about 4.5 years



Do you have a proposal story? It was actually me (Emily-Claire) that proposed. We were out on an island on the west coast of Sweden celebrating our 3 year anniversary and I had planned a day of swimming off the cliffs and sun baking. I was very nervous and when I actually asked him I didn’t get down on one knee, I just asked if he wanted to marry me. He didn’t know if it was for real haha but then when he understood that I was serious he said of course! Then he actually got down on one knee and took a piece of grass and wrapped around my finger, so I guess in a way we both proposed. Then we drank champagne and went out for a super nice dinner and concert on the island that I had planned.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 12.08.2016

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? Falkeröds Hembygdsgård, Grebbestad, Sweden

What made you choose there? We were actually living in Australia last year and planned everything from there so we hadn’t been to the venue at all until about 4 weeks before. We had always wanted a barn, something that would highlight the laidback and relaxed vibe that we wanted.



How did you find it? It was really hard to find a barn in Sweden that you could rent which is rather ironic since there are barns absolutely everywhere in the small towns. In the end, I remembered that my friend's sister had gotten married somewhere that I liked – so I went back on her Instagram account and tried finding it haha. I ended up asking her about a million questions about the place since it didn’t have a website or anything and is owned by the council. Planning a wedding in Sweden was pretty hard in general as its still a very small industry and we had to do A LOT of research ourselves and figure everything out by ourselves.

How was the weather on the day? Being in Australia the year before we had high hopes of a lot of it being outside. The ceremony was meant to be outside in the forest near the barn and we were going to have lawn games and mingling all outside before going inside for the dinner. Unfortunately, it was one of the worst days of the entire summer haha so it rained the entire day. Luckily we had the barn though that we could transform to have the ceremony, and then we had a little marquee outside where guests could hang before going inside for the dinner again.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We liked the sound of the date, the even numbers. Also, August is meant to be the best month for weather, the most stable month in Sweden but that didn’t really help us haha.

The Wedding Details

Theme? We had a pretty rustic theme since it was in a barn. We had a lot of greens (ferns, blueberry branches, and monster leaves) in clear & brown bottles and fairy lights above in all the ceiling. We also had all the guests sitting at different animal tables that we designed.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? I spent a fair bit of time on Pinterest, but a lot of it came from experiences from other weddings we had been to. What we liked and what we thought we could do better or what suited the vibe that we wanted.



Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? Pretty much everything. We designed all of the printed stuff (invites, table numbers, menus, signage, etc). All the greens on the tables come from the garden/forest at my house in Sweden and we did them the day before. We ordered little bonbonnieres online (personalized stubby holders – they don’t exist in Sweden!) that we wrapped and put on each guest's place. Basically we gathered everything we wanted for the venue over time and then set it all up the day before (with help from our families, thank goodness). The venue was completely empty apart from a few old cupboards.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Caroline (sister), Eloise (oldest friend), Emily (old friend), Stephanie (old friend), Ida Kristine (old friend)

Groomsmen – who/relationship? David (Eriks best friend)



Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Emily-Claire wore the 'Tillie' lace crop with the 'Natasha' skirt from the WILD HEARTS collection by Karen WIllis Holmes

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? Eloise, one of my bridesmaids had got her dress there so she gave me the tip to check it out.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Eloise wore one at her wedding.

How many gowns did you try? At Karen Willis Holmes I think I tried about 3 or 4. But in total I probably tried about 25 different dresses on.



Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? The Brisbane store (Paddington)

What did you especially like about your gown? I thought the 'Tillie' top and 'Natasha' skirt was very me. It was one of the only gowns that I felt really comfortable in that sort of reflected my personality. I wanted to have something a little different but still very elegant and pretty.


Fashion
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? All the girls had different dresses. Some of the suppliers I remember were Lover and Alice McCall.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Roger David.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I had a flower crown made by my florist, and I also had a veil that I borrowed from Eloise that she had at her wedding (from Karen Willis Holmes). We all had simple pearl earrings.



Where did you get your shoes from? I honestly can't remember hehe but they were very simple.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Veil – Karen Willis Holmes, Flower Crown from my florist (Interflora, Grebebstad).

Other:

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Make it what YOU (and your partner) want. Try not to listen too much to what everyone else thinks/recommends.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go with your gut. Get one that makes you feel beautiful, happy and comfortable so you want to dance!

Something Old? My ‘new’ wedding band is a vintage ring

Something New? The dress

Something Borrowed? The veil

Something Blue? I had a garter on that the bridesmaids got me with blue lace.


Suppliers
Florist – Interflora Grebbestad (she did an AMAZING job, I couldn’t have been happier)
Photographer – Janneke Storm
Videographer - Family
Music – We had a guy sing and play the guitar in the afternoon (Micke Loui), and then a DJ (DJ Babe Station) that played the tunes for the dance floor late into the night!
First Dance – Barry White – Can't get enough of your love
MC – Eloise Noakes
Celebrant – Sven Moosberg
Stationery – We designed and printed everything ourselves.
Menu – Same as above
Cake – My sister made the main cake (a traditional Norwegian cake) and then we had friends and family make other ones. It was more of a dessert buffet. And we also had a lolly bar.
Bombonieres - Etsy 
Hair – My good friend, Sofia Larsson was the hairdresser.
Make-up – Did it myself
Wedding Bands – Vintage shop in Melbourne.

Feature // Hello May Issue #16

Posted on 21 Apr, 2017
Feature // Hello May Issue #16

Hello May recently visited our Newtown workroom to catch up with Karen have a look around our beautiful studio. Issue #16 of Hello May has done an incredible 6-page spread on Karen Willis Holmes and how she has built the brand to what it is today.  We are excited to share with you some exerts from the interview...

What sparked your interest in fashion? I always wanted to be a designer of some sort.  It's a cliche, but yes I was always cutting up and sewing dresses for my dolls.  My sister would complain because every time she wanted to play, my dolls required a new outfit for the occasion.  
I made dresses for my little sister as well.  I can still remember the first dress I made her; I was about 5 or 6 and my Grandma had given me some navy polka dot fabric with white spots.  I laid my sister on some sheets of newspaper and cut a pattern around her.  I don't know how (and I remember my Mum asking what I was doing) but I knew I needed to add extra when drawing around her to make the pattern so it would fit.  Then I hand stitched the side seams together to create a little shift dress and my Grandma helped me make a belt using the sewing machine.

Well, it's safe to say designing is in your blood.  So when did you know you wanted to work in bridal? I worked for myself and another company while I was in Perth before moving to London.  I stayed in London for a couple of years and worked for companies specialising in evening and special occasion daywear. When I moved back to Perth I started a store designing evening wear.  During this time I started to get people asking me to make wedding gowns for them. When the lease finished on my store at the time I had to make a decision about what I was doing and where I was going to go.  My husband recommended I specialise in wedding gowns.  I don't know why I couldn't work this out myself and it took Geoff to suggest it for me - designing wedding gowns is perfect for me, I love the quality, the fabrics, corsets, trains...

Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design? I studied fashion design and manufacturing at Bentley TAFE in Perth.  I have also learned from different people I have worked with over the years, including one particular person I met while I worked for Arabella Pollen in London.  We would make sample patterns in the studio and, after the shows, I'd take them to this older gentleman and he would tweak them and turn them into production patterns which were masterpieces.  He had such a love and passion for his work and taught me so much.  I have always been interested in, and focused on a high level of workmanship and focused on job opportunities that involved this craftsmanship, which also allowed me to self-train. 

Talk us through how you produce your designs? We have four collections, and each one is made slightly differently.  Gowns from the BESPOKE & DYG collections are made in our workroom in Sydney whilst gowns from our WILD HEARTS collection are made in small production runs in workrooms across Sydney and our KWH by Karen Willis Holmes Collection are hand beaded and embroidered in India.  We source our fabrics from all around the world- France for lace, the UK for tulle and beading in India. We are proud that the majority of our collections are made right here in Australia.  

We are obsessed with our DYG collection- can you explain how it works? I was actually doing this concept with the BESPOKE collection for years because the gowns are made in our own workroom we have the ability to mix and match bodices and skirts from different gown designs.  The DYG collection is a more practical way to illustrate this concept- we have created samples (separate bodice and skirts) which brides can try on, and mix and match and customise the gowns they want- it is like having your cake and eating it too!

What is the best part of being a bridal designer?This might sound cliche but it is designing and creating beautiful gowns.

How would you describe the "KWH bride"? They want to look and feel beautiful on their wedding day.  They have an interest in fashion and know their own style, so they are after a gown with exceptional fit, a gown they can personalise and make their own with accessories or small changes, and they want a design which is both functional and fashionable. 



How do you balance creativity with running a business? I find running a business just as creative as the design process.  When you are growing a business you have to be open to change, and constantly evolve how you do things to keep up with the times.

Describe a typical day in the studio? I am a workaholic, but out of choice.  I'm very lucky that Geoff (my husband) supports me with the business. Mt work is also my hobby - I love what I do and I am very driven to create a bigger and better business. In a normal week, I work 6.5 days per week. During busy periods I will take my laptop home with me at night to do some work. Sunday mornings is my time off and I usually start work at 12-1pm. My day usually begins at about 8 am when iI will check my emails before meeting my husband for a coffee at 8.30am. I am then back at HQ either in the workroom designing and sampling the new collections, in the office planning tradeshows, overseeing the boutiques and working on all the paperwork and notes on new designs. 

What can we expect to see from your brand in the future? We are currently working on the aesthetic/interior of all our boutiques, we are opening a brand new store in Brisbane and working on plans for Melbourne as well.  We are also continuing to expand our presence in the US and UK. 



Gowns featured - The BESPOKE 'Jasmin' gown • The BESPOKE 'Alesha' gown • The KWH by Karen Willis Holmes ' Nerada ' gown • The WILD HEARTS 'Shima' gown • The BESPOKE 'Blake / Prea' combination gown with the 'Webb' cape

CREDITS

Photos Jack Steel // Cover image by Lara Hotz

Hair and makeup Liv Lundelius

Model Annabelle Harbison for Chic Management

Location Karen Willis Holmes Head Office

Production, art direction and styling Hello May Magazine

KWH Trunkshow - Paperswan Bride NZ

Posted on 18 Apr, 2017
KWH Trunkshow - Paperswan Bride NZ

New Zealand brides, you are about to be spoilt for choice! We have the Karen Willis Holmes Trunkshow visiting both Paperswan Bride boutiques to show our latest collections. Gowns from the Bespoke, DYG, WILD HEARTS & KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collections will be gracing the Wellington boutique from TODAY, and Christchurch shortly after. 

We have picked out some of our favourite pieces that will be in the showing, as well as some KWH brides who wore these gowns best.  More information about the upcoming Trunkshows including dates is below this post.  


The 'Lottie' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection // Worn by Kimberley (Photographed by Alpine Image Co.


The 'Antoinette' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection  // Worn by Sofia (Photographed by Cinemotive)


The 'Agyness' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection (Photographed by Bek Smith)


The 'Aster' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection // Worn by Annie (Photographed by Heart and Colour Photography)


The 'Nerada' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection // Worn by Katie (Little Black Bow Photography)


The 'Poppy' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection // Worn by Corrine (Photographed by Figtree Wedding Photography)


The 'Ellery' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection


The 'Leonie / Alexia' gown from the DYG collection // Worn by Abbie (Photographed by Ashley K Wedding Photography)


The 'Sophie' gown from the BESPOKE collection

PAPERSWAN BRIDE WELLINGTON

Address - 94B Upland Road, Kelburn Village, Wellington 6012
Dates - 18 APR - 4 MAY 2017
Appointments - To book an appointment online, click here or email the boutique directly.

PAPERSWAN BRIDE CHRISTCHURCH

Address - McKenzie & Willis Building, 181 High Street, Christchurch NZ 
Dates - 6 - 28 MAY 2017
Appointments - To book an appointment online, click here or email the boutique directly.

Bridie + Matt's stunning Jervis Bay 'glamping' wedding

Posted on 17 Apr, 2017
Bridie + Matt's stunning Jervis Bay 'glamping' wedding

Background

How did you meet your partner? We met at about 5 am on New Years Day after some mutual friends invited us over to his house to watch the sunrise over the ocean. We woke him up and he came downstairs all sleepy and grumpy, but then we clicked and ended up spending the whole day together. We basically haven’t been apart since.

How long have you been together? A little over 9 years

Do you have a proposal story?  It has become sort of a tradition to spend the New Years period camping with friends, so in the summer of 2015'16, this is what we were planning. Unfortunately, in the lead-up, I realised that I had gotten the dates wrong and I had told work I’d need one less day than we had planned. 

He called my boss and fixed my mistake but made sure nobody told me. On the day I thought we were going home, Matt said he had an anniversary present for me and that we weren’t going home after all! Of course,  I was stressing out because I thought I had to work the next day but he promised me that my boss said it was ok. After a week of camping, I was ready for a real bed so I joked that he better not be taking me camping again, to which he replied ‘kind of'.

That afternoon we arrived at Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay, which is an incredible ‘glamping’ property in the middle of the bush. We walked around for a while exploring. Well, Matt was actually trying to find a good spot to propose but it didn’t work out how he hoped ... The spot he had in mind (where they sometimes have wedding ceremonies) had been washed out by rain and so was at this time just a dirt circle. We moved on to the jetty, only to find some kids fighting over who’s turn it was to use the kayak. We ended up back at our Safari tent where Matt decided was the place to pop the question. The next day he surprised me again as he had organized both of our families to have a bbq at his sister’s new house. He had disguised it as a housewarming but then we surprised them all with our engagement.

     

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 28 January 2017

Ceremony Location? Saint Barnabas Church, Yarramalong NSW

What made you choose there? It is around the corner from Matt’s grandparent's house and we have always thought it was adorable! I also love history and this church has been there since 1885.

How did you find it? We drive past it every time we visit Matt’s family. His grandmother is also heavily involved in the community and this church.

     ​

Reception Location? Family property, Yarramalong NSW

What made you choose there? Matt’s grandparent’s property is a place that his family visits for weekends and special occasions. It is so beautiful and we have the most fun memories from up there. It is a special place to a lot of us and we wanted to share it with everyone we love.

How was the weather on the day? Very, very hot!! Over 30 degrees. (Too much praying for no rain!)

Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? No special reason, we just picked one about a year from when we got engaged.

The Wedding Details

Theme?  Natural.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? The two major parts of the wedding – Tipi’s and Bell Tents – were ideas from my friend Jackie and Matt’s Aunty Jo. The styling of the wedding was pretty simple. Matt and I like to keep things pretty simple so just a lot of greenery and lighting. We didn’t want to take away from the beautiful space we were in!

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? Matt’s dad built all the signage and shepherd hooks for the festoon lights. Myself, Jackie and Matt’s cousin Mitchell painted the signs. Myself, my sisters and the bridesmaids all helped my sister in law with the greenery arrangements. I made my own wedding cake.   

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Jackie, Madi, Emily and Shell, who are all of my closest friends. 

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Abba, Dom, Caleb and Ben, who are all of Matt’s closest friends. 

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? My cousin Summer was in charge of the wedding rings

 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Bridie looked stunning in the sequin 'Anya' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection. 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I saw a few pictures on the KWHBRIDAL Instagram and loved how beautiful but simple the dresses were. I am not an overly flashy person when it comes to fashion so all of the complicated lace and beading etc that I saw in other shops just wasn’t for me. The shapes of the KWH dresses really caught my eye and I thought they would suit me better than anything else I saw.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Firstly, on Instagram and then I looked on the website to see the full range.

   

How many gowns did you try? I don’t think too many. Maybe 5 or 6. 

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Paddington. 

What did you especially like about your gown? I went into my appointment pretty certain that I would get the Melanie skirt and a sweetheart shaped top with spaghetti straps. This was what I had imagined I would wear. I loved the combo when I tried it on. Matt’s sister asked me to try on the Anya dress and I was really hesitant. But I had promised my mum, my sister and Shani (Matt’s sister) that I would try on something that they chose. The reason I was hesitant is because I really thought I was not a sequin person. The idea was too flashy for me. When I walked out in it, I said “Damn it!” because I liked it so much. The next 2-3 months consisted of me changing my mind between the Melanie skirt and Anya dress on a daily basis. Finally, I brought my bridesmaids back to the shop and tried them both on again. Their reaction to the Anya dress and the fact that it would have surprised Matt (in a good way) made me let go of my puffy skirt idea. The Anya dress was equal parts nothing I would have ever thought I’d wear, but perfectly suited to me and my personality. Very confusing.

     

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? The girls all picked their own dresses from various brands. We had a Maurie and Eve dress, Misha Collection sample jumpsuit and the other two were bought off The Iconic.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Rembrandt

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I don’t wear much jewellery and felt that the sequins were flashy enough for me! So I wore no jewellery apart from my engagement ring. The girls all wore various pieces that they already owned, but I bought them all earrings to wear in different styles.



Where did you get your shoes from? Boohoo, for $43!

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a long veil from Karen Willis Holmes.

   

Other

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Don’t over search. Once you find something you like and would be happy with, stop there. Otherwise, you will get lost in too many options and get overwhelmed.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Be open to the idea that your dress may end up the COMPLETE opposite to what you had thought.

Suppliers

Photographer – Jason Corroto Photo - All I can say about this guy is that he is absolute magic.

Florist – Erica Anderson Florals – Poor Erica had to try and figure out what I wanted from an array of very different pictures I kept sending her. Mostly because I didn’t really know what I wanted. I ended up giving her full creative license and she paired our bouquets perfectly with the vibe of the whole day. I am obsessed with what she created for us! 

Wedding day Coordination – Days Like These Events – I literally did not think of one logistical or operational aspect of the entire day thanks to these ladies. They made sure everything was set up and running on time. So helpful and they really know what they are doing.

Catering – D’Vine Catering – Our guests are still raving about the food!!!

Videographer – Five Peas

Music – The Baker Boys

First Dance – Into the Mystic – Van Morrison

MC – Aidan Hayes

Celebrant – Claire Belford and Meg Cockle.

Cake – Made by me!

Hair & Make-Up – Beck Carroll

Wedding Bands – Matt chose a ring from Ryan Label & mine was from Natalie Marie Jewellery

Guest Accommodation – Wow Tents

Reception Set Up – KataLane Tipis – The team at KataLane are particularly incredible. They are the most helpful people and so nice. They did such an incredible job!!!

Furniture – The Wedding Designer

Claire & Daniel's picturesque country Victorian wedding

Posted on 13 Apr, 2017
Claire & Daniel's picturesque country Victorian wedding

A long, elm-lined driveway, the Murray river & an old Estate was the setting for Claire and Daniels summer Victorian wedding, photographed by Sarah Godenzi Photography. Since the two have been together, every summer has been spent at their holiday house nearby which made it an easy decision for them to find a winery in the area.  As the Estate came with such history, they really wanted to play into the heritage and let the venue speak for itself.  The wedding was romantic, relaxed and filled with soft complimentary tones of pale powder blues and greens.  Blue gum foliage and king proteas made up the arbor and lined the banquet table by florist Rutherglen Florist- as the couple's friends and family feasted on a delicious spread and danced the night away. 

Background

How did you meet your partner?  We met through mutual friends at a music festival over New Years in 2008

How long have you been together? 7.5 years

Do you have a proposal story? We had planned a trip to Bali with friends and decided to add a couple of days in Nusa Dua before everyone arrived. I thought Daniel was acting a little strange going through the security check but didn’t think anything of it (he was trying to hide the ring!) On the first night, we had drinks on the beach to watch the sunset. As we were surrounded by a few other tables, and not wanting an audience, Daniel came up with an excuse to go back to our room before dinner so that he could get me alone. On our way from our room to the resort restaurant, through a quiet courtyard, he dropped to his knee. Coincidently, it was 33 years to the day since his dad had proposed to his mum.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? Saturday, 4 February 2017

Ceremony Location? The Rose Garden, All Saints Estate – Wagunyah, North East Victoria

What made you choose there? Having a holiday house in nearby Yarrawonga, we have spent every summer on the Murray River since we’ve been together. As it is a location that holds great memories for us, we always knew we wanted to get married in the region. The first venue we visited, All Saints Estate blew us away as soon as we drove down the elm-lined driveway. We loved the history of the Estate and that it combined two things we love: gardens and wine!

How did you find it? We researched a couple of wineries in the region and although we had another venue in mind, as soon as we saw All Saints Estate we knew it was the one. With the Murray River just down from the Estate, we were sure to escape to the nearby riverbank with our bridal party after the ceremony.

Reception Location? The Great Hall, All Saints Estate – Wagunyah, North East Victoria

What made you choose there? We were after a venue that could accommodate both our ceremony and reception to allow guests to relax in between and enjoy some drinks and lawn games while we snuck off for photos by the river. The Great Hall was lined with historic wine barrels and festoon lights; guests sat on long banquet tables, which made it both intimate and relaxed.

How was the weather on the day? Perfect for North East Victoria, 35 and sunny. The Rose Garden was shaded in the afternoon and we provided a bowl of hand-held wooden fans for our guests, which they appreciated!!

Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? We’ve always loved our summers spent on the river so it was an easy decision to get married at that time of year. We wanted our guests to experience and share in our love for the region and it was beautiful to spend our days before and after the wedding by the water.

The Wedding Details

Theme? We were after a relaxed, romantic theme with lots of native greenery to tie in with the location. All Saints Estate has such a rich character so we wanted to keep our theme simple and fitting to the venue. Our florist created beautiful blue-gum foliage garlands for the banquet tables and adorned our arbour with King Proteas and native foliage to match the girls bouquets. The girls wore gorgeous powder blue dresses with romantic, textured hairstyles and the boys had light linen jackets with matching pocket squares.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Instagram, Hello May, One Fine Day Bridal Fair and Etsy.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? Daniel’s father Jeff built our beautiful arbour and Daniel made our card box.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Having a close bond with our sisters I always knew that one day they’d be my bridesmaids. My sister, Michelle was my Maid of Honour and Daniel’s sisters Kylie, Brooke and Sharn were my bridesmaids. To have them a part of our wedding was incredibly special to both of us.

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Daniel’s best friend Heath was his Best Man and close friends James, Sam and Daniel were his groomsmen.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Claire looked stunning in our BESPOKE 'Gianna' lace wedding gown. 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? Karen Willis Holmes came highly recommended to me from close friends and family who wore KWH on their wedding days. I loved vast range of classic yet modern gowns, which extenuate the female figure.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? A couple of my friends wore Karen Willis Holmes to their weddings, as did Daniel’s cousin; each dress unique and equally as beautiful. I also loved the new range at the One Fine Day Bridal Fair.

How many gowns did you try? Karen Willis Holmes was the first boutique we visited; I found the 'Gianna' in the first hour of looking. I tried on about 8 dresses and 'Gianna' was the first one that I didn’t want to take off!

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Karen Willis Holmes, Armadale VIC. Leana and Brianna were amazing in helping me find my dress. Having lost 10kg in the months leading up to our wedding, my fitter Enza did an incredible job in altering my dress so that it fit perfectly.

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the delicate lace and modern front split; it was so comfortable to wear and so classic in style. We tweaked the original design slightly to create a ‘V’ with the straps, which finished the gown perfectly. As North East Victoria in February is typically very hot; with the anticipation of it being over 40 degrees, I loved the 'Gianna' gown as it was light, flowy and perfectly suited the location.

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? The girls wore Pia Gladys Perey ‘Carla’ dress from White Runway. It was such a flattering dress that complimented each of their figures beautifully; the fabric was light, and perfect for a warm summers day.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Daniel’s navy suit was from Briggins matched with a paisley bow tie from TM Lewin. Dan’s groomsmen wore Daniel Hechter linen jackets and Industry chinos.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I have always been a big fan of Samantha Wills so I gifted the girls matching Bohemian Bardot rings and earrings. I wore some simple pearl studs from the Samantha Wills Bridal collection

.Where did you get your shoes from? Jane Debster at Myer. It took me a lot longer to find my shoes than it did anything else; as you could see them through the split in my dress. They were extremely comfortable (even when walking through fields of grass/over logs by the river!)

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My florist created a beautiful floral headpiece for the ceremony. For the reception, I wanted something to suit the evening so I wore the ‘Ava’ embellished headpiece from Anna Campbell.

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? I tried to book one thing per week, that way it was more manageable and allowed more time closer to the day to relax and enjoy the lead-up. On the day, take a moment to sit back and take it all in together; it’s not every day that all of your special people are in the same place. Enjoy your time together and dance all night!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Have fun and make a day of it! It’s not every day that you get to try on beautiful gowns so go in with an open mind and try on a range of styles; you never know what you might find!

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day? We loved making the day our own, from keeping to some traditions and breaking away from others; it was important to us to personalise and tailor the day to suit. Having raised me, it was so special to have my mother walk me down the aisle along side my dad. In place of a formal reading, we had my aunt and godmother Moira read a children’s book ‘Henry and Amy’ by Stephen Michael King.

Something Old? My late Oma’s pearl necklace, which I wrapped around my bouquet

Something New? My dress

Something Borrowed? My grandmother’s engagement ring (tied to my bouquet) she wasn’t able to attend so it was lovely having a part of her there with me

Something Blue? My bridesmaids!

Suppliers

We felt extremely fortunate to have an incredible team of vendors, both local and those willing to make the trip from Melbourne; we would highly recommend all of our suppliers.

Photographer – Sarah Godenzi Photography.

Having photographed a couple of our friend’s weddings, we fell in love with Sarah’s candid and relaxed style. Sarah was able to capture the day perfectly, she was there for every big and little moment and we loved sharing the day with her.

Florist – Rutherglen Florist

Carla did an incredible job of our flowers and foliage; from our beautiful native bouquets, blue-gum table garlands and the gorgeous arbor decorated with King Proteas; it’s no wonder that Carla comes highly recommended throughout the Rutherglen Region.

Celebrant – Sam Watterson.

Having married Daniel’s cousin recently, we knew Sam was exactly what we were after in a celebrant. As a firefighter by profession and a celebrant as a passion, Sam sees people on the worst and best days of their lives. Sam was personable and ensured that the ceremony was authentic, real and relaxed.

Make-Up & Tans – Jessica Schifferle

I had been following Jess’ beauty blog for some time and was excited to hear that although now based in Melbourne, she was from the region. Jess was incredible and made everyone feel and look amazing!

Hair – S & Co Hair Styling by Shan

Shan did an incredible job creating textured, romantic hairstyles for myself, the girls and our mums

Music – Marc Lucarelli (DJ). Marc came highly recommended to us and didn’t disappoint! The dance floor was incredible and full from start to finish!!

First Dance – ‘Endless Summer’ by The Jezabels (Josh Pyke cover)

MC – Jayden Weatherley (Our close friend and Daniel’s business partner)

Event hire – Hens Teeth Trading.

We hired gorgeous timber benches from Hens Teeth Trading in nearby Tocumwal

Cake – Burnt Butter, Richmond.

As we love cheese, Lisa at Burnt Butter did a wonderful job in sourcing a cheese wheel cake for us. Not only did our guests love our cake, we also enjoyed it on our trip along the New South Wales South Coast in the days following

Stationery – CouturePress, Etsy.

Clare did an amazing job designing our engagement and wedding invitations, welcome sign, menus and seating chart. TheBritishRule, Etsy designed our custom illustration‘ Save the Dates’ which we just loved!

Bombonieres – KatrinaLouiseDesigns, Etsy

Katrina created gorgeous wooden laser cut nameplates for each guest, which added a personal touch

Wedding Bands – Holdsworth Bros Jewellers.

It was very special to have Tim and Carmen Holdsworth create our wedding bands. Carmen is my sister’s best friend, having grown up together it was so lovely having them involved in our day.

Robes – Le Rose robes.

They were so lovely and comfortable to wear. 

Kimberley & Simon's stunning New Zealand wedding

Posted on 10 Apr, 2017
Kimberley & Simon's stunning New Zealand wedding

Background

How did you meet your partner? Simon and I met at one of my best friend’s 21st birthday party. We hit it off straight away and have been together ever since.

How long have you been together? Seven years.

Do you have a proposal story? Simon, tuned into his romantic side and hired a helicopter that flew us up to the top of the hills of a high-country farming station in Southland, NZ. When we reached our destination, Simon quickly set up a picnic with French champagne and strawberries. While I was taking in the beautiful view from the hill top, Simon quickly knelt down on one knee to ask me to marry him. We joked afterwards that I had no choice but to say yes, as it would’ve been either an awkward helicopter flight or a very long walk home!

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 13th January, 2017

Ceremony Location? St Patrick’s Church, Arrowtown, New Zealand

What made you choose there? We wanted to have a ceremony that was traditional but also reflected us. Our priest who performed the wedding ceremony is a close family friend of Simon’s, so it made our ceremony that much more special.

Reception Location? Mount Soho Winery, Arrowtown, New Zealand

What made you choose there? We knew that our reception venue had to have a comfortable but elegant feel to it, and that made the most of the stunning Central Otago landscape. When we found Mount Soho Winery, we knew that it ticked all of the boxes. We live in Perth so it was a bit daunting thinking that we would be planning a wedding from another country but Janet and Edwin from Mount Soho assisted us in planning all aspects of our wedding reception, so it was a breeze!

How was the weather on the day? Lucky!! It snowed the day before our wedding and blew a gale the day after, but fortunately we had sunshine on our day!

Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? Who wouldn’t want to get married on Friday 13th!

The Wedding Details

Theme? Classic with a hint of rustic.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest and lots of wedding magazines.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

Maid of Honor – Bronwyn Cowie

Bridesmaids – Emma Johns, Amy Watson and Aleisha Restieaux. 

Groomsmen – who/relationship?

Best Man – Finlay Wilkinson

Groomsmen – Aaron Graham, Bill De la Mere and Andrew Fisk. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Kimberley looked stunning in the 'Lottie' gown fro the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection. 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I always knew that I wanted my wedding dress to be elegant and classic. When I first started researching wedding dresses, I saw some pictures of the 'Anya' gown on Pinterest and I immediately fell in love it. Straight away I knew that this was the silhouette and fabric that I wanted in a wedding dress.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Pinterest, wedding magazines.

How many gowns did you try? The 'Anya' was the first dress that I tried on and I instantly fell in love with it. When I saw that there was a new collection coming in I thought I would try the Lottie dress on to see which beading/sequin design I liked the best. I had my bridesmaid Amy with me and when I tried on the 'Lottie' dress we both knew that this dress was definitely the one!

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Karen Willis Holmes, Perth.

What did you especially like about your gown? The sequins and bead work gave the dress a modern edge, which was a standout for me. I loved the elegant silhouette of the dress and how it fitted me perfectly in all the right places.

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? The Stella dress in Ivory/Nude by Love Honor.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? MJ Bale, Perth.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? For my something borrowed I wore my mum’s pearl and diamond stud earrings. My bridesmaids wore Samantha Wills earrings. I wore a fur cape from Mode & Affaire to keep me warm during our location photoshoot.

Where did you get your shoes from? Wittner.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My veil was from Karen Willis Holmes, Perth.

Other

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Don’t stress! Planning your wedding should be enjoyable and stress-free, don’t worry about the expectations of others as it is your special day.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Research gowns that have elements that you really want your wedding dress to have. Don’t be overwhelmed by what is on-trend at the moment, or what everyone else is wearing. Stick to your guns and choose a gown that you feel amazing in!

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day? As the groom was waiting nervously for the arrival of his bride, an uninvited special guest made an entrance! A ginger kitten minced into the church from outside and ran down the aisle. Hilarity ensued as the priest ran to grab the cat but it had already decided that it wanted to stay and see what the bride was wearing. Eventually, with the help of guest's it was convinced to wait outside just before the bridal party arrived.

Something Old & Borrowed? My mum’s pearl and diamond stud earrings.

Something New? My 'Lottie' dress.

Something Blue? A blue ribbon that was sewn on the inside of my dress.

 

Suppliers

Photographer – Nat from Alpine Image Co.

Florist – The Flower Room.

Music – Jay Moore.

First Dance – We danced the Mumba to ‘You’re in my heart’ by Rod Stewart.

Stationery – Minted

Venue – Mount Soho Winery.

Cake – Cakes by Kim.

Hair – Claire from Beautiful Bridal Hair.

Make-Up – Juliet from J.E.T makeup.

Wedding Bands – My engagement ring and wedding band were designed and custom made by Naveya & Sloane. Simon’s wedding band is from Michael Hill.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Beth + Ryan's Woollahra Wedding

Posted on 09 Apr, 2017
Beth + Ryan's  Woollahra Wedding

Background
 
How did you meet your partner? We met at a Friday night young adults church event in July of 2014. Initially, I met him in a circle of ‘new people’ as he had just moved here from Atlanta Georgia. After that I didn’t see him for 8 weeks when we bumped into each other at a Sunday night church service, then our friend groups began to merge and then one thing led to another and on 10 November of 2014 we started dating and we’ve been together ever since! 

How long have you been together? We have been together for 2 years and 5 months. Two years of dating, 5 Months of marriage!

Do you have a proposal story? Ryan and I got engaged on 11 March 2016. Throughout dating, on the 10th of every month we would celebrate a ‘monthaversary’ (well let's be honest I made it up because I am super sooky and sentimental). On 11 March 2016 which was a Friday night, Ryan was taking me out for dinner to celebrate our 16-month anniversary. He told me we were going to The Bar at the End of the Wharf (where we ended up having our wedding reception – it was planned). He picked me up from work, took me back to my house, I got changed and drove us into the city. He pulled off at Barangaroo Reserve and said that we were going to walk over to the restaurant. At this point I was getting ‘hangry’ as I had just worked a 9 hour day, traffic was intense and I was honestly just tired so I initially put up a fight about walking because if you know me, physical activity isn’t my vibe. Reluctantly I obliged, still at this point very clueless as to what was about to happen. 

We walked along the walkway around the harbour at Barangaroo and he stopped us at this little point of the walk to take ‘photos’ I was enjoying the scenery and turned around and Ryan pulled me close to hug me, pushed me out just a little bit still holding tight onto my arms and said “Beth Victoria Ryan, I love you with my whole heart” then he got down on one knee (I began crying immediately and freaking out) and then he said “Will you marry me?” I said yes before he could even finish or before I could properly see the ring and we hugged and kissed and just dwelled in pure bliss. Unto my knowledge, Ryan had actually organised one of our friends to take photos of the whole thing so I have the whole proposal documented which is so special. After a couple of minutes of freaking out of excitement, I said to him “we’re not really going out for dinner, are we? I want to see my mum” to which he replied, “of course not, we’re going home for pizza and champagne with your family”. It was all planned. It was all perfect. After we finished face timing family back in the States we headed home to celebrate!

The ring was beyond perfect and it was my dream ring that I had wanted my entire life. The simple tiffany setting, 0.74 carat. Stunning. It was the most perfect evening. 

Another amazing thing that happened that night was that Ryan had actually already booked our reception venue in advance. So not only did he propose but he also took the stress of finding a reception venue out of the equation. We had loved/wanted the Bar at the end of the Wharf in Walsh Bay (which was right around the corner from where we got engaged) to be our reception venue so when he went and asked my parents to marry me, he told them about it, they all went and saw it and put a deposit down. He had serious confidence that I was going to say yes, and I’m so grateful for that. I am also the eldest of the kids in my family. It's me and then my three younger brothers. Ryan actually took them all out and asked them if he could marry me too which I just find to be so sweet and intentional, just like him. It was all perfect and I am so grateful. 


 
The Wedding
 
What was your wedding date?  27 November 2016, it was a Sunday. 

Location?All Saints Anglican Church, Woollahra.

What made you choose there? My dad is an Anglican Minister so it made it easy for us to be able to secure any church on a Sunday (if it fit with that church’s schedule). I had been to many weddings prior to my own where there were hours or long distances between the ceremony and the reception and I found it to be really difficult and hard for the guest so from the outset I wanted to make it so easy for my guests to not have to wait around for hours between both. So from the start, we were looking for churches in the Sydney CBD or Eastern suburbs that were beautiful, available and close to the reception venue. 

How did you find it? My dad just contacted other ministers in the area to see if they were available on a Sunday and we went and looked at it, within three seconds of looking at Woollahra Anglican I knew that’s where I wanted to get married.

Reception 

Location? The Theatre Bar at the End of the Wharf, Walsh Bay 

What made you choose there? Ryan and I love the ocean and being by the ocean, I have also always loved Sydney Harbour so we always dreamed/wanted to find a place that was representative of us and what we like to do and this venue did that and so much more! Plus Ryan is from the USA so it was a semi-novelty to have our reception venue in Sydney Harbour.  

How did you find it? I found it through Instagram honestly. I saw so many people going there for cocktails and dinners and loved the wharfs around it so actually in the January of 2016 Ryan and I went to check it out to see if it was a possibility and we immediately fell in love. 

How was the weather on the day? The weather was perfect. The morning was cool and overcast but by the afternoon, we got married at 3 pm and the reception began at 5 pm for our guests with cocktails and canapés then we arrived at 6 pm. It was the perfect summers day (without all the humidity) clear skies. It was beautiful.  
Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? Because Ryan was from the USA, we needed to find a weekend where his family was able to come out. So we planned for it to be the same week of thanksgiving in the States because most people can easily get school and work off on those days! That let everyone come out the week before the wedding, get over jetlag and have a week of family hangs! 

The Theatre Bar at the end of the Wharf is only available on a Sunday as they use it throughout the week for after shows. Apparently when Ryan enquired the weekend that we wanted was 26/27 of November because that was the weekend after thanksgiving in the USA so that meant that it allowed his family to be here and hang out and celebrate the week before so we got time with them before the wedding. When Ryan enquired there was only one available date for the rest of the year, 27 November 2016. Some would say it was meant to be. So he put the deposit down and everything else fell into place. 

The Wedding Details

ThemeMy attitude towards everything when it came to decorations or ideas for the wedding was ‘simple but elegant’ 
I really wanted it to reflect us.  I also love turquoise and peonies. I really just wanted everything to fit together and flow and it did which was a dream come true, all because of my Mumma. She was the most incredible support through everything and my parents really just made every dream/idea/wish of mine come true. I am so grateful for them. 

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Some inspiration was from social media and such (Pinterest is a dream), but I really didn’t have massive plans of what it needed to be. I wanted it to reflect summer, reflect us, and to feel elegant but still comfortable. I had a pretty clear idea of the theme and allowed my suppliers to really worry about the small details of making everything flow together. To be honest I think it turned out perfect. 


 
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so, What? No, not really. Except we did write our own vows which meant so much to the both of us. Being able to commit our lives together in our own words was so so beautiful.

Actually, the wedding invitation/order of service sign is my design. The beautiful Rachel from Hunting Louise who did all my invitations and stationary brought it to life! 

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? All my bridesmaids are my nearest and dearest. Each of them has been involved in my life in so many different ways, are my biggest supporters, encouragers and just the loveliest women I know. I am super grateful to have friends like them.

Bryony Macdonald – She is my best friend and was my maid of honour. She currently lives in New York City but flew in for a week for my wedding. Best. Friend. Ever. 

Laura Collins – another one of my best friends. Laura and I met in 2015 and I believe instantly became best friends. She is the sweetest and was my honorary maid of honour as Bry wasn’t able to organise as much as she would have liked because of the distance. 

Thomasin Powell – Thomi is my cousin and another great friend. We have walked a lot of life together and our parents have been friends since forever. 

Groomsmen – who/relationship? 

Jared Miller – Ryan’s brother. He's a great guy, but maybe not the best person to have do a wedding speech haha. All in all, though it was so amazing to have him next to us on our day.

Sang Yun Han – Ryan’s exchange student/brother from Korea who moved in with his family when Ryan was in high school and just never left. He’s the greatest. Seriously never a dull moment with Sang.

Harrison Ryan – My oldest brother. A genuine bloke. And would give Sang a good run for his money as being the fun, loving, life of the party. He and Ryan clicked from the start and I know he considered it such an honour to have my brother in the wedding party!

Family really matters to Ryan, and I know he wanted people around him on our wedding day that would still be around us in the years to come.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
 
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? 
I had seen KWH on social media and just knew whenever it was my turn to get married I wanted a gown from them. Initially, I couldn’t get an appointment for a couple of weeks after I got engaged and mum and I went to some other bridal stores in Sydney and honestly didn’t have the greatest experience. One Thursday afternoon mum and I had just left a bridal store in Paddington and we walked past KWH and we thought let’s take a gamble, sometimes they take walk in appointments. That day they had a cancellation so it turned out to be just me in the store for the whole afternoon. The girls were beyond lovely and literally let me try on every gown I thought I could possibly want in order to work out which one I wanted. The first gown I tried on was my wedding dress but I believe I tried on 9 other dresses before I finally confirmed the first dress was my dress.

It was the best most stress-free experience and I bought my dress that day. It was part of the BESPOKE range so I just ordered it & the veil. Perfect. 

Not only did KWH have my dream dress, but I will always recommend future brides to them as they make the experience of picking out a dress something stress-free and truly special.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? On social media and Laura one of my bridesmaids, her sister actually got married in April of 2016 and it was and she wore a KWH gown. 
 
How many gowns did you try? 
9. But I ended up going with the first gown I tried on!

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? KWH Paddington. 

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved that I was able to make it my own, I changed some of the design, I lowered the back and had buttons rather than ribbon. 

I mostly loved that when I tried it on I felt like a bride and it was everything that I could have wanted. It wasn’t what I thought my wedding dress would be but I’m so glad that it was. 

Fashion
 
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Zimmerman. My favourite colour is turquoise and when I saw these dresses in Zimmerman in the ‘winter grey’ which is basically turquoise, I just knew they were the dresses. 

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Jack London

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I am very plain when it comes to jewellery, I don’t often mix it up, I usually wear the same pieces. My mum was really sweet and got some of the jewellery that my nanny left to me after she passed away made into a necklace and earrings. I am very understated when it comes to jewellery and to me, less is more, so she changed my nanny’s diamond ring into a diamond pendant necklace and got her old aquamarine stud earring dipped in sterling silver to give them a fresher look. It was so special and meant a lot to me. 

The morning of my wedding, Ryan actually organised and surprised me with a single white rose, croissants, and coffee for all as well as a beautiful Tiffany bag. Inside was a beautiful simple bracelet that I also wore on my wedding day. (can you tell I love Tiffany?) I bought my bridesmaid's pearl earrings to wear. 

Where did you get your shoes from? Shoes of Prey, David Jones. 

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a cathedral veil which I bought it from KWH. 

Other

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Chill out and don’t worry about what anyone else wants. It's your day so make it yours. Ryan was really good about bringing me down to earth a lot of the time. I really did just want to create a day of celebration that was about Ryan and I, so we just kept that in mind. What works for me doesn’t have to work for someone else and that’s so okay! 
I would also say don’t stress about having a long engagement just to give yourself time to plan the wedding, I did most of it all in the space of 2 months!


What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t take too many people it’s so overwhelming with lots of opinions. I would say take people who are really close to you and whose opinion you really value. I only took my mum and she was amazing and actually was so conscious and didn’t say anything until she could see what I actually wanted. When I tried on the dress that became my wedding dress we both burst into tears so we both knew.

It is an overwhelming experience so take a breath and a moment and if you find yourself getting stressed out or frustrated it's okay, you don’t need to make a decision in that moment but let it happen organically because that’s the best. 



Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day?

Something Old? My Nanny’s Diamond from her wedding ring made into a necklace

Something New? My bracelet from Ryan. 

Something Borrowed? Nothing

Something Blue? My Nanny’s Aquamarine Earrings

Suppliers 

Photographer –  Jordann Wood. Jordann is a great friend of mine that I have known for a couple of years now and she is an incredible photographer and an even lovelier person. I actually met up with Jordann a couple of weeks before I got engaged because I was suspecting it was going to happen so I wanted to book her in asap! Jordann is the person you want around you always, she is fun and kind, sweet as ever, so talented and she really brings a calmness when she's around and she does that on the day too. She was perfect to have on my wedding day because she just gets it, she knows the shots you want to have when you look through your photos and she makes them happen. Especially capturing the atmosphere of what it actually looked like. Plus the photos turned out to be incredible!

Florist – Heather Halls, Gypsa Flora. I have known Heather my whole life, her family is very close to my extended family.

Music – We had a live band for our ceremony of a wonderful group of people from our church. 

First Dance – Coming Home by Leon Bridges

MC – Hemant Raval. I grew up next door to the Ravals in Sydney and my parents have been friends with them for as long as I can remember. Hemant and Ryan really clicked when we started dating and so we wanted someone who was fun and that knew me my whole life. They’re a wonderful family and I am grateful they’re in my world. 

Celebrant – David Crafts and Ross Ryan. As my dad is an Anglican Minister I always wanted my dad to marry me because I have always seen it as such a privilege that I could have that! But I was also conscious that I wanted my dad to enjoy being the father of the bride and all that comes with that so we got David Crafts who is a pastor at our church who did our marriage counselling and knows Ryan and I personally as well to lead the service through to the vows and then my dad took over. It was so special. 

Stationery – Hunting Louise – Rachel was so sweet. She is an amazing designer and I saw some of her work and really wanted to work with her. I had a design that I wanted to come to life and she made it happen. She was very professional and helpful along the way. We were so happy with the outcome of all our stationary from the wedding and its now all sitting on our fridge as a beautiful reminder! 

Menu – The Bar at the End of the Wharf is catered by Fresh Catering. We were able to choose a menu package and to do a wedding tasting so we could pick our menu and the food was incredible. A lot of our guests on the day raved about the food. 

Cake – The cake was from Paper and Poppies in Caringbah. I had seen some of their cakes on social media and again sent them what I was after and they made it happen! It was so beautifully done. We had a semi-naked cake which was chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. Delicious. 

Bombonieres -  We had candles for every guest. A beautiful lady and her husband from my parent's church started a candle company called Dux located in Circular Quay and we got them to make little candles for our guest. Each candle had our wedding design on a sticker and a bible verse. It was perfect. They are the sweetest most generous individuals I know, so professional and their candles are divine! Such a treasured memory. 

Make up  & Hair – Both hair and make up was done by Lauren Goth. I found her through facebook as she had done another friends’ sisters wedding. Lauren is so professional and lovely. I did my trial at her house and she just knows what she is doing. I was able to talk to Lauren about what I wanted, which was to be really natural and elegant. I didn’t want anything over the top or crazy and she really listened. She is so talented and such a joy to work with. On the actual wedding day, she was a dream and it was lovely to share it with her! I was thrilled with how my hair and makeup was. It was exactly what I wanted. 

Wedding Bands – Tiffany and Co. My favourite.
 

Highlight Vendor // Photographer Bonnie Jenkins

Posted on 07 Apr, 2017
Highlight Vendor // Photographer Bonnie Jenkins

We took a few minutes to have a chat to Bonnie Jenkins, a photographer from the Sunshine Coast who we recently invited to shoot the opening of our beautiful new store in Paddington, Brisbane. On top of that, she also shot the magical wedding of Robyn & Whitney, who was a Karen Willis Holmes bride wearing our 'Saskia' gown. Their wedding was natural, candid, full of love, laughter and of course, colour. Jenkins' style of photography captured this perfectly. For those lucky enough to live near the Sunshine Coast, she is a photographer one must consider booking for their wedding day. Thank you for your time and generosity, Bonnie!

Your name? Bonnie Jenkins



Business name? Bonnie Jenkins Photography


Where is your business located? Sunshine Coast

Tell us a bit about yourself, your company & how everything began. 
Born and raised in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, I started my photography career in 1999 studying a diploma of photography then going on to complete a bachelor in Photography at Queensland College of Art, which gave me the opportunity to study abroad at Edinburgh College of Art. In 2008 I expanded my visual art practice completing a Masters in Visual Arts at Falmouth University College, Cornwall, UK.
After several years of teaching photography, I am now focusing full-time as a freelance photographer. I am experienced and interested in many genres of photography and video, including fashion, weddings, fine art and travel. I like to keep a good balance in my work to ensure I have time to pursue all my areas of interest. 



What does a typical day for you involve? After a cuppa, I go for a long walk along the country roads surrounding my home. 
This first part is about the only typical thing I do every day, after that it could be anything, which is partly why I love my job. Often it could involve sitting at the computer editing and prepping for shoots, or it could involve location scouting, meetings or shooting.

Why do you love your job? I get to work in beautiful areas all over the world and meet so many different people, and I get to photograph the things we celebrate in life. I simply love location scouting, it means you really get to know the landscape of different areas, you see so much more than if you were just doing the ‘tourist’ thing, but this also applies to my surroundings at home, I love discovering and exploring new areas. Most of my clients know that I love to get amongst nature for the shot. I feel so lucky to have a job that allows me to express my creativity but also explore the world. 
I love that photography can capture people's imagination as it can give vision to things we can only imagine or see in our peripheral. 



Where do you find your inspiration? Nature and experimentation

. 

Any great stories from clients you have worked with? Getting flown up via helicopter to a private Alpine Lake in Wanaka, New Zealand, overlooking the Mt Aspiring mountain ranges was a once in a lifetime moment.  
I find that I become friends with a lot of people I work with which is great.

What are your tips or advice for couples planning their wedding? Think outside the box, don’t worry too much about tradition if it isn’t what you want to do. The times of ‘what you should do’ at weddings are gone these days so just include the traditions that have meaning to you. Don’t forget to have fun.



What is your coffee order? Long Black

Favourite city?
Oh wow, such a hard question, I like them for different reasons. 
London for its old world charm 
Berlin for its art culture
Reykjavik- because I just love Iceland as a whole
Paris- some great memories from here
Oh sorry, I can’t answer this question, there are too many… 

Best way to spend $50? Buying amazing ingredients to make a big delicious meal for my friends. 



Best advice you ever received? When it comes to your art, you can’t please everyone so just be true to yourself.

Anything else you would like to share with brides-to-be about your work? I feel extremely lucky to have learned photography back when it was all analog. The hours and sometimes days spent in the darkroom perfecting one image has given me a great respect for photography as a medium. 

PHOTOGRAPHER DETAILS

Bonnie Jenkins
Ph -
 +61417 742 542
Email - Click here
Website - Click here
Facebook - Click here 
Instagram - Click here 
Vimeo - Click here

Karen Willis Holmes Fall 2017 Collection

Posted on 04 Apr, 2017
Karen Willis Holmes Fall 2017 Collection

We are now excited to share with you the full shoot for the Karen Willis Holmes Fall 2017 collection shot by Sophie Thompson

Adding to the solid foundation of our 2016 Design Your Gown collection, a strong focus again has been placed on versatility for brides. With an array of bodices and skirts mixed and matched seamlessly, and beautiful overlays and trains that can be styled with any number of slip options all to accentuate the female form. The epitome of romantic, this ethereal collection features beautiful laces, flowing georgettes, delicate floral embroidery, and hints of nude tulle.

Put together by the incredibly talented Tanya from Oh Flora Studio, this shoot's large floral installation 'growing' from the floor and the walls created a botanical wonderland in shades of pastel pinks, apricots, ever so pale blushes & stronger crimsons, perfectly balanced with the subtle heaviness of greenery in the foliage. This stunning backdrop perfectly reflected this romantic collection. 

Presenting....

The BESPOKE 'Ainsley' gown



The BESPOKE 'Angela' gown worn with the 'Diamond trains' 



The BESPOKE 'Alesha' gown

The WILD HEARTS 'Azelea' gown

The WILD HEARTS 'Claudine' gown

'Demi' Bodice & 'Joni' Skirt {last pic worn with the 'Webb' cape} 




The Wild Hearts 'Ellie' gown



The BESPOKE 'Olivia' gown 



The DYG 'Oriel' + 'Kelsey' gown

The BESPOKE 'Ophelia' gown

The DYG 'Jessie' & 'Catriona' gown

The BESPOKE 'Lauren' gown

The WILD HEARTS 'Pascale' gown



The 'Mariko' gown 

The BESPOKE 'Layne' gown

The BESPOKE 'Neisha' gown worn with the 'Frankie' skirt



The WILD HEARTS 'Rose' gown 

The WILD HEARTS 'Rosemary' gown



SHOOT CREDITS

Photographer Sophie Thompson
MUA Rachel Pitt -The Makeup Society
Hair Kayla Trisley & Veronika Moreira 
Florist/styling Oh Flora Studio
Model Jemma Barge