karenwillisholmes

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

Blog

Date: May 2015

On Instagram: May 2015

Posted on 29 May, 2015
On Instagram: May 2015

Image 1: Image via Canberra Hair & Makeup, Image 2: Cocktail via A Pair and A Spare Image 3: Stunning flower & apple archway by the talented She's A WildFlower & Nomad Styling Image 4: Real Bride Amy wears the Prea Gown from the BESPOKE Collection, Image 5: Real Bride Lara wears the Prea Gown from the BESPOKE Collection, Image 6: Quote via Pinterest, Image 7: Flower Crown via Pinterest,  Image 8: Caitlyn Gown from the KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Collection, Image 9: Hooray Magazine's Easter High Tea. 

Alyssa & Abes Contemporary Los Angeles Wedding

Posted on 27 May, 2015
Alyssa & Abes Contemporary Los Angeles Wedding

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband?

 We met at a party in San Francisco four years ago. He approached me as soon as I walked in and hasn’t left my side since.

How long have you been together? Four years.

Do you have a proposal story? Abe proposed to me on my birthday while we were home in Washington DC visiting my family. He and my family organized a huge surprise party that I walked into right after he proposed!

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? December 5th, 2014.

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

  1. Where?          

The Smog Shoppe in Los Angeles, CA

2.     What made you choose there? The Smog Shoppe is a converted autobody shoppe turned spectatular indoor garden and wedding venue. The raw industrial feel was exactly what I was looking for to give me the edgy modern winter wedding I was looking for.

3.     How did you find it?

I searched “unique wedding venues” in Los Angeles and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one!

How was the weather on the day?  It was perfect despite having it be in the winter.

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? I wanted a non-traditional winter wedding so I shied away from winter whites, etc in favor of icy greens, navy, blues and black. I also wanted to play off of the incredible vertical garden that was the backdrop of the ceremony itself so I tried to incorporate as much greenery as possible, from the table arrangements to the bouquets! I also really wanted my bridesmaids to stand out so I styled them in jumpsuits, crop tops and gorgeous color blocked dresses, all in shades of black and navy.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? From nature mostly. We got engaged the the winter and went to Seattle, Washington shortly thereafter. I remember snapping photos of the evergreens and the mint colors and feeling very inspired.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What?

The best part of my wedding was probably the fact that my friends were in charge of every portion of the design. I’m lucky enough to be friends with the wedding event design duo extraordinaire “Next Saturday Affairs” who brought my vision to life. My good friend Ashley from Ash + OAK floral design made me all of my gorgeous leafy tropical bouquets, my friend Sarah from Arrowart did all of the hand lettered signs, and my best friend and bridesmaid hand drew all of the guests faces for the magnetic escort cards/ wedding favors. It was a team effort and beautifully executed.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? 

I have always had a love for Australian fashion designers which, unfortunately, are pretty underrepresented in the US. After doing an internet search for Australian Wedding designers, I found the KWH collection and immediately fell in love.

How many gowns did you try? I tried on at least a hundred gowns from traditional designers in the US for almost a year before finding KWH. There was always something missing with every dress I tried on but the moment I tried on the Anya dress, I knew it was the one.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? The only bridal boutique in San Francisco that carried KWH was Lovely Bride. I was actually their very first customer on the day they opened and bought the first dress I tried on.

What did you especially like about your gown? I love the fact that my dress fit perfectly with the venue and look and feel of my wedding; modern, different, edgy, icy and gorgeous. The understated sequins were absolute perfection and I added my own touch to the gown by tailoring it to lower the back and adding a deep sharp V to the front.

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier?

My bridesmaids outfits are also mostly from Australian designers, many of which I actually owned and loaned to my maids. Three were bec and bridge, one jumpsuit was from finders keepers and another was from Cameo.

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

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party?

Lovely turquoise necklaces and earrings to tie in more of the indigo and blue elements and lighten the look up.

Where did you get your shoes from?  Stuart Weitzman.

Suppliers

Florist – Ash + OAK

Photographer – Viera Photographics

Videographer – New Classic Films

Music – Dart DJ

First Dance – Only You by Joshua Radin

Stationery – Arrowart studio

Bombonieres – Ash + OAK

Hair – Billion Dollar Hair

Make up – Makeup by Julia Taylor

Jess & John's Amazing Almalfi Coast Wedding

Posted on 25 May, 2015
Jess & John's Amazing Almalfi Coast Wedding

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband? Believe it or not I met him in my parents’ backyard!!

Jess' version:

A scruffy, pommie tradie with a hole in his pants appeared at mum and dad's place one afternoon during my weekly 'cuppa' visit with Philbert (my dad).  His name was Johnny.  He wanted me; I had no better offers.   That dishevelled bricklayer turned out to be a saxophone playing, love note writing, Attenborough groupie.  He hasn't stopped surprising me since.  

John's version (the real story):

I had admired Jess’ dad’s legs on the job site for two years, but never dreamed of having a girl with a set of pins like Jess.  Under the guise of a mixed netball invite, she instigated the chase.  She was tall, gorgeous, 'seemed' intelligent, but clearly had no standards if she was after me.  Let's be honest, we all know I've got no shortage when it comes to ego... the inner Johnny said, "you've got this."

How long have you been together? Just over four years.  We got married 4 years to the day that we met. 

Do you have a proposal story? Yes! One of our mottos in life is to “greet the day”.  We had planned on getting up to watch the sunrise the day before I was due to go back to work as a teacher.  John had stayed at a friend’s place the night before apparently to watch a football game.  He came home and woke me up early that Monday to take our two fur babies (labradors) and walk down to the beach to watch the sun come up.  When we neared the little lookout spot that overlooked the water, I saw the gorgeous big rug that John had set up for us to sit on.  He’s quite the romantic so I just thought it was him just being lovely!  We sat down, and he gave me a little glass jar with a tiny note inside.  It had beautiful lyrics on it from a song by his favourite band.

“The violets explode inside me

When I meet your eyes

Then I'm spinning and I'm diving

Like a cloud of starlings

Darling, this is love”

I read it and he asked me if I could see the sun.  I said “yeah, of course I can!” Then he passed me a pair of binoculars.  I looked through them and saw a big handmade banner saying “Marry Me!” down on the beach near the water’s edge.  I turned to John and he had a ring and he was asking me to marry him! Of course I said yes! We went down with the pups and swam in the water near our sign.  John had his best friend staking out in the dunes to take photos of us swimming down near our sign! It was an amazing day and I will never forget it.

 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? Sunday September 7, 2014.

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

1.     Where? Ceremony was in Ravello, Italy and the reception was in Amalfi, Italy.

2.     What made you choose there? We had travelled to Europe in 2012, and had one of the most spectacular days during our stay on the Amalfi Coast.  It involved a boat trip to Capri, a swim in the blue grotto and glorious food! Once we were engaged, we were dreaming of the most epic place we could think to get married and that day came to mind.  We posed ourselves the question: “Why not!” 

3.     How did you find it? We used a wedding planning company to help us find the perfect location.  We wanted a garden wedding that wasn’t religious, and they suggested Belvedere Principessa di Piemonte (Ravello Town Hall gardens) for the ceremony.  It was perfect!  Absolutely gorgeous.  We then walked down to the Ravello town square for drinks with our guests, and then our reception was held in the outdoor restaurant at Hotel Luna Convento in Amalfi, a beautiful old tower and hotel.  Again, our wedding planners recommended this place to us.

How was the weather on the day? Perfecto!

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We had met on this exact date four years earlier.

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? Colour! And gorgeous fresh flowers!! We wanted the wedding to reflect our personalities, and we both marvel at beautiful, bright, colourful things in our world.  So we had to have lots of flowers and it had to be in a warm climate.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Collections of images from different magazines, and the colourful nature of Italian culture.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? The invitations were partially DIY – an ex-student of mine (I am an Art teacher) who is now a practicing artist designed the imagery for our invitations.  Her website is: http://thepaperbeast.com.au/ I designed the backside of the invites, and then designed the menus.

Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship? My sister Emilly, my best friend Anna and another of my closest friends, Amy 

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship? John had Soren as his only groomsman.  He is one of John’s best friends.

3.     Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Seth as our page boy who is our nephew. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? It is a gorgeous store with beautiful quality garments.  I tried many dresses on, but none would compare!

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I first found one of KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gowns in a wedding magazine.

How many gowns did you try? So many!!

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Brisbane – Mary in particular was a beautiful beautiful lady, and helped at the beginning with selecting a gown.  Deb helped towards the end with my fittings etc.

What did you especially like about your gown? The sleek nature of the Kelly gown underneath, but then I just couldn’t go past the soft, feminine, romantic feel of the Paige overlay.  So dreamy!

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Anna and Amy wore the ‘Delilah’ Review dress.  Emilly’s dress was made by local designer Erin Clare Couture, who used some of the material from a ‘Delilah’ Review skirt as trim for a beautiful navy gown.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? The boys bought the suits in Indonesia, where Soren currently lives.  Erin Clare made John’s tie/handkerchief and the page boy’s bow tie.  John and Soren bought their shirts from Country Road and their shoes were made by ‘Hobes’.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party?  I wore the ‘Flower Stud’ earrings by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES, and my mum’s wedding band.  I bought the girls earrings from Diva and bags from Colette. 

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes were from Suna.  Amy and Anna wore Corelli navy pumps, and Emilly wore some gold flats we found in Florence, Italy!

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Floral head piece by Etsy store “K is for Kani”.

 

Other:

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Do what is true to your heart and what really means something to you and your partner.  Too many people make excuses for why they don’t do what they’ve always wanted.  Whatever your version of ‘the ultimate’ day is, it shouldn’t matter what anyone says…. Do it!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t stop until you’ve found the one that makes your heart sing!

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day? We are now expecting our first baby, due June 14.  That means the little one was made in Italia, on the wedding night!

We had a wedding website so that guests could easily get information about our big day: http://weduary.com/jessandjohn2014/

We honeymooned in Sicily, on the Aeolian island called Salina.  It was to die for!

Something Old? My mum’s wedding band

Something New? My dress

Something Borrowed? My mum’s wedding band

Something Blue? John and I had ribbons printed for each of our guests, and they had our four favourite sayings/mottos on them. (Greet The Day. Be Brave and Be Kind. The Good Will Out. Life’s Short Play With your Dogs). (They were also our vows) These were tied to the entrance of the garden, and each guest took one as they came into the ceremony.  I surprised John and got him and I an extra special one each for the day.  The words came from a W.B. Yeats poem John introduced me to years ago and said “I have spread my dreams under your feet”.

Suppliers

Florist – Franco Di Bianco (Amalfi Florist)

Photographer – A very good friend, Simon Crossley

Videographer – Luigi De Gregorio 

Music – Ipod (own mix)

First Dance – A mash up of Giselle’s ‘Silk’ and Earth, Wind and Fire’s ‘Dancing in September’

MC – Bride’s brother Ben Wall

Celebrant - Anna

Stationery – DIY and images designed by http://thepaperbeast.com.au/

Menu - DIY

Cake – Hotel Luna

Bombonieres – We didn’t have these.  We just gave everyone a ribbon, and at our pre-wedding dinner two nights earlier we had given everyone a hand written letter telling them how much it meant to us for them to be celebrating our wedding with us.

Hair – Bride’s sister (and bridesmaid) Emilly Hintz

Make up –  A friend Rachel Cairns

Wedding Bands – Bride’s: ‘To Hold and To Have Buderim’ and John bought his ‘meteorite ring’ on Etsy store “Chris Timberlake”.

 

Prea & Lee's Rustic Blue Mountains Wedding

Posted on 22 May, 2015
Prea & Lee's Rustic Blue Mountains Wedding

Our very own KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Team Member, Prea tied the knot in a stunning & intimate wedding. Prea has been working for KAREN WILLIS HOLMES for the past three years, and looks absolutely stunning in a custom couture gown. We wish Prea & Lee all the happiness in their marriage.  

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband? Lee is a chef and he used to work at a pub I frequently visited. I had been admiring him each time I walked past the kitchen for about a year. Then one time I mentioned to a friend of mine, who also worked at this pub, that my future husband was in the kitchen. Lee had noticed me too and told the same friend… not long after that friend convinced me to give Lee my number, so after a few drinks, I wrote my little love letter on a coaster (which he still has) and awkwardly gave it to him haha, it was very high school. He must not have minded though, as he messaged me the next day and we have spent nearly every day together since.

How long have you been together? Not very long, coming up to 2 years.

Do you have a proposal story? Well, after only about 6 weeks Lee ‘proposed’ to me with a plastic ring. We didn’t tell anyone, because we knew they would think we were crazy - I thought it was crazy! But I had not a doubt in my mind that this was the man I would spend the rest of my life with. We had planned to save for a ring and then he would propose again and that is when we would tell everyone.

We hadn’t yet saved for the ring nor told anyone we were secretly engaged, when we got the surprise news that I was pregnant! Wedding plans were not really in our thoughts now we had this news, but one night we decided it would be nice if we got married before the baby was born, as we may not have time or money afterwards. We were thinking of eloping, but when we told my Mum & stepdad, my Mum really wanted to be there (I wanted her to be too) so we decided to have a very intimate wedding at their place in the Blue Mountains.

I didn’t buy the ring I had dreamed of (well not yet anyway) but we got a ring that I love (for now) and Lee proposed again one morning while I was still in bed and he was leaving to go to work. It was one week before the wedding haha - but it was perfect!

 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 28.06.14

Location (Ceremony and Reception) 

1.     Where? At my parents house at Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains. The ceremony was in the front garden and the reception in the house.

2.     What made you choose there? We organized the wedding in 6 weeks on a very small budget, so even if we wanted to go somewhere else we probably wouldn’t have been able to. But also it was perfect for a small wedding, with just our family and a couple of friends.

They have a beautiful garden, even in winter, and we both loved the idea of an outdoor garden wedding.

How was the weather on the day? Oh my gosh we were lucky.The house was fine for the reception, but we definitely wanted a garden ceremony, so needed good weather. It was middle of winter so we knew it would be cold but we thought so long as it didn’t rain that was ok. We had purchased and decorated a beautiful arch so really wanted to have the ceremony in the garden. The night before we looked up the weather and there was a severe weather warning! I was pregnant and hormonal and tired but we tried to stay positive.

The next morning we were counting our lucky stars as it was very cold but blue skies and sunny. The weather warning was for around midday, so we decided to set up and hope for the best.

The beautiful blue skies stayed for the ceremony (it was freezing but I did not care), we went and got some photos and as we arrived back at the house, the clouds were deadly and the severe weather started!

We were so relieved; we couldn’t believe how lucky we had been! There was central heating inside, so we were fine for the reception.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? With only about 6 weeks to plan, that was the date every one was free!

 

The Wedding Details

Theme ? The florals were mauves, lavender, white and green. We had a somewhat rustic theme, being up at the mountains in winter, it seemed most fitting, but we didn’t have too much time - probably a good thing because I could have gotten very carried away!

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Having worked at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES and dealing with all of our real brides, I was looking at weddings nearly all day every day! Like most ladies of today I am Pinterest obsessed… and of course love all of the wedding blogs - the lane, ruffled blog, green wedding shoes, style me pretty, polkadot bride, not to mention magazines!!! So much pretty not enough time!

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? Yes, everything really. As my husband is a chef, we decided to make the cake ourselves. We also did my bouquet, the floral arrangements and decorated the arch with flowers we got from Sydney Flower Markets. All the décor we did (which wasn’t much really), but the table decorations etc. were done by us. Hessian, candleholders from ikea, jars with flowers and also a friends sister had some jars left over from her wedding that she had decorated, which we used also.

Bridal Party

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? My two nieces appointed themselves on the day, they were both 5 years old and loved running behind me, carrying the train on my dress. At one stage they got a bit excited and nearly lifted it right up haha. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!) 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I guess I was already there.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Every day for nearly 3 years.

How many gowns did you try? Hmmm, spread over the years, quite a few! I’ll never forge my first, Daphne! That led to the Prea gown being called the Prea gown!

What did you especially like about your gown? The lace! The sleeves, the buttons, the beautiful French seams!

Fashion

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Grooms jacket was from Zara, and the pants, coincidentally in the same fabric, were from David Jones (forget the brand oops).

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I kind of left it to the last minute, but while my Mum and now Husband had popped to the shops, I asked them to get me a delicate gold bracelet or something from somewhere cheap like Sportsgirl (in case I didn’t like it he he) and they cam back with this cute little one that had a dream catcher on it. Everyone was commenting on it… I’m pretty sure it was under $10!

Where did you get your shoes from? I had some great shoes from Zomp, which were flat as I was 22 weeks pregnant.

Other:

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? If you are not an organised person, spend your money on a wedding planner and save yourself the stress! If you are organised, save that money for the dress!

As hard as it is not to get stressed about this magical day, which hopefully only happens once in your lifetime, try not to lose sight of the fact that the reason for a wedding is to celebrate the love and commitment that you and your partner have decided to make together! Don’t get me wrong, the dress is almost as important as the man you are marrying, but other little details can get the better of you - and they shouldn’t.

The planning of a wedding only happens once too, so enjoy it!

Lastly, photos are forever!!! Get a photographer that will capture your day in the way you want, because you will keep wanting to relive that day over and over!

Write lists ladies! Lots of lists and get ticking!!!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? It can be overwhelming, especially if you have about 5000 dream gowns like I did. So leave enough time, don’t go to a thousand dress shops in one day, you’ll end up having a panic attack. Most importantly, chose something that is you and that suits your body shape. Try on lots of different styles to start with too!

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

Lee’s family are in the UK and weren’t able to make it over, but they watched on Skype, which was nice to have them be apart of the day. We wrote our own vows, which was special… Lee is rather poetic and had everyone there in tears!

My dear friend Kiri is a photographer and captured our day for us! She is so talented and we absolutely love the photos. She has since then also taken my maternity photos and our baby Tyler’s newborn photos!

Something Old? My nans engagement ring

Something New? My dream catcher bracelet from sportsgirl.

 

Suppliers

Florist - Sydney Flower Markets

Photographer - Kiri McPherson Photography 

Music - Lee’s best friend is a DJ, and made a great playlist for us.

Stationery - We made the invitations ourselves. They were love heart origami invitations. 

Cake - We made it ourselves.

Bombonieres - We made short bread biscuits in love heart shapes and put them in little brown paper bags to give to the guests.

Hair - My Mum did my hair.

Make up - I did my own makeup with Mac products

Lillian & Andrew's Beautiful Paris Elopement

Posted on 20 May, 2015
Lillian & Andrew's Beautiful Paris Elopement

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband? We met at a bar (I’m too embarrassed to say which one now )

How long have you been together? It will be 11 years this year

Do you have a proposal story? Andrew took me to Melbourne to celebrate my admission as a solicitor. A chauffeur picked us up from the Airport and dropped us off at the beautiful Langham Hotel. We had a gorgeous dinner at Jacques Reymond that night. Back at the hotel he got down on bended knee and proposed with diamond earrings. I’m a fusspot and he knows me well enough to leave the decision on the ring to me. I got to choose the diamonds for my engagement ring and also designed the ring. “Diamond earrings and a diamond engagement ring?!” you say? Yes, I’m a very lucky girl.

I found out from Andrew later on that he had actually called my mother a week before the proposal to ask for her permission. My mother’s English isn’t very good so it can be difficult conversing with her if you don’t understand “Bich speak” (her name is Bich). They had a lovely conversation that went for at least 10 minutes in which she said, “as long as Lillian’s happy then I’m happy,” and then she asked, “who’s this?” I cannot believe that my mother was going to marry me out to just anybody! This story still gives us and our friends stitches. 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? We got married at the registry in Sydney to make it legal but I consider my wedding day to be our elopement day in Versailles. This is the where we exchanged vows and rings. Our elopement day was held on our 10 year anniversary, 17 July 2014.

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?   Chateau de Versailles, Versailles, France

What made you choose there? We both adore Paris and the idea of a ceremony in the vast greens of the gardens of Versailles was perfection. Plus, we had travelled to Versailles previously and the memory is so strong for us

How did you find it? We did a lot of research of gardens in and around Paris for elopement ceremonies. In the end we both decided that the gardens of Chateau de Versailles were the ultimate. 

How was the weather on the day? We were so lucky with the weather. When we arrived in Paris the week before the ceremony it was Sydney-winter cold and raining. The day of our Paris “engagement shoot” and the elopement ceremony day was clear, warm and stunning. The day after we left Paris the storm clouds rolled in. Good thing too, because we did not have a Plan B!

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? It was a really significant day for us, being out 10 year anniversary

 

The Wedding Details

Theme? We had been to quite a few weddings during our engagement which, although lovely, followed a set formula. We wanted something that was absolutely not cookie-cutter. We wanted our wedding to be intimate, spectacular yet casual and to feel like a festival. With 3 events over 3 months it certainly did feel like a wedding festival!

In terms of colours, I love pink and pastels so pink and pastel-pretty colours featured in our wedding stationary (which was wonderful and created by the oh-so-talented folk at The Story of Us), our Paris adventure and our elopement party styling.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? I was on Pinterest A LOT and magazines like Hello May give you a lot of inspiration and permission to do things differently.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I love DIY, so much so that I started a DIY styling blog. For our elopement party I spent a year sourcing vintage-inspired fabrics and lovingly sewing all of our picnic blankets and bunting. Andrew made the chalk board photo backdrop, and my best friend drew the floral design for the chalk board. My best friend also made the 3 wedding cakes and Eiffel Tower cookies for the elopement party.

 Bridal Party We didn’t have a bridal posse. The idea of organising a large wedding and coordinating a bridal party gave me hives. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? My wedding dress was the second gown I had tried on. We went to New York shortly after becoming engaged and I was lucky enough to try on some spectacular gowns from Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue including gowns from Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier and Oscar de la Renta. I also tried on some slightly hiddy dresses from Kleinfeld Bridal just for laughs (every bride should have a Sex and the City moment). I kept comparing every dress to the Karen Willis Holmes dress and in the end that’s what I went with.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? KAREN WILLIS HOLMES is on every bride’s list. A KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gown is like Tiffany’s – timeless, feminine and just lovely.

How many gowns did you try? So many! I tried on spectacular couture gowns which cost more than a deposit on a house, I tried on short 50s style wedding dresses, I tried on dresses with a train, dresses with capped sleeves, dresses with lace, dresses with sheer overlays and so on and so on. It’s all part of the fun of being a bride and you just don’t know what will work for your body until you step into it.

 Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Paddington store

 What did you especially like about your gown? It’s hard to tell from the pictures but the fabric is so luxe and had a really lovely texture so wearing the gown was magic. I also loved the understated simplicity of the cut and the fact that it was modern with a nod to vintage, which sums up my personal style perfectly. 

Fashion

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? For the elopement ceremony, Andrew wore Harrolds label tuxedo and bow tie, a custom Zegna shirt and YSL patent leather shoes.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore crystal earrings from Glamadonna. Simple.

Where did you get your shoes from? Peep Toe Shoes

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? There are absolutely no rules in planning a wedding. Plan the wedding that you and your groom want, not the one that everyone else tells you to have. If you prefer doughnuts to wedding cake, that’s totally fine. If you don’t much care for bonbonnieres, spend the money on a piñata! If you’ve ever thought about eloping, just do it! There will be tears and you will get a lot of questioning looks (some folks even directly said to us “I don’t get what you’re planning” and “why??”). At the end of the day, the people who really matter will embrace it.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? You can’t go wrong with an elopement – we got married at the registry, at Versailles and had a party afterwards so I got to pick 3 wedding outfits. For the registry I wore a winter white cardigan and white knee length tutu with an Audrey-inspired bun. For Versailles I got to live out my princess-bride dream in the Jacqueline gown and for the elopement party I got to wear a white lace jumpsuit. I truly got to satisfy all of my wedding dress dreams!

Suppliers

 We engaged The Story of Us very early on for our photography and videography. We’re so thankful that we did because they ended up becoming our wedding-everything. They designed our wedding stationary, took beautiful shots of our Parisian adventure and captured every sweet moment of our day in our memory film, and they styled our elopement party and supplied the beautiful blooms.

My best friend, Danielle or Sweet Agenda Cakes made our 3 wedding cakes. The cakes looked and tasted divine. We don’t even have any cake left over to eat on our anniversary!

 I should also mention Restaurant Associates, the exclusive caterers for The Mint which is the venue of our elopement party. From the very beginning, they embraced what we were trying to achieve and created a custom gourmet picnic menu for our party. Also, they’re service on the night was impeccable and we had several guests remark how friendly the catering staff were.

 

Carlie & Duncan's Intamite & Classic Wedding

Posted on 18 May, 2015
Carlie & Duncan's Intamite & Classic Wedding

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband? We went to high school together.

How long have you been together? 14 years

Do you have a proposal story? We had already discussed weddings and had the location and dates etc picked out, so I knew it was coming. I just didn’t know when. We were having a beach day / picnic at Point Cartwright. It’s a spot we love to go to- and something that was quite normal for us to do- so it was a surprise when he got down on one knee and had packed champagne.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? Friday 5th September, 2014

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

1.     Where?    Weddings at Tiffany’s in Maleny

2.     What made you choose there? The quaint little chapel and gorgeous view

3.     How did you find it? My parent’s used to eat there when it was a restaurant many years ago.

How was the weather on the day? Perfect :)

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We planned to get married around the same time as Duncan’s sister, so that his brother and sister-in-law that live in Spain, could make both weddings. But in the end they had their own exciting news-  they were pregnant with twin girls- so couldn’t make the journey.

 

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? We went with a simple, classic and elegant theme- something that wouldn’t date- lots of white flowers in crystal cut vases, candelabras and grey/white/charcoal decor

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Lots of magazines/online blogs/pinterest.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? We had a lolly buffet for guests instead of bonbonneires.

We also decided to have a polaroid guest book, so guests could take a picture of themselves and stick it in the book with their message. Duncan made a wooden backdrop for our guests to stand in front of.

 

Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids/Groomsmen:  No bridal party- we have a big group of friends and decided it was too difficult to choose. We just wanted to keep it simple and make sure everyone had a great time on the day with no responsibilities. It worked out so well, because it meant that we had some really nice time with just the two of us when we went for our photos

2 .  Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?  None

 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I walked passed your store in Paddington., Brisbane and fell in love with the dresses in your window.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? In magazines and in the store window.

How many gowns did you try? Lots! It was so much fun and so difficult to choose. I went to the store first with my mum, then with two of my close friends, and then on my own to make the final decision. I chose the Caitlyn gown and had the back panel taken out.

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

What did you especially like about your gown? It was just so different, comfortable and made me feel a million dollars.

 

Fashion

Where did you get the groom’s suits? Studio 196

 What accessories did you choose to finish your gown? I had diamond stud earrings that I borrowed from my mum. I am not a big jewellery person, and the dress was statement enough, so didn’t wear a necklace or bracket.

Where did you get your shoes from? Nine West. They were cream and white and ones that I will wear again.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore an ivory 250cm long tulle veil from KWH.

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Keep it simple and try get things organised early. So the lead up to the wedding is (somewhat) relaxing.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Be willing to try different styles. Pick a dress that you’re going to be able to dance in. Once you’ve heard the opinion of your mum and friends, go back to try the dress on on your own.

 

Suppliers

Florist - Twig and Grace

Photographer - Karen Buckle

Videographer - Bxcsmxth

Music - Lincoln McKenzie played acoustic music before the ceremony and during canapés and we had a DJ- Christian McGarry for the reception. 

MC - Kevin Kiernan-Molloy

Celebrant - Bill Scully

Stationery - Minted

Menu -

Alternate drop.

Entre: Spiced lamb fillet on chickpea, lentil and green bean salad, or 24hr roasted pork belly with tomato emulsion, braised red cabbage, apple and caraway

Main: Fillet of beef with garlic mash, local swiss brown mushrooms and red wine jus, or chicken breast filled with leak and camembert, potato rosti and mustard seeded cream

Desert: wedding cake

Cake - Cake Designs- white chocolate and dark chocolate gluten free mud cake with ganache chocolate icing.

Bombonieres - Lolly Buffet

Cars/Transport - Chauffered Elegance- “The Duchess” a black restored Citroen

Hair - Rachel from Hunt + Hair

Make up - Jess from Makeup by Jess

Wedding Bands - Lannah Dunn and Diamonds International

 

 


   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natacha & David's Classic Beachside Wedding

Posted on 15 May, 2015
Natacha & David's Classic Beachside Wedding

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband? At work. We were friends first but then I got a transfer to Melbourne and we grew closer. I’m originally from Sydney

How long have you been together? For approx. 5 years

Do you have a proposal story? 

We both have been married before and discussed in lengths that we didn’t really want to get married again. We decided to have a family instead. We have a son who is 3 years old. However Dave had other ideas and wanted to propose to me on my birthday in Sept 2012. He took me to where we went on our first date - Jacques Reymond. He spent the day preparing by driving to Tyabb antiques to get the antique 1940s ring that we had seen together. Also he arranged with Jacques Reymond to have the proposal written into the menu. It was very funny because Jacques Reymond is a degustation restaurant so I was happy NOT to look at the menu and be surprised. Dave kept asking me to look at the menu and I kept refusing until I gave in and discovered the proposal – ‘You are the single best thing to have happened to me! Will you marry me?’

 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 22 Feb 2014

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

1.     Where?     Port Phillip Estate

2.     What made you choose there? Firstly we loved the building. Also when the door opened automatically we loved the dramatic effect of the view over the vineyards and the ocean.

The ocean view was over Somers (where we have our beach house and it has significance)

3.     How did you find it? We had a list of vineyards we wanted to visit in the Mornington Peninsula. It was on the list. The moment we drove in the carpark and saw the building and the automatic door opened we knew this was it.

How was the weather on the day? It was overcast and the temperature was in the low 20s which ended up perfect for the photos. We were worried that we were going to have a 40 degree day, luckily we didn’t.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date?  We wanted to get married in Feb since it is the best month of weather in Melbourne. The date was the only one left at Port Phillip Estate

 

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? Black and White with a touch of blue (my favourite colour). Modern with a touch of vintage

 Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? I drew inspiration from my ring.. I also wanted a modern stylish wedding. Black and white is the epitome of style.  

 Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? The styling. 

Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship? No we wanted a simple family affair

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship? No

3.     Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Our son Xavier. He walked me down the aisle. It was all about our family.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I wanted a simple yet stunning dress with lace. I didn’t want a dress that resembled a wedding dress but yet was a dress with drama.. when I tried on my dress I knew it was the one! I loved the lace and the long train

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I hadn’t until walking into the store in Armadale

How many gowns did you try? Only a few but I always compared it to my KAREN WILLIS HOLMES. 

 Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? From the High st Armadale KAREN WILLIS HOLMES store

What did you especially like about your gown? The lace and train. I also loved the diamante detail I added to the dress..

 

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? N/A

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

My husband wore Hugo Boss and Tom Ford. I bought him his Tom Ford velvet bow tie in the US.

My son wore Armani junior shirt and suspenders and Bardot Junior pants and bow tie. He wore converse sneakers. I wanted him to wear something smart but still look like a toddler and be comfortable.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I chose some diamante earrings from the KWH store but my husband gifted me beautiful diamond and sapphire earrings so I wore those instead. I wore two different diamond bracelets – a tiffany one that my husband gifted me for the birth of my son and my mum’s diamond bracelet.

Where did you get your shoes from? Valentino Rockstuds that my husband bought me for my birthday.

Other:

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? To stay true to themselves and to keep things simple yet stylish not over the top

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Definitely to go to KAREN WILLIS HOLMES I had excellent service and the dresses are absolutely amazing!!

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

Something Old? My 1940s antique ring

Something New? My beautiful sapphire and diamond earrings

Something Borrowed? My mum’s diamond bracelet

Something Blue? The blue flowers I added in my bouquet and the sapphire in my earrings

Other – My husband and I wrote our own vows and we also said a vow to our son. It was a very emotional moment for us and everyone at the wedding

 

Suppliers: 

Florist – Beth Knol (a recommendation from a friend) – she doesn’t do many weddings anymore and will only work from word of mouth. I loved what she did with my flowers. I had white David Austin roses

Photographer James Thomas (absolutely BRILLIANT!) loved working with him

Videographer – Langdon Rodda from Life in Motion (AMAZING!) loved working with him

Music Kimba and the Gin Remedy – Perfect day Music (WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND to anyone).

First Dance – Come away with me – Norah Jones

Celebrant – Monique Duggan (the BEST). We wanted a young and cool celebrant

Stationery – The Paper Empire in Armadale

Menu – A share menu. I wanted the feeling of a huge family gathering. We had two long tables. We had large platters that everyone could share. Port Phillip Estate has the most delicious and amazing food

Cake – We had a cheese wedding cake. We sourced the cheese from our local deli and the venue styled it according to a picture I gave them. Turned out exactly how I wanted it. We don’t particular like cake but love cheese so i thought it would be a great idea. We had one of our favourite cheeses - D’affinois - as a tier.

Bombonieres – didn’t have any

Hair – My cousin Celeste Rocella from Indie Hair did it

Make up – Did it myself

Wedding Bands Franco Jewellers. We had simple bands made.

Extra features – I had candles made by Wax Pouring Chicks. They smelt amazing and added a special little touch

 

Cosmopolitan Bride Issue 42: Selena Gown Feature

Posted on 13 May, 2015
Cosmopolitan Bride Issue 42: Selena Gown Feature

BEYOND MEASURE: The Selena Gown 

We were so excited when the talented team at Cosmopolitan Bride approach KAREN WILLIS HOLMES about featuring our exquiste Selena gown from the BESPOKE Collection. 

We went through each stage of the process in order to make the Selena Gown. 'The Selena is a statement piece with lots of layers and textures: Its dramatic but feminine'. 

For more information about the Selena Gown email info@karenwillisholmes.com 

Lucy & Matt's Classic Campbell Point House Wedding

Posted on 11 May, 2015
Lucy & Matt's Classic Campbell Point House Wedding

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband?

We were set up! My colleagues sister thought we would be a perfect match! They set us up on a blind date and I actually didn’t want to go! After making excuses, I gave in though we went to Black Pearl on Brunswick Street, we had such a great night getting to know each other and the conversation was flowing.

How long have you been together? 6 years

Do you have a proposal story?  He proposed in Tasmania at the most amazing winery named ‘Josef Chromy’. He actually had the ring back in our apartment in Melbourne. He said he proposed there as it was the perfect time, the scenery was stunning and we were having an amazing holiday he just didn’t want to miss the moment just because the ring wasn’t there. Once we got home he popped the question again in our kitchen!

 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 30th December 2014

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?          

Campbell Point House in Leopold just out of Geelong.

What made you choose there?

When went to have a look and both fell in love with it as soon as we drove up the drive way. The grand entrance took our breath away and it just got better and better as we walked through the estate.

How did you find it? We found it on Google. We spent a lot of time online trying to find the perfect venue.

How was the weather on the day? In the morning it was windy and cloudy, we were worried as we wanted the ceremony outside. Our ceremony was at 4 and just as it came to that time the sun came out and it could not of been more perfect!

 

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? Campbell Point House is so amazing we didn’t want to distract from the beauty of the house. We added a few touches of “us”. We had beautiful flowers in the colors of white, green and peach scattered in huge vases.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? My creative Sister Liz, Pinterest & Etsy

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? We had Hershey’s Kisses on a table that we stuck sticker onto. They either had “xoxo” or “the new Mr & Mrs Jones” with a sign saying “Hugs and Kisses from the Bride and Groom, thanks for coming”

We printed personalized stubby holders for people to use.

We also had coasters around saying “Lucy and Matt 30/12/14” My Sister flew over from London and was like my PA she did so much for me because I was working up till Christmas Eve. The bridemaids printed everything wrote on all the chalk boars and Liz confirmed everything the week before. 

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We have a lot of family & Friends who live in London, LA, Perth and Tasmania so just after Christmas was the best time we thought. We were able to have a huge family Christmas followed by our wedding. It was such a special time to have all our family there.  

Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

Maid of honour was my beautiful sister Elizabeth Oakman

Bridesmaids

Lauren Richards is a close friend who I met at high school

Emily Day my beautiful cousin

Emily O’Meara is a close friend from high school who lives in LA. She flew over which was so exciting

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship?

Best Man -Cameron Jones Matts brother, who flew over from the UK

DJ Stallard- grew up with Matt in Perth

Luke Nicholles- grew up with Matt in Perth

Mike Akers - Melbourne Friend

3. Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?

Vienna she is 7 and is our little niece 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I had actually purchased another gown and three weeks before my wedding I tried it on and it just was not right. After and emergency phone call to my bridesmaid she dropped everything and met me on High st Armadale within an hour. When we met she said immediately “we must go to KAREN WILLIS HOLMES, I saw some amazing dresses on their instagram”. As soon as I entered I could not of been happier. The girl working understood my stress as the wedding was 3 weeks away! I felt no pressure from the staff and they found the perfect dress for me. 

 Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Magazines and the Internet

 How many gowns did you try? I tried four on. When I put my dress on the assistant, my bridesmaid and I knew it was it! My bridesmaid was laughing as any other dress I had tried on in other stores I didn’t feel confident but with this one I was walking around the shop and spinning around- I didn’t want to take it off!

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? High Street Armadale. The girl who looked after me was so great I just had the most amazing experience so relaxed and just new what would suit me.

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved everything about my gown it was so comfortable I didn’t want to take it off and I want to wear it again. It was perfect. I loved the material and beading/sequences and it did fit like a glove! I really loved the sheer skirt that I wore for the ceremony and once the dancing started I took it and it looked like I had changed into a second dress!

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? My Maid of honor Liz found them at Manning Cartell.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Rhodes & Beckett

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I gave the girls Samantha Wills Bohemian Bardot White and Gold Rings & Mimco Earrings. I was wearing Tesori Bellini earings and my bridesmaid Lauren’s head piece that she wore on her wedding day.

Where did you get your shoes from? ‘Dolci Firme’ My sister told me to go there, she had brought lots of shoes from there and said they were really comfy, she was spot on.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My headpiece was my bestfriend Lauren’s, it was the same piece she wore on her wedding day which was so special.

 

Other:

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?

Just have fun, and enjoy all the organizing. We just had the best day! Remember that things will go wrong but it totally doesn’t matter the main thing is that you feel like yourself on your day not trying to be something else and that you get to marry the love of your life!!!!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Try on all different styles as you will never know what will suit you. Have an open mind and go to KAREN WILLIS HOLMES!

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

 A time that really stood out to me was on the day happened before the ceremony. Family from interstate got lost on the way to Campbell Point House, we were going to be at least 30 minutes late. My bridesmaids could sense my nervous energy and to calm me down they put on the song “rather be” by clean bandit and we had a silly runway rehearsal where we pretended to dance down the isle. It was so much fun to be dancing around having fun with girls.

Matt and I also organized for Espresso Martinis and French Martinis to flow after dinner. It was so glamorous!

Something Old? My dad passed away 5 years ago so I was wearing his Gold wedding band.

Something New? My beautiful KAREN WILLIS HOLMES dress!!!!

Something Borrowed? My headpiece

Something Blue? My engagement ring has sapphire in the middle next to the two diamonds. My mum and Matts Grandma also have sapphires.

Suppliers

Florist – Georgie Stanton. She was just incredible the flowers where so beautiful. 

Photographer – Carmen Hibbins 

Videographer – MC Films      

Music – DJ  Rutherford entertainment 

First Dance – Thinking out loud – Ed Sheeren

MC – The MC was my amazing older brother David and Co- MC was my beautiful sister in-law Adrienne. They flew over from London to be with us. David was outstanding, it honestly felt like were at the Oscars he worked the crowed, had us all entertained and everything ran perfectly. Adrienne who is an amazing writer helped David organize it all. The two of them were asked to MC 3 other wedding that night because they were so amazing which we all had a laugh about. Lots of fun.

Celebrant – Colin Burke

Stationery – Etsy was my best friend

Cake – Matts talented aunty Maxine made our cake and brought it over on the Sprit of Tasmania. Georgie Stanton made the flowers for the top.

Bombonieres – We has espresso Martinis and French Martinis! Big Hit!!!

Hair Studio 2 . The girls were so great I was so happy with it all

Make up Studio 2

Wedding Bands -  Diamond Line

Extra features – We supplied our own alcohol. We used the grog guy. 

Gown Feature: Peony, Poppy, Rosalia & Tulip Gowns

Posted on 08 May, 2015
Gown Feature: Peony, Poppy, Rosalia & Tulip Gowns

KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES COLLECTION: 

We are so excited for the newest KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Collection to be dropped in stores early next month. The KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Collection captures the imagination of the modern bride. Inspired and created to cater for the bride wanting a non traditioanl bridal look, the KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Collection focuses on exceptional fit, centered on exquisite embellished and embriodered details. 

Peony Gown

Fabric: Hand beaded & embroidered georgette 

Sizes: US 0-12/ AUS & UK 4-16 

Description: V-neckline gown with sheer tulle back & centre back button detail. Richly designed with floral beading and emboirdery on the brodice with panelled skirt, fitted at hips into a flowing hem. Finished with a belt. 

Poppy Gown

Fabric: Sequinned tulle 

Sizes: US 0-12 / AUS & UK 4-16 

Description: Boat neckline & back of sheer tulle bodice with richly sequinned detail over a strapless bodice. Sequins disperse at the neckline & into the skirt. Centre back button fastening at the neckline & finished with a belt. 

Rosalia Gown 

Fabric: Beaded tulle 

Sizes: US 0-12 / AUS & UK 4-16 

Description: Sweetheart strapless gown with richly sequinned detail over bodice. Floral beading disperse at the neckline & into the skirt. Centre back button fastening and finished with a belt. 

Tulip Gown 

Fabric: Georgette with hand beading & embroidery 

Sizes: US 0 -12 / AUS & UK 4-16 

Description: 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. 

Met Gala 2015

Posted on 06 May, 2015
Met Gala 2015

The 2015 Met Gala which was located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. The gala opens the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibition where this year the theme was  'China: Through the looking glass' . 

The exhibition for each year sets the tone for the formal dress of the night and guests are expected to choose fashion to match the theme of the exhibition. Below is the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES team's favourite trends and best dressed. 

Gold Rush

Candice Swanepoel in Michael Kors, Courtney Eaton in Dolce & Gabanna and Kate Hudson in Michael Kors. 

Sheer & Sequins 

Jennifer Lopez in Versace, Beyonce in Givenchy and Kim Kardashian in Roberto Cavalli. 

KAREN WILLIS HOLMES BEST DRESSED

Bee Shaffer in Alexander McQueen, Kate Hudson in Michael Kors and Jess Hart in Valentino

Angelica's Bridal Trunkshow

Posted on 04 May, 2015
Angelica's Bridal Trunkshow
We are so excited that Karen Willis Holmes will be in the UK to launch her 2015 Collections at The WHITE Gallery in May. KAREN WILLIS HOLMES has partnered with ANGELICA'S BRIDAL to give London brides an opportunity to try on these designs first! 
ANGELICA'S BRIDAL will house the brand from the end of April, 2015 and continuing through May, and will iclude the BESPOKE, WILD HEARTS and KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Collections. 
Karen will also be in store at ANGELICA'S BRIDAL on Friday 22nd May and Saturday 23rd May. To meet with the designer and get expert advice from karen on the most flattering styled that best express your personality, contact ANGELICA'S BRIDAL today on 020 7226 7823 or email info@angelicabridal.co.uk