karenwillisholmes

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

Blog

Date: July 2015

Rachael & Nathan's Dazzling Wedding

Posted on 31 Jul, 2015
Rachael & Nathan's Dazzling Wedding

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband? Cruising around Newcastle foreshore                 

How long have you been together?  9 years

Do you have a proposal story?  We started the day with a horse and carriage ride around Central Park in NYC, Nathan then took me to the Empire State building for a sunset viewing and then we came out to a stretch limousine that took us on a drive around the city. We then stopped at Washington Square Park where we viewed the Arc De Triomphe and as we were taking photos, Nathan took out a piece of paper which happened to be the proposal speech and as soon as I was realizing what was happening, he was on one knee with the most beautiful custom made ring. We then stopped to take some photos of our celebration at Brooklyn Bridge and along the Hudson River. We ended the night with a fancy dinner Nathan organized with my favourite meal. It was the most beautiful day!

The Wedding

What was your wedding date?  9th May 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?     Ceromony (Sacred Heart Catherdral,Hamilton) Reception (Brown Sugar, Warners Bay)

How did you find it?  Wedding magazine

How was the weather on the day? Full Sunny Autumn day

What made you decide to get married on this particular date?  May is a beautiful month and wanted a short engagement so we could move into our first home.

 

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)?  Black and White. I found a company called Exotic Lily that helped me create my black and white elegant theme.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?  As soon as I walked into Exotic lily showroom, I instantly drew inspiration with the décor aswell as a website called Wedding Wonderland

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What?   No

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?   I saw the matilda dress on a Cosmo bride magazine years ago and thought I wanted that dress.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before?  Cosmo bride

How many gowns did you try?  10

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

What did you especially like about your gown?  The top lace detail and the way the ruffles were. I just loved the dress in its entirety.

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier?  Kelly Hiney

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

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party?  Karen Willis Holmes specially made head piece and veil and Swarovski earrings(bride)

Bridemaids – mimco earrings

Where did you get your shoes from?  Wanted shoes

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Yes, from Karen Willis Holmes

 

Other:

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?  Take each step as it comes and make sure you pick up all the details with a checklist and keep family input to a minimum.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown?  Try on gowns that you wouldn’t normally see yourself in as it could be the one.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. I surprised Nathan with a red convertible Ferrari and kept my dress a surprise from everyone which made it special.

Something Old?    My grandmothers engagement ring

Something New?  Dress

Something Borrowed?  Mum’s Swarovski earrings

Something Blue? Garter

 

Suppliers 

Florist – Belfora Newcastle

Photographer – Alan Khan

Videographer – Louie Monaco/Alan Khan

Music Mobile Millennium DJS

First Dance – All of the Stars – Ed Sheeran

MC – Father of the Groom – Bill Soldas

Celebrant – Father Greg Barker

Stationery – ONA Print

Menu -  2 course meal with canapes and an elegant desert bar catered by Cake Craze.

Cake Cake Craze

Bombonieres – Boys – Mini Jim Beams, Girls – Pink Vodka

Hair – Nicole Gallagher

Make up – Dean Blaq

Wedding Bands Whittakers Jewellery Newcastle

Extra features – Exotic Lily, Brown Sugar

Other -  Cars (Timeless Travel) Old Citreon and Jaguars and (H2 Hunter Hummers) – Red convertible Ferrari

Rachel Ash Bridalwear TrunkShow 2015

Posted on 29 Jul, 2015
Rachel Ash Bridalwear TrunkShow 2015

Nestled in the heart of the historic town of Atherstone, Warwickshire, Rachel Ash is a luxury bridal boutique boasting exciting collections from the very best in British and International bridal couture.  

Their collection of wedding dresses and bridal accessories are thoughtfully hand-picked each season and draw on the talents and vision of the most popular and dynamic bridal designers today.  Whatever your bridal-look the team aim to inspire you with our diverse range of gowns, whilst having a little fun and creating some wonderful memories together.

Rachel Ash's reputation is built on honest styling expertise, and their impassioned customer-service.  The team really care about each and every one of our brides and want them to enjoy the run up to their big day, safe in the knowledge that they will take care of everything.  

Rachel Ash operates on an appointment basis so each bride has the stylists undivided attention and benefits from the exclusive use of their beautiful private dressing room.  Contact the team today on, 01827 713515 or drop them a line at, info@rachelash.co.uk to reserve your appointment.

The KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Trunkshow will be available from Friday 7th August - Sunday 23rd August 2015 showing gowns from all three Collections - BESPOKE, the WILD HEARTS and the KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Collections. 

Amy & Nathan's Stunning Byron Bay Weding

Posted on 27 Jul, 2015
Amy & Nathan's Stunning Byron Bay Weding

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband? Nathan and I were close friends for a few years before we ended up together. When he first asked me out, I had no idea it was coming and it caught me completely off guard. It actually took me a little while to warm up to the idea of taking the relationship further than just friendship, but I’m glad I took a chance on him, because now I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

How long have you been together? 4 years

Do you have a proposal story?  “Family dinner plans” turned into a surprise trip to Byron Bay (just the two of us), followed by a private tour of the lighthouse history museum.

This ended at the top of the lighthouse at sunset where the guide not to subtly disappeared, and Nathan fumbled for a bit and presented me a ring. I was in shock so he had to ask twice before I said anything but it was a big yes!

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 13th September 2014

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

1.     Where?

Fig Tree Restaurant and Rooms

4 Sunrise Ln, Ewingsdale NSW 2481

2.     What made you choose there? Byron Bay has always been a special place for Nathan and I, so it made sense to get married in the area.

3.     How did you find it? The team at Byron Bay Weddings  look after a number of venues in the area so we looked at a few. Fig Tree had a beautiful relaxed vibe and overlooked the lighthouse – a perfect fit with our engagement story.

How was the weather on the day? Overcast – it was threatening rain all day but thankfully held off. 

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? Family (some coming from overseas) and venue availability.

The Wedding Details

Theme ? No “country” theming is where we began. We had seen the hay bales, bunting, drinking out of jam jars done to death – and it wasn’t really our style anyway so wanted something elegant.

I think I would describe our final theme as white with a romantic/moroccan twist (lots of touches of gold, bright reds and pinks). 

I was very hands on with the wedding planning and styling but the Byron Bay Weddings team were fantastic in the leading up to the wedding as a sounding board for ideas, offering supplier suggestions and running everything on the day.

 Everything was considered carefully to make sure it reflected what Nathan and I wanted and so that our guests would have a good time. On the day, it all came together with the help of Byron Bay Weddings, our florist and a couple of prop hire companies.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest 

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I tried to keep the wedding as DIY free as possible, but in the end we made the table runners for the reception and wrapped all the favours, which doubled as place cards. These matched the original invitation stationary design to help carry a theme through.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?  I visited most of the big bridal stores in Brisbane and was quite disappointed with the quality and style of dresses. Most looked like they were straight out of the 90’s.  The personal service and attention to detail at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES impressed me from the minute I walked in.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Online – but they are even better in person.

How many gowns did you try? About 6 or 7. I narrowed my choice down to a top three, and actually ended up going back alone to make the final decision – without any extra voices and opinions swaying my decision.

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

What did you especially like about your gown? My style is quite simple – so I chose a dress that was plain with beautiful seam/corset detail to take it to the next level.

The selling point for me was having a train overlay for the wedding, and being able to take this off and change up the look for the reception. 

Fashion

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Nathan wore a slim cut, dark navy tux with a black lapel from Hugo Boss

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore a KAREN WILLIS HOLMES veil for the ceremony, and changed to a flower crown for the reception.

I also wore some beautiful Crystal earrings from BHLDN

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes were red suede pumps from Wittner. Nathan wore red polkadot socks to match J

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a KAREN WILLIS HOLMES veil for the ceremony

Other: 

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? It’s more work than you realize. Get some friends and family on board to help with the planning. Also, don’t stress about the small details too much, the day will be good no matter what!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t go in with a preconceived idea of what you want. Sometimes a totally different style will suit you better. I would also not try on too many dresses as it can get a little overwhelming and hard to remember what is what.

 

Suppliers

Florist - The French Petal (Estelle)

Photographer – Lucas & Co Photography (Jason & Sarah)

We were drawn to the candid/journalistic style of Jason and Sarah’s work. On email they were so prompt and professional and in person were so laid back and friendly that it put us at ease. I am so glad they were part of our day – the photos speak for themselves!

Videographer N/A

Music Nathan Merriweather

Nathan works in logistics by day, but moonlights as a wedding singer on weekends. Naturally, he was given the entertainment to look after and he did a great job. He had a couple of friends playing jazz/classical guitar prior to the ceremony and for canapés, and another friend put together a couple of pre-mixes for dinner and then the dance floor later. I had a feeling Nathan was also planning something special but wasn’t exactly sure. When I walked down the isle he had actually recorded a version of himself singing the song which was so special. He also broke out “Sexual Healing” as part of his wedding speech which was so funny.

First DanceRay Lamontagne – You are the Best Thing.

MC - Nathan’s two best mates MC’d – hilarious!

Celebrant - Nathan’s Father married us – it was very special.

Stationery - Etsy

Menu - Champagne and Canapes post ceremony and then a banquet/share style feast for dinner and a dessert tasting station afterwards. I have never liked the set menu/alternate drop too much, and really wanted it to be communal and hearty.

Cake - Rebellyous Cake Co (Rebel Taylor)

Bombonieres -  Mini Cookie Boxes from Byron Bay Cookie Company

Cars/Transport N/A

Hair & Make up - Luciana Briedis

Lucy was amazing, and dealt with my nerves so well while we were all getting ready in the morning. I think she got the balance just right between soft/romantic makeup and something a bit stronger that would photograph well. Later in the day (before the reception) she also came back to the venue and changed my hair from being up, to beautiful soft curls to suit the flower crown!

Wedding BandsMillroy Jewelers

Extra features N/A

Other – Planner - Byron Bay Weddings

Styling items - The Wedding Shed (via Byron Bay Weddings – details above) and The Palace & Co

The Wedding Club UK Trunkshow

Posted on 24 Jul, 2015
The Wedding Club UK Trunkshow

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The Wedding Club are a leading designer bridal boutique in the UK, with an emphasis on quality and style.

Established in 2001 and with boutiques in London and Birmingham, the wedding club welcome brides from all over the world. They seek out the most exclusive British and International designers, for fashion conscious and stylish brides.

The Wedding Club is by appointment only, which offers a relaxed and personal service to each and every bride. You will have the boutique to yourself for an hour and will be given the opportunity to try a number of dresses, with an expert stylist on hand to advise on which styles will suit you and your wedding.

The KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Trunkshow will be from the 25th July- 2nd Aug 2015 showcasing gowns from all three of our collections - BESPOKE, KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES and The WILD HEARTS Collection. We will be showing at the Birminham Boutique: 

The Wedding Club Birmingham
15 Templefield Square,
Birmingham, B15 2LJ

Telephone: +44 12 1440 8276
Email: appointmentsbham@thewedding-club.co.uk

Opening Hours:
Monday - Saturday 10.00am - 6.00pm
by appointment only.

Evening and Sunday appointments available on request

Laura & Ben's Seaside Wedding

Posted on 20 Jul, 2015
Laura & Ben's Seaside Wedding

Background

How long have you been together? Three years

Do you have a proposal story? We were visiting Ben’s family in Cairns, he grew up there. We were hiking around the Mossman Gorge when we swam out in to the river and he asked me to climb a very large rock that was in the centre of the river. Once we were up on top of the rock ben pulled a ring box out of his pocket and proposed to me. The view was spectacular as we were up so high you could see much of the way down the river. We engaged on my parents 25th wedding anniversary.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 9th April 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? Moby Dicks Whale Beach, Sydney

What made you choose there? As soon as we walked in to the beautiful garden courtyard we fell in love with the intimate space. It was the only venue we visited that we could both close our eyes and see ourselves surrounded by our friends and family, exchanging our wedding vows.

How did you find it? We had eaten at the Boathouse Palm Beach and had a soft spot for the decor, friendly faces and amazing food. We chose Moby Dicks as we wanted a more private, intimate setting.

How was the weather on the day? We woke up at 6am to an overcast day, it didn’t rain throughout the day though. At 3pm the clouds parted and the sun came out ready for our guests to arrive at 3:30pm.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? Both of our families work within the education department, so we always new that we wanted to get married during school holidays. Both of our families travelled to attend so they both hired beach houses for one week prior so that we could spend as much time together as possible. Autumn is our favourite time of year, so it was easy to choose April to be our wedding month.

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? Our colour palate was neutral, incorporating blue and grey tones. We tried to encapsulate a relaxed but elegant vintage feel while taking advantage of the beautiful coast line and surrounding ourselves with a mix of white florals and Australian native flowers.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? As soon as we found Moby Dicks we drew much of our inspiration from their beautiful styling techniques and simply tried to add to the natural beauty of our surrounds.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? Ben made our bamboo arbor that we we married beneath. He also made the chalk boards that greeted our guests. Ben also made the photography peg board that our friends and family took happy snaps and pegged them on to twine for us.

We also did our own florals. My mother and two sisters went to the Sydney flower markets the day before the wedding at 3am to choose the florals and we spent much of the day before the wedding putting together all of the flowers for the day.
We also put together our own sweets table for the day, this formed part of our favours for our guests. We put together seed bags so that our guests could watch our love grow and hand made place settings from chocolate and lavender.

 

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Emma Wilson, sister and Chloe Wilson, sister

 Groomsmen – who/relationship? Joshua Leyden, Best Man, brother

 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? Every single gown by Karen Willis Holmes took my breath away, they are so special. As soon as I tried on the Sienna gown I felt like a bride.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? All of my favourite bridal magazine.

How many gowns did you try? I tried on four KWH gowns, but many more before that, I was looking for something really special.

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

What did you especially like about your gown? Everything! The lace bodice, the drop button back, the dropped silk waist, the stunning circular train.

 

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Fame & Partners

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

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party?  I chose crystal and sapphire tear drop earrings by Swarovski.  For my bridesmaids I chose Swarovski earrings and necklaces, with a Forever new clutch and Nine West flats.

Where did you get your shoes from? Nine West

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

 

Other:

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Don’t rush big decisions, like the venue or your dress, the perfect thing will come along and you will be glad you waited.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Try the gown you’re not sure about, the wild card. Get the gown that compliments your beautiful shape and that you feel beautiful in. Wait for the perfect gown, don’t rush it!

Something Old, Borrowed and Blue? My mums garter

Something New? My crystal earrings

Suppliers

Florist - DIY, I would highly recommend it, it was so much fun and I loved the finish product!

Photographer - At Dusk Photography. We found Chris online, we fell in love with his photography immediately, and his pricing was very reasonable. We wanted two photographers to be with us from when we were getting ready until the last guest left and At Dusk gave us that. We also wanted all of the little moments captured, as our friends and family are incredibly dear to us, we couldn’t be happier with our wedding photographs.

Music - Chantal & Cesar. We found these guys online too and just loved their relaxed folksy style. They were very relaxed and easy to work with. Our first dance was a live rendition of over the rainbow, it was just perfect.

First Dance - Somewhere over the rainbow, live acoustic version

MC - Ben’s best friend Cody was our MC for our wedding, He is an incredibly funny, outspoken and loyal friend. He did a fantastic job at keeping timings and telling funny stories.

Celebrant - Claire Belford. Claire is a joy to work with. She made every single aspect of this process easy and really made the ceremony feel extra special. We had so many compliments about our ceremony and it was all because of Claire, she really is amazing, highly recommend.

Stationery - Little Paper Pantry

Menu - By Moby Dicks Whale Beach. We had our beautiful food served on share platters on beautiful wooden cheese platters in the centre of the tables. Our guests loved the ‘family’ atmosphere and that they were able to try all of the food.

Cake - All Sweet Things by Carissa. We had a three tier naked cake. The bottom layer was white chocolate, the second layer was white chocolate/butterscotch, the top layer was butterscotch. There was a caramel buttercream filing and salted caramel drizzle. Carissa has won awards for her incredible skills. She was so flexible and helpful, a real gem to work with.

Bombonieres - We put together our own sweets table, we also put together hand made seed bags for our guests to take home.

Hair - The Bridal Hair Co. Vanessa was absolutely amazing, I was worried about my hair until I did my trial and she was an absolute dream. It is clear that she loves what she does and her skills are nothing short of perfection. I absolutely loved working with her.

Make up -  The Bridal Makeup Co. Shelley was really great, she is passionate about her work and really does deliver perfection.

Wedding Bands - Custom designed by Ben from Mark Bridges Jeweller.

Rosie and Neil's elegant New Zealand Wedding

Posted on 16 Jul, 2015
Rosie and Neil's elegant New Zealand Wedding

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband? We met in Wellington. Neil was on a 2 year working holiday visa from the UK, and had a temporary job in my office. After a few wines at some after-work drinks, we’ve been together since.

How long have you been together? 6 years

Do you have a proposal story?  We were on holiday in Sardinia. We were on the beach drinking some beers watching the sunset, when Neil got down on one knee. I got a bit embarrassed and made him stand up again! 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 11 April 2015

Where?    The ceremony was at Old Saint Paul’s, and the reception was at The Boatshed, both in Wellington NZ.

What made you choose there? We were organizing the wedding while living in London, so had to do everything online without seeing it! My first choice of venue has been shut for earthquake strengthening, so I had to look elsewhere.  Neil didn’t want a religious ceremony, but I love old churches so we specifically looked for  a church that could have a civil ceremony. Old St Paul’s fit the bill!

How was the weather on the day? We got very lucky with the weather – the evening before the wedding was a horrible storm, but on the day we got sunshine and not a cloud in the sky. As they say over here, you can’t beat Wellington on a good day.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? Both our dad’s are teachers, so we had to pick a date that worked for NZ and UK school holidays, and this was it!

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? We didn’t pick a theme until very late – I had a vague idea of pastels and books, and that’s how it ended up.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest! Where else 

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? We did quite a bit of DIY. Neil made 80 favour boxes to put personalized rock candy in. All the table names and table plan were DIY, using famous couples from books and book quotes.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?  I bought the dress while living in London. I figured there would be a lot more choice than in NZ, even though I ended up buying a dress from the other side of the world! I bought it from Luella’s Boudoir in Wimbledon.

How many gowns did you try? I went to 3 different bridal boutiques, and tried about 7-8 on at each store.

What did you especially like about your gown? I knew I was looking for a non-strapless dress with a lace top and buttons up the back – the Sienna dress was exactly what I was looking for!

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? I bought the bridesmaids dresses off ASOS.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? The groom and best man wore Ted Baker suits, bought in the UK.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore my maid of honour’s diamond earrings for my something borrowed, and my grandmother’s engagement ring for my something old.  Neil gave me a bracelet from Tiffany to wear on the day.

Where did you get your shoes from? I bought the shoes from Forever New – Neil and I are the same height so I wanted flat shoes that would go with the dress.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My florist made a gorgeous little headpiece comb to match my flowers.

Suppliers

Florist – The Piccadilly Flower Company

Photographer – We Do Photography

Celebrant – Greer Berry

Stationery – Artcadia (UK)

Menu – Blue Carrot Catering

Cake – Sweet Bakery and Cakery

HITCHED BRIDAL SALON Trunkshow

Posted on 13 Jul, 2015
HITCHED BRIDAL SALON Trunkshow

DC locals, Julia Lichtman Kepniss and Carin Rosenberg Levine, have been close friends since the seventh grade when they discovered their mutual love for the hit song 'Eternal Flame' by the Bangles and they have been inseparable ever since. 

Living together in New York City after college, the two followed separate career paths that both happened to involve extensive event planning. Looking to grow professionally, Julia returned to DC to attend law school at Georgetown and Carin headed to Connecticut to attend business school at Yale. Despite their separate career choices and different graduate degrees, the two knew that one day they would start a business venture together.

A few years later, while searching for their own wedding gowns ~ first, Julia and then Carin soon thereafter ~ it became clear that the DC area bridal market was in need of an energizing jolt.

Inspired to create a bridal experience that would be warm and welcoming, hip and helpful, and sleek and sophisticated, the two began to study the bridal industry with an eye towards bringing something totally new to their hometown (while somehow maintaining their day jobs on the side).

Understanding the busy lives of today’s brides, they fashioned a unique bridal concept that would include exquisite gowns, stunning invitations, and a variety of products and services all housed in one location. After extensive research and planning, encouragement from national bridal gown designers, and insights from local brides, Hitched was hatched. 

Amy & Josh's Family Property Wedding

Posted on 09 Jul, 2015
Amy & Josh's Family Property Wedding

 

Background: 

How did you meet your (now) husband? 

On a road trip to Sydney with girlfriends after I graduated from university.

How long have you been together?  

Approaching 7 years.

Do you have a proposal story? 

Josh picked me up from work on a Friday, on the premise that we were having a weekend away with friends in the Blue Mountains.  He surprised me by proposing before dinner.  When we got back to Sydney, he had arranged a party with 60+ friends.  I could not have asked for anything more – it was perfect.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date?

20 September 2014

 Location (Ceremony and Reception) Where? 

On acreage in Brookfield, QLD.

 What made you choose there?  

 The venue was Josh’s parents place.  It was an easy decision because the family home has always meant so much to us both.

How was the weather on the day?

The days prior were perfect but clouds gathered as the afternoon approached.  Guests said that while they waiting for the bridal party to arrive, rain fell on the paddock next to the ceremony.  I had no idea and fortunately, the rain didn’t hang around.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? 

On the advice of my mother-in-law, Mandy.  She is an avid gardener and knew when the flowers on the property would be in full bloom.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?  My sister, two sisters in law and two best friends from school.

Groomsmen – who/relationship?  Our former roommate in Sydney as well as Josh’s friends from school and university.

Inspiration: 

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?  

I always had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted so tended to shy away from magazines, blogs, Pinterest and the like. It all gets too overwhelming otherwise and can make you feel like you aren’t doing enough.

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

Our flower arrangements were done by Mandy and 10+ of her closest friends.  I did our invitations back in Singapore with the help of a girlfriend and our bombonieres (180+ cookies) were baked by a close friend in Sydney.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? 

I was in Brisbane and had a four hour window before I had to fly back to Singapore.  I had about five stores on my target list and said to my mum that I had a feeling about one store in particular – KAREN WILLIS HOLMES.  We went in and well, I didn’t get to the other stores.

How many gowns did you try? Probably 16+!

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

What did you especially like about your gown?  

I loved how comfortable it was and how different it was to anything I had thought I would wear.

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier?  I got them online from Revolve Clothing.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits?  Josh had his tailored in Singapore.  The groomsmen wore their own black tie suits.

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

My dress needed to be altered.  What was taken off the bottom was made into wrist bands for the girls.

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

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Also KAREN WILLIS HOLMES.

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? 

Don’t feel intimated by everything you see, read and hear.  Make sure the day it is a reflection of you and your relationship.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? 

Be open to trying on dresses that you think won’t look great on you.

Suppliers: 

Florist :  My mother in law and her friends did all flowers for the ceremony and reception.  Phoebe Stevens in James Street did our bouquets.

Photographer:  Sarah and Jason from Lucas & Co. Photography.  They were absolutely incredible.  Nothing was too hard or too much to ask.  Our photos were everything we had hoped for.

Videographer:  A good friend, Chris Proud.  He made the idea of having a video being the most natural thing in the world.

Music:  Sterling Silver (a duo). You would never have known that we didn’t have a band.

First Dance:  Josh’s choice, Queen of the Slip Stream by Van Morrison.

MC:  Our close friend and one of Josh’s groomsmen, Tom.  He speaks like an advisor to Obama and prepared a race call for our wedding.  All the horses referred to chapters in our life together.  It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

Celebrant:  Pastor Jake from Brisbane.

Stationery:  DIY

Menu:  We had shared entrees and mains by Meredith and Russell Jolly at In House Catering. I love feasting style because it encourages people to interact more.

Cake:  A close family friend made a fruit cake for us.

Bombonieres:  DIY

Hair and make up:  Mia Saunders and her friend Jacqueline.

Wedding Bands:  Paul Stoddard in South Australia.

Extra features:  Our table names were references to nicknames Josh has given me over the years.

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Massiel & Nicholas's Rich & Opulent Wedding

Posted on 06 Jul, 2015
Massiel & Nicholas's Rich & Opulent Wedding

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband? We met as neighbors in the dorms at UCLA in 2006. I’d wave at him through his living room window in the mornings before leaving for class, and he’d come knocking at my door in the afternoons asking if I wanted to eat with him in the dining halls. Little by little, we just spent more and more time together – and even though all our friends could see we were secretly in love, the two of us denied it for way longer than we should have. Eventually, a couple years later at a mutual friend’s birthday, some tequila imbibed the necessary extra courage for him to declare his love, and we’ve been together ever since.

How long have you been together? Since 2008!

Do you have a proposal story? We got engaged during a visit to The Getty Center here in Los Angeles. It was a favorite spot of ours while we were in school, but since graduating, we hadn’t been able to spend much time there. We took a picnic from our favorite restaurant and just enjoyed the rest of the afternoon as enthusiastic museumgoers. After a few hours, Nicholas pulled me aside to enjoy the view – really spectacular because you can see all the way to the ocean. In the middle of some sweet talk, he asked me if he could spend forever with me and then pull the ring out of his pocket. I’m not easily surprised but on that occasion, I was speechless.

 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? December 6, 2014

Location (Ceremony and Reception) Los Angeles, California

1.     Where? Our ceremony was at the Old Plaza Church and our reception was at the Pico House at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument 

2.     What made you choose there? For years before I had even met Nicholas, I would walk by the Pico House and gaze lovingly through the windows and tell pretty much anyone that would listen to me that I wanted to get married there one day. After grad school, I found myself working here and I fell in love with the building all over again. When we got engaged, we actually went through quite a few different options but we kept circling back on this space in the end. It was a lovely fit. Since I already spend a lot of time in the space for my job, it was like having our wedding in the home of a old friend.

3.     How did you find it? My family has been coming to the park area here for as long as I can remember. It’s a 42-acre state historic park located on the site where Los Angeles was founded in 1781. I was a history major in college so I’ve always felt that strong pull toward old spaces.

 How was the weather on the day? Early December in Los Angeles can range from unseasonably warm to dark and stormy. Luckily, the weather that day was a beautiful medium – nice and brisk, but the rains had just passed through the day before.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? My favorite holiday is Halloween and Nick’s favorite holiday is Christmas. We wanted something sandwiched in the middle of our favorite time of the year, so we picked the first week of December because we wanted to enjoy that transition out of autumn into winter. 

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? We let the season dictate a lot of the colors we chose. We opted for deep wintery reds and shades of blue running the spectrum from icy blue to dark navy. Our beautiful reception venue was built in 1871 and we felt it really didn’t need much alteration. With most of the walls taken up by those gorgeous windows, and with the building itself located in the city’s oldest district, we wanted to have that feel coming in all around us. We opted for fairly minimal décor and what we did add in had a vintage feel running throughout. The copper and brass vases for our centerpieces were brought in by our florist, who had her aunt ship them over from India. We only provided her with a rough concept of what we wanted – wild, untamed, winter flowers. What she gave us exceeded our expectations! We also wanted to honor the strong tradition of long-lasting marriages in our families, particularly our parents and grandparents. The large picture frame over our gift table had photos of family weddings going back three generations.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Early on, my sister/ maid-of-honor described our wedding as Game of Thrones meets Downton Abbey…only no one dies and everyone lives happily ever after. We just kept going from there! That blend of elegant vintage and warm rustics speaks heavily to who we are, so any aesthetic decisions we made grew organically out of the things we happen to like in our everyday lives.

Bridal Party

 1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship? I only had one bridesmaid/maid-of-honor. It was my sister, Melinna. My parents only had the two of us. We’re four years apart and growing up, we fought constantly! As we both came into our own as adults, though, we’ve formed a stronger connection. She’s not the biggest fan of weddings but she embraced her role as my maid-of-honor. Having her as my only bridesmaid was important to me because I wanted us to be able to share that experience just between the two of us.

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship? Nick’s best man was his cousin, Ryan. They’re less than a year apart and essentially grew up as brothers. Having only one person each in our wedding party was a good fit, especially because they were part of our wedding ceremony in the church. They’re both family but they’re also some of our closest friends. We wanted them to know how important they are to us.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? “Caitlyn” was my first and only love! I saw a picture of the dress from a promotional shoot and knew instantly that this was my dream dress.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I first saw the gowns on a late night Pinterest binge shortly after getting engaged. I thought it was out of the question since you’re based in Australia, but I thought I’d just follow the Karen Willis Holmes Facebook page out of wishful thinking.

How many gowns did you try? Only about five total. Three at Claire Pettibone here in Los Angeles, and the “Alexandra” dress in addition to “Caitlyn.”

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? From Ceremony Boston. At the time I was dress shopping, there were only a handful of shops in the States that carried Karen Willis Holmes gowns, and none were anywhere near me in California. I found Ceremony Boston after seeing an announcement on the Karen Willis Holmes Facebook page and contacted Alix, the owner, to see if we could sort something out. My sister was living in New York at the time and we decided that we’d drive to Boston on my next trip to visit her, rent a car, and do the four-hour drive up there. It was just my mom, my sister, and I on this adventure. Alix was so helpful! This was in November of 2012. Her shop was set to open later than month but we had already booked our NY trip for early November. She very sweetly arranged for us to meet with her in her lovely apartment where we had a clandestine bridal appointment over cookies and tea. My mind was made up as soon as I put that dress on.

What did you especially like about your gown? A lot of my close family and friends were surprised that I chose a dress covered in sequins! I think they may have had preconceived notions of sequin dresses being gaudy or ostentatious. What I really loved about my dress was that the simplicity of the silhouette was really complimented by the sequins, so that it was understated yet full of character. And the back was just breathtaking. That’s what won me over in the first place. My husband and I are nature lovers and I had really wanted to find a way to incorporate that in my dress. It was all a perfect fit.

 

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Anthropologie.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Jos. A. Bank.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore earrings that Nicholas had given me some five years ago for Christmas. And the cape? I bought it on a whim and wondered if people would think I was crazy, but I just ran with the idea and wore it anyway. If I wasn’t feeling glamorous already, that definitely put me over the edge. I also wore a silver watch that had been a gift from my parents on my fifteenth birthday. My sister only wore a coral ring that belonged to our late-grandmother and an art deco-inspired necklace.

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes are Kron by KronKron and I found them through Anthropologie. They were also a pipe dream that somehow came to fruition since KronKron is based out of Iceland! I had seen them online months before and had saved a picture of them because they were crafted so beautifully. I found them on clearance at Anthropologie and couldn’t believe my luck. They were so comfortable for being close to 4-inch heels. My mother and sister actually tried to talk me out of wearing them because they said they didn’t match anything else in our wedding. I was indignant and wore them anyway because I was just bowled over by how eye-catching they were. I packed them with me on our honeymoon and paraded around Paris with them.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I chose to wear a veil for our church ceremony and then switch into a halo crown for the reception. I knew a Juliet cap veil would be the perfect fit for the vintage-theme we were trying to create. We found it at an accessories trunk show and my mother decorated it with leftover sequins that were saved from alterations.

Other:

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Don’t waste time trying to find things that fit a specific theme or look. Just go with what you love and let that be your main motivation. You’ll find that everything winds up going together in the end, possibly even better than you had anticipated.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? I realized that choosing my dress was very similar to choosing my husband. I didn’t do a whole lot of shopping around before making up my mind. It wasn’t a decision that I had to stress a lot over, either. I suppose in both instances, I thought about how I’d feel if I wound up with something different and, in both cases, I knew I’d regret it and always be wondering, “What if?”

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. Just after our exchange of vows, when the priest came down from the altar to do communion and the two of us were on our own, side by side, with our wedding bands new on our fingers. We both have fairly Catholic families and chose to do a full mass for the ceremony. The wonderful Trio that played throughout the service was a gift to us from my uncle and we were able to request the songs. One special memory was of us sitting hand-in-hand while “O Holy Night” played on their guitars in the background. Everything else sort of faded away in that moment and any stress we had been feeling leading up to the wedding just melted.

Something Old? My wedding band is 1920s vintage.

Something New? My long-search-for underwear! I spent weeks trying to find something that would go with the low back and deep-V neckline and finally found Gossard and their 1940s-cut slips. Fanciest underthings I’ve ever worn!

Something Borrowed? We used the lasso my parents used at their wedding during our ceremony. It’s draped over the new bride and groom as they receive a blessing after exchanging vows.

Something Blue? My engagement ring! I requested aquamarine, my birthstone, and Nicholas had an Edwardian reproduction made with my ice blue stone. 

Suppliers

Florist – Blue Box Flowers | Our flowers were done by my high school friend, Opal. She understood us perfectly when we said we wanted flowers that weren’t traditional wedding flowers. We had done a test run with her the week before at the flower market here in L.A. to see what would be in season. However, when she went back, everything we had picked was suddenly out of stock! She had to improvise and ended up giving us amazing pieces that we still can’t believe came out of last minute decisions and a modest budget.

Photographer – Gather West Photography | Nicholas and I are somewhat camera shy so it was important for us to find a photographer that wouldn’t be heavy handed or forceful in trying to get us to do unnatural posed pictures. We wanted candid pictures that captured us as we’d normally interact with one another and with our loved ones. We couldn’t be happier with the end result! Everyone who has seen our pictures has just been so impressed.

Music Trio Ellas | We both wanted to find ways to work our Latin heritage throughout the day. I had heard Trio Ellas play at a mariachi festival here in Los Angeles and just loved the way they blended traditional Mexican music with older jazz influences, while still maintaining the finesse of a trio. We asked them to play both at our church ceremony and during our cocktail hour through our first dance, which was to an old bolero song, “Piel Canela.”

Celebrant – One of our favorite parts of our church service was hanging Nick’s high school friend, Andrew, deliver the homily. They’ve been friends for years and Andrew is currently going through the seminary. Having someone who knew us both made all the difference. He even quoted John Legend’s “All of Me” at the altar. It was great. 

Menu Gaby’s Mediterranean | The day we got engaged, we had taken a picnic from Gaby’s Mediterranean – and old favorite of ours from back when we were still at UCLA. When planning our wedding, I told Nick he would be in charge of selecting food and he instantly picked Gaby’s. The owner was so helpful in creating a menu of our own personal favorites as well as other dishes that would take our vegetarian guests into consideration.

Cake Alcove Café & Bakery | The traditional three-tiered cake wasn’t a big priority for us – both budget-wise and what either of us likes. One of my family’s favorite eateries in Los Angeles is the Alcove, and we’ve all gushed over the amazing desserts they have. On a whim after one such family brunch, I casually said that we might as well just order a bunch of different cakes and have that be the end of it. Turns out, it was! And it proved to be one of our guests’ favorite parts of the wedding. They’re still talking about those cakes, months later.

Make up – Zoa Lopez | Zoa is a friend of my sister’s who does professional work for television and film. As an actress, my sister has very exacting specifications when it comes to her own makeup and there are very few people she will let touch her face! Zoa is one of them. She did makeup for my sister, my mom, and myself. For my mother and I, especially, we’re pretty minimal on most days so we had no idea what we needed to look like but we knew we didn’t want to look unnatural. Zoa had a very gentle hand and made all three of us look perfect.

Wedding Bands – We each found our wedding bands on Etsy. We wanted them to have a reflection of who we are. Mine is a vintage 1920s white gold band engraved with stalks of wheat – a popular motif during that time period meant to represent bounty and prosperity. His is a titanium band inlayed with Honduran ironwood, which he picked because the metal is both strong yet light, and the wood to reference his love of nature.

Instagram: June 2015

Posted on 03 Jul, 2015
Instagram: June 2015

Image 1: Bouqet via Whimsey Design Image 2: Editorial by Neiyo wearing the Mabel Gown  Image 3: Real Bride Massiel, Image 4: Hello Lover via Harley Guinn and Co Image 5: Gregory Ross Editorial featuring our Harriet Gown, Image 6: Ring by Anna Sheffield Image 7: Dahlia Gown from the BESPOKE Collection Image 8: Image via Pinterest, Image 9: Cake inspiration via pinterest. 

Martin Charles Trunkshow 2015

Posted on 01 Jul, 2015
Martin Charles Trunkshow 2015

Martin Charles Mission: 

We maintain choosing a wedding dress should be relaxing, enjoyable and unpressurised. At the Martin Charles Bridal Gallery we offer a relaxed atmosphere, warm welcome and the best personal service to brides throughout the Peterborough, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire areas.

We want to have raving fans not just happy customers.

We welcome you to come and sample the best choice of bridal fashion at our boutique in Oundle, Nr. Peterborough. The designers we have chosen to represent are at the top of their field with a commitment to providing quality design added to unquestioned reliability.

To enable you to have an enjoyable experience we work on an appointment system. Simple to arrange just email, phone or call in. Appointments last 1 ½ hours including consultation, return appointments are always welcome. If you are running late please call and let us know. If you cannot make the appointment please call and we can arrange another time for you. When appointments are made we will ask for a phone number so we can contact you in case of emergencies.

We look forward to sharing the experience with you. We wish to assist and support you from the moment you step onto the boutique through to your wedding day.

Karen Willis Holmes Trunkshow: 

Karen will have a selection of gowns from all three collections- BESPOKE, KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES and The WILD HEARTS Collection from the 3rd July- 19th July. 

For more information, and to book an appointment click here.