karenwillisholmes

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

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Date: September 2015

Stephanie & David's Romantic Rustic Wedding

Posted on 30 Sep, 2015
Stephanie & David's Romantic Rustic Wedding

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband? We met at the movies when I was 15 and he was 18 just before Christmas. We were with our separate groups of friends, and my cousin Rik happened to be one of Dave’s closest mates. I was quite shy so focused entirely on the catch up with my cousin rather than his friend who was apparently eyeing me off! I didn’t even remember what he looked like..oops. It was at all the family gatherings for Christmas that Rik shared how much he was being hassled by Dave to give him my number, but as my big cousin there was no way. A couple of months later at Canberra’s annual firework show Skyfire, me and a big group of friends were going and Rik organized a proper introduction. While I was waiting for him to arrive I spotted this terribly cute guy walking down the hill, until I realized he was with Rik … and this was Dave… and I have never been so excited that this guy would be keen on me?! Skyfire has always been our unofficial anniversary as the first proper night we met.

How long have you been together? We were married on our 10 year anniversary

Do you have a proposal story?  It was very Dave – after a hilarious day spent at a 5 year old family friend’s birthday party, we went to my favourite restaurant for dinner where I of course indulged beyond appropriateness. We arrived home, showered and I came to sit on the couch in my oversized T-shirt PJ’s, a knob on my head and a food baby, when Dave directed my attention to a small box sitting across from me on the TV cabinet being held by a little Santa figurine I had made. After basically being pushed off the couch to go and collect my surprise, I opened the box to find the most exquisite ring I had ever seen, with my Braveheart loving boy curled up into my side quoted Mel Gibson in a Scottish Accent ‘I love ya, I always have, will ya marray me?’- Lots of squealing, crying and Oh-my-gods followed. He designed the ring himself, nearly 12 months in the making with friends picking up diamonds from overseas and visiting multiple jewelers till he found the right fit, to make the most perfect ring that reflects us both perfectly.

 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? March 21st 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception) 

1.     Where? Lake George Winery, NSW. We had our ceremony under a tree at the bottom of the property.  

2.     What made you choose there? It was the only place Dave got really excited about haha. It fit our woodland, warm, candlelit theme to a tee, plus from the minute we walked in, Janine the events coordinator, made us feel like anything was possible, and she was there to take care of EVERYTHING. I am the world’s biggest control freak so she made the whole process to easy.

3.     How did you find it? I was familiar with the venue having driven past so many times en route to Sydney. I didn’t realise how beautiful it was up there until I googled it, and I basically threw Dave in the car to go and check it out

How was the weather on the day? PERFECT, slightly fresh 22 degrees with a breeze and the most beautiful golden glow across the vines and neighbouring paddocks. We couldn’t have been luckier.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? The time of year was perfect and it was our 10 year anniversary since we started dating

 

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? The theme was so easy, we both love red/dark autmny tones (which matched the time of year perfectly), forests and I have an unhealthy addiction to candles. We wanted to create a warm and cosy rustic woodland feel, without being vintage or country, with lots of little touches to make our guests feel as important as they are to us. We originally wanted to get married in the woods somewhere, but there were just no options for us that really worked, and Canberra weather can go either way, so we brought the forrest to the winery! We hired real trees for around the room, had tree slice placemats, pine cone place card holders and dark burgundy napkins. We had hanging glass ball tea lights from the ceiling to create a starry night feel, and being a bit too warm for an actual raging fire, we filled the fireplace with thick candles.

The length of every table was filled with varying height glass tea light holders and rustic looking flowers in mixed. Our guest book was made of wood and all the signage was displayed in dark wooden frames. We provided a polaroid camera for guests to capture themselves and add it to their guest book entry and a bucket list for everyone to give us their suggestions on fun things to complete throughout the years! The wooden chairs also added to the overall feel. For our wishing well, we opted to have a ‘honeymoon fund’ for guests to contribute a little something if they wished towards the biggest adventure Dave and I will have been on since we started dating – a month in Canada. We setup a small suitcase with ‘travel photos’ of the places we were going to visit, a Canadian guide book and wooly jumpers. On the same table we wanted to remember both our family members that had passed who were with us in spirit, and also those celebrating from afar who couldn’t make it with framed photos. There was definitely something to look at everywhere you went, including big candle vases on the floor lighting the walkways and veranda, emergency kits in the bathrooms, vases on the barrels behind the bridal table so our bouquets stayed safe yet on display and even personalized cocktails with stirrers.

I am not a fan of favours for the sake of favours, we wanted to mix it up a bit so provided 4 different kinds of favours, mini Limoncello and Patrone, Chilli Jam and old school bottle openers. All the favours were topped with personalized wooden gift tags. We also wanted to make the trip home a little fun so we sent everyone home with a midnight snack, paper bags packed with chunky cookies and potato chips!

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest is always a bride’s best friend, our theme developed almost immediately and we stayed on point throughout the whole process which was great, we were secure in every decision we made and never questioned ourselves, it was so us. 

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? We made half of the favours ourselves. We are chilli fanatics and grow our own, so we made our own Chilli Jam and Limoncello for some of the favours. We did all the stationery ourselves, including save the dates, invitations, place cards, menus, programs and all the signage. The only part we bought was the laser booklets the main invitation went inside of, which we loved because when on display you were looking through the trees to the invitation. I also made the word BAR out of used corks for fun, because we were at a winery.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? My little sister Maddy was my maid of honour and I had my cousin Jackie and bestie Georgie as well (basically grew up with us). We are all so beyond close, it was the easiest decision to make and made the whole process so lovely because we are the best of friends anyway!

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Dave had his best friend Rob (or Fazz) and brother Liam both as best men, and close friend Drew. Another easy decision.

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?  We decided not to have baby dumplings at the wedding for logistics as the winery is about 40 minutes from Canberra and everyone was coming by bus.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I had a number of appointments before we came to KAREN WILLIS HOLMES, all of them were terrible. We had pushy service who kept putting me in ridiculous ball gowns because ‘that’s all that would fit me’ even though that was not what I was looking for, despite making an appointment I was told there was no room for me so was put in the mens changing area with my mum, nan and bridemaids standing amongst the mannequins, while I stood there with my boobs and back out in dresses far too small for me surrounded by men trying on suits… I was even told by one assistant to not even bother trying a certain dress on because I would rip it.

Naturally by shop 4 I was so disheartened that nothing I liked I could try on and these stores wanted me to pay thousands in deposits without even trying the dress on and stuff if I didn’t like it. My mum brought me a bridal magazine with an advertisement for KAREN WILLIS HOLMES on the back cover and she said “I have a good feeling about this place, let’s try visiting the actual store” (rather than a store stocking multiple designers). After an anxious 3 hour drive, it was a treat to have the store to ourselves to play around, take photos and really enjoy ourselves!

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before?  I hadn’t seen KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gowns before I visited Paddington – but I still receive the newsletter and follow online now. 

How many gowns did you try? I tried on Paige, Brooke and Madelyn at first. Paige was really special I loved the sequins but I was after a bit more of a flowy skirt, a bit more Grecian, and was also tossing up between the bodice of Madelyn which I think suited my shape a bit better. Which is when I came across Millie. I saw the skirt first poking out between the others, then noticed it had the same top as Madelyn and decision made. I was just amazing.

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

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the flowy fabric of the skirt, it fell so beautifully, yet was still full and bridal. The knotted bodice I also loved as it fit my curvy shape nicely, and was a nod to our planned Celtic ceremony which included a handfasting rope ceremony. My dress is a perfect in-between proper princess and soft flowy. It was magic. 

 

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? We bought the dresses online at www.shopbop.com after finding them in a bridal store as they didn’t have the colour we were after. They are Amber Halter Wrap dresses by Joanna August.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? The boys had/purchased their own slacks, shirts, belts and shoes and we organized the matching bowties and suspenders from mrsbowtie.com. Dave had a custom made suit already so he wore those slacks, and his vest we purchased from MJ Bales.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wanted to wear a flower crown like my mum did at her wedding, and wear my hair out so I wanted jewellery that was really simple and let the flowers and my dress be the star. I had a simple bracelet and floating crystal pendant necklace purchased from etsy.com, and I bought some beautiful drop earrings from Swarovski. For the girls I purchased drop Swarovski earrings as well, simple necklaces and had filigree cuff bracelets made from etsy.com. I let the girls choose their own hairstyles, I wanted them to feel comfortable in a style that they loved and made them feel amazing. 

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes were from BHLDN.com – my wedding haven! I purchased a range of vases, candle holders and other bits and pieces from this website too to embellish the guest book and honeymoon fund tables. It’s just beautiful!

 Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from?I had a ceil custom made by a local business called Three Sunbeams (ThreeSunbeams.com). Hannah is such a dot, she was so lovely to work with, I was able to choose the lace, the comb it was attached to, how long it was and even the placement of the lace. My flower crown was made by my florist to match our bouquets and the reception arrangements.

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Work out your budget and your theme before you start buying anything! You start off with an idea of the things you like… but there is so much inspiration out there that you will probably change your mind a couple of times. Make a decision and stick to it, stop looking at things you have already decided on or you will confuse yourself and second guess your choices. Things snowball very quickly too… pick the things that are important and you will allow yourself wiggle room on if it’s the right decision (photographer etc) … you can’t wiggle on everything!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go with your mum or just one person. It might seem like a great idea getting everyone together, but at the end of the day you have to take care of you, and it adds an extra layer of pressure to make a decision, or you feel bad dragging everyone around with you to multiple appointments. The people who matter will love whatever you choose because you love it, and the people who don’t, don’t matter.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. The best part of the day is definitely seeing that face smiling back at you as you’re walking up the aisle. Every hope and dream, everything you ever talked about for you future … it’s the day it all starts and there is so much to look forward to.

Something Old? I wore my grandmothers brooch pinned into my bouquet.

Something New? My dress! 

Something Borrowed? My nannas brooch

Something Blue? I have a VERY close group of girlfriends, so I asked them to wear blue and be my something blue because I couldn’t have them all as bridesmaids or there would be no guests at the wedding haha! So I stuck to family for my bridesmaids, and my girls still stood out.

Suppliers

Florist –Our florist was Tracey Andriolo of Australian Parliament House Florist

Photographer – Beata English. We would have happily changed our wedding date to have Beata capture our day. I first met Beata at Dave’s sister Lauren’s wedding. I loved her and what she was all about, and the photos she produced were exactly what we were after, candid, in the moment and totally loved up!

Music – We actually created our own playlist. We played everything through hired systems both at the ceremony and reception, my brother as MC queued the important tracks and set everything to go. Bridesmaids and I spent a whole weekend reliving our childhood and teen years collating music from old iPods and mix CD’s, parents stashes etc. We also asked for song requests on our RSVP cards so there was at least one song for everybody. I walked down the aisle to Boolavouge by Davy Spillane, signed the registry to White Dress by Ben Rector and finished the ceremony with Neon Eyes by Saints of Valory. We cut the cake to JT’s Not a Bad Thing.

First Dance – I can’t help falling in love with you by Elvis. It was fitting because the first line ‘only fools rush in’ was appropriate… an engagement 9 years in the making. We loved the fact that it was a classic and unexpected choice for us. It’s also a timeless song, the bridesmaids can be seen in the photos in an epic sway absolutely loving life, and it’s a song loved by our parents and grandies too. It SO romantic, still gives me goosebumps.

MC – My brother Dan. He is hilarious and is happy to take direction from his overbearing sister with a smile!

Celebrant – Roger Thomson

Stationery – Purchased all our paper from Pepes Paperie around the corner from my work!

 Menu –

 Entrée options were:

maple glazed crisp pork belly w pear compote and micro greens

seared prawn and scallops on a pea puree and prosciutto shards 

veal scallopini served on a capsicum, caper, lemon salad

Main options were:

quinoa and sage stuffed chicken breast w cavlo nero and raddichio slaw

eye fillet served on potato gallette

salmon fillet with caramelized fennel & horseradish dressing

Cake – Our cake was a naked cake, alternating Lemon Mud and Choc Hazelnut because neither Dave or I wanted to compromise on our favourites. Tania from Cake Designz was responsible for the masterpiece that graced our dancefloor until it was demolished for dessert.

Bombonieres –  We purchased mini Patrones from our local Dan Murphy, bottle openers from etsy.com, jars and bottles for the Chilli Jam and Limoncello from packmyproduct.com and the packaing/tags from etsy.com too. For my ‘Something Blue’ girlfriends and Bridesmaids I had infinity symbol rings made, with a little note to say “He’s marrying me, but stuck with us” which they loved.

Hair – We used a local hairdresser Pony and Pins. Peter and Carolina (and Emily the apprentice) were a blast to work with, we had so many laughs our trial took way longer than intended because we couldn’t shut up! On the morning of the wedding, Carolina rocked up 2 hours early with a takeaway coffee and said “I hope you don’t mind I’m here early but Peter’s wife went into labour this morning so I need all the time I can get!” … and two hours later, Peter turned up with a bottle of Moet to do my hair… still no baby! Just goes to show how much they care! They had a beautiful baby girl on our wedding day.

Make up – My beautiful friend Lia Mannix is a qualified makeup artist. She stayed over the night before the wedding with me at my parent’s house and was with us the whole day.

Wedding Bands – We purchased our bands from Tony at the Village Jewellers in Manuka (ACT), where Dave had my engagement ring made. Nothing was too much trouble for Tony, he had all the time in the world for us. Dave wanted a band with a Celtic theme, and I wanted my engagement ring to remain the feature, so I opted for a simple rope style, to again embody our Celtic feel. I think they look beautiful together and are definitely unique.

Extra features – We wrote our own vows in little booklets we will be have forever. It was so nice to say exactly what we both felt and make our own promises to each other.

We played a game of heads and tails with our guests for a bit of a laugh. It was a game of elimination, we asked questions like “who manages their laundry better”, “who eats the fastest” and everyone had to put their hands on the bald (head) for Dave or booty (tails) for me. Our winner got a bottle of wine.

Other – My girlfriend Sally-Anne and I run a wedding planning business on the side of our full time jobs, Shampagne Wedding Planning www.shampagne.com.au - We both LOVE weddings and spend our weekends helping couples bring their wedding day dreams to life. We started in 2011 and love every minute of it.

Erin & Nick's San Francisco Wedding: As featured on Style Me Pretty

Posted on 25 Sep, 2015
Erin & Nick's San Francisco Wedding: As featured on Style Me Pretty

 

Images & Words pulled from Style Me Pretty.

When these co-workers turned couple began planning their Big Day, they wanted to showcase the city where the fell in love. Uniting a global guestbook for their Suite ceremony – complete with moroccan inspired touches and sweeping city views – I’d say they aced it. From the floating florals to the sweetly sincere ceremonyGladys Jem captured it all and it’s waiting for you in the gallery!

From Gladys Jem… I’m so excited to share with you Nick & Erin’s gorgeous San Francisco Penthouse wedding. They are some of the loveliest people I’ve worked with, and their wedding truly reflected them. The Penthouse Suite, with it’s moroccan tile & sweeping views of the city, was the perfect to choice to host their closest friends and family. Not only did it reflect their love for travel, but it also showcased the city where they met and fell in love. They had a ceremony filled with personal touches from friends, and a cocktail reception instead of a sit down dinner. It was an incredible heartfelt day, but also absolutely beautiful. Below is a description from the bride, Erin. I hope you enjoy!

From the beautiful Bride… Nick and I met the old fashioned way – at work! We actually had offices across the hall from one another but it took a full 18 months until we each worked up the nerve to chat. I was invited to a barbeque at his amazing (albeit insanely bachelor-pad-like) apartment and he charmed me with his amazing sense of humor and dancing. Our first date was the next day. Nick picked me up early the next morning on his motorcycle – he had bought me a brand new sparkly silver helmet just for the occasion. We spent the day zooming around San Francisco, stopping for lunch at Outerlands and walking Ocean Beach. It was such a beautiful first day together.

Nick is Australian and I am from Connecticut – so San Francisco is very much in-between our two worlds. We wanted a space that would feel intimate and warm but would give our out-of-town guests a gorgeous introduction to the city where we met, fell in love and have built our life together. We also travel a lot and one of our most memorable trips was to Morocco. The minute we saw that gorgeous tiled billiard room we knew that it was such a special place. We literally only saw one venue and immediately locked it in – that’s how much it spoke to us! Nick and I are notoriously decisive, so it was relatively easy! We also got married 7 months after our engagement, so we kept the planning momentum from the minute we set the date. The other thing we did was bring on vendors that we felt a really close, personal connection with. Everyone we worked with not only did beautiful work, but we trusted them to just do what they did best. So that meant that we stepped back from a few decisions and didn’t overly manage the entire process. I think that also made for a happier, more relaxed wedding day all around!

We wanted our wedding to be simple, elegant and timeless. Truthfully, the most important part of the wedding for us was the ceremony. Our best friend Pete married us and he’s such a gifted writer, not to mention a loyal and loving friend. So for the ceremony, we only had a few chairs for family with our friends standing all around us. I can’t explain how wonderful it is to see everyone there, laughing and crying with you in such a personal and beautiful moment. It was our favorite part of the day! Pete did such a beautiful job and I’m so glad we have it on video! Our family and friends are everything to us and since we’re literally from opposite sides of the world, it was so important that we make the wedding venue feel like home. So that meant casual, station-based dinners (not a sit-down meal) and a lingering cocktail hour. We also loved that we had the suite all night long so we could spend more time with our friends! Beyond that, since we decided on the venue so quickly, we wanted to really let the space speak for itself and accent it with candles and flowers. Anna at Loop Flowers did such a beautiful job and just added a touch of drama to the Penthouse and Susie, our coordinator, pulled it all together flawlessly.

 

White Peony Trunkshow 2015

Posted on 23 Sep, 2015
White Peony Trunkshow 2015

The White Peony Bridal Boutique is a lovely, charming bridal shop located in the design district of Victoria BC. The intimate bridal boutique is run by appointment, and offers a carefully-curated selection of wedding gowns plus a beautiful collection of couture accessories, veils, and headpieces.  We are so excited to have gowns from our three of our collections - BESPOKE, KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES and The WILD HEARTS Collection showing at The White Peony from the 18th - 27th September. 

To book your appointment, click here or email hello@thewhitepeony.com 

Beth & Sean's Canberra Wedding: As Featured in Hello May

Posted on 18 Sep, 2015
Beth & Sean's Canberra Wedding: As Featured in Hello May

 

Like many brides, Beth had trouble deciding on and sticking to one solid theme for her and Sean's speical day held at Lanyon Homestead in Canberra. 'Eventually I just gave up! I chose things I loved, and somehow they all came togther' she says lightheartedly. 

'So when people ask me the theme, my answer is usually something along the lines of 'woodsey, natural , white , Australian landscape and little touches of gold' . We wanted it to be beautiful, but laid back, and for people to just enjoy the celebration with us'. 

Knowing their brief, the ever talented Laurel & Lace arranged wooden trestle tables and benches, native flower arrangments and a barbeque style buffet. Meanwhile photographer Lauren Campbell worked her magic behind the lens, capturing every moment and detail of their day including their From The Owl cake topper and Beth's Karen Willis Holmes gown. 

'I absolutely loved how my dress fused both the classic, romantic and the modern all in one look. The KAREN WILLIS HOLMES team looked after me every step of the way, and I could not have loved my dress more than I did - I think I'm going to try and find excuses to wear it again! ' 

Credits: 

Photography: Lauren Campbell // Flowers, planning & styling: Lauren & Lace // Shoes: Jessica Simpson // Bride and Bridesmaids accessories: Kate Spade // Hair: Julie Lyons // Makeup: Katrina Sulit // Grooms suit, jacket and shirt: Connor // Ceremony and reception: Lanyon Homestead // Cake: Karlene Sulit // Cake topper: From The Owl // Stationary : Kelley Scheepers. 

Words from Hello May. 

Heidi & Kieran's Whimsical Garden Wedding

Posted on 16 Sep, 2015
Heidi & Kieran's Whimsical Garden Wedding

 

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband? Kieran and I met during at a high school party

How long have you been together? 8 and a half years

Do you have a proposal story?  I have always dreamt of a white Christmas. So we booked a 5 week holiday to Canada and the US for Christmas 2013. On Christmas Eve we were in Whistler, Canada and we had a really fun day out going dog sledding and then meeting up with some friends for a drink. While waiting to go out for dinner we went to check out the ice skating rink in Whistler village where Kieran got down on one knee and proposed to me amongst all of the Christmas Lights at the ice skating rink.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date?  30th May 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

1.     Where?     The National Trust Heritage Centre, Townsville (ceremony and reception)

2.     What made you choose there? We wanted to have an outdoors reception and have everything in the one place so our guests didn’t have to to move anywhere once they arrived

3.     How did you find it?  A girlfriend of mine told me about Roux blond who are a catering and events company in Townsville and I saw the venue on their website

How was the weather on the day? There were some dark clouds in the morning which made me nervous but by the afternoon there wasn’t a cloud in the sky

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We couldn’t get married at the end of 2014 because my brother was getting married in November 2014 and it is too hot in Townsville between November and April so May seemed the next best!

The Wedding Details

Theme ? The vibe I was going for was whimsical garden party, pretty stripped back avoiding all things ‘white wedding’. My favourite detail of the day was the hanging greenery chandeliers hanging over each of the tables with the one hanging over the bridal party table also incorporating flowers matching the bridal bouquets. I really wanted these to be the feature of the reception space and thought they gave a really relaxed feel as if you were sitting in a garden. 

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?  I looked on Pinterest and made a wedding board and bought a few magazines from Martha Stewart, White and Hello May for inspiration. I even started a scrapbook and cut out the pictures of ideas that I liked because my brain was getting really overwhelmed with ideas. From there I searched for a lot of the things online as it was really time efficient where I didn’t have to leave my house and they got delivered right to my door. I also went to a local wedding expo and joined a local wedding Facebook page to get an idea of the vendors that people were using and their feedback on them.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? The wedding directions sign we made ourselves by getting some recycled timber and screwing it together with a hinge stand so it could be free standing. All of the decorations on the tables were styled and sourced by myself. I got lots of inspiration from Pinterest and then looked online and locally for the products I needed to put it together.  I had some aluminium tins left over from tins of diced tomatoes etc that I stripped off the labels and spray painted them gold. Kieran then drilled some small holes in them and we put tealight candles in them on the tables. For our wedding favours, my dad made his home made tomato relish and put them in jars which I then decorated.

 

Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship? My Maid of Honour was my younger sister Kahlee. Two of my bridesmaids (Leaha and Leah) are best friends friends from highschool and Elyce another best friend who I met when she started dating my friend Steve that I knew growing up in highschool

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship? Kieran’s best man was Michael who he’s known since he was born as family friends. Ben, another Michael and Ian were the Groomsman who are all best mates he went to primary and/or highschool with.

3.     Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?  Our pet Labrador Nala was our flower girl

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? My sister in law got her dress from KAREN WILLIS HOLMES and I really liked the range they had on their website

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before?  I hadn’t seen them before until I went on the website after we were engaged.

How many gowns did you try? In total I probably tried on around 12 gowns in one and a half days

Where did you purchase your gown from ? Paddington, Brisbane

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved that the neckline was something totally different that I had never seen on a wedding dress before. I loved the classic look of the lace but also the touch of sparkle.

 

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier?  J Crew Heidi Dress from Ebay store Paisley Petunia

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Hallenstein Brothers www.hallensteins.com

Bow ties from Etsy store Bartek Design 

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? The bracelet and earrings I wore I borrowed from my sister. Kieran also gave me a bracelet with our wedding date engraved on it on the morning of the wedding that I also wore. The bridesmaids wore pearl studs and gold hair chains woven through their hairstyle.

Where did you get your shoes from? I bought my shoes from Forever Soles on their Etsy store – they are based in Byron Bay. 

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I chose a stunning head comb from Shut the Front Door and a silk tulle cathedral length veil I bought second hand from a lady on Ebay.

 

Other:

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?  Keep your guests entertained and informed with what the proceedings are for the day/night and well fed! Ensure you have all bases of the music covered. It really sets the vibe of the day/night. Get a wedding video! We weren’t going to worry about it and just thought of it as an unnecessary expense but we were so glad we ended up getting one. The day goes so fast and is such a blur that it was great to look back. Also having all of the wedding speeches on video is a special thing to keep.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown?  Try on lots of different shapes and style of dresses. Even though you may have something in mind that you loved in a magazine – when you put it on it may not suit your body shape. Even if you don’t love it on the rack – try it on to get a feel for what style suits you and then you can start a process of elimination. I didn’t really know what I wanted, all I knew was that I didn’t want something strapless – I just started trying things on. There was one dress I saw online at one of the places I had made an appointment and I had been loving it for about 6 months and thought that could totally be my dress. But after getting there and trying it on, it didn’t suit my body shape at all and I was pretty disappointed. Luckily I had already tried on my dress from KAREN WILLIS HOLMES so I went back the next day and got it!

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

I had my brother play and sing my favourite song as I walked down the aisle. We had the videographer record it as well so it could be played over the top of our wedding video. Kieran knew he was going to be playing but I didn’t tell him what song. He (and most of our guests) also had no idea our dog was going to be a part of our wedding – you have to keep some things quiet for that special element of surprise!

Suppliers

Florist - Flourish Floristry

Anitra was so enthusiastic about all of my ideas. She made a very cute floral collar for Nala and did a fantastic job on the hanging greenery chandeliers.

Photographer - Sweet Mary Photography

Katie was very relaxed and never made us feel uncomfortable or rushed. She captured our day so beautifully.

Videographer - Red Oak Productions

Luke and his camera were everywhere – however, we hardly noticed on the day! His final highlight video was so well put together and we were stoked with it.

Music - 45 rpm 

These guys had everyone up on the dancefloor – they even let my brother up to sing a few songs

First Dance – Our first dance was done to ‘Beautiful to Me’ by Little Birdy but the guys from the band learnt the song for us rather than it being played through an iPod. They did such a great job.

MC – Our good friend Stevie Mitchell 

Celebrant – Father Dave Lancini - Catholic Priest from Ministerial Region of the Good Shepherd

Stationery - Etsy Store – FromLeonieWithLove 

Ceremony booklets – Holly booth (friend)

Menu – Holly Booth (friend)

Cake - Paper and String

Bombonieres – Home made

Hair –Liberte Hair

Make up - The MakeUp Mirror 

Wedding Bands - Rings: Jewellery By Design 

Extra features –Event set up and catering by Roux Blond 

Quoits lawn game from Kelly & Co 

'Celebrations' by The Distillery Launch Party

Posted on 09 Sep, 2015
'Celebrations' by The Distillery Launch Party

Last Thursday night, the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES team was invited to an intimate dinner party to launch The Distillery's 'Celebrations ' Collection. 

The beautiful launch party was held for vendors in Sydney's Wedding Inudstry. The 'Celebrations' Collection is a stunning stationary brand that is perfect for any bride and groom who want to express the style of their wedding day through letterpress stationary - crafted with gorgeous, understanded elegance. 

Head over to their website to see more images of their beautiful work : The Distillery 

'Myall'

'Peninsula

'Blossom'

Leesa & Andrew's Beautiful Fiji Wedding

Posted on 09 Sep, 2015
Leesa & Andrew's Beautiful Fiji Wedding

Background 

How did you meet your (now) husband? We met through my brother as he was quite good friends with Andrew and we also went to the same school so we had seen each other around quite a lot.

How long have you been together? We have been together for 10 and a half years. We were eachothers first and last boyfriend/ girlfriend. Once we were together I knew that there would never be anyone else and he was the person I was going to marry and spend the rest of my life with!

Do you have a proposal story? Yes- Andrew recreated our very first date we had (9 years prior) - it was just perfect!! He took me on this beautiful scenic drive and we had lunch at this lovely restaurant on the beach at Whale Beach and then as we were walking back to the car, he asked me to marry him and held out the most gorgeous ring. I was in absolute shock and it was such a surprise. I couldn't believe that I didn't pick up on any planning as having known him for so long I always thought I would know when he was going to ask but I had no idea. He did a very good job of keeping it secret!! He had asked my dad for permission the week before and I was also very surprised that my dad kept such a secret!!

 

The Wedding 

What was your wedding date? 11th April 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception 

1.     Where? Mana Island- Fiji

2.     What made you choose there? I lived in Fiji as a child for 3 years- we moved there for my dads work. Then many years later, Andrew and I had our first overseas holiday together to Mana Island. One morning we went on a walk around the island and saw the most beautiful white seaside chapel with glass windows that sat over the water and he looked at me and said- “this is where we I will marry you”- so we did- many years later!

How was the weather on the day? It was absolutely amazing- beautiful sunny Fiji weather. It did rain for about 30 minutes while our guests were having pre-dinner drinks but then it stopped. It created a really nice atmosphere though as we were all outside under little Bures (Fijian huts) so it really added to the intimate mood.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? Nothing in particular- I work at a school so it needed to be in school holidays so I could have all my work colleagues come.

 

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? White, elegant and classic with obviously a Fijian feel from the frangipanis and scattered starfish across the tables.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest and Etsy were huge helps. I also came up with a lot of my own ideas.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I made the invitations and had a friend who does beautiful calligraphy writing, hand write all the place cards etc. 

Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Maid of honour was my identical twin sister and my bridesmaids were my best friend from high school and my new sister in law to be- who is also my best friend.

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship? Best man was my brother and the groomsmen were one of Andrews’s good mates and the other was his brother.

3.     Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Page boy was our gorgeous little nephew who actually turned 1 on our wedding day.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!) 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I saw the back of my dress on Instagram one night and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to see that dress so the next day I was there first thing in the morning to see it!

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

How many gowns did you try? 9 stores and probably close to 100 gowns.

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

What did you especially like about your gown? The detail on the bodice, the layers of the tulle skirt and the fact that as soon as I put it on I 'knew' that it was for me. It was an unbelievable feeling! The whole dress was just designed for me- I couldn’t have imagined anything else!!

 

Fashion 

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Bridesmaids Only in Double Bay

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

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I bought a matching hair piece for myself from KAREN WILLIS HOLMES and also some earrings that we saw at one of my fittings. The bridesmaids wore silver drop earrings by Angelique and I gave them each a sterling silver bracelet with a starfish charm on it.

Where did you get your shoes from? Zu shoes- they had a beautiful bridal range.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Yes I wore a 2 teir, floor length veil from 'Veils Australia' that had hand seven Swarovski crystals around the edges.

Other:

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Enjoy each and every second of the planning- as stressful as it can be!! You only do it once so take it all in! Remember to stop and breathe and remember why you are doing all this- you are marrying the man of your dreams!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go to KAREN WILLIS HOLMES- you won't regret it!! The quality and service was unbelievable!!

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. I had both my parents walk me down the isle as both of them raised me together so I wanted them both to give me away.

Something Old? My grandmother’s crystal brooch- I clipped it onto my bouquet so she could be with me.

Something New? My stunning dress.

Something Borrowed? A garter from my Aunty.

Something Blue? A blue bow with my maiden name sewn onto the inside of my dress.

Suppliers

 Florist - Mana Island

Photographer - Zoom Fiji

Videographer - Zoom Fiji

Music - 2 piece Fijian band

First Dance - Ed Sheeran- Thinking out loud 

MC - My sister’s boyfriend- he did the most amazing job!

Celebrant - Fijian minister

Stationery - DIY invitations and Wanderlust Wedding (from etsy) for menus and table thank you notes.

Menu - 5 course menu;

1- Amuse: Tropical bruschetta

2- Entree: Caeser salad

3- Refresher: Sorbet- aroma of coral

4-Beef scotch fillet or grilled chicken with island greens potato puff and Dijon mustard sauce

5- Chocolate mouse dome.

Cake - 3 teir red velvet cake

Bombonieres - Fijian scented coconut shell candles

Hair - Hair and Makeup Perfectionist Fiji

Make up - Hair and Makeup Perfectionist Fiji

Wedding Bands - Drakakis jewellers- Hearts on Fire range

 

Amy and Ben's Traditional & Elegant English Wedding

Posted on 04 Sep, 2015
Amy and Ben's Traditional & Elegant English Wedding

Background

How did you meet your (now) husband?  At Edinburgh University.

How long have you been together? Nearly 12 years.

Do you have a proposal story?  Ben proposed on the roof of our building in the East Village, overlooking the New York skyline, wearing a Brooklyn Nets bobble hat. He had hidden a bottle of champagne behind a rusty BBQ on the roof, which we popped and sipped from the bottle right afterwards.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date?  April 25th 2015.

Location (Ceremony and Reception) 

1. Where?  Ceremony – Christ Church, Chelsea, London and the reception/dinner/dancing at The Hurlingham Club in Fulham, London.

2. What made you choose there?  The Hurlingham Club is somewhere I have been going my whole life and is round the corner from my parents house. We both lived in London together after University, so Ben and I had also been there together on multiple occasions. We wanted to get married somewhere that had a personal connection for both of us.

3. How was the weather on the day?  Forecasts had been predicting rain all week but we were all crossing our fingers and on the day not only did the rain hold off but the sun even came out!

The Wedding Details

Theme ?  The vibe was kind of - Classic, elegant, and a traditional English garden. All the flowers were white with lots of green foliage and the bridesmaids all wore dresses of their choice in pale colors.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?  I was in love with Vanessa Traina’s wedding (her dress, the flowers, the venue… it all looked divine) so that was definitely in the back of my mind.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? My mum hand wrote all the name places, and stamped the envelopes with a customized rubber stamp I bought online with Ben and my initials. I also did my make up myself. Although the team at the Hurlingham Club was amazing we didn’t have a wedding planner and being in New York and trying to organize the whole day from here wasn’t easy. Thank goodness for my Mum who was absolutely incredible and without whom there would have been no wedding. She was a superstar wedding planner and creative director rolled into one and made sure things were getting done, liaised with suppliers, came up with wonderful creative ideas, and calmed me down in my more panicked moments. I honestly can’t thank her enough, and my Dad and Ben’s parents too, for their respective parts in making it such an incredible day. 

Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship?  Friends from all walks of my life. Maid of Honor - Rebecca Glenapp (school friend), Bridesmaids - Nina Cunynghame-Lang(school friend), Emily Austin (school friend), Katherine Rowe (Ben’s best girl friend from high school), Alex Robson (old friend who now lives in nyc), Tori Griffiths (university friend).

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship? Brothers and an assortment of Friends from university, school, and home. Best Man – Clive Harris, Ushers - Will Nichols, Luke Nichols, Akshay Mehta, Edward Hodgskin, Julius Bird, Marlon Lloyd Malcolm, Carter Matschullat, Kevin Conetta, Sebastian Peters, Peter Keevil.

3.     Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?  Henry Witherick, the son of my old flatmate from University who I also lived with in London afterwards, Abby Witherick, Martha Lamb, the daughter of my oldest friend, Isabel Lamb, who grew up on the same street as me.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?  I found some of her dresses on the blog The Lane, and was thrilled to find she has a shop in NYC.

 How many gowns did you try?  About a million, but I always came back to the Mabel.

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

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved that it was classic and yet modern. It was a little different without being too fashion forward. And above all it was the one I felt most myself in – which was key.

 

Fashion

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier?  They all chose their own dresses.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits?  As our wedding was a total mix of American and English friends and family the dress code was suits or morning suits (the traditional English wedding attire for men). Ben deliberated forever on what he wanted to wear, but in the end chose a morning suit. He looked so handsome on the day – I think he made the right choice!

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party?  A couple of days before the wedding I found an incredible diamante headpiece, from Ivory & Co, in a shop just round the corner from my parents. It just finished off the whole look. I was also out shopping with a friend that same week and came across a stunning simple silk shift dress in Ghost. As the Mabel has quite a train, I had vaguely been thinking about getting another dress to change into so I felt free to dance later in the evening. It was a surprise for Ben as I changed just before the first dance.

Where did you get your shoes from? Kate Spade. I loved them and felt like a wedding version of Dorothy from the wizard of Oz as they were covered in rose gold glitter, which left a trail of sparkles wherever I went. My dress tailor and my mum were less keen on them as they had to hoover after me every time I put them on.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from?  The veil was from J Crew.

Other:

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff... as my Mum says.  On the day it’s the people that make it, and the couples smiles people want to see, so don’t get too caught up or worried about the tiny details. 

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t try on a million, or they will all scramble into one on your brain and you’ll get totally confused like I did. Ha! Thank goodness for the Mabel. 

Suppliers

Florist – Cressida Jamieson, a friend from University and simply the most amazing florist. From the milk churns by the venue entrance, to the assortment of cut glass vases on the tables, Cressida helped me at every step of the way and I could not be more grateful for the amazing atmosphere she created with the flowers on the day. 

Photographer – Dave Watts – recommended by a friend.

Videographer – Friends Gayle and Jonah Wyn Pugh

Music – Friends (Tori and Clive) created playlists to play on the red buses that took guests from the church to the venue. The band was called Hand Fulla Soul.

First Dance – Fall At Your Feet, Crowded House

MC – Rory Shannon, my brother

Hurlingham Event Planner – Lauren Hill

Stationery Gee Brothers

Menu – Breadsticks with tapenade and hummus, followed by...

Canapes - Parmesan and thyme crisps with porcini risotto and chive, Cornish crab with avocado, lemon and mustard salsa, red pepper cream on melba toast, Roast loin of venison with juniper and orange, pickled apple and red cabbage, grain mustard, Roasted new potato filled with game salmis of pheasant, pigeon and quince sprinkled, Seared scallops with minted pea puree, crispy pancetta and pea shoots, Angel hair filo rolls of roast winter vegetables with honey and sesame dressing, Croque Monsieur of bresaola, gruyere cheese and truffle butter and sour cream dressing with smoked bacon crumbs.

Main - Roasted organic salmon, parsley creamed potatoes, glazed chantenay carrots, caper butter sauce or (V) Truffled celeriac brulee tart, caramelised salsify, soft poached quails egg, tarragon buttered young vegetables, celery root fondant.

Boys - Mini pecan pie served with vanilla ice-cream. 

Girls - Pineapple & lime parfait, strawberry coulis, coconut tuille. 

Cake – We didn’t have cake. Instead we embraced a long-standing family tradition – drinking from the Nichols cup. It is a family heirloom that has been passed down through generations. Both husband and wife take a sip at the same time to represent their union.

Make up - Myself

Wedding Rings – A market in Williamsburg, NYC

Band – Hand Fulla Soul

Extra features – We had olive trees brought down from the North of England, ribbon with our name and the wedding date on it.

GOWN FEATURE: Holly Gown

Posted on 02 Sep, 2015
GOWN FEATURE: Holly Gown

The beautiful Holly Gown is a corded lace gown featured a low v-neckline at the front & back. Silhouette finished with a full organza skirt with pleat detail. Center back button detail.

Colour: Ivory

Sizes Available: US 2-20 / UK & AUS 6- 24

Fabric: Corded lace & organza.  

For more information, call (02) 9519 3901 or email info@karenwillisholmes.com