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


Date: November 2015

Gown Feature: Sophie

Posted on 27 Nov, 2015
Gown Feature: Sophie

Sophie Gown from the 2016 BESPOKE Collection. 

This stunning V-neck gown with embellished & embroidered bodice detail & full tulle circle skirt is finished with a beautiful belt. 

Colour: Ivory 

Fabric: Embroidered tulle bodice & tulle skirt 

Sizes: US 2- 20 / UK & AUS 6- 24 

Arabella & Andrew's Classic and Elegant Wedding

Posted on 25 Nov, 2015
Arabella & Andrew's Classic and Elegant Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We met 10 years ago on holiday in Jamaica! I am Canadian and was living in Toronto, Andy is from Kildare and was studying for the year in Chicago. We were both holidaying with friends in Jamaica (during Spring break) and just happened to be staying at the same resort. We had a few fun nights out together as a group and, at the end of the holiday, we invited the Irish boys to Toronto to visit us. That is really when our relationship started. We did some trips back and forth between Toronto and Chicago, and then Andy moved back to Ireland... and a year later I followed him! We now live in London.

Do you have a proposal story? It was just before Christmas and we were going our separate ways for the holidays that year - me to my family in Canada and Andy to his family in Ireland. On the night he proposed, we were having our last romantic Christmas evening together, watching carol singers at Royal Albert Hall, having a nice dinner, etc. We were back home and having a glass of wine by the fire, opening our gifts to each other when he said ‘I have another gift for you’ and out popped a stunning yellow diamond ring!

The Wedding 

What was your wedding date?  July 4th, 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?    Adare Manor, Co. Limerick, Ireland

What made you choose there? Initially, we weren’t sure if we would get married in Ireland or somewhere abroad - I desperately wanted to go somewhere warm and sunny! During a trip back to Ireland to visit Andy’s family, we visited at a few venues. The 3rd venue we visited was Adare Manor in County Limerick, which is close to where Andy’s father grew up and where his grandfather still lives. Notwithstanding its proximity to Andy’s family, I had never actually visited the Manor before; however, the minute we drove in the gates I fell in love with the place (which made Andy very happy) and choosing it as our wedding venue was unquestionably one of the very best decisions we made. Not only is the venue beautiful, but the warmth, professionalism and genuine nature of the staff knows no bounds - they definitely took a lot of the stress out of planning the wedding and, in particular, allowed us to sit back and enjoy the wedding day itself rather than worrying about proceedings.

How was the weather on the day? I would say that it was typically Irish. Although it rained while we were getting ready, and then amazingly, the sun came out when I was leaving for the church and it shone brightly all day until the bell for dinner, at which point it started to drizzle again. We were really, really lucky with the weather.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? It was coincidence really. We had a few options with the venue in July or August. When we thought about it, the 4th of July weekend was perfect as  we had lots of family and friends travelling from Canada and the US and that weekend was a bank holiday for them (US Independence Day is the 4th and Canada Day is on the 1st). We also really wanted to get married in July or August to give us the best chance of having fine weather in Ireland on the wedding day (which we had).

The Wedding Details

Theme? Simple, classic and elegant. I wanted something to compliment the venue, work with the décor and not against it. The colour pallet was black and white (as we had a black tie wedding) with neutral colour tones with a hint of metallic (silver, gold, rose gold). I asked the women in the bridal party to bring out the metallic touches through the form of sequins in their dresses or accessories after I had chosen my wedding gown. My sister, mother of the bride and mother of the groom all had different layers of sequins/sparkle in their gowns.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? I have to say, most of the planning inspiration came from my sister. She had an amazing evening wedding in an art gallery in Canada a few years before. She is incredibly stylish (being a writer in a women’s fashion magazine) and I used some of her pallets and themes from her wedding planning folder she handed to me when I got engaged.  I also turned to Pinterest so I could share with my mom and sister what I was thinking and I read many, many magazines and blogs. My husband was a great sounding board along with our wedding planner at Adare Manor. She knew the best local suppliers, understood what I was going for and could make recommendations which helped simplify my search for vendors.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I didn’t want a lot of DIY to our wedding as we had to travel from London to Ireland and also I didn’t want family to be running lots of errands before the event. However, that isn’t always how it works out! The most DIY we did was in our stationary and goodie bags.

We closed each invitation with a wax seal that was made with our initials (A&A). I felt it was a lovely finish to our invitations and I enjoyed sending them off to friends and family to set an early tone for our black tie wedding and the historical Adare Manor.

Additionally, instead of party favours at the dinner, we made little welcome goodie bags for those who travelled a long distance. We included some treats and snacks from our diverse backgrounds. So from Andy and his family in Ireland we had Emerald’s (chocolate covered toffee) and Tayto Crisps. From my Canadian background we had Coffee Crisp chocolate bars and little jars of maple syrup. From UK and my father we had Polo mints. From Norway and my mother we had Firklover chocolates. For our wedding party we also gave them Irish Waterford Crystal bowls/candle holders as a special thank you. We had our stationary company make small welcome cards and each bag was waiting in the rooms for our guests when they arrived, just in case we were not there to welcome them personally. I heard the next day at our BBQ that the crisps and chocolate came in handy late in the evening when people needed a little snack after dancing into the early hours and mints never go wrong! For me, it was great fun filling the bags with my niece in our hotel room, particularly when she kept on eating all the Polo mints!


Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?  My sister

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Andy’s brother

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? My niece and Andy’s cousin (Andy was a page boy at our page boy’s parents’ wedding when he was young).

Wedding Gown (the most important part!) 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?  I had an idea in my head of the type of dress I wanted; a simple long, satin gown with a low back. I was looking for something that had a bit of detailing to complement a black tie wedding as well. I found a dress that fit the bill at a London designers boutique in Knightsbridge. My mom flew over from Norway and I tried dresses on at the boutique. I was almost sold. I asked if I could make one or two small changes but they wouldn’t allow any design alterations! So, I went back to the drawing board and began to look for dresses by just going to store after store. After a few months, I honestly grew tired of the dress search. I had tried on so many, I worried I was getting confused and wouldn’t be able to decide or I thought I had potentially missed ‘the dress’.

After months of searching, my deadline of when I would need to order a dress started looming and I decided to go back and try to find the dress I originally liked at a different boutique which sold a wider array of dresses including the brand that I had previously tried at the Knightsbridge boutique.

While trying on the same dress, I fell in love with the stores selection of sequined KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gowns. I knew sequins was perfect for a black tie wedding! I put on the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Anya dress, it was still simple, fit me well, complemented by body and it felt like my wedding dress. I felt special, glamorous and beautiful. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t seen these dresses in London before, and I had been searching and searching!  That said, I wanted to be 100% sure it was truly “me” because it was a step away from what I originally had in mind, so I made one more visit where my sister and mom added their respective endorsements via facetime while a friend steadily held my iPad. Hands down, they both loved it.

How many gowns did you try? I would say I tried on between 35 wedding dresses.

 What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the diverse array of sequins, more fluttery across the top and became smaller and tighter down the dress. I also loved the train. It was very fluid and looked lovely in the church flowing behind me and in pictures when my husband picked me up. I really enjoyed picking up the edge of my train when I walked as well, I could show off my shoes and my dress didn’t change shape. I had the train bustled for both under and out as I couldn’t decide and I wanted to show my mom and my sister both options before I finalized the look. Because of the vast array of sequins you couldn’t see the buttons, which was brilliant. These two bustles came in handy as my husband stood on my hem as we started our first dance and the first bustle button popped off!! I was able to just pick up the edge of my train in my hand and still dance, the train length enabled the dance to still look elegant. It was very handy to have a second bustle that night though! The only alteration that  I made (other than just fitting) was to lower the back ever so slightly, as I really wanted a backless dress (although the dress didn’t really need the change).

One other thing that I didn’t really think about but I really appreciated in the dress was how the front kicked out when I walked. With the weight of the sequins on the dress, the hem kicked out so I never stepped on it. I had seen so many other brides tripping on their dress (if they slouched even a little, their front hem caused them to step on their dress). I loved that I never had to worry about it!

I loved the fit of the gown, it flowed along my curves and it was simple enough that I bought an additional belt to switch out in the evening to dress the gown up for night. I didn’t use it in the end as I loved the dress as it was, but the additional features of the gown enabled me to dress it up even more which was such a lovely benefit. It really is very versatile! 


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? My sister wore a Nicole Miller evening gown from Holt Renfrew in Canada.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits?  My husband’s tuxedo was from Givenchy, the best man was wearing a tux from Reiss.   

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore my own aquamarine and diamond ring that my husband gave to me on my 30th birthday as my something blue. I had bought a matching bracelet and earrings from Stella & Dot but in the end, I wore the bracelet and my sister wore the earrings as they matched her dress perfectly! It was really nice to have the matching set worn between us. My earrings were a pearl and diamond drops, a gift from my new parents-in-law.

Where did you get your shoes from? I wore silver sparkly Christian Louboutin heels. I had the front soles done by the boutique with a red rubber sole which stopped me from slipping as well.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I bought a simple raw edge veil that I tried on at the same time in the boutique with the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES dress. They just worked really together. The veil tucked into my up-do and hung to the floor, I had the veil trimmed so it hung to the lower part of the dress where the train pulled out so it wouldn’t get caught in the dress. I also placed a sparkly clip in the side of my hair. 



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?

I had some advice which someone gave me early into planning my wedding which was: at the beginning, sit with your fiancé and each of you write down the top 3 things you want from the day. For the items that make both your lists, that is what you should focus on and invest in.

My other advice is to invest time and energy in finding the right photographer. I knew the photographer I wanted from the moment I saw her portfolio online. I looked at the images and thought – these pictures are how I want to look back and remember my wedding. I would highly recommend that you do not short cut on your photography as it is the lasting memory once the images in your head are gone. The pictures our photographer took captured our joy and happiness, our friends and family and the special moments I started to forget a few days after. I still haven’t stopped looking at the photos and, when I do, I smile to myself every single time.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Try not to go to as many stores as I did!

In all seriousness, I do have the following tips:

  1. In London, the big boutiques charge you for each visit (c. £50) so it can get quite expensive. Try going during the week day after work or at lunch - some only charge on weekends.  
  2. When you go, be selective and know what you want to try on, there are only so many dresses you can try in an hour.
  3. Finally, know your budget. A few friends had two dresses on their wedding day - a long one for the day and a shorter one for the night. I preferred having a few accessory changes as I didn’t want to take my dress off! Also, I played with attire for the weekend of my wedding. I had a cream bouncy short dress for the rehearsal dinner together with a great pair of cream Valentino ‘rock stud’ shoes. I also wore a long, low back white Alice & Olivia beach dress the day after at our BBQ with wedges and colorful accessories.




Photographer – Christina Brosnan (Brosnan photographic). I fell in love with her photographs so I just had to work with her. Since receiving my photos, I have fallen in love with my own wedding photography! She was just so easy to work with and very, very capable. She had ideas of where to shoot and just took us where we needed to go. It was easy, fun and I enjoyed every minute of our couples shots.

VideographerBest Day Productions. I love the 8mm film he uses which produces a more old fashioned, grainy video. Classic but a bit on the edgy side.

Music – Simon Morgan in Ireland help us organise our music in the church and at our drinks reception. He pulled together musicians after speaking with us on what we were looking for. He made some amazing recommendations of both vocalists and musicians, which fit really well with the tone of the day and venue.

For the main event, Andy insisted on the 80’s tribute band, Springbreak – one of the very few requests / demands he made for the day, and I have to say that they were an absolute blast and had everyone on the dance floor from start to finish.

 Adare Manor recommended a local guitarist and singer, Brian, for the after-party in the cellar bar who did a fantastic job. An added bonus was when one of our friends, jazz pianist Michael Kaeshammer, got up on stage with Brian and the two of them jammed, with some help from guests, until the very early hours!

First Dance – SpringBreak learned Elton John’s Your Song for us on the wedding day. It was a lovely fit with their 80s music and didn’t clash with the rest the night.

Celebrant – Father John McNamara is a friend of Andy’s family. He was so kind on the day, going to great lengths to explain part of the service to those that are not of a Catholic background.  He even went so far as to give blessings to those not baptized at the wedding.

Stationery - Leeming Brothers Stationary. I really enjoyed working with them. They did all our stationary, from Save the Dates to the Thank You cards. The consistency, quality and elegance of our stationary was lovely. When they sent me a sample, the had sealed their envelopes with wax which I loved so much I used their idea for our wedding invites, getting a wax seal made of our own. We now want our own personal stationary as a couple, which we plan on working with Lewis and his team at Leeming Brothers to make in the future. 

Cake - CocoaMoiselle. She was excellent, we had a dessert table which looked scrumptious! She was so accommodating, even making a traditional Norwegian festive cake for my family. For our wedding cake, I like carrot and my husband likes chocolate biscuit, so we had both in the different tiers of our cake. We didn’t have a speck of cake left. Everyone kept on talking about how good the biscuit cake was, so we are going to be getting some for Christmas cakes this year – they are just too good! I love the fact that I now know someone I trust and can go to for treats, cakes or desserts.

Hair - Kayleigh from Niall Colgan Hairdressing in Limerick. She was excellent. Fun and a very, very talented stylist. I would highly recommend her to any bride!

Make up – I did my makeup myself. In the lead up to the wedding I visited Bobbi Brown, Mac, Benefit and Laura Mercier makeup artists for all the tips and to get the right colours for my wedding day look.


Pearl & Dot Canada, Trunkshow 2015

Posted on 20 Nov, 2015
Pearl & Dot Canada, Trunkshow 2015

Pearl & Dot is a stunning bridal boutique located in Calgary Alberta, Canada. KAREN WILLIS HOLMES will be holding a Trunk show there from the 20th November until 29th November 2015 showcasing gowns from our collections - KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES and The WILD HEARTS Collection. 

Pearl & Dot was named after Alyssa's (Pearl & Dot's Boutique Owner) most stylish, chic and fabulous ladies she knows - My grandmother's Pearl & Dorothy. 

When Alyssa was creating Pearl & Dot, she knew that the bride would be her number one priority. Her carefully curated collection of wedding gowns are as unique and stylish as the brides that walk through Pearl & Dot's doors. The team makes sure that the bride experience is effortless, fun and inspirational as possible. 

You can find out more about Pearl & Dot on their website here, or for an appointment in their boutique email hello@pearlanddot.com 

Tamara & Brett's Spanish Wedding: As Featured on Martha Stewart Weddings

Posted on 18 Nov, 2015
Tamara & Brett's Spanish Wedding: As Featured on Martha Stewart Weddings

We were so honoured to have one of our brides, Tamara featured in the latest issue of MARTHA STEWART Weddings Magazine. Read more about this beautiful wedding below.

Tamara McCarthy and Brett Nidel knew they would eventually get married within a week of meeting. Tamara was born in Dublin, grew up on Spain’s Canary Islands, and came to New York City for a semester during college to study design. She rented an apartment down the street from friends of Brett, a born-and-raised New Yorker. The two met by chance one night; however, the pair didn’t reconnect until a few years later when Tamara graduated from college in Ireland and officially moved to NYC. Brett’s friends put them in touch again, and, as the saying goes, the rest is history. “Honestly, after Tamara got an apartment that she stayed in for a total of about one week, we moved in with each other—no more than four weeks after!” says Brett

A year and a half later, right before Tamara’s mom was coming to visit, Brett planned to propose. He took great measures when it came to Tamara’s engagement ring: he stole a different band from her closet to get the piece sized correctly and he even turned off the locater app on his iPhone whenever he went to the jeweler. However, despite his sneaky tactics, the surprise proposal almost fell apart—twice! First, after Brett asked Tamara’s mom permission to pop the question, she accidentally emailed her daughter to express excitement about the plan. Brett reacted quickly and told Tamara not to look at the email because it gave details of a (nonexistent) surprise birthday party planned for her during an upcoming vacation to the Canary Islands. The second close call came after Brett told his father and stepmom about the proposal. When Tamara walked in the room afterwards, Brett’s father was so excited that he slipped and said, “Well I guess congratulations are due…” Brett improvised something like, “That her mom is coming to visit?” and avoided spoiling the surprise once mor

In the end, everything played out smoothly. “I was shaking with nerves but it was the happiest moment of my life. She said yes!” says Brett. 

He and Tamara journeyed to the bride’s childhood home of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, for a destination wedding on September 13, 2014. About 120 guests from all over the world attended the rustic and modern ceremony, which had a color palette of charcoal, kraft brown, and gold. The big day joined two cultures, two languages, and two religions—and not to mention two people—together in a very memorable way. 


Since Tamara holds her childhood home of Gran Canaria close to her heart, the New York City-based couple chose to get married on the Spanish island. The ceremony and reception took place at Finca Condal Vega Grande, a restored manor house that embodies the traditional architecture of the location. Although the Canary Islands was a long plane ride for the couple’s American guests, other invitees didn’t have to travel far: 40 hailed from Spain and the rest came from Ireland and other nearby countries.

Tamara, a graphic designer, created the stationery and the couple’s “13” logo—the number signified the wedding date of September 13 and also represents good luck in Brett’s Jewish faith. El Calotipo screen-printed and letterpressed Tamara’s design onto each piece of stationery. The suite also introduced a feather motif that appeared throughout the wedding to symbolize the fauna on Gran Canaria. 


Did Tamara try on a lot of gowns? “I think that’s an understatement!” she says. “I tried on every gown in the city.” As a real estate broker, Brett had recently helped designer Karen Willis Holmes set up her first bridal boutique stateside, and Karen helped Tamara finally land the dress of her dreams. “I was her first U.S. bride, and meeting her was just meant to be,” says Tamara. During her dress hunt, the bride-to-be avoided all strapless and poofy numbers. However, when she realized that the style of gown she sought didn’t suit her body type, she ended up with none other than a strapless, poofy dress. Tamara completed her look with strappy sandals by Manolo Blahnik (a fellow Canarian), a veil by Karen Willis Holmes, and her custom Shine Jewelers engagement ring.  

Brett paired his Ralph Lauren suit with a Doyle + Mueser shirt, Paul Smith bow tie, John Varvatos shoes, and his grandfather’s vintage cufflinks.


In order to maximize time with their guests, Tamara and Brett decided to have a first look and take portraits before the ceremony. The couple spent a few heartfelt moments together, and then photographer Pablo Beglez whisked them away in a small car and drove five minutes down the coast on a bumpy road. “He hadn’t told us this little plan, but he had scouted an incredible landscape, which is really representative of the island, to take pictures in,” says Tamara. “These are some of our favorite photos of the two of us.”

Officiant Lynn Levy, Brett’s godmother, mixed the couple’s cultures, languages, and religions to create a personalized and unique ceremony. The bride and groom lit candles, which is normally done in a Catholic mass, but added a Jewish twist of using them to honor those that couldn’t be there, including Brett’s close childhood friend, grandparents, and Tamara’s father. The couple also incorporated the seven blessings rather than traditional Bible readings. At the end of the ceremony, Brett participated in the Jewish wedding ritual of breaking the glass.

 As a shout-out to their wedding destination, Tamara and Brett served Canarian food made by Gamonal. On the menu was cheese salad with berry vinaigrette, herbed steak with vegetables, grilled cherne (white fish) with grilled potatoes and vegetables, and white chocolate mouse with passion fruit. Later in the night, churros with chocolate provided a pick-me-up for hungry dancers. Guests also enjoyed a vanilla wedding cake baked by a family friend.  

 Tamara credits the dinner as the most memorable moment of the day. “I looked up and saw a mix of people that have touched my life in different stages all coming together—people from my childhood in Spain, my college life in Ireland, and my new life in the USA,” she says.


Tamara and Brett danced to “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. “Dancing outside in the beautiful weather under those lights to that gorgeous song, and feeling so in love, was a dream,” says the bride, who added that the song was a favorite of her father’s.

Toward the end of the evening, the wedding party grabbed some chairs and hoisted the bride and groom up for the hora. Guests danced to jazz and world music well into the night, with some partying until 5 a.m. “The late bus was pretty lively. Some English-versus-Spanish song wars broke out, and some people even went to the clubs afterward!” says Tamara. 



Photography: Pablo Beglez

Location: Finca Condal Vega Grand

Catering: Gamonal 

Flowers: Edelweiss 

Stationery Printing: El Calotipo 

Hair: Mari Carmen Sosa of Salon Mari Carmen 

Makeup: Angel Marquez Artiles of Bobbi Brown 


Sarah & Steve's Beautiful Botanical Wedding

Posted on 11 Nov, 2015
Sarah & Steve's Beautiful Botanical Wedding



How did you meet your (now) husband? I walked into a bar at a backpacker’s hostel in London and was immediately drawn to this Aussie bloke with big dimples and a cheeky sense of humour. After a whirlwind 4-day romance, I reluctantly flew home to Brisbane, thinking we would never see each other again. Months of daily phone calls and emails ensued, until finally I returned to the UK to take a chance on this footy-mad guy from Perth. The rest, as they say, is history!

How long have you been together? 7 years

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 10th January 2015

Location (Ceremony)

Where? Gardens House, Royal Botanic Gardens

What made you choose there?  We fell in love with the quaint caretaker’s house with the creeping vines, the grand old tree in the backyard and the beautiful colourful gardens.

How did you find it?  Much internet searching

Location (Reception)

Where?     Alto, GPO Building

What made you choose there?  The lofty industrial look of the space perfectly suited the modern style we wanted for our reception. The views from the grand windows are absolutely stunning, especially in the evening when the city is all lit up! Most of our guests travelled to Melbourne for the wedding from interstate, and we loved the idea of them wandering down the cobblestone laneways to find the entrance hidden at the back of the beautiful historic GPO building. (And once Steve discovered he could choose whichever craft beers he wanted AND we could stay and party until 1am, he was sold!)

How did you find it?  Steve discovered Alto on a local styling company’s website, and he was so excited to check it out initially that he went on his lunch break all by himself! The event coordinator, Angela, couldn’t believe it when the groom walked in without a bride (apparently this is not a particularly common occurrence!).

How was the weather on the day?We overcame the odds (90% chance of torrential rain!) and were blessed with a beautiful, cool day.

The Wedding Details

Theme ?  It was a bit of a mishmash of vintage and modern! The ceremony had a vintage feel, being situated on the grounds of an historic cottage from the 1800s with beautifully landscaped gardens. The bouquets and boutonnières included a mix of classic and quirky florals (roses, hydrangeas and berries) in pastel colours. One of my favourite things was the single red rose that our florist hid in my bouquet, as an ode to my red lipstick. We styled the reception to have a more modern, elegant look. The centerpieces were tall, sculptural white hydrangeas with lots of greenery in elegant clear glass vases, and the menus and placecards were simple with modern font.

 Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest, blogs, and magazines like Hello May, White Magazine and Hooray

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? The stationery was all DIY: we designed the invites, placecards and menus to be simple and minimalist in style, with modern typography. I printed and framed some of my favourite quotes to include as part of the reception décor. We surprised our parents by printing some photographs of our grandparents who couldn’t be with us on the day. My stepmum made the cake (still amazed that it survived the trip from Queensland)! She also made the lace and silk robes for me and the bridesmaids to get ready in. We handmade our favours: these were recovery kits which came out at the end of the evening. These included panadol for sore heads, bandaids for sore feet, chips for a midnight snack, Berocca for a next day pick-me-up and directions to breakfast the following morning! 

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? My three girlfriends Jane, Emma, and Kate – one from Brisbane, one from Sydney and one from Perth!

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Steve’s best mates from Perth: Blake, Lloyd and Matthew

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? The two page boys were Harry (Blake’s son) and Logan (Lloyd and Kate’s son). Logan, the younger of the two, decided at the last minute that he would definitely not be walking down the aisle in the boat shoes we made him wear (far too hipster for his liking). Harry was very brave and conquered the walk all by himself! They both looked super adorable in their bow ties and suspenders, and definitely stole the show. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?  A friend recommended it, and I had seen the beautiful dresses in the window.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Walking past the store window on High St in Armadale (fantasizing!)

How many gowns did you try?  I tried on about 10-20 before coming to KAREN WILLIS HOLMESS. My bridesmaid Jane pulled out the Kayla for me to try on, which I loved, and then I got a little braver and tried the Caitlyn and the Alexandra… and they were both so beautiful! In the end I had to convince my Mum to fly down from the Gold Coast to help me choose!

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

What did you especially like about your gown? Definitely the sequins; the way it sparkled in the light, with just the right amount of old Hollywood glamour. I loved the intricate embroidered lace pattern, the cap sleeves and of course the feature back. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, I used to sneak into the spare room to gaze longingly at it! It was truly the most special gown I have ever worn (and will ever wear in my lifetime).  



Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Zimmermann

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Suits - Peter Jackson, shirts - Godwin Charlie, shoes – Florsheim.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore my aunty’s pearl and diamond earrings for the ceremony (my “something borrowed”) and changed to dangly Samantha Wills earrings for the reception. My bridesmaids wore Mimco earrings.

Where did you get your shoes from? Jimmy Choo

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Originally I wasn’t planning on wearing a veil. Then 5 days out from the wedding, I woke up with a sudden change of heart! Luckily I found a local Etsy store that was able to whip one up for me pronto.  



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Choose a new special perfume to wear, and only wear it on the day/week of the wedding. Then, in future, you can use that scent as a trigger to help retrieve your wedding memories. 

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? When booking appointments to try on dresses, don’t do too many in one day! It can get really overwhelming. Schedule in breaks for coffee and lunch with your girlfriends/sister/mum – you need the downtime to process and reflect on all the beautiful gowns you have seen. Don’t be afraid to try on something crazy – often “the one” ends up being completely opposite to what you have always imagined (I always thought I would wear vintage flowy lace, and ended up in fitted sequins!). And finally make an effort to actually do your makeup and wear the right underwear when you go to try on dresses (read: strapless pushup bra! Seamless undies!) – it is so much easier to properly imagine how you will look on the day.


Florist –North St Botanical. We found North St while walking our dog around the neighbourhood one weekend! We were keen to support our local community of clever creatives in Thornbury. Emily is a legend, super chilled to work with, and understood exactly what style we were after.

Photographer –Jesse Hisco. Cannot rate this guy highly enough! He was so much more than a photographer – he helped us out with all aspects of the wedding from the moment we met him. He is such an exceptionally lovely human and made everyone feel super comfortable on the day. And the photos speak for themselves!

Videographer Artistic Films. Another local business- Alper did a wonderful job of recording the important moments from the day. Best thing we did was have him record video messages from our guests at the reception – these became more and more hilarious as the night went on! 

Music –Renee Cassar sang and played acoustic guitar at the ceremony (she is absolutely fantastic); Steve’s mate DJ Wombat got us all up on the d-floor at the reception

First Dance –Song choice was The National - England

MC – Trent Hunt, friend of the groom

Celebrant – Georgia Mills. We had so many people come up to us and comment on how exceptional she was!

Stationery – DIY

Menu - DIY

Cake – Bride’s stepmum

Bombonieres -  DIY

Hair – Lauren Mackellar. She did such an amazing job – her photo of my bridesmaid Emma’s braided up-do ended up going viral on Instagram!

Make up Melonie Santos. Incredible woman who did a stellar job. I can’t believe my red lipstick didn’t smudge all day!

Wedding Bands – James Allen

Sash & Bustle, Canada Trunkshow 2015

Posted on 05 Nov, 2015
Sash & Bustle, Canada Trunkshow 2015

Sash and Bustle is a gorgeous wedding boutique located charming Toronto.  We are so excited to be showing gowns from all three of our collections (BESPOKE, The WILD HEARTS and KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Collection) from the 6th November until 15th November 2015. 

Sash and Bustle is owned by two sisters, Andrea and Vanessa (we love these girls!) who share the same passion about creating the dream day for each of their brides. 

Sash & Bustle is a haven for brides looking for both non-traditional and classically styled gowns in a sea of overwhelming bridal options - they offer a smaller, more intimate boutique environment. 

Each bridal appointment enjoys the ‘run of the house’ with just one wedding party in-store at any given time, providing dedicated one-on-one service, and a relaxed, inviting atmosphere. The collections Sash & Bustle range from CAD$1,200 to CAD$3,900, with most gowns priced between CAD$1,800-CAD$2,400.

In short, the sisters have just one simple goal for every bride - to make the process of finding your dream gown a fun and enjoyable experience.

For more information on the boutique, head over to their website  or email info@sashandbustle.com 

Jo & Tim's stunning Bryon Bay Wedding

Posted on 04 Nov, 2015
Jo & Tim's stunning Bryon Bay Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? I use to work with Tim’s sister Nelly.

How long have you been together? 5.5 years.

Do you have a proposal story? Tim proposed when we were on holiday in New Zealand on an island in the Bay of Islands. He had secretly had a ring designed and made for me. It was a special day and it’s a really special ring.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 15th May 2015.

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?  Fig Tree Restaurant, Byron Bay.

What made you choose there?  We had heard about Fig Tree and it was the first place we wanted to check out for a wedding venue. After having an amazing tasting there and meeting with Che (the owner) we just knew it was the right place for us so we locked in the date we wanted and didn’t look anywhere else. Che is a lovely genuine human and the property is so homely. We love it there

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We wanted to get married in May as we love the weather at that time of the year. Not too hot or cold. 

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)?  Colours: White, light grey and royal blue.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?  The Fig Tree Restaurant is a beautiful old farmhouse that has been converted into a restaurant. It has a lot of charm and the property is so beautiful, we wanted to keep everything else quite simple as to not distract from the beautiful backdrop and views of Byron Bay and the lighthouse.


Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Becky (Brides sister) &Nelly (Grooms sister)

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship? Dean &David (Grooms bestmen)

3.     Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Evie &Hunter (our niece and nephew). 


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I spotted a gown on the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Facebook page and called the Brisbane store to arrange to come up and try it on.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? On the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Facebook Page. 

How many gowns did you try? I probably tried on 5 dresses. Deborah from KAREN WILLIS HOLMES helped me and I really enjoyed the experience!

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? I purchased it from the Paddington store the same day I tried it on.

What did you especially like about your gown? When I put it on I thought ‘Wow’! I loved that it was unique and fun to wear. I got so many compliments on it and a few people at our wedding asked if the gown had been made for me. 


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Forever New.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Tim’s suit &bow tie were from M.J.Bale in Brisbane. We got the groomsmen outfits from Connor. 

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? My earrings are from KWH Paddington and I had a simple sparkly hair comb from Colette. 

Where did you get your shoes from? Forever soles in Byron Bay. www.foreversoles.com They were simple, a good height and comfy!

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I didn’t wear a veil.



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? When you make a decision, lock it in and move onto the next thing. Smash the to-do list. It all gets done in the end and it’s so exciting!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Browse the net for inspiration. There are plenty of pretty gowns out there you just need to find the one that best suits you and your personality.


Florist – Estelle: The French Petal. www.thefrenchpetal.com Estelle is such a sweet lady and we loved all our beautiful flowers. It was exactly what we wanted and we didn’t need to give her much direction- she’s a pro!

Photographer – Jason & Sarah: Lucas &Co. www.lucasandcophotography.com Jase & Sair are an awesome duo, so relaxed and down to earth. We love their style and we’re so so happy with our wedding photos! They captured so many special moments.

Videographer – Bernice: All your memories. www.allyourmemories.com.au We have always loved the work of ‘All your memories’ so it was an easy decision. We will be getting our wedding film back soon along with the coverage of the ceremony and speeches- we can’t wait!!

Music – James John Anson (also our Jeweler) www.ansonjewellers.com Awesome live acoustic musician- always creates the best atmosphere. And for later in the evening we had DJ Pip: www.byronaudio.com.au Pip was great- we gave him a small song list and let him take charge from that. We were up dancing all night long. He also supplied our pool lighting.

First Dance –James Morrison – ‘I won’t let you go’. Our first dance was outside down by the pool. It was especially beautiful as it gently started to rain half way through the song but that didn’t stop our family and friends from joining in and dancing in the rain with us.

MC – Ben (Brides Brother) Benny did a great job! He was in his element.

Celebrant – Cara Gallagher: Modern Love Ceremonies. www.modernloveceremonies.com.au When we met Cara at a Byron Bay Wedding Fair we just laughed and laughed. We instantly knew she was the right celebrant for us and we booked her in the same day! She made our ceremony so personal and engaging for all our guests. So many of our family and friends commented on what a beautiful unique ceremony it was. Cara will always be a special friend.

Stationery – Lisa Brown: lisadrinkwater@gmail.com A very talented lady. She designed all our stationary including ‘save the date’ cards, formal invitations, map &info cards and ‘how it’s going to go’ cards for the day.

Menu – After canapés by the pool we sat down for a banquet feast. Our guests shared large platters which included 3x mains and 3x sides. The food at Fig Tree is unreal! The vegetables and salad ingredients come straight out of the huge vege garden on the property. Che is the owner and head chef- awesome guy!

Cake – Rebel: www.rebellyouscakeco.com.au We had a lime and coconut cake with white chocolate ganache. It was decorated with fresh flowers. It was so yummy! Really happy with the flavor we picked. Rebel was highly recommended to us by Fig Tree.

Hair – Alana Mevissen: www.alanamevissen.com Alana looked after my hair and make-up for me and my bridesmaids. She is very talented and professional. I absolutely loved how she did my make-up- it was so natural and I never needed to top it up. Loved my hair- a really relaxed romantic look.

Make up – Alana Mevissen: www.alanamevissen.com (see Hair)

Wedding Bands – James Anson: www.ansonjewllers.com James helped Tim to secretly design an engagement ring for me. It is a stunning blue sapphire and diamond ring. He also made both our wedding bands. Check them out- their work is amazing!!