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


Date: December 2015

Rachel & Simon's Wedding: As featured on Hello May

Posted on 18 Dec, 2015
Rachel & Simon's Wedding: As featured on Hello May

When Simon proposed, he accidentally handed Rachel a receipt instead of ring. “Certainly lightened the moment!” says Rachel cheekily who pulled her own unplanned prank by way of a million DIY decorations. “I may have a little bit of a problem with Op shopping and council clean ups haha. I may also have had a pretty EPIC vision that required a lot of handy man jobs haha… lucky the guys got so many sweet man skills!”

Captured by legendary photographer Scott Surplice of The Simple Things Studio, their wedding held at Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat on the New South Wales south coast was awesome for a whole range of reasons – their venue could accommodate ninety per cent of their guests and also boasted an African fire pit where they could sit and roast S’mores; their DIY decorations turned out to create a rustic, fun, vintage, homely and perfectly mismatched atmosphere and last but not least, Rachel’s gown by Karen Willis Holmes looked absolutely incredible.

“I’m so proud of what we achieved considering it was all styled, made and collected by ourselves. From the stationary to the table runners my mum made, the Ikea mismatched tea towels used as napkins, the incredible hanging centrepiece which was old scrap metal we found in Simons mums shed, the $5 Op shop rug we found for the ceremony stage… everything was just how we’d pictured it, better even, and we feel so blessed that so many of our friends and family contributed to it to make it a reality.”

See more real weddings and engagement shoots from The Simple Things Studio by clickinghere and here. This talented team of photographers have rocked our world on more than one occasion. You can also see other Kangaroo Valley weddings by clicking herehere and here!

Word from Hello May. 

CREDITS Photos The Simple Things Studio // Bridal gown Karen Willis Holmes // Robes Cotton On Body // Shoes Forcast // Accessories David Jones // Hair Sanctuary on Kahlua // Bridesmaid gifts Mimco // Grooms jack and vest Oxford // Pants Spencer Project // Tie Roger David // Grooms shoes Ted Baker // Socks Happy Socks // Barber Picturesque Hair // Groomsmen giftsRembrandt // Flowers East Coast Wildflowers // Stationery Fotolia and Officeworks // Ceremony and reception Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat, NSW // Catering Caterina in Kangaroo Valley // Cake Sweet Bones Company // Prop hire and furniture Acquired Style // CelebrantJane Zwar // Rings Waldemar Jewellers.

Clair & Allen's Botanical Winter Wedding - As featured on Nouba

Posted on 16 Dec, 2015
Clair & Allen's Botanical Winter Wedding - As featured on Nouba

When Allen proposed, Clair thought they were just taking a regular old selfie. They were watching the sunrise on a Bali beach when Allen set the timer on his camera. Seconds later he was down on one knee, much to Claire’s surprise and best of all he captured the moment on camera! The two tied the knot in their hometown of Terrigal NSW, at Holy Cross Church before celebrating into the night at Splash Restaurant.

This is one occasion where Allen wasn’t on camera duty, so together with The Cleverkids‘ heart-melting film, it was up to Keelan Christopher to capture the day. The Central Coast photographer caught this couple’s eye on social media, where they fell in love with his moody style. “He seemed to think outside the square,” Clair says, “taking images that are so unique. We knew we had to have him as our wedding photographer.”

With its sandstone walls and cathedral windows, the Holy Cross Church was a sentimental choice for these high-school sweethearts – it’s the same church Clair’s parents were married in 30 odd years earlier. Being a winter wedding, Clair and Allen kept to a decadent palette of deep greens, rich reds and warm candle-light, creating a romantic and indulgent atmosphere.

The Botanical Workshop are responsible for the lush styling of Clair and Allen’s reception, bringing their vision to life with an indoor forest of ferns, magnolia trees, jasmine and cherry blossom. If we weren’t already green with envy over this foliage-strong setting, the hanging vines and floral installations by Florafull have well and truly tipped us over the edge!

When it came to this babe's bridal look she was very specific, and Luxe Makeup Artistry listened and delivered - “I have always loved a classic red lip and long sweeping lashes so my make-up artist paired it with a liquid eye liner to enhance these features.” 

Katie of The Botanical Workshop crafted bouquets from a combination of Clair’s favourite flora – and fauna surprisingly... “I've always loved the Australian bush and we both missed it so much when we lived overseas, so gum leaves were a must in styling. Katie knew that I loved birds and even surprised me with some pheasant feathers in my bouquet!" 


Images Keelan Christopher Photography | Bride's Dress Karen Willis Holmes | Bride's Shoes Windsor Smith | Groom's Suit Blaq | Hair Hayley Dutton | Makeup Luxe Makeup Artistry | Ceremony Venue Holy Cross Church | Reception Venue Splash Restaurant | Flowers The Botanical Workshop | Catering Splash Restaurant | Stationary/Invitations Love vs. Design | Floral Installation Florafull | Cake Ever So Sweet Cakes | Videographer 

Lesley & Nick's Beautiful Scottish Wedding

Posted on 10 Dec, 2015
Lesley & Nick's Beautiful Scottish Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? At work at Universal Design Studio in 2010.

How long have you been together? Four years.

Do you have a proposal story? We went to a lovely beach side village on the Suffolk coast for the Easter bank holiday weekend 2014. Nick proposed to me at the end of a beautiful pier with a bespoke engagement ring he co-designed with Hattie Rickards. 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 23rd May 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

1.     Where?    Alloway Parish Church, South Ayrshire, Scotland.

2.     What made you choose there? It is a beautiful church in the middle of the village where I grew up. I always thought I would get married there.

3.     How did you find it? I used to go as a child.

How was the weather on the day?  It was surprisingly sunny throughout the day, raining only after dark.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? It was a bank holiday and we live in London, at the other end of the UK so we wanted to allow our friends and family to have a whole weekend in Scotland.

The Wedding Details

Theme? We are anti-theme. Both being designers we just wanted an eclectic mix of lovely places and things. We wanted it to balance our quite traditional wedding with a casual feel.

 Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? We designed all our stationary ourselves, including a lovely line drawing of the church window drawn by Nick.

We spent a weekend with both sets of parents making large hazel hoops from a coppicing wood in Nick’s parents’ village. We hung these in the marquee as a ceiling feature and our florest decorated them in eucalyptus vines.

We also collected various decorations in the weeks before the day and spent a few days leading up to the wedding decorating the reception barn.

Our wedding favours were handmade card badges – a thistle (I’m Scottish) and a rose (Nick is English). They were pinned to ribbon around the napkins and menus for each place setting.

Bridal Party 

1.     Bridesmaids? My two elder sisters Lucy and Fiona, and Olivia, Nick’s 7yo neice.

2.     Groomsmen ? Nick’s too best friends John and Phil were his best men. He had his three brothers Edward, Will and George along with his friends Tom B and Tom H.

3.     Flower girls/Page boys ? Beatrix, Nick’s neice was our flower girl and Rupert his nephew was the page boy. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? There was one Karen Willis Holmes gown I tried on in a shop in North London, which I loved. When I saw the Alexandra in Luella’s Boudoir in Wimbledown, South London I fell in love with it. The KWH gowns are so stylish and modern.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Only in the two shops in London I came across them in.

How many gowns did you try? 3 KWH gowns, at least 15-20 in total.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)?  Luella’s Boudoir in Wimbledown, South London

What did you especially like about your gown? It is a simple, figure-hugging silhouette with added glamour and detail: a mix of low key and wow factor.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? My sisters wore Coast and Tiffany Rose (Lucy was 6 months pregnant). Olivia and Beatrix’s dresses were from BHS. 

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits?  Moss Bros, London.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore my mum’s gold and sapphire bracelet. Necklace and earrings. I bouight my sisters rose gold and diamond necklaces from Laura Lee, London.

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes were from Office. My sisters’ shoes were from Dune.

Did you  wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from?I wore a mid length veil and a hair slide from Olivier Laudus.



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Keep calm and level headed. Something will go wrong but as long as you get married to the love of your life, it will be amazing. Enjoy every moment.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Stick to your personality. Don’t be tempted to buy what you think you’re meant to wear as a Bride, get the one you love.  

Something Old? My mum’s necklace

Something New? My dress

Something Borrowed? My mum’s necklace

Something Blue? My garter


FloristSparrow and Rose.

Photographer The Kitcheners. We found them online and absolutely loved their different take on wedding photography. They are both lovely people and the photographs are stunning. They even gave us a lift in their car when our wedding car broke down!

Music – Luan Ceilidh Band. We found Luan online after much searching for a traditional but energetic ceilidh band. They perfomed brilliantly. 

First Dance – La Vie en Rose (sung by my sister Fiona, with her Boyfriend Martin on guitar). It was so perfect to have out family be part of such a special moment. They were both excellent.

Celebrant – Rev. Neil McNaught. Neil is the minister at Alloway and is a charismatic and kind speaker.

Stationery – We designed our own and had the invites printed by Avenue Litho.

Menu – Dalduff Farm, we’ve been told it was the best wedding food some of our guests had ever eaten, I was a bride who definitely ate her meal!

James, Katherine and the team at Dalduff have a great reputation as a farm shop and food supplier. Their flourishing wedding business / venue is not only beautiful but well run and lots of fun. They are soon to become Scotland’s no.1 alternative venue.

Cake – Liggy’s Cakes

Bombonieres – We hand made thistle and rose cardboard button badges.

Hair – Claire Landsburgh.                    

Make up – Linda from Simply Irresistible Salon, Ayr.

Wedding Bands – Handmade by Nick’s 94 year old Grandfather Christopher Rolls. A personal touch and truly beautiful pieces of jewellery.

Extra features – Home made cider from our friends Alice and Phil in Norfolk was the biggest hit at the bar!

Rachel & Brendan's Beautiful Balmoral Beach Wedding

Posted on 09 Dec, 2015
Rachel & Brendan's Beautiful Balmoral Beach Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? Brendan and I met at my maid of honour’s wedding in 2010 - I was a bridesmaid and Brendan was one of the guests.

How long have you been together? We have been together pretty much ever since, so nearly six years!

Do you have a proposal story? I just finished my last ever university exam and Brendan told me he wanted to take me out to celebrate. I was so focused on finishing university that I didn’t even think anything of the dinner. He took me to the same restaurant we went to on our first date and after dessert he got down on one knee and proposed – I had been watching the table next to us sing Happy Birthday to someone so needless to say I was in complete shock! When we arrived home our families were there waiting to celebrate with champagne. It was an amazing night.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? Friday 28th August 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? Ceremony was on Rocky Point Island at Balmoral Beach and the reception was at Public Dining Room, also located on Balmoral Beach. 

What made you choose there? I am not very much of a beach person but I have always enjoyed Balmoral Beach as it is such a beautiful spot. When considering where we wanted to celebrate with our family and friends we wanted it to be a place that meant something, and somewhere we could easily return both together and with our children in the future. Good food and wine were also a must for us, which is why Public Dining Room was the perfect option for the reception.

How did you find it? As I said above, we had been going to Balmoral Beach for a few years before we got engaged, so we knew the area well before the time came to pick a spot, which made it an easy decision.

How was the weather on the day? The forecast had said rain all week and so I was slightly nervous given our outdoor ceremony, but the day ended up being slightly overcast but lovely (even if it was a little bit windy).

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? There was nothing particular about this date.


The Wedding Details

Theme ? We definitely wanted bright, fresh flowers to be the focus of the styling. These were styled in and around a lot of copper toned vases, tea candles and terrariums. We worked with a stylist to create the perfect look that was on trend and modern.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Through looking at wedding magazines and also a bit of Pinterest.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? My husband and I made the bombonieres – we sourced the macarons, glass jars, ribbon and custom made labels and packaged these the day before the wedding.


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I had looked at your website and seen your gowns featured in several bridal magazines and was surprised by how many different styles I liked by the one designer. I thought it would be a good way to determine which styles to cut out of the running – I didn’t anticipate falling in love with several KWH dresses!

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? In bridal magazines and online.

How many gowns did you try? I tried on four Karen Willis Holmes gowns, and honestly loved them all for different reasons. I had to do several trips with my mother, bridesmaids and other friends to determine which of the dresses embodied me the most – we ended up agreeing that this was the Vanessa gown!

Where did you purchase your gown from? Akina Bridal Couture – this was based in Castle Hill but has since shut down.

What did you especially like about your gown? I am not a particularly over-the-top dresser in my day-to-day life and wanted a dress that was understated and worked well with the shape of my body – I felt this dress was those things for me (as well as extremely comfortable!).



Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Zimmermann

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

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? Both my and the bridesmaid’s earrings were from Samantha Wills. I also gave each of my bridesmaids a personalized clutch from The Daily Edited. My belt was from Karen Willis Holmes.

Where did you get your shoes from?W Tony Bianco

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



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Don’t overthink it – there are a lot of elements to a wedding but if you can break it down into small, manageable tasks per week there should be no need to stress or run out of time – remember it isn’t meant to cause you stress. Also, keep a book with you to write down notes or questions – there were many times I was out with a friend or at work when an idea/question popped into my head and having that book meant I didn’t lose the thought before I could action it.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t be afraid to try on dresses that you aren’t instantly drawn to on the rack – I have had friends (myself included) who have done this and it has ended up being the gown they choose.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day – Our wedding was originally planned for November 2015 in the Hunter Valley – we had some real trouble with our venue and ended up losing it in late December last year. Even though re-planning a wedding in a completely new location was stressful, we wouldn’t change our wedding for anything, and it showed us that there are great people out there who are willing to go above and beyond to help ensure your day is perfect.


 Stylist/Florist – Piccolo & Poppi (https://www.facebook.com/piccolopoppi?fref=ts). I found this supplier through Facebook, and fell in love with all the images of previous weddings they had done. Once I had my first meeting I was sold on their vision, and Ashleigh and the team delivered above and beyond what I expected. The team set up both the ceremony and reception, and also did all of the flower arrangements as well as the bouquets and buttonholes. I had such faith in the Ashleigh’s abilities I just requested certain colours for the bouquets and only saw the end result on the day of the wedding – needless to say I was very happy. 

Photographer – Cavanagh Photography (http://www.cavanaghphotography.com). I found Adam through the Hunter Valley Wedding Planner when my wedding was going to be in the Hunter Valley. Again I made sure I looked at all his previous work and just fell in love with the way his photos turned out. Adam was incredibly easy to work with and I had all my photos the week I returned from my honeymoon (three weeks later). I am extremely happy with how the photos turned out and would recommend him to anyone.

Videographer – Encore Media (http://www.encoremedia.com.au). The videographer was a last minute inclusion to the plan but a great one in the end. Troy simply shadowed Adam our photographer and they worked seamlessly together, so much so that people assumed I had two photographers. The video is great and something that we will treasure forever.

Music – The music for the ceremony was a singer and guitar player from Something Borrowed (http://musicalfunctions.com.au/something-borrowed-wedding-band-sydney/). The musician was incredible and really set the mood for the ceremony. Hunter Valley DJ (http://valleydj.com.au) was our music for the reception. Again this company was booked when our wedding was going to be in the Hunter Valley and they graciously moved to our new venue when they heard about the change. They dancefloor was full almost the entire night which was testament to the great work they did.

First Dance – Our first dance was to ‘One Great Mystery’ by Lady Antebellum. Both Brendan and I like our country music and when we heard this song at Lady Antebellum’s concert in early 2015 we knew it was the perfect song for us.

MC – My brother Greg and Brendan’s brother Brad were the MC’s for the evening!

Celebrant – Laura Craddock (http://www.sydney-celebrant.com.au) I found Laura online and when we went to meet with her I was so impressed at the level of detail she went into that we booked her on the spot. Laura was great on the day and very reassuring for us both before the ceremony commenced.

Stationery – Rosie Tea (http://rosietea.com.au). Rosie is a friend of one of my bridesmaids, and I had seen work she had previously done and knew I wanted to work with her. Rosie gave me several amazing options and worked tirelessly to ensure we were happy with the final product, which we were.

Cake – Emma-Lee Cake Designs (https://www.facebook.com/emmaleecakedesign?fref=ts). I was connected with Emma through Piccolo and Poppi, and was extremely happy with the end result.

Bombonieres – Were a DIY – had the tags custom made on Etsy and the macarons were from Adriano Zumbo.

Hair – Natalie Black Hair. Natalie has been my hairdresser for years and so was my natural choice when it came to finding a hair stylist who completely understood the look I was going for. I was extremely happy with the end result.

Make up – Jes O’Brien Makeup (http://jesobrien.com.au). I found Jes through a friend who used her for her own wedding, and I was so happy with the result. Jes instantly felt like a friend and so I was extremely comfortable having her there on the day. I would recommend Jes to anyone.

Wedding Bands – Nicholas Haywood Jewellery Concierge (http://www.nicholashaywood.com.au) Nick has made my engagement ring so we knew we wanted to go back to him to have our wedding bands made. Nick is incredibly laid back and made the whole process as simple as possible. He is never getting rid of us as clients now!


Amanda & Peter's Classic Beachside Wedding

Posted on 04 Dec, 2015
Amanda & Peter's Classic Beachside Wedding



How long have you been together?  We have been together for 5 years.

Do you have a proposal story?  Pete took me away to the Hunter Valley on Christmas Eve 2013, after a lovely dinner, Pete proposed on a Ferris wheel at the Gardens. It took me completely by surprise and made for a very memorable Christmas celebration the next day.


The Wedding

What was your wedding date? Saturday, 1st August 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception 

Ceremony: Balmoral Beach Rotunda

Reception: Sergeants Mess, Chowder Bay

What made you choose there? Ceremony: Originally we were having the ceremony at our venue (Sergeants Mess).  About 4 months out we decided that we wanted an earlier ceremony time to take advantage of the Winter light, we are so glad we did this, some of our favourite pictures captured by our photographer were in a beautiful afternoon light on Balmoral Beach. Reception: We loved this venue from the moment we stepped through the front door and they sat us down over a coffee to chat. The staff, the location, the food, the service was just exceptional.


How was the weather on the day? The weather was so perfect, it is so rare to associate Winter with a balmy temperature, but that is exactly what we had. We were very lucky.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? August always brings beautiful Winter sunshine. Which is what we were hoping for, but we ended up getting an amazing balmy afternoon, it felt like Summer! 

The Wedding Details

Theme? – Classic, simple. We wanted our flowers to be simple whites with an array of green foliage. Pete always wanted the groomsmen in navy suits with tan shoes. They were the two ideas that we both had in mind, we started with these two ideas and everything else seemed to flow from here.

Bridal Party

We knew we wanted our wedding to be family orientated. I’m so glad we both got to share our day with all of our siblings. I had 3 Bridesmaids and Pete had 4 Groomsman, I like that this was a little unconventional, people seem to think that everything has to be balanced but it doesn’t.

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

Krystle – Best Friend

Melissa – Best Friend

Lauren – Pete’s sister

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship?

Drew – Pete’s best mate

Michael – Pete’s brother

Anthony – Amanda’s brother

Daniel – Amanda’s brother


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I looked up the gowns on the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES website and swooned over the sequined gowns. After trying on a few traditional bridal gowns at other stores I knew I wanted something unique and timeless. I went to the first KAREN WILLIS HOLMES appointment with mum and a picture in hand of the ‘Josie’ gown. Unfortunately that gown was sold out and not expected until after our wedding date. I tried on the ‘Caitlyn’ gown which was beautiful in its own right; however I needed a second opinion from my Bridesmaid. So I went back for my second appointment in the hope that I would go home with the ‘Caitlyn’ gown after her approval. I’m not sure what it was about that Sunday, but someone was definitely watching over me. I remember I got prime parking right in front of the Paddington store (a miracle in itself). When we walked into the store I spotted the ‘Josie’ gown hanging on the rack, I was so excited, I tried it on and as I walked out my bridesmaid looked at me and started crying, I just knew it was meant to be.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I had come across them on the internet previously.

How many gowns did you try? I think 4 gowns in total, 2 of those gowns were at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES. 

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

What did you especially like about your gown? The gown was just so beautiful, even when it was sitting on the rack, it was breathtaking. My favourite part was the detachable train that was added to the dress. On the day I was to pickup my altered gown, the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Warehouse sale was happening in the same building. I thought that there would be no harm in looking at the dresses. I wasn’t planning to buy anything, but after trawling through all the beautiful gowns I came across a gorgeous ‘sample’ train with a sequined top. I knew that this was what I had been looking for to make my dress ‘unique’. I purchase it and took it into my fitting and asked for it to be added to my dress. The finished product had my mum and I in tears. 


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier?  We ordered the BM dresses through Kel-Leigh Couture at East Gosford, when we saw them we immediately knew that these were the ones. I have never seen a colour quite like these dresses, they were absolutely stunning. The Bridesmaid dresses were bought before I had even started looking for a wedding dress

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? We purchased the suits from a stall holder in Birkenhead point, and the bow ties from David Jones.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? As my train was detachable I took this off after the ceremony and added a sequined belt that I also purchased from KAREN WILLIS HOLMES. The Bridesmaid dresses had so much detail in them already, there was no need to over-accessorize.

Where did you get your shoes from? The shoes were from a little boutique shop. I love everything nautical and always wondered how I could get something nautical into the wedding, I’m so thankful that I came across these. They were on the discount table that happened to be in my size.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Originally I was going to wear a veil but after the train was added to the dress, I didn’t want to detract from the dress by adding another layer. The hairdresser added some flowers in my hair, and after the ceremony I took my hair out for the reception.



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Keep it simple; make your wedding a collection of things you both love, things that characterize you and your partner. Remember the whole reason you are both getting married and when you get too caught up in everything remind yourself of this. Finally, weddings = tears, I felt like I cried over everything. Keep tissues handy.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? You will just know, if you are hesitant then it is not the one.

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

At our Ceremony, my Mum did a reading which was a poem about love written by my grandma 30 years ago. It was so beautiful.

My oldest brother walked me down the aisle, we were getting ready at an apartment across the road and we could see the guests arriving. I remember the moment that he was walking across the road to come and collect me to walk me down the aisle. He walked in the door and we both started crying.

My Grandmothers brooch which was pinned to my train, this was passed down to her from her grandmother.

Our wedding was very family orientated; it was lovely having all of our siblings with us in the bridal party.


Florist – Merrin Grace Floral Design.

PhotographerMy Lens of Love

Music – Something Borrowed

First Dance – ‘Marry Me’ by Train

Celebrant Kay Linton-Mann from Weddings with Style

Cake Create Cake by Sharon Brideson

Bombonieres – Lindt Chocolate by Personalised Chocolates

Hair Jaala Hair Artistry

Make up -  EyeDo Makeup



Rebecca & John's Classic Country Wedding

Posted on 02 Dec, 2015
Rebecca & John's Classic Country Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We were introduced by mutual friends on Boxing Day 2011 and didn’t see each other again for almost a year, where we bumped into each other at the local pub in Wagga Wagga and started dating in 2013. By then I was due to move to the UK for two years, but after meeting John I went and only lasted four and a half  months before I was back in Australia.  

How long have you been together? We have been together for almost three years and were engaged after 18 months together.

Do you have a proposal story? John proposed at The Rocks under the Harbour Bridge on a weekend away in Sydney, with a pear cut diamond ring with a halo border in white gold, made by our friend and jeweller Evan Marceau, followed by dinner at 360 Bar and Dining.


The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 11th April 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?  Wagga Wagga, NSW. We had our ceremony at Saint Michael’s Cathedral followed by a marquee reception at John’s parent’s property at Oura just outside Wagga Wagga.

What made you choose there? We both wanted to be married in our hometown, in the church where our family members had been married before us. It is such a big beautiful old Cathedral. We chose a marquee reception at John’s parents not only for the beautiful scenery, but to create a wedding where all aspects were entirely chosen by us. We wanted it to be a relaxed but elegant environment for our 127 guests that still had the country element to it.

How did you find it? (John’s parents property)

The Wedding Details

Theme ? Country Chic, Classic. Lots of black and white with hints of copper and greenery.  In terms of floral, we had white flowers and roses with greenery only. I wanted it to look classy and neat but not over the top. My Grandma, Marjorie, made black and white striped table runners for all the tables, and I always loved the look of the white chiavari chair. I had green foliage arrangements suspended from the roof in the centre of the marquee as well as behind the bridal table, with white rice paper lanterns for lighting.  We had long banquet tables with the black and white runners down the centre with a collection of vintage crystal vases with white flowers and roses with glass single candelabras. We had black napkins which were folded with the menu placed on top and the name tag wrapped around all held together with black and white string. We had our pre reception drinks outside on the grass over looking Wagga with the most beautiful sunset which made for a picture perfect moment. Friends of ours Alex and Caleb Richards played an acoustic set for the pre reception drinks. The table seating board was placed on my Aunt’s antique wooden easel, with a quote taken from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby that seemed fitting for the night, designed by Sally Marceau. The entrance end of the marquee had clear roofing and sliding walls which were opened, with fairy lights over the dance floor, for more of a less formal feel after the speeches and meals were over and for a bit of fun for all the dancing.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?  

I drew inspiration from the following:

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? All of the finer details were DIY. Name tags were hand written by my sister for a personal touch, and all place settings were assembled by myself and my extended family. We collected crystal vases for months leading up to the wedding and also loaned some from a florist in Wagga Wagga. Decorative bottles, cages and plates were spray painted copper. My Dad made white wooden block letters ‘R & J’ which were placed on the fence to the entrance of the reception, and he also made metal orbs to be placed either side of the entrance to the marquee which were wrapped in Ivy.  As mentioned before my Grandma made the table runners.

How was the weather on the day? Beautiful clear blue skies, 25 degrees, with an amazing pink and red sunset!!

 What made you decide to get married on this particular date? As it can get quite hot in Wagga in the summer, we didn’t want it to be in the hotter months as it was outside. April is always the perfect temperature to be outside at home, plus it was the soonest date to get the church at the time we wanted!


Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Maid of Honour, Emma Corcoran  my older sister. Claire Corcoran my younger sister. Lucy Corcoran  also my younger sister, Caitlin Dunn, cousin.

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship? Best Man, Matthew Carter childhood neighbours, Matthew Meggison Football friends, Sam Douglas College Friends, Pat Rositano childhood friend.


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I came across Karen Willis Holmes in the first bridal magazine my mum and sister had bought me when I was engaged. I had a look at the website and loved the designs and tried to book an appointment for the weekend I was to be in Sydney and they were booked out. I still went in for a look anyway and to my luck there was a cancelation, it was the first gown I put on in there and I loved it right away. I was telling myself I couldn’t get the first one I put on but the other designers I tried that day didn’t have the overall experience that I had in KWH so I went back and bought it! We had a great time playing around with accessories and add ons and the idea of straps that matched the belt arose. I loved how they completed the overall look of the gown and we decided to go ahead with them. Hannah-Kate my sales assistant was outstanding, such a help.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Instagram and Magazines. I first saw one featured in a ‘real brides’ section but can’t remember which sorry!

How many gowns did you try? In KAREN WILLIS HOLMES I tried 3. Prea, Willow and Matilda.  All up probably 8.

Where did you purchase your gown from? Glenmore Road, Paddington, Sydney.

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the simplicity yet how stylish it was. I wasn’t after lace or sequins, I wanted something plain and classic yet something that had elements or details to it that gave it something else, such as the stitching throughout the bust and on the belt and straps, and the trumpet skirt with train. I loved the fabric texture and weight, and the corset top made me feel very secure and comfortable and shaped my waist and chest. I felt the shape of the fitted skirt was flattering and really gave me length. I also knew that I wanted something made for the ceremony to go over the top and I knew the features of the Prea gown would work perfectly for the look I was after.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Shieke

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Milton’s Gear, Wagga Wagga.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I chose Kate Ketzal Earrings for myself.  I didn’t want to overdo it with accessories so I just stuck with earrings and my wedding ring set. Our weddings bands were also made by Evan Marceau.

I also had a beautiful lace jacket made by Jill Franklin from Jillian Franklin Design in Albury, NSW. For the ceremony, I wore my Prea gown without the straps and the lace jacket over the top, and took it off for the reception where I attached the straps. It had full lace sleeves and a lace peplum, with silk covered buttons to match my Prea buttons down the back and on the wrists. I wore the Prea belt over the top just above the peplum.

Where did you get your shoes from? Shoes were from Jo Mercer in Canberra.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My Grandma handmade made my veil, with only two days till the wedding after I changed my mind! I was so lucky to have her as she also did all alterations on the Bridesmaids dresses and sewed the table runners.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?  Enjoy the process of planning, you put so much time and effort into creating your perfect day so it is important to enjoy it along the way, although at times it can seem stressful the end result will exceed your expectations and will be the best night of your life. Trust your suppliers; trust your photographers and stylist and whoever else you have working on your wedding. It is their job to give you the best memories of your wedding day and they will do this. Take days off planning, sometimes it is good to have a few days off to think about things and then you might go back and decided you like something else that works better.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Be comfortable, with the amount of walking and standing and dancing I did on my wedding day I am so glad I was comfortable in my dress. Don’t try and follow a trend, if it isn’t you don’t do it. Choose the dress that you instantly loved as soon as you saw yourself in the mirror. Don’t second guess this moment as it may be the one- just like what happened to me!

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. Our wedding was very much brought to life by people close to us; we used family and friends in their areas of expertise, such as graphic design, hair, jewellery design, singing and even down to the cake making. All of these people were also guests and it was so lovely to have people close to us and who we love be part of our special day in more ways than one. It was a really nice personal touch which made everything about the wedding more unique. We wanted to also use local Wagga businesses for all other areas, as we did with the marquee hire and the styling of the reception, as well as the photographer and videographers.



Florist – Susannah at Flowers for Friday, Wagga Wagga . Amazing bouquets and table arrangements.

Photographer – Jacqueline Cooper at Piedesign, Wagga Wagga.  We would defiantly recommend Jackie. She was so relaxed and such a pleasure to have with us on the day, we wanted candid ‘in the moment’ shots and that’s exactly what she did. 

Videographer Mayfly Media, Wagga Wagga.

Music – Clint Crighton, from Hunter Valley. Such a great band, they played all the old  time songs as well as new ones that got everyone up and dancing right from the first song till the end of the night, the dance floor was so much fun. They had a blues vibe which was perfect to have playing throughout the night.

First Dance – Jessica Dunn, Singer. ‘All of Me’, John Ledged acoustic. My talented cousin Jessica sang for us for our first dance, as well as our signing of the register in the church.

MC – Shannon Nott, School Friend of John.

Celebrant – Father Peter Murphy and Father Luke Joseph

Stationery Chambers and Whyte, Wagga Wagga

Menu and Booklets –  Hunters Graphic Design, Wagga Wagga.

Cake – Dom Morton, Wagga Wagga, a family friend kindly made our cake for us.

Hair – Jacinta McCoullough, Wish Hair and Beauty Wagga Wagga. Another family friend who we loved having with us on the day.

Make up – Amy Roberts, Get Lash’d, Wagga Wagga

Wedding Bands and Engagement ring – Evan Marceau Manufacturing Jeweller, Wagga Wagga @evanmarceau. Evan is so talented and creates the most unique pieces.

Extra features – Table Seating design- Sally Marceau, Graphic Designer.

Other – Suspended Foliage arrangements, Stella and Bruce, Wagga Wagga

Lace jacket - Jill Franklin, Jillian Franklin Designs, Albury

Marquee hire, tables chairs etc - Jaegers Event Hire, Wagga Wagga