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.
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!
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