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


Date: March 2016

Rachel & Nicks Sunshine Coast Wedding

Posted on 30 Mar, 2016
Rachel & Nicks Sunshine Coast Wedding



How did you meet your (now) husband? At high school.

How long have you been together? Almost 5 years

Do you have a proposal story?  We were living in Perth at the time and had just flown home to the Sunshine Coast on a red eye flight, so we hadn’t slept in hours. I was so tired and ready for bed! Nick had bought the ring in his backpack all the way from Perth and couldn’t wait any long. He said he wanted to go and check the surf.  He took me up to Point Cartwright light and got down on one knee…. Of course I cried! And I didn’t speak a word the whole car ride back to his parents place.  I was in complete shock and a little sleep deprived! We actually now live back on the Sunshine Coast and right around the corner from where Nick proposed, so we often go up to the exact spot.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 4/10/15

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? Flaxton Gardens    

What made you choose there?  The venue spoke for itself, it's amazing.

How was the weather on the day?  Picture perfect!

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? It was a long weekend!


The Wedding Details

Theme? Rustic but romantic.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? SO many sources (Instagram, Pintrest, Hello May) I always knew what I wanted though.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? Nick handmade the LOVE letters, he is an electrician by trade so that helped! They turned out so well and were such a great feature.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?  Jess (Friend), Michelle (Nicks sister), Renee (Friend)

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Dan (Nicks brother), Brad (Friend), John (Friend)

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I had looked at her website and had actually picked out a few other dresses to the one I ended up choosing!

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Bridal magazines.

How many gowns did you try? 4 or 5 gowns.

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

What did you especially like about your gown? The fit was perfect (I only had to have it taken up) and I also wanted something a little non-traditional but still classy.




Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Sabo Skirt Formal

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits?  MJ Bale in Brisbane

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? A flower crown and really simple jewelry. Nick ended up giving me jewelry from Karen Walker as part of my wedding gift, so I didn’t even end up wearing the jewelry I had bought. The bridesmaid’s jewelry was also really simple; they also had flowers in their hair.

Where did you get your shoes from? Tony Bianco

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My seamstress made my veil and my flower crown was made by my florist, Willow Bud.

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? To relax and enjoy the ride!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Always try gowns that are out of your comfort zone and maybe something you wouldn’t usually choose!

Extra Features? Nick also made this amazing wooden box for my wedding gift. It had all different sections inside with a gift and note in each! He put so many hours in to making it and it is something I will never forget!!



Florist – Willow Bud

Photographer – Simon J Coulson

Music – Christian Patey

First Dance – Ellie Goulding – How Long Will I love You

Cake – Sweetheart Cake Designs

Hair – Sass & Niki Wedding Hair

Make up – Kate Ellen Makeup Artistry

Wedding Bands – Custom Made

Extra Features – Nick also made this amazing wooden box for my wedding gift. It had all different sections inside with a gift and note in each! He put so many hours in to making it and it is something I will never forget!!


Kelsey & Matthew's Estate Wedding

Posted on 23 Mar, 2016
Kelsey & Matthew's Estate Wedding



How long was your engagement? Just under two years!

Do you have a proposal story? Matt proposed on February 11th on Great Barrier Island off New Zealand. Matt had bought us tickets for the trip as a Christmas present and it was just magic. We had a cosy little chalet on top of a hill overlooking the ocean. One day Matt suggested that we go for a bush walk and pretended to forget his lighter so he could run back up and set up the ring/proposal. When we got back we were both sweaty and hot and when I saw the box on the table Matt said ‘Shall we get married?’ It was so unromantic and so perfect.


The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 5th December, 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception) Jalbrook Estate and Alpaca Farm, Balingup, WA 

What made you choose there? 

We saw lots beforehand! We had many a scouting mission ‘down south’ to the Margaret River Wine Region in WA. We were pretty specific in what we were looking for, wanting somewhere to have both the ceremony, reception, photos, accommodation, and be allowed to style the venue ourselves! We also had a budget (of course!) and found it pretty hard to find something that ticked all the boxes. On our way back to Perth one weekend/scouting trip we decided to ‘go the scenic route’ and thought it would be fun to check out the local alpaca farm – We were blown away! We loved every part of it and had lots of friends tell us how magical and ‘whimsical’ it was.


The Wedding Details

Theme? We definitely wanted a relaxed vibe with a festival theme (like a really relaxed ‘Blues and Roots’ festival haha). We wanted it to feel more like a party than a wedding.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Hello May, White, Hooray, Perth Wedding Upmarket at the University of WA (and the good old Pinterest!)

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I did lots of DIY projects leading up to the wedding, but I changed my mind so often that hardly any of them were actually used on the day! I did write the Blackboard signs myself and did make the covers for the hay myself (though to be honest that wasn’t very hard!). Matt also made all of our flower boxes for the tables and they turned out great!


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? My ‘dress’ was a beautiful two-piece from Karen Willis Holmes. I wore the Tillie top and the Natasha skirt. I was definitely not planning on buying a two piece wedding dress, As soon as I tried it on I knew it was the one for me! I actually found my dress in a magazine (Hello May or White I believe) but at that time KWH only had stores in the Eastern States! By some magical wedding miracle their Perth store opened just in time for me to order my dream dress. 

Where did you purchase your gown from? Perth boutique


What advice would you give brides organising their wedding? 

- Remember even though you know your plans right down to the tiniest detail – no body else does, so it’s not a huge deal if everything isn’t perfect. 
-  Try not to stress about the weather, but try to prepare for it! You can’t change it and the photos will be magical anyway.
-  I know this one is a really common one, but try to slow down on the day! It will go so quickly! Take some time with your new partner to just squeal and squeeze each others hands.



Photos: CJ Williams Photography

Florist: Alice and Rose

Stationery (invites, place cards, favour tags etc): La Pomme Et La Pipe

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Jalbrook Estate and Alpaca Farm, Balingup, WA

Catering: Ole Paella 

Food trucks or carts: Caravan Bar by Mable and Co 

Decorative elements (bunting, straws, plates, balloons, garlands etc): Garland by The Confetti Project

Prop or furniture hire (chairs, drink dispensers, tables, games etc): Ferguson Valley Events 

Marquee / teepee: Marquee – Wonderland Tents and Events, Teepee/bell tents – Soul Camping 

Lighting / sound hire: Lighting hire – Ferguson Valley Events and Jalbrook Estate 

Signage: Bride (blackboards hired through Ferguson Valley Events and written by Bride)

Entertainment: Music – Majestic Wedding DJs 

Celebrant: Kerry Grist 

Rings: Bride: Tayha Designs & Groom: Meadowlark


Hannah & Justin's Beautiful Bush Wedding

Posted on 21 Mar, 2016
Hannah & Justin's Beautiful Bush Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? Justin and I met through a mutual friend when we were nineteen .I went to university with Ben and Justin went to school with Ben. Ben invited me to a party that Justin was at and Justin asked me out that night, a week later we were official.

How long have you been together? Over 5 years

Do you have a proposal story? I was moving to Dubai and Justin was going to join me later on in the year. We had discussed getting married as we couldn’t live together in Dubai if we weren’t married as the UAE is a Muslim country. We planned on getting a ‘quickie’ marriage certificate. But Justin knew that I would really want some kind of proposal story so he planned a surprise one.

In the weeks leading up to my departure I was nagging him to print some photos of us. He kept ‘forgetting’. On my birthday he made me breakfast in bed and gave me an envelope as my birthday present. Inside were some pictures of us, like I had asked for. I put them back inside the envelop and thanked him. He said, “umm…you missed one…” I took another look and there was a card that said, “Will you marry me?” Even though it was simple, it was amazing to have an official I-actually-want-to-marry-you-for-real-not-just-for-a-piece-of-paper proposal.  


The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 8th August 2016

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? In Mackenzie, Brisbane on Justin’s parents property.

What made you choose there? It was beautiful in the bush…and free.

How did you find it?  I had to walk through the bush on his parents property and find a spot that a) had sunlight peeking through the trees at just the right time of day b) had trees that could double as a wedding arch and c) was easily accessible

How was the weather on the day? It was a perfect winter’s day in Brisbane. Super sunny and not too cold.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? There was not particular attachment to the date. We just had to make sure we had enough time to get the certificate attested forJustin to come live with me. We later found out that 8 is a lucky number in Chinese culture, and Justin is half Chinese so it ended up being a great date.

The Wedding Details

Theme?  Pale colours, bush/rustic

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest…so much Pinterest.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I came up with pretty much all the ideas with the help of Pinterest. I am really particular about how I like things so I was involved in every aspects of the wedding. I had a little over one month to plan everything! I finished teaching on the 2nd of July, flew into Brisbane on the 5th and the wedding was on the 8th of August so everything was a huge rush!

My mother in law, Bev, took me shopping to get all the little bits and pieces, helped me white wash chairs, and go dress shopping. My friend and unofficial MOH, Alecia, helped me to decorate the reception venue, had some great ideas and helped me keep my emotions from unraveling. My mum, dad and brother flew up the day before the wedding and helped with putting up decorations.  My father in law chopped down trees to make the seats for the ceremony, helped to decorate the wedding arch and prepared and cooked all the pizzas for the reception! I had a team of people helping me with all my ideas.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? I didn’t have any brides maids as our wedding was very small.

Groomsmen – who/relationship? No official groomsmen, but Justin’s three friends from school all wanted to dress the same…boys, right! All they care about is clothes.


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I originally saw one of Karen Willis Holmes’ dresses on Pinterest well before I was even engaged and fell in love with the idea of a two piece wedding dress. I went onto their website and saw the Mabel dress – my first thought was, “that would suit my body shape so well!”

When I arrived in Brisbane from Dubai, I was dress shopping and I tried on a number of dresses from other shops that just didn’t feel right. I knew I had an appointment with Karen Willis Holmes in Sydney but realized I had made the appointment down there too late and wouldn’t have enough time if the dress wasn’t perfect. I quickly emailed the store in Brisbane and made my appointment there ASAP. When I went in I said, “I have one month until the wedding! What do you have in stock?” They showed me a number of dresses but the Mabel wasn’t there. I quickly looked around, found it and asked if they had it in stock. They were unsure and said they would call the Sydney store. I tried the dress on while they called. As soon as I stepped out I knew it was the one. It was so flattering and perfectly me – classic with an edge. I stood there, in my perfect wedding dress, with my fingers crossed that they had one in stock in Sydney. The girl on the phone was talking to someone and she started to smile, when she got off the phone she said they had one down there and it was in my size! I was so excited and knew that luck was on my side! I went home, talked to Justin, and called back later that afternoon to purchase the dress!

As a side note, Karen Willis Holmes let me keep my later appointment in Sydney so that I could try on the Mabel with my mum because I wanted her to have the wedding dress shopping experience with her only daughter. They were so kind and accommodating even though they knew I wouldn’t be purchasing a dress that day. 

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Pinterest, Cosmo.

How many gowns did you try? In total around ten. One at KWH.

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

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved so many things about the gown. I loved the classic shape and I never thought I would wear cap sleeves but it just balanced my hips out so perfectly. The drape of the skirt was full and the train was exquisite. I loved how stiff the fabric was, yet the way it moved was so soft. The fact that it was a two piece was the most appealing; it showed off my favorite part of my body – my waist!






Where did you get the groom's suit? Justin got his suit from Black Jacket Suiting in Bulimba. Justin went to school with the owner, Ryan Fisher, and it was great for him to have a friend who knew a thing or two about fashion.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I went very minimalist in regards to accessories. I ended up getting a Thomas Sabo charm necklace and picked the two heart pendants for it, I wore a bracelet that I got for my twenty-first from my mum’s side of the family, and my parents in law got me some beautiful diamond earrings as a wedding present.

Where did you get your shoes from? Funnily enough…Windsor Smith! I wore flats because Justin and I are the same height, and I knew there was no way I would wear heels in the bush! They were incredibly comfortable!

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a flower crown made by my florist – Kenmore Village Florists.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?  Just because it’s what you’re ‘supposed’ to do, doesn’t mean you should. We didn’t invite anyone other than immediate family and a few friends to our wedding. We did all the intimate stuff then had an ‘after party’ where extended family and all our friends were invited. It wasn’t ‘customary’ but it worked so well for us. Make it your own and don’t let other steer you away from what you really want (unless you can’t afford of course).

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Body shape! Your ‘dream dress’ may look beautiful on the model, but if it doesn’t suit you, don’t get it!


Florist – Lynn at Kenmore Village Florists. Lynn is a friend of my mother in law and a neighbor. She was fantastic and organized a large amount of baby’s breath in such a short amount of time.

Photographer – Jess Marks Photography. I found them through Google and they were amazing! I wanted lots of candid photos and they captured the most amazing moments. I was super impressed with the final products and the price was very reasonable for wedding photographers.

Music – Spotify Playlist

First Dance – Warrant - Heaven

Celebrant – Robin West. Another Google search that ended up successful! She communicated with me while I was in Dubai and just went the extra mile to make sure she knew what it is that we wanted. She created a great ceremony and really took our suggestions on board.

Stationery – Paperless Post online wedding invites. This was great as there was no way I was trusting my husband to organize paper invitations while I was in Dubai! A friend of mine recommended them and as I had such a small wedding, the invites were free.

Menu – Homemade pizza by my father in law and nibbles I put together from Coles. I would highly recommend my father in laws awesome pizza base!

Cake – Vanilla Pod in Ascot. Once again, Google. They communicated via email well which was great. The final product was so amazing! I loved how unique and how un-wedding like the cake was.

Hair &Make Up – TWIDALE….dare I say, Google again. They did both my hair and make-up. I had the same two girls on the trial as I did on the day which was something I was very happy about.

Wedding Bands Jason Withers. My husband was so impressed with them. He showed them the design I wanted and they did such a fantastic job. Super friendly, accommodating and the final result was truly incredible. I still can’t stop looking at my rings!

Extra features – Lots of my decorations came from Kmart, Target, the 2 Dollar Shop, Typo and Bunnings! I got my giant balloons and confetti from the Lark Store.

STYLED SHOOT - Into The Woods

Posted on 16 Mar, 2016
STYLED SHOOT - Into The Woods

We are so excited to have our gowns available in the new boutique Chantilly Bride located in Lethbridge in Alberta.  This beautiful editorial was can be seen on Rocky Moutain Bride and features the amazing Anya sequin wedding gown from the KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Collection

When describing today’s feature, photographer Sarah Jozsa says, “The aim of this inspirational shoot was to juxtapose vintage glamour with rustic details to create a perfect pairing of city glamour and rugged rustic style.” Needless to say, she succeeded with flying colors. Pairing rustic and glamorous elements is one of our favorite looks and we love the contrast of lace, rich furs and dapper menswear with the natural elements of the table greens and frozen Canadian lake. Stunning pale blue, cream, and blush florals pop against the groom’s cranberry bowtie and pocket square – an amazing winter palette!

You can now make an appointment here.

Photographer: Sarah Jozsa Photography  Venue: Beauvais Lake  Floral Design: Funky Petals Flower Shop  Cake Design: Sugar Bakeshop  Floral Ribbon: Adorn Company  Stole: A Vintage Affair  Menswear: Gentleman III Menswear  Wedding Dress (Designer): Karen Willis Holmes Wedding Dress (Store): Chantilly Bride Hair + Makeup: Chelsey Auer: Bridal Beauty 

Lauren & Joe's Stunning Parisian Elopement

Posted on 11 Mar, 2016
Lauren & Joe's Stunning Parisian Elopement



How did you meet your (now) husband? My husband I “met” while we were actually 7000 miles apart. My “little” – in birth order only – brother is in the U.S. Army and had deployed in 2012. While he was away, I was his emergency contact and as such I asked that he introduce me to one of his deployment close friends in case, God forbid, anything were ever to happen to him during his deployment. Well, my brother, whose name is also Joe, was strategic – he introduced me to his best friend in the Army…a man who he so happened to think was “perfect” for his big sister. In fact, I have since learned that my brother actually told my now-husband that “you need to meet my sister and if you do you’re going to marry her.” Suffice it to say, he knew us both well. Long story short, “met” online and started writing back & forth as friends – initially, I just wanted to thank him for looking out for my little brother. Overtime, we became good friends at a distance and Joe worked up the courage to ask me for my number. I actually gave him the wrong number by accident at first! Thankfully, he asked again J And I’m so grateful that he did. We met in person at the airport when he returned from the deployment and we’ve been together ever since. Truth be told…we were both smitten before we even met face to face & just needed to meet in person to confirm that we were in fact crazy in love J  

How long have you been together? We became FB official three months before he returned from deployment (crazy, I know!) – so June 2012.

Do you have a proposal story? Joe proposed to me at the finish line of a 70.3 Iron Man race. He had the ring with him the whole time! When he went down on one knee, I actually thought he was passing out! I was completely surprised. He proposed a year to the day that he knew he wanted to marry me… which was June 2012, before he had even met me in person! Brave man ;-)

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? June 22, 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?   Paris, France – near Pont Neuf

What made you choose there? After my fiance and I were engaged, we started talking about the kind of wedding that we would like to have. When we agreed to spend the rest of our lives together, we promised each other that we would embrace adventure, cultivate romance, and put our relationship/marriage first even if that meant taking an unconventional route at times. We desired a wedding that would personal, intimate, meaningful, and, honestly, not so stressful/caught up in the details that we missed the real meaning of the day. Having a small, intimate ceremony in Paris – the city of love - simply made sense.We're pretty sure that left a part of our hearts in that city and we look forward to returning many times...someday with our children :)

How did you find it? We picked the city where we wanted to get married and honestly didn’t choose the exact location until we arrived. We wanted the whole experience to be a romantic adventure – indeed it was!

How was the weather on the day? It was actually rather chilly and overcast at first! Thankfully I was so overwhelmed with joy that I didn’t pay too much attention to the temps,

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? Like Joe’s proposal, our wedding date was significant – it was 2 years to the day that Joe first knew that he wanted to marry me. He told me brother this – of course I didn’t find out for sometime. 

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – ? Two dear friends, Rebekah Pizana and Micah Yousefi. My sister would have loved to be there, but she had just had a precious little baby. 

My brother was the honorary groomsman – at the last minute, he wasn’t able to come due to work obligations he couldn’t get out of.  

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? While looking for dress ideas online, I stumbled across a few KAREN WILLIS HOLMES dresses and was so impressed. I knew that I wanted to see them in person.

Where have you seen our gowns before? I believe that I first saw KAREN WILLIS HOLMES  dresses on Pinterest. There was an Elie Saab dress that I adored (white with sequins) – when I searched for that dress, the Anya gown showed up…

How many gowns did you try? I think I only tried on 3 gowns at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES…as soon as I tried the Anya gown on, I knew it was the one. I had some girlfriends with me too and they confirmed my feelings.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? I purchased the gown from the NYC boutique. The girls at the bouquet were darling, patient with my busy schedule, and so sweet. I tell all my girlfriends who are getting married about the bouquet – can’t speak highly enough of them.

What did you especially like about your gown? Ah, where do I start? Until I tried on the Anya gown, I had never once worn a sequin or anything sparkly in my life. I grew up a tomboy and while I now enjoy fashion, I am still a “less in more” kind of girl. I adored how the Anya gown was both classy and simple while being exquisite and glamorous. The fit was/is phenomenal. As my husband said, “wow, that dress fit every curve of your body perfectly – it’s so feminine and sexy in a tasteful way.” While feeling completely glamorous in the dress, I didn’t feel overdone. And it was comfortable! I promise! I walked all over Paris in that gown! As I’ve mentioned before, it is my goal to wear the gown again one day when we renew our vows one day…in Paris…with our future children. 



Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier?  I let my girlfriends choose their dresses and honestly don’t know where they ended up getting them. I simply requested that they be black, long, and formal. My girlfriends have excellent taste, so I trusted them completely.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? I honestly have no idea of the brand - I'm sorry! We were both so busy leading up to our wedding. I know that he found it at a DC boutique on sale :)

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown? I opted to keep my jewelry simple & sentimental. As I mentioned, I'm a "less is more" kind of girl, so I thought that the dress had enough sparkle on its own. As a result, I only wore earrings - no necklace or bracelet. The earrings were a gift from my darling sister - another reason why I chose to wear them. I'm all about the meaningful little details :)

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes were Steve Madden and I am happy to report that they have survived 6+ months without being eaten/torn apart by our dear 1 year old golden retriever, Charli :)


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Focus on what the day is about rather than getting caught up in thousand small details. Pick some details that you really care about and make them your own. Ultimately,  your wedding day is about celebrating your love and starting your life together – don’t let anything rob you of that focus.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go to KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Seriously, this may not be a popular thing to say, but I would avoid the huge stores that many brides flock to. Find a designer that fits your personality and your budget. You and your husband will be happy with the result – I promise. 



Florist – Yours truly

Photographer – Brian Wright of French Grey Photography. He was amazing! Truly, he was so patient and understanding as he worked with me from afar before the big day. And on the day, he made us both feel so comfortable and just captured our personalities and our love for each other. We loved him & the pictures.

First Dance – We danced along the Seine while boats of people passed and cheered until we kissed

Menu – I wish I could remember the name of the small Parisian café where we ate after because it was delicious. I actually had an amazing burger as my post wedding meal! It had goat cheese on it and it was pretty much heaven J

Cake – My darling friend Rebekah brought Macaroons that we promptly enjoyed after saying “I do”

Hair & Make up Harold James – he was an angel! Seriously, I adored him. He was such a sweetheart and very professional too. His magic on my makeup especially was needed after a long flight, jet lag, and not sleeping a wink before the wedding because I was sooooo excited

Alexa & Stephen's Classic Country Club Wedding

Posted on 09 Mar, 2016
Alexa & Stephen's Classic Country Club Wedding




How did you meet your (now) husband? High School – We became best friends our freshman year, and the summer before our senior year we starting dating and the rest is history!

How long have you been together? Over 8 years

Do you have a proposal story? Stephen took me to the beach where we had our first date. His sister had laid out a champagne picnic for us, and he proposed at sunset. Simple and sweet, exactly my style.


The Wedding

What was your wedding date? November 21, 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?  Marbella Country Club in San Juan Capistrano, CA

What made you choose there?  I loved the architecture of the country club; it’s Mediterranean style with a lot of whites and neutral colors.

How did you find it? Weddingwire.com

How was the weather on the day?  Perfect! Sunny, high 70’s.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? Fall is my favorite time of year. I love that the weather isn’t too hot or too cold, and everything is more festive around the holidays. 

The Wedding Details

Theme?  Classic, contemporary with a small flare of Tuscany. Neutral colors –black, taupe, white and lots of greenery in the bouquets and flower arrangements.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?  Mainly from Pinterest. I did not have a wedding planner, so I brought in a lot of pictures to my vendors to bring my vision to life. I love a neutral color palate and wanted a classic look without being too formal. I wanted our guests to feel like they were able to have a drink and a donut and have a great time dancing the night away! We had a donut bar near the dance floor from California Donuts, who were able to make custom donuts that spelled our names. We love donuts and our wedding would not be complete without them.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? Our favors for our guests were small corked glass bottles of olive oil with a rosemary branch and a label handwritten by me. The label said “Olive our Love”. Another fun aspect of our wedding was that I had custom ‘thank you’ notes from Minted to place on each guest’s place setting with an olive branch on top to coordinate with the olive oil. I wanted to add these small personal touches to an otherwise formal, classic country club wedding to make it more personal.  We also had signature drinks. One was the ‘Penelope Martini’, a lemon drop martini named after our cat, Penelope. The other drinks were a ‘Lex on the Beach’, a sex on the beach and a ‘Sales and Seven’, a traditional seven and seven whisky drink. The guests got a good laugh out of them, and the Penelope martini was a hit!

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Maid of honor – Katie Sales (Stephen’s sister), Bridesmaids: Krista, Jenni, Elise (high school friends), Lauren, Jenny, Taylor (college friends), Sam and Jamie (dental school friends)

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Best man – Will Sales (Stephen’s brother), Groomsmen: Max (high school friend), Peter, Jake, Jesse, Schuyler, Kevin, Connor, Zack (college football friends)

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?  Flower girl – Olivia (my cousin’s daughter) No ring bearer

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I live in California, so unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get into a KAREN WILLIS HOLMES store.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before?  I actually saw the Carina on Pinterest. I was set on a dress with long sleeves and it came up in my search.

How many gowns did you try? Maybe 10 or so.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)?  Love and Lace in Irvine, CA

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved that it was contemporary and unique look, while still being classic. I really wanted a wedding dress that I can look back at pictures and still love. I really wanted long sleeves because I love the added details and felt like it was unique (and it was definitely hard to find dresses in southern California with long sleeves!). I loved the beading and sequins on the Carina. It added interesting texture without overwhelming the dress.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Dessy

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

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore an Olivia Nelson custom-made hair piece and my veil is by Veiled Beauty

Where did you get your shoes from? Vince Camuto


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? I would do your best to not let all of the planning get too stressful and overwhelming. Try to not get so caught up in the fine details that you forget to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience. Never forget that the wedding is essentially a big party to celebrate you and your partner’s love with your loved ones. Enjoy every minute!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Find a dress that makes you feel like you! Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks or the popular trends. As long as you are happy and comfortable in the dress, that will shine through on your wedding day.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day? My parents are divorced since I was very young, so I had my dad walk me down the first half of the aisle; and my step dad met us, and the three of us walked down the aisle to Stephen.

Something Old? My grandma’s rosary wrapped around my bouquet.

Something New? Shoes.

Something Borrowed? Jewelry from my mom.

Something Blue? Small blue bow stitched inside the dress.


Florist – Floral Occassions out of San Juan Capistrano, CA

Photographer – Mason and Megan out of San Louis Obispo, CA – they are so much fun and kept the day on schedule, not mention produce stunning pictures!

Videographer Aqua Vivus

Music – Seaside Strings (string trio for ceremony)

First Dance – My Best Friend – The Once

MC – DJ Chris Anthony – Our guests, me and my husband never left the dance floor!

Stationery - Minted

Cake It’s All About the Cake – Dana Point, CA --  I’m not a cake person, and their cakes are my absolute favorite! Their buttercream frosting is to die for.

Hair & Make Up – Design Visage out of Costa Mesa, CA

Wedding Bands David Yurman

Extra features - Coordinator – Intertwined Events out of Costa Mesa, CA

Kasey-Lee & Ben's Timeless Wedding

Posted on 02 Mar, 2016
Kasey-Lee & Ben's Timeless Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We actually went to high school together! So we knew each other from grade 8 onwards. We dated in grade 8 for a few days (I was his first ever girlfriend!!) –after that little fling we went our separate ways during high school. We then caught up again during Schoolies week at Airlie Beach. Ben always jokes that I am his first and last girlfriend! 

How long have you been together? 8.5 years- we started officially dating on Feb 12th  2007 (during O-week of university)  I started to get worried that I was on a 10 year probation or something before he would ask me to marry him!

Do you have a proposal story?  We had just moved into our newly built house and one weekend we invited our families over for a big lunch to welcome them into our new home.  That morning, Ben wanted to take me to breakfast at the Heritage Tea Rooms up in Harvey’s Range (which is absolutely gorgeous btw if you’re ever up our way!) -but I told him I really didn’t feel like it as we had so much preparing, cooking etc. to do for the big family lunch. (Ben’s family is Italian, so they eat a LOT) So after we had finished eating lunch, Ben stood up- in front of everyone, pulled out an AMAZING looking ring from his pocket and just asked me straight out!  He explained he was meant to ask me up in the mountains at breakfast and then come back and share the good news with everyone at lunch- but I had changed his plans and so he improvised. I was so shocked! He then went on to explain that he had been planning this for a long long time for me and how he had helped design the ring that was hand crafted by Jay from Kim Bartlett. I immediately fell in love with my ring, it is absolutely stunning- a total of 1.75 car- a cushion cut 1.1car center diamond with a halo and diamonds either side, set in platinum. I couldn’t stop staring at it and thinking how lucky I am!  Both of our families were wrapped that they got to be a part of the experience, although looking back now, I really wish I had have said yes to the breakfast up at the tea rooms, it would have been so romantic! At least we have a funny story to tell now.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 7th June 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?    Ceremony- The Sacred Heart Cathedral, Townsville. Reception- Picnic Bay SLSC, Townsville

What made you choose there? We were originally going to have our ceremony in the Queens Gardens (where some of our professional photos were taken), but in the end we chose the Sacred Heart Cathedral, it is absolutely stunning. It was undercover in case of rain, and it is so grand! We had a string quartet playing, which filled and echoed through the entire cathedral, and Ben’s great Uncle Father Dave was able to be our Priest. It still gives me goosebumps and makes me smile thinking about the moment Dad walked me down the aisle to Ben.

The reception was on Townsville’s Strand headland – it overlooks the ocean and across to Magnetic Island. It has a big covered deck and grass area for all to be seated on to enjoy the sunset and island views. The roofing also meant we were able to get fairy lights, drapes and chandeliers strung up to make it look really romantic yet still with an open and airy feeling.

How did you find it? The surf club has the best views of Townsville for our out-of-town guests to experience.  We didn’t really want to be cooped up in a dark venue. Both locations are very close to each other and also to the city, so it was easy for guests to get around easily and access everything no worries.

How was the weather on the day? The day was perfect- not too hot, not too cold, and no rain. The sunset was apparently stunning at the reception. 

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? June is a beautiful time of year in North Queensland- the sunsets are spectacular and the weather is perfect. It was also the Queens Birthday long weekend.  We were married on a Sunday so our out-of-town guests could travel up on the Saturday and back on the Monday and not have to sacrifice work commitments etc. It is also ironically the same weekend that Ben’s parents were married on 25 years ago as well. 

The Wedding Details

Theme? Blush, rose gold

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest!!! It was my second job!

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What?Of COURSE!  We tried to save $ wherever we could so we could have more towards our honeymoon! We didn’t have a wedding planner. We had a deal- if I planned the wedding then Ben planned the honeymoon. We must mention that we were very lucky to have many friends in the right industries who helped us out immensely towards our day- so we did get some great discounts or complimentary services. We are so so grateful and realise this is not the case for everyone getting hitched!

-The invitations, ceremony booklets, name place tags, seating arrangement sign and favor stickers were designed and made by my very talented mum Kerry (Kaebee Designs) I will never forget the day all my bridesmaids, mum, grandma and mother in law came over my house a few months before the wedding and had a lovely girls day putting together all the invitations. Some parts were very tedious (copper foiling!), but well worth it- we are a little bias and think they look so beautiful and unlike any invites we had seen before!

-Our favors were little jars of mango chutney handmade by my grandmother who lives in Bowen. Of course made with delish homegrown Bowen Mangoes!  She really needs to publish the recipe or make it in bulk because everyone was raving about it weeks after the wedding wanting more!!!  We tied some lace and chevron neutral material and copper twine around the tops of the jars and mum made stickers that said “spread the love”.  We also got a few mini pomegranate candles if anyone didn’t want mango chutney.

-As we didn’t have a wedding planner- This was my second full time job for a while!.. I sourced and organised everything for the day including the venues, accommodation, caterers, entertainment, decorator, photographer, florist, cake and hair & makeup.  I highly recommend anyone also DIY’ing to do up a wedding day run sheet with times, places, who’s involved and details columns. Go over it with all those involved and double check everything and once finalized, print copies for yourself, groom, photographer, drivers, both immediate families, MC, entertainment /band/singers and the venue managers so they all know what’s going on and when and everything should run to plan. Also we recommend when doing up your seating plan- draw big circles/rectangles for the tables and write every guests name on mini sticky notes to stick at each table.. this means you can easily chop and change people at different tables without having to start over!

-I sourced all the reception and table decorations both online and at local homeware shops.  I fell in love with the copper flower boxes with our names and date hand stamped – these were from Rainy Sunday online if anyone is interested. I also found matching copper mason jar lids from a local homeware shop. The sequin rose gold and sequin chevron rose gold and white table runners I found online in bulk. Copper milk jars were from typo & the little jars for the mango chutney were from Just Jars online. I also handmade the gold foil table numbers in wooden photo frames and the eye spy game.  The table seating plan was made from an old easle that we repainted white, and a mirror.  We stuck big fake flowers and vines around the edges of the mirror and then the table arrangements in the middle of the mirror.

-My other grandmother sourced and put together all the flowers for the table centerpieces from a local lady and then went down to make sure everything was set up correctly at the surf club before the ceremony started. She also spent a few months collecting lots of the little jars from her friends for the candles to go onto the tables.

-Ben and I bought our photobooth backdrop second hand on gumtree and added more materials from spotlight!  We also got some dress up props from the crazy shop and an insta polaroid camera for our DIY photobooth.

-All the desserts for the dessert table were homemade up in Ingham the week of the wedding and frozen until the big day. Myself, mother in law, grandmother in law and a few Lancini family friends all made the trip up to Ingham to Bens great Aunts house, where we spent all day baking their favourite traditional Italian sweets. We made around 200 of each dessert- chocolate and vanilla cannoli’s, powder puffs, peach blossoms, creamed horns, orange blossoms, storch, lemon biscuits, triple chocolate biscuits, lace biscuits and almond bread.

-The cars we used on the day were all owned by family and friends- three white SUV’s- two white Audi’s for the bridesmaids and groomsmen and the bridal car was a white Lexus.  The car ribbons we bought online and looked up a tutorial on how to put them on!

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

-My younger sister Bekki

-My best friend Danielle (MOH)

-Ben’s younger sister Samantha

Groomsmen – who/relationship?

-Ben’s younger brothers Luke and Mitchell

-Ben’s best friend Tim (best man)

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?

-My little niece Sialle was our flower girl.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I couldn’t find anything I liked at the bridal shops in Townsville, and I had no clue what style I wanted so couldn’t get one made! So mum suggested we take a girls trip down south. Of course I jumped at the suggestion, and mentioned I had never been to Melbourne before- so it was done. We booked many appointments along high street in Armadale and also in Collins Street in the city. I was having no luck at all, and was getting quite anxious and frustrated. Then we walked past KAREN WILLIS HOLMES.. and the Caitlyn gown was on the mannequin in the window, I was adamant I had to try that dress on. We walked in, I didn’t have an appointment, but the very helpful staff (Enza and Sally) were able to fit me in within an hour for a private fitting! As soon as the gown was on me, I knew it was the one.  When I walked out to show my mum, she started tearing up and was speechless. The ladies also made me try the similar style Alexandra dress as well just in case, but I liked the Caitlyn better. The Armadale store didn’t have my exact size in stock, so luckily Karen herself was flying to Melbourne the next day and so she bought my dress with her and I got to meet her!  WOW- Things are meant to be sometimes!

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I had never seen or heard of KAREN WILLIS HOLMES before I saw the boutique on High Street that day. One of the unfortunate downfalls of living in North Queensland- we don’t get the really good things like the capitol cities do!

How many gowns did you try? Countless! But only two at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)?  The High Street Armadale store

What did you especially like about your gown? It was so unique to anything I had ever seen or tried on before.  It fit like a glove- all I had to do was get it taken up. It was just very me!


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? The Fashion Gallery in Townsville- they were taupe coloured Alfred Angelo gowns.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? The boys hired their suits, shirts and ties from New Park Menswear in Townsville. Their shoes were all Julius Marlow’s from Style Tread online and their cufflinks were all from Myer.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I fell in love with the Samantha Wills blue head comb for my something blue. I then found teardrop crystal earrings and matching bracelet from The Silver Shop in Townsville to compliment the belt I wore with the gown.

For the girls, we got them each a Samantha Wills white marble bohemian Bardot ring and some beautiful pearl drop earrings from a jewellery store in Melbourne.

Where did you get your shoes from? I really wanted a pair of special heels as a keepsake of the day..some nude Valentino heels were my dream.. but I had to be realistic- we had a budget to stick to and I knew they would get wrecked on the day anyway. So instead I went for price and comfort and got mine and the bridesmaids heels from Betts- mine in silver and the girls in nude.  - Whilst on our honeymoon in Paris Ben surprised me & took me to the flagship Valentino store and I splurged on the nude Valentino rock stud pumps. 

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a beautiful cathedral length silk tulle veil.  It was very sheer and soft with raw edging so as to not take away from the details on my gown. I also liked the traditional idea of the ‘veil over the face’ whilst walking down the isle and since we were in the cathedral; it had to be cathedral length!  My friend and dressmaker Hester from Ja Delle Designs gave the veil to me as a gift; she also spent many hours taking up my beaded gown and sewing in bra cups.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?

-Make a budget and stick to it. (we made an excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything!)

-Try to save on your wedding day wherever you can so you have more to enjoy for your honeymoon! I know it sounds selfish- but its only one day and it will be amazing for you and your family/friends no matter how many layers the cake is or what brand of champagne you’re serving. We had an amazing day and got to enjoy a four-week honeymoon in Paris and Italy afterwards!

-Ask your guests to put away their phones/cameras at the ceremony-best thing we did! This is the photographer’s job. We now have beautiful photos of our guests actually enjoying the ceremony and not behind their phone screens.

-Enjoy being with each other all day and night- don’t leave each others side- it’s your day! If people want to come and talk to you, they will.  We made this mistake at our engagement party- we didn’t see each other all night! So this time we didn’t make an effort to go around separately to tables and make sure everyone was happy- we wanted to enjoy & make the most of our day together, and not have to worry about how everyone else was feeling.

-Sneak off just by yourselves at some stage during the day or night and enjoy a quite little moment together!

-If something goes wrong or not to plan, (which thankfully didn’t happen to us) but- don’t let it ruin your day- there is probably nothing you could do about it anyway, just move on and remember its not the end of the world and why you are celebrating this day!

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

-Definitely don’t give up hope if you are having no luck- sometimes things happen for a reason and are meant to be! 

-You really do ‘know’ when it is ‘the one’, so if you don’t get that 100% feeling, then it’s not the right dress for you.

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

Ben and I had agreed no wedding presents to each other on the day- but I couldn’t help myself. He had spoilt me so much with my engagement ring and he didn’t want a fancy wedding band, so I really felt I needed to give him something special he would cherish for the rest of his life as well and maybe one day hand down. Ben has a thing for watches- he has 11 now.  So I secretly saved and saved and saved & finally went and got him a classic black-faced Tag Heuer Carrera watch.  He is a smarty-pants, very cluey and kept asking me why the budget was out and not matching up with where it should be-I kept having to try to dodge the subject! Ha! Apparently the look on his face when he opened his present on the day was priceless. 

Something Old? White crochet hankie

Something New? The Dress!

Something Borrowed? The veil

Something Blue? Samantha Wills head comb


Florist – Townsville Flower Market- I wanted a bouquet that was not too perfect/structured, blush colours and long stems. Peonies and roses are my fav so they had to be in there! For the bridesmaids and flowergirl, I loved the look of simple big bunches of babies breath.

PhotographerSweet Mary Photography.   Katie, one of my talented friends owns Sweet Mary and so there was no other choice for us!

Videographer – NA- we wanted to remember our day as we saw it from our own eyes.

Music – Laurence Sorbello.  Was FANTASTIC!!!  Highly recommend him!  Laurence is a local who a few years ago made it to the top ten of Australian Idol.  Our families all love live music, country and rock- he specialises in this and did an amazing job.  He had the whole set up- stage, lighting, smoke, and can even organize fireworks. Between his live sets he DJ’s as well! From the end of our first dance until we were told it was home time everyone was up on the dance floor having a blast, it was so much fun!

First Dance – ‘A thousand years’ Christina Perry followed by Father daughter dance of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinkin out loud.’

MC – Peter Motti- Our friend who we went to school with. He currently lives in UAE and made the trip all the way back to AUS to be there for us.  He loves a good yarn, is very organised, quick thinking, and knows how to crack people up, so it was a no brainer for him to be the MC! We also had friends from Hong Kong, and interstate Australia who traveled great lengths to share our day with us. We are so thankful.

Celebrant – Ben’s great uncle- Father Dave Lancini

StationeryKaeBee Designs (owned by my mum Kerry)

Menu – Michel from Essentially Fresh catered our wedding and absolutely nailed it.  We gave him the task of keeping our large families/big mob of Italians full, and he delivered! 

  • For canapes there were 6 different dishes including: Pork belly, prawn and avocado tostadas, duck crepes, scallops, beetroot & goats cheese & caramelized onion stacks, mini beef burgers.
  • For mains- we didn’t have the traditional alternate drop- we wanted to have big share platters in the middle of the tables so people could eat as much or as little as they liked, and eat whatever they liked.  It also really encourages people to mingle and interact with each other. We had three main dishes for guests- and enough servings so each guest could have all three dishes if they wanted. The share platter mains included eye fillet wrapped in prosciutto with sides of roasted potatoes tossed in garlic butter, char grilled king prawns served in a chilli garlic sauce on beds of rice, organic whole chicken legs with sides of seasonal steamed vegetables.

Cake – another of my talented girlfriends Karina from Just Peachy Cupcakes was no other choice for our wedding cake!  We had a small three-tier cake of white and dark choc marble mud cake, lime and coconut mud cake and Karina’s secret traditional fruitcake.  She also made us some delish macaroons as well.

Bombonieres – Homemade Mango Chutney and mini pomegranate candles.

Hair – Pamela from Da Vinci, my hairdresser and friend of 13 years

Make up – Cheree from Urban Miss Make-up, my friend and best MUA in Townsville

Wedding Bands – Jay Bartlett from Kim Bartlett Master Jewelers.  Ben’s 18k gold band & Kasey’s platinum with diamonds all around.

Extra features – Decorator - a local lady from Magnums Weddings set up the ceiling lighting, drapes, chandeliers and chairs.

Other –  All in all, we are so lucky we have such wonderful family and friends who all helped us out in one way or another to make our wedding day so special - it would not have been the day it was without any of them. xxx