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

Abby & Sandy's Elegant Country Wedding

Posted on 06 Jan, 2017
Abby & Sandy's Elegant Country Wedding


How long have you been together? 10 years

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? November 6, 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception) Ceremony: Christ Church Bong Bong, Bowral; Reception: ‘Luxstowe’, Bowral

The Wedding Details

Theme? Relaxed summer garden party

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Sandy and I really just wanted to throw a big fun dinner party for our beautiful friends and family. The reception was held at my Dad’s tree nursery in Bowral, next to an old white barn that’s his sculpture studio. We love the leafy, luscious feel of the space, so I suppose we let the beauty of the surrounds be our inspiration.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I thought about hiring a stylist but I ended up doing it myself. I know the venue so well and I knew I wanted to bring about the feeling of a simple, intimate, al-fresco dinner on a balmy summer evening (like the ones I’d had there as a child) – nothing too ‘styled’, more minimal, loose and relaxed. Also, a few years ago I trained as a florist and Myra from My Violet has forever been my floral crush – I felt really safe that she’d understand my flower vision. I hired some props from (a stylist friend) Olivia Blackmore’s amazing collection and also had my sister home from New York to help me – it’s always more work than you think!

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? My two sisters, Penny and Joey

Groomsmen – who/relationship? A couple of Sandy’s best friends, Alex and Charlie

Wedding Gown (the most important part!) 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I’d never really been the kind of girl to daydream about my wedding when I was little. I knew I wanted to wear something understated and minimal, but the dresses I tried that were ‘non-bridal’ I found to be a little too bohemian for me. A dress caught my eye right at the back of Karen Willis Holmes’ store in Paddington. I was able to try it on and immediately felt really comfortable in it – I could move so easily! My mum and I knew it was the one. I also never imagined I’d have a train, but I fell for the romance of the lace at my first fitting.. It sounds silly but I loved the idea of it trailing over the lawn in the garden.



Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Bianca Spender

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? MJ Bale and Hugo Boss


Hannah and I used to work together at Bauer Media and have been friends ever since – she’s a Creative Director of magazines and books by day, so she brings that editorial style to her photography (which is what I love so much about her work!). I’m so happy she agreed to shoot my wedding, even though she was also a guest. The images are stunning and having her with me all day made everything completely stress-free.

Catering and menu

My sister, Joey, is co-owner of Rustic Table Catering in Bowral. Their food is incredible, so I always knew I wanted her and her business partner Vanessa to be our caterers.

Canapes were kept simple, fresh and small enough to pop in your mouth – cucumber and wasabi tuna bites, goat’s cheese, beetroot and caramelised onion tarts, and tiny chicken and watercress rolls. Sandy’s best man’s father has an oyster farm in Merimbula on the NSW South Coast, and in what was a beyond-generous gift, harvested dozens of the most amazing oysters for us.

For dinner, in keeping with the at-home, rustic theme, we designed a share-style menu that would feel just like you were at a friend’s house having a long lunch – simple and delicious, with the freshest of in-season produce. The girls made a feast for each table, with platters of salmon in salsa verde, harissa-roasted beef, honeyed baby carrots, blanched broccolini and almonds, plus summer heirloom tomato and basil salads with torn buffalo mozzarella.

We had a choice of individual jars of tiramisu with hazelnut praline or coconut panna cotta and fresh raspberries for dessert. After dinner, the bar served espresso martinis and staff passed around smoky pulled-pork sliders with cabbage slaw for midnight snacks.


Myra Perez, from My Violet, and her assistant Cara came to our venue on the morning of the wedding, fresh from the flower markets (the van was so full of fragrant flowers I could literally smell that she’d arrived!). We’d arranged that she’d forage for branches from the nursery, as I wanted to bring the outside into the marquee and hang the same silver poplar that was surrounding the garden.

For the tables, we talked about using her collection of cream and white Wedgewood-style vases filled with unstructured groups of white on cream – a mix of luxe blooms and wildflowers. Dictated by colour and texture, we chose to use cream and white cyclamen, gardenia, hydrangea, lilac, peonies and poppies, plus various wildflowers and begonia leaves. Somehow Myra managed to get the most stunning magnolia for me on the day too – a dream come true! Everything she put together was a dream.


Florist – My Violet

Photographer – Hannah Blackmore

Celebrant – Rev. Dean Reilly

Stationery – Venamour, New York

Catering – Rustic Table Catering

Hair – (colour) Belinda Jeffrey; (styling) Amelia Axton

Make up – Amelia Axton

Wedding Rings – Joseph Edirnelian, Double Bay

Prop Hire – Olivia Blackmore

Marquee Hire – White Umbrella Marquees