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

Anna & Evan's Wedding at The Grounds

Posted on 18 May, 2016
Anna & Evan's Wedding at The Grounds


How did you meet your (now) husband?

When I was 16 years old, a friend of mine from school dragged me along to a party. It was a party that I didn’t really want to go to, and that I wasn’t really invited to! I very elegantly (perhaps a bit tipsy) tripped over someone’s foot and landed on him. It was Evan. I guess you could say the rest is history. I have often wondered why then, why that party. Perhaps it was just meant to be.

How long have you been together?

We were together for 5 years and then we parted ways. I think when you meet at such a young age, there are always times when you feel you need to head off and find yourself, so that you can be the best version of yourself in your relationship. After a year apart, we found our way back to one another and have been together ever since. That was 5 years ago! I am grateful every day that we managed to reconnect, and we are happier than ever!

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 6.12.15

Location - The Grounds of Alexandria

What made you choose there?

There is just something about The Grounds. It really is a magical venue. I had always thought the garden would be a beautiful place to not only hold a ceremony, but also continue through to reception. The idea of being married in a venue that needed little decoration, as it is stunning in its on right really appealed to me. I really liked that there was no worry if the weather turned ugly and there was enough space for all my guests to relax. The food was most definitely a plus also! Outstanding!  I had also seen some of the most wonderful wedding photography on many blogs from the Grounds and it looked like the perfect fit for our personalities.

How did you find it?  I had been to the grounds quite a few times for lunch/breakfast, but it was seeing photos of a wedding there on a blog that really pushed me to have our wedding there. It looked beautiful and unusual, and not wanting a traditional wedding, looked perfect for us.

How was the weather on the day? The wedding was a gorgeous sunny summer day! It was really hot during the day, but it cooled to a perfect temperature by the time our wedding started at 6pm

The Wedding Details

Theme ?

We did not have an official “theme” for the day, but I would say the wedding was a sophisticated yet simple garden party! I wanted the wedding to be conducted in many different pockets of the space, so we had our ceremony, speeches, food and dance floor in separate parts of the garden venue.

I carried a floral garden theme throughout from the invitations to the signage on the day. Purples, pinks and lavenders were used in our bouquets and signage. In my planning, I really wanted the venue to be the hero of the day, and everything else to simply compliment it. I didn’t want the day to get too over styled or themed. We really wanted it to be classic, so that when we look at our photos and remember the day in 50 years, it stands the test of time!

Bethan Tolmaer from the Grounds was excellent in meeting with me and running through many possibilities for the day. This was integral in helping me plan the day and styling.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?

I guess I knew deep down the wedding we should have by wanting it to really reflect the laid back and simple nature of our relationship. I looked at a lot of wedding blogs and pinterest, but at the end of the day, it really was about sticking to what things are important to us, each other and our family and friends.

Knowing this really helped plan the evening as it eliminated a lot of things that we didn’t feel were integral to our day. For us, being able to spend the night with our guests was most important, so we had a short ceremony, and a cocktail reception. We tried to keep all the formalities of the evening short and sweet and early on in the night, and that gave us plenty of time to kick up our heels with our loved ones on the dance floor.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What?

The Wedding Ceremony – with the celebrant’s assistance I wrote the wedding ceremony. This was a wonderful experience, and meant that it was really personalized to us. I wanted to pay tribute to our families in the ceremony; this included walking in to my Father In Law’s favourite song and changing my mother’s favourite song into a reading! I arranged all of the music for the ceremony – this was one of my favourite parts!

Confetti - I bought the confetti in bulk and then after purchasing a stamp kit, stamped 125 bags for confetti! A very long process but was the most economical option, as it turns out buy pre-package biodegradable confetti is incredibly expensive.

Gift Table – I sourced all of the frames and decorations for the table. I managed to find an old suitcase at Mitchell Road Antiques that was perfect for our wishing well, and then decorated it with photos of Evan and I. We wanted the table to be simple, but also serve as a great introduction to the space, as we situated it right near the front entrance.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? My three best girlfriends were my bridesmaids and they were just amazing! Couldn’t have imagined anyone else! Stephanie, Alice and Angela.

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Evan’s brother Alex was best man on the day – there were no other groomsmen.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? A girl I know had gotten married in a Karen Willis Holmes gown two years before. I remember thinking that it was the most gorgeous gown I had ever seen! Naturally, I looked at all of the design options online and thought that it was a must I go in and try some one.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I had seen many gorgeous Karen Willis Holmes gowns before in wedding magazine, blogs, and through friends that had worn them.

How many gowns did you try? I think that I tried on at least 6 gowns before I found my dress. I had a very definitive idea about what gown I wanted, but when it came to trying them on, they simply did not suit my frame. I was so lucky to have Hannah-Kate as my sales assistant as after I had tried and failed with all my picks, she pulled gowns for me that I would never have tried on. The gown that she thought would suit my frame perfectly ended up being the one I bought!

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Sydney Boutique

What did you especially like about your gown? I love the way I felt when I wore the gown. I felt like myself! I feel like a lot of brides try to buy gowns that are in fashion or suit a theme, but for me, I wanted to feel like the best version of myself on my wedding day.  The gown made me feel sexy but sophisticated. I also loved the fact that I had never seen a dress quite like it, so I didn’t feel like a cardboard cutout bride that could be at any other wedding! It was so intricate and delicate. Wish I could wear it again!


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier?  Kookai – My bridesmaid Alice saw the dress thought that it would be an excellent style to compliment all three of the Bridesmaids. She was right! They looked stunning!

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Groom and groomsmen both wore suits by Ted Baker.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore beautiful art deco style stud earrings from Karen Willis Holmes. My mother pointed them out when I went to my first dress fitting and they were perfect! The dress is so delicately beaded that it didn’t need much to finish off the whole look.  The Bridesmaids wore black strapped heels from Nine West, and as a present for being amazing bridesmaids, I bought them all Samantha Wills earrings to wear on the day.

Where did you get your shoes from? Nine West – Gold Sparkly Shoes!

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?

Remember what is important. It is really easy to get caught up in the spectacle of planning a wedding. What helped me was staying very true to our personalities and what was important to us on the day. I planned the whole day around keeping it as simple and stress free as I could – and it worked!

Be realistic – do you really need that 6 level chocolate tower? Yes it is your one wedding, but don’t get excessive!

Trust your gut instinct – a lot of people with a lot of opinons will try to tell you what to do. Try not to let this deter you from what you really want! After all, it’s your wedding!

The best advice however is what my mother told me “ Something is definitely going to stuff up”. I say this not in bad way, but to liberate you. Nothing ever goes to plan 100% so keep your wedding simple and when things may not go your way on the day, it will not throw you!


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

BE OPEN! Trying on a wedding gown for the first time is a really overwhelming experience. You spend the first little while trying to wrap your head around the fact that you are indeed getting married and you are wearing a wedding dress!

Have an idea of what you like definitely, but be open to try on other options that you would never have dreamed of. If you go to a boutique like Karen Willis Holmes, they are experts at knowing your bodies and there dresses so really work with them.

Buy a dress that make you feel amazing. Not something that will look good when you loose weight, not one that is cool or edgy. Buy it because when you put it on, you can imagine your wedding day, and it makes you feel incredible!



Florist – Pollock Petals

This was a recommendation from a school friend. Mandy was wonderful to work with. Together we brainstormed and came up with the ideas for flowers for wedding, and they turned out perfectly. She was supportive and adaptable when changes arose, and the bouquets really brought everything together.

Photographer – Alice Boshell Photography

Alice and I had worked together previously on some shoots for my work as a dancer. On the wedding day she amazing! She was easy to work with and managed to capture all of our guests in the most incredibly candid way! Looking back at the photos really takes me back to the day. She even managed to get my photo-hating husband to smile!

Music – Mike Champion and the Cool – Wedding Band

I had heard the band at a friends wedding the year before and thought if I ever got married I had to have them. Best band I have ever heard at a wedding! These guys are just incredible! They had our guests dancing all night, and since our wedding, another 3 friends are looking into them for their nuptials. They feed of the energy of the crowd and you feel like they are having just as much fun as you are!

First Dance – “You and Me” by Penny and the Quarters

An obscure song that my husband and I love – It was so special to dance to something that was unknown to many of our guests. My husband picked it brilliantly!

MC – My brothers

This was a wonderful way to include my 3 brothers in the day. They each MC’d a different part of the night, putting their own funny anecdotes in and entertaining the guests. It was very special for me to have them such a big part of the day.

Celebrant – Gerard Van Dyke

I first met Gerard when he was a lecturer of mine at university. When I was looking for options for celebrants, he enthusiastically agreed to come up from Melbourne to officiate our ceremony. Gerard is charming, funny and really wonderful to work with. We had regular skype meetings in the lead up to the wedding, and the day before, he met with us to run through all the official proceedings and documents for the day.  He made us feel so calm and happy during the ceremony, and kept it light hearted. I could not have imagined a better person to marry us.

Stationery – Family Friends that are printers made our wedding invitations as our wedding gift.   The Little Ink Company designed the signage for the wedding. Bri is starting out with her graphics business and I would not hesitate in getting anything printed from her in the future.

Menu – The Grounds of Alexandria

Cocktail Canapés menu including arancini balls, sliders and scallops

Cheese and Nut grazing table

Two tier Wedding Cake

Canapé dessert table including:  lemon meringue pies, donuts and chocolate hazelnut cake

Cake – The Grounds Of Alexandria

Hair – Kristy Orr

Kristy did my sister in law’s hair for her wedding and she looked incredible so I had no doubt that our hair would turn out great too! Friendly and lovely lady to work with, and very reasonably priced.

Make up – Kerrie Gentle

Kerrie has done the make up for several girls I know who have previously gotten married. What an amazing make up artist! She really knows skin and how to make you look like the best version of yourself! She was excellent.

Wedding Bands – Chilton’s Antiques

My husband bought my engagement ring from Chilton’s. When it was time to get our wedding bands, naturally we wanted to go to the place that would have something to compliment the engagement ring.

This small family run antique store is so special. They really want to help you find the best option for you. You do not in any way feel like they are pushing you to buy from them. They want to help in any way possible.