How did you meet your (now) husband? We met at a uni class when we were both 20 and I remember coming home to my mum and being like mum there is the most handsome man in my class. 3 weeks later, we both realised we had friends in common and since then we have been together. (We did have a little gap year when we were 23 but after time apart we realised we were that person for each other.)
How long have you been together? We were together 7 years before we got married.
Do you have a proposal story? We were staying in Belles at Killcare for Sams birthday weekend. Our first morning there we decided to go for a walk in the national park. It wasn’t a nice day but as we got the beach, the sun peaked through the clouds. We were on the beach alone and I went to look for another route up and then as I came back sam had written Marry Me? In the sand and was down on one knee with the ring. It was beautiful. I then got laryngitis the next day and couldn’t speak so our first day as an engaged couple was spent at the Terrigal Doctors and then in bed watching Harry Potter with the fire on - it was actually perfect (despite being unable to speak!)
What was your wedding date? 17 September 2016
Location (Ceremony and Reception)
Where? The Grove, Byron Bay
What made you choose there? We saw a lot of venues in Byron but this one was just like nothing we had ever seen. We also loved how you could do the ceremony and reception all in one so guests wouldn’t have to travel to multiple locations. The house itself was a beautiful backdrop and the landscaping was just so beautiful and so us. We also loved the fact it was a macadamia farm and you could look out over it all.
How did you find it? I found the venue on Instagram through SPELL who had had a party there.
How was the weather on the day? The weather was amazing - perfect blue sky and sunny. It rained either side so we were incredibly lucky.
What made you decide to get married on this particular date? I wish it was something romantic but it was just a date available in September and we always wanted to get married in September.
The Wedding Details
Theme? We really wanted to emulate the feel of the venue. The house was beautifully styled and we loved the landscaping of succulents and Australian natives. I would say the theme would be classic mixed with beach chic. I loved white and just wanted it to be super classic. I was also obsessed with succulents and greenery and native flowers so that was tied into everything.
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest was amazing and so is Instagram. We really looked at both and then just took what we wanted from those platforms and made our own inspiration board. I do love Hello May magazine and took a lot of Inspiration from there too.
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I had seen on Pinterest the surfboard seating plans and I really wanted to do something similar so we got some old surfboards and spray painted them black thinking we could write on them ourselves. It proved harder than we thought so we found a professional sign writer and they copied the text from our wedding invite. It’s so lovely to now look back at the messages from the day.
Bridesmaids – who/relationship?
Caroline Auswild - Friend
Maddy Rymill - Friend
Em Batger - Friend
Groomsmen – who/relationship?
Mathew Hosking - Grooms Brother
Tom Hosking - Grooms Brother
Cam Girdlestone - Friend
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
Annabelle wore the 'Leonie/Alexia' gown from the DYG Collection, in stores now.
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? A girlfriend of mine whose wedding I went to in 2015 wore a KWH dress and I loved it. She said she had an amazing experience buying her dress so we decided to go there. It was the first dress store I went in too.
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? A few of my friends had worn KWH dresses and they all looked amazing.
How many gowns did you try? I probably tried on about 10 gowns but the dress I chose was the 3rd one I tried on.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? From the Paddington store.
What did you especially like about your gown? It was so classic and the fabric was that old school glamour. My aunty, mum and cousin came with me to try it on and they all had tears in their eyes when I put it on so I just knew it was the one. My husband also wanted me in something fitted and I just loved how slimming, sexy and so incredibly flattering it was. I can’t tell you how many people have commented on my dress and how it was so classic and the best dress they’d seen.
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I borrowed my mum's pearl bracelet that was from Paspaley Pearls - I didn’t want to wear too much jewellery but this bracelet is my favourite.
Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes were my grandma's - she wore them to my Aunt's wedding in 1987 (30 years old and in perfect condition!) - My grandma and I were incredibly close. She had the most amazing fashion sense and I definitely inherited her love of shoes. I also happened to be the only person in the family who had her same shoe size. We also loved watching The Wizard of Oz and these shoes went just perfectly with the dress. It was also my something old and wearing them was like having Thea my grandmother with me on the day.
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a borrowed headband from my cousin which was actually from Zara - nothing like a cheap and cheerful headpiece for the day! And the veil was from KWH.
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? If things start to get stressful just remember that the most important thing is that your closest family and friends are there and that's the most important. Everything else is just a bonus.
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? I believe that when you try the dress on you just know - If you get that gut feeling, it’s generally the right one. My dress was the third one I tried on and just knew.
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day?
Something Old? My grandma's shoes - so special
Something New? - My dress - my goal is to be able to fit in it on our 10 year wedding anniversary.
Something Borrowed? My cousin's headband and my mum's pearl bracelet.
Something Blue? The blue bow that was sewn into my dress and there were some blue diamonds on the shoes.
Photographer - Carly Tia - Carly was the most amazing photographer - her sister was our second shooter and honestly they just captured every moment, were so professional but personable and it was so lovely having her be a part of it. From the moment we met her, everything was just easy.
Florist - Beautiflora - Most amazing florals and so wonderful to work with.
Band - The White Trees These guys were so so awesome. They got everyone on the dance floor and played the crowd. We were running a bit behind schedule and the guys played for 2 hours straight because they said everyone was having the best time and they didn't want to stop the fun.
Catering - The Fig Tree - Delicious food.
Cake - Rebellyous Cake Co. 3 Tiers - coconut lime mud with coconut flakes, sticky date mud with ruffled royal icing and white chocolate mud with half naked icing. Our cake was amazing and Rebel was so wonderful to work with.
Other desserts - Jars of assorted chocolates - Ferrero Rocher, Lindt balls, honeycomb, gold love hearts, Mnm's
Cake topper - Beautiflora flowers
Decorative elements- A&S foam letters in the pool by Polystyrene Solutions.
Wedding favours - Baby succulent pots made by Fairlight Blessed - (now huttonsherbology)
Marquee / teepee - Sperry Tent from Sperry Tent Australia
Lighting / sound hire - North Coast Events
Signage - Old surfboards spray painted black and handwritten on by old signboard painter called Gary. He copied the text from our invite.
Entertainment: The White Trees
Celebrant: Katrina Holt - Wonderlove - Katrina was so the amazing celebrant. We instantly loved her when we met her, she was so approachable and just got us and that made all the difference.
Engagement ring & wedding band: Robert Clerc
First Dance - Fire and the Flood by Vance Joy