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Charlene & Tom's Rustic Wedding

Posted on 03 Nov, 2016
Charlene & Tom's Rustic Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We are both Christians and met at a church convention in Adelaide in 2011, myself living in Perth at the time it was a brief interaction a few smiles/flirty moments exchanged and it wasn’t until 2013 that our paths crossed again. This time I was Living in Sydney and Tom being quite sick at the time came to Sydney for treatment. Considering we went to the same church but in different cities we had many mutual friends so we found ourselves in Déjà vu with the smiles/flirts. Tom organised for me to stay with his sister when I was next in Adelaide, (sneaky ulterior motives) and our friendship blossomed when I was there for a weekend. From my visit to Adelaide next thing I found out Tom was moving to Sydney which I was super excited about unbeknown to him at the time. With our Love for God and our amazing chemistry it was not long before our friendship turned into so much more, he asked me to be his Girlfriend one day when we were at the beach and then 2 years later he asked me to Marry him on the beach at sunrise. I thank God for bringing us together and for the awesome friendship we had first but with the attraction it was always going to be more.

Do you have a proposal story? Sunrises have always been our thing, I’m not the greatest morning person but tom is and we both share a love for watching the sunrise. Tom would be the motivator and always set my alarm and pick me up the next morning and would venture to the beach. As this was what we quite often did I had no suspicions when we were at Bronte Beach, the sun had just come up and I was cosy in the blanket. Meantime Tom was Bird whispering as he usually would, such an animal lover. When he said let’s get coffee, he pulled me up and as I got up he knelt down an asked me to be his wife.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 21st May 2016

Location (Ceremony and Reception) Mali Brae Farm Moss Vale

What made you choose there? We actually initially wanted our wedding by the beach but after looking at a few venue nothing was feeling right so we stopped looking at venues and decided we would pick our food (Priorities clearly) we both wanted a hearty banquet style and we came across Violets and Vinegar, and we instantly knew we wanted them to cater for our wedding. After speaking with them they catered exclusively for Mali Brae Farm, we had a look at the venue online and the next week we were down at the farm and just fell in love with scenery and relaxed vibe. It was so magical and knew it was going to be perfect.

How did you find it? Through Violets and vinegar

How was the weather on the day? It was crisp cold, with glimpses of the sun shining through, too be honest I was on cloud 9, it could have been snowing and I wouldn’t have realized.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? When we initially got engaged in September 2015 we wanted to get Married in March 2016 but after scouting venues we realized it was difficult finding availability so when we found Mali Brae Farm it was only available on 21st May so we just said let’s do it. I think It was a blessing in disguise really as when I look back organizing a wedding in 6 months would have been a bit hectic and having those few extra months made it that more enjoyable and much more relaxed.

The Wedding Details

Theme? I was looking at flower options the moment I got engaged, I was so excited about Autumn blooms. Burgundy/fuchsia was a standout feature color. I chose my flowers first and worked my styling around my flowers, with the help of my amazing Florist this was so much fun.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest was my best friend, I found myself on there quite frequently as you do.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? My signage was all done by my little sis, she is a wiz with chalk and blackboards so all our signboards where blackboard and she made them look super awesome. All my stationary was done by my talented Bridemaid Cailin, she hand painted the design. My Dad and the groomsmen troop constructed the arbor. Tommy and I made our gifts for all our guest, little honey pots. 

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

Naomi – Big Sis

Alaina – Lil Sis

Katie – Sister in law

Cailin  – Best friend

Groomsmen – who/relationship?

Cody – Friend

Joel – Brother

Ryan – Friend

Brendan – Friend

Philip – Brother in law

Matthew – Friend

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? My very Good Friend, Kelly, is a massive advocate for Karen Willis Holmes so she would gush over the dresses and I just had to see for myself. Karen Willis Holmes did not disappoint as soon as I walked in I saw the dresses glistening in the light and could not wait to try them on.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I had previously seen 2 of my friends walk down the aisle in Karen Willis Holmes dresses looking beautiful

How many gowns did you try? I tried about 6 gowns on.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Paddington Store

What did you especially like about your gown? I fell in love with the classic style of the 'Prea' skirt, I loved that it was simple yet so elegant and flattering.

The 'Abbey' Bodice was just so romantic and when I put it on with the 'Prea' skirt I knew I had found my winning combo. So happy that I could mix match with the Karen Willis Holmes collection. Really allowed me to customise my look and have everything I’d imagined in my wedding dress. I have to make a special mention of my lace trimmed veil as it was the very first item I laid my eyes on in the Karen Willis Holmes store and I knew whatever dress I ended up wearing I just had to have the veil, a total glamour piece!



Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? ASOS, such an incredible find, my vision for my bridesmaids was whimsical/boho

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Groomsman suits from YD and Tommy’s Suit was from MJ Bale

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I kept my accessories simplistic, I wore Mazel earrings and a bracelet my two friends gave me as a present on the day. It was super cute engraved “we love you”.

Where did you get your shoes from? Billini Shoes from Wanted Shoes

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Karen Willis Holmes Veil and Flower crown Created by Kelly O’Shea my florist

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Have fun and enjoy the journey, don’t strive for perfection as there is no such thing. Everything doesn’t always go to plan but trust everything happens for a reason. Make decisions based on what you both want not based on what others want or expect. And above all remember the most important thing is not the stationary flowers or guest list buts it’s that you get to spend the rest of your lives together.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Try on many different styles as the picture you have in your head isn’t always what ends up making you feel like a princess.




Florist – Kelly O’Shea blessed to have a friend who has such a creative eye for floristry, she went above and beyond in displaying an array of autumn blooms which were absolutely stunning. Her work is second to none and her love for floristry is contagious, she is calm cool and collected, so efficient and creates displays which are of the highest standard, such a florist Guru. Special mention to Jemma Gibson who assisted Kelly.

Photographer – Jimmy Raper Photography. I browsed a number of wedding photography albums before stumbling across Jimmy, who I could see had a creative eye for capturing moments. Jimmy and his assistant were the ultimate professionals on the day and very fun to work with and we are so happy with our photos. His work says it all as well as being a talented photographer he is also a Top guy!

Music – Our friend Brad Gibson being a former DJ has the skills when is come to setting the scene with great music, having done many weddings before and him already knowing our taste in music we picked out some token songs for key moments throughout the night then gave him a creative license and he delivered a fun filled day/night of great crowd pleaser tunes.

First Dance – we danced to I don’t want to miss a thing – Aerosmith

Tom isn’t exactly the dancer so we practiced a few moves for our dance together and I was so chuffed that he even agreed to have a first dance, he was so out of his comfort zone, very proud wifey moment!

MC – Paul Wright, who is our dear friend, he’s a natural MC so he ran the day/night so chilled and Aced it!

Celebrant - We had our Pastor Andrew Riggs who we have both had as our pastor at our church in Sydney for a few years now.

Stationery – Cailin my best friend is an artsy one and created our beautiful hand painted invites and all other stationary.

Menu – all Compliments to our caterers Violets and Vinegar, foodies to the maximum delivered 5 star banquet style food that all our guests raved about. Special mention of the grazing table pre – reception abundance of delicious food, such a stand out catering company, professional, creative, lovely people.

Cake – Violets and Vinegar also made our yummy cake, 2 tier white chocolate with coconut buttercream and lime, was incredible, I am getting a craving for it as I write this.

Bombonieres – Tommy and I made little Honey Pots for each guest.

Hair – Sensoria Moss Vale, great stylists who did bridesmaids and My Mums Hair. 2 Girls who made the process enjoyable and delivered on the great hair. Greer Moss from Miss Moss Makeup did my hair.

Make up – Miss Moss Makeup – Greer Moss, I couldn’t have asked for a more delightful skilled makeup artist as Greer. She was a pleasure to work with, such a fun bubbly energy which fitted in so perfectly with all us girls. She was relaxed and confident in her work which made us all feel so comfortable and the whole experience was ultimate pampering. I highly recommend her talents and am so grateful for her being a part of my day.

Wedding Bands – Cricelli Jewelers, outstanding customer service, Tommy had my engagement ring custom made and I was over the moon with it. Tommy also had his wedding Band Custom made, it was very sentimental to him as his mum passed away a few years ago and he had his dads wedding band re made and they did an awesome Job. Lovely people to work with. Highly recommend.