How did you meet your partner? We met in Year 9 on my first day at a new school, but we didn’t start dating until two and a half years after we finished Year 12.
How long have you been together? We started dating July 2011, and Dan proposed March 2016 – so we had nearly been together five years.
Do you have a proposal story? Dan proposed at the Hunter Valley Gardens up in the Hunter Valley’s wine country. I had a sneaking suspicion that he was going to propose as he had said three weeks earlier that we would set aside that day to do something together (we had been very busy the previous nine months – moving back to Newcastle from Brisbane, buying a house, renovating) and we never plan in advance and set aside days to do things. So I spent the next three weeks a nervous wreck, thinking that the day had finally arrived! But then, when we woke up Saturday morning, Dan asked what I wanted to do. I was so cranky at him, he had been telling me he had it all planned and here he was, asking me what I wanted to do! We decided to head up to the vineyards, as we both love it up there, and I was thinking there was no way he was proposing. But as we were walking around the Hunter Valley Gardens, he got down on one knee, extremely nervous and asked me to be his wife.
What was your wedding date? 12 November 2016
Location (Ceremony and Reception)
Where? The Newcastle Club
What made you choose there? Dan wanted to get married locally instead of the vineyards, and The Newcastle Club is a beautiful venue made up of old heritage-listed buildings and is rather grand. I love anything old world, and as someone who continually re-watches Downton Abbey, it suited perfectly.
How did you find it? My Mum is a member of the Club and had always pictured me getting married there, so it didn’t take much consideration. We were engaged on the Saturday and had the Club booked lunchtime on the Monday!
How was the weather on the day? Pouring in the morning and then very hot, but I was just so glad it stopped raining, it turned out beautifully.
What made you decide to get married on this particular date? Peonies! I had to have peonies in my bouquet, and also both sets of my grandparents were married in November.
The Wedding Details
Theme? White, blush and lots of foliage. I wanted a garden feel, something almost like a fairytale. I didn’t hire a stylist as I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted, I hired some of the décor from a few different places, I borrowed the beautiful lace bunting and lawn games from another friend, and our florist, Lorey, did the most amazing job. I wanted the main feature to be our florals and I was in complete awe when I walked into the reception, I kept looking over to Mum with an amazed expression on my face.
Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Grace (maid of honour/best friend), Emily (cousin), Nicky (best friend)
Groomsmen – who/relationship? Jarrod (best man/best friend), Luke (Dan’s brother), Blake (my brother)
Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Our flower girls were two of our nieces – Elke and Minka, our page boy was our godson Kohen and our page man was my youngest brother Ben.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I first started looking at Karen Willis Holmes when I was helping my best friend Grace find her wedding dress, and I instantly fell in love with the gowns. I actually came in to try the Mabel bodice, I thought I was going to like that with a tulle skirt but when I put on the Mabel bodice and skirt I smiled and when I walked out, everyone started crying – it was the one!
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Online and in wedding magazines
How many gowns did you try? At Karen Willis Holmes, probably five – but my gown was the first one I tried on.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Paddington, Sydney.
What did you especially like about your gown? The sleeves and the back on the bodice, and that it was so simple but so beautiful.
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Shona Joy
Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? TM Lewin
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? My step-dad Andrew bought me beautiful pearl studs from Rutherford and I borrowed my Mum’s pearl ring. I also had a small bag from TDE which I had my new initials engraved on – Dan loved it. I bought Grace a Pandora bracelet (she doesn’t have her ears pierced, it was such a mission finding something!) and I bought Nicky and Emily earrings from Swarovski.
Where did you get your shoes from? Shoes of Prey
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Surround yourself with people you can trust and rely on, they make planning and the day so much better and sweeter.
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? I honestly believe that you’ll know. But have a few different styles in mind – even though my gown from KWH was one of the reasons I went there, I was also toying with the idea of a long-sleeve lace gown (which is what my husband thought I would have chosen) but when I tried some on at a different boutique, I and my helpers quickly realised that look definitely wasn’t me.
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day:
Our ring cushion was my copy of Pride & Prejudice, my favourite book, which was originally Mum’s copy. Also, the music for the processional was composed and performed by Uncle Eric, it was very special to walk in to something that was written just for me.
Something Old? My grandma’s handkerchief.
Something New? My dress
Something Borrowed? My mum’s pearl ring
Something Blue? The blue bow on my garter
Photographer – Nick Sim Photography. Where to begin! The first night we met Nick and his wife, Kel, they ended up staying for hours while Nick and Dan played FIFA. Nick and Kel made us feel so relaxed and like we had been friends for years. We couldn’t be happier with our photos, Nick did a stunning job.
Florist – Flowers By Lorey. Lorey was absolutely amazing, I was in awe of what she accomplished. She took my vision of what it would all look and made it so much better. I found Lorey through where I go to barre, Fleur Wellbeing, as they would sometimes have her posies for sale.
Music – Tre Soul
First Dance – A Thousand Year by Christina Perri
MC – Our friend Dave
Celebrant – Jennifer Wendtman – who is a very close family friend, it was so beyond wonderful having someone marry us who knows us so well.
Stationery – KR Creative
Wedding Bands – Leonards