How did you meet your (now) husband? Rod and I met in 2010 when I was attending a friend’s birthday function at Zonzo.
How long have you been together? Five (fabulous adventure-filled) years!
Do you have a proposal story? After four years of dating Rod had planned an epic proposal on my birthday. He organised a chauffeured vintage Bentley, private chef, photographer and stylist to arrange countless long stem roses draping from beams around our table and fairy lights laid out on the floor to read “she said yes” after he proposed. He picked the most beautiful ring without me. It was a wonderful surprise and also very thoughtful and romantic – he had me in (happy) tears for an hour!
What was your wedding date? Wednesday 31st December 2014 – New Year’s Eve
Location (Ceremony and Reception)
Ceremony – St Patrick’s Catholic Church
Reception – Zonzo Estate
Where? Yarra Valley – Victoria’s wine region
What made you choose there? Rod and I met at Zonzo and this held a special place for us.
How did you find it? Rod has operated Zonzo since opening in 2007 (he’s a weddings expert!)
How was the weather on the day? It was light blue skies and sunny – perfect mild summer’s day!
What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We got the Zonzo wedding calendar out and looked for a date that fell without any other weddings around it. Rod came up with the idea for a New Year’s Eve wedding.
The Wedding Details
Theme? White, white and more white, (with a touch of gold), something elegant and classic – timeless! Rod and I both wanted this type of wedding so that was easy being on the same page. Rod did pretty much all of the wedding planning. Zonzo wedding coordinator Brianna also ensured everything came together. I’m such a lucky bride!
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Blogs such as Style Me Pretty, (which our wedding was recently featured on) and also some Pinterest. But mostly it was all the past Zonzo wedding photos we had seen over the years and being familiar with many suppliers. (I found my dress designer thanks to a Zonzo bride).
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? Due to time constraints (we planned during the busy Zonzo wedding peak period) we did not get around to DIY. Rod is super-handy with everything – he wanted to make some items for the wedding but Zonzo business is number #1 priority.
Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Tania Tomici was my Maid Of Honour and she is my first cousin
Groomsmen – who/relationship? Clint Micallef was Best Man and is Rod’s younger brother
Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? We had four flower girls and one pageboy. Olivia, Talia, Veronica are Rod’s nieces and Valentina is Rod’s goddaughter. Owen the pageboy is Rod’s nephew.
Special guest – Our fur baby Diesel was included in our wedding portraits dressed in a red bow tie.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? About 2 and half years ago one of our Zonzo brides wore your Caitlyn gown and I remember thinking how unique and elegant she looked in a sequin gown and it stuck in my mind.
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I had a look online first before visiting the store and fell for the Anya gown for it’s simple fitted cut and thin straps for our summer wedding.
How many gowns did you try? I visited the store by myself the first time and the Anya was the first dress I tried on (I did try a couple of others after that to compare and reassure myself it was the right one). After I was sure, I took my mum and maid of honour to have a look and they agreed it was the right one for me.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Armadale
What did you especially like about your gown? Apart from being simply beautiful, the Anya gown was also very comfortable – (it had no corset). I wanted more of a beautiful simple cut gown and the sequin-look coincidently fitted in perfectly with our New Year’s Eve wedding.
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Maid Of Honour was dressed in SABA.
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? My crystal drop earrings were from Samantha Wills. Tania wore stud earrings from Mimco and shoes from Tony Bianco.
Where did you get your shoes from? Jimmy Choo.
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? We went with the art deco style belt and cathedral length veil both from KAREN WILLIS HOLMES.
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Well considering my groom planned our wedding - I would say have faith in people around you!
Also, not so much as advice but just my experience, Rod and I had just over 100 guests but consciously made sure we barely left each other’s side the whole time. After all was said and done we wanted to remember being together on our wedding.
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go to KAREN WILLIS HOLMES! At least take a look, it is a great starting point as they have a vast range of quality styles ready to try on that suits any personal taste. They do made-to-order too, if you have time.
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. The blue cross on my bouquet signified – something old, something borrowed and something blue. It is from Malta and has belonged to Rod’s mother for 58 years. (I organised for it to be unpinned and put in a safe place after our wedding portraits were done) Something new was everything else I was wearing, and then my shiny new husband!
Venue – Zonzo Estate: Rod suggested that we go and look at venues once he’d proposed. I remember laughing because I thought he was joking (perhaps he just wanted to give me the option). There was no other venue that I’d seen/heard of/been to that was the full package like Zonzo. Some venues are lovely looking but the food or service is very much lacking. Alternatively food/service might be good but the venue doesn’t have a nice warm ambience about it. Zonzo ticked all the boxes – delicious Italian food, drinks, service and stunning views! Venue selection is a big one – great food/drinks/music will keep your guests happy. I feel very fortunate in being involved with the perfect venue – not only are Zonzo weddings award winning and beautiful, they are run smoothly to ensure a relaxed bride & groom, and there is an abundance of food!
Florist – Blooming Brides: Rita and Rod have known each other through weddings for many years. Her creativity and work is beyond words… look her up on Facebook/Instagram to understand what she is capable of. Rod liaised with her to surprise me with the end flower design.
Photographer – Mr. Jonathan Ong: I loved that he just had his own style and made weddings look artistic and romantic at the same time. Also he’s very discreet, he told us he’s the photography ninja and he indeed was.
Videographer – http://purpleribbonweddings.com.au/ Ryan came out to Zonzo and met with Rod and I. He was a laid back kind of guy and made us feel comfortable. The video he produced for us was spot on in creativity and capturing all of the important moments. It’s like a mini-movie.
Music – Spin: Rod knew John for some time through weddings and John was so helpful in wanting to play at our wedding. John sent through a playlist and this is what we went with. Initially I wasn’t too sure but in hindsight I am so happy that we left it to John, as he knows what gets a crowd on the dance floor for guests of all ages.
First Dance - The first dance song was Ed Sheeran’s – Thinking Out Loud. This was chosen for the lyric aspect of “And we found love right where we are”. Having met at Zonzo years earlier this was a fitting song. A male vocalist from the band, which coincidentally was a big Ed Sheeran fan wanted to sing it for us and he sang the song amazingly! (This was not planned and was decided just minutes before we did our dance – it was going to be an iPod playing)
Celebrant – We had a traditional Catholic ceremony therefore we had the resident priest marry us at St Patrick’s Catholic Church – Father Arsenio put together a beautiful full mass service for us and added some humour which was great.
Stationery/Menu – La D’vine: Nothing was too hard for Maree – not even our tight schedule. She designed our gold monogram RC that we used for our name card/menus and invites and thank-you cards afterwards.
Cake – The Cake Company: Katrina is a friend supplier of Zonzo from over the years and had done my 30th birthday cake the year prior so it was no question she would look after our wedding cake.
Bombonieres – In The Booth: we chose to shun tradition and have a fun photo booth with guests to take home photos. Photos are cherished memories and the more photos the better in my opinion! This company is an ABIA award winner like Zonzo – they are the best booth company going around.
Hair – Rokk Ebony: This recommendation came from a past Zonzo bride (Teresa based in the Toorak salon). Teresa locked in creative director Pina for my wedding day at short notice. Pina is outstanding – she makes a perfect wave look so easy and her relaxed vibe is exactly what you need on your day.
Make up – Make Up With Me: Melissa is a superstar – I told her fresh natural make up and she nailed it. Mel organised for Tania and I to have our make up, spray tan and shellac mani/pedi done.
Wedding Bands – Rocks and Rings: Elisha ordered my engagement ring for Rod and then I ordered the matching wedding band when the time came. She was so helpful in resizing my ring and having the band in before the wedding.
Northwood rings: They are based overseas and they express couriered Rod’s wedding band as we only ordered it two weeks before the wedding. Rod did not want a traditional metal band – he opted for a wooden band with custom text on the inside. He’s the only guy I know with a wooden wedding band (typical Rod and I love it!)
Transport - RR Classic Cars: Robert and Rod had known each other for many years through the industry so there was no other choice for car hire. Robert was all smiles on the wedding day and his cars are immaculately kept and look so shiny in the photos!