How did you meet your (now) husband? Justin and I met through a mutual friend when we were nineteen .I went to university with Ben and Justin went to school with Ben. Ben invited me to a party that Justin was at and Justin asked me out that night, a week later we were official.
How long have you been together? Over 5 years
Do you have a proposal story? I was moving to Dubai and Justin was going to join me later on in the year. We had discussed getting married as we couldn’t live together in Dubai if we weren’t married as the UAE is a Muslim country. We planned on getting a ‘quickie’ marriage certificate. But Justin knew that I would really want some kind of proposal story so he planned a surprise one.
In the weeks leading up to my departure I was nagging him to print some photos of us. He kept ‘forgetting’. On my birthday he made me breakfast in bed and gave me an envelope as my birthday present. Inside were some pictures of us, like I had asked for. I put them back inside the envelop and thanked him. He said, “umm…you missed one…” I took another look and there was a card that said, “Will you marry me?” Even though it was simple, it was amazing to have an official I-actually-want-to-marry-you-for-real-not-just-for-a-piece-of-paper proposal.
What was your wedding date? 8th August 2016
Location (Ceremony and Reception)
Where? In Mackenzie, Brisbane on Justin’s parents property.
What made you choose there? It was beautiful in the bush…and free.
How did you find it? I had to walk through the bush on his parents property and find a spot that a) had sunlight peeking through the trees at just the right time of day b) had trees that could double as a wedding arch and c) was easily accessible
How was the weather on the day? It was a perfect winter’s day in Brisbane. Super sunny and not too cold.
What made you decide to get married on this particular date? There was not particular attachment to the date. We just had to make sure we had enough time to get the certificate attested forJustin to come live with me. We later found out that 8 is a lucky number in Chinese culture, and Justin is half Chinese so it ended up being a great date.
The Wedding Details
Theme? Pale colours, bush/rustic
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest…so much Pinterest.
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I came up with pretty much all the ideas with the help of Pinterest. I am really particular about how I like things so I was involved in every aspects of the wedding. I had a little over one month to plan everything! I finished teaching on the 2nd of July, flew into Brisbane on the 5th and the wedding was on the 8th of August so everything was a huge rush!
My mother in law, Bev, took me shopping to get all the little bits and pieces, helped me white wash chairs, and go dress shopping. My friend and unofficial MOH, Alecia, helped me to decorate the reception venue, had some great ideas and helped me keep my emotions from unraveling. My mum, dad and brother flew up the day before the wedding and helped with putting up decorations. My father in law chopped down trees to make the seats for the ceremony, helped to decorate the wedding arch and prepared and cooked all the pizzas for the reception! I had a team of people helping me with all my ideas.
Bridesmaids – who/relationship? I didn’t have any brides maids as our wedding was very small.
Groomsmen – who/relationship? No official groomsmen, but Justin’s three friends from school all wanted to dress the same…boys, right! All they care about is clothes.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I originally saw one of Karen Willis Holmes’ dresses on Pinterest well before I was even engaged and fell in love with the idea of a two piece wedding dress. I went onto their website and saw the Mabel dress – my first thought was, “that would suit my body shape so well!”
When I arrived in Brisbane from Dubai, I was dress shopping and I tried on a number of dresses from other shops that just didn’t feel right. I knew I had an appointment with Karen Willis Holmes in Sydney but realized I had made the appointment down there too late and wouldn’t have enough time if the dress wasn’t perfect. I quickly emailed the store in Brisbane and made my appointment there ASAP. When I went in I said, “I have one month until the wedding! What do you have in stock?” They showed me a number of dresses but the Mabel wasn’t there. I quickly looked around, found it and asked if they had it in stock. They were unsure and said they would call the Sydney store. I tried the dress on while they called. As soon as I stepped out I knew it was the one. It was so flattering and perfectly me – classic with an edge. I stood there, in my perfect wedding dress, with my fingers crossed that they had one in stock in Sydney. The girl on the phone was talking to someone and she started to smile, when she got off the phone she said they had one down there and it was in my size! I was so excited and knew that luck was on my side! I went home, talked to Justin, and called back later that afternoon to purchase the dress!
As a side note, Karen Willis Holmes let me keep my later appointment in Sydney so that I could try on the Mabel with my mum because I wanted her to have the wedding dress shopping experience with her only daughter. They were so kind and accommodating even though they knew I wouldn’t be purchasing a dress that day.
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Pinterest, Cosmo.
How many gowns did you try? In total around ten. One at KWH.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Brisbane, Paddington.
What did you especially like about your gown? I loved so many things about the gown. I loved the classic shape and I never thought I would wear cap sleeves but it just balanced my hips out so perfectly. The drape of the skirt was full and the train was exquisite. I loved how stiff the fabric was, yet the way it moved was so soft. The fact that it was a two piece was the most appealing; it showed off my favorite part of my body – my waist!
Where did you get the groom's suit? Justin got his suit from Black Jacket Suiting in Bulimba. Justin went to school with the owner, Ryan Fisher, and it was great for him to have a friend who knew a thing or two about fashion.
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I went very minimalist in regards to accessories. I ended up getting a Thomas Sabo charm necklace and picked the two heart pendants for it, I wore a bracelet that I got for my twenty-first from my mum’s side of the family, and my parents in law got me some beautiful diamond earrings as a wedding present.
Where did you get your shoes from? Funnily enough…Windsor Smith! I wore flats because Justin and I are the same height, and I knew there was no way I would wear heels in the bush! They were incredibly comfortable!
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a flower crown made by my florist – Kenmore Village Florists.
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Just because it’s what you’re ‘supposed’ to do, doesn’t mean you should. We didn’t invite anyone other than immediate family and a few friends to our wedding. We did all the intimate stuff then had an ‘after party’ where extended family and all our friends were invited. It wasn’t ‘customary’ but it worked so well for us. Make it your own and don’t let other steer you away from what you really want (unless you can’t afford of course).
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Body shape! Your ‘dream dress’ may look beautiful on the model, but if it doesn’t suit you, don’t get it!
Florist – Lynn at Kenmore Village Florists. Lynn is a friend of my mother in law and a neighbor. She was fantastic and organized a large amount of baby’s breath in such a short amount of time.
Photographer – Jess Marks Photography. I found them through Google and they were amazing! I wanted lots of candid photos and they captured the most amazing moments. I was super impressed with the final products and the price was very reasonable for wedding photographers.
Music – Spotify Playlist
First Dance – Warrant - Heaven
Celebrant – Robin West. Another Google search that ended up successful! She communicated with me while I was in Dubai and just went the extra mile to make sure she knew what it is that we wanted. She created a great ceremony and really took our suggestions on board.
Stationery – Paperless Post online wedding invites. This was great as there was no way I was trusting my husband to organize paper invitations while I was in Dubai! A friend of mine recommended them and as I had such a small wedding, the invites were free.
Menu – Homemade pizza by my father in law and nibbles I put together from Coles. I would highly recommend my father in laws awesome pizza base!
Cake – Vanilla Pod in Ascot. Once again, Google. They communicated via email well which was great. The final product was so amazing! I loved how unique and how un-wedding like the cake was.
Hair &Make Up – TWIDALE….dare I say, Google again. They did both my hair and make-up. I had the same two girls on the trial as I did on the day which was something I was very happy about.
Wedding Bands – Jason Withers. My husband was so impressed with them. He showed them the design I wanted and they did such a fantastic job. Super friendly, accommodating and the final result was truly incredible. I still can’t stop looking at my rings!
Extra features – Lots of my decorations came from Kmart, Target, the 2 Dollar Shop, Typo and Bunnings! I got my giant balloons and confetti from the Lark Store.