How did you meet your (now) husband? We met through my brother as he was quite good friends with Andrew and we also went to the same school so we had seen each other around quite a lot.
How long have you been together? We have been together for 10 and a half years. We were eachothers first and last boyfriend/ girlfriend. Once we were together I knew that there would never be anyone else and he was the person I was going to marry and spend the rest of my life with!
Do you have a proposal story? Yes- Andrew recreated our very first date we had (9 years prior) - it was just perfect!! He took me on this beautiful scenic drive and we had lunch at this lovely restaurant on the beach at Whale Beach and then as we were walking back to the car, he asked me to marry him and held out the most gorgeous ring. I was in absolute shock and it was such a surprise. I couldn't believe that I didn't pick up on any planning as having known him for so long I always thought I would know when he was going to ask but I had no idea. He did a very good job of keeping it secret!! He had asked my dad for permission the week before and I was also very surprised that my dad kept such a secret!!
What was your wedding date? 11th April 2015
Location (Ceremony and Reception
1. Where? Mana Island- Fiji
2. What made you choose there? I lived in Fiji as a child for 3 years- we moved there for my dads work. Then many years later, Andrew and I had our first overseas holiday together to Mana Island. One morning we went on a walk around the island and saw the most beautiful white seaside chapel with glass windows that sat over the water and he looked at me and said- “this is where we I will marry you”- so we did- many years later!
How was the weather on the day? It was absolutely amazing- beautiful sunny Fiji weather. It did rain for about 30 minutes while our guests were having pre-dinner drinks but then it stopped. It created a really nice atmosphere though as we were all outside under little Bures (Fijian huts) so it really added to the intimate mood.
What made you decide to get married on this particular date? Nothing in particular- I work at a school so it needed to be in school holidays so I could have all my work colleagues come.
The Wedding Details
Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? White, elegant and classic with obviously a Fijian feel from the frangipanis and scattered starfish across the tables.
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest and Etsy were huge helps. I also came up with a lot of my own ideas.
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I made the invitations and had a friend who does beautiful calligraphy writing, hand write all the place cards etc.
1. Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Maid of honour was my identical twin sister and my bridesmaids were my best friend from high school and my new sister in law to be- who is also my best friend.
2. Groomsmen – who/relationship? Best man was my brother and the groomsmen were one of Andrews’s good mates and the other was his brother.
3. Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Page boy was our gorgeous little nephew who actually turned 1 on our wedding day.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I saw the back of my dress on Instagram one night and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to see that dress so the next day I was there first thing in the morning to see it!
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Online, magazines, wedding fashion parades and Instagram.
How many gowns did you try? 9 stores and probably close to 100 gowns.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Paddington
What did you especially like about your gown? The detail on the bodice, the layers of the tulle skirt and the fact that as soon as I put it on I 'knew' that it was for me. It was an unbelievable feeling! The whole dress was just designed for me- I couldn’t have imagined anything else!!
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Bridesmaids Only in Double Bay
Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Kenji suits
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I bought a matching hair piece for myself from KAREN WILLIS HOLMES and also some earrings that we saw at one of my fittings. The bridesmaids wore silver drop earrings by Angelique and I gave them each a sterling silver bracelet with a starfish charm on it.
Where did you get your shoes from? Zu shoes- they had a beautiful bridal range.
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Yes I wore a 2 teir, floor length veil from 'Veils Australia' that had hand seven Swarovski crystals around the edges.
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Enjoy each and every second of the planning- as stressful as it can be!! You only do it once so take it all in! Remember to stop and breathe and remember why you are doing all this- you are marrying the man of your dreams!
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go to KAREN WILLIS HOLMES- you won't regret it!! The quality and service was unbelievable!!
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. I had both my parents walk me down the isle as both of them raised me together so I wanted them both to give me away.
Something Old? My grandmother’s crystal brooch- I clipped it onto my bouquet so she could be with me.
Something New? My stunning dress.
Something Borrowed? A garter from my Aunty.
Something Blue? A blue bow with my maiden name sewn onto the inside of my dress.
Florist - Mana Island
Photographer - Zoom Fiji
Videographer - Zoom Fiji
Music - 2 piece Fijian band
First Dance - Ed Sheeran- Thinking out loud
MC - My sister’s boyfriend- he did the most amazing job!
Celebrant - Fijian minister
Stationery - DIY invitations and Wanderlust Wedding (from etsy) for menus and table thank you notes.
Menu - 5 course menu;
1- Amuse: Tropical bruschetta
2- Entree: Caeser salad
3- Refresher: Sorbet- aroma of coral
4-Beef scotch fillet or grilled chicken with island greens potato puff and Dijon mustard sauce
5- Chocolate mouse dome.
Cake - 3 teir red velvet cake
Bombonieres - Fijian scented coconut shell candles
Hair - Hair and Makeup Perfectionist Fiji
Make up - Hair and Makeup Perfectionist Fiji
Wedding Bands - Drakakis jewellers- Hearts on Fire range