How did you meet your (now) husband? We met through mutual friends at a party one weekend, many moons ago. Later, I found out that he had just started as IT trainee at our high school and then the rest is history.
How long have you been together? A causal 12 years, he took his time to decide I was the right one apparently!
Do you have a proposal story? Yes! I surprised him with a trip to Japan for his 30th Birthday and he distracted me from my fear of heights on a Ferris wheel while over there. He can be romantic when he tries…
What was your wedding date? 10th October 2015 – 10th of the 10, he picked it, so he would never forget!
Location (Ceremony and Reception)
Where? Truffleduck at Balmoral Receptions in Fyansford, a short 10min drive from Geelong CBD
What made you choose there? It had the most amazing lush garden for the ceremony and is surround by bushland and cute little creek. We wanted our venue to be the one place for our ceremony and reception so guests weren’t travelling and could relax. Plus the reception room opens up into the garden for celebrating outside on an amazing deck!! The selling point was definitely when we met the wedding coordinator, we fell in love with how amazing and organized she was – definitely going to make the brides job easy!
How did you find it? We drove past there quite a lot on our trips back to our hometown Horsham, but its really well hidden behind a big fence so we never got to see much until we went in. Man were we surprised!
How was the weather on the day? Perfect! Overcast all day with a few spots of rain – even just before I walked down the aisle. But it cleared up and the sun came out just after the ceremony. Great for celebrating in the garden for the rest of the night!
What made you decide to get married on this particular date? October is always good weather and the groom picked the date (as above).
Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Tennielle, my sister and maid of honor. Amanda, Luke’s sister. Tamara and Kristina, both high school and childhood friends.
Groomsmen – who/relationship? Grant, Luke’s best friend from childhood age and best man. Michael, my brother. Tim and Haydn, both friends since childhood.
The Wedding Details
Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? It’s the start of spring so what better than a nice pop of colour against a navy suit right?! I really wanted to play on the garden wedding yet keep it minimal and modern with a touch of bling, so chose colours that would keep it fun but paired back the styling to keep it modern.
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? I used Pinterest A LOT for ideas on how to style the wedding and floral arrangements. But in the end I left it to the experts – I asked for their advice and let them know what I was after then the rest fell into place.
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I did all the design work myself. From the invites to the signage and menus on the day. I always love the little finishing touches at weddings and this time I got to theme it all myself. Luke and I put together the bonbonniere ourselves as well. We ordered jars and purchased strawberry and cream rock candy from Queensland that had our names in them. It definitely filled a Saturday packing them all! I then printed stickers to match our styling which doubled as name place cards for the tables.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? The beautiful styles I had seen online and through Instagram.
Where have you seen our wedding gowns (if at all) before? I had only seen them once researching the style of dress I wanted and where to make appointments. I then saw them in the fashion parade at the One Fine Day wedding expo and I was definitely convinced in my purchase then!
How many gowns did you try? I think around 8 at a few other stores then 5-6 at Karen Willis Holmes in Armadale. I fell in love with the flowing skirt and lace top of the Selena gown but after trying it on I realised it wasn’t the one, that’s how I came to Ester!
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Melbourne, Armadale store.
What did you especially like about your gown? The fit! It was so flattering because the boned bodice was very slimming. It was so perfectly shaped to me and made me feel comfortable on that day, not to mention the stunning lace! Loved it because I really wanted to wear a lace dress, and all the work Enza at the Armadale store made it fit perfectly!
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Funnily enough, after looking at many fabulous long gowns, I just couldn’t settle on one and we happened to see these after giving up and shopping instead, they were just from Forever New.
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? A bit of bling from the Samantha Wills bridal collection, it was a hard choice as all her stuff is STUNNING! I wore the ‘You are all I see’ grand earrings and bracelet – the gift from the groom. The maids all wore matching rose bohemian Bardot rings and I got my mum a pair of Parisian night earrings to match mine.
Where did you get your shoes from? A comfy pair of nude Wittner peeptoe pumps so I could dance the night away!!
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I didn’t wear a veil because I wanted to wear my mums but the colour was too white for the dress. So I decided not to wear one and change my hair up instead. So after the ceremony I wore a flower headpiece for the party. The florist was so amazing and knew exactly what I was after to match my the rest of the florals. And when your hairdresser is one of your best friends it was easy for her to change my up-do to curled and out while everyone enjoyed some canapes.
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? I felt very chilled on the big day because I trusted my suppliers, I researched what I wanted and took their advice. Just taking it one step at a time to book in things helped us celebrate every task you tick off our list. We never really felt overwhelmed and took our time through the 18 months we were engaged.
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Look online first so you know where to start but don’t be afraid to try other styles they recommend if the style you thought you wanted isn’t working. I took too many people on the search for mine but it turned out that they liked the same one – my final dress! I also told the girls not to react until I had seen myself in the mirror first because if I didn’t like it and they did it could have been trouble…
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day? My mum walked me down the aisle because my dad passed away 11 years ago so to acknowledge him we got mum to light a candle when she gave her blessing for us to marry. It was a beautiful moment.
Florist Georgie Stanton Florist, the venue recommended her but once we met I knew she was the one! Not only did we get on like two best friends but I showed her a few styles of what I was thinking and her imagination guided the rest. She was so wonderful and very talented in colour combos for the day so it all worked together, I happily took her advice on the rest.
Photographer Stefani Driscoll Photography, I wanted a local that knew the Geelong area and man she knew it! Stef scoped out so many cool spots and they were less than a 5min drive from the venue. When we met she took notes on who we were and she made us both feel so comfortable with her. Her energy on the day added to the fun of our crazy bunch!
Videographer Native Melbourne, a friend at works husband had just started out on his own with a partner. They were so good I didn’t even notice they were there all day and we were so happy with the end product, it captured all the fun parts of the day and made our memories flood back like it was yesterday.
Music The Bombastics, they came recommended to us as a fun band that had a great set list, this was a winner for us and we booked them without hearing them play. Their manager Jarrod we so helpful in tailoring their sets and styles for our day. Playing both outside in the garden as a two piece then inside as a dance set three piece later in the night. It was the perfect atmosphere for our day.
First Dance Florence and the Machine – you’ve got the love. We both love Florence and why not a song about love!
MC Nick, bridesmaid Tamara’s fiancé and close friend. He did an amazing job of keeping everyone in order but adding to the light-hearted fun of the day!
Celebrant Nicole Penning civil celebrant, she was the first celebrant we met with and the only one. She gave us great advice and we so happy to tailor our day to the style we wanted. Not only did she keep the groom calm before the ceremony but she even came to see me before we walked out to calm my nerves as well. It was just all the extra yards she put in for us that made the difference, her comforting emails definitely helped me stress a lot less.
Stationery all by me.
Menu Truffleduck had such an extensive menu to choose from it was incredibly hard! We wanted people to be able to chill in th garden with canapes to start and only be seated for a short time to eat mains. The dessert list was so good we couldn’t decide so went with mini pieces to cover all the good bits.
Cake Jenelles Custom Cakes. The cake was my hardest thing to choose, they are so many cool styles out there. I sent about 6 ideas to Jenelle and she was so amazing it was easy to take her advice. The flavours were cookies and cream bottom tier and cherry ripe top tier. Amazing!
Bombonieres Rock candy made with our names in them, packed in small jars with stickers styled by me. These doubled as our name placings for the tables.
Hair Stacey Wright Hair design and friend Dallas. These girls did the most amazing job, both close friends and knew exactly what I was after. Stacey also went the extra mile and changed my hairstyle half way through, what a friend!
Makeup MGM makeup, Megan is just gorgeous! A friends wife and one very talented lady, she made us look and feel like models on the day. After getting a makeup trial at her old work salon it was definitely too much but once she told me she was doing her own thing on the side I wanted to support her.
Wedding Bands Duffs Jewellers, family jewelers in Geelong that we have always loved. They always look after regular customers!
Extra features Ceremony and reception styling and hire, Pepper Sprout Hire – I reached out to Sarah when I saw the setup they had done at an open night at truffleduck. I loved the white ceremony seating and love chair with marble signing table, I knew straight away I wanted that for our ceremony and she was extremely helpful in helping us style the extra furniture pieces for the day, including some bar stools for the deck area. Large XOXO and light up heart, Love Light Letters. Oh, these ladies were the loveliest to chat with ever! I loved all their pieces but decided to go with those two as they suited the modern style of our day.
We loved all our suppliers and we really picked the a-team. They all gave us great advice and we totally trusted them to play their part on the day and they did it perfectly!