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Bianca + Liam's stunning New Zealand wedding

Posted on 29 Mar, 2017
Bianca + Liam's stunning New Zealand wedding

Bianca and Liam look effortlessly happy in every photo.  The beaming couple were initially friends and developed feelings for each other months later.  After being together for four years, Liam popped the question on a weekend away in Queenstown.  Bianca, who loves sharing special, quiet moments with her man was blown away when he knelt down on one knee in the middle of the mountains, with only the nearby cows as their witness.  They married at Old Forest School in Pongkawa, New Zealand in a romantic garden ceremony amongst their friends and family.  Bianca wore the 'Tulip' gown, which is a strapless beaded fishtail gown that flows to the ground in a simple georgette.  Stunning blooms by Elise at Honey Bee Wild Flowers finished off the look perfectly- with all of the flowers being locally sourced within Opotiki.  Rambo Estrada shot the magic of the day, being a photographer her sister had worked with meant everyone was so comfortable and at ease the whole time, they could relax and watch the stunning day unfold. 


How did you meet your partner? We met through mutual friends, we were friends for months before we started dating.

How long have you been together? We have been together for four and a half years.

Do you have a proposal story? It was our 3rd anniversary and I planned to surprise Liam with a trip to Queenstown, this failed when I accidentally let it slip only days before we were due to go. Turns out Liam had a surprise of his own, and during a picnic on the side of a gravel road in a rural spot between the snowy mountains called Paradise,  Liam got down on one knee and asked the question. It was perfect, I'm not a fan of attention so I loved that it was in such a private, picturesque setting, with nearby cows as the only witnesses.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 13.01.2017

Ceremony and the Reception

Location? Old Forest School- Pongakawa-New Zealand

What made you choose there? We wanted our day to be as much fun and magic for the guests as it was going to be for us. We wanted our day to be mostly unstructured and for people to just be able to enjoy their time there.  The only time guests sat was for the speeches, the rest of the time they mingled and danced, and helped themselves to the onsite bar and the gourmet burgers and ice creams when they felt like it. The venue itself had everything we wanted our day to be, beautiful remote scenery, a barn, activities and fun for the guests, and the ability to choose our own caterers and provide our own alcohol. It also made the wedding a weekend event, as ourselves and all of our guests had traveled from near and far for the day which meant we all spent several days over the weekend celebrating together.

How did you find it? The venue featured in a few of our chosen photographers blogs, my sister Sophie is one of his second shooters and had second shot with him there several times, I fell in love with it from their photos.

How was the weather on the day? I woke up to skies of black clouds and rain, the clouds broke 2 hours before the ceremony was due to start, and it was blue sky and sunshine for the rest of our day.

The Wedding Details

Theme (if any colours, features, etc.)? For the theme, I wanted to draw from earthy natural colours with aspects of gold. I wanted the colours to reflect the romantic mood of the day but to remain relaxed and not overdone.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?  Instagram, Pinterest and Photographers wedding blogs

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? The signage was made the night before the wedding by myself and my sister Sophie. We also sourced 130 mismatched crystal wine glasses for the bar second hand. Agee jars from the tables came from a local store down the road from Liam's parents house. The wood rounds for the serving platters were made and oiled by Liams dad.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

Sophie Lewis- Maid of Honour-Sister

Olivia Lewis- Sister

Caitlin Gavin- Liam’s Sister

Trinh Pham- We have been best friends since high school, she was with me when I chose the dress as she now lives in Melbourne

Shawnee Hoskins- We have been best friends since high school

Jessica Hodson- University friend

Groomsmen – who/relationship?

Alex Morland-Best Man- Liam’s best friend

Nick Gavin- Liam’s brother

Brendon Thompson- He is like a second brother to Liam and has been a part of their family business for 17 years

Aaron Ramsey- A good friend of Liam’s

Haig Mehrtens- Liam and Haig grew up together, their parents are best friends

Marc Cooper- Another close family friend and good friend of Liam’s

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Bianca looked stunning in the 'Tulip' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? The girl who took our engagement photos got married in a Karen Willis Holmes design, after looking at the website I fell in love with the designs as they were completely different from the popular all lace designs other designers I looked at had. So I made Melbourne and the KWH store a planned stopover on my way to London to see my bridesmaid Jess (Her generous wedding present to me).

How many gowns did you try? I tried a total of 7 dresses before trying on and falling in love with the Tulip

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Karen Willis Holmes- Armadale, Melbourne

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the way it was fitted through the body with it’s lace and sequin detailing, yet flowy and romantic at the bottom. I hadn’t come across any dresses like it and loved that it was different. It was easy to move in and I wore it the whole night comfortably.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? I had a style of dress I wanted but it was too hard to source in New Zealand in the colours I wanted. Liam’s mum was heading to Hoi An in Vietnam for a holiday, knowing how good the tailors were here I purchased a dress in the style was after, and sourced swatches of colours I was hoping to have the dresses made in. They were all made by Yaly Tailors in Hoi An using 100% silk.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? The shirts were a thick textured linen, purchased from Farmers. The pants came from Hallensteins. The leather suspenders were purchased on an Etsy store, the bowties came from The Iconic, and the boys all chose their own shoes from various places. They all wore Ray Ban wayfarers on the day.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore my Nanny’s Austrian Crystal drop earrings, I’m extremely close to my nanny so wanted to have a part of her with me on the day, and the Stolen Girlfriends Club silver bracelet Liam gifted to me on the morning of the wedding. I also had my Great Grandmothers hand embroidered handkerchief in my bra for catching the day's tears. I wanted to keep my accessories minimal so that the dress would be the main focus.

Where did you get your shoes from? Windsor Smith

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My veil was a Grace Loves Lace Gabriela Veil made out of silk chiffon, it matched my dress perfectly.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Pay attention to the guests experience of the day, it’s too easy to stress about tiny things that won’t be a make or break point of your day, Instead focus on things that will make people's experience unforgettable. Also it’s cliché, but the day really does fly by, so take time to take it all in and just bask in the magic of the love of the day.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Stick true to what you feel comfortable in, let your dress reflect your personal style.



Photographer – Rambo Estrada
My Sister and Maid of Honor Sophie has been lucky enough to second shoot with Rambo for the last two summers. I loved his relaxed and beautiful style of photography and wouldn’t have had anyone else. He was great to have around for the day and we felt totally relaxed in front of him, it made having photos taken easy. His second shooter for the day.

Coralee Stone
Coralee was also amazing, she spent the morning with us girls and put all of our nerves completely at ease.

Florist - Honey Bee Wild Flowers 
Elise from Honeybee Wild Flowers runs a local business in the small town of Opotiki where I grew up. All of the flowers she used for our day were sourced locally within Opotiki which added to their beauty. She did more than I could have pictured with the florals on the day, the aisle, the bouquets, the table settings, it was so amazing turning up on the day and seeing all the beautiful flowers.

Music – Shortly after getting engaged we went to Russell in the Bay of Islands for a day together, we were sitting at the Duke of Marlborough enjoying lunch and a wine listening to a girl sing. I immediately knew I wanted her to be our singer at our wedding, so later messaged her and asked her if she would play for us on the day which she excitedly took the offer up of. She sang our aisle song (Dave Dobbyn-Beside You) which is a song that has been a fundamental part of my childhood and had our family and friends in tears. We walked out to Chet Faker-talk is cheap, She then sang until Dinner time. Once she left we then played a spotify playlist of all our favourite songs

Singer -  Asch-Rose  

First Dance – Kings of Leon-Pick up Truck

MC – My best friend from University-Simon Walker, it was so special to have someone who knew us to guide us through the day. He and Sophie surprised us with the shoe game that you see in some of the photos.

Celebrant –Tim Shipton
We wanted our celebrant to reflect the relaxed vibe of our day, Liam says he was a key part in keeping him relaxed before my arrival and we loved his style of hosting the ceremony.

Stationery – Kiyomi Kitagawa 
She is a family friend of ours. She is a Doctor, who does graphic design as a hobby and for friends and family. I provided minimal guidance with what I wanted our invites to be and she provided the most beautiful wedding stationary printed on linen paper.

Menu – We chose to have a laid back eating style so that our guests could enjoy mingling and dancing rather than being sat at tables for the majority of their day. Tag Burger is a gourmet burger truck, they offered fries, 3 beef, one chicken, one vegetarian and gluten and dairy free burger options for guests. The guests could go up and order whatever they liked off the Tag Burger menu whenever they were hungry. Most guests got barely 1/3 of the way through their burgers due to their size, we had many positive comments on the relaxed dining style. Desert was then the Mr Whippy Ice Cream truck, driven from the road to the venue by Liam and his groomsmen. Again guests could order whatever they liked off the menu when they felt like dessert.

Hair – Simone Anderson @simone_anderson
Simone traveled with Briar and did our hair. She started at 6 am and totally blew any doubt I had about timing out of the water. She managed to do 6 bridesmaid hair ups, my hair, hair and makeup for my Mum, mother-in-law and Nanny all before 12 pm. Having spent time with Simone before the day in social settings made it comfortable and exciting to have her there as part of our morning.

Make-Up Briar Howard
For the last few years I haven't trusted anyone but Briar to do my makeup for any occasions I’ve had, so I booked her as soon as I’d booked the venue. She made the trip from Auckland to Papamoa with Simone to be able to do our hair and makeup for the day. Having Briar there for the morning was like having a close friend there, this made the whole morning more special as it meant that the only people that were a part of our morning were people who I was relaxed and comfortable around. Briar knowing how I like my makeup meant it was easy and I didn’t have to provide any guidance with what I wanted, I couldn’t have hoped for any more than how she made us all look. She truly made myself and the girls feel amazing.

Cake – Briar Howard runs Our Little Kitchen co
My talented friend Briar also baked our Cakes. She arrived at the house I’d rented for myself and the bridesmaids at 11 pm the night before the wedding, and put the cakes together at 5am the following morning before doing all of our makeup from 6 am. The main cake was bottom tier-Vanilla and Doris plum cake.  The top tier was Caramel mud cake with buttercream icing and gold foil, meringues and fresh flowers. The mini cake was a gluten free cake as Liam is coeliac, it was a Chocolate and Caramel mud cake with buttercream icing.

Wedding Bands – Michael Hill Jewelers

Petr Vackar - Vendor Day

Posted on 28 Mar, 2017
Petr Vackar - Vendor Day

On the 25th March, the KWH flagship store in Alexandria was lucky enough to have talented make-up artist Petr Vackar in store to talk to all of our brides. All appointments were booked out well in advance and it was such a successful, fun day.  Petr, from PV Hair & Makeup, is also the One Fine Day- Sydney hair & makeup Creative Director so our gowns have been shot and exhibited numerous times with his looks complimenting them beautifully.  He comes with a wealth of international experience, working behind the scenes leading runway shows across Milan, Paris, London & New York.  Now residing in Sydney, where he runs his business, his passion lies in the wedding industry. Being involved in a brides special day and making her feel the most beautiful version of her she can be, is what drives him.  His mission is simple, stating "we specialise in helping our clients see how beautiful they are. Every human being is beautiful. Sometimes we just forget or we become too busy to notice."

Your Name: Petr Vackar

Location: Sydney

Business name: PV Hair Makeup

Let's start at the beginning. How did your business come about? 
I have always been a freelancer, with 10 years of fashion/editorial experience in Europe. The last 11 years here in Sydney, I have been slowly moving towards the bridal world. The ability to make someone feel beautiful and contribute to their big day is what makes the wedding industry so appealing to me. 

What inspires you? Everyday life, people, art (all forms)

How do you start your day? Ideally with some exercise and big breakfast.

What is your favourite thing about your job? Being able to make people see how beautiful they are.

What is your advice to couples planning a wedding?  Do not forget that it is a day when everyone will come to celebrate YOUR love. You don’t have to please anyone. Make the day about yourselves!

Favourite city? Sydney, Barcelona & Vienna.

Best way to spend $50? A 30 min Chinese massage.

Anything else you would like to share with brides-to-be about your work. Call me old fashioned but to me, the bride is a symbol of purity, virginity and something new. Like spring, or rose bud about to blossom. With that in mind, we always make sure that you look the best you can on your wedding day and most importantly, that you have fun :-) 


Petr Vackar - PV Hair & Make-up
Email - ​Click here
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Ph - 0415 612 286​


Ashleigh + Ricky's pretty Hunter Valley wedding

Posted on 27 Mar, 2017
Ashleigh + Ricky's pretty  Hunter Valley wedding


How did you meet your partner? I actually saw Ricky at a nightclub one night and recognised him as we had mutual friends. I sent him a message on Myspace the next day and let him know that I saw him and we started chatting (we still have the screenshots of our conversations!). After a week of chatting, Ricky and I went for a drive together and the rest is history!

How long have you been together? 8 years

Do you have a proposal story? Ricky planned a weekend away in the Blue Mountains, staying at the Fairmont Resort. When we arrived we went and had a cocktail at the bar and then went back to the room to have wine & cheese on the balcony. We were sitting on the balcony and Ricky said that he had a present for me to take away (I was about to go overseas for work for 3 weeks) and he gave me a photobook he had made. The photobook had the story of our relationship over 8 years, with photos of us and our holidays and on the last page it said “Before we continue this adventure I have one question to ask...” and then he got down on one knee!

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 23 September 2016

Ceremony Location? Wandin Valley Estate, Lovedale

What made you choose there? We love the Hunter Valley and love to stay there a few times a year, so it was the perfect place for us to get married. So once we were engaged we researching venues online, and then we went to the Hunter Valley for a day trip. We visited 3 venues, as soon as we saw the reception area at Wandin Valley Estate we knew that it was the perfect place to get married. We also liked how we could have the ceremony and reception in the same place, and the guests could have drinks and canapes while we had our photos taken. We also liked how the indoor/wet weather option was also really beautiful (so we didn’t have to worry about rain as much).

How did you find it? I saw some photos on Instagram 

How was the weather on the day? The morning started off very cloudy and windy, we ended up deciding to move the ceremony indoors because of the strong winds forecasted for the afternoon. We didn’t mind as the indoor option was also beautiful. However, by 3pm the sun was coming out and we had perfect weather for the rest of the day and night.

The Wedding Details

Theme? We had beautiful white and blush flowers with a few elements of gold in the reception. We also had candles everywhere – I love candles.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest & wedding magazines.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? No, we worked with Peonies Boutique Weddings who understood exactly what we wanted and did the most amazing job, taking the stress away from us.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? My sister Kellie and cousin Marni.

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Ben & Paul, Ricky’s close friends.

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Our niece Evelyn and nephews Connor & Lucas.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Ashleigh looked stunning in our BESPOKE 'Annika' lace gown. 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? My cousin who was married a few years ago and she told me to go to the Karen Willis Holmes store first as the girls are lovely and it would be a great first experience of trying on wedding gowns. I looked online and loved about 5 of the dresses so decided to visit.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I saw them in wedding magazines and on Pinterest.

How many gowns did you try? I tried 8 Karen Willis Holmes gowns on and about 12 in total.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Paddington, Sydney. 

What did you especially like about your gown? I went into the store thinking I knew exactly what I wanted and really liked a few gowns, but I had another appointment to try on dresses I needed to be at. As I was about to leave Hannah Kate the Sydney store manager said to me “I really think you should try on the Annika gown” and I was a bit hesitant as I really didn’t want a strapless gown, but I tried it on and immediately knew it was the one. I especially loved the lace, the beautiful train and that it was so comfortable. I went to my other appointment but then came straight back to order the Annika gown.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Angela Wilson, the bridesmaids wore Amsale dresses.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Tailor made suits from Institchu

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? My earrings were from Karen Willis Holmes and the bridesmaids wore stud earrings from Lovisa.

Where did you get your shoes from? Wittner

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a stunning headpiece and one tier veil from Karen Willis Holmes.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Take 10 minutes alone with your husband on the wedding night to just take in everything.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Try on all different styles, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted until I tried different styles on.


Photographer – Ben Adams Photography. We spent so much time researching photographers and when we came across Ben’s work we loved all of it. When we got our wedding photos we were blown away with how amazing they were, I am so glad that we chose Ben.

Florist – Peonies Boutique Weddings. Darlene and the team from Peonies were fantastic, the understood exactly what we wanted for the day and it looked stunning.

Videographer – The Design Patrol. We absolutely love our wedding videos, Tash & Matt were awesome and captured us and the day so perfectly. I am so glad we ended up booking a Videographer at the last minute!

Music – XYDJ. The team at XYDJ were great and we were so happy that we had Simon DJ the wedding for us.

First Dance – The One, Kodaline

MC – Our good friend Pat Maxwell

Celebrant – Victoria Langham, A Beautiful Day. Victoria was recommended to me by my colleague and she is so lovely, we had the most beautiful ceremony.

Stationery – Peonies Boutique Weddings. Peonies also did our wedding stationery, ensuring that it all matched the rest of the wedding perfectly.

Menu –


Salad of sumac roasted lamb loin with smoked eggplant puree, tomato and parsley salad and pomegranate reduction

Braised pork belly w/ apple & ginger puree, mizuno salad & Asian reduction (GF available)


Slow Roasted eye fillet with dauphinoise potato, asparagus and red wine sauce

Chicken Supreme with onion soubise, parisienne potato, roast cherry tomato black olive and thyme


Vanilla and white chocolate torte with raspberry compote

Soft centred Belgium chocolate pudding with honeycomb and honey nougat ice cream

Cake – Caked. Karen made us a delicious 2 tier cake.

Bombonieres – Bella Candles - our friends Diana and Nick made our guests the most amazing vanilla caramel candles, everyone loved them! Contact - 02 4362 1330

Hair & Make-Up – Empire Artistries. Diane & Nikki were amazing, they did the most amazing makeup and hair and it was still perfect at the end of the night.

Wedding Bands – Diamond Emporium. My engagement ring & our wedding bands are from Diamond Emporium, they designed exactly what we wanted.

Wedding Car – Princess Classic Cars. We have a beautiful white princess car and Gary was great on the day.

Photobooth – Funbox photobooths. The photobooth was great, our guests had so much fun and we got a hilarious guest book at the end of the night!

Leah + Skyler's Tuscan inspired Californian wedding

Posted on 20 Mar, 2017
Leah + Skyler's Tuscan inspired Californian wedding

Leah tagged along to her friends boss' birthday one night.  Skyler's birthday wishes all came at once when he spotted the stunning Leah in the crowd.  As she was leaving the party, he insisted they meet again for a drink sometime soon.  That was the start of their love story that they both look back on so fondly.  Both share a passion for travel and took off for a year of exploring the world.  The whole time, however, Skyler had other plans.  Before they embarked on their journey, he asked Leah's father's approval for her hand in marriage, packed the engagement ring and kept everything a secret until 4 months later when they were on the beach in Bali, watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean.  

Leah and Skyler had the most stunning Tuscan-inspired wedding in San Juan Capistrano, California.  The breathtaking venue was so beautiful, little styling was needed in the lead up to the event. Elise Whall from Plum and Oak captured the magical moments of the day whilst Emily and Ange from Bloom Babes brought their vision to light with the outstanding display of blooms and foliage.

The elegant couple danced the night away to Neil Young, again as the sun set and they began the next chapter of their exciting journey through life together.  


How did you meet your partner? A mutual friend invited me to her boss’ birthday drinks and I decided to go to see my friend. On the way out I wished the birthday boy a happy birthday, but he stopped me from leaving and said we had not had the chance to talk. I told him it was a work night and I needed to go home so he asked if we could grab drinks the following evening. I was sure he wouldn’t remember so I agreed and left. He did remember and reached out to me the next day, I was hesitant, but agreed and that marked our first date!

How long have you been together? 5 years.

Do you have a proposal story? Skyler and I both left our jobs to travel the world for most of 2015. Before we decided to take this big leap, he asked me if I would prefer taking the more traditional path and the next step in our relationship, or travel, both would be impossible financially. I said, we can get married when we’re 50, let’s travel! About 4 months into our trip he totally surprised me when he got down on one knee on the stunning beaches of Bali. I was in total shock that the love of my life, travel buddy and best friend was proposing with the gorgeous orange sun setting over the Indian Ocean. Little had I known, he had carried the ring with him the entire time and had asked my Father for my hand well before we had embarked on our adventure.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 10.21.16

Ceremony & Reception

Where? The Villa, San Juan Capistrano, California USA

What made you choose there? It reminded us of a gorgeous Tuscan Villa we had seen on our travels. It was outdoors, and naturally beautiful with old world details, vines crawling up the stone walls and fruit trees hovering above.

How did you find it? Through another venue.

How was the weather on the day? Perfect. Sunny, but not too hot.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We wanted a Fall wedding: in September and October in Southern California the weather is perfect. All of the Saturdays at this venue had been spoken for, so we were left with only a Friday option. We lucked out because it rained on Saturday

The Wedding Details

Theme? Organic and effortless, lots of greenery, whites and neutrals. A couple pops of colour with the bougainvillaea draping over the altar doorway and blue Mediterranean tile escort cards.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? The venue itself. I wanted everything to look natural and compliment this stunning venue.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? I took old broken terracotta tiles and painted them with blue and white designs to use as the escort cards.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – 

Maid-Of-Honour: Erin Wall/best friend,

Bridesmaids: Stephanie Chambers and Dori Araiza

I also had my two brothers stand next to me: Blair Tierney and Arian Faurtosh.

Groomsmen – Skyler's three brothers: Dan Maiman (Best Man), Erik Drury and Marc Maiman.

Skyler also had his 6 closest best friends recognized as the Blue Tue Guys: Brandon Brooks, Brad Shipley, Dan Bradbury, Dagan Kofler, Jake Loskutoff and Ryan Morris.

Flower girls/Page boys? There were actually no kids at our wedding, it was an adult-only affair!

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Leah looked stunning in our 'Blake/Prea' combination gown from the D.Y.G collection. 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I purchased my Karen Willis Holmes dress from Elle Bridal Boutique in downtown San Diego.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I hadn’t!

How many gowns did you try? At least 70.

What did you especially like about your gown? It is classy and timeless. I instantly fell in love with the material, the structure and the beauty of the dress. I know I will look back on my dress years from now and still be in love with it. I felt so beautiful in my Karen Willis Holmes dress.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? My bridesmaids wore Reformation blush floral dresses.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Skyler had his suit custom made in Vietnam while we were on our travels. The groomsmen’s suits are from Men’s Warehouse and they were a sharkskin blue suit with a black tie.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? My Aunt and Uncle gifted me gorgeous emerald studs. And I wore my wedding bands, I wanted to keep the focus on my beautiful dress and veil.

Where did you get your shoes from? Schutz. Loved them!

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? A cathedral length Spanish Mantilla lace veil from Veiled Beauty.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Be true to yourself and your relationship. Don’t be afraid to stick with your vision, it will turn out beautifully.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go with how you feel. Does it feel good to put it on? Do you feel beautiful? You will fall more in love with it every time you try it on. Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day.

Something Old? My great great grandmother’s white silk hanky for tears of joy.

Something New? My emerald earrings.

Something Borrowed? My silver cake knife and server, they were over 50 years old and used at my grandmother and grandfather’s wedding.

Something Blue? My great grandmother’s blue sapphire brooch, pinned on the inside of my dress.


Photographer – Elyse Whall of Plum and Oak. She is THE BEST. The moments she captured continues to blow me away.

Florist – Bloom Babes. Working with Emily and Angie from Bloom Babes was one of the best decisions I made. They totally understood my vision and made my perfect wedding a stunning reality. Love them!!

Videographer – Joey from byDesignFilms.

Music – DJ Divel. Skyler curated playlists for every part of the ceremony and reception.

First Dance – Harvest Moon by Neil Young.

MC – DJ Divel.

Celebrant – My Aunt Kim married us. It was so special and she was incredible.

Stationery – Camille from Robinson Design + Paperie.

Menu – Ramos House.

Cake – My Aunt Samira baked and designed our cake. Champagne cake with almond butter cream and fresh raspberries. It was stunning and delicious.

Bombonieres – We left welcome bags in the guests’ hotel rooms with sparkling water, custom mix CDs, travel candles and matchbooks.

Hair – Katie L’Heureux. She did a beautiful job! Throughout the night, as I danced, my hair loosened up beautifully.

Make-Up Elizabeth Root. Loved my makeup!

Wedding Bands – Skyler melted down the gold from his late Fathers wedding band and used it to make his.

Extra features – My Aunt Kathy created a gorgeous Sofreh Aghd, which is a Persian Wedding Tradition and each item on the table symbolizes something special for the couple’s marriage.

Behind The Scenes - Oh Flora Vendor Day

Posted on 20 Mar, 2017
Behind The Scenes - Oh Flora Vendor Day

Lovers of stunning blooms and all things pretty- you are in for a treat!  On the 25th of February, we were lucky enough to have Tanya from Oh Flora Studio in-store to show off some of her floral arrangements specially created for our Vendor Day which was held in our brand new Flagship store in Alexandria, Sydney.  Tanya is the queen at putting together organic, uncomplicated arrangements that burst at the seams with colour, style and texture.  

In her studio a few days prior, she constructed the most beautiful arbor adorned with carnations, climbing roses, daisies, maple leaves and filled out with abundant green foliage.  This visual treat stole all the limelight at the Vendor Day and is something that can translate perfectly for your wedding day as it creates a wonderful space under which to say your vows and also creates a perfect frame for your photographs. 

A huge thank you to Sara Eshu for the stunning photography and of course to Tanya for taking the time to spend the day at our Alexandria store chatting to all of our beautiful brides about her process and how her work can be incorporated into anyone's wedding day.  If you would like to contact Oh Flora Studio, please see more information at the bottom of this post. 


Tanya Shaw
Website - click here
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Ph - 0402 520 429

Sara Eshu
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Lisa + Brett's country wedding

Posted on 15 Mar, 2017
Lisa + Brett's country wedding


How did you meet your partner? Through an accidental add on facebook 

How long have you been together? 4.5 years

Do you have a proposal story? Our first date was supposed to be at a gorgeous little café on Melbourne Street in North Adelaide, but it was closed. On the day (27th December, 15) of the proposal Brett has mentioned going for a picnic that evening, and that he would arrange the picnic items, as we were driving I started to think “we really aren’t driving in the direction of any usual picnic locations” sure enough we drove onto Melbourne Street and he pulled over, I started to think “perhaps we are going for a nice dinner, great I’m dressed like this..... ”I asked if I should take my bag as I noticed he wasn’t taking any of the picnic items, he said ahhhh yeah... and that’s when I had a feeling something was happening, he took my hand cool as a cucumber and we crossed the street, stopped out the front of the café we were supposed to have our first date and he started speaking the most beautiful words, to which he then got down on one knee and ask the question. We did end up heading somewhere else for a gorgeous picnic with a perfect sunset and a lovely bottle of Pol Roger Reserve.  


The Wedding
What was your wedding date? 22nd October, 2016

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? Penny’s Hill Winery

What made you choose there? Brett works there as the CFO 

How did you find it? It was beyond what I could have ever imagined, the staff were fantastic. They were so helpful, it was not in any way a stressful process and they were so accommodating for some dietary requirement for some guests. As well as setting up the reception room so perfectly, the ceremony area so perfectly, I was blown away.

How was the weather on the day? It was a rather cool day with a top of 15, light showers in the morning but the sun broke through the clouds as soon as I started walking down the isle.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? Brett wanted the wedding to be sometime in October as the grounds usually look rather green at Penny’s Hill at that time of year and I loved the way it looked.

The Wedding Details

Theme? very simple, classic theme, white flowers, black suits, lots of greenery

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Brett and I are both very simple people, we like the simple classic look.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y?  Yes the place cards, the table numbers, the menus, the bombardiers (homemade truffles), table decorations.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Both my sisters, Sherrie & Riona Stow.

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Nic Borrelli & Timothy Rochford, who are both Brett’s long term friends.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Lisa looked stunning in our BESPOKE 'Holly' gown. See more here

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? After much disappointment elsewhere, I happen made an appointment at  The Vintage Bride. Renee squeezed me in at Karen Willis Holmes had a trunk show, and I will forever be grateful that she did.

How many gowns did you try?  I tried on around 30 gowns and did not like any of them. Not being overly girly I was really struggling. I had resigned to the fact that I would have to plan an interstate trip to see if there was anything different out there

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? The Vintage Bride 
What did you especially like about your gown? The style of the dress fit my body absolutely perfectly. I felt like a bride but like me the minute I put it on.



Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Alexandra Grecco  

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Black, Ted Baker suits from David Jones.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore a pair of pearl earrings, with the smaller pearl at the front and a larger pearl behind the year, a pearl ring which was a gift from Brett’s late grandmother, and a pearl bracelet from Brett’s mother which was given to her by Brett’s father when Brett was born. The bridesmaids just wore pearl earrings, as I had a pearl necklace attached to the back of their dresses as they were low cut.

Where did you get your shoes from? I already had my shoes, a tan coloured pair of strappy shoes that are extremely comfortable.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? My veil and headpiece were purchased from Renee at The Vintage Bride, I believe she makes them herself


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Take it slow, enjoy the planning process and stick with what you love most. Don’t get caught up it in all.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t stop looking until you feel that feeling that everyone says you feel when you have found the one, it does happen! Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. Take 10 minutes as a small break between ceremony and reception with your husband, just to say hi and embrace the fact that you are now married.

Something Old? Shoes

Something New? Dress

Something Borrowed? Bracelet from my now mother in law

Something Blue? Garter  


Photographer – Mel Boulden. We had been recommended a photographer by a close friend, he was not available upon our first enquiry but sent me a list of 4 people he recommended. After a quick enquiry with all 4 we couldn’t have been happier with Mel right from the start. Mel was so incredibly easy to work with and on the day we honestly felt like she wasn’t even there.

Florist – Melanie Millsteed (Brett’s cousin). She has an incredible knack with flowers and occasionally does flower arrangements as a side job, one day I was discussing flowers with her and she offered to do the flowers for us. She did an amazing job! 

Music – Brett and I were lucky enough to win a DJ and photobooth package through the ABI program.

MC – Brett’s groomsmen Timothy Rochford, he was very funny and is great with public speaking

Celebrant – Sandra Haynes. We had tried to secure a celebrant closer to Penny’s Hill to make it easier for them in terms of travel, after seeing 2 celebrants we knew Sandra was the one, she spoke softly but well, she focused heavily on what we wanted throughout the ceremony and out of it and everything ran extremely smooth. She always looked absolutely spectacular on the day  

Stationery – Minted, a very easy and affordable online service. Extremely easy to use and the delivery is incredibly fast

Cake – Angle Wedding Cakes. Fiona is a very lovely lady who, despite the number of questions is very prompt and helpful. We have now had 3 cakes made through her and have never been disappointed. After describing to her what I had in mind for the cake, I was honestly blown away with the outcome, it looks stunning.

Bombonieres –  I made these myself, 3 truffles per quest all different flavours(also catered for the 5 vegan guests we had) it was a bit of a task but we felt much more comfortable giving something that meant something. It also allowed me to attached a tag that said “made with love, enjoy in the memory of love”

Hair – My very good friend Sarah Schultz. I had known Sarah since she was 14, was a model for her several times as she went through her hairdressing course. My hair looked exactly as I imagined, I was very happy  

Make-Up – Jess Buechter, this was another avenue where I tried to find someone closer to Penny’s Hill for travel reasons. I had 2 trials with Jess for different colours and both times the makeup was exceptional. I was very happy  

Wedding Bands – Martin Roger. The same jeweller that Brett went to for my engagement ring. They create some absolutely stunning pieces. As soon as I had picked a design they ordered the diamonds, when they came in we took a look and then they made the ring. I was blown away when I saw it together. Stunning and the service was incredible.

Car – Jaguars with Grace. Stunning car, very funny and professional driver it was a very enjoyable ride to the venue

Accommodation – Willunga Cottage + Evelyn Homestead. The accommodation was so lovely, my bridesmaids and myself stayed there the night before the wedding, and then myself and Brett the night of the wedding. Breakfast items where there for both days. The cottage was beautiful and made for really lovely pictures. The owner was kind enough and very flexible to work in what worked best for us for check in and out. I would stay there again for sure. 

Belle and Chris' Romantic Byron Bay Wedding

Posted on 10 Mar, 2017
Belle and Chris' Romantic Byron Bay Wedding



When Belle rocked up for her first day of work and locked eyes with Chris, she knew he was something special. It took her 3 months to build the courage to say hello but just 4 years later they were saying “I do” in the Byron Bay hinterland, with Lucas & Co on hand to capture it all.

Belle and Chris had decided on their wedding venue long before they were even engaged. Bell recalls, “I found Horizon online looking at beautiful houses with my sisters for weddings none of us were planning haha! I saw Horizon and knew I’d marry Chris there. I showed Chris even though we weren’t engaged and he loved it as well.”

On their second anniversary, Chris treated Belle to a surprise weekend away near Byron Bay and got down on one knee. He says, “The moment was incredible, tears, laughing and she said yes. I can still picture it, that was more than a life-changing moment.”

The couple enlisted the services of Byron Bay Weddings to help realise the vision they had for a relaxed but romantic celebration. Belle says, “Emily directed us to vendors who were our style and within our budget which made the whole process so enjoyable and fun. There was no stress!


How did you meet your partner? We met at work on my first day and MAC, Chris was working in fragrance at the time and we locked eyes as I walked in. It was probably one of the most memorable moments of my life I can still see Chris standing there as I walked in. It took me a good three months to build up the courage to speak to Chris, I was way too nervous. 

Since then we have been inseparable, since we began dating our first goal was to build our home together - This is such a good snap of our relationship, we dream big! 

How long have you been together? 4 Years

Do you have a proposal story? Chris proposed to me at Koonyum Range Retreat in Mullumbimby NSW on our 2 year anniversary. I had no idea what was about to happen he kept such a good secret, I usually find our every surprise. He spoilt me with beautiful red roses and a note saying we were going away for the weekend. It was amazing! the emotion I felt and how excited I was I can still feel, what a moment! He still gives me butterflies like that now.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 3rd September 2016.

Ceremony & Reception

Location?  Horizon, Byron Bay

What made you choose there? I found Horizon online looking at beautiful houses with my sisters for weddings none of us were planning haha! As soon as I saw it, I knew I’d marry Chris there. I showed Chris even though we weren’t engaged and he loved it as well. When we went to visit the venue with BBW it was just magical. The breathtaking views and the ceremony deck was more than we had dreamed of - there were no more venues to look at from there.
We wanted the venue and marquee very simple with lots of colourful blooms on the tables and gold accents as finishing touches to the already beautiful venue. Horizon speaks for itself there is no need to over do anything.

How did you find it? Looking online 

The Wedding Details

Theme? The theme was romance in the hills. Our vibe is very relaxed so this was fitting for our wedding too. We wanted the venue and marquee very simple with lots of colourful blooms on the tables and gold accents as finishing touches to the already beautiful venue. Horizon speaks for itself there is no need to over do anything. 

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Byron Bay Weddings helped me to realise everything. Emily directed us to vendors who were our style and within our budget which made the whole process so enjoyable and fun. There was no stress!  A lot of my inspiration came from Hello May, when we got engaged my sisters bought this for me and it was so special my new surname would be May. I looked a lot on Instagram, The Wedding Shed, Little Grey Station and The Events Lounge. I just loved looking at everything.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What?
My sisters and I are very creative and it was difficult to not want to take over and do the whole wedding - this just wasn’t possible. My sisters wanted to do little things to help us and that was an amazing thing little details just made the day more us and extra special. 

My sister Vanessa is an incredible graphic designer and she has done lots of wedding invitation designs and blackboard signs so of course she had to help me with mine too. Vanessa designed our save the dates, invitations, black board signs, menus and name tags. They were so beautiful. 

My other sister Fiona hand embroidered our tees to get ready in. All the bridesmaids and my mum had grey and mine white with bright pink writing, simple and sweet. Fiona is also a budding florist so she had fun assembling flower arrangements for the top of our blackboard welcome sign and table chart. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Belinda wore the 'Mabel' two piece gown from the WILD HEARTS collection by Karen Willis Holmes

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? KWH was the second dress store I went to and the Mabel two piece was the second dress I tried on, I got so emotional and I couldn’t wait for Chris to see me in it. 

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Karen Willis Holmes, Brisbane

What did you especially like about your gown?  I struggled to decide what type of look I wanted to go for as a Bride, if I wanted boho or more classic so I left it up to trying on everything to help me decide. Originally I wanted the long fitted lace gown with a low back, all of my Inspo images were this design. Once I started trying on dresses, I felt like I needed to ensure I chose something that was me- simple, classic but different from the trends.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Kookai

Who did your partner wear? Wolf Kanat & shoes from Blaq

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? Earrings were my mums and my grandmas both worn by them on their own weddings days. 

Where did you get your shoes from? Kendall and Kylie

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Veil was from Karen Willis Holmes


What advice would you give brides organising their wedding?  Enjoy every single moment in the planning and the day and don’t let the small stuff get in the way. Remember what you’re doing and why.  Make sure the whole day embodies this in every moment. It goes so fast and once you are in amongst the emotions and energy important moments can slip past, make sure you have time just you two. Chris and I made sure we slowed down and absorbed everything all day, Kirsty our celebrant had a moment at the end of our ceremony where we stopped, looked around and took in the whole moment and each other - this was amazing, I’ll never forget it. We also set 30 minutes aside just us which helped make the day even more memorable.

We were so happy with everything we did. Some standouts were choosing our first venue that we fell in love with, doing some DIY to make our day a little more original and also relax! It was a big thing for us in the lead up with lots of family around so we made sure when the day came we relaxed and put our love first.

The only thing we wish we did was videography, however, Jason and Sarah did an incredible job in capturing moments we missed.  The photos told a beautiful story of our day.  

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day? Our favourite moment was seeing each other for the first time. I was so excited all day, not one bit of nerves I just couldn’t wait to see him. Once I turned around the corner with my dad and started walking I could only see him, all our guests went blurry and it was a magical moment. Chris was standing there and I could tell he was holding back tears. We had waited for that moment for so long it was just insane when it happened. 

Second favourite moment to this had to be when we were announced husband and wife!! 


Photographer - Jason and Sarah,  Lucas & Co.

Florist - The French Petal, Byron Bay

Styling/ Event planner- Byron Bay Weddings 

Venue - Horizon 

Music - Tom Francis

Celebrant - Kirsty Laing 

Stationery -  Vanessa Macphail 

Menu - Fig Tree Restaurant, Byron Bay 

Cake - White chocolate mud cake with Belgian white chocolate ganache, made by Debbie 

Bombonieres - 

Hair - Tash, The Front Yard 

Makeup - Rhiannon Jay and Belinda May (bride) 

Wedding Bands - Michael Hill

SS'17 Haute Couture Shows Re-cap

Posted on 09 Mar, 2017
SS'17 Haute Couture Shows Re-cap

The Spring Summer 2017 Haute Couture shows have just concluded- a showcase of the most intricate, ambitious and extravagant creations from the world's best fashion houses.  This is where craftsmanship and attention to detail is at its finest and where the fantasy of couture comes alive.  

Chanel emphasised femininity, creating powerful silhouettes through strong shoulders, defined waists and full skirts in beaded embroidery and delicate laces.  Ellie Saab blew us away with his strategically designed beaded numbers, opting for long sleeves and sheer tulle elegantly grazing the floor. 

Alberta Ferretti kept the mood dark and sombre, with the use of beading, feathers and strong punches of black whilst Givenchy also lead a collection that brought attention to structure, heavy beading, and feathers. 

We have pulled together our highlights that resonated with us from the week, with the key messages lying in simplicity, feminity and subtle extravagance. 

Alberta Ferretti SS'17 Haute Couture

Alexis Mabille SS'17 Haute Couture

Armani Prive SS'17 Haute Couture

Chanel SS'17 Haute Couture

Ellie Saab SS'17 Haute Couture

Givenchy SS'17 Haute Couture

Ralph Russo SS'17 Haute Couture

Valentino SS'17 Haute Couture

Whitney & Robyn's picturesque Sunshine Coast wedding

Posted on 08 Mar, 2017
Whitney & Robyn's picturesque Sunshine Coast wedding


How did you meet your partner? We met at the local RSL we both worked at on the Sunshine Coast and Robyn had just come back from three months in Europe and a few months prior I had moved back to the coast from Brisbane. We spent four years on the coast working and having fun then decided to make a move to Mount Isa to benefit our futures are still here five years later.

How long have you been together? Nine years this year.

Do you have a proposal story? We went to Byron Bay for a long weekend for a music festival ‘Splendour In The Grass’ as we both have a love for many genres of music, once we checked in to our beach house we decided to have afternoon tea at the lighthouse but it was a cold and rainy day. We watched the storm roll over the hills and onto the beach taking in the beautiful view. We had packed cheese and crackers and an urn full of hot tea which is my favorite as I drink so much of it, Robyn poured a cup of tea for me and was intently looking at me until I realized the black mug had turned into a picture of her on one knee holding a sign saying ‘Will you marry me’ she then pulled a box out of her pocket and when she opened it the ring was so sparkly and to die for then after a few tears I said YES! It was a surreal day and one of the happiest.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 15th October 2016

Location?  Yandina Station – Luxury Country Estate, Sunshine Coast. Neill and Sally were a pleasure to deal with! 

What made you choose there? It was the first place we looked at and couldn’t go past it.

How did you find it? Robyn’s family live nearby and we wanted it to be near where we both grew up on the coast and so our friends and family didn’t have to travel far.

How was the weather on the day? From the cottages, you could see there was a sprinkle of rain coming over in the morning which was worrying but then it cleared up and was a gorgeous day. The ceremony took place under the unbelievably beautiful fig tree followed by canapés on the lawn then onto the reception in the dairy barn for a sit-down banquet dinner which was the most delicious food I have ever eaten. Followed by copious amounts of laughter, dancing and celebrating all night long.

Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date?  Just the available date for the venue and it was a great month for the flowers we wanted.

The Wedding Details

Theme? Yandina Station is a luxury country estate and a working cattle property, it was a unique combination of vintage beauty, history, incredible views and open spaces.  Rustic, relaxed and fun, Colours – dusty rose, gold, neutrals, dusty blue/greens. 

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Magazines like Hello May and The Brides Tree, Instagram and Pinterest was a big help for inspiration as we are currently living and working in a rural mining town but we wanted to keep it simple as there was so much history and beauty in the venue already. We hired the fairy lights that filled the room and the rose gold sequin table runners for the bridal table from Splash Events in Noosa.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y?  Anything that could be made we did it! We bought and cut the hessian table runners. The wedding invitations were an Etsy template then we printed and cut them all out. Robyn’s brother made the table numbers. Weup-cycled and painted the rose gold glass jars on the tables. We made and hand painted ceremony and lawn game signs for around the venue We made some of the lawn games We borrowed the Cordwell’s wooden crates that are from Robyn’s Grandparents who owned a pineapple farm and some of the suitcases as well.  The bonbonniere’s were vintage teacups collected from various garage sales with homegrown succulents and Robyn’s mum helped us make homemade marmalade & ginger jam in mini jars with hessian covers

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Mine were Bec, Nikkita and Charms – all lifelong friends and Robyn’s were Dee, Stacey and Marissa – all high school friends Page boys – who/relationship? Lync and Mace – Robyn’s Nephews  

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Whitney looked stunning in our ''Saskia' gown from the BESPOKE collection

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? It was the first place on the list to make a booking! I had pretty much already decided that I wanted a Karen Willis Holmes dress but had to try on other designers just to be sure. I love that Karen Willis Holmes is an Australia designer too. The shop front is so inviting and all the girls were a pleasure to deal with and helped make my decision easier (Lisa in the Brisbane Store is just so lovely!).

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I browsed all of the collections online after one of my close friends got married the year before and she chose a Karen Willis Holmes dress that was stunning!

How many gowns did you try? Too many I loved them all haha probably about 5 or 6 but I finally decided on the Bespoke – Saskia gown.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Karen Willis Holmes in Paddington, Brisbane

What did you especially like about your gown? It was so damn gorgeous, the detail in the bodice and the hint of shimmering blush that you could only see through the lace when the light caught it, and the silk was so beautiful. I also chose to customise it and change the shape and colours of the layers in the skirt, I think it was timeless and I will still love it in many years to come. I didn’t want to take it off at the end of the night.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? We gave our bridesmaids a colour theme each and said, go find a dress that suits you and something that you love and will wear again. My bridesmaids were in dusty rose and they all looked gorgeous.

Who did your partner wear? Pippin by WToo from BellaDonna Bridal in Brisbane.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I gave my girls a pair of earrings and a clutch to wear for the day and I had Samantha Wills stud earrings and bracelet.

Where did you get your shoes from? I bought a pair of Rose Gold Jimmy Choo stilettos which didn’t last long and I changed into something more comfortable for the photos and dancing as we were climbing up what looking like a mountain of logs and trapesing through the pineapple fields but I will wear those Jimmy Choos every chance I get.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece?  No, I didn’t really want one but I had the florist make me up a little feature flower from the bouquets to put in my hair.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Lock in all the big things first like your date & venue, photographer & videographer, the celebrant and a band or entertainment as they book out quite quickly and it can be stressful if things are left to the last minute.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Take your time don’t rush and go looking a few times and take different family members or friends with you as they know you best and can help you decide and make the experience fun and exciting as it is a celebration. Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day.

Something Old? My Portuguese grandmother’s pearl ring which was tied onto my bouquet  

Something New? My dress and shoes 

Something Borrowed? Robyn’s grandmothers rose gold ring.

Something Blue? All of Karen Willis Holmes gowns have a blue bow sewn into the dress but Robyn’s mother gave me a bracelet with blue birds that I also tied onto my bouquet.


Photographer – Bonnie Jenkins Photography 

Florist – Julia from Ginger lily and Rose

Videographer – Beccy from BXCSMXTH

Music – Unique DJ’s and Photobooth Hire

First Dance – City & Colour - Northern Wind

MC – One of our good friends Christie helped us out.

Celebrant – Johanna Murray from Vogue Vows 

Stationery – Zazzle for ‘Save the Dates”, Etsy for the ‘Invites’ and Zazzle for the ‘Thank You postcards’

Menu –

Savoury Canapes   - Caramelised Pork Belly, Sweet and Sour Pineapple (GF/DF), Wagyu Rump Cap, Tonnato Sauce, Crisp Capers (GF/DF), Prawn and Glass Noodle Spring Rolls with Baby Cos, Herbs and Chilli Caramel Roasted Duck, and Caramelised Onion and Rosemary Puff Pastry Pies

Mains   - Chicken Galantine, Pork Stuffing, Pancetta, Parsnip Puree, Lemon Thyme (GF) , Dry Aged Sirloin, Horseradish Relish and Watercress (GF/DF) , Slow Roasted Shoulder of Spiced Lamb, Sofrito and Toum (GF/DF)  

Sides  - Seasonal Greens, Crisp Garlic, Hazelnuts and Brown Butter (V/GF), Honey and Thyme Roasted Carrots, Goats Curd (V/GF), Hand Cut Desiree Potato Chips with Rosemary Salt (V/GF/DF)  

Cake - Red Velvet Cake with rustic cream cheese icing, a lovely red colour when cut with layers of cream cheese. This was the wedding cake. Hummingbird Cake with textured buttercream Icing and Coconut.  

Petite Desserts - Mini Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecakes, Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

Bombonieres –The bonbonniere’s were vintage teacups collected from various garage sales with home gown succulents and Robyn’s mum helped us make homemade marmalade & ginger jam in mini jars with hessian covers

Hair – Karrisa McLaren and Michelle Gataric from Kmmakeup Studios

Make-Up - Bec James Makeup (Also my maid of honor)

Wedding Bands – Stuart McLean from Underwood’s Fine Jewellers Kawana

Extra features – Our day wouldn’t have been possible without all the wonderful suppliers and their exceptional hard work and talents to make it as special as possible which is what every bride hopes for!

Amanda + Patrick Catholic New York wedding

Posted on 07 Mar, 2017
Amanda + Patrick Catholic New York wedding

Amanda & Patrick wed in the extravagant location of St. Louis Roman Catholic Church in New York.  Boasting the longest aisle in the city, Amanda made quite the impact on her entrance. Even though their day was full of rain, it was filled with even more love and laughter. The weather cleared up after the ceremony, revealing clear blue skies- perfectly finishing off their Hollywood style wedding which featured classic colours of greens, golds and navies. This particular date held special sentiment as it was the same day Amanda's grandparents got married. The couple and their guests danced the night away in The Terrace Room which is part of the historic Stalier building, featuring stunning black and white tiled floors which added incredible drama to this romantic affair. 


How did you meet your partner? Our best friends were dating, and they decided that Pat had to be part of our friend group. I wasn’t interested in being set-up with anyone, but by the second time we met I was already done for. I left two months later to study abroad in London, which could have been the end. Instead, Pat booked a flight to visit me and things just kept getting better.

How long have you been together? 9 years

Do you have a proposal story? Every year, we go to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a week. Pat decided we were going to rent a car and drive to Key West for a few days. I was so happy to relax, that I kept pushing off our plans to go see the Ernest Hemingway house for more pool time reading. When I finally was ready to move, I dragged us to lunch, forced Key Lime Pie on him (famous in Key West!) and wanted to walk around and explore more. He had called ahead to make sure the lighthouse there was empty, so he finally said we needed to get there to see it before it closed for the afternoon. It took me awhile to get to the top, and as soon as I walked out onto the terrace, he got down on one knee. I was so excited I knocked the ring out of his hand! We watched the sunset at Mallory Square and spent the night celebrating. It was so special being away and spending the whole time relishing the moment and then celebrating with friends and family the next week when we got home.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? September 17th, 2016

Ceremony Location? St. Louis Roman Catholic Church

What made you choose there? St. Louis is an absolutely breathtaking church. There is a Kimball Organ on the balcony and the in-house organist is incredible. It also has the longest aisle in the city, and after dating eight years, I wanted to make sure I got to have a full-on bride moment.

How did you find it? I worked across the street for years.

Reception Location? The Statler Terrace Room

What made you choose there? I had a very specific vision of what I wanted our venue to look like. The Terrace Room is classic, with black & white tiled floors and beautiful mirrors.

How did you find it? The Statler is a well-known historic building in Buffalo. We had been to a few weddings and other events in the Golden Ballroom there.

How was the weather on the day? From the second I woke up - rain, rain, rain. I think it was the only rain that we had since May. We did luck out and have clear skies before and after the ceremony, which allowed us to get photos outside of the church.

Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? My grandparents were married on the same date.

The Wedding Details

Theme? Once I had chosen my dress, I used that style to settle on a theme. I wanted everything to look streamlined with a little bit of an old Hollywood feel. My biggest focus was choosing a look that would not be outdated in ten years. Greens, golds and navy were the colours I selected. We put a runner of greens on the captains table, with some gold décor mixed in.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? My maid of honor got me a subscription to Brides magazine immediately after we got engaged. I flipped through for colour and floral ideas and tore out pages of table settings.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I might be the only bride to ever say this, but I tried to stay away from Pinterest. There are so many ideas out there that it can get overwhelming. Our one project was the place card display. The centrepieces were tall gold vases with a big tuft of babies breath and I wanted to tie that into the place card table. We (I should say my mom and aunts) layered flora l foam in several trays and placed babies breath on top, setting the place cards on the bed of flowers. I also love Pablo Neruda’s poetry. There was a sonnet that I wanted to use as a reading during our ceremony but was unable to, as we had a Catholic mass. Instead, I used a computer application to type out different lines from his work and framed them for the place card table, dessert table, and a few other places.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?  Jessica Moses (Maid of Honor) – Sister, Lauren Pritchard (Maid of Honor) – High school friend, Erin Meyers – Sister-in-law, Laura Bender – High school friend, Rachel McCrone – High school friend, business partner, Allison Jackson – High school friend, Genevieve Carbone – Friend,  Caitlin McCarthy – Friend, wife of best man. 

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Scott Witter (Best man) – Childhood friend, Timothy McCarthy (Best man) – Childhood friend, Phil Ciallela – College friend, Adam Hernandez – High school friend, Johnathan Graves – College friend, Steven Wawro – College friend,  Gaetano Falcone – High school friend. 

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Gianna Graves, groomsman's daughter. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Amanda looked stunning in our 'Blake/Prea' combination gown from our D.Y.G collection. 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? In the end, the 'Prea/Blake'  dress was what I built my whole wedding on. I tried on only four dresses and was torn between 'Blake/Prea' and another dress of a completely different style. Where 'Blake/Prea' is clean, simple and structured, the other gown was whimsical and flowing (and PINK). My mother-in-law’s wise words were, this pink dress is who you used to be when we met you eight years ago, but the 'Blake/Prea' dress is exactly who you are now.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I had not until I tried it on!

How many gowns did you try? 4

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Lovely Bride Rochester. Lovely Bride is doing it right! The store is beautiful and elegant, and every dress is beautiful and unique.

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the corset style top and the shape of the skirt. The train was so beautiful and it took on a whole different scalloped shape that I loved once it was bustled. I also loved the material. I always pictured myself in a dress with a huge skirt, but this dress changed that as soon as I put it on.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Wtoo by Waters from MA Carr.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Bar III from Macy’s

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? The Odette belt by Untamed Petals, a pair of crystal Kate Spade drop earrings, and a silver Tiffany &Co. bracelet Pat gave me as a gift years ago (old and blue!). The bridal party kept their accessories very simple, because the dress had an overlay that allowed for different styles.

Where did you get your shoes from? Badgley Miscka from Nordstrom Rack

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a cathedral veil from Lovely Bride


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? It is SO easy to get completely lost in the details. If you find something you love, whether it’s as small as the table numbers, or as huge as the dress, stop looking! You will always second guess yourself if you keep looking. You know what your style is, stay true to it so that when you look back on your wedding, you know it was a reflection of you (and your husband!).

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Same thing goes. If you feel like your most beautiful self in a dress, and it makes you cry, then make your decision and don’t look back. Spend a lot of time looking at styles in magazines before you go shopping, and let the stylist bring you a dress or two you might not have picked for yourself.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. Dads are just the best. My dad and I spent weeks wondering how we were going to get down the aisle without blubbering. Right before the doors opened, he pulled a puppet out from behind his back. It was the perfect little distraction for us, and we kept it together! My father-in-law wrote a song and played it during our ceremony. This was a complete surprise to us, and was beautiful!

Something Old? My grandmother’s sapphire ring. 

Something New? Kate Spade earrings.

Something Borrowed? My other grandmother’s rosary, wrapped around my bouquet.

Something Blue? Tiffany bracelet.


Photographer – Katie Africano, Moonshine Studio of Photography. Katie is a client of mine, and it was so helpful to have someone we were comfortable with take our photos. Looking at the photos in sequence, it perfectly captured the entire day, from the small moments to the big ones.

Florist  – Maureen’s Wholesale Flower Market.

Videographer – Jason Holler, Holler Media Productions. We hadn’t hired a videographer, but when I got out of the limo, I saw that my dad had hired my cousin to shoot the wedding ceremony. Such a great surprise!

Music – Joy Ryde and the Hitmen Horns. My biggest request for our wedding was a live band. They had EVERYONE out on the dance floor and had a blast doing it.

First Dance – Can’t Take My Eyes off You

Celebrant – Father Joe Gato. Father Joe was the priest at my aunt & uncle’s wedding 30 years ago. He was so interactive at the ceremony and it became my favourite part of the whole day.

Stationery – Elli.

Menu – Filet, Panko Stuffed Chicken

Cake – Marsha Fortman. We tasted about 15 different variations, all so delicious, but went with a 'white' cake with almond buttercream. We had it at a friend’s wedding and I talked about it for weeks.

Bombonieres – Since indoor cycling is such a huge part of my life, our favours were the cutest little bicycle bottle openers.

Hair & Make-Up – Studio 806. In the words of my hairdresser, 'I hear you're obsessed with me?' I wouldn’t have trusted anyone else to do my makeup for the big day. Just like our photographer, Emma is a client and I’ve always been 100% comfortable with her.

Wedding Bands – Scherer’s Jewelers. They’re a family-owned business that has been around for over a hundred years. My engagement ring has my husband’s grandmother’s diamond in it, and he had the ring designed there. One of the most special things was coming home from our trip when we got engaged and showing his grandmother the ring! Naturally, we went there for our bands as well, I got a band that matches my engagement ring, as well as a really unique marquis and circle cut band.

Karla & Matt's Hinterland Teepee Wedding

Posted on 03 Mar, 2017
Karla & Matt's Hinterland Teepee Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? When we were teenagers (16) through friends

How long have you been together? 13 years

Do you have a proposal story? Lugging a bottle of champagne around in his backpack with ring in hand, Matt tries to set the scene at the top of the ski fields in Queenstown New Zealand by dragging me to the very top of the mountain with a view of Mordor from the Lord of the Rings (I’m a huge fan). But the temperature at the top of the black run was arctic level and I wanted out quick smart. Being a beginner I turned into a human snowball trying to get down the mountain, exhausted and injured I sat at the top of the beginner slope and decided to do one last easy and manageable run before the park closed. This was our last day and Matt had no more time left to have his moment so as he fumbled around taking off his skis I got irritable and impatient. Next minute he whips this little box out and he’s down on one knee, then his gloves blow over the cliff edge, I point this out and he jumps down the mountain… I regret this immediately and was screaming “leave the gloves!” haha. Luckily it wasn’t as steep as it looked and up he climbs with gloves and open ring box with the ring still there and does a re-do. A skier watching nearby came over and took some pics too. It was the funniest and happiest moment of my life. Matt was just thankful it happened even though he didn’t get to execute his amazing proposal, it was still magical and very memorable.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? Sat 16 April 2016

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? Maleny Retreat, Maleny, Queensland

What made you choose there? Maleny has always been a stunning place, it’s just magical at the top of the mountain and the views are to die for, it really just has nice vibes there. We couldn’t imagine doing it anywhere else. Plus we needed to keep our venue quite local to our guests which were mostly from Brisbane.

How did you find it? Maleny Retreat was one of only a few venues Queensland to offer a DIY blank canvas and the option for guests to stay the night, even better that they were glamping tents as this flowed with our theme perfectly.

How was the weather on the day? The weather prior to our day was wet and very rainy, we were holding our breath and I didn’t have a wet-weather plan, on the Saturday morning we awoke to beautiful blue sky, and as the day went on we got cloud cover. It actually created a really beautiful moody feel to our photos. It was lovely because we got a stunning mixture of sunny and cloudy pics which completely change the feel of each of the photos. The night cleared completely and we were blessed with the most amazing starry sky for our outdoor reception. We could not have been luckier.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? I’m a bit superstitious so it needed to be an even numbered day but I also wanted a warm day not hot, so autumn or spring was the best choice. I chose April purely because it had the least predicted rainfall for those times of year and I wanted the odds in my favour for an outdoor wedding, so 16/4/16 it was - a date easy to remember and even numbers.

The Wedding Details

Theme? Boho, but I love desert hues so aimed for neutral colours such as beige, cream, peach and mint which all went well together I think

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? there are too many blogs to count so inspiration is endless but I’m a tiny bit fairylike at heart so comfort, good vibes and being outdoors meant a lot to us both so we designed our wedding around those key factors

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? The whole venue was DIY but we had a talented stylist and hire company to style for us. We did however make our own stained timber ceremony platform, over 30 milk crates for seating sprayed gold, attached cushions and I also bought and collected over 60 Samantha Wills carved timber boxes for reception table styling.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Whitney, Eve, Lyndal and Karrisa (all my best friends)

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Steve (brother), Mitch (best friend), Jarred (cousin), Blake (cousin)

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I saw the most recent range in a blog and the styles looked stunning, flattering, modern and also a bit boho with caught my attention.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I hadn’t

How many gowns did you try? Two, just the one I loved and one other style.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Karen Willis Holmes Paddington, Brisbane

What did you especially like about your gown? I tried two on but they were separates which I loved so I ended up mashing the two together and buying a piece from each set; the 'Tillie' crop and 'Mabel' skirt. The 'Tillie' crop what exactly what I wanted and the mabel skirt was soooo flattering and comfortable I just loved it from the beginning.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Aje

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Shirts & Belts – ASOS, Pants & Bowties – H&M, Shoes – Windsor Smith

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wanted quite dramatic bold makeup because I was having a plain hairstyle so I didn’t want to overload with accessories. Apart from my flower crown I only had some gorgeous anklets from Forever Soles and a pearl and diamante chain garter from Grace Bijoux

Where did you get your shoes from? Zu Shoes Brisbane CBD

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I couldn’t decide on a headpiece so I just left it but on the day my hair was too plain and I needed something so my hair stylist Kirstie whipped up the most beautiful half head crown with some flowers out of the bouquets and just pinned it in. She is a rock star.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? After you have chosen your items/vendors…stop researching and looking! You will always find something else to add or find other things you prefer. It will only create confusion and uncertainty. Stick with what you loved and then wait for the day to come.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t buy too early, you’d be surprised how much your style changes over a year or two so gowns I liked 3 years out I don’t like now. I think 8-11 months out from your wedding is a great timeframe, any longer and you risk changing your mind for something else you see. Don’t settle for “nice”… wait until you find “the one” it will feel amazing and be flattering from all angles, you will find it!

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. Having family arrive early in the morning to lend a hand (away from the bridal party of course) but on standby at the venue - made setting up our DIY wedding happen without any dramas. The day was executed perfectly because we had so many people to help in their own little way, everyone enjoyed contributing and having their own job to do so it really took the load off the bridal party and allowed us to simply enjoy the day we prepped so much for.


Florist – Stem Design

Photographer – Ash & Stone, Rebecca Robson

Videographer - None

Music – Family Friend; Jake Lacy

First Dance – None (we are both pretty shy haha)

MC – Family friend; Dean Butcher

Celebrant – Kari Celebrations; Kari

Stationery – Save the dates (Blushing Confetti & Floralovely Calligraphy), Leather Invites (Paper Birch Designs)

Menu – Noosa Catering

Cake – Family made; mother and sister-in-law

Bombonieres -  Chantilly & Coco

Hair – Evalyn Parsons Hair; Kirstie

Make up – Embellished Makeup; Gemma Elaine

Wedding Bands – Bride (Stephen Dibb Jewellers) Groom (Michael Hill)

Other – Pop Up Bar (Hello Mr Jenkins), Stylist (Judi from Little Gray Station) and Styling Hire (Hampton Event Hire), All signage, menu, table numbering & place cards (Kelsi from KB Lettering)

Bouquet Ribbon (Silk & Willow)

Exclusive NZ KWH Stockist- Paperswan Bride

Posted on 02 Mar, 2017
Exclusive NZ KWH Stockist- Paperswan Bride

We are excited to announce we now have an exclusive Karen Willis Holmes stockist in New Zealand.  Introducing Paperswan Bride, who have just opened up their second boutique in Christchurch after the success of their first in Wellington. At the moment, Karen Willis Holmes is stocked in the Christchurch store, with a delivery arriving in the Wellington store as soon as next week!  To add to this exciting news, Paperswan Bride in Wellington is holding a Karen Willis Holmes trunk show from 18th-30th April.  If you live in the area, make sure you don't miss out and book an appointment today. Some of our favourite styles from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes, WILD HEARTS, BESPOKE and D.Y.G Collections will be featuring in this event.

The new boutique in Christchurch will be stocking gowns such as the Anya, Caitlyn, Beatrice, Fontanne, Genevieve drape skirt, Ophelia and the Blake/Prea gown. The Wellington store will be stocking Anya, Genevieve skirt drape, Fontanne & the Beatrice gown.  This curated selection of Karen Willis Holmes gowns has been selected by owner Jen Barnett, who knows her way around a wedding dress. She brings so much passion, enthusiasm, and love to everything she does, stating "whether you’re a bohemian babe, hippy chick or vintage goddess, we can channel your inner fashionista and find you the perfect gown." 

Jen saw a gap in the market back in 2012, after she arrived back in NZ from living in London working for womenswear designer Stewart Parvin.  Her vision was simple. She wanted to share some of the incredibly inspiring local and international wedding dress labels that she adored with the rest of New Zealand. This, teamed with the unforgettable shopping experience she provides her brides makes both Paperswan Bride boutiques a store not to miss.  

Jen Barnett, owner of Paperswan Bride

The stunning boutique in Christchurch

The following gowns from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes, BESPOKE and D.Y.G. collections will feature in Paperswan Bride:
The 'Ophelia' gown from the BESPOKE collection

The 'Blake/Prea' gown from the D.Y.G. collection

The 'Anya' from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection

The 'Beatrice' from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection

The 'Caitlyn' from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection

The 'Fontanne' from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection

The 'Anya' from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection with the 'Genevieve' skirt drape from the WILD HEARTS collection.


Paperswan Bride - Christchurch
McKenzie & Willis Building, Ground Floor
181 High Street (Corner of High Street and Tuam Street) Christchurch 8011
Phone: +64 3 366 9956
Email: chch@paperswanbride.co.nz
Website: www.paperswanbride.co.nz

Paperswan Bride - Wellington 
94b Upland Road
Kelburn Village, Wellington 6012
Phone: +64 4 475 5945
Email: info@paperswanbride.co.nz
Website: www.paperswanbride.co.nz


Date: 18th-30th April
Location: Paperswan Bride- Wellington NZ
Featuring gowns from the BESPOKE, DYG, WILD HEARTS & KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Collections

Stefania & Nile's Moody Melbourne Wedding

Posted on 01 Mar, 2017
Stefania & Nile's Moody Melbourne Wedding

Stefania and Nile fell in love- but this love story took a while.  Nile knew he had found something special the moment he laid eyes on Stefania.  For Stefania, it took a little longer to be convinced to go on a date with Nile.  Once she finally accepted his invitation, it became one of the most pivotal decisions of her life. She fell for Nile & 2 years later they tied the knot, in their beloved city of Melbourne.  They exchanged vows in Xavier Chapel, where Nile went to school, had in-between cocktails for the bridal party at The Everleigh followed by an extraordinary black-tie party for their friends and family at Movida Aqui. Every detail of this wedding was carefully thought through and delivered with perfection- oozing an abundance of style and vintage glamour- perfectly reflecting the couples colourful personalities.


How did you meet your (now) husband?
Nile and I technically worked together – but we did different types of law and sat on different floors so we actually had very little to do with each other – that said, I really enjoyed his performance of Gangnam style (complete with enthusiastic dance moves) at the firm karaoke competition.
One day, he asked me out for coffee. He was more junior than me at work and (shock!) younger so I presumed he just wanted to be friends. We had some mutual friends so we started spending some time together – mainly going out on a Friday night and always ending up at FAD Gallery having way too many gin and tonics.
Then he actually asked me out properly – and I said no. I was convinced it wouldn’t work out.  Nile was convinced it would work out – so he continued to ask.  I was impressed by his persistence and confidence – but I continued to say no.
A few months later, I somehow came to my senses (probably helped by all our mutual friends encouraging the union) and gave him a chance.  I am so incredibly happy that I did.

How long have you been together?It was 3 days short of 2 years when we were married. When you know, you know.
Do you have a proposal story?
All Nile wanted was for the proposal to be a surprise. I am a ‘planner’ so this was an especially hard ask. To his credit – he really had me believing we wouldn’t get engaged for at least another year.
One ordinary Friday night, we had a delightful dinner with friends and Nile suggested we go to our favourite haunt – The Everleigh – for a couple of dry martinis.  The martinis hit the table and I had just finished saying ‘This place is my idea of heaven’ when Nile put a little black box on the table. I was in complete shock – I thought it was maybe a present for something else. But Nile looked so incredibly excited I realized what was happening – and didn’t know whether I was crying or laughing with excitement. It was simply perfect.

The Wedding
What was your wedding date? Saturday, 5 March 2016
Location (Ceremony and Reception)
Where? Xavier Chapel (Service) – Movida Aqui (Reception)

What made you choose there?
I always wanted to get married in a church and knew it would mean so much to my Dad. Nile knew it meant so much to me and agreed – but asked that we get married at Xavier where he went to school. I was very happy to get married at Xavier as a number of my cousins have been married there so it was special to me too.
We only had six months to plan our wedding and so we knew a lot of venues would have already been booked. We had decided that the thing we wanted most out of our wedding was to throw one epic party for our favourite people – so we decided to have a cocktail reception – which also gave us some greater choice with venues.
I had organised a few work Christmas functions for around 130 people at Movida Aqui and they couldn’t have gone better. Nile had never been so I took him there for dinner and introduced him to the food and the people – and Nile was immediately convinced. Andy and the team are simply the best. The food and drinks were spectacular and everyone said they had never received better service at a wedding – the waiters even joined us all on the dancefloor!

How was the weather on the day? Not too hot and not too cold – just right
What made you decide to get married on this particular date?

We actually only had one day we could get married.  When we became engaged, my father was unfortunately battling terminal cancer. We decided we wanted to get married in six months as then he could hopefully be at the wedding. To add extra complication, in about six months I was about to start a long-running trial.  I asked my boss if I could take a week off to get married – and luckily the one day that suited us was the one day in March that Xavier chapel wasn’t already booked out!

The Wedding Details
Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)?
We both love art deco – so that sort of style definitely inspired us in a number of our choices – from our outfits, to the invitations and the rings. That said, more importantly, we just wanted all of our loved ones to look their most fantastic and then show them an amazing time. So we decided to make the flowers and the venue look elegant but bright and make the event ‘Black Tie Invited’ – which was our polite way of saying ‘Wear a tux – but if you don’t have a tux, just wear something fantastic!’
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What?  I think Nile poured his heart and soul into our wedding playlist by hand-picking every song (and song order) for the whole night, if that counts?

Bridal Party
Bridesmaids – who/relationship?
Pia & Kate – two of my oldest and dearest friends from Perth. Sarah – my lovely Cousin & Paul (my bridesman) – one of my favourite men, I was his best lady when he was married

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Matt H – one of Nile’s oldest family friends. Gerard, Matt and Harry – Nile’s best pals from Xavier
Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Emily & Evie – Pia’s 2 yr old twin girls & Olivia – Sarah’s little girl


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I wanted a classically elegant gown that didn’t cost the earth. Nile wanted me to look like Michelle Pfieffer from Scarface – but potentially slightly more church appropriate.  I spoke to a couple of girls from work and they suggested Karen Willis Holmes would be perfect!
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before?
One of my friends from Sydney – who has also recently been featured on your website – bought her dress from KWH and it was simply stunning.

How many gowns did you try? About 4 – but I think I knew the 'Aster' was the one from the start.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? High Street – Armadale
What did you especially like about your gown?
The 'Aster' just sits so beautifully – it is perfectly made to drape over curves. It also met the most important criteria – I knew I could dance up a storm wearing it!

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier?

I was at a wedding a while ago and one of the bridesmaids was wearing a gorgeous navy blue full length dress. When it came to choose the bridesmaids dresses, I asked where it came from, and found out it was from Zimmermann.
The girls and I went shopping one day and went to Zimmermann first off. Completely unexpectedly the girls all loved the dress I had first seen and asked if they could all wear the same one. The whole experience took half an hour, everyone was happy and we had plenty of time for coffee and cake afterward.
I also had a bridesman so he hired a tuxedo from Prinzi in a slightly different style to the groomsmen. He only came into Melbourne from Perth the night before the wedding and the team at Prinzi were able to have him suited even with no time to spare.
Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits?
Nile’s favourite place in Melbourne is P Johnson Tailors. He has had clothes made by P Johnson before and they always turned out perfectly – so there was no doubt he would go there to get his tuxedo made. His tux ended up being so perfect he basically hasn’t taken it off since the wedding!  Nile’s main accessory was an elegant “Mr Lincoln” red rose from Vasette. He loved it so much he has been ordering them for every black tie occasion since.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party?
I already had this lovely pair of vintage earrings I found on Johnston Street in Fitzroy – and they worked perfectly with the dress. A little bit of sparkle but not too much. I have to confess that I told my bridemaids to wear whatever they felt like – they all have fantastic taste, so I didn’t really need to worry about it.

Where did you get your shoes from?
Georgie’s Bridal Shoes in Perth. This is an amazing little store in Perth that has shoes and bags for weddings in every colour imaginable. The owner knows everything about colour – I suggested my dress was white and the owner looked at the photo and was able to tell it was ivory straight away. Even without seeing the dress in person, the shoes were a perfect match.
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I actually bought a headpiece from a lovely store in Perth but in the end decided not to wear it – the Aster gown was already so decadent I don’t think it needed much else!

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Your wedding day is the best – but there is a lot to do – much more than you will ever realise. Set up a task list and try to do a few things each month and all will be well.
On a more fun note, we took our bridal party to The Everleigh for some cocktails and snacks between the ceremony and reception. It was a really lovely part of the day and I would recommend a cocktail break to everyone!
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown?
Decide how much you want to spend first – and then only go look at dresses that are within your price range. There is no point falling in love with a million dollar dress!
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day.
My dad being able to be at the wedding was the most special part of our day.
He passed away only 5 months after the wedding and it is so special to remember how happy he was that day. My favourite photo of him is the one of him sitting with his brother and laughing his raucous laugh during the speeches.
On a lighter note – the funniest would be the flower girls. Pia had warned us that having 2 year olds as flower girls could have its complications. Nile told Pia that if the twins behaved he would be disappointed. The twins didn’t disappoint. Evie planted like a Labrador and refused to walk down the aisle despite the coaching of her father. Emily took a more direct approach and sprinted down the aisle screaming and crying. Olivia then took the stage and walked down the aisle like a perfect angel. All I could hear from outside the church was everyone erupting into fits of laughter – it was the perfect start to the ceremony.

Something Old? Vintage earrings.
Something New? The dress!
Something Borrowed? Do the hair pins from the hairdresser count?
Something Blue? Thank the Lord for that little blue ribbon sewn into the back of every Karen Willis Holmes gown.


Florist – Vasette
Vasette is our local florist and we buy flowers for the house there every weekend. It is such a wonderful happy group of people who are so unbelievably talented at their jobs. Nicholas (Head of Weddings) knows how to turn a vision into a beautiful reality. He did the flowers for our engagement party as well – and everything Nicholas has done for us ends up being just perfect.
Photographer –
It's Beautiful Here
Kat and Scout were perfect. They are the sort of people you just want to spend time with – and made us feel so relaxed. We are so grateful for the beautiful photos they took – the shots of all the fun on the dancefloor are phenomenal. We loved them so much that one of Nile’s groomsmen just used Kat and Scout for his wedding!

Music - DJ Josh – Rutherford Entertainment
DJ Josh was great on the night. We both love dancing and so spent hours coming up with our perfect playlist. DJ Josh was more than happy to put our wish for a fantastic dancefloor into action.
First Dance – A fantastic medley created by Nile – Let’s Stay Together / Let’s Get Married Remix / Happy ;)
MC – Our friends Matt and Lucy J
Celebrant – Father Chris Gleeson
He went to school with my uncle so it was lovely to have a family connection. Father Chris was just great and totally relaxed – he was really happy for us to choose readings and music that meant something to us and did a wonderful homily where he spoke about the importance of gratitude in our lives.

Stationery – Paperless Post
We wanted a clean and simple design for our invitations and we found just the thing from Paperless Post. We sent electronic Save the Dates but when it was time for the paper invitations, Paperless Post wasn’t yet delivering in Australia. Luckily we were able to ship the invitations to Nile’s Dad in L.A. and then to Australia – but we believe they are delivering to Australia now!
 Menu – Movida Aqui
Andy and his team created an amazing selection of food and drinks within our budget. Everything at Movida Aqui is delicious so we didn’t have a worry in the world when it came to the food. In addition, given that we love cocktails – we also had Sangria and Spanish Iced Tea cocktails on arrival, gin and tonics –and then later, bottles of Scotch and rounds of Pedro’s Negronis (a negroni with a coffee and sherry twist - a massive crowd pleaser!) with dessert.
Cake – Fig & Salt
Cassandra made us the most gorgeous cake. It was three layers and three different flavours – so even our gluten free friends could enjoy the deliciousness.

Hair – Gypsy and the Wolf
Kate is my usual hairdresser and knows exactly how to create a gorgeous vintage look. She is also one of the most relaxed people alive which makes her a wonderful addition to a wedding morning.

Make up - Livia Milazzo
I met Livia through Kate and she was amazing. Livia is such a talent and completely understands what look you want to go for.

Wedding Bands – Rutherford
The team at Rutherford Antiques were wonderful to deal with. They helped Nile with the proposal ring and then we went back and found my antique art deco engagement ring there. They also made Nile’s gorgeous rose gold wedding band – and then managed to track us down an antique art deco wedding band that goes so perfectly with the engagement ring it looks like they were made for each other.
Transport –  Classic and Prestige Car Hire
We hired some 1960s white Rolls Royce Silver Clouds from Classic and Prestige Car Hire. The cars were immaculate and, perhaps even more importantly, the service from the drivers on the day was excellent.

Oscars 2017 Red Carpet Round-Up

Posted on 28 Feb, 2017
Oscars 2017 Red Carpet Round-Up

So, our favourite Tinseltown event took place last night- The 89th Annual Acadamy Awards.  At the Karen Willis Holmes HQ, we look for absolutely any excuse to gush over amazing fashion & the extraordinary opulence of the Oscars is one we raced into work for yesterday! Modesty saw a comeback- with beautiful full skirts and high, Victorian-era necklines teamed with long sleeves.  Rich fire engine reds took centre stage, but it was the subdued neutrals and glowing golds that stuck a cord with us.  We are obsessing over the iridescent shine of embellishments, beading, and fringing paired back with demure silhouettes.  

For brides getting married in 2017, take note as some of the key looks displayed at the Oscars are sure to influence Bridal trends this year.  The emphasis on unfussy style was the key message and below are our selection of Best Dressed celebrities from the night who stole the show. 

Isabelle Huppert in Armani Prive

Naomie Harris in Custom Calvin Klein

Darby Stanchfield in Georges Chakra

Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph & Russo 

Chrissy Teigen in Zuhair Murad Couture 

Karlie Kloss wore this simple, asymmetrical Stella McCartney gown

Olivia Culpo in a custom made fringed Marchesa gown 

Emma Stone in Givenchy Haute Couture 

Jessica Biel in Kaufmanfranco

Charlize Theron in Christian Dior Couture

Felicity Jones opted for a tea length, tulle Christian Dior gown with subtle gold foiling 

Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive

One of our favourite looks of the night- Emma Roberts wore Vintage Armani Prive

Taraji P. Henderson looked ravishing and curvaceous in a custom-made Alberta Ferretti gown

​Ginnifer Goodwin in Zuhair Murad

Ruth Negga stopped the show in Valentino

Danica & Andy's beautiful South Coast wedding

Posted on 27 Feb, 2017
Danica & Andy's beautiful  South Coast wedding

Danica and Andy wed in the beautiful & picturesque location of Bushbank, Kiama Heights in New South Wales.  The couple who have been together for 9 years chose simplicity with strapping punches of magentas, primrose yellows and violets throughout for their wedding.  The guests picked up the memo about the colour too, arriving in striking shades that stood out.  This helped pull together all of the colours of the wedding captured by the very talented David Moore, as well as creating a fun, vibrant and playful vibe which complimented the stunning couple perfectly.  
Danica wore the Zoe/Mimi combination from the D.Y.G collection- an elegant, simple slim fitting silhouette with a plunging neckline and delicate spaghetti straps. The bodice cinches in at the waist before falling into an elegant slim fitting skirt with a split up the middle, all beautifully draped in a heavy twill.  


How did you meet your partner? We met at High School – Andy came to my school in year 11 and then left later that year. We have been together ever since!

How long have you been together? 10 years.

Do you have a proposal story? It was our 9 year anniversary, we went for a walk from Rose Bay to Watsons Bay in Sydney and on the way back, right near Stockland house he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 3/12/2016

Location? Bushbank - Kiama Heights

What made you choose there? We wanted a mix of relaxed/ coastal but still for it to feel like a wedding and Bushbank did that for us.


How did you find it? On the internet.

How was the weather on the day? The day started off grey but as soon as the ceremony started the sun came out and it was beautiful the rest of the day.

Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? It was the same date as my grandparents!! It was their 59th wedding anniversary the date we married, so we will be able to celebrate our 1st anniversary with their 60th!


The Wedding Details

Theme? Bright! Kept everything simple and natural/ rustic. I had lots of bright flowers though :)

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest mainly!

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? Most of it was D.I.Y  - Andy is very handy and he made our table numbers and seating chart. We just had wooden discs on the table and sprayed jars gold as our vases for flowers.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? All friends – Carly (MOH), Lauren, Dani, Mel, Haylee.

Groomsmen – who/relationship? David (brother), Grant (brother), Ryan (friend), Sam (friend), Ryan (Friend).

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Heather was my flower girl (My Grandmother whose wedding anniversary it was!)

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Danica looked stunning in the 'Zoey/Mimi combination gown from our D.Y.G collection. See more here

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I looked online- I wanted simple but beautiful and all Karen Willis Holmes dresses seem to tick the box for this!

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Only online/ Instagram.

How many gowns did you try? Only two!! My first pick was the one I ended up choosing.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? I purchased it from the Paddington store, Sydney.

What did you especially like about your gown? I LOVED the bottom of my gown, but the whole thing felt so comfortable. It didn’t have any particular detail on it, but that is what I loved as it suited me and my personality so well. 


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? White runway

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Peter Jackson

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? The girls had rings from Samantha Wills, the boys got ties were made from Woodyroo

Where did you get your shoes from? Wanted shoes

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? My headpiece was ordered from Summer Blossom online, veil was borrowed from my MOH.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Just enjoy the day! Everything always works out. I can honestly say I hardly stressed at all in the lead up to the wedding and everything was perfect! The lead up can become overwhelming as you are always thinking if you forgot anything or need all of these things, when really what does it matter? As long as you are marrying the person you want to spend your life with, everything else will work out perfectly!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go with what makes you comfortable and makes you feel most like you ... but a more beautiful version!!

Something Old? Grandmother's engagement ring

Something New? Lingerie

Something Borrowed? MOH clutch

Something Blue? My Mum’s ring with a blue sapphire stone. 


PhotographerDavid Moore or @daveymoorephoto - Instagram. Dave had the help of his wife Leah Moore or @leahmoorephoto – Instagram) who does equally as beautiful photos, and together they captured our day perfectly.

Florist – N/A

Videographer – N/A

Music – Dan SearleDan was great and got our music spot on, would recommend him to anyone!

Celebrant – Andrew Straney, he was great and really brought out Andrew and my story within the ceremony.

Stationery – N/A

Menu – N/A

Cake – N/A

Bombonieres – N/A

Hair – Haylee Simpson

Make-Up – Sara Mead 



Posted on 24 Feb, 2017

Karen Willis Holmes in Paddington, Brisbane is packing their bags and moving to an INCREDIBLE new location nearby (stay tuned, all will be revealed shortly!).  Therefore, this calls for a bit of spring cleaning and a sample sale will be taking place on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March! Do not miss this amazing opportunity to pick up a wedding gown with couture-like quality and innovative design at a bargain price.   With sample gowns from BESPOKE, Wild Hearts and KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collections being sold at reduced prices starting from 50% off, this sale is a must for any bride-to-be. Our lips are sealed as to what styles will be in the sale, so you will have to come down and see for yourself. 

Please note only sample sale gowns will be available over the weekend. If you would like to try on full priced gowns you will need to make an additional appointment at our beautiful new Brisbane boutique (click here to make an appointment). Any of the gowns are sold in their current condition and will be final sale only. 

Across these two days, we will be accepting cash, MasterCard, Visa and Eftpos.

Sample Gown List 

  • Eliza skirt
  • Frances skirt
  • Lindy train
  • Clara
  • Genevieve
  • Tyler
  • Milani
  • Lina
  • Isla
  • Dahlia
  • Bonnie
  • Stella
  • Nadia
  • Juliet
  • Imogen
  • Sequin peplum
  • Lila jacket

Sale details

Trading hours
Friday 10th March- 10am-5.30pm
Saturday 11th March- 9am-5.30pm

Shop 5, 2 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington, QLD, 4064
Ph- +61 7 3368 2216
Email- info@karenwillisholmes.com


Chris & Corrine's Colourful Osteria Wedding

Posted on 22 Feb, 2017
Chris & Corrine's  Colourful Osteria Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband?

We met at a bar on New Year's Eve. Chris couldn’t take a hint on the night, so the next day I tracked him down on Facebook and messaged him.

How long have you been together? 4 ½ years

Do you have a proposal story? It was a simple proposal on New Year’s Day after a pub meal and a walk along the beach



The Wedding

What was your wedding date? Saturday 14 May 2016

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? Both were at Osteria, Casuarina

What made you choose there? We loved the Northern NSW area, around Kingscliff. I had looked at a few venues, and Osteria’s menu was by far my favourite as I loved the idea of having a table banquet/share platter menu. The venue was what we wanted with an outdoor ceremony area, connected to an indoor reception with a rustic industrial feel.The food was really important to me, so we did eat at the restaurant before booking, and our guests are still raving about the arancini balls!

How did you find it? Via the Casuarina Weddings website and a lot of stalking on wedding blogs.

How was the weather on the day? It was amazing! We had clear blue skies, not a cloud in the sky. We picked May because of the mild weather and clear skies and the day turned it on!

The Wedding Details

Theme?  I created a name for the theme Industrial Luxe. I loved the industrial elements with copper tones and exposed bulbs and we then glammed it up! Everything we picked was what we liked, not necessarily sticking to one particular idea, but it all worked together. I included a lot of darker tones, in the flowers and the bridesmaids in French navy.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest! What an amazing creation that is! I spent a lot of time on wedding and photographer’s blogs, pinning ideas I liked.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I planned and styled the wedding myself. We went and set up the venue the day before.


Bridal Party

Bridesmaids who/relationship?

Maid of Honour: Kate

Best friend & Bridesmaid: Natalie

Groomsmen who/relationship?

Best Man: Jim

Groomsman: Todd (Groom’s brother)

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?

I had seen a KWH gown on a couple of blogs that I absolutely fell in love with and wanted to try on, so KWH was a must on our shopping trip.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Have seen KWH gowns on a number of blogs and in magazines.

How many gowns did you try? I had one shopping trip with my Mum and future Mum-In-Law to Brisbane.  We went to about 4 stores, and would have tried on at least 10 – 15 different gowns across all the stores.  I had gone in looking for another gown, which was no longer in stock, and tried on a few other gowns, before putting Poppy on hold for the day.  We did a few more stores, and eventually came back at the end of the day, tried Poppy back on and knew after all those other gowns it was the one.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)?  The Brisbane KWH store What did you especially like about your gown? I suffer from a nervous/excited rash across my arms, chest and neck, and knew this was going to an issue on the big day.  I went in knowing I didn’t want a strapless gown for this reason.  I also am not the “princess” dress type of girl.  I wanted something unique and modern and that no one would have seen before.  Poppy fit all the criteria!



Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Zimmerman

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Bruno’s Suits on the Gold Coast

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party?

My gown was quite a big statement so didn’t want to go over the top with accessories. Choose rose gold earring & headpiece and wore my Grandmother’s diamond brooch.

Where did you get your shoes from? Myer

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Headpiece was my Etsy.



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? It’s true what they say the day goes so quickly so just take everything in and don’t sweat the small stuff.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t be influenced by the fashion. Choose something that is you and you will look back on the photos and still love it in 50 years time.

Something Old? My Grandmother let me borrow a diamond brooch she wore on her wedding day. It is my great great Grandmother’s.

Something New? The dress!

Something Borrowed? Gold crystal champagne flutes from my parents.

Something Blue? Lucky there was a gorgeous blue bow sewn into my dress. 


Photographer: Figtree Wedding Photography

Florist: Elyssium Blooms

Music: Chris Hutchinson & Peppers Entertainment

First Dance: Crazy Love, Michael Buble

Celebrant: Jo-Ellen Moynihan

Stationery: Invitation design on Vistaprint. I then designed matching favours & seating plan myself using the initial design.

Cake: Cakeit4U

Bombonieres: Chocoblock Chocolates (which double as our place cards!)

Hair and Make-Up: Harpier

Wedding Bands: Handcraft Studio

Reception ceiling installation: Elyssium Lighting

Jess & Ian's Stylish Victorian Wedding

Posted on 20 Feb, 2017
Jess & Ian's Stylish Victorian Wedding


Following a Thailand engagement (that included a smiley faced flashing plastic ring), Jessica and Ian spent their 15-month engagement envisioning a warehouse wedding… that is until they decided to make things sweet and simple by getting married in an already set-up venue.

Farm Vigano was the first and only venue of this kind that we looked at. We’d been there for lunch before and loved the property (not to mention the food) – you could easily be somewhere in Tuscany if it wasn’t for the surrounding Australian bushland,” explains Jessica, who utilised Hello May faves I Got You Babe Weddings  and Larsen Jewellery to help pull off their special day.

“We opted for a very relaxed day… Good food, decent alcohol and great music. The thought of a traditional wedding didn’t really appeal to us, which is why we decided to go for a casual celebration instead,” she tells us, adding that her Karen Willis Holmes wedding dress was one for the memory books.

Happily married and living a life full of life, the couple says that one of their best decisions was hiring legend videographer Light Noise Films. “We originally thought it may be overkill but my parents talked us into it and I’m so grateful that they did. The video is a little piece of the day that we can share for years to come.”



Photographer -  I Got You Babe Weddings 

Bridal gown + Veil - 'Blake/Prea'  Karen Willis Holmes 

Shoes -  Wittner 

Accessories -  Shopbop Christie Nicolaides 

Hair -  Kim Tavares 

Make-Up -  Blanka Dudas 

Rings -  Larsen Jewellery 

Bridesmaid dresses -  Manning Cartell 

Bridesmaid shoes -  Zomp  

Bridesmaid gifts -  Mecca 

Kilt, jacket and socks -  McCalls Ltd 

Shirt -  Rhodes and Beckett 

Tie / Bow tie -  David Jones 

Shoes - Aquila 

Florist - Tribal Rose 

Stationery -  The Graphic Quill  

Printer -  Stadium Signs + Bambra Press 

Ceremony, reception + catering -  Farm Vigano, VIC

Food trucks and carts - Bianco Latte 

Prop and furniture hire -  Harry the Hirer Georgeous  

Marquee / teepee and Lighting / sound hire - Harry the Hirer 

Entertainment -  Ross Bates and Perfect Day Music 

Celebrant -  Andrew Redman 

Transport -  Murray’s Coaches 

Cinematographer -  Light Noise Films.

Caris & Ben's Stylish Sydney Harbourisde Wedding

Posted on 17 Feb, 2017
Caris & Ben's Stylish Sydney Harbourisde Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? Ben and I met a long time ago – he was my unrequited teenage crush. I was in Year 7 and had been dragged along to watch my oldest brother’s basketball game and Ben was in that team. He said ‘hi’ to me, thinking nothing more of it, but I was starry-eyed. My brothers teased me about it for years! However more than a decade later, thanks to a chance encounter at a work party Ben hadn’t planned to attend, he got in touch. The rest, as they say, is history.

How long have you been together? Our first date was Valentine’s Day 2013 (yep, brave), so three and a half years.

Do you have a proposal story? It’s something of a family joke that unlike his brothers, Ben is not at all musically inclined. However Ben asked his dad (who had then recently been diagnosed with MND) to teach him one song on the guitar and spent the following months secretly mastering it. Imagine my surprise when Ben organized a picnic at our favourite spot by the water in Sydney, and disappeared at one point, only to return with a guitar, which he started to play – and play really well. He rewrote the lyrics to a song so it incorporated our story and at the end, reached into the guitar case to pull out a box and bent down on one knee… The ring was designed by Ben and Jacque Fine Jewellery, with the central diamonds from his great grandmother’s engagement ring.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? April 15, 2016

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? Ceremony: Sacred Heart Church, Mosman; Reception: The Grounds of Alexandria

What made you choose there? We just wanted somewhere that felt intimate and not too formal – we really just wanted our wedding to be a huge celebration, with shared platters of delicious food, good music and wonderful people. We looked for quite a while for our reception venue, but as soon as we saw The Grounds, it immediately felt like ‘us’. Similarly, Sacred Heart is just a beautiful little church and felt very welcoming.

How did you find it? I could not rave about The Grounds enough. Ben and I had obviously never organized anything this big before and they helped us every step of the way in the lead-up and made sure everything went smoothly on the big day. The location itself is gorgeous, but combine that with fantastic staff and the exceptional food (oh my, the food!!) and it was perfect. The people are Sacred Heart were lovely and personable, and as hands on as you needed. 

How was the weather on the day? Beautiful. Sunny and a touch windy.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We needed to time it when Ben’s brother Paul was home from the UK, which was significant 1) because he’s Ben’s brother, but 2) because he married us.

The Wedding Details

Theme? Navy, white and burgundy. I love film and television, and Ben is a fan of Marvel superheroes, so we also had a few cheeky pop culture and superhero nods here and there.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest. I’d never used it before and it became such a lifesaver.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What?

  • We designed our invitations and the wedding booklets ourselves and had them printed at iDesign & Print.
  • I hand wrote all the table cards, by finding a calligraphy font I liked on Google and using it as a guide with a white pen on dark blue cards.
  • I also baked personalized shortbread biscuits for every guest as a party favour, using cookie cutters bought through Printsicle via Etsy. I also made slightly salty/slightly sweet popcorn, to tie in with our love of movies.
  • Every guest was also given a personalized Lego-style figurine to assemble at their table. We matched the figurines, whether it was Batman, or Thor, or Queen Elsa, to a person and individually wrote them a description that incorporated not only the amazing traits of the character, but also the guest we were giving it too. It meant that we were able to let every single person know how much they meant to us, and how thrilled we were about them being there. And yes, our mums both got Wonder Woman.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Hayley and Emily – both highschool friends.

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Cavan – best mate from highschool. And Nicholas – younger brother.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? Karen Willis Holmes was the very first store I went to. Everyone told me it would take weeks of searching and dozens of gowns before I would find the right one. But one gown at Karen Willis Holmes had caught my eye at One Fine Day and so we made it our first stop in a day of shopping.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? We went to One Fine Day for inspiration and I saw some of the gowns in the runway show.

How many gowns did you try? When we came into the store, my mum and bridesmaid picked out a couple of choices, but I went straight for this one particular gown. It was the first one I tried on. And that was it. It was unanimous – this was the dress. I tried on a few others, but the bar had been set and nothing else quite reached it. The time-frame to make the dress was tight because of the beautiful detail in it, but the amazing team at Karen Willis Holmes made it happen. As I was leaving the store, I asked the name of the dress. When the reply came “Ava”, I was stunned. I’ve been writing a novel for a couple of years and the dress had the same name as my main character. What are the chances? Believe in coincidence or not – I think it was meant to be.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? From the Paddington Sydney store, with the help of the lovely Hannah Kate. Also a big thanks to Susan who was at our fittings and just fantastic.

What did you especially like about your gown? Where do I start?! The fit, the intricate detail, the way the sheer overlay floated and how it could be removed when the dance floor got started. The look was a bit art deco, similar to my engagement ring (and which we also got vintage cars to tie-in with as well). There was also an indescribable element I’m sure other brides are familiar with. It just felt like ‘me’. I never thought I would wear a strapless gown – I actually didn’t have my heart set on anything. But once I put it on everything clicked into place. And I was honored to discover I would be the first bride to wear the Ava gown.


Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? InSitchu

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore a Swarovski bracelet we bought through Karen Willis Holmes and borrowed my mum’s Bulgari earrings. My bridesmaids bought/brought their own shoes and jewellery. I gifted them with cuffs from Jezebel Charms via Etsy, not for the wedding day, but so they had something unique to say thank you.

Where did you get your shoes from? Nine West.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Elizabeth Bower lace patterned hairpiece with Swarovski pearl and crystal accents. From Babushka Ballerina.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?

  • Create boards on Pinterest. It meant when we were organizing flowers/table decoration, we could easily convey the kind of look we wanted.
  • Yes, it’s stressful. But all the organization and emailing in the lead-up to the big day, meant that on that day, we could just relax and soak it all up.
  • Don’t do too much DIY. I loved making the cookies and Lego descriptions and they made all the difference on the day. But for some time I entertained the idea of creating our wedding cake as well and I’m so glad I didn’t. Making your wedding personal is wonderful, but having a break-down trying to achieve it by making absolutely everything would not be.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? I felt lucky in that it was the first shop and first gown I tried on. But I know it’s not the case with everyone. But don’t settle and also, make sure it’s what you want – not what everyone else wants. It’s easier said than done, but when you’re walking down that aisle, you want to feel like you’re still ‘you’ and not someone you don’t recognize. 

Something Old AND Blue? I had a little blue handkerchief from my childhood, which my bridesmaids held onto me for the day.

Something New? Swarovski bracelet.

Something Borrowed? My mum’s Bulgari earrings.


Florist – Church florals: Sydney Floral Events; Bouquets, button holes and Reception Florals: The Grounds Florals by Silva

Photographer – White Lane Studio

Videographer – White Lane Studio. We chose White Lane because I stumbled across one of their stunning wedding videos while searching for reception venues. With my film background, the video was important to me, and I was struck by how they capture the mood and tone of the day. Their photos are equally gorgeous. The way they incorporate natural light and the colours are beautiful. They’re also very relaxed and just a tonne of fun to have around for the day.

Music – At the ceremony: Lauren (vocals/key) and Matt (acoustic guitar) from Event Entertainers; At the reception: 6-piece band from Baker Boys Band.

First Dance – “I’ve Got a Question For You” by Rhett Miller

MC – Bride’s brother Jarrad

Celebrant – Ben’s brother Fr Paul Rowse

Cake – Sugar Bee Cakes, who did an amazing job creating a pretty quirky Captain America/Black Widow wedding cake with the lyrics “Home is Wherever I’m With You” – the song that I walked down the aisle to (an acoustic version sung against the guitar backing of Dirty Paws by Of Monsters and Men)

Bombonieres – Made ourselves

Hair – Chervonne and Sarah from Toni & Guy Manly

Make-Up – Make Up by Elizabeth, who does really beautiful, natural-looking make-up

Wedding Bands – Jacque Fine Jewellery

Extra features – Invitations and booklets designed by us and printed by iDesign & Print in Newtown (who also cut and folded the placecard paper)

Cars – Fifth Avenue Vintage Automobiles

Natasha & Todd's Margaret River Wedding

Posted on 16 Feb, 2017
Natasha & Todd's Margaret River Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We were set up by a mutual friend

How long have you been together? 5 years

Do you have a proposal story? Todd proposed on the Busselton Jetty, Western Australia on a Friday at sunset. We then spent the weekend down south at Bunker Bay. It was the most amazing blue sky weather for August!

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 14th November 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? Hay Shed Hill Winery, Margaret River, Western Australia          

What made you choose there?  We knew we wanted a down south wedding, both loving the region and growing up holidaying there. Hay Shed had everything we were looking for … an incredible chef, Jake Drachenberg, a relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff and the beautiful vista over the vines.

How was the weather on the day?  We woke up to blue skies and enjoyed them all day. The clouds came over in the evening for a pink sky sunset and the night closed with a lightning storm in the distance over the vines.

The Wedding Details

Theme? Whites, greys and greens. We wanted it to be simple, classic and natural.  We wanted it to be about good food and good company. To feel like a large dinner party for our nearest and dearest.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?  I loved trawling pinterest for ideas and really enjoyed the planning stage! Our venue already suited our style so we didn’t feel we needed to decorate too much. We both like a minimal style and wanted to try and keep things simple.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? My mum, Todd’s mum and I spent the afternoon together sewing linen napkins for the table. We also collected rose petals for months that our guests threw over us as we walked down the isle. I loved the idea of being showered by rose petals collected by family and friends.
I also hand wrote the escord cards for the table and soaked off labels from Hay Shed Wine bottles and replaced them with table numbers.

Chef, Jake Drachenberg takes so much pride in his food and created the most incredible menu for our wedding day. Something Todd and I will always be grateful for! It was hands down the biggest thing people raved about after the wedding!
We thought it was only right to paint up the menu so guests could read what they were being served. I hand painted it on to ply wood and stood it next to our “find your seat”  board.

Our whole dessert table was also DIY. A close friend, Krissie baked and cooked up a storm! Together we styled the table with concrete pots and gum leaves.

Our bonboniere were also homemade. Little jars of chutney and a play on words – TnT .. Todd and Tash.Together with family we spent the day making a tomato chutney so our guests to get to take home. A friend’s wedding a few years back had the same idea and we loved being able to take it home and enjoy it over the weeks to come. When it came time for our wedding, there was no doubt we were going to pinch this idea!

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?
Maid of Honour, Brodie – primary school/high school friend
Sofie – university friend
Rachel – high school friend

Groomsmen – who/relationship?
Best Man – Brad, brother of Todd
Luke – highschool friend
Liam – highschool friend

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?

Flower girl – Todd’s cousin’s child, Sophie
Page boy – Tash’s cousin, Macario
Macario carried a home made ring dish that was inscribed with a line from our vows … which was taken from our first dance lyrics .. “I’ll wait for you and should I fall behind, wait for me”
Our rings were tied with a piece of grey ribbon and rest on this clay dish.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I had an appointment at Zanzi’s Bridal, Subiaco. She’s a close friend of Karen’s … and said that she thought my style would more suit Karen’s designs. She told me a new store was opening in Perth and I should go and check it out. I had to wait a month or so for the shop to open and then I made an appointment.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I hadn’t!

How many gowns did you try? Only three! Third’s the charm

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Perth

What did you especially like about your gown? I really loved the two piece. I wanted some lace but was finding the full lace gowns too overwhelming. I wanted something more modern and light. I also wanted something simple, no layers, or tulle, or sparkle! The 'Sienna' gown was classic, and light, but modern and just elegant. I loved it. Still do!!


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Amsale in Dove Grey. I wanted full length gowns and let the girls pick the style they liked.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Myer.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? The girls selected their own shoes to wear with the dress in various nude colours.
Brodie and Rachel wore drop earrings I found on Hardtofind and Sofie (who wore strapless) wore a bar necklace from Samantha Wills

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes were from Tony Bianco

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My Mum made my veil. I wanted just a very simple strip of tulle and only wore it for the ceremony. My headpiece was from etsy… Anna Marguerite …It was a gold leaf comb which matched my little gold leaf earrings which were my Mums.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Work with people you love and enjoy the company of! Every one of our vendors were so wonderful. People we really admired for their work but also people we could see ourselves being friends with. This made the process so much more enjoyable!!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Be patient! And shop around!

Something Old? I wore my Mum’s gold leaf stud earrings which I’ve always loved. My Aunty also gave me my Nanna’s ring on the morning of the wedding as a surprise. It was such a beautiful moment and I’ll always treasure that memory of her popping in that morning. I wore this ring on my right hand. It was nice to have Nanna, who has passed, there with us.

Something New? My dress!

Something Borrowed? Mum’s earrings also fit this category!

Something Blue? Todd has always called me “Blue” because of my eyes. I figured that was all the blue I needed.


Florist True Love by Laura. Laura was incredible. She owns the Yelverton Protea Farm, a local native flower farm in Margaret River. She was an absolute joy to work with and I loved our florals.  She made an incredible wreath that hung from the gumtree we were married under. It was then carried up and hung over our dessert table.

Photographer – Eric Ronald. Eric flew over from the east to be a part of our wedding day. Photography was right at the top of both of our lists for Todd and I so we knew it had to be someone special. Eric was just so friendly and warm to work with. He truly loves weddings and committed so much time to be with us the day before and all through our wedding day. He was even there until midnight photographing the lightning!  He caught some incredibly beautiful candid moments and was able to capture the beauty of the south west which we wanted. We can’t speak highly enough of him.

Videographer – My uncle works as a film maker in Sydney. His little son was our page boy! We are so grateful he played the role of family member and videographer for the day! We’ll always be grateful for the footage he captured.

Music – DJ Damo for the dancefloor. My brother, Chris played guitar and sang at the ceremony. And a collection of my uni friends (we all studied music together) sang and played after dinner in a surprise for Todd! His favourite song, Dancing in the Dark – bruce springsteen.

First Dance – If I should Fall behind – Bruce Springsteen. We both heard this a few years ago when we were in the Macedon Ranges watching Bruce perform at Hanging Rock. It’s a wonderful ballad that has lyrics which really resonated with us. We used them in our vows.

MC – Todd’s university friends, Dave MeHarry and Josh Johnson

Celebrant – Laurissa Knowles

Stationery – The Little Press. Emily created our custom letterpress invites to mirror the gumleaves and native flowers that we so love!! She was just the most beautiful person to work with! And crazy talented!!

Menu – Jake Drachenberg

Cake – Our friend Krissie styled and cooked the dessert table. My Mum, Lisa made a chocolate roulade which we cut together. It was a recipe she learnt to make with her Mum (Nanna) so it has very special memories.

Bombonieres -  Chutney jars made by family

Hair – Ashley Pacey, Eric Moran Hair

Make up – Carmen Atkinson

Wedding Bands – Antony Colin the Jeweller  

Montsalvat- Karen Willis Holmes Campaign Shoot

Posted on 15 Feb, 2017
Montsalvat- Karen Willis Holmes Campaign Shoot

The end of 2016 finished on a high for the Karen Willis Holmes team, shooting the exciting new campaign at Montsalvat, Australias oldest artists colony in Eltham, Victoria.  The shoot features new Karen Willis Holmes gowns from the BESPOKE and DYG collections, as well as revisiting our favourite gowns from the current collection.  

We decided to shoot at Monsalvat because it exudes an old world romance synonymous with the Karen Willis Holmes brand through the contrast of whimsical internal and external spaces, soft tones and sweeping hills.  The classic example of French provincial gothic style architecture features extravagant exhibition halls with cathedral height ceilings, striking stained glass windows that lead to small corridors, spilling onto the richly established gardens.  The winding stairs inside twist around to tiny balconies, offering a breathtaking view of the grounds & the numerous historical mud brick buildings that surround.  Peacocks and ducks roam wild, adding drama to the whimsical space & creating a perfect backdrop for the 2017 Karen Willis Holmes campaign.

It is simply a photographer's dream to shoot at Montsalvat with Bek Smith working her magic behind the lens & Bunched together providing the stunning botanicals & foliage that perfectly complimented the gowns we were shooting. Videographer Lauren Schulz interpreted the shoot from another perspective, showing off all the gowns in movement.  Sultry eyes and deep plum lips finished off the looks by talented make-up artist Sophie Knox.
Lace featured, with long sleeve corded lace overlays & nude slips, glamorous ball gowns with sweeping trains & structured fitted gowns creating a modern romance throughout the grounds.  We are so excited to share with you this beautiful shoot put together by an incredibly talented team.    

Abbey Bodice & the Selena Train

Gerry Bodice & the Melanie Skirt

Gerry & Merida

Milani Corded Lace Overlay


Ophelia & the Joni skirt



Blake bodice & Prea skirt


Shelly bodice & the Melanie skirt

Shelly bodice & the Samantha skirt


Ophelia bodice & the Joni skirt


Gowns- Karen Willis Holmes

Photographer- Bek Smith

Florist- Bunched together

Hair & Makeup- Sophie Knox

Videographer- Lauren Schulz

Model- Brooke Meredith

Location- Montsalvat, Eltham