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Kasey-Lee & Ben's Timeless Wedding

Posted on 02 Mar, 2016
Kasey-Lee & Ben's Timeless Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We actually went to high school together! So we knew each other from grade 8 onwards. We dated in grade 8 for a few days (I was his first ever girlfriend!!) –after that little fling we went our separate ways during high school. We then caught up again during Schoolies week at Airlie Beach. Ben always jokes that I am his first and last girlfriend! 

How long have you been together? 8.5 years- we started officially dating on Feb 12th  2007 (during O-week of university)  I started to get worried that I was on a 10 year probation or something before he would ask me to marry him!

Do you have a proposal story?  We had just moved into our newly built house and one weekend we invited our families over for a big lunch to welcome them into our new home.  That morning, Ben wanted to take me to breakfast at the Heritage Tea Rooms up in Harvey’s Range (which is absolutely gorgeous btw if you’re ever up our way!) -but I told him I really didn’t feel like it as we had so much preparing, cooking etc. to do for the big family lunch. (Ben’s family is Italian, so they eat a LOT) So after we had finished eating lunch, Ben stood up- in front of everyone, pulled out an AMAZING looking ring from his pocket and just asked me straight out!  He explained he was meant to ask me up in the mountains at breakfast and then come back and share the good news with everyone at lunch- but I had changed his plans and so he improvised. I was so shocked! He then went on to explain that he had been planning this for a long long time for me and how he had helped design the ring that was hand crafted by Jay from Kim Bartlett. I immediately fell in love with my ring, it is absolutely stunning- a total of 1.75 car- a cushion cut 1.1car center diamond with a halo and diamonds either side, set in platinum. I couldn’t stop staring at it and thinking how lucky I am!  Both of our families were wrapped that they got to be a part of the experience, although looking back now, I really wish I had have said yes to the breakfast up at the tea rooms, it would have been so romantic! At least we have a funny story to tell now.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 7th June 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?    Ceremony- The Sacred Heart Cathedral, Townsville. Reception- Picnic Bay SLSC, Townsville

What made you choose there? We were originally going to have our ceremony in the Queens Gardens (where some of our professional photos were taken), but in the end we chose the Sacred Heart Cathedral, it is absolutely stunning. It was undercover in case of rain, and it is so grand! We had a string quartet playing, which filled and echoed through the entire cathedral, and Ben’s great Uncle Father Dave was able to be our Priest. It still gives me goosebumps and makes me smile thinking about the moment Dad walked me down the aisle to Ben.

The reception was on Townsville’s Strand headland – it overlooks the ocean and across to Magnetic Island. It has a big covered deck and grass area for all to be seated on to enjoy the sunset and island views. The roofing also meant we were able to get fairy lights, drapes and chandeliers strung up to make it look really romantic yet still with an open and airy feeling.

How did you find it? The surf club has the best views of Townsville for our out-of-town guests to experience.  We didn’t really want to be cooped up in a dark venue. Both locations are very close to each other and also to the city, so it was easy for guests to get around easily and access everything no worries.

How was the weather on the day? The day was perfect- not too hot, not too cold, and no rain. The sunset was apparently stunning at the reception. 

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? June is a beautiful time of year in North Queensland- the sunsets are spectacular and the weather is perfect. It was also the Queens Birthday long weekend.  We were married on a Sunday so our out-of-town guests could travel up on the Saturday and back on the Monday and not have to sacrifice work commitments etc. It is also ironically the same weekend that Ben’s parents were married on 25 years ago as well. 

The Wedding Details

Theme? Blush, rose gold

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest!!! It was my second job!

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What?Of COURSE!  We tried to save $ wherever we could so we could have more towards our honeymoon! We didn’t have a wedding planner. We had a deal- if I planned the wedding then Ben planned the honeymoon. We must mention that we were very lucky to have many friends in the right industries who helped us out immensely towards our day- so we did get some great discounts or complimentary services. We are so so grateful and realise this is not the case for everyone getting hitched!

-The invitations, ceremony booklets, name place tags, seating arrangement sign and favor stickers were designed and made by my very talented mum Kerry (Kaebee Designs) I will never forget the day all my bridesmaids, mum, grandma and mother in law came over my house a few months before the wedding and had a lovely girls day putting together all the invitations. Some parts were very tedious (copper foiling!), but well worth it- we are a little bias and think they look so beautiful and unlike any invites we had seen before!

-Our favors were little jars of mango chutney handmade by my grandmother who lives in Bowen. Of course made with delish homegrown Bowen Mangoes!  She really needs to publish the recipe or make it in bulk because everyone was raving about it weeks after the wedding wanting more!!!  We tied some lace and chevron neutral material and copper twine around the tops of the jars and mum made stickers that said “spread the love”.  We also got a few mini pomegranate candles if anyone didn’t want mango chutney.

-As we didn’t have a wedding planner- This was my second full time job for a while!.. I sourced and organised everything for the day including the venues, accommodation, caterers, entertainment, decorator, photographer, florist, cake and hair & makeup.  I highly recommend anyone also DIY’ing to do up a wedding day run sheet with times, places, who’s involved and details columns. Go over it with all those involved and double check everything and once finalized, print copies for yourself, groom, photographer, drivers, both immediate families, MC, entertainment /band/singers and the venue managers so they all know what’s going on and when and everything should run to plan. Also we recommend when doing up your seating plan- draw big circles/rectangles for the tables and write every guests name on mini sticky notes to stick at each table.. this means you can easily chop and change people at different tables without having to start over!

-I sourced all the reception and table decorations both online and at local homeware shops.  I fell in love with the copper flower boxes with our names and date hand stamped – these were from Rainy Sunday online if anyone is interested. I also found matching copper mason jar lids from a local homeware shop. The sequin rose gold and sequin chevron rose gold and white table runners I found online in bulk. Copper milk jars were from typo & the little jars for the mango chutney were from Just Jars online. I also handmade the gold foil table numbers in wooden photo frames and the eye spy game.  The table seating plan was made from an old easle that we repainted white, and a mirror.  We stuck big fake flowers and vines around the edges of the mirror and then the table arrangements in the middle of the mirror.

-My other grandmother sourced and put together all the flowers for the table centerpieces from a local lady and then went down to make sure everything was set up correctly at the surf club before the ceremony started. She also spent a few months collecting lots of the little jars from her friends for the candles to go onto the tables.

-Ben and I bought our photobooth backdrop second hand on gumtree and added more materials from spotlight!  We also got some dress up props from the crazy shop and an insta polaroid camera for our DIY photobooth.

-All the desserts for the dessert table were homemade up in Ingham the week of the wedding and frozen until the big day. Myself, mother in law, grandmother in law and a few Lancini family friends all made the trip up to Ingham to Bens great Aunts house, where we spent all day baking their favourite traditional Italian sweets. We made around 200 of each dessert- chocolate and vanilla cannoli’s, powder puffs, peach blossoms, creamed horns, orange blossoms, storch, lemon biscuits, triple chocolate biscuits, lace biscuits and almond bread.

-The cars we used on the day were all owned by family and friends- three white SUV’s- two white Audi’s for the bridesmaids and groomsmen and the bridal car was a white Lexus.  The car ribbons we bought online and looked up a tutorial on how to put them on!

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

-My younger sister Bekki

-My best friend Danielle (MOH)

-Ben’s younger sister Samantha

Groomsmen – who/relationship?

-Ben’s younger brothers Luke and Mitchell

-Ben’s best friend Tim (best man)

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?

-My little niece Sialle was our flower girl.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I couldn’t find anything I liked at the bridal shops in Townsville, and I had no clue what style I wanted so couldn’t get one made! So mum suggested we take a girls trip down south. Of course I jumped at the suggestion, and mentioned I had never been to Melbourne before- so it was done. We booked many appointments along high street in Armadale and also in Collins Street in the city. I was having no luck at all, and was getting quite anxious and frustrated. Then we walked past KAREN WILLIS HOLMES.. and the Caitlyn gown was on the mannequin in the window, I was adamant I had to try that dress on. We walked in, I didn’t have an appointment, but the very helpful staff (Enza and Sally) were able to fit me in within an hour for a private fitting! As soon as the gown was on me, I knew it was the one.  When I walked out to show my mum, she started tearing up and was speechless. The ladies also made me try the similar style Alexandra dress as well just in case, but I liked the Caitlyn better. The Armadale store didn’t have my exact size in stock, so luckily Karen herself was flying to Melbourne the next day and so she bought my dress with her and I got to meet her!  WOW- Things are meant to be sometimes!

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I had never seen or heard of KAREN WILLIS HOLMES before I saw the boutique on High Street that day. One of the unfortunate downfalls of living in North Queensland- we don’t get the really good things like the capitol cities do!

How many gowns did you try? Countless! But only two at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)?  The High Street Armadale store

What did you especially like about your gown? It was so unique to anything I had ever seen or tried on before.  It fit like a glove- all I had to do was get it taken up. It was just very me!


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? The Fashion Gallery in Townsville- they were taupe coloured Alfred Angelo gowns.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? The boys hired their suits, shirts and ties from New Park Menswear in Townsville. Their shoes were all Julius Marlow’s from Style Tread online and their cufflinks were all from Myer.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I fell in love with the Samantha Wills blue head comb for my something blue. I then found teardrop crystal earrings and matching bracelet from The Silver Shop in Townsville to compliment the belt I wore with the gown.

For the girls, we got them each a Samantha Wills white marble bohemian Bardot ring and some beautiful pearl drop earrings from a jewellery store in Melbourne.

Where did you get your shoes from? I really wanted a pair of special heels as a keepsake of the day..some nude Valentino heels were my dream.. but I had to be realistic- we had a budget to stick to and I knew they would get wrecked on the day anyway. So instead I went for price and comfort and got mine and the bridesmaids heels from Betts- mine in silver and the girls in nude.  - Whilst on our honeymoon in Paris Ben surprised me & took me to the flagship Valentino store and I splurged on the nude Valentino rock stud pumps. 

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a beautiful cathedral length silk tulle veil.  It was very sheer and soft with raw edging so as to not take away from the details on my gown. I also liked the traditional idea of the ‘veil over the face’ whilst walking down the isle and since we were in the cathedral; it had to be cathedral length!  My friend and dressmaker Hester from Ja Delle Designs gave the veil to me as a gift; she also spent many hours taking up my beaded gown and sewing in bra cups.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?

-Make a budget and stick to it. (we made an excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything!)

-Try to save on your wedding day wherever you can so you have more to enjoy for your honeymoon! I know it sounds selfish- but its only one day and it will be amazing for you and your family/friends no matter how many layers the cake is or what brand of champagne you’re serving. We had an amazing day and got to enjoy a four-week honeymoon in Paris and Italy afterwards!

-Ask your guests to put away their phones/cameras at the ceremony-best thing we did! This is the photographer’s job. We now have beautiful photos of our guests actually enjoying the ceremony and not behind their phone screens.

-Enjoy being with each other all day and night- don’t leave each others side- it’s your day! If people want to come and talk to you, they will.  We made this mistake at our engagement party- we didn’t see each other all night! So this time we didn’t make an effort to go around separately to tables and make sure everyone was happy- we wanted to enjoy & make the most of our day together, and not have to worry about how everyone else was feeling.

-Sneak off just by yourselves at some stage during the day or night and enjoy a quite little moment together!

-If something goes wrong or not to plan, (which thankfully didn’t happen to us) but- don’t let it ruin your day- there is probably nothing you could do about it anyway, just move on and remember its not the end of the world and why you are celebrating this day!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown?

-Definitely don’t give up hope if you are having no luck- sometimes things happen for a reason and are meant to be! 

-You really do ‘know’ when it is ‘the one’, so if you don’t get that 100% feeling, then it’s not the right dress for you.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day.

Ben and I had agreed no wedding presents to each other on the day- but I couldn’t help myself. He had spoilt me so much with my engagement ring and he didn’t want a fancy wedding band, so I really felt I needed to give him something special he would cherish for the rest of his life as well and maybe one day hand down. Ben has a thing for watches- he has 11 now.  So I secretly saved and saved and saved & finally went and got him a classic black-faced Tag Heuer Carrera watch.  He is a smarty-pants, very cluey and kept asking me why the budget was out and not matching up with where it should be-I kept having to try to dodge the subject! Ha! Apparently the look on his face when he opened his present on the day was priceless. 

Something Old? White crochet hankie

Something New? The Dress!

Something Borrowed? The veil

Something Blue? Samantha Wills head comb


Florist – Townsville Flower Market- I wanted a bouquet that was not too perfect/structured, blush colours and long stems. Peonies and roses are my fav so they had to be in there! For the bridesmaids and flowergirl, I loved the look of simple big bunches of babies breath.

PhotographerSweet Mary Photography.   Katie, one of my talented friends owns Sweet Mary and so there was no other choice for us!

Videographer – NA- we wanted to remember our day as we saw it from our own eyes.

Music – Laurence Sorbello.  Was FANTASTIC!!!  Highly recommend him!  Laurence is a local who a few years ago made it to the top ten of Australian Idol.  Our families all love live music, country and rock- he specialises in this and did an amazing job.  He had the whole set up- stage, lighting, smoke, and can even organize fireworks. Between his live sets he DJ’s as well! From the end of our first dance until we were told it was home time everyone was up on the dance floor having a blast, it was so much fun!

First Dance – ‘A thousand years’ Christina Perry followed by Father daughter dance of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinkin out loud.’

MC – Peter Motti- Our friend who we went to school with. He currently lives in UAE and made the trip all the way back to AUS to be there for us.  He loves a good yarn, is very organised, quick thinking, and knows how to crack people up, so it was a no brainer for him to be the MC! We also had friends from Hong Kong, and interstate Australia who traveled great lengths to share our day with us. We are so thankful.

Celebrant – Ben’s great uncle- Father Dave Lancini

StationeryKaeBee Designs (owned by my mum Kerry)

Menu – Michel from Essentially Fresh catered our wedding and absolutely nailed it.  We gave him the task of keeping our large families/big mob of Italians full, and he delivered! 

  • For canapes there were 6 different dishes including: Pork belly, prawn and avocado tostadas, duck crepes, scallops, beetroot & goats cheese & caramelized onion stacks, mini beef burgers.
  • For mains- we didn’t have the traditional alternate drop- we wanted to have big share platters in the middle of the tables so people could eat as much or as little as they liked, and eat whatever they liked.  It also really encourages people to mingle and interact with each other. We had three main dishes for guests- and enough servings so each guest could have all three dishes if they wanted. The share platter mains included eye fillet wrapped in prosciutto with sides of roasted potatoes tossed in garlic butter, char grilled king prawns served in a chilli garlic sauce on beds of rice, organic whole chicken legs with sides of seasonal steamed vegetables.

Cake – another of my talented girlfriends Karina from Just Peachy Cupcakes was no other choice for our wedding cake!  We had a small three-tier cake of white and dark choc marble mud cake, lime and coconut mud cake and Karina’s secret traditional fruitcake.  She also made us some delish macaroons as well.

Bombonieres – Homemade Mango Chutney and mini pomegranate candles.

Hair – Pamela from Da Vinci, my hairdresser and friend of 13 years

Make up – Cheree from Urban Miss Make-up, my friend and best MUA in Townsville

Wedding Bands – Jay Bartlett from Kim Bartlett Master Jewelers.  Ben’s 18k gold band & Kasey’s platinum with diamonds all around.

Extra features – Decorator - a local lady from Magnums Weddings set up the ceiling lighting, drapes, chandeliers and chairs.

Other –  All in all, we are so lucky we have such wonderful family and friends who all helped us out in one way or another to make our wedding day so special - it would not have been the day it was without any of them. xxx

ONE FINE DAY - Melbourne 2016

Posted on 29 Feb, 2016
ONE FINE DAY - Melbourne 2016

Off the back of a fantastic show at ONE FINE DAY Sydney we were thrilled to be a part of the runway show held at the Melbourne ONE FINE DAY last week.

We love being apart of these events because it gives us a chance to share with your just a snippet of our collections - most excitingly some pieces from our new DESIGN YOUR GOWN collection of tops and bodices you can mix and match to create your perfect gown.

Massive snaps go to the OFD team as well as Your Song, for the soundtrack, a jaw dropping floral installation to frame the runway show by the girls over at Mary Mary, flawless makeup under the creative eye of Kate McCleary,and stunning gold leaf hairstyle by Pure Chica. 

Also, thanks to Nicholas Joel Photography on these stunning images below.



DESIGN YOUR GOWN Collection - Harper Top with Nina skirt, finished with a high-low hem.

WILD HEARTS Collection - Faith gown

WILD HEARTS Collection - Faith gown

DESIGN YOUR GOWN Collection - Essie top with Julianne skirt

BESPOKE Collectio - Sophie gown

KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES - Anya gown styled with the Genevieve skirt overlay



Posted on 24 Feb, 2016

We are excited to be able to share our new collection - DESIGN YOUR GOWN.  Months in the making, this collection is an extension of our principal collection - BESPOKE.

Featuring over 9 bodices and 9 skirts the possibilties are endless with over 91 different combinations - you truly will be spoilt for choice! From strapless, boat neckline and v-necklines, to fitted, full and flirty skirts wedding dress shopping just got a whole lot more fun.

Pieces can be kept separate or sewn together as a finished wedding gown. Selected pieces are in each of our boutiques, so please contact info@karenwillisholmes.com to ask about your favourite combinations.


Eliza skirt styled with (L-R) Kitty, Blake, Essie, Ella, Zoey, Abbey and Leonie bodices

Frances skirt styled with (L-R) Zoey, Abbey, Leonie, Kitty, Blake, Essie and Ella bodices

Franki skirt styled with (L-R) Abbey, Leonie, Kitty, Blake, Essie, Ella and Zoey bodices

Joni skirt styled with (L-R) Blake, Abbey, Essie, Ella, Zoey, Leonie & Kitty bodices

Julianne skirt styled with (L-R) Essie, Ella, Zoey, Abbey, Leonie, Kitty & Blake bodices

Melanie skirt styled with (L-R) Leonie, Kitty, Blake, Essie, Ella, Zoey and Abbey bodices

Mimi skirt styled with (L-R) Ella, Zoey, Abbey, Leonie, Kitty, Blake & Essie bodices

Nina skirt styled with (L-R) Blake, Essie, Ella, Zoey, Abbey, Leonie & Kitty bodices

Alexia skirt styled with (L-R) Kitty, Abbey, Essie, Ella, Zoey, Leonie and Blake bodices

ONE FINE DAY - Sydney 2016

Posted on 19 Feb, 2016
ONE FINE DAY - Sydney 2016

ONE FINE DAY was held again this year in Sydney a few weeks back. We loved sharing bridal gowns from all four collections on the runway during the two day event!


Under the creative direction of Petr from PV Hair & Makeup, the model’s showcased the latest trends in Hair & Makeup, inspired by New York’s Couture 2016 runway show’s, with hair slicked back into chignons highlighted with gold leaf and beautiful make up using Benefit Australia products.

The extremely talented Esther & Naomi from The Sisters created a jaw dropping installation which was the focal point of the parade.  The parade would not have been the same without a rocking live DJ from The Vintage Stylus, a stunning bouquet arrangement from Miss Adams and beautiful accessories from Bride La Boheme. 

All images are by the talented APL PHOTOGRAPHY.

DESIGN YOUR GOWN Collection - The Blake bodice and Franki skirt

BESPOKE Collection - Piper gown


BESPOKE - Paige gown


DESIGN YOUR GOWN - Ella bodice & Melanie skirt

DESIGN YOUR GOWN - Ella bodice & Melanie skirt

WILD HEARTS Collection - Ingrid lace overlay (styled with Slip - with front slit)

DESIGN YOUR GOWN - Kitty bodice and Nina skirt - full length

Stay Tuned as we are also part of ONE FINE DAY - Melbourne this weekend, and the upcoming Perth fair in April, 2016.


Kareena & Ryan's Byron Bay Wedding

Posted on 17 Feb, 2016
Kareena & Ryan's Byron Bay Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? At the Coogee Bay Hotel through my flat mate at the time. Courtney was a good friend of both of us and later became one of our bridesmaids.

How long have you been together? 3 years.

Do you have a proposal story?  Ryan proposed to me on 8 November 2014 Gerringong, Sth Coast NSW. We had perviously walked the headland at Werri Beach and decided to return and run it. Ryan knew this was an ideal place to propose. Nobody around, beautiful farmland and scenery overlooking the ocean. I am a hard person to surprise so Ryan ran with me each Saturday morning for 8 weeks straight so when he asked me to run the Werri Headland it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. Ryan carried the ring in the back pocket of his board shorts. He later told me he was excited, not nervous but more excited as we started running. We got to a point and turned around to head back when Ryan dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. It really did the trick and I was shocked. It was perfect.  The weather was stunning on this day and we celebrated by drinking champagne on the beach followed by lunch and dinner together, a full day to celebrate.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 3 October 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?   Park near Clarke’s Beach, Byron Bay and Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club

What made you choose there? Byron is our absolute favourite place in the world and holds lots of amazing memories for us.

How did you find it? Prior knowledge of the area

How was the weather on the day? AMAZING!!! Not a cloud in the sky, barely a breath of wind and about 25 degrees. The whole week was like that, which made it so special for our friends and family who had taken time of work and travelled so far for us. We still cannot believe how lucky we were.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? It happened by chance, but the date did end up having significance for us. We met on AFL grand final day, 2012. 3 October 2015 was AFL grand final day.

The Wedding Details

Theme? Gold, rose gold, white, natural timber and greenery

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest mainly. But I was right in to my shiny metals in my own home at the time.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? My very dear friend Jenny made our entrance sign and our wishing well, my maid of honour made the buntings for the back of the chairs at the ceremony and I made the rest of the signage at the reception. I also had a lot of the candles made by a friend at work who own Hunter Divine Candle Company.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

Emma - Maid of Honour. Best friend throughout our schooling, starting at age 4

Amanda - Eldest Sister

Melanie - Middle Sister

Courtney - Best Friend. Introduced Ryan and I. Ex flat mate.

Shana - Best Friend. Partner in crime through our teenage years. Sister from another mister.

Belinda - Best Friend from school and beyond.

Groomsmen – who/relationship?

David - Best man. Best mate. A very special bond

Murray - Younger brother

Trent - Youngest brother

Samuel - Best mate. Surfing buddy. They have travelled a lot together. Originally met at work about 8 years ago.

Troy - Ex flat mate. A very good friend who would do anything for his mates.

Jono - Best mate. Now lives in Darwin but their friendship remains very strong.

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?

Sophie - Our beautiful niece. Melanie’s daughter

Mason - Our gorgeous nephew. Sophie’s little brother

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?  I have always loved KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gowns. The Anya gown was the first ever gown I decided I wanted to try on when I first began looking on the internet.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I have been a bridesmaid 5 times so I have been to David Jones Bridal once or twice ;) I have always admired the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gowns there. I have also followed KAREN WILLIS HOLMES on Instagram for a long time.

How many gowns did you try? About 6. I was told I had very little chance of getting the Anya gown, as it was an off the rack gown and was in high demand. So I was trying to make myself like something else. My mum asked me if I only felt that way about Anya because I knew I couldn’t have it. I thought about it but decided that wasn’t the case. When my dress finally came in and I tried it on, there was no doubt about it I had made the right choice to wait.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? David Jones Bridal

What did you especially like about your gown? The sequins and how they looked under light. I always thought I would wear lace, as did everyone else. So I loved how I surprised every body on the day.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? White Runway.

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

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore a Jannie Baltzer head piece. I always wanted to wear my hair out, but I find it quite annoying. The head piece was a great way to control it and keep it off my face. It also really suited the dress. I wore a bracelet belonging to my mum. My two older sisters have also worn it on their wedding day. I wore earrings given to me by Ryan on my birthday, the first birthday that we were together.

Where did you get your shoes from? The Iconic.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Headpiece - see above. I also wore a veil. I borrowed it from my sister Amanda. I think it was Lisa Gowing. 


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? The small details really really didn’t matter on the day. The week leading up is busy and stressful. But if you forget to do something, I guarantee you will be the only person who notices it.

Depending on the requirements of your venue, I recommend getting a stylist. I did not have to worry about a thing on the morning of the wedding. I knew Rachael from The Events Lounge would do an amazing job. And that she did. I couldn’t even fathom the thought of having to set all that up on the day.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Think about your body type and what suits you. Be comfortable. It’s a long day with a lot of photos taken. You want to look at ease and like you are enjoying yourself.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. We felt so blessed by the amount of people who travelled to Byron Bay to share our special day. And by the generosity they brought with them. 140 people made it to our destination wedding! We had the time our our lives!


Florist - Elyssium Blooms. As recommended by Rachael from The Events Lounge. They have a very close working relationship and friendship. The florals were extremely well priced, in my opinion.

Photographer - Ming Nomchong from Sail Me to the Moon. AMAZING! I absolutely loved her work before and I couldn’t be happier with my photos. She’s amazing. And such a lovely lady. Excellent with customer service and replying to emails. Can’t rate her highly enough.

Music - Nick Saxon. Nick is a good friend of Ryans. However, is available for weddings and has a beautiful voice. Nick was willing to learn anything we asked of him. We had a pre-dancing play list and a dancing playlist. Everyone was up dancing very early. We had to cut the pre-dancing short so we could get in to it!

First Dance - Is this love by Bob Marley - sung by Nick. We didn’t really want to do a first dance so we made everyone do it with us.

MC - Ryan’s very good friend Jamie Watts. The poor man, we gave him very little information and at the very last minute but he did an excellent job. He didn’t pressure us when we were running around the day before even though he was freaking out that he knew nothing about the day. He was a champion about it.

Celebrant Katrina Holt. I found her on Instagram and was instantly drawn in by her kind face. I also liked the fact she didn’t have any big flashy adverts out there. She was new to the Byron area from Freshwater in Sydney. Freshwater was where Ryan lived when I met him. On our first meeting (via Skype) she made us feel relaxed and at ease. She is a lovely lady who wrote a beautiful ceremony for us. We had a lot of compliments on how personal the ceremony was.

Stationery - Made by a family friend, Sarah Hampton. Sarah’s family own Colour Print Solutions at Bulli, NSW. We had pineapples all over them. We wanted people to get a fun vibe from our invites so they knew it wasn’t going to be a traditional wedding.

Menu - We had a cocktail reception so our guests could mingle and get the party started early. The Larder were our caterers. They were excellent. As well as roving finger food and fork boxes, we had a huge antipasto grazing table. It was a big hit! The Larder were a joy to deal with.

Cake - Rebellyous Cake Co. It was 4 tiers and I had a different flavour for each tier. Lemon mud, raspberry ripple mud, dark chocolate mud and her signature flavour, coconut lime mud. Elyssium Blooms supplied the flowers for the cake, which Rebel likes to arrange herself. I got a cake topper made saying ‘Mr & Mrs Good’. I got that off Etsy.

Hair - Fuz Hair Byron Bay. Kali did a great job on my curls. I was very nervous as I had a few trials before with curls and hated it. On the day they were perfect.

Make up - Emily Graham Makeup Artistry. Emily was a friend of a friend who has become a friend of mine. An absolutely gorgeous lady. Emily and her sidekick Georgia Richards did an amazing job. All the bridesmaids loved their makeup. Everyone looked beautiful.

Extra features -Stylist - Rachael from The Events Lounge. Rachael worked with me on creating my dream wedding. Rachael listens to what you want, creates mood boards and makes selections around this. Rachael used Hampton Event Hire and Lovestruck Weddings for the furniture hire. Both had a lot of amazing pieces. We also hired plants from The Borrowed Nursery and lighting came from North Coast Events. The photos show it all. It was beautiful and beyond what we had imagined.

Robynne & Rob's Botanical Wedding

Posted on 10 Feb, 2016
Robynne & Rob's Botanical Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband?  I worked with his cousin but we had never met.  A co-worker was playing a show at a bar and Rob came with his cousin.  We hit it off immediately and were together ever since.

How long have you been together?  5 years

Do you have a proposal story?  We were travelling for 6 months in South East Asia and he proposed on a remote island in Cambodia on the morning of Christmas Eve.  We were collecting shells along the beach and Rob hid the ring in a shell and handed it to me and then got on one knee. 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date?  Sept 26 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)  Ceremony was in the courtyard of a woodworking shop and the reception was in the same venue inside the workshop.

Where? Bon Accord is the name of the venue.  Located in East Vancouver, BC, Canada.

What made you choose there?  Our friend owns the workshop and I absolutely loved the courtyard.  The ivy on the walls and the rusted corrugated metal, I loved all the colours.  I liked the idea of it being industrial and transforming the space.  He had never hosted a wedding ceremony at this venue before.

How did you find it? My friend owns the workshop and sometimes throws parties, so I thought it would be beautiful for a wedding.

How was the weather on the day?  It was perfect.  It was raining the entire week leading up to the wedding and on our day the sun came out with blue skies.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We wanted to get married in Fall and we knew that September was usually great weather in Vancouver with less chance of rain.

The Wedding Details

Theme ? Industrial Boheme.  Colours were soft pastal hues contrasted with rich deep reds in the flowers and Persian rugs.  Rose gold and brass finishings for the vases and candle holders.  I had a rose gold sequin runner on the beautiful wood table with the food.   I used amber bottles and rose gold mercury vases for the flowers.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? I really wanted a modern bohemian wedding.  I knew I wanted my aisle to be layered Persian rugs.  I knew I wanted rich fall colours but also a soft feel.  I wanted my flowers and bouquets to look very wild and natural.  I used pinterest a lot for gathering ideas.  

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I made lace tambourines, which I found the DIY on pinterest.  These we had for the bridesmaid and had a couple on the benches for the guests to shake after the ceremony.  I also made fresh dried flower confetti which I put into little cones that were made from pages of an old dictionary.  I strung together 100 feet of large black tassel on rope that we strung up above the dance floor in the workshop. 

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?   My three sisters and sister in law.

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Rob’s two best friends, cousin and brother.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?  I had seen the Wild Love editorial for White Magazine by 35mm Photography with the model wearing the Genevieve lace overlay and nothing else underneath.  I instantly fell in love and knew it was my dress. 

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before?  This was my first time.

How many gowns did you try? I didn’t try any other gowns.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)?  My brother in law was in Sydney and so I arranged for him to pick it up from the head office! 

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the scalloped lace in the front and the idea of having my legs showing.  I also loved the sleeves, the back and that it was a wrap.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? The skirts were from Anthropologie and the tops were all mix and match from two Canadian retailers called Aritzia and Scoop.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? The Groom’s suit was from Strellson and he finished it off with a tie and pocket square from an Australian brand OTAA.  The best man wore Kenneth Cole, and the rest wore Top Shop.  

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party?  I wore a short Tashi necklace with a tiny star because my last name was going to become Starr.  I also wore a chunky rhinestone bracelet and vintage looking ear jackets from Stella and Dot.  My bridesmaids all wore a small bracelet that I made.  

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes are from Shellys London.  

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I was supposed to wear the flower headpiece but decided not to wear it and instead put it on our dog Charlie for some photos.  I wore it later in the evening.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? If you plan your own wedding, I recommend hiring someone for the day of preparation.  I was completely calm and relaxed on the big day because I had full confidence in my day of planner.   Also don’t sweat the small stuff!!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go with something that flatters your shape and plays up your best features.  Don’t be afraid to show some leg!

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day.

Something Old? My wedding bands were actually my Mom’s rings which my Dad gave to her on her 30th bday.

Something New? The tiny star necklace that I wore was given to me by my best friend at the wedding rehearsal dinner.

Something Blue? A vintage embroidered hanky that had been indigo dyed.  When I saw that it was monogrammed with the letter “R” (Robynne + Rob)  I knew it was perfect to use to wrap the wedding bands in for the ceremony and be my something blue.


Florist – My friend Alexandra Schulze @alexandra.schulze

Photographer www.rebeccaamberphotography  and www.jamielaurenphotography.com

Jamie Lauren Hodge @jamielaurenphoto   Lindsey Is @rebeccaandlindsey

Music – Walked down the aisle to The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Wedding Song.  It is haunting and beautiful and my favourite band.   We also had a friend and guitarist play an acoustic version of Oasis “Wonderwall” when we signed our marriage license.

First Dance – Plants and Animals “Before”

MC – My brother in law and one of my best friends.

Celebrant – Rob’s Uncle

Menu – We had a taco food truck cater, they are the best tacos in Vancouver, Tacofino.  Also had a catering company Boy with a Knife for appetizers and cheese and charcuterie.  For dessert we had another food cart set up and make mini donuts - Dees Donuts.

Make up -  My sister did my makeup.

Extra features – We had a photo wall area set up with a polaroid camera so that people could stick them into our guest book.

Zoe & Andrew's Polished Wedding

Posted on 03 Feb, 2016
Zoe & Andrew's Polished Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We met at University (QUT) in 2003, where we were both studying Health Science. I caught his eye whilst waiting for a lecture, we eventually became friends, but it took him over a year to convince me I should date him haha!

How long have you been together? 12 years.. yes a long time!

Do you have a proposal story? One of my favourite places to holiday is Byron Bay, so Andrew took me for a surprise weekend away, we stayed at Watego’s Beach at a beachside apartment where he proposed on the balcony while drinking wine and watching the sunset, followed by dinner at the amazing Rae’s on Watego’s Beach. He knew I never wanted to be proposed to in public – so he did well! Everyone thought he would propose on one of our overseas trips – so it was a surprise for everyone, as no one knew we were away!


The Wedding

What was your wedding date? Saturday the 24th of October, 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)


Ceremony – The Queensland Terrace, State Library of Queensland

Reception – The Roof Terrace, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)

What made you choose there? GOMA is one of our favourite buildings in Brisbane. We loved the open, modern, minimalist appearance of both venues as well as the amazing views.

How was the weather on the day? It rained in the morning but was overcast/sunny in the afternoon which was perfect, our Ceremony commenced at 4pm.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? Well my favourite flowers are white Peonies, I thought they were around come October/November but it turned out October was a bit too early, so I had to settle for something less! Spring is also our favourite season weather wise and the 24th of October was one of the few dates both venues were available throughout October.

The Wedding Details

Theme ? Our colour theme was black, white, gold & copper (anyone that knows me knows that I only buy things in those colours! I am not a fan of too much colour!) I also love anything initialed/monogrammed – so I just had to have A & Z initial light up letters as a feature on the day at the reception, which I eventually found! I also love fairy lights, which I insisted on having running vertically down the entire length of the large white wall at GOMA, our lighting guy must have been cursing me, as it wasn’t an easy task! Everything else was fairly simple, lots of white flowers was all I really wanted!

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? I already had in mind what I wanted but drew the most inspiration from Instagram, I searched things separately on Instagram at my own pace.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I did most things myself, from designing the invites, the layout of the venues, to the place cards, table numbers, the seating plan and run sheet etc. My Dad even made the seating plan easel, as I didn’t like what was on offer, it had to be simple and white! We purchased the topiaries, vases, frames for the table numbers, cake stand, wishing well basket etc, plant stands and pots and painted them all to fit in with our colour theme.  I ordered the bonbonierres online from Kayla Bombardier Designs; mum and myself did all the styling.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Lauren Pender (Maid of Honour) and Liz Fisher, both friends of mine. I am an only child so no siblings of mine in the bridal party!

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Lawrie Simmonds (Best Man) and Lloyd Jones, Lawrie is a mutual friend of ours and Lloyd is one of Andrew’s 5 brothers.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? The Paddington store is up the road from my place in Brisbane (a little too convenient haha) and was one of the few places in Brisbane that stocks stylish modern dresses, of high quality and in beautiful fabrics.

Where have you seen our gowns before? I drive past the Paddington Store window almost every day! So I was always on the look out!

How many gowns did you try? Maybe around 5 but I already had the Prea gown in mind with the Selena overlay over the top! I had seen the pieces separately on the website as well as on Instagram and in the shop window!

Where did you purchase your gown from? From your Paddington store, Brisbane.

What did you especially like about your gown? I wanted something different, something that I could change about it in the evening, so I loved that I could take the overlay off at the reception and just have the Prea gown on for our first dance. I also loved the fabric, the crisp colour, the quality, the fit, the detail and the overlay was just devine how it sat and flowed. It was very me, it was absolutely perfect. I think people expected me to wear something quite fitted so it was a bit of a surprise!


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Zimmermann

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

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? Earrings from Molten Store, Brisbane for the Bridesmaids and I. The Groom & Groomsmen had country road socks, MJ Bale bow ties and we found silver cufflinks online printed with their individual initials.

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes were from Tony Bianco as well as the Bridesmaids; the Groomsmen & Groom’s shoes were from Aquilla.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? No, I did not, I thought the addition of the Sylena overlay was enough! I wanted to keep it otherwise simple.


What advice would you give brides organising their wedding? Take it slow and enjoy being engaged, it’s such an exciting time! Otherwise, give yourself plenty of time to perfect it, get your venue and photographer organised first and everything else will follow. Most of all, don’t have too much time between the ceremony and reception, time them as close together as possible to keep the day flowing. Our guests were able to conveniently walk from the ceremony straight across to the reception. Lastly, ensure you have champagne and canapés organised for the Bridal party during the photos, an absolute must!

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Try as many different styles on as you can, you might not end up with the style you have in mind. I never thought I would have a strapless dress!

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. My Mum went in the car with my Bridesmaids on the day also, I didn’t want to leave her out! 2 of Andrew’s brothers (Oliver & Dylan) learnt our ceremony songs and played them on the Piano for us.

Something Blue? Not intentionally but I noticed KWH sewed a little blue bow in the inside of my gown, gorgeous touch!


Florist Flowers by Forrest, Anna Forrest. We were blown away with the flowers on the day, they were absolutely gorgeous, beyond what we ever imagined!

Photographer Lucas & Co Wedding Photography

Music – Radio Club Band

First Dance – Endless Summer Cover by Josh Pyke

MC – Ben Kunde (Friend)

Celebrant Vogue Vows, Johanna Murray

Stationery – Save the dates, invites, place cards etc all designed by myself.

Menu – GOMA Catering.


1. Gin compressed watermelon, buffalo haloumi, elderflower gel (v) (gf)

2. Air dried wagyu, egg pearls and mustard cream (gf)

3. Jamon wrapped quail saltimbocca, sage emulsion (gf)


1. Hervey Bay ocean king prawns, potato gnocchi, broad beans, crayfish sauce
2. Crisp free-range pork belly, layered potato, caramelised apple puree, coriander oil (gf)


1. New England lamb rump, lamb braise tortelloni, celeriac and minted sauce
2. Wild caught barramundi, warm red pepper salad, baby caper and sage butter sauce (gf)

Cake – Rustic Pastel, Brisbane by Kate Lee. Lime and Pistachio Naked Cake with Buttermilk icing and fresh Roses.

Bombonieres – Kayla Bombardier Designs. Candles in boxes with ribbon – both initialed with our names and wedding date.

Hair – Donna Korn, Hairdresser and Makeup Artist, Brisbane – Extremely talented, by far the best in Brisbane!

Make up – Donna Korn, Hairdresser and Makeup Artist, Brisbane

Wedding Bands – Zoe: Canturi, Brisbane

Extra features – A & Z Light up Letters – LES Event Styling, West End, Brisbane. Lighting – Shane McNamara, Brisbane.

Other – Light up of the big Fig Tree in front of the reception venue, GOMA Lighting. Wedding Cars: Limoso Limousine Service, 2 x Black Mercedes Benz S-Class




Lauren & Dylan's Romantic Garden Wedding

Posted on 27 Jan, 2016
Lauren & Dylan's Romantic Garden Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We met at a music festival on the Gold Coast called Summer Field Days. I approached him in the crowd and said “hey, you have a nice smile”, it was love at first sight.

How long have you been together? When we got married We had been together for around 3.5 years.

Do you have a proposal story? Dylan planned to propose on our one year anniversary and had it all planned, ring and everything. but the morning of I got really sick with a stomach bug. He had to cancel his plans and little did I know at the time, it meant my ring went in to hiding for a whole year. On our second anniversary his plan finally came together. he hired a beautiful apartment overlooking the same beach where he first asked me to be his girlfriend, then he recreated our first date. afterwards in the apartment he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. The most romantic part for me was opening a sealed card which he had written a year earlier asking me to be his wife. 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? Third October 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

1.     Where?  Gold Coast Hinterland

2.     What made you choose there? The venue is just stunning. After viewing it I could not imagine having our wedding anywhere else.

3.     How did you find it? Lots and lots of googling and viewing different venues.

How was the weather on the day? We were blessed with the most amazing weather, not a cloud in the sky. Although we had wet weather plans in place we really had our hearts set on an outdoor ceremony and roofless marquee reception so we were incredibly lucky.

The Wedding Details

 Theme?  Our theme was classic, romantic, Intimate, garden wedding. The venue was so beautiful on it’s own, I really wanted that to be the feature and stuck with a less is more approach to the styling. Our Colour theme incorporated white flowers in all different textures, lush green foliage to accentuate all the beautiful hedges and vines at the venue, raw wooden tables and a touch of grey. The open marquee reception with wine barrel chandeliers and fairy light draping were definitely a standout. Whilst all the styling was done by myself we hired stylists Little Gray Station to set it all up on the day. Seeing it all come together just blew my mind. I would highly recommend having a stylist on the day. It allowed us to just relax and enjoy the day. Also they reused our beautiful florals from the ceremony at the reception which really made it that little bit more spectacular.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? When we first started planning our wedding I spent a lot of time on pinterest and reading wedding magazines. But as it drew closer I stopped looking for inspiration as I was starting to feel overwhelmed and started to question our theme and styling. I ended up going with my original ideas, most of which I had dreamt up all my life and I am soo happy we did. I don’t think you can go wrong with a classic white wedding.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? Most of our furniture and decorations were hired through Hampton Event Hire however our menu’s, signs and placecards were handmade. My Mum made the table runners to fit the length of the tables which were set in a U shape to keep our reception intimate.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We wanted a spring wedding, When we booked the date we had no idea it was a long weekend! This actually worked against us as it turned out to be one of the most popular dates we could have chosen. But it does mean we should get a long weekend each year for our anniversary.


Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

Ange – Maid of Honour / Best Friend. My Bridesmaid Shannon introduced me to Ange around 7 years ago. Ange was My wing woman and stayed out on my 25th Birthday to catch up with Dylan for the first time since we met, so it is in part thanks to her that we ended up together. Ange was so helpful throughout the whole process of planning our wedding, my way of saying thankyou was to have her as my maid of Honour. She also organized the most amazing hens party and made a fantastic wedding speech, so she was a great choice!

Shannon – Bridesmaid /Childhood Friend Shannon is my longest friend, we met when we were just 5 years old. There really was no-one else I could imagine standing next to me on the day. We compliment each other and although we now live in separate states, each time we catch up it’s as though no time has passed.

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship?

Zane - Best Man / Brother in law. Dylan first met Zane when he started dating his sister Laura. Over time Zane not only became part of the family but also one of Dylans best friends and he considers him as an older brother. 

Austin – Groomsman / Brother. Austin is Dylans younger brother, born On his 7th birthday. Despite the age gap they have always been really close and he considers him as one of his closest friends.

Luke – Groomsman / Childhood Friend. Dylan and Luke have been best mates since they were 6 years old. Throughout the years they have shared many great times together and have always managed to stay in touch given the great distance and extended times apart.

Clint - Groomsman. Out of Dylans four groomsmen he has known Clint over the shortest period of time but has developed a friendship just as close. Dylan has realized that time is not a factor when determining what makes a best mate.

3.     Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?  Dylan’s younger brothers, Jordan & Josh were our ring bearers. 


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I really wanted a long sleeve gown and after seeing the long sleeve crops online I had a good feeling about this designer.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I came across them in Bridal magazines and through Google.

How many gowns did you try? Karen Willis Holmes was the first wedding dress shop I went to and My dress was only the third dress I tried on. As soon as I slipped it on, before it was even properly done up I knew it was the one. My now husband could not believe I found a dress so quickly as I am usually very indecisive. I got that amazing overwhelming feeling that everyone tells you about where you just know it is the one.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? The Paddington store in Brisbane. The service was fantastic.

What did you especially like about your gown? I love absolutely everything about my gown, I am honestly obsessed with it! I love the fit, the detail, the pleating, the fabric, the quality, the way it moves when you walk but mostly I love the way I feel in it.  I particularly love that I could get two completely different looks from my dress by layering the crop and peplum belt over the top. For our ceremony my dress was very demure and elegant with the long sleeves and train. For the reception I wore it strapless making it more cocktail. A lot of guests thought I had a complete outfit change which was great as I felt I had two wow moments. 


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? My bridesmaid dresses were from Shieke. I always wanted them to wear different dresses but in the same fabric so these were perfect.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? The groom’s suit was custom made and the Groomsmen’s were from Rodger David.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I kept my accessories to a minimum as I did not want to take away from my dress. Myself and my bridesmaids wore Samantha Wills earrings, which were part of their gifts on the day. I wore a bracelet borrowed from my Mum. It was a gift from my late Aunty which my Mum wore on her wedding day so it had a lot of emotional significance for me.

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes for the ceremony were Nine West and I wore navy blue heels from Forever New for the reception.

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



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Go with your instincts. Try not to get to invested in everything being perfect. Things can go wrong but you have to roll with it and don’t let it ruin your day. The most important part really is the vows and the commitment your making to one and another.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Wait for your moment, you will know when it is the one.



Florist Elyssium Blooms. I cannot recommend them enough. I came across their work through instagram and fell in love. They understood my vision and went above and beyond my expectations on the day. We got exceptional value for money. All of our guests commented on the flowers and at the end of the evening most people got to take some flowers home from the table settings which was great.

Photographer Heart and Colour. Originally I enquired with another photographer who was booked out however recommended Heart And Colour – I am so glad they did because they are amazing. They were an absolute pleasure to deal with from day one and their work is incredible. We felt so comfortable with them on the day and I think that translates in our photos.

Music – Explosive Entertainment. They were very professional and easy to deal with. Their equipment is state of the art and everyone was on the dance floor all night.

Celebrant Nicole Evans. A friend of ours used Nicole at their wedding and recommended we use her. As soon as we met with her we connected and knew she was the right celebrant for us. She is so warm and genuine. all of our guests commented on how fantastic she was at our ceremony.

Stationery – Invitations were by Senna Jean Designs. Senna created exactly what I imagined for our invitations.

Menu - Handmade

Cake Rebellyous Cake Co. Not only did our cake look great, it tasted amazing. We had white chocolate coconut mud and dark chocolate mud tiers served with icecream as desert, it was delicious.

Bombonieres – Instead of Bombonieres we had a photobooth from Flashers Photobooth Hire. guests got two prints, one went in our guest book and one they took home as a momento. This was great fun for everyone. We got a copy of all the photos taken on a USb at the end of the night and had a lot of laughs going through them.  

Hair – Hair by Amy Louise. Amy is so lovely and did such an amazing job. We each had different styles and our hair stayed perfect all night. Amy also colours my hair and colour matched clip in extensions which I wore on the day. They blended so perfectly it just looked like my natural hair, only better.

Make up Angela Walsh H&M. Angela did such a fantastic job of our makeup. She is a perfectionist, her work is flawless and photographs very well.

Wedding BandsCTJ Jewellery. Their jewellery is quality and their prices cannot be beaten.

Stylist – Little Gray Station. They are very professional and their work speaks for itself.

Furniture HireHampton Event Hire. Very easy to deal with and professional.


Meghan & Rob's Beautiful Byron Bay Wedding

Posted on 22 Jan, 2016
Meghan & Rob's Beautiful Byron Bay Wedding


Often the weeks leading up to a wedding can be quite chaotic, which is why Rob decided to prank his bride-to-be Meghan in hopes of lightening things up a little. “My father and father in-law arrived to my shower and said Rob had been in a fight. Rob came in just after covered in bandages on his head and his arm in a sling. I burst into tears and pronounced that my wedding photos were ruined,” explains Meghan, who was thankful it was all just a rouse.

On a more serious note, this pair had their minds set on the idea of a marquee wedding that gave them the flexibility to make it whatever they wanted. Byron View Farm was the winner. “It was the perfect blank canvas with so much potential for styling to transform it,” says Meghan who wore a beautiful gown by Karen Willis Holmes.

Captured by Nick Evans and Meghan and Rob wanted styling elements that would stand out to their guests. From The Little Events Co. copper mugs with signature cocktails, to large copper cage pendants hanging from the ceiling among floral swings by The French Petal and even a champagne tower instead of a cake thanks to Wedding Shed.

After all that was said and done, these newlyweds have one piece of advice: “Have lots of wine on hand and be prepared to threaten divorce before you’re even married. But among those weeks when you think you’re becoming an alcoholic, there will also be moments that the puzzle pieces come together and you can begin to see something of your imagination come to life.”

CREDITS Photos Nick Evans Photo // Bridal gown Karen Willis Holmes // Hair piece Mecca Cosmetica // Robes MLM Intimates // Shoes Windsor Smith // Accessories and bridesmaid gifts Mimco // Rings Argyle Jewellers // Hair and makeup Alex Ouston Beauty // Bridesmaid dresses C/MEO Collective // Bridesmaid shoes Tony Bianco // Groom and groomsmen suits (jacket, shirt, and pants), cufflinks, bow ties, shoes and groomsmen gifts Calibre // Socks Happy Socks // On-the-day Coordinator Byron Bay Weddings // Florist The French Petal // Stationery, wedding favours and signage Gabrielle Stjernqvist Designs // Printer Stitch Press// Ceremony, reception and marquee Byron View Farm, NSW // Catering Figtree Restaurant // Champagne Tower and prop / furniture hire Wedding Shed // Decorative elementsByron Bay BuntingCotton On and Myer // Wedding favours Prilep Candles // Furniture hire The Little Events Co. // Lighting and sound hire Byron Audio // Entertainment Amy Kate Music,Sterling Silver Music and DJ Tooshoes // Transport Magic Bus // Cinematographer Florido 

Emma & Clint's Romantic Industrial Wedding

Posted on 20 Jan, 2016
Emma & Clint's Romantic Industrial Wedding



How did you meet your (now) husband? We met through mutual friends over 8 years ago

How long have you been together? Six years

Do you have a proposal story? Clint had decided to propose to me on St Albert’s bridge, London, when we were over there for Christmas 2014 (to visit my sister and witness the birth of our second niece). I was completely shocked as Clint had always said that he would never propose overseas and that our Pug, Franklin, would be involved if we were ever to become engaged.  My parents were in London at the time, and Clint had arranged that they would be waiting as a surprise on the other side of the bridge. On the night of the proposal, we were actually supposed to be having dinner with friends that evening, and when Clint casually suggested that he wanted to take some photos of the bridge on the way, I baulked, concerned that we would not have time; my sister (who was also in on this) convinced me that we would have time. Once we got to the bridge, Clint said he would run ahead to get the photos he wanted – I didn’t suspect anything as Clint always took forever to take photos – so the first inkling I had was when I reached Clint on the bridge and saw that he had a toy pug beside him – with a ring on its tail! It took me some time to get over the shock and to realise this was for real (he had previously jokingly proposed twice before).  Clint then walked me to the other end of the bridge where my parents were waiting for us.  We all then went to a pub to share a celebratory drink.


The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 28/08/2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

1.     Where?     Powerhouse Brisbane – We had the ceremony at the Ruins/Stones Forecourt area and the reception on the Rooftop Terrace. 

2.     What made you choose there? We absolutely loved the building and have spent a lot of time there throughout our time together.  We liked the idea of having the wedding and reception all in one place.  Clint, being an architect, wanted to have the wedding in a character building with an industrial vibe.  Further, Clint and I had our first date at the dog park (we both love dogs) right beside the Powerhouse.

How was the weather on the day? It was raining first thing but by lunch time it was really sunny and quite warm.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We wanted to have a winter wedding as we did not want the weather to be too hot.  We got engaged at the start of the year and decided that we didn’t want to have to wait a year and a half for the wedding (as we didn’t want all the drama and planning to last that long) so we contacted the Powerhouse to see if they had any dates left in late August early September.  We liked the idea of a Friday afternoon wedding.  We wanted late August/early September so that my sister and her family would have time to organize to come out from London. 

The Wedding Details

Theme ? We both really liked the industrial vibe of the Powerhouse with the exposed brick walls and graffiti.  To really fit in with that, I wanted to have a lot of greenery in the space.  I’d loved, when we lived in London, how there were lots of beautiful exposed brick buildings with lots of greenery everywhere – this was the theme that we were going for.  With the ceremony space, Amey (Pack a Perfect Party) did not have to do too much with the space as we chose a place at the Powerhouse that had exposed brick walls and was covered in a green vine.  The Powerhouse had not actually used this space before for a wedding ceremony so Amey was able to arrange with them for us to use it.  Amey brought in some lovely timber chairs, and lined the aisle with greenery.  With the reception space, we wanted to have a nice, relaxed, feel.  We chose to have a cocktail wedding to suit this.  I asked Amey for lots of greenery and fairy lights – Amey ran with this and the result was amazing.  She did such a wonderful job and she was such a delight to work with.  Clint and I both love wooden furniture and Amey brought in beautiful wooden tables and a lounge set.  With the flowers, I initially wanted a lot of greenery with white flowers.  Last minute I decided to include a touch of lavender into the flowers – thank goodness Amey from Pack A Perfect Party was there to help with everything.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? From living in London.  Pinterest was also very helpful!

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? No – Initially, I was thinking of doing this.  I am very glad I changed my mind though as I felt a lot less stressed once Amey came on board.  She was such a sweetheart and made our wedding look so beautiful.


Bridal Party

Bridesmaids ? Jasmine Copeland (Matron of Honour) – My sister.  Sian Robinson (Friends since the age of 4 – went to primary school, and high school together and grew up in the same street).  Sophie Hart (Friend since high school).

Groomsmen ? Phil Inthisan (Best Man – Clint and Phil met at Uni).  Greg Foll (Clint’s friend from Uni).  Nick Kathage (friend through Greg).

Flower girls/Page boys ? Mia and Isla Copeland (our nieces)


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? My parents live near the Paddington (Brisbane) store and I have been driving past the store for years.  I’ve always been excited to see the new gowns in the window every few weeks.

 How many gowns did you try? I tried on about 15 dresses at other places.  I tried on five other dresses at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES before trying this dress on.  I wasn’t going to try it on as it felt so heavy.  As soon as I put it on, I knew that it was the dress that I wanted.  I had really wanted an open back dress.  The wonderful ladies at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES suggested that I could take the lace out of the back of the dress.

Where did you purchase your gown from ? KAREN WILLIS HOLMES store at Paddington, Brisbane.

What did you especially like about your gown? I really loved the lace and the detailed sequin/bead work in the gown.  I also loved that it was fitted and had cap sleeves as I did not want a strapless dress.  I had wanted a dress with an open back.  The wonderful ladies in the store suggested that I could take the lace out of the back of the dress.  My nana did this and we then used the lace on my veil.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? As the bridesmaids each had their own unique style, I wanted them to pick whatever dress that they wanted and felt comfortable in.  We decided on black as it would tie the dresses together.  My sister got her dress from a store in London.  Sian got her dress from Review.  Sophie got her dress from Zimmerman.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? All of the suits came from Michael Innis at West End, Brisbane.  They were so wonderful to work with and made the experience of choosing suits really fun.  Their suits were also really well priced.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I was very lucky that I am good friends with Tammy who owns Artisans Gems and Jewels at Paddington Brisbane.  She said that I could wear anything from the store.  I chose a pair of rose gold diamond earrings.  I got my headpiece from the Molten Store (Brisbane based designer).  I got the girls earrings from the Molten store as well (champagne coloured earrings).

Where did you get your shoes from? Stuart Weitzman shoes from David Jones. 

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My nana made my veil – we purchased $20 worth of ivory tulle from a fabric store.  She used the lace from the back of my dress and put this on the veil. I used Pinterest to help me choose what style of veil that I wanted. Everyone really loved the veil which is wonderful given that it cost $20. 

My headpiece was from the Molten Store.  As my dress was so detailed and I was wearing a veil, I wanted something simple in my hair that could sit at the back of my head.  I went into the Molten Store as I love the jewelry and accessories in the store. Jessy (the owner/designer) was so wonderful.  She helped me find a head band that sat at the back of my head (so that it wasn’t seen from the front).  She also helped me choose the bridesmaids earrings (and the mother-of-the-bride’s earrings).




What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?  Use suppliers that you feel comfortable with.  For me, having good working relationships with the suppliers was key as it meant that I could clearly discuss what I wanted and trusted them.  I was very lucky to have Amey from Pack a Perfect Party styling the wedding and doing the flowers – she was so calm and lovely.  Britt Spring was phenomenal.  She made me feel so relaxed despite my hatred of having my photo taken. 

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown?  Choose a dress that suits your personal style and that you feel comfortable in.  I always knew that I did not want a strapless dress with a large skirt.  I tried a few on (to appease my mother) but they did not feel like me.  As soon as I put on the Alexandra dress at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES I knew it was the dress as I felt like me in it.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day?  My parents surprised me with a London, black taxi to transport us to the wedding (as I used to live in London and it is my favourite place in the world).  Sian surprised me with a donkey to come along for the photos.  She did this as I love donkeys and had commented on wedding photos where there had been donkeys present.  I was very lucky that Amey had previously styled a wedding with a donkey so she made some flowers for the donkey.  Further, Britt had previously photographed a wedding with a donkey in the UK.


Florist and decorating– Amey from Pack a Perfect Party.  She was a dream to work with.  The flowers were stunning.  I told her that I wanted lots of greenery, white flowers, lavender, and very wild bouquets.  The flowers looked amazing. For the flowers, Amey used lisianthis, lavender, gum, rosemary, and ranunculus.  As soon as Amey saw a picture of my dress and Clint’s suit, she recommended flowers to help tie the wedding together.  I found Amey through my friend Sophie (bridesmaid).  Sophie had helped Amey with a few weddings.  I chose Amey because I had loved everything that I had seen of her work (on FB and Instagram).  As soon as I met her I knew I wanted to work with her as she was so happy, kind, and enthusiastic.  Amey also ran a flower crown making workshop for my Hens.  Amey did such an amazing job and everyone at the hens loved her.

Photographer – Britt Spring Photography.  Britt is the sister of one of my friends.  I had a look at Britt’s website and straight away knew that I wanted to have her as the photographer.  I loved the style of photos that Britt took.  Britt (and Suz her assistant) were so lovely.  They both knew that I hated being in photos, but they made me feel so comfortable.  Britt created such beautiful photos.  Again, we both feel really lucky to have had Britt at our wedding.

Music – We used an iPod.  We played Sia’s Breathe Me whilst I walked down the aisle.  For the signing, we played The Middle East, Blood.  For the recessional we played Jose Gonzalez Heartbeats.  During the reception, we played a mix of our favourite music including Alt-J, Bloc Party, Chvrches, East 17, Flight Facilities, The Jezebels, Louis Armstrong, and Two Door Cinema Club.

First Dance – Jimmy Durante – Make Someone Happy

MC – Christopher Asnins (Clint’s friend he met through skateboarding)

Celebrant – Dina Browne.  Dina used to work at Channel 7 with my parents.  Dina was wonderful to work with.  She worked with us to create a ceremony that was very reflective of both Clint and me.

Stationery – Jenna Hooper Creative – Jenna did a really beautiful job with our Save the Dates and invites.  Jenna is a good friend of mine and is such a phenomenal graphic designer.  Clint drew the Powerhouse and Jenna put this drawing on the invites.

Menu – Zen Catering – the food was great.  As we had cocktail style, we had lots of canapes and bigger bites going around all night.  The food included house-made Alexandrian falafels, beef and burgundy mini pies, soft-flour tortillas, mini Black Angus cheeseburgers, and mini cinnamon doughnuts with espresso dipping custard.  The caterers were wonderful to work with and were happy to change anything to meet dietary requirements. 

Cake – Flour and Chocolate at Morningside.  The cake was delicious.  We had a three tiered cake.  The bottom layer was chocolate, the middle was buttercream with raspberries, and the top layer was chocolate with raspberries.  The layers were separated by white chocolate ganache.

Bombonieres – We had a large range of spices in test tubes from Pepper & Bean.  Pepper & Bean were great to work with.  They were very helpful in suggesting different spices to include. 

Hair – The Powder Room – The women from the Powder Room were wonderful.  We all loved our hair and make up.  They created a really relaxed and fun environment on the day.

Make up The Powder Room

Wedding Bands – Artisans Gems and Jewels – they also made my engagement ring.  I felt very lucky to have such beautiful, handmade rings.  My brother-in-law works there and so Clint was able to help make his own wedding band.

Natalie & Mitchell's Classic Beach-side Wedding

Posted on 13 Jan, 2016
Natalie & Mitchell's Classic Beach-side Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband?  I used to teach after school dance and the dance studio was located inside of a gym where Mitchell worked out. One day, after finishing my dance lesson he confidently approached me and introduced himself. Our conversation flowed really effortlessly and hasn’t stopped since!

How long have you been together? 9 perfectly crazy and fun-filled years.

Do you have a proposal story?  Our proposal was magical. I had absolutely no idea it was coming either as Mitchell had never shown any interest or even talked about getting married. It was a magnificent summer’s day in Paris, so Mitchell suggested we do a picnic on the Le Seine, directly opposite the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral. We went to a delicatessen and bought delicious fresh local produce, 2 bottles of Laurent-Perrier Champagne then set up, ate and admired the river that sparkled brighter than diamonds and watched the swans float gracefully by. Dangling our legs over the edge of the wall we were sitting on, talking about how lucky we were to be living that perfect moment, he reached into his pocket and presented me with a beautiful ring and asked me the question “will you marry me Natalie”? Seconds later we had an acoustic guitarist sing and play the song “Wake me up” by Avicii as we slow danced and celebrated our engagement until the sun set. It honestly was a fairytale proposal. 




The Wedding

What was your wedding date?  20 March, 2015

1.     Where? Our Ceremony was held under the Rotunder on Balmoral Beach. The Reception was at The Public Dining Room, Balmoral and then water taxis collected us from Balmoral wharf and took us to Hugo’s Bar & restaurant in Manly for the after party.

2.     What made you choose there? Balmoral is just beautiful, we love being by the water and we wanted to incorporate the sea into our day to help provide a relaxed vibe. The Rotunder was built in the 1930’s and is absolutely picturesque; it is also only a 5 minute walk to the Public Dining room where we had our Reception which maximized the time we got to spend with our special guests on the most important day of our life!

3.     How did you find it? One random rainy weekend, we decided to get in our car to site inspect Balmoral. We drove past the Rotunder, parked and then walked straight into the Public Dining Room. It was perfect, even on a miserable day. We asked for the events coordinator who was conveniently on site, then asked her for the first available date for a wedding and booked it on the spot. There was not a single thing more we needed to do with the venue to decorate as your view is a beautiful Morton Bay fig tree and 180 degrees of the harbor. It’s an understated and exceptionally elegant venue!

How was the weather on the day? The morning was blue skies, a slight breeze and sunny, so basically it was absolutely incredible and perfect for a wedding. I danced around the house ecstatic about the weather until just my luck, a dark cloud starting rolling in 30 minutes before I got in the car to drive to the ceremony. It rained on and off and it was windy (however my beautiful KWH veil blew perfectly). Thankfully it held off for the ceremony but we made a quick dash for the reception an hour earlier than we were scheduled to! The staff at the Public Dining room are incredibly professional and promptly set up the room and had the champagne flowing in minutes!

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? It was love at first site with the venue so we wanted the first available date they had on offer!



The Wedding Details

Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)?   Our life is based around the sea therefore it was important that our wedding day reflected that. The Public Dining Room offers the ultimate beachside dining experience with views that stretch from Balmoral and beyond, and equally delightful cuisine. We wanted casual fine dining in a relaxed beach style setting. There were delicate white flowers, scented candles and crisp white linen.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? The beautiful harbor view was our inspiration and we trusted the event planner from the Public dining room to take it from there.



Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship? My sister Samantha and sister in law Genevieve.

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship? Mitchell’s two brothers, Ryan and Alexander.

3.     Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Our niece and nephew. Matilda May was our flower girl and Kalani William was our Page boy.


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?  I had booked an appointment with David Jones Bridal. The KWH Jacqueline gown was the first dress I spotted in the store and the first gown I tried on. I really liked the style and fit of Karen Willis homes gowns, so I made an appointment in the Paddington KWH store to try on others. Every gown was amazing, but I had subconsciously already made up my mind and went with the Jacqueline. I also wanted to support our incredible Australian designers and honestly think my dress was better quality and more unique than any of the international designs I had tried on at David Jones Bridal.

 Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? A friend told me about Karen Willis Holmes on Instagram and I immediately logged on and followed the account.

How many gowns did you try? To keep my wonderful mum(zilla) happy, too many to count. My mum, mother–in-law and sister loved the whole experience of finding “the dress” and then all of the dress fittings after choosing it as the 4 of us would always make a day out of it.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? I purchased my gown from the Karen Willis Holmes store in Paddington.

What did you especially like about your gown? The Jacqueline gown is timeless. I put in on and knew straight away that this is what a bride should look like, elegant and to feel like a princess. The diamante clustered belt was breathtakingly beautiful and the way the gowns material glistened in the light was incredible. It had the perfect amount of body to it and the train had just enough length to it! 



Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? They also wore “Bec & Bridge” jumpsuits and “Mia Chicco” handmade jewelry. (miachicco.com)

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

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I had a 5 karat princess cut diamond necklace in platinum gold that sat high and delicately up on my neck.  My earrings were 4 carrot emerald cut studs and I had 2 amazing bangles around each of my wrists that were completely covered in princess cut and emerald cut white and black diamond.

Where did you get your shoes from?  Jimmy Choo.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My veil was by Karen Willis Holmes. It was stunning. When the light hit it, it sparkled. I plan on using it over our baby’s basinet one day.

What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Enjoy the whole wedding planning process as it comes and goes so fast. Take on board family and friends opinions but it’s important to go with your gut instinct as you can never keep everyone happy. Don’t compare your wedding to anyone else’s, as everyone’s is unique and perfect to them. It’s all about compromise - you won’t always be on the same page as your fiancé, so work through the planning together as a team and be sure to listen to all of their suggestions.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Be open to any style as when you try on that “dream style dress” it may not be the most flattering on your figure! Don’t try cram every single dress shop in on one day as it gets very overwhelming and exhausting.  Once you have found a shape that flatters you fabulously, stick to it. And of course – have fun!

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. We wanted our day to be an intimate celebration with our closest friends and family. It was to be casual and fun, making sure we had time to chat, have a drink and dance with everyone that attended.   

Something Old? My amazing mother’s garter from her wedding 38 years ago.

Something New? My fabulous Jimmy Choo’s!

Something Borrowed? My mother-in-laws gorgeous diamond jewelry.

Something Blue? A hand embroidered handkerchief by my sister saying “no tears” which was a gentle reminder to not get too emotional on my wedding day.   


Wedding Bands - Mia Chicco Jewelry.


Mia Chicco is an Australian jewelry designer who hand makes and sells beautiful bespoke jewels globally. Mia worked closely with Mitchell to create my engagement ring. It is 18 kt yellow gold band, has 6 Australian sapphire’s either side of a almost flawless cushion cut diamond. It had huge symbolic elements to it that Mitchell designed and Mia brought to life. The diamond represents our favorite Torre (Castel) in Positano that we holiday at every year and the sapphire’s where the Mediterranean sea surrounding the castle. Mitchells band is rose gold with a soft organic feel and slightly beaten finish and underneath it was the initials W.Y.L.C, which stand for “Without You Life’s Colorless and With You Life’s Colorful”. There is also a ruby next to it which is to represents me (Mitchell also came up with this concept).

Florist  - That Flower Lady  


I am so pleased I went with Aly (she did such a wonderful job at my sister’s wedding it was an easy decision). Her vivacious personality made it a fantastic and easy experience. I had so much faith in her that I let her completely take charge and come up with the designs, as flowers are her forte after all.

Make up - Jemma Browne Makeup  


I wanted very natural-looking makeup as Mitchell doesn’t like me wearing makeup at all. It was important to find a makeup artist who would be able to follow this brief and a friend recommended Jemma. The end result was perfect; I looked and felt beautiful. Jemma was very professional, sweet and followed my brief to a tee as well as the bridesmaids, mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-grooms brief too.

Photographer - The Loved Ones


Matt and his team are easy going and very professional. Mitchell and I don’t like our pictures taken so when we were recommended Matt and were told he would meet our brief, we set up a time to find out for ourselves straight away. He got to know us personally and absolutely nailed the brief. The pictures speak for themselves. Our photos are in the moment and absolutely gorgeous. We had no idea he and his team where even taking photos on the day.

Music  - XYDJ wedding DJ’s.


Simon and his team were seriously fantastic, they got our dance floor started litterally 1 hour after our reception had kicked off and there was not a single person in the room that was not tearing up the dance floor at some point in the night!

First Dance – “I’ll be your man” by the Black Keys.

Stationery - Kathryn Green


It was bespoke hand illustrated invitations by the talented “Kathryn Green”. Our stationary was incredible. We loved her designs and her ability to draw is extraordinary. Her energy and positive can-do attitude is infectious and her work speaks for itself. We chose the “Bountiful Bazaar” suite from her current collection. We though the colour’s matched in with the Morton Bay fig tree and the ocean beautifully.

Menu – Created by The Public Dining room.

We opted for standup cocktail as well as a few food stations scattered around the floor (the oyster shucking station and cheese station was a favorite) and of course the champagne was flowing! The food was Summery with Mediterranean influences and the Public Dining Room’s food philosophy is simple. They source the best seasonal ingredients to craft unique, fresh & flavorsome dishes using local produce.

Rachel & Simon's Wedding: As featured on Hello May

Posted on 18 Dec, 2015
Rachel & Simon's Wedding: As featured on Hello May

When Simon proposed, he accidentally handed Rachel a receipt instead of ring. “Certainly lightened the moment!” says Rachel cheekily who pulled her own unplanned prank by way of a million DIY decorations. “I may have a little bit of a problem with Op shopping and council clean ups haha. I may also have had a pretty EPIC vision that required a lot of handy man jobs haha… lucky the guys got so many sweet man skills!”

Captured by legendary photographer Scott Surplice of The Simple Things Studio, their wedding held at Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat on the New South Wales south coast was awesome for a whole range of reasons – their venue could accommodate ninety per cent of their guests and also boasted an African fire pit where they could sit and roast S’mores; their DIY decorations turned out to create a rustic, fun, vintage, homely and perfectly mismatched atmosphere and last but not least, Rachel’s gown by Karen Willis Holmes looked absolutely incredible.

“I’m so proud of what we achieved considering it was all styled, made and collected by ourselves. From the stationary to the table runners my mum made, the Ikea mismatched tea towels used as napkins, the incredible hanging centrepiece which was old scrap metal we found in Simons mums shed, the $5 Op shop rug we found for the ceremony stage… everything was just how we’d pictured it, better even, and we feel so blessed that so many of our friends and family contributed to it to make it a reality.”

See more real weddings and engagement shoots from The Simple Things Studio by clickinghere and here. This talented team of photographers have rocked our world on more than one occasion. You can also see other Kangaroo Valley weddings by clicking herehere and here!

Word from Hello May. 

CREDITS Photos The Simple Things Studio // Bridal gown Karen Willis Holmes // Robes Cotton On Body // Shoes Forcast // Accessories David Jones // Hair Sanctuary on Kahlua // Bridesmaid gifts Mimco // Grooms jack and vest Oxford // Pants Spencer Project // Tie Roger David // Grooms shoes Ted Baker // Socks Happy Socks // Barber Picturesque Hair // Groomsmen giftsRembrandt // Flowers East Coast Wildflowers // Stationery Fotolia and Officeworks // Ceremony and reception Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat, NSW // Catering Caterina in Kangaroo Valley // Cake Sweet Bones Company // Prop hire and furniture Acquired Style // CelebrantJane Zwar // Rings Waldemar Jewellers.

Clair & Allen's Botanical Winter Wedding - As featured on Nouba

Posted on 16 Dec, 2015
Clair & Allen's Botanical Winter Wedding - As featured on Nouba

When Allen proposed, Clair thought they were just taking a regular old selfie. They were watching the sunrise on a Bali beach when Allen set the timer on his camera. Seconds later he was down on one knee, much to Claire’s surprise and best of all he captured the moment on camera! The two tied the knot in their hometown of Terrigal NSW, at Holy Cross Church before celebrating into the night at Splash Restaurant.

This is one occasion where Allen wasn’t on camera duty, so together with The Cleverkids‘ heart-melting film, it was up to Keelan Christopher to capture the day. The Central Coast photographer caught this couple’s eye on social media, where they fell in love with his moody style. “He seemed to think outside the square,” Clair says, “taking images that are so unique. We knew we had to have him as our wedding photographer.”

With its sandstone walls and cathedral windows, the Holy Cross Church was a sentimental choice for these high-school sweethearts – it’s the same church Clair’s parents were married in 30 odd years earlier. Being a winter wedding, Clair and Allen kept to a decadent palette of deep greens, rich reds and warm candle-light, creating a romantic and indulgent atmosphere.

The Botanical Workshop are responsible for the lush styling of Clair and Allen’s reception, bringing their vision to life with an indoor forest of ferns, magnolia trees, jasmine and cherry blossom. If we weren’t already green with envy over this foliage-strong setting, the hanging vines and floral installations by Florafull have well and truly tipped us over the edge!

When it came to this babe's bridal look she was very specific, and Luxe Makeup Artistry listened and delivered - “I have always loved a classic red lip and long sweeping lashes so my make-up artist paired it with a liquid eye liner to enhance these features.” 

Katie of The Botanical Workshop crafted bouquets from a combination of Clair’s favourite flora – and fauna surprisingly... “I've always loved the Australian bush and we both missed it so much when we lived overseas, so gum leaves were a must in styling. Katie knew that I loved birds and even surprised me with some pheasant feathers in my bouquet!" 


Images Keelan Christopher Photography | Bride's Dress Karen Willis Holmes | Bride's Shoes Windsor Smith | Groom's Suit Blaq | Hair Hayley Dutton | Makeup Luxe Makeup Artistry | Ceremony Venue Holy Cross Church | Reception Venue Splash Restaurant | Flowers The Botanical Workshop | Catering Splash Restaurant | Stationary/Invitations Love vs. Design | Floral Installation Florafull | Cake Ever So Sweet Cakes | Videographer 

Lesley & Nick's Beautiful Scottish Wedding

Posted on 10 Dec, 2015
Lesley & Nick's Beautiful Scottish Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? At work at Universal Design Studio in 2010.

How long have you been together? Four years.

Do you have a proposal story? We went to a lovely beach side village on the Suffolk coast for the Easter bank holiday weekend 2014. Nick proposed to me at the end of a beautiful pier with a bespoke engagement ring he co-designed with Hattie Rickards. 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 23rd May 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

1.     Where?    Alloway Parish Church, South Ayrshire, Scotland.

2.     What made you choose there? It is a beautiful church in the middle of the village where I grew up. I always thought I would get married there.

3.     How did you find it? I used to go as a child.

How was the weather on the day?  It was surprisingly sunny throughout the day, raining only after dark.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? It was a bank holiday and we live in London, at the other end of the UK so we wanted to allow our friends and family to have a whole weekend in Scotland.

The Wedding Details

Theme? We are anti-theme. Both being designers we just wanted an eclectic mix of lovely places and things. We wanted it to balance our quite traditional wedding with a casual feel.

 Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? We designed all our stationary ourselves, including a lovely line drawing of the church window drawn by Nick.

We spent a weekend with both sets of parents making large hazel hoops from a coppicing wood in Nick’s parents’ village. We hung these in the marquee as a ceiling feature and our florest decorated them in eucalyptus vines.

We also collected various decorations in the weeks before the day and spent a few days leading up to the wedding decorating the reception barn.

Our wedding favours were handmade card badges – a thistle (I’m Scottish) and a rose (Nick is English). They were pinned to ribbon around the napkins and menus for each place setting.

Bridal Party 

1.     Bridesmaids? My two elder sisters Lucy and Fiona, and Olivia, Nick’s 7yo neice.

2.     Groomsmen ? Nick’s too best friends John and Phil were his best men. He had his three brothers Edward, Will and George along with his friends Tom B and Tom H.

3.     Flower girls/Page boys ? Beatrix, Nick’s neice was our flower girl and Rupert his nephew was the page boy. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? There was one Karen Willis Holmes gown I tried on in a shop in North London, which I loved. When I saw the Alexandra in Luella’s Boudoir in Wimbledown, South London I fell in love with it. The KWH gowns are so stylish and modern.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Only in the two shops in London I came across them in.

How many gowns did you try? 3 KWH gowns, at least 15-20 in total.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)?  Luella’s Boudoir in Wimbledown, South London

What did you especially like about your gown? It is a simple, figure-hugging silhouette with added glamour and detail: a mix of low key and wow factor.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? My sisters wore Coast and Tiffany Rose (Lucy was 6 months pregnant). Olivia and Beatrix’s dresses were from BHS. 

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits?  Moss Bros, London.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore my mum’s gold and sapphire bracelet. Necklace and earrings. I bouight my sisters rose gold and diamond necklaces from Laura Lee, London.

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes were from Office. My sisters’ shoes were from Dune.

Did you  wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from?I wore a mid length veil and a hair slide from Olivier Laudus.



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Keep calm and level headed. Something will go wrong but as long as you get married to the love of your life, it will be amazing. Enjoy every moment.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Stick to your personality. Don’t be tempted to buy what you think you’re meant to wear as a Bride, get the one you love.  

Something Old? My mum’s necklace

Something New? My dress

Something Borrowed? My mum’s necklace

Something Blue? My garter


FloristSparrow and Rose.

Photographer The Kitcheners. We found them online and absolutely loved their different take on wedding photography. They are both lovely people and the photographs are stunning. They even gave us a lift in their car when our wedding car broke down!

Music – Luan Ceilidh Band. We found Luan online after much searching for a traditional but energetic ceilidh band. They perfomed brilliantly. 

First Dance – La Vie en Rose (sung by my sister Fiona, with her Boyfriend Martin on guitar). It was so perfect to have out family be part of such a special moment. They were both excellent.

Celebrant – Rev. Neil McNaught. Neil is the minister at Alloway and is a charismatic and kind speaker.

Stationery – We designed our own and had the invites printed by Avenue Litho.

Menu – Dalduff Farm, we’ve been told it was the best wedding food some of our guests had ever eaten, I was a bride who definitely ate her meal!

James, Katherine and the team at Dalduff have a great reputation as a farm shop and food supplier. Their flourishing wedding business / venue is not only beautiful but well run and lots of fun. They are soon to become Scotland’s no.1 alternative venue.

Cake – Liggy’s Cakes

Bombonieres – We hand made thistle and rose cardboard button badges.

Hair – Claire Landsburgh.                    

Make up – Linda from Simply Irresistible Salon, Ayr.

Wedding Bands – Handmade by Nick’s 94 year old Grandfather Christopher Rolls. A personal touch and truly beautiful pieces of jewellery.

Extra features – Home made cider from our friends Alice and Phil in Norfolk was the biggest hit at the bar!

Rachel & Brendan's Beautiful Balmoral Beach Wedding

Posted on 09 Dec, 2015
Rachel & Brendan's Beautiful Balmoral Beach Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? Brendan and I met at my maid of honour’s wedding in 2010 - I was a bridesmaid and Brendan was one of the guests.

How long have you been together? We have been together pretty much ever since, so nearly six years!

Do you have a proposal story? I just finished my last ever university exam and Brendan told me he wanted to take me out to celebrate. I was so focused on finishing university that I didn’t even think anything of the dinner. He took me to the same restaurant we went to on our first date and after dessert he got down on one knee and proposed – I had been watching the table next to us sing Happy Birthday to someone so needless to say I was in complete shock! When we arrived home our families were there waiting to celebrate with champagne. It was an amazing night.

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? Friday 28th August 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? Ceremony was on Rocky Point Island at Balmoral Beach and the reception was at Public Dining Room, also located on Balmoral Beach. 

What made you choose there? I am not very much of a beach person but I have always enjoyed Balmoral Beach as it is such a beautiful spot. When considering where we wanted to celebrate with our family and friends we wanted it to be a place that meant something, and somewhere we could easily return both together and with our children in the future. Good food and wine were also a must for us, which is why Public Dining Room was the perfect option for the reception.

How did you find it? As I said above, we had been going to Balmoral Beach for a few years before we got engaged, so we knew the area well before the time came to pick a spot, which made it an easy decision.

How was the weather on the day? The forecast had said rain all week and so I was slightly nervous given our outdoor ceremony, but the day ended up being slightly overcast but lovely (even if it was a little bit windy).

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? There was nothing particular about this date.


The Wedding Details

Theme ? We definitely wanted bright, fresh flowers to be the focus of the styling. These were styled in and around a lot of copper toned vases, tea candles and terrariums. We worked with a stylist to create the perfect look that was on trend and modern.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Through looking at wedding magazines and also a bit of Pinterest.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? My husband and I made the bombonieres – we sourced the macarons, glass jars, ribbon and custom made labels and packaged these the day before the wedding.


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I had looked at your website and seen your gowns featured in several bridal magazines and was surprised by how many different styles I liked by the one designer. I thought it would be a good way to determine which styles to cut out of the running – I didn’t anticipate falling in love with several KWH dresses!

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? In bridal magazines and online.

How many gowns did you try? I tried on four Karen Willis Holmes gowns, and honestly loved them all for different reasons. I had to do several trips with my mother, bridesmaids and other friends to determine which of the dresses embodied me the most – we ended up agreeing that this was the Vanessa gown!

Where did you purchase your gown from? Akina Bridal Couture – this was based in Castle Hill but has since shut down.

What did you especially like about your gown? I am not a particularly over-the-top dresser in my day-to-day life and wanted a dress that was understated and worked well with the shape of my body – I felt this dress was those things for me (as well as extremely comfortable!).



Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Zimmermann

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

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? Both my and the bridesmaid’s earrings were from Samantha Wills. I also gave each of my bridesmaids a personalized clutch from The Daily Edited. My belt was from Karen Willis Holmes.

Where did you get your shoes from?W Tony Bianco

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



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Don’t overthink it – there are a lot of elements to a wedding but if you can break it down into small, manageable tasks per week there should be no need to stress or run out of time – remember it isn’t meant to cause you stress. Also, keep a book with you to write down notes or questions – there were many times I was out with a friend or at work when an idea/question popped into my head and having that book meant I didn’t lose the thought before I could action it.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t be afraid to try on dresses that you aren’t instantly drawn to on the rack – I have had friends (myself included) who have done this and it has ended up being the gown they choose.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day – Our wedding was originally planned for November 2015 in the Hunter Valley – we had some real trouble with our venue and ended up losing it in late December last year. Even though re-planning a wedding in a completely new location was stressful, we wouldn’t change our wedding for anything, and it showed us that there are great people out there who are willing to go above and beyond to help ensure your day is perfect.


 Stylist/Florist – Piccolo & Poppi (https://www.facebook.com/piccolopoppi?fref=ts). I found this supplier through Facebook, and fell in love with all the images of previous weddings they had done. Once I had my first meeting I was sold on their vision, and Ashleigh and the team delivered above and beyond what I expected. The team set up both the ceremony and reception, and also did all of the flower arrangements as well as the bouquets and buttonholes. I had such faith in the Ashleigh’s abilities I just requested certain colours for the bouquets and only saw the end result on the day of the wedding – needless to say I was very happy. 

Photographer – Cavanagh Photography (http://www.cavanaghphotography.com). I found Adam through the Hunter Valley Wedding Planner when my wedding was going to be in the Hunter Valley. Again I made sure I looked at all his previous work and just fell in love with the way his photos turned out. Adam was incredibly easy to work with and I had all my photos the week I returned from my honeymoon (three weeks later). I am extremely happy with how the photos turned out and would recommend him to anyone.

Videographer – Encore Media (http://www.encoremedia.com.au). The videographer was a last minute inclusion to the plan but a great one in the end. Troy simply shadowed Adam our photographer and they worked seamlessly together, so much so that people assumed I had two photographers. The video is great and something that we will treasure forever.

Music – The music for the ceremony was a singer and guitar player from Something Borrowed (http://musicalfunctions.com.au/something-borrowed-wedding-band-sydney/). The musician was incredible and really set the mood for the ceremony. Hunter Valley DJ (http://valleydj.com.au) was our music for the reception. Again this company was booked when our wedding was going to be in the Hunter Valley and they graciously moved to our new venue when they heard about the change. They dancefloor was full almost the entire night which was testament to the great work they did.

First Dance – Our first dance was to ‘One Great Mystery’ by Lady Antebellum. Both Brendan and I like our country music and when we heard this song at Lady Antebellum’s concert in early 2015 we knew it was the perfect song for us.

MC – My brother Greg and Brendan’s brother Brad were the MC’s for the evening!

Celebrant – Laura Craddock (http://www.sydney-celebrant.com.au) I found Laura online and when we went to meet with her I was so impressed at the level of detail she went into that we booked her on the spot. Laura was great on the day and very reassuring for us both before the ceremony commenced.

Stationery – Rosie Tea (http://rosietea.com.au). Rosie is a friend of one of my bridesmaids, and I had seen work she had previously done and knew I wanted to work with her. Rosie gave me several amazing options and worked tirelessly to ensure we were happy with the final product, which we were.

Cake – Emma-Lee Cake Designs (https://www.facebook.com/emmaleecakedesign?fref=ts). I was connected with Emma through Piccolo and Poppi, and was extremely happy with the end result.

Bombonieres – Were a DIY – had the tags custom made on Etsy and the macarons were from Adriano Zumbo.

Hair – Natalie Black Hair. Natalie has been my hairdresser for years and so was my natural choice when it came to finding a hair stylist who completely understood the look I was going for. I was extremely happy with the end result.

Make up – Jes O’Brien Makeup (http://jesobrien.com.au). I found Jes through a friend who used her for her own wedding, and I was so happy with the result. Jes instantly felt like a friend and so I was extremely comfortable having her there on the day. I would recommend Jes to anyone.

Wedding Bands – Nicholas Haywood Jewellery Concierge (http://www.nicholashaywood.com.au) Nick has made my engagement ring so we knew we wanted to go back to him to have our wedding bands made. Nick is incredibly laid back and made the whole process as simple as possible. He is never getting rid of us as clients now!


Amanda & Peter's Classic Beachside Wedding

Posted on 04 Dec, 2015
Amanda & Peter's Classic Beachside Wedding



How long have you been together?  We have been together for 5 years.

Do you have a proposal story?  Pete took me away to the Hunter Valley on Christmas Eve 2013, after a lovely dinner, Pete proposed on a Ferris wheel at the Gardens. It took me completely by surprise and made for a very memorable Christmas celebration the next day.


The Wedding

What was your wedding date? Saturday, 1st August 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception 

Ceremony: Balmoral Beach Rotunda

Reception: Sergeants Mess, Chowder Bay

What made you choose there? Ceremony: Originally we were having the ceremony at our venue (Sergeants Mess).  About 4 months out we decided that we wanted an earlier ceremony time to take advantage of the Winter light, we are so glad we did this, some of our favourite pictures captured by our photographer were in a beautiful afternoon light on Balmoral Beach. Reception: We loved this venue from the moment we stepped through the front door and they sat us down over a coffee to chat. The staff, the location, the food, the service was just exceptional.


How was the weather on the day? The weather was so perfect, it is so rare to associate Winter with a balmy temperature, but that is exactly what we had. We were very lucky.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? August always brings beautiful Winter sunshine. Which is what we were hoping for, but we ended up getting an amazing balmy afternoon, it felt like Summer! 

The Wedding Details

Theme? – Classic, simple. We wanted our flowers to be simple whites with an array of green foliage. Pete always wanted the groomsmen in navy suits with tan shoes. They were the two ideas that we both had in mind, we started with these two ideas and everything else seemed to flow from here.

Bridal Party

We knew we wanted our wedding to be family orientated. I’m so glad we both got to share our day with all of our siblings. I had 3 Bridesmaids and Pete had 4 Groomsman, I like that this was a little unconventional, people seem to think that everything has to be balanced but it doesn’t.

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship?

Krystle – Best Friend

Melissa – Best Friend

Lauren – Pete’s sister

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship?

Drew – Pete’s best mate

Michael – Pete’s brother

Anthony – Amanda’s brother

Daniel – Amanda’s brother


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I looked up the gowns on the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES website and swooned over the sequined gowns. After trying on a few traditional bridal gowns at other stores I knew I wanted something unique and timeless. I went to the first KAREN WILLIS HOLMES appointment with mum and a picture in hand of the ‘Josie’ gown. Unfortunately that gown was sold out and not expected until after our wedding date. I tried on the ‘Caitlyn’ gown which was beautiful in its own right; however I needed a second opinion from my Bridesmaid. So I went back for my second appointment in the hope that I would go home with the ‘Caitlyn’ gown after her approval. I’m not sure what it was about that Sunday, but someone was definitely watching over me. I remember I got prime parking right in front of the Paddington store (a miracle in itself). When we walked into the store I spotted the ‘Josie’ gown hanging on the rack, I was so excited, I tried it on and as I walked out my bridesmaid looked at me and started crying, I just knew it was meant to be.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I had come across them on the internet previously.

How many gowns did you try? I think 4 gowns in total, 2 of those gowns were at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES. 

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Paddington Store.

What did you especially like about your gown? The gown was just so beautiful, even when it was sitting on the rack, it was breathtaking. My favourite part was the detachable train that was added to the dress. On the day I was to pickup my altered gown, the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Warehouse sale was happening in the same building. I thought that there would be no harm in looking at the dresses. I wasn’t planning to buy anything, but after trawling through all the beautiful gowns I came across a gorgeous ‘sample’ train with a sequined top. I knew that this was what I had been looking for to make my dress ‘unique’. I purchase it and took it into my fitting and asked for it to be added to my dress. The finished product had my mum and I in tears. 


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier?  We ordered the BM dresses through Kel-Leigh Couture at East Gosford, when we saw them we immediately knew that these were the ones. I have never seen a colour quite like these dresses, they were absolutely stunning. The Bridesmaid dresses were bought before I had even started looking for a wedding dress

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? We purchased the suits from a stall holder in Birkenhead point, and the bow ties from David Jones.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? As my train was detachable I took this off after the ceremony and added a sequined belt that I also purchased from KAREN WILLIS HOLMES. The Bridesmaid dresses had so much detail in them already, there was no need to over-accessorize.

Where did you get your shoes from? The shoes were from a little boutique shop. I love everything nautical and always wondered how I could get something nautical into the wedding, I’m so thankful that I came across these. They were on the discount table that happened to be in my size.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Originally I was going to wear a veil but after the train was added to the dress, I didn’t want to detract from the dress by adding another layer. The hairdresser added some flowers in my hair, and after the ceremony I took my hair out for the reception.



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Keep it simple; make your wedding a collection of things you both love, things that characterize you and your partner. Remember the whole reason you are both getting married and when you get too caught up in everything remind yourself of this. Finally, weddings = tears, I felt like I cried over everything. Keep tissues handy.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? You will just know, if you are hesitant then it is not the one.

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day.

At our Ceremony, my Mum did a reading which was a poem about love written by my grandma 30 years ago. It was so beautiful.

My oldest brother walked me down the aisle, we were getting ready at an apartment across the road and we could see the guests arriving. I remember the moment that he was walking across the road to come and collect me to walk me down the aisle. He walked in the door and we both started crying.

My Grandmothers brooch which was pinned to my train, this was passed down to her from her grandmother.

Our wedding was very family orientated; it was lovely having all of our siblings with us in the bridal party.


Florist – Merrin Grace Floral Design.

PhotographerMy Lens of Love

Music – Something Borrowed

First Dance – ‘Marry Me’ by Train

Celebrant Kay Linton-Mann from Weddings with Style

Cake Create Cake by Sharon Brideson

Bombonieres – Lindt Chocolate by Personalised Chocolates

Hair Jaala Hair Artistry

Make up -  EyeDo Makeup



Rebecca & John's Classic Country Wedding

Posted on 02 Dec, 2015
Rebecca & John's Classic Country Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We were introduced by mutual friends on Boxing Day 2011 and didn’t see each other again for almost a year, where we bumped into each other at the local pub in Wagga Wagga and started dating in 2013. By then I was due to move to the UK for two years, but after meeting John I went and only lasted four and a half  months before I was back in Australia.  

How long have you been together? We have been together for almost three years and were engaged after 18 months together.

Do you have a proposal story? John proposed at The Rocks under the Harbour Bridge on a weekend away in Sydney, with a pear cut diamond ring with a halo border in white gold, made by our friend and jeweller Evan Marceau, followed by dinner at 360 Bar and Dining.


The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 11th April 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?  Wagga Wagga, NSW. We had our ceremony at Saint Michael’s Cathedral followed by a marquee reception at John’s parent’s property at Oura just outside Wagga Wagga.

What made you choose there? We both wanted to be married in our hometown, in the church where our family members had been married before us. It is such a big beautiful old Cathedral. We chose a marquee reception at John’s parents not only for the beautiful scenery, but to create a wedding where all aspects were entirely chosen by us. We wanted it to be a relaxed but elegant environment for our 127 guests that still had the country element to it.

How did you find it? (John’s parents property)

The Wedding Details

Theme ? Country Chic, Classic. Lots of black and white with hints of copper and greenery.  In terms of floral, we had white flowers and roses with greenery only. I wanted it to look classy and neat but not over the top. My Grandma, Marjorie, made black and white striped table runners for all the tables, and I always loved the look of the white chiavari chair. I had green foliage arrangements suspended from the roof in the centre of the marquee as well as behind the bridal table, with white rice paper lanterns for lighting.  We had long banquet tables with the black and white runners down the centre with a collection of vintage crystal vases with white flowers and roses with glass single candelabras. We had black napkins which were folded with the menu placed on top and the name tag wrapped around all held together with black and white string. We had our pre reception drinks outside on the grass over looking Wagga with the most beautiful sunset which made for a picture perfect moment. Friends of ours Alex and Caleb Richards played an acoustic set for the pre reception drinks. The table seating board was placed on my Aunt’s antique wooden easel, with a quote taken from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby that seemed fitting for the night, designed by Sally Marceau. The entrance end of the marquee had clear roofing and sliding walls which were opened, with fairy lights over the dance floor, for more of a less formal feel after the speeches and meals were over and for a bit of fun for all the dancing.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from?  

I drew inspiration from the following:

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? All of the finer details were DIY. Name tags were hand written by my sister for a personal touch, and all place settings were assembled by myself and my extended family. We collected crystal vases for months leading up to the wedding and also loaned some from a florist in Wagga Wagga. Decorative bottles, cages and plates were spray painted copper. My Dad made white wooden block letters ‘R & J’ which were placed on the fence to the entrance of the reception, and he also made metal orbs to be placed either side of the entrance to the marquee which were wrapped in Ivy.  As mentioned before my Grandma made the table runners.

How was the weather on the day? Beautiful clear blue skies, 25 degrees, with an amazing pink and red sunset!!

 What made you decide to get married on this particular date? As it can get quite hot in Wagga in the summer, we didn’t want it to be in the hotter months as it was outside. April is always the perfect temperature to be outside at home, plus it was the soonest date to get the church at the time we wanted!


Bridal Party

1.     Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Maid of Honour, Emma Corcoran  my older sister. Claire Corcoran my younger sister. Lucy Corcoran  also my younger sister, Caitlin Dunn, cousin.

2.     Groomsmen – who/relationship? Best Man, Matthew Carter childhood neighbours, Matthew Meggison Football friends, Sam Douglas College Friends, Pat Rositano childhood friend.


Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I came across Karen Willis Holmes in the first bridal magazine my mum and sister had bought me when I was engaged. I had a look at the website and loved the designs and tried to book an appointment for the weekend I was to be in Sydney and they were booked out. I still went in for a look anyway and to my luck there was a cancelation, it was the first gown I put on in there and I loved it right away. I was telling myself I couldn’t get the first one I put on but the other designers I tried that day didn’t have the overall experience that I had in KWH so I went back and bought it! We had a great time playing around with accessories and add ons and the idea of straps that matched the belt arose. I loved how they completed the overall look of the gown and we decided to go ahead with them. Hannah-Kate my sales assistant was outstanding, such a help.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Instagram and Magazines. I first saw one featured in a ‘real brides’ section but can’t remember which sorry!

How many gowns did you try? In KAREN WILLIS HOLMES I tried 3. Prea, Willow and Matilda.  All up probably 8.

Where did you purchase your gown from? Glenmore Road, Paddington, Sydney.

What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the simplicity yet how stylish it was. I wasn’t after lace or sequins, I wanted something plain and classic yet something that had elements or details to it that gave it something else, such as the stitching throughout the bust and on the belt and straps, and the trumpet skirt with train. I loved the fabric texture and weight, and the corset top made me feel very secure and comfortable and shaped my waist and chest. I felt the shape of the fitted skirt was flattering and really gave me length. I also knew that I wanted something made for the ceremony to go over the top and I knew the features of the Prea gown would work perfectly for the look I was after.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Shieke

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Milton’s Gear, Wagga Wagga.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I chose Kate Ketzal Earrings for myself.  I didn’t want to overdo it with accessories so I just stuck with earrings and my wedding ring set. Our weddings bands were also made by Evan Marceau.

I also had a beautiful lace jacket made by Jill Franklin from Jillian Franklin Design in Albury, NSW. For the ceremony, I wore my Prea gown without the straps and the lace jacket over the top, and took it off for the reception where I attached the straps. It had full lace sleeves and a lace peplum, with silk covered buttons to match my Prea buttons down the back and on the wrists. I wore the Prea belt over the top just above the peplum.

Where did you get your shoes from? Shoes were from Jo Mercer in Canberra.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My Grandma handmade made my veil, with only two days till the wedding after I changed my mind! I was so lucky to have her as she also did all alterations on the Bridesmaids dresses and sewed the table runners.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?  Enjoy the process of planning, you put so much time and effort into creating your perfect day so it is important to enjoy it along the way, although at times it can seem stressful the end result will exceed your expectations and will be the best night of your life. Trust your suppliers; trust your photographers and stylist and whoever else you have working on your wedding. It is their job to give you the best memories of your wedding day and they will do this. Take days off planning, sometimes it is good to have a few days off to think about things and then you might go back and decided you like something else that works better.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Be comfortable, with the amount of walking and standing and dancing I did on my wedding day I am so glad I was comfortable in my dress. Don’t try and follow a trend, if it isn’t you don’t do it. Choose the dress that you instantly loved as soon as you saw yourself in the mirror. Don’t second guess this moment as it may be the one- just like what happened to me!

Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. Our wedding was very much brought to life by people close to us; we used family and friends in their areas of expertise, such as graphic design, hair, jewellery design, singing and even down to the cake making. All of these people were also guests and it was so lovely to have people close to us and who we love be part of our special day in more ways than one. It was a really nice personal touch which made everything about the wedding more unique. We wanted to also use local Wagga businesses for all other areas, as we did with the marquee hire and the styling of the reception, as well as the photographer and videographers.



Florist – Susannah at Flowers for Friday, Wagga Wagga . Amazing bouquets and table arrangements.

Photographer – Jacqueline Cooper at Piedesign, Wagga Wagga.  We would defiantly recommend Jackie. She was so relaxed and such a pleasure to have with us on the day, we wanted candid ‘in the moment’ shots and that’s exactly what she did. 

Videographer Mayfly Media, Wagga Wagga.

Music – Clint Crighton, from Hunter Valley. Such a great band, they played all the old  time songs as well as new ones that got everyone up and dancing right from the first song till the end of the night, the dance floor was so much fun. They had a blues vibe which was perfect to have playing throughout the night.

First Dance – Jessica Dunn, Singer. ‘All of Me’, John Ledged acoustic. My talented cousin Jessica sang for us for our first dance, as well as our signing of the register in the church.

MC – Shannon Nott, School Friend of John.

Celebrant – Father Peter Murphy and Father Luke Joseph

Stationery Chambers and Whyte, Wagga Wagga

Menu and Booklets –  Hunters Graphic Design, Wagga Wagga.

Cake – Dom Morton, Wagga Wagga, a family friend kindly made our cake for us.

Hair – Jacinta McCoullough, Wish Hair and Beauty Wagga Wagga. Another family friend who we loved having with us on the day.

Make up – Amy Roberts, Get Lash’d, Wagga Wagga

Wedding Bands and Engagement ring – Evan Marceau Manufacturing Jeweller, Wagga Wagga @evanmarceau. Evan is so talented and creates the most unique pieces.

Extra features – Table Seating design- Sally Marceau, Graphic Designer.

Other – Suspended Foliage arrangements, Stella and Bruce, Wagga Wagga

Lace jacket - Jill Franklin, Jillian Franklin Designs, Albury

Marquee hire, tables chairs etc - Jaegers Event Hire, Wagga Wagga

Gown Feature: Sophie

Posted on 27 Nov, 2015
Gown Feature: Sophie

Sophie Gown from the 2016 BESPOKE Collection. 

This stunning V-neck gown with embellished & embroidered bodice detail & full tulle circle skirt is finished with a beautiful belt. 

Colour: Ivory 

Fabric: Embroidered tulle bodice & tulle skirt 

Sizes: US 2- 20 / UK & AUS 6- 24 

Arabella & Andrew's Classic and Elegant Wedding

Posted on 25 Nov, 2015
Arabella & Andrew's Classic and Elegant Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We met 10 years ago on holiday in Jamaica! I am Canadian and was living in Toronto, Andy is from Kildare and was studying for the year in Chicago. We were both holidaying with friends in Jamaica (during Spring break) and just happened to be staying at the same resort. We had a few fun nights out together as a group and, at the end of the holiday, we invited the Irish boys to Toronto to visit us. That is really when our relationship started. We did some trips back and forth between Toronto and Chicago, and then Andy moved back to Ireland... and a year later I followed him! We now live in London.

Do you have a proposal story? It was just before Christmas and we were going our separate ways for the holidays that year - me to my family in Canada and Andy to his family in Ireland. On the night he proposed, we were having our last romantic Christmas evening together, watching carol singers at Royal Albert Hall, having a nice dinner, etc. We were back home and having a glass of wine by the fire, opening our gifts to each other when he said ‘I have another gift for you’ and out popped a stunning yellow diamond ring!

The Wedding 

What was your wedding date?  July 4th, 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?    Adare Manor, Co. Limerick, Ireland

What made you choose there? Initially, we weren’t sure if we would get married in Ireland or somewhere abroad - I desperately wanted to go somewhere warm and sunny! During a trip back to Ireland to visit Andy’s family, we visited at a few venues. The 3rd venue we visited was Adare Manor in County Limerick, which is close to where Andy’s father grew up and where his grandfather still lives. Notwithstanding its proximity to Andy’s family, I had never actually visited the Manor before; however, the minute we drove in the gates I fell in love with the place (which made Andy very happy) and choosing it as our wedding venue was unquestionably one of the very best decisions we made. Not only is the venue beautiful, but the warmth, professionalism and genuine nature of the staff knows no bounds - they definitely took a lot of the stress out of planning the wedding and, in particular, allowed us to sit back and enjoy the wedding day itself rather than worrying about proceedings.

How was the weather on the day? I would say that it was typically Irish. Although it rained while we were getting ready, and then amazingly, the sun came out when I was leaving for the church and it shone brightly all day until the bell for dinner, at which point it started to drizzle again. We were really, really lucky with the weather.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? It was coincidence really. We had a few options with the venue in July or August. When we thought about it, the 4th of July weekend was perfect as  we had lots of family and friends travelling from Canada and the US and that weekend was a bank holiday for them (US Independence Day is the 4th and Canada Day is on the 1st). We also really wanted to get married in July or August to give us the best chance of having fine weather in Ireland on the wedding day (which we had).

The Wedding Details

Theme? Simple, classic and elegant. I wanted something to compliment the venue, work with the décor and not against it. The colour pallet was black and white (as we had a black tie wedding) with neutral colour tones with a hint of metallic (silver, gold, rose gold). I asked the women in the bridal party to bring out the metallic touches through the form of sequins in their dresses or accessories after I had chosen my wedding gown. My sister, mother of the bride and mother of the groom all had different layers of sequins/sparkle in their gowns.

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? I have to say, most of the planning inspiration came from my sister. She had an amazing evening wedding in an art gallery in Canada a few years before. She is incredibly stylish (being a writer in a women’s fashion magazine) and I used some of her pallets and themes from her wedding planning folder she handed to me when I got engaged.  I also turned to Pinterest so I could share with my mom and sister what I was thinking and I read many, many magazines and blogs. My husband was a great sounding board along with our wedding planner at Adare Manor. She knew the best local suppliers, understood what I was going for and could make recommendations which helped simplify my search for vendors.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I didn’t want a lot of DIY to our wedding as we had to travel from London to Ireland and also I didn’t want family to be running lots of errands before the event. However, that isn’t always how it works out! The most DIY we did was in our stationary and goodie bags.

We closed each invitation with a wax seal that was made with our initials (A&A). I felt it was a lovely finish to our invitations and I enjoyed sending them off to friends and family to set an early tone for our black tie wedding and the historical Adare Manor.

Additionally, instead of party favours at the dinner, we made little welcome goodie bags for those who travelled a long distance. We included some treats and snacks from our diverse backgrounds. So from Andy and his family in Ireland we had Emerald’s (chocolate covered toffee) and Tayto Crisps. From my Canadian background we had Coffee Crisp chocolate bars and little jars of maple syrup. From UK and my father we had Polo mints. From Norway and my mother we had Firklover chocolates. For our wedding party we also gave them Irish Waterford Crystal bowls/candle holders as a special thank you. We had our stationary company make small welcome cards and each bag was waiting in the rooms for our guests when they arrived, just in case we were not there to welcome them personally. I heard the next day at our BBQ that the crisps and chocolate came in handy late in the evening when people needed a little snack after dancing into the early hours and mints never go wrong! For me, it was great fun filling the bags with my niece in our hotel room, particularly when she kept on eating all the Polo mints!


Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship?  My sister

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Andy’s brother

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? My niece and Andy’s cousin (Andy was a page boy at our page boy’s parents’ wedding when he was young).

Wedding Gown (the most important part!) 

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?  I had an idea in my head of the type of dress I wanted; a simple long, satin gown with a low back. I was looking for something that had a bit of detailing to complement a black tie wedding as well. I found a dress that fit the bill at a London designers boutique in Knightsbridge. My mom flew over from Norway and I tried dresses on at the boutique. I was almost sold. I asked if I could make one or two small changes but they wouldn’t allow any design alterations! So, I went back to the drawing board and began to look for dresses by just going to store after store. After a few months, I honestly grew tired of the dress search. I had tried on so many, I worried I was getting confused and wouldn’t be able to decide or I thought I had potentially missed ‘the dress’.

After months of searching, my deadline of when I would need to order a dress started looming and I decided to go back and try to find the dress I originally liked at a different boutique which sold a wider array of dresses including the brand that I had previously tried at the Knightsbridge boutique.

While trying on the same dress, I fell in love with the stores selection of sequined KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gowns. I knew sequins was perfect for a black tie wedding! I put on the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Anya dress, it was still simple, fit me well, complemented by body and it felt like my wedding dress. I felt special, glamorous and beautiful. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t seen these dresses in London before, and I had been searching and searching!  That said, I wanted to be 100% sure it was truly “me” because it was a step away from what I originally had in mind, so I made one more visit where my sister and mom added their respective endorsements via facetime while a friend steadily held my iPad. Hands down, they both loved it.

How many gowns did you try? I would say I tried on between 35 wedding dresses.

 What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the diverse array of sequins, more fluttery across the top and became smaller and tighter down the dress. I also loved the train. It was very fluid and looked lovely in the church flowing behind me and in pictures when my husband picked me up. I really enjoyed picking up the edge of my train when I walked as well, I could show off my shoes and my dress didn’t change shape. I had the train bustled for both under and out as I couldn’t decide and I wanted to show my mom and my sister both options before I finalized the look. Because of the vast array of sequins you couldn’t see the buttons, which was brilliant. These two bustles came in handy as my husband stood on my hem as we started our first dance and the first bustle button popped off!! I was able to just pick up the edge of my train in my hand and still dance, the train length enabled the dance to still look elegant. It was very handy to have a second bustle that night though! The only alteration that  I made (other than just fitting) was to lower the back ever so slightly, as I really wanted a backless dress (although the dress didn’t really need the change).

One other thing that I didn’t really think about but I really appreciated in the dress was how the front kicked out when I walked. With the weight of the sequins on the dress, the hem kicked out so I never stepped on it. I had seen so many other brides tripping on their dress (if they slouched even a little, their front hem caused them to step on their dress). I loved that I never had to worry about it!

I loved the fit of the gown, it flowed along my curves and it was simple enough that I bought an additional belt to switch out in the evening to dress the gown up for night. I didn’t use it in the end as I loved the dress as it was, but the additional features of the gown enabled me to dress it up even more which was such a lovely benefit. It really is very versatile! 


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? My sister wore a Nicole Miller evening gown from Holt Renfrew in Canada.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits?  My husband’s tuxedo was from Givenchy, the best man was wearing a tux from Reiss.   

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore my own aquamarine and diamond ring that my husband gave to me on my 30th birthday as my something blue. I had bought a matching bracelet and earrings from Stella & Dot but in the end, I wore the bracelet and my sister wore the earrings as they matched her dress perfectly! It was really nice to have the matching set worn between us. My earrings were a pearl and diamond drops, a gift from my new parents-in-law.

Where did you get your shoes from? I wore silver sparkly Christian Louboutin heels. I had the front soles done by the boutique with a red rubber sole which stopped me from slipping as well.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I bought a simple raw edge veil that I tried on at the same time in the boutique with the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES dress. They just worked really together. The veil tucked into my up-do and hung to the floor, I had the veil trimmed so it hung to the lower part of the dress where the train pulled out so it wouldn’t get caught in the dress. I also placed a sparkly clip in the side of my hair. 



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding?

I had some advice which someone gave me early into planning my wedding which was: at the beginning, sit with your fiancé and each of you write down the top 3 things you want from the day. For the items that make both your lists, that is what you should focus on and invest in.

My other advice is to invest time and energy in finding the right photographer. I knew the photographer I wanted from the moment I saw her portfolio online. I looked at the images and thought – these pictures are how I want to look back and remember my wedding. I would highly recommend that you do not short cut on your photography as it is the lasting memory once the images in your head are gone. The pictures our photographer took captured our joy and happiness, our friends and family and the special moments I started to forget a few days after. I still haven’t stopped looking at the photos and, when I do, I smile to myself every single time.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Try not to go to as many stores as I did!

In all seriousness, I do have the following tips:

  1. In London, the big boutiques charge you for each visit (c. £50) so it can get quite expensive. Try going during the week day after work or at lunch - some only charge on weekends.  
  2. When you go, be selective and know what you want to try on, there are only so many dresses you can try in an hour.
  3. Finally, know your budget. A few friends had two dresses on their wedding day - a long one for the day and a shorter one for the night. I preferred having a few accessory changes as I didn’t want to take my dress off! Also, I played with attire for the weekend of my wedding. I had a cream bouncy short dress for the rehearsal dinner together with a great pair of cream Valentino ‘rock stud’ shoes. I also wore a long, low back white Alice & Olivia beach dress the day after at our BBQ with wedges and colorful accessories.




Photographer – Christina Brosnan (Brosnan photographic). I fell in love with her photographs so I just had to work with her. Since receiving my photos, I have fallen in love with my own wedding photography! She was just so easy to work with and very, very capable. She had ideas of where to shoot and just took us where we needed to go. It was easy, fun and I enjoyed every minute of our couples shots.

VideographerBest Day Productions. I love the 8mm film he uses which produces a more old fashioned, grainy video. Classic but a bit on the edgy side.

Music – Simon Morgan in Ireland help us organise our music in the church and at our drinks reception. He pulled together musicians after speaking with us on what we were looking for. He made some amazing recommendations of both vocalists and musicians, which fit really well with the tone of the day and venue.

For the main event, Andy insisted on the 80’s tribute band, Springbreak – one of the very few requests / demands he made for the day, and I have to say that they were an absolute blast and had everyone on the dance floor from start to finish.

 Adare Manor recommended a local guitarist and singer, Brian, for the after-party in the cellar bar who did a fantastic job. An added bonus was when one of our friends, jazz pianist Michael Kaeshammer, got up on stage with Brian and the two of them jammed, with some help from guests, until the very early hours!

First Dance – SpringBreak learned Elton John’s Your Song for us on the wedding day. It was a lovely fit with their 80s music and didn’t clash with the rest the night.

Celebrant – Father John McNamara is a friend of Andy’s family. He was so kind on the day, going to great lengths to explain part of the service to those that are not of a Catholic background.  He even went so far as to give blessings to those not baptized at the wedding.

Stationery - Leeming Brothers Stationary. I really enjoyed working with them. They did all our stationary, from Save the Dates to the Thank You cards. The consistency, quality and elegance of our stationary was lovely. When they sent me a sample, the had sealed their envelopes with wax which I loved so much I used their idea for our wedding invites, getting a wax seal made of our own. We now want our own personal stationary as a couple, which we plan on working with Lewis and his team at Leeming Brothers to make in the future. 

Cake - CocoaMoiselle. She was excellent, we had a dessert table which looked scrumptious! She was so accommodating, even making a traditional Norwegian festive cake for my family. For our wedding cake, I like carrot and my husband likes chocolate biscuit, so we had both in the different tiers of our cake. We didn’t have a speck of cake left. Everyone kept on talking about how good the biscuit cake was, so we are going to be getting some for Christmas cakes this year – they are just too good! I love the fact that I now know someone I trust and can go to for treats, cakes or desserts.

Hair - Kayleigh from Niall Colgan Hairdressing in Limerick. She was excellent. Fun and a very, very talented stylist. I would highly recommend her to any bride!

Make up – I did my makeup myself. In the lead up to the wedding I visited Bobbi Brown, Mac, Benefit and Laura Mercier makeup artists for all the tips and to get the right colours for my wedding day look.


Pearl & Dot Canada, Trunkshow 2015

Posted on 20 Nov, 2015
Pearl & Dot Canada, Trunkshow 2015

Pearl & Dot is a stunning bridal boutique located in Calgary Alberta, Canada. KAREN WILLIS HOLMES will be holding a Trunk show there from the 20th November until 29th November 2015 showcasing gowns from our collections - KWH by KAREN WILLIS HOLMES and The WILD HEARTS Collection. 

Pearl & Dot was named after Alyssa's (Pearl & Dot's Boutique Owner) most stylish, chic and fabulous ladies she knows - My grandmother's Pearl & Dorothy. 

When Alyssa was creating Pearl & Dot, she knew that the bride would be her number one priority. Her carefully curated collection of wedding gowns are as unique and stylish as the brides that walk through Pearl & Dot's doors. The team makes sure that the bride experience is effortless, fun and inspirational as possible. 

You can find out more about Pearl & Dot on their website here, or for an appointment in their boutique email hello@pearlanddot.com 

Tamara & Brett's Spanish Wedding: As Featured on Martha Stewart Weddings

Posted on 18 Nov, 2015
Tamara & Brett's Spanish Wedding: As Featured on Martha Stewart Weddings

We were so honoured to have one of our brides, Tamara featured in the latest issue of MARTHA STEWART Weddings Magazine. Read more about this beautiful wedding below.

Tamara McCarthy and Brett Nidel knew they would eventually get married within a week of meeting. Tamara was born in Dublin, grew up on Spain’s Canary Islands, and came to New York City for a semester during college to study design. She rented an apartment down the street from friends of Brett, a born-and-raised New Yorker. The two met by chance one night; however, the pair didn’t reconnect until a few years later when Tamara graduated from college in Ireland and officially moved to NYC. Brett’s friends put them in touch again, and, as the saying goes, the rest is history. “Honestly, after Tamara got an apartment that she stayed in for a total of about one week, we moved in with each other—no more than four weeks after!” says Brett

A year and a half later, right before Tamara’s mom was coming to visit, Brett planned to propose. He took great measures when it came to Tamara’s engagement ring: he stole a different band from her closet to get the piece sized correctly and he even turned off the locater app on his iPhone whenever he went to the jeweler. However, despite his sneaky tactics, the surprise proposal almost fell apart—twice! First, after Brett asked Tamara’s mom permission to pop the question, she accidentally emailed her daughter to express excitement about the plan. Brett reacted quickly and told Tamara not to look at the email because it gave details of a (nonexistent) surprise birthday party planned for her during an upcoming vacation to the Canary Islands. The second close call came after Brett told his father and stepmom about the proposal. When Tamara walked in the room afterwards, Brett’s father was so excited that he slipped and said, “Well I guess congratulations are due…” Brett improvised something like, “That her mom is coming to visit?” and avoided spoiling the surprise once mor

In the end, everything played out smoothly. “I was shaking with nerves but it was the happiest moment of my life. She said yes!” says Brett. 

He and Tamara journeyed to the bride’s childhood home of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, for a destination wedding on September 13, 2014. About 120 guests from all over the world attended the rustic and modern ceremony, which had a color palette of charcoal, kraft brown, and gold. The big day joined two cultures, two languages, and two religions—and not to mention two people—together in a very memorable way. 


Since Tamara holds her childhood home of Gran Canaria close to her heart, the New York City-based couple chose to get married on the Spanish island. The ceremony and reception took place at Finca Condal Vega Grande, a restored manor house that embodies the traditional architecture of the location. Although the Canary Islands was a long plane ride for the couple’s American guests, other invitees didn’t have to travel far: 40 hailed from Spain and the rest came from Ireland and other nearby countries.

Tamara, a graphic designer, created the stationery and the couple’s “13” logo—the number signified the wedding date of September 13 and also represents good luck in Brett’s Jewish faith. El Calotipo screen-printed and letterpressed Tamara’s design onto each piece of stationery. The suite also introduced a feather motif that appeared throughout the wedding to symbolize the fauna on Gran Canaria. 


Did Tamara try on a lot of gowns? “I think that’s an understatement!” she says. “I tried on every gown in the city.” As a real estate broker, Brett had recently helped designer Karen Willis Holmes set up her first bridal boutique stateside, and Karen helped Tamara finally land the dress of her dreams. “I was her first U.S. bride, and meeting her was just meant to be,” says Tamara. During her dress hunt, the bride-to-be avoided all strapless and poofy numbers. However, when she realized that the style of gown she sought didn’t suit her body type, she ended up with none other than a strapless, poofy dress. Tamara completed her look with strappy sandals by Manolo Blahnik (a fellow Canarian), a veil by Karen Willis Holmes, and her custom Shine Jewelers engagement ring.  

Brett paired his Ralph Lauren suit with a Doyle + Mueser shirt, Paul Smith bow tie, John Varvatos shoes, and his grandfather’s vintage cufflinks.


In order to maximize time with their guests, Tamara and Brett decided to have a first look and take portraits before the ceremony. The couple spent a few heartfelt moments together, and then photographer Pablo Beglez whisked them away in a small car and drove five minutes down the coast on a bumpy road. “He hadn’t told us this little plan, but he had scouted an incredible landscape, which is really representative of the island, to take pictures in,” says Tamara. “These are some of our favorite photos of the two of us.”

Officiant Lynn Levy, Brett’s godmother, mixed the couple’s cultures, languages, and religions to create a personalized and unique ceremony. The bride and groom lit candles, which is normally done in a Catholic mass, but added a Jewish twist of using them to honor those that couldn’t be there, including Brett’s close childhood friend, grandparents, and Tamara’s father. The couple also incorporated the seven blessings rather than traditional Bible readings. At the end of the ceremony, Brett participated in the Jewish wedding ritual of breaking the glass.

 As a shout-out to their wedding destination, Tamara and Brett served Canarian food made by Gamonal. On the menu was cheese salad with berry vinaigrette, herbed steak with vegetables, grilled cherne (white fish) with grilled potatoes and vegetables, and white chocolate mouse with passion fruit. Later in the night, churros with chocolate provided a pick-me-up for hungry dancers. Guests also enjoyed a vanilla wedding cake baked by a family friend.  

 Tamara credits the dinner as the most memorable moment of the day. “I looked up and saw a mix of people that have touched my life in different stages all coming together—people from my childhood in Spain, my college life in Ireland, and my new life in the USA,” she says.


Tamara and Brett danced to “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. “Dancing outside in the beautiful weather under those lights to that gorgeous song, and feeling so in love, was a dream,” says the bride, who added that the song was a favorite of her father’s.

Toward the end of the evening, the wedding party grabbed some chairs and hoisted the bride and groom up for the hora. Guests danced to jazz and world music well into the night, with some partying until 5 a.m. “The late bus was pretty lively. Some English-versus-Spanish song wars broke out, and some people even went to the clubs afterward!” says Tamara. 



Photography: Pablo Beglez

Location: Finca Condal Vega Grand

Catering: Gamonal 

Flowers: Edelweiss 

Stationery Printing: El Calotipo 

Hair: Mari Carmen Sosa of Salon Mari Carmen 

Makeup: Angel Marquez Artiles of Bobbi Brown