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Sarah & Steve's Beautiful Botanical Wedding

Posted on 11 Nov, 2015
Sarah & Steve's Beautiful Botanical Wedding



How did you meet your (now) husband? I walked into a bar at a backpacker’s hostel in London and was immediately drawn to this Aussie bloke with big dimples and a cheeky sense of humour. After a whirlwind 4-day romance, I reluctantly flew home to Brisbane, thinking we would never see each other again. Months of daily phone calls and emails ensued, until finally I returned to the UK to take a chance on this footy-mad guy from Perth. The rest, as they say, is history!

How long have you been together? 7 years

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 10th January 2015

Location (Ceremony)

Where? Gardens House, Royal Botanic Gardens

What made you choose there?  We fell in love with the quaint caretaker’s house with the creeping vines, the grand old tree in the backyard and the beautiful colourful gardens.

How did you find it?  Much internet searching

Location (Reception)

Where?     Alto, GPO Building

What made you choose there?  The lofty industrial look of the space perfectly suited the modern style we wanted for our reception. The views from the grand windows are absolutely stunning, especially in the evening when the city is all lit up! Most of our guests travelled to Melbourne for the wedding from interstate, and we loved the idea of them wandering down the cobblestone laneways to find the entrance hidden at the back of the beautiful historic GPO building. (And once Steve discovered he could choose whichever craft beers he wanted AND we could stay and party until 1am, he was sold!)

How did you find it?  Steve discovered Alto on a local styling company’s website, and he was so excited to check it out initially that he went on his lunch break all by himself! The event coordinator, Angela, couldn’t believe it when the groom walked in without a bride (apparently this is not a particularly common occurrence!).

How was the weather on the day?We overcame the odds (90% chance of torrential rain!) and were blessed with a beautiful, cool day.

The Wedding Details

Theme ?  It was a bit of a mishmash of vintage and modern! The ceremony had a vintage feel, being situated on the grounds of an historic cottage from the 1800s with beautifully landscaped gardens. The bouquets and boutonnières included a mix of classic and quirky florals (roses, hydrangeas and berries) in pastel colours. One of my favourite things was the single red rose that our florist hid in my bouquet, as an ode to my red lipstick. We styled the reception to have a more modern, elegant look. The centerpieces were tall, sculptural white hydrangeas with lots of greenery in elegant clear glass vases, and the menus and placecards were simple with modern font.

 Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest, blogs, and magazines like Hello May, White Magazine and Hooray

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? The stationery was all DIY: we designed the invites, placecards and menus to be simple and minimalist in style, with modern typography. I printed and framed some of my favourite quotes to include as part of the reception décor. We surprised our parents by printing some photographs of our grandparents who couldn’t be with us on the day. My stepmum made the cake (still amazed that it survived the trip from Queensland)! She also made the lace and silk robes for me and the bridesmaids to get ready in. We handmade our favours: these were recovery kits which came out at the end of the evening. These included panadol for sore heads, bandaids for sore feet, chips for a midnight snack, Berocca for a next day pick-me-up and directions to breakfast the following morning! 

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? My three girlfriends Jane, Emma, and Kate – one from Brisbane, one from Sydney and one from Perth!

Groomsmen – who/relationship? Steve’s best mates from Perth: Blake, Lloyd and Matthew

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? The two page boys were Harry (Blake’s son) and Logan (Lloyd and Kate’s son). Logan, the younger of the two, decided at the last minute that he would definitely not be walking down the aisle in the boat shoes we made him wear (far too hipster for his liking). Harry was very brave and conquered the walk all by himself! They both looked super adorable in their bow ties and suspenders, and definitely stole the show. 

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?  A friend recommended it, and I had seen the beautiful dresses in the window.

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Walking past the store window on High St in Armadale (fantasizing!)

How many gowns did you try?  I tried on about 10-20 before coming to KAREN WILLIS HOLMESS. My bridesmaid Jane pulled out the Kayla for me to try on, which I loved, and then I got a little braver and tried the Caitlyn and the Alexandra… and they were both so beautiful! In the end I had to convince my Mum to fly down from the Gold Coast to help me choose!

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

What did you especially like about your gown? Definitely the sequins; the way it sparkled in the light, with just the right amount of old Hollywood glamour. I loved the intricate embroidered lace pattern, the cap sleeves and of course the feature back. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, I used to sneak into the spare room to gaze longingly at it! It was truly the most special gown I have ever worn (and will ever wear in my lifetime).  



Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Zimmermann

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Suits - Peter Jackson, shirts - Godwin Charlie, shoes – Florsheim.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore my aunty’s pearl and diamond earrings for the ceremony (my “something borrowed”) and changed to dangly Samantha Wills earrings for the reception. My bridesmaids wore Mimco earrings.

Where did you get your shoes from? Jimmy Choo

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Originally I wasn’t planning on wearing a veil. Then 5 days out from the wedding, I woke up with a sudden change of heart! Luckily I found a local Etsy store that was able to whip one up for me pronto.  



What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Choose a new special perfume to wear, and only wear it on the day/week of the wedding. Then, in future, you can use that scent as a trigger to help retrieve your wedding memories. 

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? When booking appointments to try on dresses, don’t do too many in one day! It can get really overwhelming. Schedule in breaks for coffee and lunch with your girlfriends/sister/mum – you need the downtime to process and reflect on all the beautiful gowns you have seen. Don’t be afraid to try on something crazy – often “the one” ends up being completely opposite to what you have always imagined (I always thought I would wear vintage flowy lace, and ended up in fitted sequins!). And finally make an effort to actually do your makeup and wear the right underwear when you go to try on dresses (read: strapless pushup bra! Seamless undies!) – it is so much easier to properly imagine how you will look on the day.


Florist –North St Botanical. We found North St while walking our dog around the neighbourhood one weekend! We were keen to support our local community of clever creatives in Thornbury. Emily is a legend, super chilled to work with, and understood exactly what style we were after.

Photographer –Jesse Hisco. Cannot rate this guy highly enough! He was so much more than a photographer – he helped us out with all aspects of the wedding from the moment we met him. He is such an exceptionally lovely human and made everyone feel super comfortable on the day. And the photos speak for themselves!

Videographer Artistic Films. Another local business- Alper did a wonderful job of recording the important moments from the day. Best thing we did was have him record video messages from our guests at the reception – these became more and more hilarious as the night went on! 

Music –Renee Cassar sang and played acoustic guitar at the ceremony (she is absolutely fantastic); Steve’s mate DJ Wombat got us all up on the d-floor at the reception

First Dance –Song choice was The National - England

MC – Trent Hunt, friend of the groom

Celebrant – Georgia Mills. We had so many people come up to us and comment on how exceptional she was!

Stationery – DIY

Menu - DIY

Cake – Bride’s stepmum

Bombonieres -  DIY

Hair – Lauren Mackellar. She did such an amazing job – her photo of my bridesmaid Emma’s braided up-do ended up going viral on Instagram!

Make up Melonie Santos. Incredible woman who did a stellar job. I can’t believe my red lipstick didn’t smudge all day!

Wedding Bands – James Allen