How did you meet your partner? Officially through mutual friends in our early 20s, however, we had brief encounters with each other, having grown up in the same area. David remembers purchasing a coffee from me as a teenager – and I remember serving him!
How long have you been together? 6.5 years
Do you have a proposal story? David and I first met at a picnic with mutual friends in 2011. 5 years later to the day, he took me back to the same park in Newtown, NSW for a picnic to celebrate. After a few hours, he built up the courage and got down on one knee in front of everyone (including their dogs!). I’ve never cried so hard in my life – David had to actually confirm whether or not I’d accepted his proposal because whatever came out of my mouth was inaudible.
What was your wedding date? 08th April 2017
Wedding Venue? Montrose Berry Farm, Sutton Forest NSW
What made you choose there? I’d come across the venue a few years earlier, and it was always in the back of my mind. When the time came, it was the first venue we visited (one of three in total!), and we both agreed it was the one. We fell in love with the property – from the giant old trees under which we had our ceremony – to the quaint barn with its fireplace, exposed brick and wooden floorboards. We loved that even if we chose not to do much styling, the barn and gardens would stand beautifully enough on their own. We also enjoyed having the whole wedding in one place so that our guests could casually wander across the property from the ceremony to garden canapés, and then on to the reception in the barn. It also helped that the venue operators were so lovely and helpful!
How did you find it? A post appeared on my Facebook feed a few years earlier when a friend had commented on a photographer’s photo album. It caught my attention and I clicked to view the rest of the images, which were taken at Montrose. It was love at first sight!
How was the weather on the day? We really couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was around 24 degrees and sunny, but with that slight autumn crispness. It had been raining almost non-stop for weeks beforehand, and then stormed the day after our wedding. Pure luck!
Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? We knew that we wanted an autumn wedding because of the gorgeous weather and beautiful, rich colours, and the rest just sort of fell in place!
The Wedding Details
Theme? I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted going in – I just knew a lot of what I didn’t like. As I worked through millions of references I began to refine my direction and found that I liked modern and minimal styling, with a touch of luxe boho. I met with my cousin-in-law who had just started her own styling business (Yellow Brick Interiors) and we worked out a plan to incorporate dark wood grains, wild-flowers, splashes of velvet and lots of moody lighting and candles!
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? We hired my cousin-in-law for our styling, and she was very hands-on. She and her husband built our reception, grazing and signing tables from scratch, as well as upholstering the cushions on the outdoor couches using re-painted vintage tables and stools as bases, making cushions, and arranging flowers using her haul from the Sydney Flower Market. My friend’s mum hand-made our grey napkins as I couldn’t find the right shade and another friend also made my throwaway bouquet out of flowers from the markets. I designed and printed our invitations, signage, menus, table number cards and all other stationary. We called upon some great friends to take on the roles of DJ, MC, cake maker and hair stylist.
We chose to forgo the traditional bridal party and instead, have our nearest and dearest join us at separate locations on the morning of the wedding to get ready together. We included them in different ways – including the task of being the MC, unofficial photographers, a ceremony reading and a speech. We still had our oldest nephew; 5-year-old Axton, present us with our wedding rings.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
Schedeen looked stunning in the 'Danna' lace gown from our BESPOKE collection.
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I used to work in Paddington and would always take note of the gorgeous boutique. When I became engaged I followed @kwhbridal on Instagram, which is where I first saw the 'Danna' gown and knew it was the one for me.
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Online, mostly social media.
How many gowns did you try? I think I asked the assistant to pull 3-4 gowns for me to try, however, I knew I only wanted the 'Danna' gown. It was the first one I tried at the Paddington boutique, and I wasn’t planning to bother with any others, but to be sure I tried on 1 or 2 more. The fact that I can’t remember what they were speaks volumes of my love for the Danna gown!
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? From the Karen Willis Holmes boutique in Paddington, NSW.
What did you especially like about your gown? The gorgeous V-shaped train! Also the long lace sleeves, the deep V-neck and the lace back and buttons. So, everything, I guess! The scalloped lace and pointed train gave it a touch of the bohemian vibe I was after, but in a more structured and luxurious way. About 6 months after I purchased my gown, I saw that it had been voted no. 6 in Vogue’s best gowns ever to walk the aisle, and that was quite a pleasant surprise!
Groom’s suit? Ted Baker London.
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown? I chose to keep it simple – nude heels and diamond stud earrings. I thought the dress spoke for itself and didn’t require over-accessorising. The earrings were an earlier birthday present from my husband and I couldn’t find any that I liked more for my wedding.
Where did you get your shoes from? Verali Shoes
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? No
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? You don’t have to buy into all of the traditions and expectations that come with having a wedding. Do it your way, staying true to what you and your partner want! Just because others have done the same thing a million times, it doesn’t mean you have to.
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go in with an idea of what you might like, but don’t be afraid to try on anything and everything. Be realistic when it comes to budget and don’t forget to add extra for alterations.
Photographer – The Evoke Company. Mathew Sacco. We found Mathew on Instagram and loved that he was able to switch between super moody and romantic, to a more laid-back and candid style. We found him to be very calm, easy-going, and keen to follow our brief (i.e no cheesy posing!). We are absolutely thrilled with how our photos turned out.
Florist – Little Bird Bloom in Bowral. Kathleen was lovely and accommodating, and delivered the exact bouquet I was after. She and her staff, especially Erinn, were very lovely to deal with.
Music – Old Mates. We came across old mates very randomly – when we were staying overnight in Orange NSW and they were playing at the bar we were at. They set the perfect vibe with their bluegrass and country style and were very lovely people. When it came time to dance, our good mate Ryan ‘DJ Riza’ jumped on the decks and gave us the most amazing mix of 90's and 00s RnB, pop and rap!
MC – my oldest friend, Shana!
Celebrant – Creative celebrations by Mary Dorahy. We instantly clicked with Mary after finding her on easyweddings.com. We had met with one or two other celebrants and found them to be quite old-fashioned and a little out of touch. Mary was very laid-back, easy to speak to, and happy to create a ceremony that reflected us as a couple.
Stationery – Myself!
Menu – Chef in Your Kitchen. Amazing! We opted for a family-style shared platter menu, which added to the friendly and intimate event we were striving for. Kelly and her team were super helpful in the lead up to, and on the day.
Cake – My friend Tennille Simmons who will be starting her own cake-making business. She made a phenomenal 2-tiered vegan black forest cake ...I’m counting down the days until our one-year anniversary so that we can eat the leftovers!
Bombonieres – We chose to make a donation in honour of our guests to BeyondBlue.
Hair – My lovely friend Tamika
Make-Up – Bec Garozzo Makeup Artist