How did you meet your partner? Jon and I have the same circle of friends and have known each other since we were 18. I was immediately attracted to Jon when we first met and every time I saw him I waved with fluttery eyes and said: “Hi Jonny!!!” Jon lights up every room he walks into and he is the light of my life. About ten years later at a Chemical Bros gig, I bet him a million dollars he would fall in love again and 6 months later I won the bet and we did just that.
How long have you been together? Almost 6 Years
Do you have a proposal story? It was Christmas Morning and Jon got me up early (5 am) to take our (children) Border Collies Molly and Toby to our favorite spot - Point Cartwright. It was going to be a busy day visiting family so we wanted to get them out and about before leaving them all day. Jon let me walk ahead of him on the beach and he called out my name – I turned around and he was on one knee. It was a cloudy moody morning and we were the only ones there. It was perfect as there was no surprise picnic set ups or weird out of character moments it was just Jon asking me to be his wife with our puppies on our beach to ourselves.
What was your wedding date? 22 April 2017
Ceremony & Reception
Location? Coolabine Ridge Eco Sanctuary, Mapleton
What made you choose there? It was where Jon and I got together celebrating his dads 60th almost 6 years prior.
We were originally going to get married in Bali, we had found a Villa and started working with a coordinator and just found it to be too much, I felt stressed about the whole thing it just didn’t feel right!!
We went back to the drawing board and took a drive up to Coolabine Ridge in Mapleton, not only is it where Jon and I first got together but the area is where I grew up and spent many special moments with my Grandma and Papa who are no longer with us – I felt close to them up there, I could feel them with us and Jon and I agreed that this was the place we would get married.
How did you find it? A friend of ours runs the property and we can’t recommend this place enough!! The accommodation is beautiful with a big old Queenslander which used to be the old Lighthouse Keepers House on the Sunshine Coast and then 3 self-contained cabins overlooking the Obi Obi Range. We also had many guests camp for the wedding.
The property has many locations you can get married at, we chose the large gum tree overlooking the Obi Obi Range. We will be forever grateful for Marcus, he worked so hard to make the property look immaculate. From the setup of the marquee to being my chauffeur to the ceremony – Thank you Marcus xo
How was the weather on the day? It rained all morning, it was windy and cold but it didn’t bother us. It started to clear about midday and then when it came time to get married the wind disappeared and the sky was blue with a star lit sky in the evening, I know we were looked down from above.
I made a deal with myself not to let the weather worry me from the start as our event was quite weather dependent I ensured I had a good wet weather plan and had the attitude of what will be will be…
Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? No reason other than April's weather is always perfect – not too hot not too cold.
The Wedding Details
I was lucky enough to work with Style Le Aisle who helped bring my vision to life. Jacinta and Scienta are sisters passionate about styling and went above and beyond. I am not only lucky to have them as our wedding stylists but Jacinta is one of my dearest friends so it meant a lot that they were involved in our day. Jacinta surprised me with 2 peacock chairs for Jon and I to sit on at our table, they made it all come together and we felt like a King and Queen.
Style Le Aisle had a wreath that I had always loved, it was hanging in Jacinta's house and thought we could use it to symbolize eternity and commitment. I got Little Duck Botanicals to embellish the wreath with flowers and we hung it from the gum tree for our ceremony and then moved it to hang behind us at our reception.
We wanted our day to be relaxed and full of love with the ones we loved. We just wanted everyone to feel the love we felt and most of all have fun – and I think we achieved that!
Theme? I've never thought of a theme, I’ll call it Classic Country…My Grandma grew Dahlias in her garden, I wanted mostly burgundy dahlias but they were hard to find. On the day, our florist contacted me unsure if I would like my bouquet as it didn’t have the burgundy I wanted, however, it had all the flowers and colors that were in my Grandmas garden – it was like she picked them for me and that’s all that I needed.
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? At the start, I was all about trying to do as much as I could myself, I am a cake maker by passion and was going to make our cake then one night I thought – what am I doing!! I don’t want to be running around on our wedding day I want to enjoy it!! So I then made sure I didn’t do anything on the day and organized our wedding cake 2 weeks prior to the wedding (Thanks, Nola xo)
We had to hire everything for our wedding so I organized all the vendors myself. I had a good friend in the catering industry so we got to work together to create Mediterranean grazing tables. We helped Style le Aisle set up the day before which was fun it was nice to see it come together. Other than that, I tried not to do too much as I wanted to enjoy the moments and not be running around organizing as that’s what I mainly do and when I do I try and take control so it was best I sat back and let it happen.
We didn’t have any Bridesmaids and Groomsman it was just us…I got ready with my girlfriends and family and Jon did the same with his mates but we just wanted it to be us two on the day.
Jons daughter (my stepdaughter) Delilah was our Flower Girl, we included her into our vows and presented Delilah with a ring when we exchanged ours as we now share a last name and wanted her to be just as involved as we were.
Oh, and let’s not forget Molly and Toby who were also our flower girl and page boy. Jon, Delilah, Molly and Toby arrived after our guests with our parents as an entrance instead of having Jon waiting at the altar.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
Shana wore the 'Blake/Prea' gown from the DYG collection
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I followed KWH on Instagram and loved her designs. My Mum, Brother and I were spending the day in Brisbane and decided to book in and have some fun trying on dresses. 18 Months out, I didn’t think I'd be finding my gown on that day. But I did…
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Hello May led me to follow KWH on Instagram.
How many gowns did you try? I think about 5 to 10 gowns – most were Karen Willis Holmes
Where did you purchase your gown from? Paddington, Brisbane
What did you especially like about your gown? She was called Prea when I first tried her on, my Brother had pointed the dress out on your Instagram page and demanded that I tried her on. Prea was the first dress I tried on and I have never experienced the feeling that came over me in my life… So many people had said to me you will know when you find the dress and since I’m not a big shopper I didn’t really believe them…But it’s true…You do know when you find the one…There were tears and I just felt so elegant and beautiful…
Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Roger David
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? Mimco Pearl Earrings – I am not a big accessories girl. I added a flower hair piece when I took my veil out.
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a French Silk Cathedral Veil from KWH and Little Duck Botanicals made me a head piece for the reception.
What advice would you give brides organising their wedding? Don’t go over the top…Keep it simple…Enjoy the moments you have whilst planning with the ones you love…Don’t wish the time away – you think you have time but it comes and goes before you know it…
Take in the time getting ready with your loved ones, take a moment with your family/loved ones before the rush out the door as that’s one thing I didn’t do and I wish I had.
Oh and don’t bother about the bridal party – just you two! That’s all you need….
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Walk in with an open mind – you may think you know what you want but you will be surprised what you will find. I thought I wanted a lacey boho flowery gown and I got the complete opposite!!
Buy the dress you love – you will never get this moment again and it is so worth it! I have never felt so beautiful in my life.
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day.
My Grandma and Papa passed many years ago, they both played such an important role in my life and I miss them terribly. For our wedding day, my mum had a locket made by a dear friend of ours (Coolbabycool) to wrap around my bouquet so they would be with me in every step and oh my – they were!!. Grandmas wish was to see me get married and even though I couldn’t see her I could feel her, I could feel both of them – we all could.
Photographer – Janneke Storm – My best friend guided me to Janneke and I immediately fell in love with her work. We didn’t want the typical wedding photographer, we wanted our wedding captured in moments and Janneke did just that! Janneke felt like she was part of the family and I can’t imagine our day without her, I am actually sad to think that we don’t get to hang out again now the wedding is over. All my love to you Janneke xo
Florist – Yukari Botanicals - Ella was so lovely to work with, I had always admired her work as she was out of the box and I had complete trust in what she would create on the day. Ella went above and beyond and I know how much effort and time she put into our day. Thank you Ella xo
Videographer – One thing I wish I had spent the money on – but where do you stop…
Music – Carl Lynch played for the ceremony and canapes, Carl and Jon worked down at the snowfields together so it was nice he could be a part of our day.
Jon’s Dads Band played for the remainder of the night, he played in the same spot when we met 6 years ago so I’m thankful they played on our night as well. We danced all night.
First Dance – Never Tear Us Apart - INXS - We have sung this song at the top of our lungs through our whole relationship, we grew up with INXS and it means so much to us so it was only natural that it was what we danced to. We never once rehearsed our wedding dance but we nailed it!! Well, I think we did anyway!! You Were Right by Rufus played straight after and everyone came and danced with us…
MC – Varsha – our close friend, he is a family friend of the Keams and he MC’d at Jons brothers and sister’s wedding so it was only natural he would be ours as well.
Celebrant – Tim Abbot – Tim married my Dad and Step mum – we wanted a personal and quick ceremony and we got just that – so many people have said how much love they felt xx
Stationery – Simplethings Press – Sarah was amazing!! I admired her work on Instagram and it was all perfect!! My primary school best friend Shelley Murfitt made all our signage for the day – it was so special to have her play a part in our day – she will always have a place in my heart.
Menu – Claudes Food – Claude worked for my Mum and I at a café we used to own. Claude taught my mum and me many skills in the kitchen and played a big part in why we love to cook today. I wanted to make sure our guests had a food experience and from what I hear they did!! Claude created a large antipasto grazing platter which then carried on to a Mediterranean Grazing Table and most comments I have heard are “best wedding food ever” Thank you Claude xo
Cake – Cakes by Nola - Nola and I used to work together and talk cakes all the time, comparing recipes, quotes and designs we both have a passion for cake…I contacted Nola only a few weeks out from our wedding asking if she would make our wedding cake and thank god she said yes… Nola created the most beautiful cake and it was just as delicious to eat. Nola went above and beyond to get our cake delivered to us with many windy roads to conquer - the cake made it in one piece and I am so thankful for her efforts… Thank you Nola xo
Hair + Makeup– Katie Lawrence hair and makeup – Katie is a friend of mine and she did my make up for our friend’s wedding and I always thought I would use her for mine one day!! And I did! It was the best decision I made! Katie made sure I got a hair trial when I said don’t worry about it (thank god, we did that) Katie made everyone beautiful and I couldn’t recommend her enough!! She even does a little crazy dance with you when you're shaking off the nerves. Thank you, Katie xo
Wedding Bands – My wedding band was from Canturi which matched my engagement ring.
My best friend and now my sister in law’s Mum, Mumma Sue made Jons wedding band out of sterling silver, Jon didn’t think he would like to wear a band but he loves it.
Extra features -
We hired Wilson Pop Up Bar to serve the drinks for our wedding. Josh was a pleasure to work with, we decided to hold and Espresso Martini Hour and Josh made it happen for us, he even created another sidebar to cater for the Martini Lineup– it was a huge hit at the wedding! Wilson also looked after the wedding menus and styled their bar to go with our theme. Thanks, Josh and Co!!!