Real Wedding – Blossom Delight

Kylie Halliday and Ben Pintos-Oliver share their wedding day extravaganza with Real Weddings.

Cruising Proposal
After luring Kylie in for a picnic, Ben got down one knee just as speed boat disembarked a large luxury cruiser that had anchored offshore.
The speedboat had come to take Kylie and Ben aboard the cruiser, where Kylie was ushered downstairs to find a new dress, shoes, and accessories waiting for her.
Once she’d changed, they cruised into Circular Quay, where 30 close friends waving balloons and banners were waiting to board the boat to celebrate their earlier engagement.

A Perfect Match
Finding the perfect venue was one of the hardest aspects of the wedding planning process for Kylie and Ben. “We had two key requirements; we wanted a non traditional, unique space and it had to be be on the water. As soon as we set foot on Cockatoo Island we knew we had found the one. There was so much about it that was perfect. It was a blank canvas, meaning we could bring in our own caterers, styling, furniture and entertainment. We loved that there were so many different locations on the island that we could utilise throughout the day for the ceremony, picnic, reception and all the little surprises along the way.” said Kylie.

Turning Japanese
When deciding on the overall theme for their wedding, Kylie and Ben wanted to incorporate a Japanese element, as Ben’s mother and grandmothers have Japanese heritage. To do this they used Kylie’s favourite flowers, cherry blossoms, throughout the styling; 1000 paper cranes made by Ben’s grandmother, hanging above the dance floor; and bamboo palms in the chill-out area.

Surprise Location
“We wanted the whole day to be a surprise for our guests so the location was a secret, all they knew was that they had to meet a person with a giant balloon at the Quay. They were then taken across to the island, via ferry ride on the harbour. After the ceremony they were surprised with a picnic on top of the island watching the sunset. They were then led through the middle of the island through a tunnel lit by 100 candles and brought to a marquee outside the reception for cocktails and canapés, before being led inside the naval store for a sit down dinner and entertainment.” said Kylie.

Love at First Sight
Kylie chose to wear Johanna Johnson’s ‘Sassine’ gown, the first gown she tried on. With it’s structured lines, silk covered buttons and detachable tulle skirt, it was love at first sight. Kylie finished off her look with a Swarovski crystal jewelled belt and matching head piece, also by Johanna Johnson.

Grey Suits You
Ben chose to wear a grey suit, and found the perfect one at Hugo Boss. In keeping with the colour palette, he paired it with a soft pink shirt, matching grey and white patterned bow tie, and pocket square and braces.

The Greatest Gift
Kylie and Ben chose to have a honeymoon gift registry with a travel agent, allowing them to embark on their dream honeymoon to the Seychelles Islands. The greatest gift of all came afterwards, finding out they had returned home pregnant with their first child, “our very own honeymoon baby,” said Kylie.

To see Kylie’s Style Guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au

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Photography by Len from I Love Wednesdays

Real Wedding – Country Elegance

On a warm summer afternoon in rural Victoria, Tania Petts and Simon Hill were wed beneath a magnificent elm tree.

With its vast grounds, modern restaurant and boutique accommodation Lindenwarrah allowed Tania and Simon to fulfill their vision of an understated, modern wedding.

Originally from Wangaratta, Tania and Simon wanted to create an intimate celebration in the country so guests could experience the region where they had both grown up.

The styling was sophisticated and simple with a restricted colour palette. Fresh, white blooms of hydrangeas, tulips and roses were heavily featured throughout the wedding, and hanging frames added interest and a sense of theatricality to the ceremony space. Tania and Simon were all smiles as they said their vows, “We told our story and shared many laughs. It was a heartfelt ceremony and I will always treasure my memories of the day,” Tania said.

Tania looked stunning in her strapless, bespoke gown. “I was blown away with Jane Hill’s incredible creation. I felt nothing short of amazing and cherish the fact that I was able to work with such a talented woman.” Tania kept her jewellery to a minimum with large pearl earrings and a classic bun hairstyle that showcased the elegant cut of the gown.

Tania and Simon’s reception had a spirited feel. With its bi fold doors and panoramic view over the vineyard, Restaurant Merlot was the ideal size for the couple’s seating arrangement of 3 long dinner tables. With the bride and groom situated in the middle, Tania and Simon felt they could connect with all their guests.

Large clusters of flowers were showcased at the reception and as a parting gift, guests could visit the ‘wrapping station’ and take home a sweet-smelling reminder from the day. Tania and Simon also thanked their guests with custom-made chocolate bars.

To see Tania’s Style Guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au

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Photography by Meaghan Cook

Real Wedding – Rustic Love

Wanting to combine the intimacy of a small wedding with the joyous festivities of a large Italian wedding, Emily Hunt and Damon Scolaro went about creating a wedding celebration that truly represented them as a couple.

With Emily wishing for a rustic barn ceremony, and Damon wanting a church ceremony, the couple compromised with the local priest marrying them in the beautiful gardens at Stirling Cottage, on the banks of the Harvey River in Western Australia.

Choosing a ‘vintage bohemian’ theme, with a colour palette of pinks, whites, golds and hessian, Emily wore a gown by Grace Loves Lace in keeping with their theme, and as it was lightweight with a flowing skirt, she was able to dance the night away!

Rustic flower arrangements continued their theme with various pink roses, peonies, white gum, berries and babies breath used in both the bouquets and reception centrepieces.

After their wedding ceremony, Emily and Damon’s guests were treated to an iced tea station, with milk bottles and paper straws displayed on vintage furniture. A selection of vintage and oversized games were also on hand for guests to enjoy after the ceremony.

At their wedding reception, each of the table centrepieces were hand made by Emily, Damon and their families, with Emily’s Mum having collected books from op shops and antique stores leading up to the wedding.

For their wedding cake Emily and Damon chose a three tier white chocolate mud cake, embellished with a lace overlay, ruffles, and pink sugar peonies.

During their speeches, Damon’s dad gave Emily a key necklace, a touching gift, symbolising she can go to them for anything that she may need in the future. Plenty more toasts were shared, before they danced into the night with their family and friends, as husband and wife.

To see Emily’s Style Guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au

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Photography by Amy and Alec Ovans at Amare Images

Real Wedding – Unique Touch

Lia DiMingo and James Kasikakis grew up in the same local area, but it wasn’t until years later, both returning home after having lived overseas, that they started dating. Lia shares their story with Real Weddings, and describes how they kept their wedding day true to who they are.

THE RING

On the beach in Ulluwatu, Bali, James asked me to take a photo. Out of the camera case I pulled a box with a diamond inside. Before I knew it, he was down on one knee asking me to spend the rest of my life with him as husband and wife. I loved the fact he proposed with a diamond only, as it gave me complete creative freedom to design my own ring.

THE GOWN

I chose a designer that was going to give me creative license to design my dress in collaboration with their ideas. I knew what I wanted but found that many designers had a range which you had to stick to, allowing for minimal changes and fabric choices. Sonia from Sonia Cappellazzo Couture and I were on the same page – she understood exactly what I was after.

THE FLOWER GIRLS

My 90 year old grandmother is a dressmaker and really wanted to make the flower girl dresses. She did a fantastic job with the little lace top and tulle skirt. They both wore silver high-tops as shoes – which were too cute!

THE FLOWERS

When choosing flowers, it was simple. I didn’t necessarily pick ‘typical wedding flowers’ instead I went with my favourites, King Proteas. Everyone that knows me know it is my favourite flower. I’m not a roses kind of girl.

THE VENUE

We chose Luminare because it is very modern and very much represented James and my style. It doesn’t have a traditional reception centre feel about it, and you can create a warm atmosphere and mingle with everyone around the bar, lounge and dance floor after your meals, rather than staying at your allocated tables.

THE RECEPTION

Our bridal table was in the middle of the room. We wanted to be amongst our guests not up on a table facing everyone. We also decided to have the husbands and wives of those in our bridal party join us for drinks after the ceremony and to sit with us on the bridal table.

THE SMALL STUFF

Don’t sweat the small stuff, particularly things that are out of your control. I was really worried about the weather leading up to our wedding, and it ended up raining. I can honestly say I didn’t let it bother me, in fact I barely noticed it; I was floating on cloud nine.

To see Lia’s Style Guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au

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Photography by Meredith O’Shea

Real Wedding – A Pink Fairytale

Julie Taing and Thomas Lo’s wedding had incredible visual panache and innovative style. Exceptional design made for an unforgettable event.

A private beach in Bora Bora was where Thomas proposed to Julie his girlfriend of 4 years. Having organised a romantic dinner at sunset, he popped the question and made sure the magical moment was captured by a photographer.

Julie and Thomas found the wedding planning process to be stressful at times. “There were so many suppliers and different styles of weddings that we felt quite overwhelmed,” Julie said. However after seeking help from Marisa Welcome, Principal Planner and Stylist at A Lavish Affair, Julie and Thomas were given the advice and direction that allowed them to relax and enjoy organising what was going to be a spectacularly elaborate wedding.

The wedding day began with a traditional Chinese ceremony where Julie and Thomas served tea to their immediate families. As per the tradition, in return, family members presented the pair with red envelopes that contained gift money.

The intimate setting of Thomas’ family home in Toorak was where they chose to be married. “It was so meaningful to take our vows in the home where Thomas grew up, and where we have shared so many memories,” Julie said.

Elm trees and a magnificent red oak tree cast shade, providing a cool retreat from the sunshine for guests who sipped Champagne and relaxed on white tiffany chairs. The aisle was lined with white rose petals and Julie walked towards Thomas to the melodious sound of Pachelbel’s Canon played by a string quartet. The pair stood in front of a birch ceremony structure draped with sheer, white fabric and mixed pink and white blooms. The iron gates and surrounding fence of the garden were dressed with lush ivy and flowers.

When it came to choosing her gown, Julie couldn’t decide between a princess ball gown or a slim fitting dress. She decided to wear a Sottero and Midgley tulle ball gown for the ceremony and then changed into a Demetrios beaded lace dress for the reception. She accessorised with silver, T-bar Jimmy Choo heels and diamond and pearl earrings which she received as a wedding gift from her mother. For her something old Julie wore a diamond tennis bracelet that her mother in-law had passed on to her. “It felt special and symbolic to be able to wear something from both our families,” Julie said.

Julie and Thomas chose the avant-garde, waterfront event space of Peninsula for their wedding reception. As they were having a second wedding at the hotel ballroom at Intercontinental Hong Kong, Julie and Thomas were keen to have something completely different in Australia. The spacious and modern interior of the Docklands venue was the blank canvas they were looking for to transform into a dynamic and lavishly decorated reception space.

Inspired by Julie’s love of all things pink and beautiful, the theme for the reception was ‘A Pink Fairytale’. This was created with soft pink light, copious amounts of pink flowers with painted gold leaves, and 3 daring floral and crystal hanging installations. Hard-working suppliers waved their magic wands to make the romantic vision a reality and a dream come true for Julie and Thomas.

A 6 piece band entertained guests all evening and the night concluded with a Champagne toast on the pier overlooking Victoria Harbour. Julie and Thomas cut their grand, 5-tier cake and snuck a quick kiss before a spectacular display of fireworks began.

To see Julie’s Style Guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au

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Photography by Blumenthal Photography

Wedding fashions – Groom Style

Here in the Real Weddings office, we are often swept away by the stunning gowns worn by our featured brides. However, we also love when our featured grooms have stepped out of the box and are wearing something special. Whether it be a three-piece suit, contrasting jacket and pants combination, or vibrant accessories; bow tie, neck tie or a pocket square, just to name a few.

Here we take a peek at the 2015 autumn/winter campaign of Australian label, M.J. Bale, for some wedding day groomswear inspiration. Shot in Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, the autumn/winter campaign was crafted as the ‘Adventures of a Well-Dressed Gentleman’ just as every groom should feel on his wedding day; a gentleman on his next adventure.

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Visit mjbale.com

Real Wedding – Two to Tango

Real Weddings’ industry colleagues Mark Magennis and Peter Fulton from Decorative Events & Exhibitions described the inspiration behind their ‘Buenos Aires Tango’ themed reception that followed on from their commitment ceremony. As innovative stylists and event experts, Mark and Peter’s wedding showcased what they do best.

True to their personalities, Mark and Peter’s special day was full of laughter and bright colours. Introduced in 2001, Mark and Peter bonded over their love of design and events and uncannily, lived in the same building! Since then the pair have been inseparable.

Although Australia is yet to introduce marriage equality, Mark and Peter decided not to wait any longer as, in the eyes of their friends, family and work colleagues, they were already a married couple. Mark and Peter were given lots of support and encouragement in the lead up to their special day. It was also a milestone for the couple as they were both turning 40 that same week.

“The lead up to our wedding was manic as all weddings are. We made the ambitious decision to host the wedding on our farm 3 hours away from Sydney. Thankfully our dear friend and leading wedding planner Kathy Apostolidis from Nightingales looked after all the details together with our dedicated team at Decorative Events & Exhibitions,” Mark said.

The ceremony was set near the farm’s original homestead and had a colonial feel that made for scenic photographs. “We walked through the green paddocks to All of Me by John Legend. The altar was set in a circle of 100-year-old poplar trees and Peter’s father held our hands as we walked down the aisle together. It was an incredibly moving moment.” At the conclusion of the ceremony guests were served Champagne and nibbles as they mingled in the dappled light that filtered through the trees.

Although ‘Buenos Aires Tango’ was an unlikely theme in a country setting, Mark and Peter’s farmhouse was the perfect blank canvas to create a wedding with a unique and colourful design. The theme was inspired by vintage, 3.8 metre high doors they had imported from Argentina and installed. A large shed was converted into a vibrant and exotic themed room and the lights, colour and music that flooded the space evoked a festive and truly South American vibe.

An Argentine BBQ station and a smoked ham and cheese station were on display as well as huge pans of seafood paella. The band even invited Mark and Peter’s friends and family to try out their salsa moves! “Our bridal waltz was a surprise tango routine we had perfected after only 3 lessons,” Mark said. The couple danced beneath a flamboyant and bold coloured ribbon canopy that represented South America and took 3 days to install. The other end of the room featured chandeliers and a soft vintage blue to evoke the grandeur of Buenos Aires.

“Our wedding was just perfect. There is no other occasion in your life that brings your family and closest friends together to celebrate your love for your partner,” Mark said.

To see Mark and Peter’s Style Guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au

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Photography by Harustudio

The Refectory Werribee Park

Our friends at boutique catering company Bursaria, have recently launched a new Melbourne venue; The Refectory Werribee Park.

Known for their work at the historic Abbotsford Convent, Bursaria’s new addition is yet another stunning historic venue.

 Set within the historic Werribee Park Mansion only 30 minutes from Melbourne, The Refectory is set within 10 acres of formal gardens and rolling lawns surrounding the grand 1870s Mansion.

Currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment, The Refectory will seat up to 180 guests and feature classic architecture, designer chandeliers, spectacular high ceilings and luxury contemporary furnishings.

For more information visit bursaria.com.au/the-refectory-werribee-park/

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Real Wedding – Harbour Elegance

With their first date in Italy, having met on a tour through Europe, Kelly and Andrew’s wedding day was always going to reflect their time spent overseas.

After returning home to Australia to build their first home together, Andrew proposed to Kelly with a picnic on the block of land that would one day become home to their family.

Deciding on simple yet elegant styling, with a colour palette of white, champagne, blush and grey, they chose beautiful, traditional letterpress for their stationery suite.

Wanting to showcase Sydney to family and friends travelling from interstate, the couple chose Sergeants Mess for their ceremony and reception, with its harbour location and natural bushland surrounds.

For their ‘first look’ however, the Sydney Opera House was the perfect backdrop. ”Andrew stood on the top steps with his back to me as I made my way up the many steps towards him. As he turned around, our eyes met for the first time on our special day; a moment that we will treasure forever.” said Kelly.

At their reception, Kelly and Andrew named each of the guest tables after a city that was particularly memorable to them and had a world map seating chart, indicating which city-table guests were seated at.

Table centrepieces consisted of footed vases overflowing with white florals, blush pink roses, ranunculus, dusty miller and lily of the valley, which also matched the stunning bouquets of the bridal party.

For their wedding cake, Kelly and Andrew chose a three tier white chocolate and fresh raspberry cake with vanilla Italian meringue buttercream, embellished with delicate sugar flowers. Vanilla macarons with a ribbon tied, letterpressed thank you note were given to their guests as bonbonniere.

“After sharing such beautiful moments with our family and friends, the day concluded with a private ferry cruise whilst watching the sun set over the Opera House. We had the most wonderful day and it was everything we dreamed it would be.” said Kelly.

To see Kelly’s Style Guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au

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Photography by LB Photography

Real Wedding – Modern Romance

The contemporary interior of Alto, in Melbourne’s iconic GPO building, made for a modern wedding reception for Melissa Barberoglou and Adam Fato. With its simple and stylish décor, the couple described their wedding as the absolute pinnacle of their lives.

Melbourne Planetarium was where Adam proposed to Melissa. “I got my inspiration from a Friends episode,” Adam explained. “In the show Ross describes how he would propose to Rachel at a museum planetarium. I discovered that I could do the same thing at Melbourne Planetarium at Scienceworks. At first Melissa was confused about why we would go there.

Once we’d arrived we sat on recliner chairs to watch a space film on the roof screen in a full, 160-seat theatre. Melissa always falls asleep in movies so I kept tapping her to make sure she was awake. When the film ended the stars on the roof formed a quote we have always loved, ‘I love you. These three words have my life in them’. I got down on one knee in the dark. Melissa looked baffled at first and then became hysterical. Luckily she managed to say yes!”

Melissa admits there was a bit of a mad scramble in the last month before the wedding. “There are so many little things to think about like a pen for the guest book. I’m sure I was a Bridezilla but I wanted to make sure we had remembered all the details,” Melissa laughed.

Everything came together for Melissa and Adam’s wedding. The ceiling space at Alto was highlighted with hanging decorations of white blossom branches and glass baubles filled with cream coloured orchids. The baubles also added an artistic, structural element. The table settings were minimalistic with tea lights and small bottles filled with flowers. Alto’s chic industrial finish and deep purple walls gave the space a unique edge and floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a large outdoor terrace provided stunning city views.

Melissa and Adam had a 4-tier cake with a hint of metallic sparkle. The silver-leaf layer was surrounded by 3 other individually designed sections. The cake was a combination of white and milk chocolate mud.

Melissa and Adam felt strongly about making donations to charity instead of distributing wedding favours. “We gave money to causes that were close to our hearts and provided each of our guests with a pin as an acknowledgement of the donation,” Melissa said.

To see Melissa’s Style Guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au

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Photography by Eye to Eye Photography