Creative duo Hannah Emery and Ryan Fooks took over a year to plan their summer wedding. Despite a couple of mishaps and extreme weather it was a celebration with rustic styling and a timeless colour palette.
A WEDDING MOTTO
The motto for our wedding was, ‘If it doesn’t work out it isn’t meant to be’. We tried to think of unique ways to do things and made all of our decorations ourselves. We made confetti cones from old sheet music which held dried rose petals and spent days with our family and friends holding wedding working bees.
THE BEST MEDICINE
The day of our wedding was a scorching 44 degrees. Unfortunately the wedding car broke down on the way to the ceremony so my father and I had to hitch a ride to the gardens. I remember waiting on the side of the road in my Johanna Johnson dress thinking, ‘I am marrying my best friend no matter what’. You can laugh or cry when things go wrong but for me there was no choice, I chose laughter. One of Ryan’s groomsmen also fainted during the ceremony and my aunt broke her wrist on the dance floor! I’m sure they will make interesting stories for our children one day.
Our wedding had an almost mystic feel. Lights twinkled between the hedges and the rustic styling made it seem as though we had been transported into Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We dined on long tables beneath the glow of bronze chandeliers. The reception meal was a delicious shared Italian cuisine.
We used over 100 pears for our place settings and wedding favours. Ryan made 80 coasters and these were also given to guests. Each pear had a nametag that was dyed with coffee and tied with twine. Hessian table runners were covered with vintage bottles with mixed floral arrangements of small white daisies and baby’s breath. Hanging bottles of flowers and greenery from our garden left room for the share platters. I wanted our reception to feel like we were outdoors in a mythical forest.
SHORT AND SWEET
Our wedding cake was made by a friend. It was perfectly us with a single tier and white buttercream icing. In keeping with the garden surroundings it was presented on tree logs and decorated with flowers.
The reception was great fun. It was a balmy night and everyone was so relieved that the sun had finally gone down. Our live band set the mood as Ryan and I took our first dance to Angus and Julia’s Wedding Song. It was more like a sway but it was the happiest moment. It felt like we were the only 2 in the room.
CLOSE TO HOME
My aunt is a botanical artist and she drew the image for our wedding invitations. It featured a wreath of ivy around our initials interspersed with baby’s breath. We used this image throughout the wedding stationery. It looked especially beautiful printed on the handmade circle fans that were displayed in old suitcases. The fans also came in handy for the very warm day and doubled as the order of service. The design was our own emblem for the wedding. She gave us the original and it is now hanging in our living room.
Photography by Erin & Tara
Charmaine Hor and Steven Chan always knew they would tie the knot some day. So when Charmaine’s father’s cancer became critical, Charmaine knew she had to walk down the aisle with him by her side. For this reason they decided to say their vows 2 months later and share their love in front of their closest family and friends.
How did you find the wedding planning process?
Planning our wedding was quite stressful because we only had a 2 month timeframe. We had to overcome a number of hurdles in preparation for our fast-tracked wedding but we were fortunate that a wedding fair was on during this time. We were able to find the majority of our vendors through the event. We chose our venue Jonah’s because of the stunning beach views and garden setting. It meant we could have the best of both worlds. We were lucky to have secured a date with Jonah’s at such short notice after a reservation was cancelled just days before we enquired.
How was your ceremony space decorated?
She Designs Events helped style our beachside wedding ceremony with a vintage, lace inspired theme. Off-cuts of printed fabric in white and neutral tones were used to create a sweeping bunting backdrop for the ceremony. It blew gently in the breeze and framed the vista of the sparkling water below. Mismatched chairs in white were placed around the garden for our guests and peacock chairs and an antique sewing table were used for the signing table. To complete the look a lace teepee was raised for our photographs.
Why did you choose your particular gown?
My lace gown fitted in perfectly with the beachy feel of the venue. It featured a high neckline and cap sleeves with a scalloped hemline and peacock shaped train. It was a fashionable, summery alternative to more traditional wedding gowns.
Describe the styling of your reception.
Inside, we had lace hammocks, hanging crochet macramé with green ferns and delicate shell chandeliers. Given our neutral colour scheme for the props and furniture, we requested bright and bold flowers. Peonies, sunflowers, lilies and billy buttons were placed in various sized bottles and jars over hessian table runners on our reception tables to complete the look.
Did you have wedding favours?
Our wedding favours were small jars of mini chocolate chip cookies wrapped in brown kraft and secured with thin rope. They were labelled with our names and wedding date.
Describe the bridal party outfits.
To tie in with the beige tones of the wedding colour palette, my bridesmaids wore blush coloured, full-length gowns from Sheike that were fastened with Grecian rope halter ties. The groomsmen looked suave in their blue suits and Steven wore a white tie with a subtle paisley print.
Did you have live entertainment at your wedding?
We had the talented Dylan Wright perform before and after our ceremony. This allowed our guests to feel welcome and enjoy the atmosphere. Steven danced so enthusiastically that the sole of his shoe split in 2! Steven serenaded me with Arctic Monkey’s rendition of Baby I’m Yours and, as the sun set we had our first dance as husband and wife overlooking the ocean and we laughed, a lot.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding?
We now know that planning and organising a wedding can be stressful and challenging for newly engaged couples but entirely achievable within any given timeframe. It is so rewarding to see all your hard work come together.
To see Charmaine’s style guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au
Photography by Jo Bartholomew
With warmer weather approaching we are focusing less on formal bouquets and more on lightweight, unstructured arrangements with predominantly white flowers and green foliage. A hint of mint or trailing maidenhair fern is always a nice touch. Small accents of colour mixed in sparingly such as blush pink or deep burgundy also add depth and interest. I love the use of fruit in table arrangements. Lemons or limes sliced in half and placed amongst summery blooms, or green grapes immersed in vases create a special summer aesthetic.
KELLY MCGONAGLE OF BLUSH FLORAL DESIGN
Photos Cadence & Grace
Mint, coral, gold and black are some of the hottest colours in stationery right now. Designs are moving away from whimsical, vintage looks and we are seeing a surge in structured, contemporary styles. Letterpress is still popular but foiling is perfect for glamorous weddings.
TOP TIP … Magazines, blogs and Pinterest are a great source of inspiration but don’t try to fit every single trend into your wedding. Choose an overall look and feel for your wedding and personalise it with a few key ideas that suit you.
ALICIA PARSONS OF AKIMBO
Floral invitation image Jennifer Sando
The finer things
Have fun with your menu. Choose the food you love and add a little surprise. For example citrus flavoured cocktails set the scene for a gorgeous summer celebration. An ice cream after the ceremony on a hot day is always a hit. Shared grazing menus are also popular for the intimacy and fun of communal feasting. We are looking forward to delicious stone fruits, fresh berries and citrus flavours this summer. Try dill and citrus cured ocean trout with a baby fennel salad, confit spiced oranges and rocket pesto.
THE TEAM AT BURSARIA
Photos Chris Middleton Photography
We are celebrating the new season with soft hues of duck egg-blue and pastels of pink and peach. We are also embracing metal on metal, rose gold, amber and rustic tones.
DINE IN STYLE … This summer we are muddling up glassware in both shape and colour. Traditional silver cutlery is also being replaced with gold or black pieces. Elegant white china will also be intermingled with a stone or timber aesthetic. For a cheeky and fun alternative use perfume bottles instead of cocktail glasses and spritz your guests as they arrive.
THE TEAM AT THE DESIGN DEPOT
Photos Timothy Burgess
The scent of summer
Loose, garden style bouquets with fresh fragrances are superb for summer weddings. We love classic whites and greens but Moroccan tones of hot pink, purple, lime green, burnt orange and cobalt blue are exciting too! Long trailing jasmine and asparagus fern tendrils are a must for garden weddings.TOP 5 summer blooms:
- David Austin roses
VICTORIA WHITELAW OF VICTORIA WHITELAW
Find your muse
Look at home decorating magazines for inspiration for your wedding stationery. Interior design colours and patterns often translate across to wedding stationery.Summer stationery tips:
- Be bold and choose a bright colour scheme.
- Pick a quirky, summery graphic.
- Mix and match patterns working with hues of one colour only.
- Choose watercolours to evoke relaxed summer days by the beach.
SUZI WATERS OF ALANNAH ROSE STATIONERY
- Add quirky touches to your wedding menu for a great talking point.
- For the ‘wow factor’, use striped china or pastel coloured platters to present and serve food.
- Ice cream carts and old-fashioned drink stations are still on trend this season. There is also an increasing demand for late night comfort food such as mini pull pork sliders or fish and chip cones to satisfy cravings.
- The look and design of a plated dish is just as important as the taste.
THE TEAM AT PETER ROWLAND CATERING
Photos Classic Fusion Photography
A refined and classic colour palette of white and green was used at Randa Youssef and Peter Abboud’s lavish wedding at Oatlands House. Be inspired by the floral splendour and luxurious design of their ‘Enchanted Garden’ themed wedding.
From the entrance to the reception with its large waterfall covered with a myriad of flowers to the lush greenery that spanned the length of the bridal table, Randa and Peter’s wedding made an unashamedly bold statement.
Oatlands House offered Randa and Peter a timeless wedding venue with its Georgian architecture, palatial space and pristine garden backdrop. “We were able to bring the beauty of nature indoors and there was a seamless flow between the garden and inside,” Randa said. As such the theme for the wedding was ‘An Enchanted Garden’. Garlands in their multitude graced the ceiling and foliage and fresh white flowers lined the arched windows. The ornate, period features of Oatlands House were enhanced by the profusion of flowers.
“The wedding planning journey was particularly special for me because I had the support of my sister Diane Khoury who worked with us as our planner and stylist,” Randa said. “She took the wedding to a whole new level with her passion and love and made the wedding the best day of our lives.” Diane’s impeccable taste and eye for detail translated into every aspect of the wedding from the captivating floral displays to the lighting.
5 chandeliers hung behind the bridal table which was the focal point of the room. The table became a tapestry of foliage. Despite the lavish adornments there remained a sense of light and airiness to the space. This was achieved with the white colour scheme that provided a crisp, fresh look. Clean lines and lush plants also imbued a green warmth and calmness over the room. Dark linen graced the tables beneath large floral centrepieces and small chandelier-like lamps were covered in vines.
Randa wore a long sleeve, lace gown that finished with a mermaid skirt. “My inspiration was a Zuhair Murad dress. The dress was classy and royal,” Randa said. Peter wore a black tuxedo with matching bow tie and a white shirt.Fairy lights twinkled and candles glowed as guests dined. They were treated to a magical evening.
To see Felicity’s style guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au
Photography by GM Photographics
Felicity Pearce and Kenton Hall’s wedding was a riot of summer colour, from shocking pink to olive, apricot to lime green and an abundance of bright flowers. Accents of metallic silver and gold helped create a wedding with a bold and flirtatious style.
Felicity and Kenton met at their local surf lifesaving club in Portsea 7 years before Kenton proposed in 2012. “When Kenny took me out for a Christmas date I had no inkling that it might be ‘the night’. After dinner, he got up from the table to use the bathroom. I saw him stop at the cloakroom and assumed that he was looking for his wallet. Waiters swarmed towards him as he rifled through the pockets of his jacket. They backed away however as soon as Kenny waltzed towards me with a box in his hand and an enormous grin plastered on his face. He got down on one knee and said, ‘Felicity Eva Pearce, will you do me the honour of being my wife?’ It was such a beautiful moment.”
Felicity describes planning the wedding from start to finish as all-consuming, “It was like having a second full time job.” It took Felicity and Kenton over a year to plan their wedding and ‘foodies’ reception. “We love fine dining so for us it was really important to have great food and drink at our wedding.” The couple chose The Deck at The Prince in St Kilda for their wedding reception. Full of natural light, the interior invites the ever-changing exterior views of Fitzroy Street and Port Phillip Bay and the expansive timber terrace dotted with olive trees and benches also provides a great vantage point and place for guests to relax. Felicity and Kenton drew on aspects of the venue and added their own stylistic flair and personality. A pair of inflatable swans floated in the shallow pool in the centre of the space, “We wanted to showcase our personalities and make our guests feel completely at ease,” Felicity said.
The modern wedding decorations with hints of gold and silver helped create a festive mood. The fully sequinned bridal tablecloth was particularly eye-catching. The decorations complemented Felicity’s beaded gown. “I was flicking through a copy of Real Weddings magazine when I saw an incredibly elegant gown. I was so taken with it that I flew to Sydney to try it on,” Felicity said. “I tried on 3 other gowns during the appointment and ended up choosing the gown I had seen in the magazine!” A live singer and saxophonist were followed by a DJ and bongo drummer that lifted the vibe of the occasion. The live element also added visual excitement and guests danced the evening away.
To see Felicity’s style guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au
The edgy, urban setting of New York is where Natalie Azzopardi and Ryan O’Hare celebrated their wedding. Its residents and the city itself influenced the look and feel of the day to be romantic and modern.
ON THE SCENE
Natalie and Ryan were engaged in the winter of 2011 in New York so it was no surprise that they planned a destination wedding for the same location. “As our families live in different countries New York was an ideal, central location. It is also our favourite place so we didn’t think twice about having our wedding there. Our guests could enjoy an international holiday in one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world. It all added to the fun!” Natalie said.
Living in Melbourne while planning an overseas wedding, meant many late night Skype meetings for Natalie and Ryan with their suppliers. “We spent a large chunk of our budget flying to New York 3 times while we were planning the wedding. We visited venues, sampled catering menus and completed our pre-ceremony requirements at the church. Ryan’s family is Irish Catholic so we chose to have our ceremony at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Soho. The ceremony was traditional and was made all the more special by having the organ playing and the vocalist singing from the balcony into the vast cathedral.”
SHAKEN NOT STIRRED
After the ceremony guests enjoyed a cocktail hour on the terrace of The Foundry overlooking Manhattan. Dating back to the 19th century, The Foundry has been meticulously restored to showcase its industrial character. “The space was raw with exposed brick walls and a metal staircase,” Natalie said. The harder elements of the venue are offset with an outdoor courtyard, terrace and greenhouse which feature lush greens and trailing ivy.
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
“On a previous trip to New York Ryan and I had been really impressed with an acoustic performer we had seen playing on a subway platform. We took his details, kept in touch and booked him to play at our wedding. He played a mix of old and new songs from Tracy Chapman to Rihanna. We have since formed a great friendship and have visited on recent trips back to New York,” Natalie said.
Natalie and Ryan chose all white, deconstructed floral arrangements to decorate the tables at their reception. “We didn’t want anything that was too tightly packed and aimed for an elegant and free style,” Natalie said. Freesias, peonies, lisianthuses and sweet peas were gathered in loose clusters.The mezzanine level and small alcoves were lit with warm lights and strings of festoon lighting hung above the 2 long dining tables creating a cosy atmosphere within the industrial space. Modern cutlery and glassware was neatly placed and the stationery featured a simple, white and pale pink chevron pattern. The wedding favours were thankyou postcards and each image captured a different corner of New York. “We bought the postcards from a local photographer. We hope our guests will always remember their American experience,” Natalie said.
Natalie and Ryan received these oversized wooden letters as a gift. The ‘R’ is a map of Ireland where Ryan’s family is from, the ‘&’ is New York where the pair were married and the ’N’ is Melbourne where the couple now live.
To see Natalie’s style guide, be sure to visit http://www.realweddings.com.au/real-weddings
Photography by http://www.toriandsal.com/
Whips cracked as the ‘bushrangers’ guided their galloping horses across the paddock and over hay bales. Guests were mesmerised. With the riders dressed in Akubras and Driza-Bones, the show was a nod to the Australian outback and gave Tess Paul and John Sutherland’s wedding an exciting point of difference.
As John had proposed to Tess at the family residence in the Snowy Mountains, the property was the ideal place to host their wedding. “We wanted to get married in a place that held significance for us. When John proposed, he fished a bottle of chilled Champagne he had tied with string out of the cold creek in celebration. The Snowy Mountains is a place we can always go back to and remember our special day,” Tess said. “Our love of adventure and the outdoors brought John and I together and the Snowy Mountains is also where we enjoy many of these pursuits.”
As Tess and John have both worked in project management, their wedding was always going to be a highly organised event with the help of countless spreadsheets and whiteboard brainstorming. As it happened, Tess and her 2 siblings were all getting married in the space of 12 months so their mother was also in full wedding planning mode.
“John was heavily involved in all of the decisions about the wedding from food to flowers and had some very imaginative suggestions. These included training a kangaroo to deliver the wedding rings and hiring a hot-air balloon to take guests for rides!”
On a day with clear blue sky, Tess and John were married under the shadow of Mount Crackenback beside the creek where John had proposed. John and his groomsmen made their entrance riding retro bicycles across the paddock to the ceremony area and Tess’ nieces followed in their lace dresses with sparkling silver shoes and handmade flower chain headbands. “We wanted to create the feeling of being free and peaceful so we chose an open space surrounded by picturesque scenery,” Tess explained. Guests looked on from hay bale seats which Tess had lovingly covered with patterned ‘hippie’ blankets.
The colour scheme for the wedding included hues of pink, purple, yellow, orange, red and white. This rainbow palette contrasted with the dramatic backdrop of the snowgums with their silvery, twisted branches. “I was inspired by bohemian brides and weddings so our theme became ‘refined boho’. We simplified the style to make it true to us.”
Tess and John’s ceremony was intimate, personal and quirky. “We wrote our own vows and made sure every part of the ceremony reflected who we are. After we had been announced as husband and wife everyone tossed confetti and the band kicked it up a notch by playing Sugar, Sugar by The Archies.”
Solar lanterns lit the way to the marquee where dinner was served. The feeling of a large family meal was created with share platters of fresh produce, various meats and warm salads providing a gourmet spread. Guests were treated to the 2-tier, chocolate caramel marble cake with white chocolate ganache. Decorated with roses, eucalyptus, lavender and other blooms it reflected the beautiful natural surroundings.
Eclectic collections of vases overflowing with wild flowers and an abundance of tea light candles created a warm and inviting atmosphere at dinner. “The decorations were designed to add colour to the neutral canvas of the marquee.” Outside Tess had woven silver, bronze, pink and purple streamers through the trees for her own take on the ribbon walls typically used at rustic themed weddings. “My father used the metal circles from old wine casks to create hearts that we placed throughout the property.”
After a heartfelt ceremony and the thrilling, surprise appearance of the bushrangers, a bonfire was lit. By the warmth of the fire guests sipped craft beer, toasted marshmallows and enjoyed the serene view of the mountains.
To see Tess’s style guide, be sure to visit http://www.realweddings.com.au/real-weddings/27/178/tess-felicity-paul-and-john-anthony-sutherland/
Photography by: Alex Pasquali, http://alexpasquali.com/
Touches of Australian natives brought colour and cheer to Jacqueline Hellstern and Todd Gilligan’s wedding at Sergeants’ Mess in Chowder Bay.
Jacqui describes Todd as a true romantic and traditionalist. “We were planning a holiday to Italy where I was secretly hoping he would pop the question. I was however pleasantly surprised when he proposed during a romantic seaside lunch a week before we left.” The couple were able to celebrate their engagement with friends and family before they headed off on their ‘engagement moon’!
“We took a simple and relaxed approach to the wedding planning.” Jacqui and Todd were both heavily involved in the organisation of their special day. “Entertaining our friends and family is what we love to do, so we focused on creating a celebration of love, good food, wine and dancing.”
By settling one important aspect of the wedding per month, the wedding took a year to plan. “The venue set the theme for our wedding. I loved the elegance of the chandeliers, the incredible view and the surrounding Australian native landscape.” As such, ‘A Touch of Native’ was born.
Jacqui’s sister Josie was her only bridesmaid. She wore a bright coral, strapless dress with small train. “The dress was a nice contrast to the soft and romantic tones of the wedding décor,” Jacqui explained. Josie carried a bouquet of roses, blushing bride, tetra nuts and pieris ‘temple bells’. These flowers were also used for the reception decorations.
In keeping with the theme, Jacqui and Todd gave their guests a waratah seedling to plant and grow. “We hope it will always remind our guests of our growing love. The Waratahs are also Todd’s favourite rugby team and having just won the Super XV it was an easy choice for us.”
Todd wore a midnight blue suit with black lapels and bow tie. “I wasn’t allowed to see him in his suit until I was walking down the aisle. Just like my dress, it was a lovely surprise,” Jacqui said. Ironically, Jacqui wore the Karen Willis Holmes ‘Jacqueline’ dress with jewel-beaded embellishment. “It was meant to be because it had my name on it!”
The couple had their first dance to Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight. “Todd often sings this song to me so it was a meaningful choice for us. I will always remember it as our song.”
To see Jacqueline ’s style guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au
Photography by Society Photography
When Nicole and Matthew met, it was love at first sight. Nicole shares the story of their 18-month engagement, and the happiest day of their lives, with Real Weddings.
Matt proposed to me at his uncle’s holiday house in Daylesford. He popped the question whilst we were having a cup of tea one morning before we were headed for a spa session at Hepburn Springs. Before I knew what was happening, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. I cried and then remembered to say yes!
That night went to Sault for a delicious dinner to celebrate. It was the first time we had been (to Sault) and we fell in love instantly. I said to Matt, “I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, as we only did just get engaged, but we could get married here!” We spoke to the owner about a few details and then a week later, we booked it in!
I always loved the look of flower halos that some brides wear, however I felt I couldn’t pull it off, so instead I chose an amazing headpiece from Jaenette Maree in Armadale. I described to her what I envisioned and we created a beautiful halo. I paired it with my best friend Marysia’s Tiffany pearl earrings (my ‘something borrowed’), which was really special, as she had worn them on her wedding day.
Joy in Tradition
Walking down the aisle was the happiest moment of my life; seeing Matt for the first time that day. I couldn’t wipe the smile of my face, even if I tried. Matt said this was his favourite moment of the day as well, seeing me in my dress for the first time.
Getting our photos taken before the reception was also so much fun. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! Spending time with our bridal party and having lots of laughs. It also allowed time for Matt and I to catch our breath and have a little chat before we went on to the reception.
My dad made beautiful wooden love hearts as table numbers for us; he also made our table-seating chart. Matt’s step mum Vivienne created our guest favours, which were glass jars filled with little lollies.
I made a box filled with anything a girl could possibly need to freshen up and left it in the female bathrooms. It included perfume, Band-Aids, hair spray, and Panadol. The most popular item was the Mentos!
We also organised a Sunday catch up the next day, for any guests to come and have a drink and debrief about the wedding. It was so good to listen to everyone’s stories from the day.
To see Nicole’s style guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au
Photography by Figtree Wedding Photography
Jessica and Aaron held a cocktail style wedding at Gunners’ Barracks in Mosman, New South Wales. It was an intimate and elegant affair and Jessica looked radiant in her bespoke, soft peach wedding gown.
Jessica had trouble finding a wedding dress that was “just me” so she didn’t end up trying on a single gown. Instead, she took a range of images of styles she liked to Miss Carla, a dressmaker in Manly. Alexander McQueen was a source of inspiration for the gown that was created specifically for Jessica. It had a corset structure to the waist and was detailed with black piping and button fastening. It had a strapless neckline with a sheer back and the A-line skirt was layered with silk and tulle. “The finishing touches were a rose gold metallic belt, cuff and shoes. The look was romantic yet modern and suited my style perfectly,” Jessica said.
Jessica and Aaron’s ceremony took place just before sunset so they chose to have their photographs taken prior to the ceremony, before the light began to fade. “It was so special to have a private moment together before the wedding. Aaron was standing at the end of the long driveway near the waters edge at Gunners’ Barracks and I walked down the ‘aisle’ towards him. It was very touching and personal.”
“My mother and my father walked me down the aisle at the ceremony.” This is another unique choice that Jessica recommends to brides, “It was comforting to have them both beside me as they are equally important in my life.”
“Gunners’ Barracks is an intimate venue that required little decoration. We really wanted the beauty of the place to shine through,” Jessica explained. Jessica and Aaron were able to mix traditional and modern styling through their floral arrangements, Jessica’s gown and the existing décor of the venue.
The floral arrangements consisted of lush greenery with predominantly white flowers. King proteas, peonies, tulips, succulents, jonquils, lisianthuses, corkia, berry and asparagus fern were used. Aaron’s buttonhole was a combination of cymbidium orchids and succulents and was tied with burlap.
To see Jessica’s style guide, be sure to visit realweddings.com.au
Photography by My Lens of Love