Category Archives: Real Wedding

Provence wedding by Xavier Navarro

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I had to pick my jaw up off the ground the first time I laid eyes on this wedding by Xavier Navarro! I mean it’s seriously swoonworthy – and trust me that is not a word I’m prompted to use often at all! If I didn’t know any better I’d say I was featuring the wedding of hollywood superstars… I mean these two and their gorgeous wedding are just insanely gorgeous! You can also see this feature in the current issue of Magnolia Rouge Magazine.

For Elizabeth and Michael their wedding was about much more than just themselves. They focused on the love that transported family and friends across an ocean to celebrate with them in the breathtaking surroundings of Provence in the South of France, in the process creating life-long memories. The bride says “Provence is one of my favourite places on earth and once you arrive, it begs you to leave all other worries behind and embrace the beauty of the landscape and present moment. Chateau de Massillan was simply a dream – perfectly elegant and magical and had a very odd way of making you feel as if you always belonged there“.

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“Fashion has always been a strong part of who I am so the dress was an important dream of mine. I wanted a dress I could breathe in, for starters, where I could spend all hours of the night dancing and live each moment of the wedding day fully! I found the J. Mendel dress at Bergdorf Goodman with my mother and sister. I loved its’ simple elegance with a twist of something different – when I tried it on and turned around to find my mom and sister in tears, I knew it was the one.”

During the ceremony, Michael and I turned around to see all of our loved ones in the congregation, under the beautiful plane trees with a soft wind blowing and the beautiful Chateau in the background. It was so special!”

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Photography | Xavier Navarro, Cinematography | Imagin, Stationery | The Paper Chase, Florals | Blandine Viry, Bride’s gown | J.Mendel, Venue | Chateau de Massillan; Uchaux, France, Bride’s shoes | Alexander Wang, Cake | Chateau de Massillan (Piece Montee), Bridesmaids’ dresses | Bella Bridesmaids, Planner | Lucy Till

 

Remote Scottish Wedding by Emma Case

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A wedding on the remote west coast of Scotland sounds like a recipe for an amazing celebration. If you haven’t travelled to this part of the world, it’s a ruggedly handsome landscape with a very special and sacred feeling to it. Emma Case travelled from her home in the south of England to capture this gorgeous wedding. And speaking of travelling, Emma and her husband Pete are heading down to New Zealand to spend the summer here and are taking bookings from November to February… um yes that’s darn pretty exciting for all you couples still on the lookout for a photographer. Get in quick before they book up!

Jessica & Nick wanted a personal wedding with a small guest list, with everyone attending being someone who meant a lot to them. To their delight they managed to convince all their nearest and dearest to travel from all corners to this very remote love nest on the west coast of Scotland. Jessica says “This worked far better than I could have imagined as everyone stayed for the whole weekend and it became more of a holiday. Crear itself is really magical and is marketed as a ‘space to create’. This was really important to us as we were very keen to be able to take over the venue and decorate with our handmade touches such as the colourful napkins that I made, or my mum’s bunting.”

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How and/or where did you meet? Nicky and I met nine years ago at Dundee University where we were both studying medicine. We were very good friends for the first year, and then right at the end of the year he made his move… and the rest as they say, is history.

Tell us about your proposal: We were visiting friends and their children in Dundee, and just before we were heading to the train station back home we decided to walk around the university buildings for old time sake. He stopped me outside one of the buildings, which happened to be were we first met, got down on one knee and said lots of lovely things before asking me if I’d become his wife.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I had always maintained that I would find a bargain dress in a charity shop, as I have never been one to spend excessive amounts on my clothing. My mum and I went scouring the charity shops in her hometown and nestled amongst the handful of dresses in the shop was a beautiful raw silk and lace dress. It was really lovely – but needed lengthening as the skirt was too short, and was quite tight like a pencil skirt. I took it to a wedding dress alteration lady in London, and she managed to transform the skirt so that it was flowing and long. I was just so happy with the dress on the day as I was very comfortable and I felt so elegant, and very lucky to have found it. 

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Describe your wedding flowers: Mel from Crear flowers was fantastic and really captured the relaxed, wildflower look we wanted, and there were lots of peonies (swoon!). I also have to mention my fantastic family members who lovingly decorated the willow arch outside the church with flowers helpfully supplied by Mel.

Favourite detail of the day: I loved that Nicky was wearing an off-cut from my wedding dress as his tie. It looked perfect and I loved that no one knew.

What advise would you give out to a couple planning their wedding? Just go with what you want, and what you feel expresses your relationship. At the end of the day if the two of you are happy that will spread to everyone else there. Definitely rope people in to help with the wedding. It makes them feel more a part of it and handmade things are always more special and personalised.

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Most memorable moment? Golly this is actually very difficult as the day was made up of so many fantastic moments. I will always treasure going back outside after the meal to get a few wedding snaps in with Emma and Pete (of Emma Case Photography). We had a really lovely walk and chat on the beach before rejoining the wedding party for some seriously fun ceilidhing.

Anything other details that help tell the story of your day: I have to mention my photographer Emma Case and her husband Pete. They were so fantastic, as soon as they arrived I felt that we were old friends. They seamlessly managed to take photos, make us laugh, and contribute to the overall atmosphere. We were blown away when we received our pictures, they managed to create such wonderful photos that really captured the emotion and happiness. 

Photographer | Emma Case Photography, Cake | Bride’s Mum, Florist | Mel at Crear Weddings, Stationery | Hand made by Bride, Ceremony Venue | South Knapdale Parish Church, Reception Venue | Crear, Dress Designer | Vintage, Jewellery | Family pieces, Bridesmaids Dresses | Phase Eight, Grooms’ Attire | Suit by Canali, tie was an off cut of the wedding dress

Abbeville Estate Wedding by Anne Paar

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I love how different these bridesmaids outfits are… such a cute and fun pop of colour! Just confirms you absolutely don’t need to source from traditional ‘bridal’ places. The bride ordered these Oasis dresses from Asos. Thanks to the lovely Anne Paar for sending this beautiful Abbeville Estate wedding our way!!

Jamie and I have been together for 12 years – we started dating when I was 15 and he was 17! Jamie proposed in January 2013 on a secluded beach in Koh Samui (we were in Thailand celebrating Jamie’s parents’ 30th wedding anniversary and after the proposal my parents surprised me by flying to Thailand for a combined family holiday!).  We decided early on that we wanted a truly personalised wedding held in one location full of fun, love, colour and acknowledgment of the strength of our relationship and the family and friends who have supported us throughout.  Our venue – Abbeville Estate – was perfect for this with its beautifully restored church, homestead and barn all on one site.  

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Our intimate ceremony was held in the little church (our lovely celebrant was a childhood acquaintance of mine) followed by drinks and canapes on the lawn, reception in the homestead and party in the barn.  I wore a gorgeous two piece v-neck and v-back ivory gown – a charmeuse slip beneath a heavy lace overlay with a subtle silver thread running through it – which I instantly fell in love with upon trying it on!  My bridesmaids wore floaty cream dresses with a floral print in similar colours to our flowers.  Jamie wanted a ‘statement’ bow tie to wear with his three piece light grey suit so my amazing mum made a red and white chevron self-tie bow tie for him and stripy bow ties in light peach for the groomsmen.  Our flowers were our big POP of colour – the bouquets had large dahlias, roses, silk peonies and other in-season blooms in shades of red, coral, pink, peach and yellow with dusty miller and other greenery all tied with twine and the boys’ buttonholes complemented their bow ties.

Our reception was a real highlight.  The tables were beautifully decorated with chevron table runners that we made and bright flowers in bottles and jars (that we spent hours de-labelling) in our summer colour palette.  There were lots of kind and love-filled words during the speeches including an original poem by my dad and original song by Jamie’s dad, which he sang accompanied by his guitar. Following the reception we partied the night away in the barn carnival-style!  The boys had decorated the barn the day before with strings of festoon lights and 130 meters of bunting (all handmade by my mum, grandma, a family friend, the bridesmaids and I) and, together with a candy bar, candy floss machine and photobooth, our barn party made for an epic end to our day.

We could not be happier with how the whole day come together, and with our fabulous vendors, and are looking forward to the next 12 years (and beyond)!

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Photography | Anne Paar Photography, Dress | Allure Bridals from Felicitys Bridal, Shoes | Jeffrey Campbell Shoes, Bridesmaids’ dresses | Oasis through asos.com, Groomsmen’s suits | Crown Tailors, Bangkok, Hair | Mia Carrie at Essex Hairdressing (styledbymia), Make up | Elise Wilson Hair & Makeup with assistance from Chrisè Page Johnson, Flowers | Flowers by Anna Carrie, Venue | Abbeville Estate, Catering | The Great Catering Company, Cake | Cockle Bay Bake Shop, Celebrant | Laura Giddey, Stationery | Groom, Photobooth | Little Black Photobooth, Hireage of table numbers | When Squirrel Met Bear

Vancouver Island Farm Wedding by Sherri Koop

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It’s amazing how inspiration for your day can come from one single item. In Sonja’s case it was the Claire Pettibone gown she fell in love with. As she explains further below, she instantly knew it was ‘the one’ and it was from this their ‘day in the French countryside’ (albeit in Canada) wedding was borne. The couple married at the groom’s parents farm on Vancouver Island. With a beautiful old barn – complete with mint green roof – it offered them the perfect venue for the relaxed, intimate gathering they had hoped for. After searching far and wide, they were thrilled with Jarrett’s father suggested the use of their barn and fields, especially as the bride had dreamt of a pretty barn wedding since she was a child. After a great deal of effort from lots of friends and family the barn had an overhaul and was ready for their big day.

Thanks to Sherri Koop for sending this beautiful wedding our way!!

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How and/or where did you meet? We have both been big into photography for years and around the same time as each other we decided to go to photography school in Vancouver. We met in March 2010 on the first day of class…my alarm had not gone off that morning and I was an hour late for the first day. So Jarrett got a good glimpse into who I am right away with that! (when we started dating a few months later he took to calling me in the morning to make sure I was up and going to make it to class on time). At school we found that we worked really well together during shoots and we’d hang out a little bit on our own socially, but dating wasn’t on either of our minds at that point. It was a bit of a surprise to both of use when a romance developed, but it ended up being just the sweetest thing and such a gift for both of us. One of our classmates called it, though, within the first week of school. I don’t know how she knew, but she knew it was gonna happen with us.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I think I found a pin on Pinterest to the designer Claire Pettibone really soon after Jarrett’s proposal and while poking around on her site I saw a picture from one of her runway shows of a model in her Provence gown. That was it for me. I was done. I knew that was the dress. It was so different than anything I had ever seen before… I loved that it was cotton with a print! And had velvet patches and gold-threaded lace detailing. And the bustle. Oh my goodness, the bustle. I found a wonderful dress shop in Seattle that represented Claire and was so glad that I liked how how the gown looked when I got to try on the sample…it clearly put out of mind any other dress I’d tried on. That gown inspired the whole look and feel of our day…elegant yet easy-going, and, like the name of the gown suggests, a day in the French countryside!

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Describe your wedding flowers: Going with our French countryside theme, lavender played a big role in our flowers. We had our bridesmaids carry simple bundles of it, while my bouquet and the men’s boutennieres were slightly embellished with pieces of eucalyptus. We  wanted our flowers to seem like we had just gone out that morning and picked them fresh from the field, so the rest of the flowers we used on the tables and in the décor were mixes of hydrangea, baby’s breath, and other simple flowers. Each centrepiece was different, held in a variety of old tarnished silver teapots, serving vessels and antique wooden boxes that we collected and borrowed.

Favourite detail of the day: Hard to choose, but if have to pick I would go with a very practical detail and say the luxury portable washrooms with flush toilets that we rented. The farm property had no facilities whatsoever and the last thing I wanted was for our female guests to have to squeeze into one of those cramped, dark and often smelly porta-potty units while decked out in their finery. The first thing I booked for the wedding was a trailer washroom unit, complete with water, flush toilets, mirrors and not necessary but fun – a TV and DVD player. Our guests were so thrilled they didn’t have to rough it in their fancy dress clothes! It was one of the things I was actually most excited about for our wedding too… and I was so busy  that day I actually didn’t even get to use them once!  

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Most memorable moment? Hands down we both agree it was dancing with the live band, SideOne, at the reception, especially during our first dance where they performed Patti Griffin’s “Heavenly Day” and later when everyone joined in on the dance floor for a rousing version of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey”. Patti’s song just described our whole day and our emotions so perfectly and it was incredibly special to have that moment together on the dance floor. During the Lumineers’ song there was just this huge sense of celebration and community! Foot stomping and hooting and hollering…. it’s a good thing we reinforced the barn floors! One of our favourite moments, absolutely.

 Anything other details that help tell the story of your day: One tradition that is a part of both of our families is pitching in and helping one another, and it was really neat to see this tradition practiced big time leading up to the wedding. Without it, the day as it was would not have happened. Jarrett’s parents would be up at the barn helping us on the weekends to power wash and sweep out the barn, mow and reseed the fields, and clear the barn out of all it had been storing for years. My sister-in-law helped with the DIYs before the rest of my bridemaids arrived in town and could pitch in. And when my family arrived the week before the wedding they were tireless, along with the bridal party, in helping us set up the decorations, plant trees on the property and run any errand that was needed. We both come from families that care about their members so much and who will do anything in a pinch to help. The wedding really was a way for both families to practice this tradition together, and having our families come together was one of the best things about that whole day.

Photographer | Sherri Koop Photography, Cake | Last CrumbFlorist | Long Lake Nurseries & Cowican Valley Lavender, Stationery | Shine Wedding InvitationsVenue | Dawson Farm, private venue, Dress Designer | Claire Pettibone
Shoes | Coach, Jewellery |  personal family heirlooms, Hair | Cutting Room Creative, Make up | Jessica Churcher
Bridesmaids Dresses | their own, Grooms Attire | Le Chateau, Coordinator | Filosophi, Caterer | Galloping Gourmet
Decor Rentals | Everything Old & Triplet Party

Brick Bay wedding by Anna Kidman

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It’s pretty exciting when you discover new talent… well new to me that is (I’m not claiming to have discovered her persay!) Especially when they live in the same city, are completely on the same wave length and you can meet them for cocktails on a Friday afternoon! Such was the case with the very lovely Anna Kidman, so much so that we had to repeat our initial cocktails just a few short weeks later! And I’m quite sure that won’t be the last. So that being said I’m thrilled to feature this beautiful Brick Bay wedding of Rebecca & Tommy’s with you. The gorgeous bride shares some details of their story with us below…

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Tom and I met 17 years ago at Omaha Beach just before I left New Zealand to live in Singapore with my family for 5 years, on my return to New Zealand I was invited to a party to celebrate Tom’s 19th birthday after which we started dating.

In December 2012 Tom proposed. The ring he gave me used his grandma’s sapphire and he proposed in the beautiful Sydney Domain.

My background is fashion and I researched my wedding dress extensively, finally deciding on the “Isis” dress by Sydney designer Amanda Garret.  I loved the use of lace and the romantic, vintage feel the dress conveys. For my attendants I chose 3 different designs by Juliette Hogan in cameo cream.

Both Tom and my family  have beach houses at Omaha Beach and given we met there we wanted our wedding to be close by. We decide on the beautiful Brick Bay vineyard for both the ceremony and reception for our wedding. We both loved the beautiful glass pavilion overlooking a picturesque lake. 

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Botanical stylist Annie O created the bouquets, button holes and the wedding flowers. Hand picked designed bouquets using dahlias, babies breath, white roses, tea roses and other seasonal blooms bound with natural jute twine encapsulated the whimsical,vintage feel I wanted. My attendants carried similar bouquets with a touch of pale pink. Similarly the buttonholes were babies breath wrapped in twine. We managed to find two beautiful French nickels bins with twine handles in which Annie arranged masses of babies breath for the ceremony and for the reception soft blue mason jars were used filled with white dahlias and babies breath.

Rather than a formal wedding cake we decided on 5 cakes from Jordan Rondel’s The Caker. The delicious cakes were beautifully decorated with fresh roses adding to the relaxed vintage feel of our wedding.

Our day was magical, a loving, happy atmosphere prevailed. It was truly everything we dreamed of.

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Photographer: Anna Kidman, Cake | The Caker, Florist | Annie O, Stationery | Cotton Wood Studio, Venue | Brick Bay Wines & Sculpture Trail, Wedding Dress Designer | Amanda Garret, Bridesmaid Dresses | Juliette Hogan, Shoes | Nicholas Kirkwood, Hair | Noir Blonde, Make Up | Serenity Make-up, Grooms Attire | Crane Brothers, Caterer | The Great Catering Company

English Cottage Garden inspired wedding by Maree Wilkinson

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I’m completely enchanted by the beautiful florals in this country garden wedding! As always Naomi from Leaf & Honey has done such a stunning job of them, and Maree Wilkinson has captured them to perfection. The gorgeous bride Claire grew up surrounded by amazing English cottage gardens and wanted to infuse the beautiful colours and romance of them into her wedding day with Nathan, and the fact that they both greatly enjoy being outdoors confirmed the beautiful venue of Bridgewater Estate.

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How and/or where did you meet? Nathan and I met on the New Zealand dating website Find Someone. It was meant to be; we both kept being “recommended” as matches on our individual accounts. After chatting online first, we met up and yes it’s corny but it was love at first sight. We hit it off instantly, he made me laugh, he loved dogs just as much as I did and the rest is history – after the first meeting we both knew we were meant to be together!  

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I didn’t know what sort of wedding dress I would suit until I tried some on. My mum, my best friend Vicky and I went dress shopping together one Saturday, looking at off-the-rack dresses. There were so many lovely ones. We found two dresses that I liked and just couldn’t decide between them! In the end Mum and I went to see a local dressmaker Sue Hunter who was known for making beautiful wedding dresses. She had made my ball dress ten years prior.  I really loved that ball dress so I knew she would work her magic on my wedding dress. Sue quickly sketched up a dress from my descriptions and pictures and it was just as I had in mind! Over the months that I went to see her for fittings, the dress evolved and we made little changes to the design here and there which really worked. If possible, I highly recommend brides getting their dress tailor made for a few reasons; it fits you like a glove so you are so comfortable on the day and you can get it just right as you play around with ideas to create a dress that is uniquely yours. 

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Describe your wedding flowers: Our bouquets were romantic garden flowers, which were lush, gathered but relaxed.  I really didn’t want a ‘tight’ bouquet. I wanted the blooms to be natural and wild, like I had scooped them up from the garden on my way to the wedding! They were in keeping with our colour scheme using a palette of deep lavender, with softer hues of cornflower blue, soft lavender & sage green. Naomi at Leaf and Honey was lovely and a breeze to deal with; her style was what drew me to her initially and she did not disappoint, it was everything that I imagined – just gorgeous and natural.  The flowers in my bouquet were purple dolcetto roses, lisianthus, nigella and lavender with foliage of caspia, soft green sage and olive and were bound with lace and twine. The corsages for our mum’s and my grandmother were mini-blooms of the same flowers in my bouquet. The groomsmen and our dad’s had lavender buttonholes with garden foliage, bound with twine. Nathan’s only request was that he didn’t want to wear a girlie flower, so the lavender and the twine worked as an awesome compromise! Manly, but still colourful! 

Favourite detail of the day: We were so pleased we chose Aaron Bloomfield to be our celebrant, MC and entertainer. He was with us through the day and into the night. Aaron gave the whole day so much energy and it flowed well.  We wanted people to be able to relax outside; so having Aaron not only marry us but serenade us all in the garden with his stunning voice while people mingled and played garden games was absolute magic. He was spot on, giving us the right amount of humour to reflect our personalities and the perfect amount of “loved-up tenderness” that you’d like to have at a wedding. 

Most memorable moment? Walking down the garden steps towards the chapel at Bridgewater arm in arm with my Dad to our chosen music and seeing Nathan standing there waiting for me. I had thought I might cry but on the day it was such a happy moment that I was beaming from ear to ear! 

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Photographer | Maree Wilkinson, Videographer | Dion Edwards & Ashley Yates, Florist | Leaf & Honey
Celebrant/MC/Entertainer | Aaron Bloomfield, Cake | Brides Mother; decorated by Amanda Watson – The Cake Kitchen
Stationery | Whimsical PrintsFreckled Stationery, and Speedy Signs Penrose, Venue | Bridgewater Country Estate
Dress Designer | Sue Hunter Designs, Shoes | Trousseau Bridal Shoes, Jewellery | Brides Mothers, Make-up | Elise Wilson
Hair | Rebecca Wells and Samantha Thomas, Bridesmaids Dresses |  Renz Rags, Grooms Attire | Dorset Suits
Garden games hireage | When Squirrel Met Bear, Caterer | Bridgewater Country Estate