ARE you engaged and about to plan the special day of your dreams?
The GT BRIDE team has teamed up with Barwon Health Foundation to support a special local cause, the Andrew Love Cancer Centre.
And what better way to support #projectlove than auctioning off a wedding?
Sixteen of Geelong’s best businesses have jumped on board to offer their goods and services, time and talents to create a once-in-a-lifetime offer for a couple who are the highest bidders in an online auction.
From your invitations and your rings, to your entertainment, clothing and venue, every aspect has been thought of to make this the complete package.
The wedding, or commitment ceremony, on offer is worth more than $30,000, with all proceeds of the auction going to the cancer centre.
The ceremony will be amongst the olive trees at Mt Duneed Estate and the reception catered for by Peter Rowland Catering for the couple and 50 of their friends and family.
The package even includes a two-night minimoon experience at the award-winning Surf Coast accommodation, RACV Torquay Resort.
Not only supporting a cause close to so many people’s hearts, this is the perfect wedding package for those who want all of the enjoyment and none of the stress.
The Wedding Auction offers the choice of two dates, either Friday, November 10, 2017 or Friday, April 13, 2018.
The auction is open online now, and will close on Monday July 24 at 6pm.
Head to for more information and to bid.

Georgia Wild and Josh Milnes’ wedding ceremony and reception was held at Mt Duneed Estate. Photography: Katie Wheeler Photography

Peter Rowland Catering
Mt Duneed Estate
Nicole Penning Civil Celebrant
Sara Taylor Photography
Robertson’s Farmgate
Pearls & Roses Bridal
Cocoa Pantry
The Beautiful People
Natalie Heffernan – personal trainer
Blondie Hair + Cosmetica
Eddy Elias Menswear
Leafy Design Co
Duffs Jewellers
RACV Torquay Resort



Hundreds of candles and fairy lights and flowers surrounded Elise Vaccarello and Caleb Plumridge during their nuptials at a family property in the Otways. ”I’m a huge fan of all things rustic but beautiful,” says Elise.
From a foliage adorned garland to the couple’s names illuminated above the bridal table, everything was a reflection of the couple and their love for one another. Their first dance was to a song by Caleb’s brother Nathan, written especially for them.
“It was a magic night of celebrating friendship, family, good food, glorious styling, the majestic Otways, but most importantly us,” says Caleb.

Birregurra Christ Church
Reception: Family property, Barramunga
Catering: The Wedding Fair
Photography: Jake Hogan Photography
Transport: Groom’s father’s van
Entertainment: Nick Tabone
Stationery: Created by the bride
Celebrant: Justin Gall
Prop hire: Vent Collective
Reception co-ordinator: Vent Creative
Honeymoon destination: Bali

Raffael Cuica
Shoes: Wittner Shoes
Hair: Soho Hairdressing
Makeup: Dale Boseley and Genna Nelson
Cake: Two Birds Cake Designs
Flowers: Lustre Blooms and Geelong Flower Farm
Bridesmaids dresses: Shona Joy
Suits: Eddie Elias Menswear
Rings: Michael Hill



Each of Clarissa Rollo and Joel Crothers-Stomps 100 guests shook a maraca during the pair’s first kiss as man and wife. Their Mexican fiesta-themed wedding at Jan Juc was a fun and relaxed party complete with a wedding piñata and sangria bar.
Clarissa, who wore an elegant Rosa Clara gown, arrived with her Maid of Honour and bridesmaid in a Kombi. “We parked up in one of the clifftop carparks which overlooked the lawn of the club and could see Joel and our guests gathered and waiting – it was a surreal and beautiful moment,” says Clarissa.

Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club
Reception:  Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club
Catering: Taco Truck Melbourne and Geelong Mobile Ice Cream
Photography: Chrisp Pictures
Transport: Coastal Kombi Weddings
Entertainment: Marcus Hayden
Stationery: Etsy and Vistaprint
Celebrant:  Georgia Mills
Prop hire: Pepper Sprout Hire
Honeymoon destination: Bali

Rosa Clara, purchased on Still White, alterations by Pearls & Roses Bridal
Shoes:  Jessica Simpson
Hair:  Studio 2 Makeup & Hair
Make-up: Hilary Holmes Makeup
Cake: Friend, Kate Kennedy
Flowers: Live Wild Flower Child
Bridesmaids dresses: Esther Boutique
Suits: Dom Bagnato and Connor Suits
Rings:  Michael Hill and Etsy


Photography: Jessica Apap. Hair and Makeup: Melonie Santos. Flowers: Flos Botanical Studio

Anna Campbell has launched its vintage-inspired, 10-year anniversary collection, Eternal Heart.
The Australian bridal label is best known for its vintage-inspired hand-beading, relaxed designs and signature silk bows.
The special new collection of wedding dresses marks the beginning of the brand’s 10-year anniversary celebrations.
The Eternal Heart collection is an unapologetic celebration of all things sparkly, romantic and feminine, and pays tribute to some of Anna’s signature past styles that have continued to be loved and sought after by brides all around the world.


Each style in the 10-piece collection has customizable skirt options, including a form-fitting ivory guipure vintage lace, flowing and romantic silk tulle, and entirely hand-embellished sequined laces, each creating high-impact bridal sparkle.
Designer Anna Campbell says the flexibility of the Eternal Heart dresses means that every bride can feel beautiful and unique, as well as comfortable, on her wedding day.
She says the 10-year anniversary of the business also marked a natural point to stop and reflect on the success of Anna Campbell as a brand.
“Reaching the 10-year mark with Anna Campbell feels like such an incredible achievement,” she says.

“It has been a roller-coaster of highs and lows along the way, but the name of this collection – Eternal Heart – reflects the passion, hard work and love for Anna Campbell that continues to be felt not only by myself, but also by our entire studio team here in Melbourne, as well as our global network of Anna Campbell stockists and our brides themselves.”
The Eternal Heart collection is priced between $2699 and $7999 and is available through all Anna Campbell stockists and online at

Photography: Jessica Apap
Hair and Makeup: Melonie Santo
Flowers: Flos Botanical Studio





Cover girl: Nicole Mitrov

Our annual wedding magazine is on newsstands and is all about festivities that let love shine through.
As well as a new issue, we have a new look, one that we are so excited to share that we have a little sneak peek here for you.

The magazine still showcases the best our region has to offer in terms of celebrating love – it is simply brimming with ideas to plan your nuptials.
And even if you are not planning your own big day, it is full of familiar faces and event inspiration.
This year we feature 25 weddings from across our region, from the Bellarine and the stunning Moorabool Valley, to the Surf Coast and Otways.
Each one is a unique celebration, telling the couple’s love story and how they made it happen.
We are thrilled to feature our home grown star, actress Esther Anderson, and her wedding at Terindah Estate.
She married her love Howard Moggs on the Bellarine earlier this year and GT BRIDE gets an exclusive look inside their professional wedding album.
Esther tells us about her laid-back rustic style celebration, from the dress to the planning, and gives an insight into her day.
The nuptials of former champion Cats player Steve Johnson and his wife Erin also grace the pages.

Nicole wears Kemp by Daughters of Simone available from Embrace Bridal Boutique.
Styling and Creative Direction: Renee Enright
Photography: Enchanted Wedding
Hair and makeup: Blondie Hair + Cosmetica

And let’s not forget local beauty, model Nicole Mitrov, who is gracing our new-look cover.
Our Mediterranean-style cover shoot looks like a European oasis, but was shot right here in Geelong, with the help of some of our very best local creatives.
From the ring and the dress, to the honeymoon and advice on keeping the love alive after the celebration is over, let us inspire you to create your own love story.
Buy GT BRIDE at newsagents across the region.
Last year’s edition is also available in full online, HERE


Photo: Stefani Driscoll

Photo: Stefani Driscoll

A successful wedding planner is now taking on the corporate world, writes STEPHANIE AZZOPARDI

THERE is no doubt social media is a dominating force, especially when businesses are trying to promote themselves.
Geelong stylist Laura Harvey says it is this reliance on quality social media that has driven her newest venture.
Laura, an established wedding planner and stylist, the woman behind Weddings of Desire, has expanded to corporate and marketing work.
The mother of two launched the new branch of her business, By Desire Styling, late last year.
Laura, 31, says she decided to try wedding planning and styling after her own experiences.
She started a blog in 2010, Weddings of Desire, and also contributed to former fashion publication Madison Magazine and David Jones’ online wedding blog.
“I got approached by a photographer for a styled shoot and that lead to real weddings,” she says.
“It was just word of mouth and the business grew.”
Laura, who takes on about 15 to 20 weddings each year, is already booked out for next season.
“When I started there weren’t many planners around,” she says.
“Now the suppliers are so good, we have everything down here that we need – the wedding community is so great now, it is continuously growing.

“I try to support local when I can.
“You can really go all out now, and do what you want.”
Laura works to different brides’ budgets to create their perfect wedding style or even co-ordinate their entire perfect wedding day.
“Each of my clients have different styles, designs and colour palates,” she says.
“I pair people with vendors that suit their style.
“I love going into a space and working outwards.”
Laura has worked on a number of high profile weddings, including that of Emma and Tom Hawkins and Kim and Tom Longergan.
She also has an exclusive venue to offer for clients, Mount Mitchell Homestead.
She says over the years she has seen wedding styles change, with one notable shift from rustic looks to modern.
“Every year it changes,” she says.

“One style that has stayed is the classic, elegant, relaxed vibe.”
She says metallics, acrylics and vinyl have popped up as modern features this season.
“All of my clients are so unique, I get attached to their designs and pick out which elements I love,” she says.
“I look back now to when I first started and my style has changed as the years have gone on.
“But I’m still about the soft, romantic look, different textures, linen, cutlery and signage, just classically beautiful.
“My style has developed into a classic design that is timeless as well.”
Weddings of Desire also has recently added its own dedicated floral service, run by florist, Georgia Kotschet, a trusted florist Laura has worked with in the industry for many years.
Laura says as well as co-ordinating style, it is important to make a deeper connection to her brides-to-be for the partnership to work.
“It’s all about the connection, we have to have a good relationship,” she says.
“With the weddings you get so involved and emotionally attached to clients.
“They need to trust me to spend all this money on one day.
“I love my weddings and I’ll always have them.”

The strength of social media has brought on new opportunities for Laura, manifesting in By Desire Styling.
Laura says although she never anticipated she’d work in the corporate sphere, it happened quite organically.
“I kept getting asked to do additional things, 21sts, 30ths, window installations, marketing campaigns,” she says.
“The By Desire side has grown due to the social media expansion and demand for professional images, styled shoots for professional business, activations for products and corporate events and companies taking styling to the next level.”
So Laura dipped her toes into the world of social media, marketing and web imagery, a focus on image content rather than events.
Laura has worked with a number of Geelong region companies, including Annie’s Kitchen and Austins & Co.
“Your social media page is where people first look – and people are now investing time and money in that,” she says.
“In marketing content creating, people are realising they have to invest in professionals to style and photograph their content.
“It’s really opened up in the past year or so, everyone is really visual.”

She says after years of working on weddings, she liked the idea of a different challenge.
“The corporate and marketing side of things are shorter campaigns, the direction is really clear and there are a lot of new challenges that I enjoy,” she says.
“Thinking outside the box and having to learn.
“It’s challenging and growing the business into a different avenue.”
Laura admits her flourishing businesses are hard work to say the least.
“It consumes me a lot, but I’m just very passionate about what I do,” she says.
“I want to make sure the client gets 100 per cent out of me.
“If I was ever to feel like I wasn’t interested anymore I would have to stop doing it.
“You can’t do it without loving the industry.
“It’s weekends, it’s late nights, after hours, there are huge hours involved.
“It’s not ultra glamourous.
“You’re working all weekend and then on Monday your inbox is full of emails.
“You have got to check out and make time for yourself.”

Laura, mother of Ethan, 7, and Milla, 4, says making time for being a mother, doing school pick-up and drop-off and just spending time with her children is very important to her.
She says she also endeavours to make time for travel, which she loves, and exercise.
“It’s okay to have a day off,” she says.
Laura’s partner Dave, who owns Mr B Coffee, is one of her big supports.
“I couldn’t do this without him,” she says.
“His support during the long weeks, he builds things for weddings, it’s nice to have someone who is in the industry.
“We can really relate to each other.”
Laura says the way her business has progressed is about being open to anything.
“If someone offers me something I take it on and see if I enjoy it,” she says.
“I always want to improve.
“I view it as always learning.”

Follow @weddingsofdesire and @bydesire on Instagram. 




Sheree Giuffré held her mother’s hand as she walked towards groom Scott Verner. A photo of her dad was attached to the bouquet so he was also with her every step of the way. The gorgeous occasion was celebrated at Clyde Park on the auspicious date of Friday, November 13, 2015. “It was a very lucky day for us, everything turned out perfectly,” Sheree says.

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For more imagery, including a full list of suppliers, CLICK HERE.



Photography: iStock

Nurturing your relationship is vital in maintaining the kindness, respect and romance all of us desire in a marriage that is made to last

Planning a wedding can be stressful, not only on the bride, but the groom and the relationship as a whole.
However, it is important to ensure the perfect wedding day doesn’t come at the detriment to the bond that brought you together in the first place.
There are some things couples can keep in mind to ensure their relationship stays strong through the process to ensure a lead up into a happy marriage ahead.
Civil celebrant Wendy Spalding can spend up to 18 months working with a couple prior to a wedding. She tailors each ceremony to a couple so no two are the same.
Wendy says it is important for her to get to know a couple before the big day to ensure her part in the wedding is exactly what the couple envisions.
“There is a lot of contact,” she says.

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During that time, she sees some couples who can get through the planning without any stress.
However, she says some couples, after months of planning, can feel quite strained come the wedding day.
“There is a lot of pressure,” she says.
With everything that is going on during the planning stages, it can be easy to ignore the relationship itself.
Wendy says it is important for a couple to maintain the romance that brought them together in the first place.
“Yes, the wedding is important,” she says.
“But it’s also important to still do the things they used to do prior.
“Whether that be date night or visiting family and friends.”
She encourages couples to try to make time for one-another even when things become hectic during the planning.
“It’s important to maintain that balance,” she says.
Wendy says it is also important to be honest during the planning to ensure that the big day reflects the couple.

gtbride_love-5 gtbride_love-1
“Lines of communication need to stay open,” she says.
“Whether it be the bride or the groom who does not like a song that is selected or something with the seating plan, they need to voice that.”
After all the excitement, everything can feel flat post-wedding.
Getting a marriage off on the right foot could possibly set up a stronger and happier marriage to come.
Wendy says she is still in contact with many of the couples she has married as a celebrant.
She says when the big day is over, there are things couples can do to kick-off their marriage in the best possible way.
Setting shared goals is a good start.
“Couples need to sit down and share their goals,” she says.
“Whether that be big things like buying a house or smaller things like going on weekend trips or going to the movies.”




Groom Joel Heil reminded his bride of how beautiful she looked throughout their special day on November 21, 2015. His thoughtful nature is what Cat Angus, who wore an understated silk dress, adores most. “Joel is extremely kind, always trying to do right by everyone he comes across,” she says. The Ocean Grove pair danced to Hallelujah in memory of Cat’s father. Later, friends performed a handwritten rap about the newlyweds’ relationship. “We tried to make the day as reflective of us as we could,” she says. “If the bride and groom are having a good night, everyone is having a good night.”

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For more imagery, including a full list of suppliers, CLICK HERE.


We are featuring some of the best spots to tie the knot in our region. This week we explore Leura Park Estate.


Leura Park Estate prides itself on tailoring occasions to suit the personalities of the people who choose to hold their special events there. The Leura Park events team works with a couple to put together a day where the focus is absolutely on them – a true reflection of the pair.
A full time working winery, Leura Park is set among picturesque grape vines on the Bellarine Peninsula, just 10 minutes from Geelong.
The rustic, chic décor in the cellar door and vault event spaces provides the perfect ambience for creating a special and memorable day.

leura-park1 leura_park9
Leura Park offers finger food functions with a twist, offering lots of fun and lots of food. No guests leave a Leura Park function feeling hungry. There are as many tables and chairs as a couple needs on offer to ensure guests are comfortable.
When it comes to the nuptials themselves, Leura Park gives couples the option have their ceremony on the property, with stunning options overlooking our meandering vines, majestic cypress trees, rustic posts and dams.
Leura Park is known for its sensational wines, rustic chic ambience and fabulous food for a truly memorable and unique wedding.

To arrange a viewing or to review a copy of a complete functions kit, please call the functions manager on 03 5253 3180 or email

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