REAL WEDDING

KERI + MICHAEL

LOVE STORY
“We are one of those cliché couples that when you know, you know,” Keri Troman says. Her first date with Michael Burnell was made up of beers at the Torquay Hotel two years ago. Keri, originally from Melbourne, fell in love quickly. “We started dating on weekends, and when that wasn’t enough we’d add a mid-week catch-up in, and soon enough I made the move down to Geelong and we moved in together,” she says. Keri wore her grandmother’s wedding dress, a 1930s stunning gown, with minor alterations to make it her own. At their nuptials, picture frames with song lyrics and quotes were used as decorations, a true personal touch that reflected their once long distance relationship. “We started doing ‘Tune Tuesday’ where we would send each other a song on Tuesdays and ‘Quote Fridays’ we’d send each other a quote,” Keri explains. “Be your natural self,” she advises.
For more imagery, including a full list of suppliers, CLICK HERE.

COVETING AFFORDABLE BRIDAL STYLE

Above: Crepe off shoulder wedding column dress, $300

Your wedding gown is definitely up there with one of the most important elements of the day. Many women are looking for that ‘wow’ moment, the moment where they feel like a bride. But you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to have your moment. Online retailer ASOS has released its SS19 Bridal Edition – and it is a beauty. Think clean, contemporary cuts that are super stylish and super wearable. The collection includes fresh tailoring in the form of jumpsuits and blazer dresses – which have taken inspiration from city brides. While all-over sequins, beaded embellishments in icy tones and lace embroidered gowns offer a contrast to the more minimalist styles. The range also plays with proportions and details such as cape trains and kimono-style sleeves. Prices start at just $190, with the most expensive gown at $330. These stunning gowns are a bargain for your big day, or even as a second dress.

Above: Lace halter neck maxi wedding dress, $240

Above: Plunge cami wide leg wedding jumpsuit in satin, $240

Above: Ruched halter neck maxi wedding dress, $240

Above: Plaited wedding dress, $300

Above: Fringe maxi wedding dress, $330

Head to asos.com to shop.

REAL WEDDING

ODETTE + CHRISTOPHER

LOVE STORY
Christopher Hart waited patiently with his back to his bride Odette Rodda before their November nuptials. She walked towards him with their two furry family members, their dogs. “When he turned around, it was such a special moment of pure happiness and affection,” she says. The pair was then married under an arch made by the bride’s father, with Port Phillip Bay and the You Yangs in view. Odette wore a full Maggie Sottero gown and a brooch belonging to Chris’ great-grandmother, a beloved piece of jewellery passed onto the next generation. “On the day I felt so strong and beautiful ,” she says. “The entire day was fun and laid-back; most importantly it was filled with lots of dancing, laughter and love.”
For more imagery, including a full list of suppliers, CLICK HERE.

THE FUTURIST IS HERE

Above: The Futurist Gown

BRIDES-to-be with a love for the celestial will love Suzanne Harward’s new collection, The Futurist.
The collection, inspired by space, travel and the magic of galaxies, was released this month.
The collection expresses an aura of elegance with modern yet timeless pieces.
Handcrafted textiles used to create the collection include 3D laser cut fabric, embroidered tulles, asymmetrical necklines, embroidered leatherette fabric and embossed feathered fabrications.
“Inspiring and enigmatic, she emerges from the present transcending the status quo,” designer Brooke Harward says.
“Prepare for lift-off, The Futurist has arrived.”
Established in 1975, Suzanne Harward has maintained her humble beginnings with all gowns proudly designed and handmade in their design studio located locally in Melbourne, Australia.
Using the finest quality in luxurious textiles and complex couture construction techniques.
Specialising in luxury gowns, Suzanne Harwood uses only the finest quality luxurious textiles and complex couture construction techniques, marking the designer’s place as Australia’s premier couture wedding dress designer.

Above: The Prophecy Gown

Above: The Odyssey Gown

Above: The Nova Gown

Above: The Intergalactic Gown

Above: The Orion Gown

Above: The Destiny Gown

Above: The Tora Gown

Above: The Stardust Gown

Visit suzanneharward.com to view the range.

REAL WEDDING

EMILY + ANTHONY

LOVE STORY
Emily Prince and Anthony Wilson were married on a sunny afternoon in September, overlooking Corio Bay. Emily had her six sisters by her side as her bridesmaids, and the family arrived in their father’s 1983 red Toyota Tarago van. “It was a family heirloom and was well known as the Prince Mobile,” Emily laughs. The bride knew as soon as she saw the strapless dress with the sweetheart cut on the rack that it was the one. She walked down the aisle in the lace number to a rendition of Beyoncé’s Crazy In Love. “It was the best day of our lives and we look back on it with everyone involved and couldn’t be happier.”



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

REALISE YOUR VISION

Photo by Nick Stephens Photography

KEEPING AN EYE ON CURRENT TRENDS WHILE STAYING TRUE TO YOUR ORIGINAL VISION AND TAKING ADVICE FROM THE PROFESSIONALS WILL ENSURE YOUR CELEBRATION SHINES, WRITES STEPHANIE AZZOPARDI
When imagining your big day, your mind drifts to flowers, table settings, food, photo booths and all the other fun and beautiful things that can equal an unforgettable day and night.
Working out your wedding style can be so much fun, you are choosing the look and the elements that will make this special event completely you.
However, selecting and executing your vision can be an overwhelming experience; especially with social media inundating us with all the ideas.
If you want to be ahead of the curve, the woman behind styling business, Weddings of Desire, Laura Harvey, says there are a few trends to keep an eye out for in the coming months.
She explains mixing up traditional styles is going to be a big trend.

Photo by Nick Stephens Photography

“This next season we are finding a mix of round, oval and rectangle tables are popular, mixing up the look and the shapes,” she says.
Laura says the way food is presented is also going to evolve to be a more impressive and interactive experience.
“Food stations are becoming more creative with sashimi bars, oyster bars and pizza bars; clients are after the interaction that these bars can offer,” she says.
“It’s so much more impressive to have someone slicing fresh cold meats at an antipasto station than all the elements just sitting there, it takes service and atmosphere to the next level.”
For those who have a tighter budget but still want to inject some wow factor into their day, Laura says there are some ways to get a big look with little cost.
“Foliage – lots of foliage,” she says.

Photo supplied by Weddings of Desire

“And candles – lots of candles.“If you create both these en masse you can’t go wrong.”
Overwhelmed with what to choose and where to get it from?
Laura says hiring someone to help you make your vision come to life can be a lifesaver.
“Hiring a stylist not only eases stress for your wedding day but helps you eliminate confusion and gives you clear direction on the style and theme you are after,” she says.
“In most cases it saves you money as you don’t rush into buying or booking absolutely everything you see on Instagram or Pinterest to find out later it’s just not going to work with your style.”
In a day and age when the sky is truly the limit to designing your celebrations, it is important to stay true to what you and your partner love.
Make sure you design something you can both look back on with happiness and satisfaction that it was one of the best days of your lives you were able to share with those closest to you.
Laura says to achieve this it is important to never forget your original vision, that look that first grabbed your eye.
“Stick with your first image you fell in love with, you will always go back to that,” she says.

REAL WEDDING

JACQUI + NATHAN

LOVE STORY
Nathan Thomas proposed to his love Jacqui Geary, in a shed on his parent’s property. The pair worked tirelessly to create their dream wedding celebration on the same property, making seating, the bar, decorations, every touch unique to them, making the moment all the more special when they read their handwritten vows to one another. “Whatever we didn’t have, we made,” Jacqui says. “There were personal touches everywhere.” The pair were wed on their six year anniversary. The rain held off for just long enough, with the pair only showered in rose petals, a happy moment. “It was a fun and emotional day that went so fast,” Nathan reflects. “We definitely made memories to last a lifetime.”

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

PLATTER PERFECTION

IT BRINGS MAJOR WOW FACTOR TO ANY GATHERING OR CELEBRATION AND, WITH SOME EXPERT HELP FROM PLATTER CO, WE TAKE YOU THROUGH THE STEPS TO CREATING A
SHOW-STOPPING SELECTION OF FRUIT, CHEESE AND SAVOURY DELIGHTS

TOOLS:
Bread board, bread knife, 2 spoons

MATERIALS:
Large cheese board
3 cheese knives
2 dip/pâté knives
1 dip bowl
1 even smaller bowl for quince paste

PLATTER INGREDIENTS:
3 cheeses (hard, soft and blue), prosciutto, 1 x dip, 2 cracker varieties, quince or fig paste, fresh breads (think baguettes, olive bread or even a little fruit bread for my favourite combination), fresh fruits (think grapes, strawberries, figs and blueberries), selection of nuts and dried fruit, fresh sprigs of garden herbs for garnish

PROCEDURE:
1. Place your main items, cheeses, dips and quince paste on the board to start your framework.
2. Now you can start to build around them with your next biggest items. Placing your small bunches of grapes against each cheese, as well as your cracker and bread selections.
3. As you place the prosciutto, twist and pile it up to create another texture within your board.
4. See all the little holes between the bigger items? Start to trickle and fill those holes with cashews, walnuts, dried apricots, dried or fresh figs and maybe a few pretzels.
5. Finally, place a few fresh strawberries around your platter, and garnish with a little homegrown freshness from the garden, such as a few sprigs of rosemary

EXPERT TIPS:
You eat with your eyes, so if it’s looking fresh, colourful and abundant, it’s a guaranteed winner.
Everybody has a buddy. When you’re arranging the board, think about like you’re making a suggestion for what pairs well. Fruit bread next to a soft or blue cheese, olive bread next to the dip, sliced fig or pear with a blue cheese.
I’m also a big believer in balance over symmetry. Keep the colour and ingredients balanced on your board, but it doesn’t need to match.
In warmer weather, lean towards the harder cheeses, and swap out the cured meats for in-season fresh fruits.

CHOOSING YOUR PLATTER INGREDIENTS
Choosing platter ingredients is fun. Head to your local deli and just get curious. Some of my suggestions around Geelong with the best cheese ranges are Harveys of Highton, The Fresh Food Merchant, Geelong Fresh Foods, and East Fruit Market.

CATERING CORRECTLY
If you’re looking to feed a group for a meal with your platter, you should be planning for 500-700g of food per person. But if you’re like me and would prefer for there to be more than enough food, go with 600-800g per person. If it’s just a graze before or after dinner, wind that back to 200-300g per person.

I love wine … I love cheese. A gathering with both, is my favourite.
Here’s a few suggested wine pairings:
Pinot noir and brie
Sauvignon blanc and goat cheese
An aged port and blue cheese
Prosecco and something sharper and bitier like a parmesan

Photography: Hails & Shine

LETTING THEIR HEART LEAD THE WAY

Views of the Amalfi Coast from the water

Are you and your love planning to whisk your whole tribe away for a familymoon? Joel Cooper, of Frank and Dollys, shares his insights and highlights from the family’s glorious global adventure

We missed our bus.
Standing on the wrong side of the narrow road that winds along the wild cliffs leading down to Amalfi, the bus flew right by all five of us. After already waiting for 30 minutes in the Mediterranean sun it was fair to say we were a tad disappointed.
For the kids, they had just missed the bus to the place where we were going to eat gelato all day, lazing on the pebble beach and splashing about in turquoise water.
But for my wife Rachel and I, we had just missed the bus to tapered streets full of hidden treasures, cheese platters and glasses of vino by the sea.
A missed bus may not seem like a big deal, but when travelling around the world as a family everything has to be planned with our toddler son Oak’s day sleep in mind, time slotted aside for running our online clothing business, Frank & Dollys, as well as squeezing in home schooling for our daughter Poppy.
The bus to Amalfi suited our timing perfectly, we were ready to jump on and head to the town which is on everyone’s bucket list and have the dreamiest day in the Italian sunshine.
When we missed it, Rachel and I glanced at each other as the kids gazed back at us with a certain look in their eye; we knew we had to make some magic happen very quickly to turn the day around.
The gorgeous little seaside village we were staying in, Conca Dei Marini, had a hidden little cove beach, full of locals watching the world go by while a handful of tourists caught rays on the stone beach, taking a refreshing dips in the clear water.

Above: Rachel, Poppy and Wren in the cove of Conca Dei Marini. Photography: Joel Cooper

Above: The stone beach at Polignano A Mare.

Above: Joel and Rachel at their Airbnb in Monteleone Sabino.

As we headed down the steep steps to the cove I stopped the first local I saw.
“Do you have a boat?” I asked, talking in slow rounded English.
“Si,” he replied, looking confused.
The next couple of minutes I played charades with him, passionately acting out the five of us, and him, in the boat, going to Amalfi.
“Now?” he replied in a thick Italian accent.
“Si,” I nodded enthusiastically.
He disappeared, and within 10 minutes we were sailing across the crystal clear sea of the Amalfi Coast, our kids literally squealing with joy as salty sea water splashed in their faces.
Rachel and I pinched ourselves at the beauty in front of us, as our new Italian friend at the steering wheel beamed, “Welcome to life in Amalfi.”
So here is my first family travel tip; when you miss the bus, find a boat.
On February 1, my family and I packed up our home in Bellbrae and our retail store in East Geelong and squeezed our life into five suitcases with a one-way ticket around the world.
We often get asked how do we do it with three young children, a busy online business and a daughter in school.
The answer to that can’t be written in an Instagram post or a blog feature, but unravelled, in detail, over time.

Above: Exploring the streets of Xi Zhou Town, in northwestern Yunnan, China and the vibrant Shaxi Ancient Town.

 

So far we have travelled through Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, China and are currently in Italy.
The amount of times things don’t go to plan; struggling with a language barrier where no one speaks English; or being the only Westerners in the village; or the GPS not being able to find your Airbnb address; or working out the currency exchange only to realise you paid four times as much as you should have.
It is in these moments that the spontaneity and adventure of travel kicks in.
When you’re in this flow, you quickly realise that nothing is a mistake; that the boat was the far better option; that being without GPS forces you to knock on someone’s door and witness the kindness of strangers and the true meaning of hospitality.

Above: Tegalalang Rice Terraces

And when you are the only Westerner for miles you can sit back and truly be immersed in a culture so far from your own.
Showing our children the excitement that each day can hold, and teaching them about going with the flow, has been an absolute delight. You have to be willing to stay on the positive side and think creatively, as when you’re in a foreign country, it can seem easier to just head back to the hotel when things don’t go to plan.
We have this little saying, which often comes out over breakfast.
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart,” and that is how we enter the day, because we never know what will come our way.
One thing people often said to us before we left was, “have a great holiday”.
For us, this isn’t a holiday, we are living our life very similar to how we lived at home, and that’s the key to making travel work with a family.

Above: Tukad Cepung Waterfall, Bali

TAKING ON TRADITION

There are so many wedding traditions those before us would have adhered to as if it were law.  Weddings have never been more personal. However, some traditions are so lovely we might just  keep them around. Here are a few popular ones – we’ll let you decide which ones to take on

Smitten Wedding Photography

What you wear
Queen Victoria wore white on her wedding day in 1840, sparking the trend in the western world; before then, women just wore their best dress. Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart. Diamonds only became popular as a choice for an engagement ring after an advertising campaign in the 1900s. So many of the traditions linked to your outfit actually don’t have much meaning at all – so wear something that you love.
Matching bridesmaids’ dresses
In ancient Rome, everyone in the bridal party, bride included, wore matching outfits, to confuse other suitors or evil spirits trying to get to the bride – essentially your bride tribe were your decoys. These days it is not uncommon for bridesmaids to wear alternating, or completely different attire. And when every woman, and man, is a different size and shape, it makes a lot of sense to mix things up.

Darcy Tuppen Photography

The first look
Back when arranged marriages were the norm, the engaged couple wasn’t allowed to see each other before the wedding at all. The event symbolised a business deal between two families, and the father of the bride feared that if the groom met the bride before the wedding and didn’t think she was attractive, he would call off the nuptials. Now it’s more of a superstition, a bad omen. If you’re not one to believe in superstitions or outdated practices, you might want to meet up with your partner before the vows, enjoying the moment in solitude and getting a few happy snaps.
Being given away
Being walked down the aisle and ‘given away’ to your groom by your father is a nod to the days where women were seen as property. Fast forward a few hundred or so years and this tradition is so much looser. Want to be given away by your dad? Great. Want to be given away by your mum? Also fine. Want to be given away by both? Why not! Or maybe it’s your grandparents, your brother, your bestie, or maybe you want to just walk down the aisle by yourself. Make your entrance whatever you want it to be.

Miranda Kremers Photography

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
This Victorian rhyme is a tradition supposed to bring the bride good luck. Something old alludes to retaining connection with family once entering married life. Something new represents the new union. Something borrowed is an opportunity for friends or family to lend something special as a token of love. Something blue represents fidelity and constancy. If you are going the extra mile, you can carry a sixpence in your shoe, to bring a life filled with good fortune. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that?
Financials
The tradition of the bride’s family paying for the big day stems back to concept of a dowry – a sum paid to the groom for becoming the provider for the bride. Now that women can provide for themselves, it’s more of a flexible gesture. Spend and accept money only when comfortable.

Elk and Willow Photography