There is nothing better than waking up well rested after a long, peaceful night of sleep.
However, with a wedding to plan added to the daily stresses of work, family and other commitments, sleep can often take a back seat.
Sleep coach Cheryl Fingleson explains prioritising a good night’s rest is extremely important.
“New sleep research shows one in five Australians take three or more sick days a year because of exhaustion,” she says.
“The cost to employers is $3.7 billion a year, according to the 2018 Sealy Sleep Census, and it’s only set to get worse.”
She has developed some methods and techniques to make sure you get ample beauty sleep to make sure you are rested and feeling your best on your big day.

Take a sleep audit

Over the next few days, make a note of when you go to sleep, when you wake up and rate your quality of sleep out of ten. Don’t rely on a phone app, smart watch or fitness tracker to do this job. Keep electronics out of your sleep space and use pen and paper.
Note down when you drink caffeinated drinks; refined carbohydrates or junk food. Record what exercise you do and when, as well as how much time you spend outside in sunlight. In the evening, record how long you spend on a screen and when you turn them off.
Have a look at your wind down routine: do you meditate, shower or read before bed? Then observe your sleep space: is your bedroom very cluttered; do you have light blocking blinds or curtains; is there a lot of noise; is your room or bedding too hot or too cold?
And this is a big one: in the middle of the night, how many times do you reach to check your phone?

Make sleep your number one priority

Obesity, type 2 diabetes and other chronic and often deadly health conditions are linked to inadequate sleep so it’s really important to make it a priority.

Now you know what your bad and good habits are, you can take some proactive first steps, including:
1. No caffeine after midday; follow a healthy, low-refined carbohydrate diet, avoid junk food and sugary foods, especially in the evening.
2. Consider your exercise routine: if you sleep badly after working out in the evening, hit the gym earlier in the day.

3. Get out in natural sunlight once a day for at least twenty minutes to help reset your body clock.
4. Go to bed and wake up at the same time, seven days a week. Studies show a sleep debt from the week can’t be paid off at the weekend.
5. Have an electronic sunset in the evening: dim the lights, lower the noise, no screens at least an hour before bed. Don’t binge watch television shows late into the night.
6. Make your sleep space conducive to rest. Don’t use heavy, hot bed covers; keep the temperature around 18 to 20 degrees; keep out artificial and natural lights.

7. Write a worry list an hour before bed. If you wake up in the night with your mind racing, transferring them onto paper can help remove them from your thoughts.
8. If you struggle to get to sleep, or wake up in the night and can’t get back to sleep, go and do something else away from your bed. Don’t stay there tossing and turning and stressing. Read a book in the lounge. Don’t go on your phone.
9. Keep phones out of the bedroom. I can’t stress this enough. Checking emails, social media or texts in the middle of the night is one of the main culprits for sleep disturbance.
10. Lastly, sleep well – your body and bank balance will thank you.



“Easily the first look,” is Harriet Fist’s instant reaction when asked what her favourite memory of her wedding day. She first laid eyes on Andrew Rhodes when assigned a seat next to him in year 8. “A friendship began and a deep connection which has grown and evolved ever since,” she says. “I love Andy’s sense of humour and his patience – never before have I met such a humble and patient soul.” Harriet named her groom’s late sister as her bridesmaid, and honoured her further by releasing a balloon at the end of their ceremony in her memory. “It was a beautiful moment to share and a special way to acknowledge and include our sister in our day,” Harriet says. “The photos from that moment will be cherished forever.”

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


Looking for a signature cocktail for your engagement, hen’s, or big day?
Lovers of the classic gin and tonic can be inspired by some of these recipes.
To keep the calories down, Australia beverage brand, Nexba, has developed sugar free tonic to add to your mixes.
Choose your favourite flavour and enjoy.

Blueberry G&T

Superfood cocktails… Blueberries are absolutely packed with antioxidants, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try adding in a teaspoon of butterfly pea powder. Butterfly pea powder is made by grinding organic butterfly pea flowers. Its health benefits are similar to that of green tea, antioxidants, increased immunity, supporting heart health and boosting metabolism. Aside from the health benefits, mixing butterfly pea powder with lemon juice creates a beautiful blue-purple. It’s the perfect natural alternative to food colouring.

Serves 3

2 1/2 cups tonic water
3 shots gin
3/4 cup frozen blueberries, plus extra to garnish
1 tsp butterfly pea powder, optional
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 handful ice cubes
A few mint leaves, to garnish

Firstly mix butterfly pea powder (if using) and lemon juice in a small bowl.
Transfer to a large jar and add all remaining ingredients, except garnish.
Pour into glasses and garnish with mint leaves and additional blueberries.
Serve and enjoy.

Rosemary grapefruit tonic

A delicious, fruity cocktail, or mocktail.

Serves 4

2 1/2 cups tonic water
4 shots gin (optional)
2 cups fresh grapefruit juice
1 cup ice cubes
Rosemary sprigs and additional grapefruit to garnish

Combine all ingredients (except rosemary and grapefruit to garnish) in a large jar and mix.
Pour into glasses and garnish with rosemary sprigs and fresh grapefruit.
Serve with ice and enjoy!
If you prefer a slightly sweeter beverage, add in some freshly squeezed orange juice to balance out the bitterness of the grapefruit.

Pine lime G&T

If you’re feeling extra fancy, serve this one in a pineapple cup, simply by scooping out the pineapple flesh and adding in your beverage.

Serves 2

1 cup pineapple juice (or Nexba pineapple sparkling infusion)
1 cup Nexba lime, cucumber and mint tonic water
2 shots gin
1 tbsp lime juice
1 handful ice cubes
Lime and mint for garnish

Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a large jar and mix.
Pour into mason jars and garnish with lime and mint.
Serve and enjoy!



Erin Kennedy and Joshua Laing, a dietitian and a doctor, were great friends before realising there was a spark. The pair relish in the fact they are such different people who are still so perfectly matched. “Josh is more adventurous, whereas I tend to be more grounded,” explains Erin. “At the core of our relationship is a strong friendship, a love for animals and we both a strong value for our family and friends.” The pair, with the help of Josh’s cousin Thea, styled much of their marquee wedding on the Bellarine. Erin remembers the delight of being able to the make the celebration a true representation of them, choosing or designing every element. The couple, who love travelling and exploring the world together, headed to Sri Lanka for their blissful honeymoon.

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



When Cameron Alford and Laura Schram first kissed as husband and wife they could not help but beam with joy. The couple has been through a life-changing couple of years, with Laura diagnosed with cancer during her third pregnancy in 2016. Children Jasper, Ivy and Alfie held the wedding rings in their hands for a few moments and handed them to their parents to exchange. “We wanted everyone special in our lives there to celebrate and who more special than our three babies,” says Laura. “The second I saw Laura all I could think was how lucky we both were to be here,” Cam says. “It was the happiest I’ve been and the best day to top off such a stressful few years. She looked so beautiful and just beamed light.”For more imagery, including a full list of suppliers, CLICK HERE.


Dress: Fontaine

THE talented team at One Day Bridal has done it again with a collection celebrating all women.
La Bella Donna features the newest range of curve gowns.
Each curve gown has been specifically designed with bust support and enhanced structure.
This diverse range of wedding gowns and fashion accessories make from new, exclusive fabrics developed by the Chosen team.
The mirrored fabric of sequins and pearls in three colour variations, white, rose gold and silver is a standout.
Stunning pieces in soft lace, pleated tulle and bonded georgette complete the collection.
Shot with enchanting Capri, Italy as the backdrop, each gown shines.
This is modern bridal at its best.
Email enquires@loveoneday.com.au or call 03 9686 7744 to view the La Bella Donna collection by Chosen.

Dress: Remy

Dress: Hayes Bandeau

Dress: Emmer

Jacket: Huntley

Dress: Jones

Skirt: Millie

Dress: Loren

Dress: Kennedy

Dress: Byron

Gowns: Chosen by One Day
Campaign photography: Emily Abay
Look book photography: Jessica Apap
Hair and Makeup: Monica Gingold Beauty
Styling and creative direction: Kyha Simpson and Stephanie Neilsen, assisted by Stephanie Bartels



Carlie Dean unexpectedly met the love of her life at a close friend’s wedding, who happened to be marrying the cousin of Brad Chilko. “We have been inseparable ever since,” says Carlie. To celebrate the women in her family, the bride wore her great-grandmother’s engagement ring, and was able to use red gum wood from her nana’s old farm as the base for her centrepieces. Everything came together exactly how they imagined, with everyone partying into the night on the dancefloor. “I didn’t know when I met Carlie at 21, that I would be standing here eight years later, marrying the woman I love,” says Brad. “But I knew she was the one after we made a long distance relationship work, we could renovate and build two homes together, move interstate, and travel the world together, and grow to love each other even more through it all.”

Ceremony: The Pier Geelong
The Pier Geelong
The Pier Geelong
Jake Hogan Photography
Baker Boys Band
Prop hire:
The Pier Geelong
Little Orchard Designs
Tennille Welsh
Honeymoon destination:
United States and Mexico

Embrace Bridal Boutique
Shoes: Jeanette Maree
Hair: Momu Hair & Makeup
Makeup: Momu Hair & Makeup
Cake: Kailey’s Kakes
Flowers: Floral Perfection Geelong
Bridesmaids’ dresses: JJ’s House
Suits: Peter Jackson
Rings: Zantis Jewellers


Those looking for something a little different will love Finery, the newest collection of one-off engagement and bridal pieces by Australian jewellery designer, ToniMay.
ToniMay was launched in 2010 by The Bachelor 2017 winner Laura Byrne.
Inspired by the spirit of wanderlust and adventure, Finery is the premium range created for the girl who prefers a non-traditional engagement ring.
The bespoke collection offers soulful designs that incorporate higher end 9k and 18k white and yellow gold stacking engagement rings and heirloom pieces.
Each piece has its own unique style with hand-picked stones such as grey diamonds and aquamarine scouted from all across the globe. Each stone is ethically sourced and each piece handcrafted.
The Finery collection ranges from $500 to $5000.

Visit tonimay.com.au/collections/bespoke-finery to view the range.



Melbourne couple Bonnie Griffiths and Brendan George met in Ocean Grove when they were teenagers. It seemed fitting the pair were also wed on the Bellarine, saying “I do” at Oneday Estate in front of their 140 guests. The couple remember their favourite moment of the day as when they stepped out during the festivities to take a few extra photos and collect their thoughts. “What was so special was this was a chance for us to catch up one on one, take a breather from the big day and connect, laugh and have a moment just the two of us,” Bonnie remembers. “These are some of my favourite photos as we were just laughing and talking about how perfectly everything had come together and how happy we were.”

Oneday Estate
Oneday Estate
The Paella Pan
Nic Stephens Photography
Coastal Kombi Weddings
The White Tree
Cherry Soda Events
Prop hire:
Love Light Letters
Chloe Jetson Celebrant
Honeymoon destination:
Port Douglas

Gown: Pronovias
Wittner Shoes
Bride’s hair:
Bernice Makeup Artist
Bridesmaids’ hair:
Zoe Karlis
Bernice Makeup Artist
Zoë Makes Cakes
Jessica Bastie, Cherry Soda Events
Bridesmaids’ dresses:
Shona Joy
Bossini Menswear and ASOS
Matt Wynne Designer Jeweller


Light filtered through the windows of an unused warehouse for this year’s GT BRIDE cover shoot.
Renée Enright made her dreamy vision come to life at the Federal Mills and at a quaint Freshwater Creek chapel.
Matt O’Donnell from Hails & Shine captured the magic of model Lucy Brownless in Geelong’s best gowns.
Gabbie Ward, of Blondie Salon, puts her finishing touches on the local beauty.
Lucy looks radiant, using light and movement, holding florals carefully curated by florist Erin Cusack, of Florette.


For the full shoot, buy your copy of GT BRIDE, available at newsagencies across the region and at the Geelong Advertiser office, open 10am to 4pm weekdays.