ESTHER + HOWARD

ESTHER + HOWARD

DATE TO REMEMBER
Esther found her dream gown while shopping in Los Angeles. “My best friend Kim got me to try on a handful of the big ball gown style dresses for fun but I was sure I wanted something slim fitting and really chic,” Esther says. The pair was married at Terindah Estate with 87 guests, including Howard’s family from England. “The whole week leading up to it, the wedding day, and the days following it, with everyone in town together, was an amazing time that we will never forget,” she say


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REAL WEDDING

ALEXANDRA + LEIGH

DATE TO REMEMBER
Leigh Hodge proposed to Alex Kearney as the pair enjoyed a picnic during sunset near Gibson Steps. They married on the Bellarine on November 19, 2016. “Leigh is always inspiring me to be a better person,” says Alex. “Alex’s selfless and nurturing personality, along with her great sense of humour make me fall in love with her more every day,” says Leigh. A small cutting from Alex’s late grandparents garden was used to grow succulents used as wedding favours. “It was a special way to include my grandparents in our special day,” says Alex.




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Cut and polished

Kirsty Lief has found creative fulfilment in jewellery-making. Photos: Kirsty Lief

A creative heart and a career in retail and graphic design was the foundation stone of a precious setting in jewellery-making, writes STEPHANIE AZZOPARDI

TORQUAY’S Kirsty Lief knew from a young age that she would be a creative.
And her simple, geometric and on-trend handmade jewellery is what she knows she wants to put her creative energy into.
Kirsty, who was born in South Africa, moved to Australia when she was just seven years old.
“There’s nothing like being a seven-year-old in a school ground with a funny accent to make you really aware of yourself,” she says.
“I think it was then that I learnt I had creativity in me.
“I remember realising that the other kids found it difficult to understand me and as a result I found all sorts of creative ways to initiate play with others.”
Kirsty dabbled in dance, music and art lessons as a child, then, when she was older, studied graphic design.


“I worked in retail for much of my teens to early 20s and I think this gave me a great insight in to how to run a business,” Kirsty says.
“I’ve also always been drawn to working in a creative capacity for small businesses, and I’ve worked at a letterpress studio, a few boutique design studios and most recently a tea company as their all-round creative person.
“I’ve always tried to make time and room for pursing my own creativity, whether I was working full time or casually, and I’ve done my best to pursue a career doing something that I love and that I find creatively fulfilling.”
Kirsty’s first go at jewellery-making was part of a year 12 design project.
“The brief was to design a logo for a made-up company, and I designed an entire jewellery business and range around the logo instead,” she says.
“Then in my first real job as a graphic designer, I pretty quickly realised the profession requires being creative on someone else’s terms, because that’s where the money is.
“I started making laser cut jewellery for a bit of a creative break from my day job, took my wares to a local market and sold out of my products that same day.
“I saw the way people connected with my work, and walked away from a purchase with a smile on their face, and I was hooked.
“I was so excited that I told my boss about it, and when I finished up at that job she gifted me the most beautiful wooden artwork by David Bromley and said ‘I don’t think you’re meant to be a graphic designer’.
“That stuck with me, and every time I look at that piece I’m reminded of where it all started.”


Kirsty’s love for crafting and her eye for graphics design has given her the best start, being able to not only make beautiful items, but present them in a beautiful way online as well.
The business elevated when Kirsty went overseas, hoping to be inspired by new ideas.
She took a metal smithing course and things clicked for her.
“Despite the fact that I had just filed a single piece of metal for three hours straight and my fingers were on fire and missing a few layers of skin, I just knew that I had finally found what I wanted to channel my creativity into,” she says.
Each piece from Kirsty’s range, which she describes as minimalistic, is made from precious metals and designed, formed, soldered, polished and buffed by hand.
The elegance of the range goes from staples to statements, and she is constantly trying to think up new ideas.
“I always get my best ideas in the shower, and I sketch things into the fog on the glass just to get it out of my head,” she admits.
Life right now for the 30-year-old is all about a balance between building the business and family time. Any spare time she has is spent with her husband Josh, seven-week-old baby Oscar and dog Lola.
The new mother creates between naps and on weekends.


“I’ve learnt to be much more efficient with my time,” she says.
For Kirsty, that sense of knowing she is making something that is truly cherished by the people who buy it, is a feeling of fulfilment.
“I love the way I can take something raw and unrefined, and through a very messy process, which is full of blackened fingers and a trail of dust, grim and metal shavings, create something that is not only beautiful, but can also become a part of someone’s story,” she explains.
“Jewellery has a beautiful way of working sentimentality into people’s lives, and I love being a part of that.”

Follow @kirstylief on Instagram or visit kirstylief.com to shop.

REAL WEDDING

EMILIE + DANIEL

DATE TO REMEMBER
Ocean Grove couple Emilie Biggar and Daniel Crook were showered with gum leaves as confetti after they said ‘I do’ at Oakdene Vineyards. Their union was held against the backdrop of a homemade macramé by Emilie, who also made her own flower crowns and wildflower bouquets. The newlyweds, their two children and their 90 guests covered their cheeks in glitter and danced barefoot under the stars for their celebration.
“Our life path was spontaneous and never planned; full of luck and surprises, just the way life should be,” says Emilie.




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REAL WEDDING

GEORGIA + DANIEL

DATE TO REMEMBER
Georgia Torney wore a Raffaele Ciuca gown with a lace cape draped around her shoulders. “As soon as I put it on, I got that feeling,” she says of her dream dress. The pair was married in front of 75 guests on Georgia’s family’s Jan Juc property. “Standing next to my brother and looking out at the ceremony crowd of our closest family and friends as Georgia walked down the aisle is something I will never forget,” says Daniel.


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REAL WEDDING

BROOKE + JOSH

DATE TO REMEMBER
Brooke Baxter and Josh Walker, who describe themselves as very shy, decided to meet before the ceremony to share that ‘first look’ moment privately. “It took the nerves away,” says Brooke. “It was very personal and intimate.” The bride stunned with a beautifully structured Toni Maticevski gown. The newlyweds’ ceremony and reception that followed was full of fun and laughter, surrounded by 160 family and friends.


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REAL WEDDING

TESNI + JOSHUA

LOVE STORY
Tesni Rowlands and Joshua Vrbovski love so many of the same things, and the pair admit, they are the right balance for each other. “We make each other laugh – we are both big kids,” says Tesni. “We are best friends.” Tesni made sure their wedding and reception were full of personal touches.
The bride trawled second hand stores for the two years she was engaged finding her centrepieces. The pair made their exit for the celebrations showered in light and love as their friends and family held sparklers in a guard of honour to send them off.



BEHIND THE SCENES:
Ceremony:
St Steven’s Anglican Church
Reception: Truffleduck
Catering: Truffleduck
Photography: Love You Sweetheart
Transport: Triple R Wedding Car Hire
Entertainment: Baker Boys Band
Stationery: Rhian Cantone
Minister: Timothy Smith
Honeymoon destination: Bali

LOOK BOOK:
Gown:
Rue de Seine
Shoes: Kate Spade New York
Hair: Ashlea Dyson
Makeup: Tobi Em Makeup Artist
Cake: In house- Truffleduck
Flowers: Georgie Stanton Flowers
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Custom made
Suits: Eddy Elias Menswear
Rings: Australian Diamond Company and Lord Coconut

REAL WEDDING

LAUREN + LEWY

LOVE STORY
High school sweethearts Lauren Wells and Lewy Hyland were together seven years before Lewy popped the question during a Melbourne getaway.
Lauren fell in love with the first dress she tried on while at Embrace Bridal Boutique.
“I knew it was the one as everyone started to cry as I walked out,” she remembers.
The pair celebrated their wedding at Oneday Estate with 100 of their closest family and friends. Their two sons, Boston and Bowie, were walked down the aisle by their two grandmothers, making it a true family affair.



BEHIND THE SCENES:
Ceremony: Oneday Estate
Reception: Oneday Estate
Catering: Geelong Wood Fired Ovens and Geelong Mobile Ice Cream
Photography: Love & Other Wedding Photography
Transport: Coastal Kombi Weddings
Entertainment: The Detours Duo
Stationery: Etsy
Celebrant: Sarah Scott
Prop hire: Dress My Wedding
Honeymoon destination: Port Douglas

LOOK BOOK:
Gown: Embrace Bridal Boutique
Shoes: Tony Bianco
Hair: Zoe Tresize
Makeup: Abbey Wells Makeup Design
Cake: Canapes Cafe
Flowers: Lustre Blooms
Bridesmaids’ dresses: ShowPo
Suits: Roger David
Rings: Michael Hill

REAL WEDDING

STACEY + LUKE

LOVE STORY
Stacey Collett met Luke Baldwin in their hometown of Colac five years ago. It was the pair’s love, passion and generosity that drew them together.
“Her heart is full of gold,” says Luke of his wife.
In fact, gold balloons spelling out ‘Mr & Mrs’ were a statement piece at their wedding at Clyde Park in Bannockburn.
Stacey wore an off-white strapless gown from Embrace Bridal Boutique, walking down the aisle.
“The whole day was perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing,” says Stacey.



BEHIND THE SCENES:
Ceremony:
Clyde Park Vineyard And Bistro
Reception: Clyde Park Vineyard And Bistro
Catering: Clyde Park Vineyard And Bistro
Photography:  Sara Taylor Photography
Transport: Night Owl Limousines
Entertainment:  The Vulkans
Celebrant: Dean Sindoni

LOOK BOOK:
Gown:  Embrace Bridal Boutique
Shoes:  Novo Shoes
Hair: Blush Bar
Makeup: Blush Bar
Cake: Clyde Park Vineyard And Bistro
Flowers: Otway Blooms Florist
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Embrace Bridal Boutique
Suits: Eddy Elias Menswear
Rings: Michael Hill

REAL WEDDING

KATE + MURRAY

LOVE STORY
Kate Flentje and Murray Tucker’s special day did not go quite to plan, but they had a magical day all the same.
The heavens opened up to rain and hail upon what was meant to be their garden nuptials at Kate’s parent’s home.
The happy couple took it in their stride and had their beautiful ceremony indoors, and gathered umbrellas and gumboots to capture the moment outside on film.
The pair did not hesitate to jump on Kate’s grandparent’s old swing resurrected by her father. “This was a fond memory for me as I used to love playing on the swing as a child,” says Kate. Custom flavours made the day extra special, with custom cocktails and a dessert bar with treats homemade by friends and family’s favourite recipes.



BEHIND THE SCENES:
Ceremony: Private property
Reception: Private property
Catering: Steampocket Catering
Photography: Sarah Godenzi Photography
Transport: Family cars
Entertainment: Stolen Apples
Stationery: Danger & Moon
Celebrant: Catherine Crosby-Wright
Honeymoon destination: Sri Lanka

LOOK BOOK:
Gown: Pearls & Roses bridal
Shoes: Bared Shoes
Cake: Homemade
Flowers: Laurin Glasby, friend of the bride
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Rodeo Show
Suits: SABA
Rings: Duffs Jewellers