Our annual wedding guide has launched and it is all about letting love shine through.

With same sex marriage officially legalised, there is no better time to be celebrating the union of two people.

Our cover star Lucy Brownless is radiant, her natural beauty is captured with movement, expertly styled by Geelong fashion stylist Renée Enright.

The magazine showcases the best our region has to offer in terms of celebrating love – it is absolutely brimming with ideas to plan your nuptials. And even if you are not planning your own big day, it is full of some familiar faces and event inspiration.

Photography: Hails & Shine

This year we feature 21 weddings from across our region, from the Bellarine, the Moorabool Valley, Surf Coast and Otways. Each one is a unique celebration, telling the couple’s love story and how they made it happen.

From the ring and the dress, to the honeymoon and advice on keeping calm and well before the big day, let us inspire you to write your own love story.

Buy GT BRIDE at newsagencies across the region,
and at the Geelong Advertiser office at 191-195 Ryrie Street, Geelong.

World’s most breathtaking wedding photos

GRAND WINNER: Photographer Erika Mann of Canada

THE most breathtaking wedding photos from around the world have been recognised, with the winning snaps showing unbelievable backdrops, exposing close-ups and magical dance floor moments.
Winners were selected among eight categories as part of the prestigious International Wedding Photographer of the Year competition for 2017, which celebrates incredible imagery from professionals across the globe.
The big winner overall was shot by Canadian wedding photographer Erika Mann, who captured a stunning still of a bride in the distance walking under a double rainbow, toward a rocky peak, along a creek in Canada.
“Paige and Daniel had a super low key wedding, with the reception taking place in their parent’s backyard,” Erika says.
“After a short and unpredictable storm we were treated to the most amazing double rainbow.
“(We) got low into the creek bed so we could remove houses and simplify the frame to the rainbow, mountain and Paige, with her dress billowing in the wind.”

OVERALL RUNNER UP & WINNER OF SINGLE CAPTURE: Photographer Paul Woo of United States

Australian photographer Adam Browne was listed in the top 10 single capture category for his photo of newlyweds popping champagne on a boat.

SINGLE CAPTURE: Photographer Adam Browne of Australia

SINGLE CAPTURE: Photographer Benjamin Wheeler of the United Kingdom

The winner of the dance floor category also proved a crowd pleaser, showing a couple dancing in a field beneath lightly snowed mountains, surrounded by family and friends clapping and taking photos.

DANCE FLOOR: Photographer Mike Vallely of Canada



DANCE FLOOR: Photographer Erika Mann of Canada.

DANCE FLOOR: Photographer Paul Santos, United Kingdom

DANCE FLOOR: Photographer Mike Vallely of Canada

FROM ABOVE WINNER: Photographer Adrian O’Neill of Ireland

FROM ABOVE: Photographer Krzysztof Krawczyk of Poland

FROM ABOVE: Photographer Donatas Ufo of Lithuania

FROM ABOVE: Photographer Ye Htut Lwin of Myanmar

Other favourites among the categories, which included black and white, photo journalism and epic destination, was a stylish shot taken by Irish photographer Adrian O’Neill, who snapped a picture from above of a newly married couple kissing as they drove down a dead end road.

EPIC LOCATION: Photographer Lanny Mann of Canada

EPIC LOCATION: Photographer Gustavo Franco of France

EPIC LOCATION: Photographer Ho Yee Ching of Malaysia

EPIC LOCATION: Photographer Sara Rogers of Canada

The touching moment a little boy bursts into tears when he sees his mum walking down the aisle tugged on the heart strings of judges, and the bridal party category was taken out by a group staring blankly at the camera as thick fog and snow builds around them.

Competition director Luke Simon said of the winners: “we live in an exciting time with technology that is allowing photographers of all genres greater scope, flexibility and expression of concepts and emotions, and none more so than wedding photography.”

SOLO PORTRAIT: Photographer Mike Vallely of Canada

SOLO PORTRAIT: Photographer Donatas Ufo of Lithuania

BLACK AND WHITE WINNER: Photographer Bruno Sauma of United States

For the full gallery visit 


Photography: Hails + Shine

Photography: Hails + Shine


How and when did Hails & Shine begin?
It all started in 2013 with a string of family sessions that were all booked on the back of our personal Instagram profiles. We’d both started getting more and more into photography, which, naturally, began with shooting pictures of our kids. We were posting those and started getting some interest from others and one thing led to another. Shooting weddings was a natural progression.

What do you love about photography?
The power of a photograph is untouchable. The way it freezes time. The way it can transport you right back into that moment. It’s like poetry or a song – it makes you feel something.

REAL WEDDING: Daniella + Dan. Photography: Hails & Shine

REAL WEDDING: Daniella + Dan. Photography: Hails & Shine

REAL WEDDING: Daniella + Dan. Photography: Hails & Shine

REAL WEDDING: Daniella + Dan. Photography: Hails & Shine

What is the best part of capturing a couple’s love story?
Exactly that: that it’s their love story. It’s so exciting! Every single couple and their day is different. It makes for a pretty interesting workplace. The best part, though, is the idea that we are giving couples memories that they and their children and grandchildren and so on can revisit for generations. Best. Job. Ever.

Describe your work in three words.
Bits of happy.

Photography: Hails & Shine

Photography: Hails & Shine

Tell us about the people behind the business and how you work together.
It’s just the two of us. We’re a couple with a young family living and working in Geelong. So many people have told us we’re crazy for working together, or that they could never do it, but we absolutely love it. For us, it was half of the appeal of starting this business. Now we get to hang out all the time – it’s awesome.

How is it an advantage to have a duo for the big day?
Besides the fact that you pay for one photographer and get two, the benefit is that nothing is missed. Two sets of eyes, searching for moments, searching for memories. Choosing us means your photographer has eyes in the back of their head. We believe a wedding is about a marriage and a marriage is made up of a string of moments: we capture the looks of genuine adoration, the gentle hand on an anxious back, a tear falling down a smiling face.

Why is choosing the right wedding photographer so important?
Your wedding photographs are forever. Everything else is consumable. The photographs are the only tangible product of the wedding; they are the only thing that lasts. Beyond that, the right wedding photographer is incredibly personal. Just like no two couples are the same, no two wedding photographers are the same. It’s important to choose a photographer that speaks to both what is important to you and what you want the vibe of your day to be like.

Photography: Hails & Shine

Photography: Hails & Shine

What’s it like behind the scenes of your business?
Probably much the same as most small businesses. Juggling family and editing during the day. A neverending virtual pile of emails. And lots of late nights.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Our couples. Each couple and their wedding is different and stepping into the unknown every weekend and searching for beautiful light and unbelievable moments is, in itself, the single most inspiring thing for us.

The best feedback you’ve received?
Recently, one of our brides told us her favourite picture from her package of photographs was one of her husband’s grandfather holding a poem he read for them. To her, it was more important than their kiss, more important than their pretty portraits, more important than the signing or the cake or the pictures of food. That’s why we do what we do.

To contact Hails & Shine click here –

For more fabulous q&a’s purchase our new gt BRIDE APP here


Photography: fotoJOJO

Photography: fotoJOJO

27 MARCH 2015

A heartfelt proposal was the beginning of not just a special day but a special styling journey to the wedding of Rhianna Baxter and James Bruscella.
After five years of dating, James got down on one knee and popped the question to not only his love, but also Rhianna’s daughter Mia.
“There were so many happy tears when he asked me to be his wife,” Rhianna remembers.
“Then, like the gentleman he is, he revealed a second box from his pocket and asked Mia if she would be his stepdaughter. This completely blew my mind!”
Rhianna and James gave themselves a year to plan their big day, which they themed as a whimsicallyromantic backyard garden party. Their Highton home was their inspiration, so the couple kept their styling aspects natural and earthy, incorporating lots of timber and classy hints of gold.



Photography: fotoJOJO

Together, they built a marquee and, filled with beautiful festoon lights, it became the perfect place for dancing. Their hashtag for social media sharing – #howmuchfundowehave – was the finishing touch for the pair’s vision.
The wow factor came with the ceremony space – they installed a walkway over their pool acting as the gorgeous aisle. Including their loved ones was important for the couple, who asked each of their 89 guests to wear either black or white.
“My favourite moment was sharing our vows as we looked back at our incredible family and friends – they all looked sharp in black and white,” says
Rhianna, who was a vision in a custom-made delicate long-sleeve lace Berta gown.
But style, class and a divine naked cake aside, newlywed Rhianna has some lovely words of advice for brides-to-be.
“Make your marriage more beautiful than your wedding,” she says, smiling.


Photography: fotoJOJO

Photography: fotoJOJO

Ceremony: Couple’s home
Reception: Couple’s home
Catering: Pink Saffron
Photography: fotoJOJO
Wedding stylist/planner: Nomad Styling
Videographer: Foto Jojo
Gown: Berta
Shoes: Charlotte Olympia
Hair: Blondie hair + cosmetica
Make-up: Aura Health and Beauty
Cake: Ladybird Cakes
Flowers: She’s a wildflower
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Zimmermann
Suits: Calibre and Eddy Elias Menswear
Rings: Charles Rose
Transport: Murrell Group Limousines
Entertainment: Harp Sash Love and DJ Rod G
Stationery: Print Fairy
Celebrant: Belinda McPherson
Prop hire: Dann Event Hire
Honeymoon: US, Cancun and Bora Bora


Photography: fotoJOJO

Photography: fotoJOJO

Rhianna and James, pictured here, are one of our Real Wedding couples in our new edition of
gt BRIDE. To see more of their special day download our App.

Photography: fotoJOJO

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