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Zoe & Joe’s Colourful Convent Gallery Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


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 Zoe & Joe

There is so much to love about Zoe and Joe’s colourful convent gallery wedding. The newlyweds wanted a weekend away for their guests and chose a place of significance to them, Daylesford as the place to spend an extended weekend celebrating their marriage.  The main aim for the wedding was to have it feel like a big party, and party they did! They chose Daniella Melfi Photography to capture it all.

Zoe and Joe tell. “We met in London in 2006 – both of us were traveling and living there for a year, and we met through mutual friends at a pub. Not really very special!

The engagement story is a good one though: We were on a holiday for a family member’s birthday in Port Douglas, in far north Queensland. On our second morning, we were on our way to the beach, when Joe guided me in the opposite direction. Confused, I was led to a helicopter that was set down on the wharf at the marina. Bradley our pilot and Joe instructed me to hop in as it swept us up and out over the coastline to the Great Barrier Reef. We saw sharks and sea snakes, flew low over sea turtles and dolphins and stingrays, and took in the most amazing reefs and sand cays. Heading inland, Bradley flew over a ridge in the mountainous rainforest and low into a winding river, heading straight towards one of the most magnificent and isolated waterfalls I’ve ever seen. And then he set down the helicopter…on top of the waterfall! Hopping out, we were encouraged to go and have a swim in the pristine waterholes, bath in the waterfalls and snorkel for turtles and fish.

Meanwhile, Bradley had set up an afternoon tea of wine and cheese and fruit. Left completely alone and to ourselves, Joe asked me to marry him and presented me with the most beautiful diamond. We were able to choose the setting together. It was simply the best!”

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The couple chose a first look before the ceremony, noting, “We always planned to have our photographs taken beforehand, as we wanted to maximise the time spent with our guests after the ceremony. This also enabled us a lot more freedom when choosing our site for photographs, something that I will never regret. We did the “reveal” and other formal photographs at Jubilee Lake.”

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“I had my grandmother’s wedding sash, with my great-grandmother’s wedding ring sewn onto it, wrapped around my bouquet. It made up the “something old” element and was a lovely way to remember family.”

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The groom and groomsmen wore suits by Studio Suits  while Zoe chose a gown by Elly Louise, who also made the bridesmaid dresses, noting, “I loved my amazing dress which was suited so perfectly to the relaxed vibe and yet still made me feel like a princess.

On the morning of the wedding, I realised I had completely forgotten the pocket squares for the boys. I rang Elly down in Melbourne and she quickly ran up some more out of the bridesmaids’ fabric and popped into mum’s house to deliver them before the ceremony. My eyes are closed as I was getting my make-up done and all I hear is “Zoe, don’t panic, I made the pocket squares… but the boys don’t have breast pockets.” The way everyone was bracing themselves they must have thought those pocket squares were life itself! I just laughed and laughed and wondered what kind of blazers don’t have breast pockets?! Poor Elly. She went above and beyond!”

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Of their photographer, Zoe tells, “I knew Dannii from previous photo shoots through my work as a costume designer, and she’s always been so fabulous – it didn’t take us long to decide we would use her for the wedding. She was fantastic, and made a trip up to Daylesford a couple of weeks before the wedding, so we could walk through locations and logistics. It was such a load off to know that we were both on the same page! The photos are gorgeous – we’re very happy.”

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“Our wedding itself was not at all religious, given neither of us are that way inclined. Joe is, however, Filipino and although he wasn’t that fussed, I wanted to make sure we incorporated at least one tradition – as weddings are a big deal in the Philippines and they have a number of rituals involved. I chose the “cord” ritual, which is where “sponsors” (like godparents, but for the marriage itself) place a cord around the couple, representing their bond but also their family’s commitment to helping them through, no matter what. Of course it couldn’t be this simple though!!! I wanted the cord to be extra special, and so in the end one of my bridesmaids made 80 bread-dough beads and hand painted them all in the colours of the wedding.

As guests arrived at the ceremony, they were asked to select a bead out of the large vase, and my cousin Danielle, a jewellery maker, threaded and knotted it onto a string. She had previously hand engraved a little silver infinity symbol, which she placed in the centre of the figure of eight. By the time the ceremony started, she had completed the cord, which each of the guests had contributed to, and our mums placed it around our shoulders as sponsors. It was really special and we now keep the cord on our mantelpiece – what a fabulous keepsake.”

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Mark Doggett performed the ceremony, the bride noting “We loved our ceremony, from our beautiful self-penned vows that had everyone laughing and crying all at once  to the song that Joe’s best man Casey, sung at the ceremony that came as a complete surprise to me.”

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“Pimms and Peronis followed in the St Lawrence room, and of course we couldn’t resist taking a couple more photos in the new surroundings. It was wonderful though, to know we could just relax with our guests over cocktails, canapés and entrees, which were cooked and served by chefs in front of everyone.”

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Zoe and Joe chose The Convent Gallery, Daylesford  for their wedding, from the ceremony to the after party. Zoe explains, “We had entertained the idea early on of a long-weekend wedding, hoping that guests would take advantage of it and enjoy the town of Daylesford. My mum had always owned property there so I had grown up visiting the town often – and she now lives there full time. Joe and I adore going up as often as we can, and so it was a natural choice for the location. The Convent Gallery won us over with their can-do attitude and the assurance that everything would be taken care of for us on the day, and we wouldn’t need to worry about a thing.

We chose the Melbourne Cup long weekend, at the beginning of November, and were married on the Monday. Being at the time of the Spring Racing Carnival, guests were encouraged to wear hats. The weather was sublime, and the roses were out, exactly as I had hoped. Mainly though, as it wasn’t the height of summer, everything was beautifully green and lush – something that really became a feature of our photos.”

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“Our main aim for the wedding was that it had to be one big party, and we didn’t want to have to restrict our guest list too much more than we already had. Fun was the major criteria, plus good food and drink. I think we did it! Everyone had a great time and there aren’t really any decisions that we regret.”

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“Our guests were then invited into the St Michael’s room for the seated part of the evening and this was my opportunity to take off my big skirt, to reveal the cocktail-length dress that the amazing Elly Louise had helped bring to life. Dancing was a priority, but I had always dreamed of a big wedding dress, so this was the perfect solution. It was also a lovely surprise for the guests upon our announcement in the main room.”

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Zoe explains, “On each place setting was a handwritten thank you note for each guest – a personalised way of thanking them for coming. I really wanted everyone to feel like they were special to us, and this was easy for me to do ahead of time – I just did a couple each night for a month before the wedding. The invitations were all handmade by my best man and I (with the help of his wonderful scrapbooking mother-in-law!), and he made the sign that sat at our ceremony on an easel – “Breathe now, love is in the air”. We also made the favours together – chocolate hearts moulded onto a pretty teaspoon and wrapped in cellophane. Really simple to do and a cost-effective solution.”

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Zoe tells, “I did everything myself – so the centrepieces were lots of fun. They were inspired by our surrounds and the history of the building where the wedding was held. We were married in the gardens of an old convent, and the reception was in the old school hall. The centrepieces were comprised of two old books, a strip of hessian cut to be like an altar runner, a candle, the letters J and Z painted red and a jar of roses. From underneath that, however, strings of twine rolled across the table to each place setting, where a photo of that person (a funny one that I had, or one with the me and/or Joe) was pegged.”

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“As far as theme goes, I was inspired by a photo of a mass of different coloured roses. Everything branched from that – and our flowers were all multicoloured roses (together with some baby’s breath) as they were in peak season at the time of our wedding. Other than that, everything was just knocked back a little to fit the country, relaxed feel. The roses were secondary roses (not premium), which we bought in bulk and then arranged ourselves into lots of jars and wooden crates from the local antique centre, used together with old books, vases and twine.”

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Of the first dance, Zoe remembers “We had taken lessons with a local dance teacher and she came up with a great blend of Rumba, Cha cha, foxtrot and swing and we did it to Love Never Felt So Good by Michael Jackson. It was a hit with the guests, even if it wasn’t the most coördinated of performances!!”colourful convent gallery wedding0070

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The community feeling of the wedding involved cake, and lots of it! Led by MC Andrew McClelland and Brunetti, Carlton. Zoe explains ” I spent a while considering what to do for our cake, as neither of us were really impassioned by the thought of it. Amongst friends I’m renowned for always bringing a Brunetti’s cake for dessert, and I didn’t want to let them down! The wonderful Barbara at Brunetti’s Carlton helped us choose a different cake for every table, the only custom one being our wedding cake, which was still small and simple but a little more in the colour theme. MC Andrew McClelland then asked each table a question about the couple, and whoever answered correctly was able to stand up (with their spouses/partners too if they liked!) and we all cut the cakes together. Everyone was encouraged to try the cakes on the other tables and what a hoot! Everyone was running around swapping entire cake stands and having a ball.”

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Guests enjoyed the photo booth set up by The Booth Butler.

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Congratulations on your marriage Zoe and Joe! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you to Daniella Melfi Photography for sending the wedding our way!

Photographer: Daniella Melfi Photography / Bride’s Dress: Elly Louise / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: The Essential Hat / Bride’s Shoes: Mi Piaci / Bride’s Jewelry: Family Jewellery / Bridesmaid Dresses: Elly Louise / Groom’s Attire: Studio Suits / Groom's Shoes: Batsanis / Groomsmen Attire: Studio Suits / Flowers: The Flower Merchant / Hairstylist: Amanda from Hair Update Daylesford / Makeup Artist: Jasmin from Hair Update Daylesford / Cake Baker: Brunetti, Carlton / Venue: The Convent Gallery, Daylesford / Ceremony Officiant: Mark Doggett / DJ & Master Of Ceremonies: Andrew McClelland / Photo Booth: The Booth Butler / Transport: Pete’s Classic Garage / Babysitting Services: Claire’s Childcare / DJ Equipment: DJ Warehouse / Wedding Rings: Seferian Diamonds / Wedding Registry: Not Another Toaster
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Ta’ Vie White Avery Bridal Collection

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


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There’s a new bridal designer in town. Meet Ta’ Vie, a label created by Sydney designer Tavisha. The gowns are simple, the mission “From that first call to the last fit-on, at Ta’ Vie you are the beauty. It’s just you, Ta’ Vie and the dress.”

Brought to life in a shoot with Sha Photography, Lidija Jevremovic and model Tasha Ross, the debut collection, named “White Avery” is inspired by the beauty and modern sense of style of the Australian bride. The collection is laid back and dreamy but interesting. Pieces are in golds, soft blue greys and whites with gold ball beaded detail, billowing sleeves and cheeky cut outs. Classic shapes are interpreted with modern details.

Each Ta’ Vie is custom made for its wearer, from sketches, to fitting each piece and is handmade in Australia.

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Gowns & Styling: Ta' Vie / Photographer: Sha Photography / Hair & Makeup Artist: Lidija Jevremovic / Model: Tasha Ross

Casey & Jono’s Country Garden Inspired Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


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Casey & Jono

There is such a sense of sweetness in Casey and Jono’s country garden inspired wedding. From the bride’s beautiful floral hairpiece, to the vintage tea cups at the reception. But it’s not just the physical details that make this wedding sweet, it’s the physical ones too. The moment the bride’s father passed her hand to Jono’s at the end of the aisle, the first dance which went nothing as planned but tricked guests into thinking it was a choreographed number – every moment, every detail.  Casey and Jono chose Sayher Heffernan to photograph their wedding day.

Casey tells the story of how she and Jono came to be. “We tend to think our love story is fairly ordinary, but no love story is ever ordinary! We actually met in high-school. We were in the same Outdoor Ed class and I can guarantee you, neither of us were ever late to that class! We were together for a few months but split up when we both went to university in different towns. It wasn’t until we were about 24 that Jono finally came to his senses and realised I was the only one for him. He hotly pursued and I secretly high-fived myself as I’d been pining for him all those years! Fast forward to 2015 and we were married on the day of our 5 year anniversary.”

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The bride chose a strapless lace gown from Bendigo Bridal Collections.

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Casey and Jono married at Ross & Yvonne Petzke Family Garden.  Casey tells, “Both loving the outdoors, we knew we wanted to be married outside. Our only other priority was that the venues were beautiful in their own right. We didn’t want to have to spend a lot of money trying to make a place look good. The garden used for the ceremony was absolutely stunning. Just set back from the Murray River was this oasis of lush green lawn, curtained by a wall of beautiful green forestry. It was private, intimate and provided enough shade ensuring our guests would be comfortable in the sometimes hot (up to 43 degrees in summer!) Swan Hill sun. It ticked all the boxes. On the day, we had family members and friends who had lived in Swan Hill for years exclaiming how “absolutely beautiful the garden is” and that they “had no idea this was even here!” even though the majority of them had walked their dog past on a daily basis. Looks can be deceiving. Always book an appointment and check out the inside of a venue instead of just driving by.”

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From Little Things styled the ceremony and reception creating the floral decor arrangements for the day.

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Of the processional, Casey remembers, “I wanted something modern and meaningful (I loved this song when Jono and I started dating, it brings back memories of excited road trips to go and see him) but something that still gave a nod to the traditionalism of a wedding. Something ceremonial, but relaxed and fun, setting the mood for the rest of the day. I’m Yours, by Vitamin String Quartet was the perfect choice for us.”

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There was a special moment shared as the ceremony started that was captured, something which the bride applauds their photographer for.  “The photographer was the first thing we booked! I think we had only been engaged 5 days when we set the date and booked our photographer Sayher Heffernan. We had been following the the amazing photos Sayher captures for years, so there was no doubt in our mind, he was the only photographer we wanted. Check out his website and you’ll see why.

He has this natural ability to capture raw emotion, the unstaged, once-in-a-lifetime moments. I remember the first time we excitedly flicked through our photo’s when we had to stop, tears rolling down my cheek. Here was this stunning shot of my dad passing my hand over to Jono after having just walked me down the aisle. He had said to Jono “She’s all yours now. Goodluck” and the three of us shared a private giggle, unbeknown to the 120 family and friends watching on. It was a special moment and one I may have forgotten over time, had it not been for this photo. I stared at that photo for 20 minutes thinking “I didn’t even know Sayher was there. How did he capture this cherished memory?” But that is what he does.

He is so professional and so friendly, he puts even the most un-photogenic people (me!) at ease, and that’s when the magic happens. Our photographer was easily the best money we spent on the wedding.”

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There was a special guest as ring bearer. “Harry (our 18 month old Golden Retriever!) was our ring bearer! He is our first (fur) baby and there was no way we were leaving a family member behind (plus we didn’t trust our best man with the rings!!!).”

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Jenny Davies officiated the ceremony and helped the couple write their own vows, the bride reflecting, “Our vows were really special. While it was a daunting thought to write them ourselves, I’m so glad we did. It was such an intimate moment to share with each other, I’m so glad it was based on sentiments and promises that reflected us and our relationship. Having Jenny Davies as our celebrant was also very surreal. Jenny has known Jono’s mother (Jude) for almost all of her life and was a bridesmaid when Jono’s parents got married. She watched Jono grow up (busted heads, traumatised babysitters and sometimes irresponsible parenting and all!) and to have her proudly join us in marriage was a true honour. It made the ceremony so much more special.”

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Happy hour continued in the gardens until 5pm.

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The bouquets and bridal party flowers were arranged by Farmyard Flowers.

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Casey tells, “The photos that were taken in the hay shed and in the paddock were all taken on the farm that I grew up on. It was such a delight to be able to go back to a place where I used to dream about my wedding day as a child, and capture some special memories there.”

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Casey and Jono chose Outdoor Pavilion, Swan Hill Jockey Club  for their reception, remarking, “The Outdoor Pavilion at the Swan Hill Jockey Club was also a ‘love at first sight’ moment. The pavilion itself was simple; cement floor, tin roof held up by exposed wooden beams and 3 white walls, the 4th long wall missing, allowing us to spill out onto a lush green lawns. It was the perfect canvas for us to add our own personal touches and easily create the relaxed, fun, country-style atmosphere Jono and I live our lives by. The staff were also fantastic to work with. They allowed us access days before and after the wedding for set up/pack up and nothing was too hard for them. They definitely helped contribute to a stress free day!”

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Much of the decor was created by the bride and groom. “We wanted our wedding to be as personal (and cheap!) as possible, so a lot of our weekends were spent DIYing! We handmade our invitations. The ‘welcome’ sign was actually made from an old dressing table we got from the tip for $10! I sprayed the mirror with blackboard paint and wrote on it using liquid chalk. All the wooden signs (this way, keep going, I do/we did) were made by Jono and I. I handmade the white doily lanterns using crochet doilies and a craft glue/papier mache technique. These now proudly hang in our outdoor area, I absolutely love them.”

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Guests received jars of homemade relish. “Half of them were filled with Jono’s Grandma’s recipe and the other half were my Nanna’s recipe. As both have passed on, this was a lovely way to include them in our special day, and bring our two families together.”

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“We made our confetti cones easily from paper doilies. Most of the tea cups and saucers we bought from op-shops, then spent a very fun (aka messy!) afternoon pouring them with candles. I was lucky enough to squeeze in a bit of a girls weekend, where I sewed all the bunting with my step mum. Some of it is now hanging in her grandchildren’s rooms, and we’re looking forward to the day we can hang it in our own children’s nursery. She also organised the candy bar for us and made the brown paper/doily take home bags. I decorated some tin cans to tie behind our getaway car, and scribbled little love notes on them, the wedding date etc as a bit of a throwback to our high school days!”

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Casey describes the wedding as, “Laid-back, fun and beautiful; a true reflection of our relationship.”

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The first dance was a hit, the bride remembering, “Our first dance was to Glenn Millers, In The Mood. Jono picked this one. A few months before the wedding we were having a glass of wine and watching a Christmas movie when it came on. He jumped up immediately and started bopping around our lounge room, before grabbing me and throwing me around it too, declaring it HAD to be our first dance.

The Sunday before the wedding a friend of mine who is a dance teacher came over to show us a few moves. Nothing too hard. She had choreographed a fun little routine for us and it only took a couple of hours to learn. However this little dance number was a surprise for all our guests, and as we had family/bridal party arriving on the Wednesday, we were only able to sneak in two more practises (you can see where this is going yeah?) before the big day. On the night we couldn’t remember half the moves; I was spinning the wrong way, Jono was knocking the flowers out of my hair, it was a bit chaotic! But it was SO. MUCH. FUN!

Half the crowd thought we’d been practising for months and had no clue we were making mistakes while the other half thought we were just naturally talented dancers, making up this amazing routine on the fly! While it was more reminiscent of the dance we did in the lounge than the choreographed routine, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

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“We only had 6 people RSVP that they couldn’t make it on the day which was really surprising, as that meant a lot of our friends and family were traveling from all over Australia to be there. It’s the most wonderful feeling seeing all their smiling faces. They’re smiling because they’re so proud of you and genuinely wish you all the love and happiness in the world. It’s such an infectious feeling and the day wouldn’t have been the same without them.”

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Thank you for sharing all the moments of your day Casey and Jono! Thank you to Sayher Heffernan for sharing this gorgeous wedding with us.

Photographer: Sayher Heffernan / Styling/Hire: From Little Things / Bride’s Dress: Bendigo Bridal Collections / Bride’s Shoes: Rubi Shoes / Bride’s Jewelry: Samantha Wills Your Always Earrings in Silver / Bride’s Jewelry: Pearl Bracelet Stack (borrowed) / Groom’s Attire: Cruz Clothing / Groomsmen Attire: Cruz Clothing / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bariano / Bridesmaid Shoes: Novo / Bridesmaid Accessories: Samantha Wills, Bohemian Bardot Ring in Rose / Bridesmaid Accessories: Pearl Studs from Diva / Hairstylist: Shea Barresi, Shea's Hair Studio / Makeup Artist: Danielle Tripodi, Vintage Beauty / Bridal Party Flowers: Farmyard Flowers / Floral Decor: From Little Things / Ceremony Venue: Ross & Yvonne Petzke Family Garden / Ceremony Officiant: Jenny Davies / Reception Venue: Outdoor Pavilion, Swan Hill Jockey Club / Band: Love Shack / Cake Baker: A Little Extra Sweet / Favors (Jars): Just Jars / Favors (Stickers): Zazzle / Wedding Rings: Aspire Jewellery

Erin & Joel’s Colourful Country Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


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Erin & Joel

I knew this wedding was going to be fun when I read that the bride briefed her florist with, “If a five year old would love it, I’ll love it!”. A colourful country wedding was set into motion, a day filled with bright tones, bright personalities and beautiful photographs by Kelly Adams.

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Willow Bud created the floral arrangements for the day, Erin remembering, “I have to give a special mention to Sandi from WillowBud for doing such an amazing job (considering my brief to her referred to “foldy-looking flowers” and “If a five year old would love it, I’ll love it”)”. Erin chose a custom wedding gown made by Silver Sixpence.

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Erin and Joel chose Yandina Station for their wedding, noting, “We held both the wedding and reception at Yandina Station. Neil and Sally were so welcoming from the start and made us feel at ease and 100% confident. The vibe you get when you walk around Yandina Station is just indescribable. It’s relaxed, breezy and makes you want to curl up in a hammock and stay there forever. I also love that they have a program where you can donate all of your leftover wedding flowers and they’ll take them around to the local hospitals etc. It’s such a great idea and I hope our wedding flowers could brighten up someone else’s day even after our wedding was over.”

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Erin walked down the aisle to I’ll Be by Edwin McCain.

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Lynette Maguire officiated the ceremony, Erin remembering, “She was one of the last vendors I booked and something I didn’t think would really matter but she made such an amazing difference to our wedding and had everyone laughing the whole way through (which is exactly what we wanted). We had never even contemplated writing our own vows but she helped us through it and it made it so special and enjoyable on the day and I can still remember every word which I can guarantee wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t written our own! She really does her homework and makes the effort to get to know you, which makes you feel like you’re being married by someone who truly cares.”

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Of their photographer, Erin remembers, “Kelly was just amazing. Straight away we felt totally comfortable around her. It still makes me laugh when I think about our first Skype meeting where she forgot we could see her and managed to snort her glass of water all over herself. She clicked with us straight from the start and made us feel so comfortable on the day (for two people that don’t really like being photographed, that’s a pretty huge deal!). There is nothing more I could have asked from her, she was just perfect. I would hire her again a million times over.”

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Splash Events styled the event, working with WillowBud to create a bright and beautiful day, the bride noting, “The atmosphere that Sandi from WillowBud and Splash Events managed to create was just mind-blowing. It completely exceeded our expectations and we had so many comments from our guests on how beautiful it all was. It just felt magical. It was crazy that what I had envisioned in my head is exactly what they managed to create. “

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Erin tells, “I was quite relaxed about the whole day…to the point where my brother in law, Neil (who was our MC), asked me for the run sheet for the evening and I hadn’t even done one or even thought about it. My sister, Cristen, was scribbling one on a serviette about 10 mins before the reception started. Poor Neil was really flying by the seat of his pants but he did a phenomenal job.”

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Erin remembers, “Our first dance was to Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran. Neither Joel nor myself were particularly comfortable with people staring at us while we danced (we’re not what you would call graceful) so we called all married couples up on the dance floor to do it with us. It was much more relaxed this way and we got to really enjoy the moment.”

Congratulations Erin and Joel! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Thank you also to Kelly Adams for sharing today’s wedding with us.

Photographer: Kelly Adams / Styling/Hire: Splash Events / Bride’s Dress: Custom design from Silver Sixpence / Bride’s Shoes: Urban Soul / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Custom made by Kathy from the little pack of 5 / Groom’s Attire: Roger David / Groomsmen Attire: Roger David / Bridesmaid Dresses: Review / Bridesmaid Dresses: Forever New / Makeup Artist: Kylie Boyd / Hairstylist: (Bridesmaids) Hair By Nicola / Flowers: Willow Bud / Invitations & Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas / Venue: Yandina Station / Ceremony Officiant: Lynette Maguire / DJ: Peter at Sunshine Coast DJ Hire / Cake Baker: Breezy's Cakes / Wedding Rings: Wallace Bishop
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