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A Glass Of Bubbles With… Nikki from Styling You

by | A Glass Of Bubbles With..., Weddings


Polka Dot Bride

a glass of bubbles with Nikki of styling you

Nikki Parkinson is the ‘go to girl ‘ for styling!  Her blog, Styling You, helps busy women get out the door each day looking and feeling the best they can. As Nikki says, it’s not about embracing the latest fashion (although this certainly helps!). It’s about really understanding what makes women tick and what drives their personalities so they can dress accordingly – and feel amazing!

I am so excited today to have a glass of bubbles with Nikki and to chat about how she styled her own wedding!
Tell us about you and your business/blog?
I’m a former journalist who said goodbye to media land seven years ago to start a personal styling business … only to find myself back in “new” media land with my blog Styling You that has grown to be my full-time business. Styling You aims to help women find greater personal confidence through unlocking their style. My book, Unlock Your Style , contains all the keys to doing that. On the blog each day we help women with advice around trends to try and beauty products to embrace. We also have a community of women sharing their #everydaystyle outfits as part of an ongoing style Instagram challenge.

Everything we do is aimed at getting women to think about prioritising themselves (something most of us are not good at!) and showing that just a little thought into how your present yourself to the world each day can go a long way to helping you tackle what that day throws at you.

Tell us about your wedding?
We were living on the Sunshine Coast and loved the beach so chose a beachside lunch-time wedding. I’m a big fan of the long lunch and in our heads we thought this might save on the drinks bill. Wrong! It was a beautiful September day in 2004 surrounded by family and friends and filled with laughter and tears. I remember looking around the room at one point and noting just how much fun everyone was having. This was our aim and to this day it’s what I remember the most.

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What was your most memorable moment (or moments!)?
Apart from everyone having fun, it was quite an emotional day. It was touch and go there for a few days as to whether my father-in-law would be able to fly home for the wedding, having been in a health emergency in the UK a few weeks before. He did but the enormity of what had happened to him and his survival had us all in tears.

The wedding was also the bringing together of my two children from a previous marriage into our new family. We symbolised that with a sand ceremony, where each of us poured a cup of sand into a glass vase. That vase and sand is still with us and we light a candle in it to mark special occasions.

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nikki parkinson styling you wedding0006

Now, possibly the moment to top all moments was after the reception. We’d warned the bar across the road that we’d be heading there ‘en masse’ at 5pm. On arrival, I handed them one of our mixed CDs (pre iTunes playlists!). The first track was Young MC’s ‘Bust a Move’ – and so it became our unofficial bridal waltz!

If you could change one thing, what would it be?
Provide more shade for our guests when they were drinking and celebrating whilst we went to the beach to have photos after the ceremony. It ended up being a very hot day and people got very thirsty very quickly!

Who are your favourite vendors?
Julie Whitehead Cakes was amazing! Julie drove the cake up from Brisbane. We truly had no idea how big it would be. It was massive and full of chocolatey decadence. Such a tasty way to serve dessert at a wedding.

Wendy Makin Bridal Designs. I loved working with Wendy to create a timeless gown that ended up being a combination of two different gowns she had in her collection at the time. I’d still choose something similar today.


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nikki parkinson styling you wedding0001

Who was your photographer?
Images by Lou O’Brien. Lou was a photographer at the newspaper we both worked at and we knew she’d be perfect for the job. She was someone we knew could work quickly and capture the candid moments.

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Images via Images by Lou O’Brien

What advice do you have for others planning their wedding?
Think about the overall feeling you want to remember about the day and plan towards creating that feeling. The details are important but what you’ll remember most – ten years on – is just how enjoyable the day was. And on a note about the dress. It’s so important that you understand your personal style and choose a dress or gown to reflect that. Yes, it’s going to be a stunning version of your personal style but it should still be essentially YOU.


Thank you Nikki for sharing your wedding day stories with us: your advice on choosing a gown that is essentially you is so true! For more tips about discovering your own personal style, head to Styling You for fun and inspirational words of wisdom!!

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Sophia and Andrew’s Botanical Southern Highlands Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Weddings


Sophia Bailey

10156152_10153281264612527_2119274744381294831_nSophia and Andrew

Andrew proposed on my birthday! It was a cold Monday night in August and after a lovely dinner and bottle of our favourite wine, Andrew suggested we go for one more drink before heading home. He suggested we go to the bar where we first met at a mutual friend’s birthday. We were the only people left and they were just about to close up. We started to get ready to leave and I walked up the stairs –  the very same stairs that Andrew first saw me on. I turned around and there he was on one knee, holding a gorgeous ring, asking me to be his wife. All I remember is bursting into tears and saying “are you kidding.. YES!” as he picked me up and kissed me. It was very Hollywood and I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

Andrew and I got married in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales at Montrose Berry Farm; we spent the months leading up to the wedding doing loads of fun DIY jobs, which all came together beautifully on the day, thanks to many hands and a ‘blank slate’ venue. We planned the wedding together as we both wanted the day to reflect our combined tastes and interests. Your wedding should be about you both as a couple, not just one person.







I decided to go dress shopping with my Mum. I didn’t want it to be a big ‘all-in thing’ so I just kept it intimate and knew that if anyone was going to tell me the truth about what looked good (or bad!) it would be my Mum. I also wanted to keep my dress a surprise for my hubby, girlfriends and guests. We went to a few boutiques but it wasn’t until I found myself in Savvy Brides that I felt happy and enjoyed the experience. It was there I found a Steven Khalil gown with my name on it.



I wasn’t going to wear a veil, but then, I’m sure like many women before me, I realised it’s not a complete wedding dress until you put it on with a veil. It was the first time I officially felt like a bride. I ended up wearing my Mum’s veil from her wedding. It was really special to have something that belonged to Mum with me.



My gorgeous bridesmaids wore Pia Gladys Perey dresses in emerald green; they all looked so beautiful!




Andrew and his groomsmen wore three-piece suits with crisp white shirts and contrasting blue ties; I loved their waistcoats – they really completed their outfits.






Starting with our stationery designed by Dear Little Darling, our wedding followed a botanical theme. It was everything we hoped for and more.


We found that finding a florist was one of the harder things to tick off our list. It was also something that was looking to be surprisingly costly! We hit the jack pot though and went with a fantastically vibrant, creative florist – Tanya Shaw from Oh Flora. She was amazing, accommodating and took the time to work with us to understand what we wanted. The flowers looked incredible on the day, including my floral crown which was so pretty.



With sunlight streaming through, our ceremony took place in a corner of the garden under large, willowy trees; it was beautiful, romantic, heart-felt and included both tears and laughter!









After the ceremony, guests were escorted to an enchanting outdoor area which we had set up with games, seating, music and drinks. It was a great way to serve the entrée (standing canapés) as our guests really got a chance to mingle before taking their seats for dinner. Weddings are about love and laughter and it was so nice to see everyone getting along and making new friends.






Meanwhile, with our photographer, The White Tree, we were off with our bridal party to take some piccies and have a well-deserved drink!









Before we re-joined our guests, we stole a moment just the two of us to go into our reception venue – a stunning barn we had spent the day before decorating with our friends and family –  to share a kiss and just take it all in as husband and wife. This was one of my favourite memories of the day; our botanical theme had come together perfectly!





After the cocktails and canapés our guests were seated (by way of our pot plant seating chart!) and the fun really kicked in. We had shared platters, prepared by Chef In Your Kitchen, along three long tables. The whole day was about mixing and socialising so why stop for the reception?!






For the reception, we really wanted our guests to have a fabulous night with some great food, drinks and an awesome band. The White Tree also rocked the dance floor and everyone from our youngest to oldest guests boogied all night. I have a great memory of an impromptu conga line that had almost the whole wedding on board. We wouldn’t have changed a thing!






The speeches were brilliant and at times down right hysterical. I wasn’t sure if I was going to speak but I should have known myself better than that; maybe it was the fact I’ve always been a chatter box, or that I’m a lawyer, or that I just had so much to say that I couldn’t let the day go by without speaking (or more likely all of the above!) It was so wonderful to be able to declare my love again and express my gratitude to all our friends and family for their part in our story.





Naturally, Andrew followed my speech up strongly and reduced me to tears (again!) He then smoothly walked over, took my hand and before I knew it, the first dance was in full swing –  including the archetypal ‘dip kiss’. The rest of the night was a glorious blur.




Weddings never go off without a hitch and nothing is ever “perfect” (whatever that is), but I can honestly say that our day felt perfect in every way, and that’s even better.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a truly happy and beautiful wedding Sophia and Andrew; such a wonderful day to remember! I love all your DIY details, particularly the pot plant seating chart!

About Sophia: Hi I’m Sophia, former Events Manager turned Lawyer. I’m madly in love with my husband and our two fluffy Cavoodles, Parsley and Chester. I loved combining the skills and talents of great suppliers and also DIY-ing for our big day.

Bride’s Dress: Steven Khalil / Bridal Salon: Savvy Brides / Bridesmaid Dresses: Pia Gladys Perey / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Montrose Berry farm / Photographer: The White Tree / Flowers & Decor: Oh Flora / Catering: Chef in Your Kitchen / Cake Baker: All Things Sweet By Carissa / Band: The White Tree / Invitations & Stationery: Dear Little Darling / Rentals: Vintage Patina / : Yes Your Event Solution

Inspired Words – Nat

by | Inspired Words, Weddings


Ms Chinoiserie

We love hearing from our beautiful brides about what really made their wedding days memorable. Nat shares her inspired words of advice after her Sunlit Winery Wedding to Andrew.

‘Your friends and family are at your wedding because they care about you as a couple, not the finer details of your wedding. If you enjoy your day, so will they.”









Images by Carla Atley


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