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Becky & Raoul’s Engagement..One Couple..Two Proposals!

by | Inspired Engagements, Weddings


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Becky and Raoul


Not every girl gets proposed to twice, but I did…

Raoul and I met four years ago. We’re both lawyers, but it was very clear when we first met that there was more than mere ‘courtroom chemistry’. For me at least, I felt like I’d come home. We carried on our romance as a long distance one – with him in Newcastle and me living in Perth.

After three years and countless flights later, he proposed to me at Gibson’s Steps on the Great Ocean Road. We were walking back to the car after seeing the 12 Apostles when he asked if we could do one last stop at Gibson’s Steps where we had been earlier that day.

I was enjoying looking at the sunset when I turned around to see him on bended knee with my favourite piece of poetry hand-written out and rolled up in a scroll. At the end, he asked me to “come away to Newcastle and marry him.”

Image via Becky

We were very lucky. The only other people on the beach happened to be a British couple that were taking photos. When they saw Raoul on bended knee they started snapping away.  So now we have these photos of a very intimate moment in our history as a couple.

Four months later, we travelled to Queenstown, New Zealand. Raoul arranged the most amazing helicopter trip to Milford Sound. We landed on a glacier called Parks Pass and went for a small hike around the glacier with our pilot. Raoul asked her to take one last photo, and he pulled out the ring and said, “I found a rock!”  He had worked with Jason Ree in Sydney to make my amazing ring which is an Asscher cut diamond tension ring. Our pilot, thinking Raoul was proposing for the first time, demanded he get down on his knee. Poor guy! He happily obliged. It was simply incredible- being in this stunning location with the man I adore.

Image via Becky

We recently had our formal engagement photos taken by Jac + Heath Photography at Catherine Hill Bay, which is 50 kilometres south of Newcastle. We’ve become drawn to the place and hope to call it home one day.  I wore two dresses from Willow that Raoul had bought for me to wear.


Raoul and I are getting married on my parent’s Ruby wedding anniversary in November this year at Raoul’s Dad’s house – Stanley Park. It’s situated in Fullerton Cove just outside Newcastle and is becoming a popular wedding venue. We’ve had some lovely times there together as a family celebrating birthdays and family weddings.

Given Raoul’s exceptional taste in clothing, it was a natural choice for him to help me pick out my wedding gown. I wanted a Johanna Johnson creation and he highly approved of that! When Johanna heard a groom was helping his bride choose her wedding dress she raced out to help us. We felt like family with her and her amazing staff by the end of the day. I was beaming from ear to ear. It will be terrific to walk down the aisle knowing he has picked my dress and he loves it.

It’s been a long road to this point but I am so excited to finally be moving into the same state, town and house as the man I love!


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a romantic couple Becky, especially choosing your wedding day to be the same as your parents’ anniversary.  Can’t wait to see your wedding photographs!

About Becky:  I have lived and worked all over Australia as a lawyer, largely working in the Government sector and representing people on the poverty line. Raoul is a qualified mathematician and lawyer but also a beautiful photographer! He is a real silver fox. I feel very fortunate that he loves me so much.

Samantha and Michael’s Ballarat Heritage Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Weddings




Samantha and Michael

Michael and I met while studying education at university. We both volunteered to tutor children at a local primary school, and it was love at first sight when I spotted him from across the staff room! I spent several weeks admiring him from afar, before we became ‘Friends’ on Facebook. We started chatting and the rest is history…

We began the ‘marriage talk’ when we moved in together a couple of years later, and once we bought our first home I was ‘patiently’ waiting for the ring! We went to his family’s beach house for a week during the holidays, and Michael was acting a bit strange. We went for rather awkward silent walk, before he said, “Did you know that this was the place when I first knew I loved you?” He then got down on one knee to ask me to marry him!

After a couple of years (20 years says Michael!!!!) of preparing for this day, I was ready to plan our wedding! Michael helped to make all of the big decisions, but he was happy for me to have the day I’d dreamed of.

My mother, bridesmaids and I got ready for the big day at the Creswick Novotel Resort. Kim from Eve Salon and Jo-Ellen Blacklock came out to do our hair and make up. I chose an up style with pin-curls and wore pearls that had been given to me on my 21st birthday.


Originally, I found my dream dress on Pinterest, but was unable to track it down anywhere! A couple of months later I spotted THE dress in the window of Ferrari Formalwear.  I raced in the next day to try it on, and it was perfect! I loved that it wasn’t traditional white, which was a blessing for my fair skin.


Our colour scheme began with the bridal car – my brother Mark’s 1958 FC Holden, which he and my father had lovingly restored for the day. Michael arrived in Mark’s 1977 HZ Panel Van.



I chose my bridesmaids’ dresses at Young Designer’s Gallery – a simple style in a gorgeous bright colour, with matching ties for the boys.


Pam from The Flower Connection was very patient as I had learned all about floral arrangements and she happily turned my ideas into a reality. I chose a mix of native gum and roses to match our Heritage theme.


I love the history of our hometown Ballarat, and wanted our wedding to compliment the surroundings. We chose the Ballarat Mining Exchange for our ceremony; I liked its industrial look and historical significance to the town. It also provided a perfectly blank canvas for us to work with.


I’m a very emotional person, and after a nervous drive into Ballarat, I was surprised that I didn’t cry as I walked down the aisle! I was just incredibly happy and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! My parents both walked me down the aisle and then, using my maiden name, wished me farewell for the last time ..if anything almost started the waterworks, it was that!



Our celebrant Anastasia Meek helped to make the whole process easy, especially the paperwork!


We booked our reception at Jackson’s & Co in Ballarat. Not only is it an amazing venue, but a few years before it had been a night club, where we shared our first kiss.


We chose to do most of the stationery and decor ourselves, and luckily my father is quite handy when it comes to woodwork. We spent many hours searching local shops and websites to find the necessary bits and pieces. We found lovely bentwood chairs for hire from The Little Black Sheep Hire Co, which complimented our style perfectly.




I have always dreamed of having my name on some candy, and there is no better occasion than a wedding! We visited Suga Rock Candy to order our personalised rock candy. All of our guests had a jar to nibble on during the night.


Our wedding cake was made by The Cheesecake Shop and was served for dessert. My father made the wooden cake stand. We had a personalised cake topper but it went missing on the morning of the wedding…nowhere to be found!


Lindy from Curtain Call Performing Arts Studios choreographed our first dance to a sweet little song called ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ by The Maccabees. We were both nervous but the end result was worth it!


Scott from One Point Photography was our first choice for photography. We had admired some of his previous work because of its unique style. We trusted Scott to do what he does best!




After a night of dinner and dancing with Sam from SJH Entertainment, it was time to say goodbye. We were absolutely thrilled that all of our plans had come together perfectly.

Of course, there were a few bumps along the road, but this is to be expected and we were ready to deal with them together. Most importantly, at the end of the day Michael and I were ready to start the rest of our lives together as husband and wife, and I’m so glad we found each other.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: I love all the sentimental details, especially the ’70s’ Holden cars! Congratulations Samantha and Michael!

About Samantha: I’m a 25 year old teacher from Ballarat, and recently I married the man of my dreams Michael, who is also a teacher. I wanted my wedding to be classic, with a heritage touch to compliment the Ballarat surroundings. My wedding styling began with my brother’s car, an old Holden. I gave him a timeline of a year to have it ready for the wedding – my whole colour scheme revolved around it! It was still in pieces a week before the wedding, but he is a hard worker and had it ready for the big day!

Bride’s Dress: Ferrari Formalwear / Bridesmaid Dresses: Young Designer's Gallery / Photographer: One Point Photography / Makeup Artist: Jo-Ellen Blacklock / Hairstylist: Eve Salon / Ceremony Venue: Ballarat Mining Exchange / Ceremony Officiant: Anastasia Meek / Reception Venue: Jackson's & Co / Flowers & Decor: The Flower Connection / Rental Furniture: The Little Black Sheep Hire Co / Favors: Suga Rock Candy / Cake Baker: The Cheesecake Shop / Dance Lessons: Curtain Call Performing Arts Studios / DJ: SJH Entertainment / Hotel: Creswick Novotel Resort

Hana and Yudy’s DIY Yarra Valley Winery Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Weddings





Hana and Yudy

Yudy and I met at church in November 2011, and whilst it was definitely not love at first sight, we believe we were supposed to be together. It was my Mum who actually thought we would be a cute couple. So she cooked every single day whilst she was holidaying with me – and continually invited Yudy for lunch! Our feelings towards each other began to grow from friendship towards partnership – and we have become closer every day since then. Huge thanks to my Mum, she is a real life cupid!

We traveled across Victoria – from west to east and from north to south  – to find the perfect winery for our wedding. Finally we found a beautiful Yarra Valley vineyard, The Riverstone Estate which sits on top of a hill.



It was like falling in love at first sight when I saw my lace mermaid gown at Raffaele Ciuca.  I was surprised how beautifully the design suited my petite shape.




My hair and make up, as well as my bridesmaids’, was done by the talented Felicia Sarwono and her team.



The boys, on the other hand, got themselves ready!



The result was just perfect – I loved how the groomsmen and bridesmaids looked!


We decided to have a rustic yet elegant theme for the wedding, with white flowers and fresh green foliage as our floral theme. And I loved the idea of having white dresses for my bridesmaids with white flowers and a bit of a pop of magenta in their bouquets! The colour combination was amazing – full credit goes to the talented Rhiannon from Flower Jar.

Yudy and I had planned our wedding for one year; we had plenty of time to find vendors and worked on every little thing we wanted to have on our wedding day. The day I finished making the rundown list for the wedding, I showed Yudy our Plan A and Plan B in case of rain, as most of our celebrations would take place outside.  Yudy rejected Plan B and believed that we would be blessed with the best weather on the day. So there was no Plan B at all!

One week prior to our wedding, I kept checking the weather and hoping our day would turn out as we wanted it to be. The day before we had our last practice at the venue with our families and it was indeed very windy and cold. I was getting worried!

The weather on our wedding day though was perfect. The afternoon was still and warm, whilst the evening temperature was so pleasant that our guests could still celebrate in our ‘Hangout Area’.





Yudy is a graphic designer, so he created our wedding logo and made himself a lapel pin from it too!  He designed the logo based on Bible verse “and the two will become one flesh”. Our monogram consisted of our first initials, Y and H, which he blended and layered together to form one.


Yudy and his groomsmen’s summery bowties were purchased from Etsy

Yudy also designed and made our wedding invitation and ordered a custom-made wax stamp too!


Our ringer bearer box was a DIY project made from a leather notebook.


The ceremony was held outside, with the beautiful winery as our backdrop.  Our very own pastor Jonathan Pattiasina performed the ceremony, in the presence of 100 of our closest family and friends.

We had a rustic arch decorated with white flowers and foliage to follow our wedding theme.  I changed my mind about the floral decoration a few times and Rhiannon from Flower Jar was very patient; she listed to my dreams and in the end turned them into reality.  I could have not asked for a better florist, seriously!



With the sound of a baby grand piano in the background, Hana and her bridal party walked down the picturesque aisle.



Our DIY  “Mr and Mrs” sign was also created by Yudy.



Instead of having our cocktails inside, we celebrated outside next to our marquee in a space we called ‘The Hangout Area’.



My reception dress was by Rachel Gilbert.


Yudy designed more signage for our reception; we wanted our guests to enjoy every moment and to talk to each other, so we made some rustic signs for them!



As we had quite a few children attending as guests, we came up with the idea to build a ‘bowling alley’ for them using hay bale stacks and pumpkins.


Our guest book was a photo frame with little heart-shaped paper cards for our guests to write messages on.


For our favours, we bought milk bottles from ebay and candle wax from our local candle shop – and we made our own candles! From melting the wax to pouring it into the bottles it was a long process, particularly as we were novices! In the end though, they turned out to be so pretty  – particularly with our rose gold logo on the front!


For our table number holders, we bought inexpensive animal figures from the local ‘$2 shop’ and sprayed them gold to match our colour theme.



Our delicious red velvet cake from Cake D’liciouz was decorated with flowers from Flower Jar.


Our first dance was to ‘Forever Mine’ by Marcia Hines. It is a slow beat love song, but Yudy and I added a few contemporary moves to it!


During our reception, Yudy and I made a quick run outside to capture the last moments of a sunset photoshoot; the result was simply amazing!



I made an important speech as I had an amazing story to share. Yudy has stuttered for 30 years. He is a leader of small church community and finds it difficult to read out loud when he is asked to lead and preach. He has given up a few times because he could not speak well.  Yudy has a dream to be a public speaker one day. I see myself standing next to him when it happens..


Our photographs were taken by the talented Todd Hunter McGawYudy’s standard for photography is pretty high, as he is so into photography himself. We saw Todd’s work and we knew he was the one who was going to capture all our beautiful moments.  And he did!



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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a heartfelt wedding Hana and Yudy – I love your inclusion of all the creative, DIY pieces – particularly the ‘bowling alley’ for the kids!

About Hana: Hi! I’m Hana, and I recently married my best friend in the beautiful Yarra Valley in Victoria. Our wedding was a beautiful DIY celebration; my graphic designer husband created our own logo and included the design on pins, stationery, favours – and all of our decorations!

Bride's Ceremony Dress: Raffaele Ciuca / Bride's Reception Dress: Rachel Gilbert / Photographer: Todd Hunter McGaw / Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Riverstone Estate / Flowers & Decor: Flower Jar / Hair Stylist and Make Up: Felicia Sarwono / Cake Baker: Cake D'liciouz / Grooms and Groomsmen's Bowtie: Etsy
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