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Nicola and Leigh’s New Orleans Inspired Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings



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My husband, Leigh created a website (viewable here) to display our wedding style and our beautiful photos. He aimed to not only share it with the world but to enable our kids in the future to browse through and see the images taken on one of the happiest days of our life.

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Our dream was to run away and get married in a place that had captured our hearts, the magical New Orleans. The only problem was we desperately wanted our friends and family to share our special day with us…. our solution, bring New Orleans to Sydney and celebrate in true New Orleanian fashion, with great food, great music and a lot of dancing. The style was influenced by our love for old books, Jazz, simplicity and echoed a New Orleanian, French atmosphere. Our efficient and friendly Wedding Planner Jason Kates from Love2Love was responsible for such a beautiful set up.

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The Bridesmaids wore mismatched gowns from Bridesmaids Only in different shades of slate blue and champagne to add to our vintage vibe and our Groomsmen looked dapper in charcoal grey suits.

I wore an ivory gown with lace and a low cut back from Bridesmaids Only and held a beautiful bouquet of natural stemmed posy of white and ivory David Austin roses, white freesias, cream Geralton wax and foliage by Jodie McGregor Flowers.

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Our hair was styled by the Mel Kilic from Partner’s Hair in Glebe and our make up artist, Christina Cleary did such a brilliant job with our make up.

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The Groom, Leigh wore a tailored dark charcoal grey suit with braces and his favourite fedora hat, bought while we were on vacation in New Orleans.

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We decided Lion Gate Lodge in the Botanical Gardens, Sydney would be perfect for our special day, not only was it where we first met, but we couldn’t think of a more beautiful location in our amazing city.

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My parents walked me down the aisle to La Vie En Rose, our favourite song and the one he used to propose to me with. It was played and sung beautifully by Dane Laboyrie, accompanied by a soft acoustic guitar.

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My Aunt, Joy Bowen was our marriage celebrant and helped Leigh and I design a ceremony that reflected our personalities perfectly, with cheeky lines, laughs, tears and ended by Leigh breaking a glass in Jewish tradition.

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It was the hottest day on record, the sun was bright and the air was humid. New Orleans had most definitely come to Sydney that day and the home made iced tea flowed as guests stretched out on the lush grass, listening to our band play songs by Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole.

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The food was made to tailor our needs and reflect our style. The incredible team at One Pot Catering treated our guests to Cajun delights such as home made Po-Boys, prawn gumbo, and pecan pies. When I closed my eyes that day, held my husband’s hand and took in the atmosphere, I could swear I was standing in the French Quarter.

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We had our wedding cake made by Flour and Stone in Woolloomooloo and it exceeded our expectations. We had a 16-inch triple layer rustic vanilla sponge with mascarpone cream and berry compote. I wanted our wedding cake to feel as close to one of my late Grandmother’s home made sponge cakes as possible.


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Our first dance was to a song Leigh chose personally. We danced to a beautifully sung version of Nat King Cole’s “I Love you (Sentimental Reasons)”, Leigh singing along with every word and just smiling at me. That had to be one of the highlights of my day. Although all eyes were on us, dancing under our cotton ball lights, we felt as though we were the only two people there, sharing such an intimate moment and getting lost in each other’s smiles.

It was a day I will remember for the rest of my life, a day that we can describe to our kids with that same look in our eyes. I don’t believe I have ever felt so happy and my life has never felt so complete.

I wanted to share our beautiful day, our spectacular experiences and our happiness with the world.

Images by Kevin Cheung and Berry Mak

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Ms Stripey says: What a gorgeous heartfelt wedding day. It just goes to show that it’s the personal touches that make your wedding unique and memorable! Congratulations Nicola and Leigh!

Photographer: Kevin Cheung / Photographer: Berry Mak / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Jason Kates from Love2Love / Makeup Artist: Christina Cleary / Hairstylist: Partners Hair / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridesmaids Only / Flowers: Jodie McGregor Flowers / Ceremony Venue: Lions Gate Lodge, Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens / Ceremony Officiant: Joy Bowen / Ceremony Musicians: Dane Laboyrie / Catering: One Pot Catering / Cake Baker: Flour And Stone

Long Distance Love Story

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,




Shane and Nat

You could say we are high school sweet hearts but technically we aren’t. Whilst we went to high school together it wasn’t until the year after we graduated that we really took notice of each other. After spending time together we wondered why we hadn’t got to know each other sooner! I then moved away from our country town of Mount Gambier to Adelaide to go to university and then began our 7 year long distance relationship. After many long phone calls, endless text messages and weekend visits Shane surprised me with a beautiful ring he designed, over looking the Sydney Harbour on a weekend away, there was only one word to say….yes!













We decided to get married in Penola and the surrounding Coonawarra wine region. It was an area that was close to where we grew up and allowed us to have a traditional church wedding and a rustic style reception in a woolshed amongst the vineyards.









Bouquets and buttonholes were made by a family friend.





The day was amazing. The favourite moments for Shane and I was our first kiss as husband and wife and the time we spent together having our photos taken between the ceremony and reception. Having that time together, just the two of us (our amazing photographer was great at letting us enjoy the moment) to take it all in and spend quiet moments together is such a special memory.






I have always loved the coziness of an old shed with wine barrels and autumn colours in vineyards and Katnook Estate gave us a beautiful location for photos as well as a rustic wool-shed, win-win! Having grown up on a farm, that rustic feel also reflected my upbringing and the farmers enjoyed admiring the old wool press at the reception, reminiscing on the old days!



I’ve always been crafty and was excited at the opportunity to get stuck into some wedding projects. I really wanted the wedding to have lots of personal touches that told our story. My mum baked Shane’s favourite chocolate chip biscuits (that won him over with my mum), and each guest got a small jar with biscuits in it with a hand made tag that I kept to the style and colour theme.


I bought photo frames for our table numbers. Instead of using numbers we decided to have table ‘years’ with a different year of our relationship and a memory specific to that year to make it more personal. Mum and I went op shopping to find green glass vases of all different shapes and sizes for table centrepieces. My lovely mum then grew baby’s breath and dried it, which we put in the vases for that rustic feel, so cheap and effective!



For our save the dates and engagement party I made invites using a thumb print heart theme to make it personal and incorporated our own fingerprints. We decided to keep that theme throughout our wedding stationery and used hearts as a general theme throughout the reception.





Nat made the cake topper herself.





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Having our gorgeous grandmas take the stage on the dance floor was a very fun moment that had everyone laughing and joining in.





 Images by Amy Agnew Photography

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Ms Stripey says: I just love how this wedding suited the woolshed in the vineyards with its rustic touches and Nat’s inspirational DIY projects. Congratulations Shane and Nat on a beautiful day!

Natalie says: I’m a 26 year old country girl turned city chick (well still country at heart really) who made the move to the Adelaide to go to University. I’m a speech pathologist who married my much smarter than average tradie and am the wife of a FIFO worker. You could say we are high school sweet hearts but technically we aren’t. Whilst we went to high school together it wasn’t until the year after we finished that we really took notice of each other! I then moved away from our country town of Mount Gambier to Adelaide and then began our 7 year long distance relationship! Coming up to our first wedding anniversary in May made me think that I would love to show brides that whilst it might be hard work at times being in a long distance relationship, it can be done. It’s so worth it and I hope my post may help a few brides who may be finding it hard organising their weddings with their partners far way :)

Reception Venue: Katnook Estate / Photographer: Amy Agnew Photography / Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero / Bride’s Shoes: Shoes of Prey / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Percy Handmade / Makeup Artist: Vanity Makeup Bar & Body Lounge / Bridesmaid Dresses: Cue / Groom’s Attire: Peter Shearer

Tennis Themed Engagement Party

by | Weddings



One fine Sunday in September, Mitchell and Ashlee celebrated their engagement with a tennis themed party under clear blue skies. Mitchell and Ashlee had met in high school whilst playing tennis at a school sports day. After becoming close friends, they joined a tennis competition together and became doubles partners. After five years of dating and competition tennis together, Mitchell proposed to Ashlee at the summit of Mount Kosciuszko. They both adore outdoor sports such as tennis, hiking, and mountaineering, and thought that a tennis themed engagement party would be the perfect way to celebrate how they first met and their love for the outdoors.



At Ken Rosewall Tennis Centre, the club house was decorated with handmade hessian bunting, home grown plants with pinwheels, black and white pegged photos, mason drinking jars, blue paper chains, and fairy lights.

The centre piece was an amazing dessert table, stocked with tennis ball macaroons, cake pops, blue and white coconut ice, and a three tiered berry chocolate cake topped with vintage scrabble tile decorations.








Outside the clubhouse, canape food coordinated by Flamingo Follies Weddings and Floristry  was served to the guests. The menu including melon and prosciutto balls, salmon bread cases, turkey and mint meatballs, and Swiss cheese and strawberry bites.







Tennis racquets and balls were out ready to play, and nearly all guests took to the courts for a match.






 Other games were also enjoyed off the court, including Foosball and Finska.




For a late lunch, the fathers of the bride and groom cooked up a BBQ for the 80 guests. Beautiful lamb kebabs, spiced chicken skewers, and sausages were on the menu to enjoy with a collection of freshly made salads and breads.


Whilst the food was being cooked, Mitchell and Ashlee grabbed fifteen precious minutes to sneak away and enjoy some time with their photographer, Jade Flores . Ashlee and Mitchell remember this as one of their favourite moments of the day, smiling and laughing and spending some precious one-on-one time together both on and off the tennis court.








 The bridesmaids and groomsmen were coordinated in their outfits. The bridesmaids wore a shade of blue dress and a blue flower garland, whilst the bride wore a 1940s swing dress in white and a matching white flower garland in her hair.




 The groomsmen also wore shirts in a shade of blue.




 At 3:30pm, the bride and groom and their guests enjoyed their delicious BBQ lunch by tea light wooden candles handmade by the groom.





 After lunch, guests dug into the dessert table. The three tiered cake was freshly baked and created by the bride’s mother the morning of the party. The flavours included red velvet, lemon, and vanilla bean.




 The day concluded with dancing and singing on the lawn and games of tennis until late in the evening.


Images by Jade Flores Photography

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Ms Stripey says: What a gorgeous way to spend a sunny afternoon – a tennis engagement party! It looks like so much fun – and that cake looks like the perfect ending to the meal.

Ashlee says: Firstly, I am an outdoor junkie! I love nature, trekking, travel, outdoor sports, growing my own vegetables, and all things in between! I enjoy hiking the mountains of the globe, of which I have already climbed the Japanese Alps, the Himalayas, the Mt Cook range in New Zealand, and am planning a trip to the Patagonia Alps in November this year. I am not afraid to get amongst it, where on my recent hike to Everest Base Camp, I didn’t shower for 2 weeks and left my makeup bag at home.
Secondly, and quite contrastingly, I am a girlie girl! When I am not trekking and exploring, I am dressing up in my vintage dresses, my heels, and going out dancing with my best friends. I love looking professional to attend the University of Sydney where I work and am completing my PhD in psychology, and I love to come home and bake sweet treats and scrapbook whilst drinking a delicious tea.

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Flamingo Follies Weddings and Floristry / Photographer: Jade Flores Photography
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