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A Glass Of Bubbles With… Samantha From Dunne With Style

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


Polka Dot Bride

dunne with style wedding

Samantha Dunne is a phenomenal maker, baker, lover of all things colourful and confetti! Her gorgeously pretty blog, Dunne with Style, invites you to hang around, pour a cup of coffee, try a DIY and leave a little more inspired to start living your dreams!

Rather than a cup of coffee (next time perhaps), today I’m excited to have a glass of bubbles with Sam and discover a little more about the inspiration behind her wedding day!

Tell us about you and your business/blog?
My creative lifestyle blog, Dunne with Style, (aka your online creative haven!) aims to inspire and empower creative souls.

Tell us about your wedding?
My husband and I were married in December 2009. Our ceremony was in the cloisters at Toorak College where I went to school and the reception was in the gardens of The Briars – a historic Mornington Peninsula homestead set on 230 hectares. I knew from the very beginning that the confines of a church and traditional reception centre were not for me, and I had my heart set on a garden ceremony followed by a cocktail party in a marquee where I could have ultimate creative control over all of the elements. I wanted a wedding that was enjoyable for not just my husband and me, but a wedding that every guest loved being at – no long drawn out ceremony, no awkward seating arrangements, no sitting and waiting for a meal to be served or cleared – just hours of endless enjoyment and dancing – so much dancing!

rose wedding bouquet

samantha of dunne with style

toorak college wedding ceremony

What was your most memorable moment (or moments!)?
There are so many! My wedding day was by far the most enjoyable day of my life and I loved every single minute. What I’ll never forget though, by the time I came to the last few items on my ‘to organise’ list, I had well and truly spent most of my budget, so there were a few things that I decided to go with my second option on to save a few dollars. I decided we didn’t need a fancy wedding car and that I would have my Uncle pick me up and drive us to the ceremony. At the ceremony, I originally wanted a white carpet but at three times the price of the red carpet I added red to the list!

On the wedding day I heard a car arrive at my Mum and Dad’s house (where I was getting ready) and heard my Dad out the front talking to someone (who I assumed was my Uncle coming to pick us up) but I didn’t recognise the voice. I walked out the front and there were two vintage Jaguar’s waiting to collect us which my Dad had organised!

After a few tears we left and I was calm and composed (I was determined not to be a bubbling mess of tears at my wedding!). We arrived and walked up to the courtyard where the ceremony was and the tears started pouring as all I could see was a white carpet running down the aisle. My Mum and Dad had gone back to the hire company after I’d finalised everything and changed all the elements back to those that I initially had my heart set on.

toorak college dunne with style

I’ll also never forget ‘the spider’ incident. Our photographer had showed us images of a location that he wanted to take us for photos after the ceremony. It was a pine forest on the cliff of Shoreham Beach – he may have forgotten to mention that it was a small hike through a forest to get there! With everyone in the bridal party pitching in and holding up their section of tulle we finally got there and back, we piled back into the wedding cars and as we began to drive off,  I saw a spider about three layers of tulle deep in my dress!!! There was a flurry of tulle flying everywhere as we tried to get it out; after the initial fright I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard!

mornington peninsula wedding

dunne with style wedding photos

If you could change one thing, what would it be?
I’d do it again and again and again (with the same man of course!!)

james harvie wedding

Who were your favourite vendors?
Fig Florist for the beautiful blooms and Wise Choice Fine Foods for the delicious food!

Who was your photographer?
James Harvie Photography

sunne with style

What advice do you have for others planning their wedding?
Be organised and if you’re not the organised type – hire someone to be organised for you! Map out every minute of your wedding from your perspective and from a guests perspective too – so often you get caught up in what you and your bridal party will be doing, you neglect the two hours that your guests will be ‘waiting’ for you to have your photos taken. Everyone should know what to expect (or else, let them be super surprised by the awesome entertainment and refreshments you have for them whilst you’re off making memories!)

dunne with style wedding photo

Where possible, have a hangover breakfast the next morning! We invited all of our guests back the following day for breakfast at my parents’ house and that was almost as enjoyable as the wedding day itself – to be able to see everyone again and reminisce with those people about the entire day was such a special experience.

samantha dunne wedding photoImages by James Harvie Photography

Thank you Sam for sharing your beautiful wedding day photographs and stories with us: I love the idea of a breakfast the day after to continue the celebrations! If you’re looking for a creative escape, visit Sam at Dunne with Style – it really is an inspired online haven for busy souls!

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Carol and Jonathan’s Fun ‘Colour-Pop’ Brisbane Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,


Carol Campbell

_MG_8544Carol and Jonathan

Jonathan and I met through mutual friends five years ago and our friendship soon grew into something special when we realised we shared many similar interests and were both on the “same page”; in particular Tolkien and J.K Rowling. I would not describe us as “outdoorsy” people so when he asked me to join him on a nature walk to the Natural Bridge in Springbrook, I was a little taken aback. The weather that day wasn’t great but Jonathan was so determined to go for this walk that I started to become nervous, thinking he was going to break up with me! I couldn’t have been more wrong because he knelt down on the muddy ground and proposed!

I began to look for wedding inspiration only a few weeks after getting engaged and it wasn’t long before Jonathan and I decided that we both wanted a black and white colour palette with “colour pop” highlights. My main source of inspiration was a photo I found online of bridesmaids in black dresses with different coloured heels and the groom and groomsmen wearing black suits and coloured shoes (VANS!). At once we knew this lighthearted and fun theme fitted our personalities perfectly and would allow us freedom to play around with different feature colours!



Jonathan and the groomsmen got ready at his best man’s house, which really involved a lot more time spent playing table tennis than wedding preparation! Inspired by our muse, the boys wore different coloured VANS which worked perfectly with their playful personas. Their suits were purchased from Y.D. and creative feather buttonhole from Etsy.





I started looking for my wedding dress about a year and a half before my wedding day and after trying on about ten dresses I narrowed it down to a Wtoo gown that I loved. I placed a preliminary order for this gown with the lovely and helpful staff from Belladonna Bridal with all intentions of officially ordering it when we finally reached the “six months to go” mark. However at the end of the year I fell pregnant with our gorgeous son and I began to stress that I would no longer suit the dress I had previously said yes to. After expressing my concerns to the consultant at Belladonna she reassured me that I had time to select another gown if needed. After a single visit and help from supportive Mum and bridesmaids I found my dream dress (‘Sienna’ by Wtoo ) which I love even more than the original dress.




The rhinestone headband I purchased from Etsy caught my eye instantly as it complemented the rhinestone and crystal belt from Belladonna Bridal. I was so delighted to be able to wear my mother’s beautiful pearl bracelet that she wore at her own wedding (my “something old”) and my veil was my “something borrowed” which was worn by my lovely Maid of Honour two years earlier at her wedding. Jonathan and I decided that our feature colour would be the same so I wore dark blue heels.




My bridesmaids’ black chiffon dresses are by Mori Lee and they wore coloured heels in their individual feature colours; orange, purple and pink. Our hair was styled by the lovely Toni from Tomadon’s Mobile Hairdressing and makeup done by the talented Hollie from Faces By Hollie.




In keeping with our colour theme, my bridesmaids’ bouquets matched their coloured heels while my bridal bouquet was a stunning white posy. I am so fortunate that one of my bridesmaids’ mother’s is a talented florist and created four gorgeous bouquets of different types of flowers to match my theme colours. The first time I saw the flowers was on my wedding day and I was so delighted how the black and white with vibrant colour theme came together!



I knew that I wanted to have a garden ceremony before Jonathan even proposed. We decided that we would like our wedding to be in the Brisbane CBD and The Sunset Glade lawn in the beautiful Roma Street Parklands definitely ticked all the boxes! We arranged for a stunning ceremony lawn setup with the very talented and extremely helpful Beautiful Weddings Australia.



Some say it’s good luck, but a ‘bride-to-be’ on her big day will always disagree; on our wedding day mother nature decided she wanted to join the party and rain on my parade! Not just rain, rather a torrential downpour that flooded the Brisbane CBD half an hour prior to our ceremony commencing! I was absolutely devastated to hear that the storm had flooded my ceremony location!



At the last minute we had to go to the wet weather option which was at our reception venue. I am so grateful that I selected Berkleys on Ann for the reception venue because in my time of need Tracy and her team were wonderful! This part of my wedding day is a blur but my Maid of Honour reassures me that I kept it together despite having to delay the ceremony and have my wonderful father coordinate guests from Parklands to Berkleys on Ann. Our stretch limousine driver from BV Limos and Corporate Cars did a great job maneuvering the limo between venues and I managed to stay dry despite the downpour. In the end it all came together and I walked down the aisle to Across the Universe’s version of ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ (originally of course by the Beatles who I love!)





Berkleys on Ann is located in the beautiful heritage listed Rendezvous Hotel and we loved that the reception room had large windows that overlooked one of the busiest streets in the city yet the room itself was private. The events coordinator was so professional and informative as well as willing to cater to our requests such as decorating the space ourselves. My Maid of Honour and I purchased flowers from the Brisbane Flower Markets at Rocklea the day before our wedding and we decorated the reception room ourselves. Our wedding cake was made by one of our groomsmen’s talented partners who is a pastry chef.



We knew we wanted Chantal from Chantal Brennan Photography as our photographer from day one. Chantal and I previously worked together when she was still saving up for her camera. She took beautiful maternity photos for us and we knew for sure after seeing her stunning photos we wanted her to capture our big day. She is so easy to feel comfortable around, and was outstanding at trying to keep my nerves calm as the storm hit. She has an amazing style, and is not afraid to boss you around. Her husband Chad was the second photographer on the day and followed the boys around; also getting as wet as they did!


The rain cleared and we made the most of the overcast conditions for photographs. I saw an image online of a parking lot and pastel coloured building facades in the background and knew I wanted to have photos taken here. I was delighted to find the carpark was in Chinatown in the Fortitude Valley so geographically and logically it was perfect. I wanted large coloured helium balloons (which weren’t quite so logically perfect!) to contribute to our colourful wedding palette. We managed to blow them up in the carpark and I am so delighted with how the photos turned out.







Our other photo locations included The Storey Bridge and Captain Burke Park. We wanted our photographs to capture our fun-loving personalities as well as our love for each other which Chantal did perfectly.




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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Carol and Jonathan; despite the rain, your wedding was full of fun and laughter; I love the pops of colour!

Photographer: Chantal Brennan Photography / Bride’s Dress: Wtoo / Bridal Salon: Belladonna Bridal / Bridesmaid Dresses: Mori Lee / Hairstylist: Tomadon’s Mobile Hairdressing / Makeup Artist: Faces By Hollie / Groom's and Groomsmen's Attire: Y.D / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Berkleys on Ann / Ceremony Stylist: Beautiful Weddings Australia / Transport: BV Limos and Corporate Cars

Erin and Andy’s Modern Mansion Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,


Erin Davis

ErinAndrew_SmittenWeddings_0438Erin & Andy

Our story all began when I spotted Andy at university orientation-week; both out of high school, both a young 18 years of age. Now I clearly remember Andy from day one of university, I’m pretty sure I can even remember what he was wearing! Andy appeared so relaxed, so not-fussed by the demands on university. It so happened, that we ended up having all the same tutorials together, and also that neither of us drove to university and both lived on the same tram line. And so it started with a smile, a hello, a conversation about homework, a walk to the tram, a MySpace friend request, an exchange of phone numbers…and after a few weeks he sent me “x x ” at the end of a message…and well, that was it for me! I was completely smitten! It took  a few months, but we eventually had our first kiss….in the least romantic spot possible…the TAB at Crown.

When you’re younger, navigating your way through relationships can be awkward, so we never really had “that chat” about being together….I asked via text message and Andy responded that he assumed we were boyfriend and girlfriend. I remember exactly where I was when I got that message; so many important memories, still cemented in my mind, as if I knew they would one day be so important.



Over the past seven years, we have been on holidays together, bought a house, got a dog (who is basically our child), so it only seemed right that the next step was to get married. Of course I had been badgering Andy for probably a good two years before he proposed.

 The night of Andy’s proposal,  we had dinner plans, however given it was poor weather and the brand new puppy had just got filthy outside, I was not really in the mood to drive 45 minutes to the restaurant. Andy called out to me, but I was too busy trying to figure out how to clean the puppy. I told him to hold on. Then I walked into the lounge room, thinking what did he want….and then I saw him sitting there, nervously, looking at me. He asked me to sit down. And I honestly cannot remember what happened, except that I balled my eyes out.

I can’t remember what he said, I don’t even actually remember him asking me to marry him. He pulled out the ring and I kissed him. He had to actually ask me if that was a yes. So after a few minutes, I tried calling my Mum and she answered and I told her the news but the phone cut out (seriously!) So I called her back and she was crying and Dad was crying. And so then began the calling and texting to our closest friends and family. I am not one to keep exciting news to myself so after we informed all of the most important people, I put a post on Instagram and Facebook.


Choosing my bridesmaids was the easy part; my two best friends and my cousin who is like my sister! They were so helpful and supportive throughout the 14 months lead up to the wedding. The were even better on the day. Their dresses were probably one of the hardest things of the wedding to decide on however. I promised them they wouldn’t have to wear pink, as they’re not the most “girly girls”….but what did they wear? Pink!!

The dresses were from Sheike and fitted perfectly. They all looked so beautiful. I wanted something full length for a few reasons, firstly I prefer them for a wedding, also it wasn’t summer so it was more practical (especially in Melbourne) and I felt the style suited the glamorous mansion.



I would have to say that my Mum probably spent more time looking at venues and vendors than I did….she scouted out options and I narrowed them down! We visited one venue prior to going to Mansion Hotel and Spa at Werribee Park…and it was nice, but I just didn’t feel butterflies. When we parked the car at the Mansion Hotel and walked towards it, I remember turning to Andy and saying “this is it”! And it was, because we decided that day that we wanted to have our ceremony and reception there.

I wanted to have everything in one place and had always wanted a destination, “out of town” wedding. The Mansion Hotel was perfect as it has accommodation as well so people could make a weekend of it and stay the night (which most guests did).

I just loved the gardens, the open parklands, the old historic mansion contrasted by the modern reception venue. It was “classic meets modern” and we pretty much could do whatever we wanted and pick any spot we wanted, so it was great to have so much freedom.


I think I had tried on around 20+ dresses before I found the one I liked…it was between the one I chose and another dress – and they weren’t similar at all. The second time I tried on my dress, I just knew. I did tear up but I think part of that was just the relief that I had found a dress! I must say that I didn’t find dress shopping the most enjoyable part of planning the wedding; I think because it had to be “the one”, so there was a lot of pressure.

My dress was ‘Ontina’ by Pronovias and I purchased it from Fairytales Bridal. I loved the lace, how it fitted me and that it was not so classic, but more modern. And it turns out it was quite comfortable on the day; I couldn’t sit down properly, but I was walking normally (which is a speedy pace!) and all the bridesmaids were worried I was going to trip.



I couldn’t find a veil that I liked for a reasonable price, so I had mine made to order by Cailin Alainn. I was able to choose the exact length and width, how many tiers and the exact lace. I also asked Cailin to make a headpiece for me which she was able to match to my dress and veil. I liked that I had these custom-made so they were exactly as I wanted them.



My usual hairdresser travelled to Mansion Hotel to do my hair, as well as my bridesmaids’ hair as well as the mother of the bride and mother of the groom. Given the style I wanted, I had taped in hair extensions to give my hair more volume to allow me to have a fuller style.

My makeup artist was a DREAM! Amelia from Makeup by Amelia Webb was so easy-going, on time and did our makeup perfectly. Amelia had previously done my makeup so I had full faith in her!




I found my florist, Sonia from Flowers St. Germain, at a bridal expo and showed her exactly what I wanted and she made it happen. My bouquet was a mix of peonies and David Austin roses; mostly pink with some white. The bridesmaids carried David Austin roses, most white with some pink. Sonia was so wonderful to work with, I would recommend her to any bride (and so reasonably priced!).



My mum did all the flowers for the reception as she has had experience in this area before and this was a huge saving!



In the lead up to the wedding, all I wished for was that it wouldn’t rain. And of course, on the morning of the wedding, it was 80% chance of rain in the afternoon.

I had been so relaxed the night before, I wondered when it was going to all set in. Saturday morning I woke up and squealed “I’m getting married” and then the day began!  Everything was running to time so I wasn’t getting anxious. There were a few small hiccups that the bridesmaids kept a secret from me, so I didn’t really have anything to worry about. I was ready to go and in my dress….and still….I was so calm. No one could believe it, especially for me, such an excitable person.


Meanwhile, poor Andy was so so nervous, he was fidgety and just wanted to see me walk down the aisle so it could all begin.



So two hours before the ceremony, I had to decide whether to move the ceremony indoors. I had faith that the rain would hold off….and luckily it did!



I started to get emotional when I was standing there waiting to walk down the aisle….Dad was trying to talk to me and I had to tell him to “shhh” because I needed to pull myself together. I remember every step around the trees, towards the aisle, where I stopped, took it all in, looked at who was there and then walked towards Andy. I was so happy to have my Dad walk me down the aisle. I was secretly so worried in the months leading up to my wedding that he wasn’t going to be well enough to walk all that way, as he had a very big surgery for cancer only 2 months before and the recovery was very slow. I had cried many tears at the thought he would not be well enough, so was so genuinely filled with joy when it was time to walk down the aisle.








I remember whispering to Andy throughout the ceremony…and also keeping a pretty face when my veil was blowing in the wind and almost ripping my hair out! Andy’s younger brother, his best man, forgot that once he gave us the rings, he needed to step back to his spot and not stand in the middle of the ceremony…that gave everyone a giggle. My Mum also told me just a few days ago, that my Dad thought it was nearing the end when Andy’s oldest brother went up to do a reading…his response was “what there’s more?”. It felt as though it went for five minutes for me!

I found Smitten Wedding Photography online when trying to find a local photographer close to Werribee. I loved their photos and booked them after a few emails and a phone call. Jenna and Jemima were so easy to work with, so professional and produced some amazing photos that we will always treasure. I love photographs and I loved having so many options for location shots…what I did not love was being in freezing wind for 2 hours to the point where my hands were going blue. But, no pain no gain! and the photos were beautiful so it was worth it!












Our reception was held in the Pavillion at Mansion Hotel. We entered to the band playing “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. I had never been to a wedding with a band; my Mum had never been to one without. Luckily my Mum knew someone in a popular Melbourne wedding band so we didn’t have to search far. Paris by Night played during the reception and were fabulous; we received so many compliments. They just completely changed the whole atmosphere and made it more personal. We had our first dance to “My Girl” which went well; but I was devastated that no one got any photos or videos .


Our meals were great; entrée was Kangaroo or Queensland king prawns, main was eye fillet steak or chicken breast and dessert was chocolate orange pudding, or Crème Brulee with a biscuit and mini milkshake. I did not get much of a chance to eat; but did manage to drop some chocolate on my dress. I was enjoying myself so much that I didn’t even care after about five minutes!




Andy’s brother Jake made the best speech I have ever heard. There was a lot of laughs, some tears and a huge applause when he finished. So many guests commented on it being the best speech they ever heard. It felt as though the night was over after only one hour…and I didn’t want it to end. But of course all good things must come to an end…luckily most guests stayed the night so we all had breakfast the next morning so I could enjoy our celebrations a little longer.







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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Erin and Andy; what a perfectly happy day for you both!

About Erin: Hi, I’m  Erin, I’m 26 years of age and recently married Andy, my partner of 7 years. I work as a social worker in Child Protection and together we own a Golden Retriever named Abbie who we love dearly!

Photographer: Smitten Wedding Photography / Bride’s Dress: Pronovias / Bridal Salon: Fairytales Bridal / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Cailin Alainn / Bridesmaid Dresses: Sheike / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Mansion Hotel and Spa at Werribee Park / Flowers & Decor: Flowers St Germain / Makeup Artist: Makeup by Amelia Webb / Band: Paris by Night
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