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Toni and Tom’s Sunrise Proposal

by | Inspired Engagements, Weddings


Toni Petersen

IMG_1853Toni & Tom

My partner Tom and I had been together for about three years when the topic of weddings first came up, but my love for travel kept interrupting the finances required for ring purchasing! I was happy to wait, but it turns out after five and half years, my gorgeous man couldn’t stand it any longer!

He began by leaving notes all over the house, although he claimed it was in fact elves leaving the pink envelopes behind! Each one had a little message inside telling me to keep a certain dress clean or to be available on a particular day. The final envelope said to open it at 3:40am, so I set my alarm for that time and went to sleep. When we woke in the pitch black morning, Tom was so sleepy he actually forgot what was going on and tried to go back to sleep! After reading the final note which told me to get dressed and put on a blindfold, I shook him awake and he guided me to the car.


For fort five minutes our favourite romantic songs played while he drove us to Redland Bay. When we arrived, he led me to a beautiful breakfast picnic and began to pour champagne so we could toast the amazing sun rising over the bay.


I finally figured out what was happening when I spotted a mutual friend hiding in the bushes with her camera. I immediately burst into tears when he finally took his grandmother’s ring out of his pocket and slipped it onto my eagerly awaiting finger.


We have since had a spectacular engagement party and are looking forward to celebrating our wedding with family and friends in August.

Photos by Lucy Heywood, a wonderful friend of ours!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a romantic proposal Tom; the sun rising over the bay with a glass of champagne would have been so magical!

About Toni: I am an English teacher with a love for writing. I am a DIY bride and my friends keep telling me that I am the calmest bride around. I recently found out my wedding venue had been double booked with a music festival. Instead of turning into a half-dinosaur creature, I now have some great live music that will play while our bridal party photos are taken. I refuse to let anything ruin our perfect day!

Amanda and Matthew’s Magical Forest Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Weddings


Amanda Hocking

M+A 0577Amanda and Matt

Matt and I are high school sweethearts. I met him when I was 15, through my sister. We dated for six and a half years before getting engaged and nine months later we were married. We couldn’t imagine life without each other.

Even before we were engaged we both knew we wanted an outside, rustic, personalised wedding. One of Matt’s groomsmen helped us design our invitations – four separate cards each with their own design tied together into a paper package with a map on the back.






My bridesmaids and I got ready at one of my bridesmaids’ family’s dairy farms, surrounded by Australian bush.

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I wore a custom dress from an Etsy seller and a flower crown at the reception. I tried to keep my look as natural as possible whilst still feeling like a princess.

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One of my favourite gifts was a handmade garter made by my grandmother. She used lace that belonged to my other grandma who passed away a couple years ago; it’s small details like this that made our day so special and personalised.

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My bouquet as well as my bridesmaids’ flowers were so pretty and colourful; the blooms were so beautifully large and I chose many colours and types, including gum leaves, hydrangeas and roses.

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As my bridesmaids were all different heights and shapes they all wore different styles of dresses made from the same material which flattered their shapes.

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When one of my bridesmaids showed Matt and me a paddock of forest owned by her friends, that was surrounded by Kuitpo Forest and filled with pine trees and old gum trees, we knew we had found the most magical ceremony location! Although at times a logistical nightmare, the forest created the most peaceful yet powerful setting and was a dream come true to get married under a big old tree!

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The forest was decorated simply with mix match chairs, hay bails, tree stumps and a rainbow of flowers, it had a real, authentic feel.

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To keep the individualised styling going, the boys all wore the same suits but different brown shoes; it looked so good and saved them some money if they had a pair already!

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The air was filled with sweet acoustic tunes from five of our very talented musician friends, and an unexpected gathering of butterflies! We had a simple, mouth-watering afternoon tea after the ceremony featuring homemade lemonade and an array of our families signature sweets.

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From here miracles kept happening! We found and fell in love with a cute winery in McLaren Vale, Coriole Vineyards, for our reception – it provided the perfect backdrop for our photographs too! Our photographers, Amanda June Photography and Lux Photography captured so many special moments!

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Coriole Vineyards has the most beautiful garden and fitted perfectly with our rustic, vintage, outdoor theme. And it just so happened that my brother knew the owner! We had a cocktail wedding reception with 130 guests and a lot of food!

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The colour palette of seafoam green and coral swept through our wedding from the bridesmaids’ dresses to the bunting and even the beer labels.


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It was such a beautiful wedding full of colour and hessian. From decorating jars, choreographing a surprise bridal party dance for our guests, to painting wooden signs or stitching bunting, our wedding reflected our fun, adventurous and spontaneous personalities in every way.

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I am a crafty, homemade person so I always knew I would have a lot of DIY features at our wedding. It was really important to us to involve our friends and family as much as possible – from our invitations, flowers, cars, cake, to the makeup, photographer, even the micro-brewed beer! This made everything so much more meaningful and cost-effective. It allows you to show those closest to you how much you love them!

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We had homemade jam, five types of custom beer with custom labels and custom stubby holders, a photobooth, an icecream cart, a bible guest book, and the cutest page boy and flower girl you ever did see.

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Our guests caught our joyful bug, sending us off through a tunnel of sparklers before encouraging an encore out of our amazing jazz band. It was the most perfect day!

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Ms Chinoserie Says: Congratulations Amanda and Matt; the romance of marrying in a forest under a big tree is truly dreamy! Just like a fairytale!

Photographer: Lux Photography / : Amanda June Photography / Reception Venue: Coriole Vineyards

Anita and Charles’ Pretty Southern Highlands Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Weddings


Anita Perrottet

photo 1Anita and Charles

Our wedding was held in Sutton Forrest in the Southern Highlands, New South Wales at a beautiful heritage listed estate called Rona Lodge. All along I knew I wanted to get married in a place where I could have it all done there – from getting ready to wedding photos and the reception, as well as staying onsite. Rona Estate was the perfect place for us.

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My bridesmaids and I got ready at Rona Estate, with hair done by the beautiful Megan Pine and makeup done by the lovely Yvette from Ethix Makeup.




I wore a beautiful Lisa Gowing dress and Charles wore a custom-made suit from P. Johnson Tailors.

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The bouquets and corsages were made by Absolutely Flowers in Bowral.

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Our church service was held at the historic St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Berrima and started at 1pm; my bridesmaids and I arrived in 1945 Silver Bentley’s from Cloud 9 Wedding Cars.





After the service, Jonathan Dear from Vibrant Photography took our photos back in the grounds of Rona Estate.


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Guests arrived by bus at 5.00pm to drinks and canapés on the lawn with the beautiful acoustics of The Usual Suspects playing jazz music under the grey clouds.

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Our reception was held in a marquee at the back of the estate, with Centennial Vineyards doing all the catering and supplying the champagne and wine for the wedding. Everything was beautifully thought out and planned. I work in events, so we did all the planning ourselves and made as much as we could including wooden signs for the day to direct people where to go, the reception flowers, table settings, table numbers and the seating chart.


Our guests were then treated to a four course dinner, that was beautifully created by the head chef at Centennial Vineyards, Robin Murray.

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I made the favours for our guests; macarons from MakMak Macarons in small apothecary jars, with a name tag attached that was purchased from Etsy. Each jar was tied with twine and doubled as a place card.

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Our beautiful cake was a 3 tier caramel mud cake which was made by Vickie from Totally Cakes in Sydney.

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After dinner, guests were treated to more music from The Usual Suspects; all our family and friends were on their feet dancing the night away to our favourite songs.


Guests travelled from near and far to join Charles and me for our special day, including Charles’ family who had made the trip from the US.


Charles and I danced our first dance to Michael Buble’s, ‘Everything’.

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It was the most perfect day – and we were lucky the rain held off! The year of planning and designing was all worth it!



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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Anita and Charles: I love the pretty soft colour palette of pinks and creams.

About Anita: I had just the most beautiful wedding day – working in events certainly helped with the planning! We finished our wedding off with a wonderful honeymoon in South America and Barbados – it couldn’t have been any better!

Photographer: Vibrant Photography / Reception Venue: Rona Lodge / Catering: Centennial Vineyards / Bride’s Dress: Lisa Gowing / Groom’s Attire: P.Johnson Tailors / Flowers & Decor: Absolutey Flowers / Cake Baker: Totally Cakes / Hairstylist: Megan Pine / Makeup Artist: Ethix Makeup / Band: The Usual Suspects / Favors: MakMak Macarons / Transport: Cloud 9 Wedding Cars
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