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Marie and Jan’s Secret Forest Sunset Engagement Photos

by | Bride, Engagements

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Marie & Jan

I don’t think there is a more romantic time of day than sunset and with a love of  European forests (Jan is from Germany and Marie from France). Jan chose the Secret Forest in Sherwood, outside of Brisbane for their engagement photographs. They joined Love Is A Place Photography to capture the romantic moments of their engagement and it was literally their engagement with Jan having proposed earlier that day, a complete surprise to Marie!

Jan tells, “It was our 11 month anniversary, so I told her I had planned a surprise day for her. I took her for a picnic at the Secret Forest in Oxley. After eating, Marie was really tired and she had a nap while I was nervously drinking all the champagne. When she finally woke up, we had a glass together and then I popped the question. I had booked the engagement photo shoot for later that day, because Marie once mentioned that she would love to have professional pictures taken for her engagement. I didn’t plan anything for the night because I knew that Marie would want to skype her friends and family in France.”

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Jan & Marie tell the story of how they met. “We met an Italian pasta dinner party of a mutual friend. We instantly liked each other and didn’t stop talking until all guests were gone. Then our friend Elena offered us to stay the night. The next morning, we went to the West End Markets together and despite a hangover had a wonderful day. We still love going to the markets because it reminds us of how we met.”

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On what he loves about Marie, “Marie is intelligent, funny, creative, caring, and just the right amount of crazy. She has a strong character, knows what she wants and doesn’t shy away from an argument. I love living with her and spending as much time together as possible because it never gets boring.”

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On what she loves about Jan, Marie notes, “Jan is loving, and my first supporter in whatever I do. When I decided to change the decoration of the living room and to make the couch and the pillows covers (I didn’t know how to sew) he came with me to the shop to choose the fabric. He accepts the ‘no man’s land’ chaos on my side of the bed while I want everything tidy elsewhere. I’m a contradiction but he loves me the way I am anyway.”

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Marie and Jan tell some of the funnier stories of their relationship “Both of us are not native speakers, so there are some miscommunications once in a while. Two especially stick out. Jan: One day, shortly after we started dating, Marie picked me up from work and we talked about former relationships. At some point, Marie casually asked me if I have ever been shitted on. Being quite puzzled I tried to formulate an answer. After a while, I managed to say a “What”? while Marie kept driving. After a bit of awkward silence, I realised that “shitted” and “cheated” sound the same if pronounced with a French accent. We had a good laugh!”

Marie adds, “The other one happened after we moved in together. Jan told me that he wanted to sleep around. When I reacted angrily, Jan looked really confused about my reaction until he realised that the German expression “to sleep a round”, meaning to sleep a bit, does not translate one-to-one into English. One of the qualities that I like about Jan is that is a perfect gentleman, however I wasn’t quite used to this. The first time he opened the door of the taxi for me I walked around it and sat on the other side…same thing for our first date in a restaurant…”

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Farewell Oscar De La Renta

by | Blog News, Bridal Fashion, Bride

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It was sad this week, to hear the news of designer Oscar De La Renta passing. As someone who was inspired greatly by his beautiful gowns, I wanted to create a little post today that shared some of my favourites, along with some of the words he shared about fashion and life.

Oscar De La Renta was born in the Dominian Republic in 1932, his love of art and fashion began with studying painting in Spain where he realised his love of fashion. He spent much time working with ready to wear and couture designers Cristóbal Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Antonio del Castillo. He began his own ready to wear label in 1963. Bridal wear soon followed along with homewares, fragrance, jewellery  and even shoes.

His iconic, beautiful gowns have always made a statement when they’ve graced the red carpet (who can forget the Oscar De La Renta frock Carrie wore while eating french fries in Paris?). The feminine detail and  the sophisticated glamour always winning red carpet favourites.

The label will live on through the brand’s creative director Peter Copping, but I will miss the wisdom and grace of Oscar De La Renta himself. What a legacy and a piece of beauty he has left the world.

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“There is always an emotional element to anything that you make.”

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“My designs are known for their beautiful ornamentation, details, fabrics, and embroideries – which are never more important than on a wedding dress.”

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“Being well dressed hasn’t much to do with having good clothes. It’s a question of good balance and good common sense.”

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“I like light, color, luminosity. I like things full of color and vibrant.”

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“Any girl from any walk of life dreams of that special dress, and I try to make that dream a reality for her.”

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“My job as a designer is to make a woman feel her very best.”

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“Style begins by looking good naked. It’s a discipline. And if you don’t dress well every day, you lose the habit. It’s not about what you wear, but about how you live your life.”

Images from Oscar De La Renta, Backstage images by Nina Garcia via Oscar De La Renta

Thao and Vanessa’s Traditional Vietnamese Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,

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The very next day after our 1950s styled vintage wedding. Yes, in the morning. At 9am.

The traditional Vietnamese wedding  ceremony was held at my husband’s family home, and was simple, beautiful and very emotional. My amazing father-in-law may be a former South Vietnamese soldier who survived 5 years in a Viet Cong prison camp (which he escaped!), but he wept as he welcomed me to the family. Needless to say, Thao and I started crying like babies!

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The ceremony consisted of traditional Vietnamese rituals. The bride and groom offer members of the family wine in exchange for gifts and well wishes. The most sentimental gift came from my mother-in-law, who presented me with diamond earrings we picked out together in Vietnam four years earlier.

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This is Vietnamese tradition, and it was amazing to be part of it. The whole day was organised by Thao’s family, and they did an amazing job. The dress I wore was chosen by my mother-in-law, and custom made in Vietnam. The design was inspired by her own wedding dress, which means so much me.

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After the ceremony we feasted on suckling pig and rice noodles (as is tradition).

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The Sunday reception was held at City West Receptions.

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The decor was simple and understated in style, pretty much the opposite of my incredible wedding cake which was definitely the biggest surprise of the night!

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I’m not sure how many brides have an actual functioning water fountain on their cake, but I did and I loved how absolutely crazy it was! Apparently this cake was quite tame by Vietnamese standards, according to my husband (who’s been to his fair share of Vietnamese weddings).

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At the end of it all we were absolutely exhausted, but blissfully happy, and amazed how we managed to pull it all off. With love and help from our family and friends, of course.

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Photography by  Dominique Felicity Chapman | Sam Hughes

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Ms Gingham says: Oh what an amazingly emotional ceremony. Vanessa what a lucky bride you are! Two weddings in 2 days!

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