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Making Plans For A New York Engagement

by | Engagements, Groom


Wes Cronin

FullSizeRenderWes and Justina

I started thinking about my engagement to Justina quite early as I knew it would take a long time to orchestrate as there were going to be so many different elements that needed to come together.

Firstly, I had to ask her parents for permission which was always going to be a challenge given the “Find My Friends” app on our iPhones – which means we can track each other’s location! I turned the tracking device off (which did result in a few questions from Justina!) and with a bottle of 1985 Bordeaux wine in hand, I went around to her parents’ place. 1985 obviously had special significance to me given it is the year of Justina’s birth and I know that Justina’s Dad loves Bordeaux wine  – so at the very least, we were going to have nice time drinking it should his response be a “NO”! But it wasn’t!

We had always been planning a skiing holiday to the US in December 2013. New York also happens to be Justina’s favourite city in the world; it was a city that we had never visited together. So my idea was to theme the engagement as ‘New York’. This was the theme that we later carried through to our ‘New York Chic’ wedding.

The first part of this theme was to choose a ring. Harry Winston is quintessential New York and quintessential Justina  – a classy and elegant woman! Given there is no Harry Winston store in Australia, I had to enlist Justina’s aunties to assist with the purchase from Singapore. Through various phone calls, picture messages and emails, I had decided on the Harry Winston ‘Belle’ ring which would fit Justina’s hand perfectly. One of Justina’s aunties was holidaying in Australia in December 2013 so she brought the ring with her and gave it to Justina’s Dad. Rather unceremoniously, I saw the ring for the first time in the male bathroom of a restaurant where we had met for a family dinner!  It was stunning.

The months of November and December were spent meticulously planning the engagement in New York, arriving at work early and making a lot of phone calls. One thing Justina loves is trying all sorts of different foods, wines and champagnes and New York is the absolute best place in the world for trying these things.

Over the years of knowing Justina I have become close with two very important friends of hers who at the moment do not have the ability to marry the ones they love in Australia. They have also since become two of my closest friends. Given the marriage laws in Australia, I would not have been comfortable proposing without the consent of our two friends. As such, prior to leaving for the US, I sought their permission also (which was actually harder than seeking her father’s permission!). Luckily they both agreed!

On the day of the engagement, I had planned for a horse and carriage to take Justina and me around Central Park as her ‘Christmas present’. It was a very cold day in New York City that day, so of course Justina was complaining most of the way around the park.


We stopped at Cherry Hill (which was pre-planned through my various discussions with the Central Park management). About 20 minutes into our journey we alighted from the carriage and we walked down to a secluded corner near the lake which is where I proposed. I had decided to ask Justina to marry me without the ring as it was just too risky to take it overseas (leaving it in the room at the ski resort we visited prior to arriving in NYC was not ideal!) Instead of the ring itself, I presented her with a large picture of me holding it!




After Justina had said yes to my proposal, we jumped back into the carriage and headed back to the park entrance where Justina’s brother (who was also travelling with us) was waiting.

There was a limousine waiting for us at the entrance to the park with two bottles of Justina’s favourite champagne –Dom Perignon Rose and Krug Rose. I then presented Justina with her first of many photos of the three hours of eating ahead. Each photo was a picture of the two of us with a memory – for example when we visited the famous Sushi Of Gari, I presented her with a large photo of the two of us on a trip to Japan saying “reminding me of the time we went to Japan…”.

For the next three hours the limo took us on a food tour of New York where we visited many famous places – all of them were amazing!

  • Shake Shack for burgers
  • Laduree for macarons
  • Absolute Bagels
  • Sushi of Gari
  • Levain Bakery for cookies
  • The Halal Guys for gyros
  • Coppelia for nachos
  • Umami Burger for truffle burger
  • Faicco’s Pork Store for its famous pork sandwiches
  • Molly’s Cupcakes
  • Yuji Ramen

Whilst the car was driving from place to place, we listened to a CDs I had made with songs that reminded me of Justina; she really appreciated them and still listens to them today.

Finally, if all the eating so far wasn’t enough, I had booked us into the famous Eleven Madison Park restaurant for a celebratory dinner – which was still the best meal I have ever had!


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a wonderful engagement Wes – your sentimental touches were so special; such a lovely memory for you both!

Finding Your Signature Men’s Fragrance

by | Groom, Groom Style


Cindy Man Hun

Image via Millefiori Milano

It can be tough finding a fragrance that you’re immediately drawn to. Sometimes, you just don’t have the time to scour through the fragrance section of a store testing every second eau de toilette until you find one that’s just right. To make the fragrance hunt easier for you, I’ve created a guide separating the main types of fragrances on offer, describing each one with suggestions!

1. Aromatic – Aromatic fragrances are more or less a combination of sage, rosemary, thyme and lavender, frequently harmonised with citrus. You may choose to go with an aromatic fougère (meaning ‘fern’ in French) perfume like Dolce&Gabbana ‘Pour Homme’, described as having a calming, slightly herbal yet very masculine smell. Or Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Rive Gauche Pour Homme’ – an aromatic rustic perfume – is another choice, if you prefer the homely smell of the countryside.

d&gImage via Dolce&Gabbana

yves saint laurent
Image via Yves Saint Laurent

2. Citrus – Citrus fragrances consist of aromas that come from bergamot, lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit and the like. These citrus ingredients are more often than not intermixed with aromatic ingredients. Two citrus aromatic perfumes are ‘Eau Sauvage’ by Dior and ‘Pour Homme’ by Boucheron; the refreshing lightness of the citrus is accompanied by a hint of rosemary or lavender.

covers_Y0897240Image via Dior

Image via Boucheron

3. Oriental – Oriental fragrances garner their rich and sophisticated character from substances such as amber, resin, tobacco, spices and exotic woods. The oriental scent is spiced up with nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom or other spices to produce an oriental spicy perfume, an example being Burberry ‘London For Men’. Thierry Mugler’s ‘A*Men’ is an oriental woody perfume that has a base savour of vanilla, enhanced by patchouli, sandalwood and cedar.

burberryImage via Burberry

Image via Thierry Mugler

4. Woody – Woody fragrances give off warmth and opulence if they comprise patchouli or sandalwood, while dryness is derived from cedar and vetiver. When woody and oceanic smells merge, you get a woody aquatic fragrance – ‘Acqua Di Gio Essenza’ by Giorgio Armani is one of the popular perfumes in this subtype. Woody floral musk perfumes, like the ‘Egoiste Platinum’ by Chanel, encompass woody and floral scents with musky undertones for that lingering effect.

ADGH Essenza - Straub ImageImage via Giorgio Armani

chanelImage via Chanel


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: With so many aromatic fragrances on offer, you could definitely have a couple to suit different occasions – perhaps a citrus one for summer or try an oriental fragrance for the cooler months!


Inspired Memories – Jack

by | Groom, Inspired Memories


Ms Chinoiserie

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As Groom Jack looks back on his Vintage Winery Wedding, he remembers how special it was to be able to share his love for bride Allissa with family and friends.

“It was a wonderful day that was a perfect representation of the relationship Allissa and I have. I know that I will always look back fondly upon the many joyful moments we shared with our guests on that day.”

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Images by Trent and Jessie

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