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A Glass Of Bubbles With… Caroline Of Nectar & Stone

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
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a glass of bubbles with Caroline Khoo of Nectar and Stone

You would have to have lived under a rock to not know and be in love with the beautiful dessert creations from Caroline Khoo of Nectar and Stone, Those sweet coloured pyramids have taken the world by storm – along with Caroline’s beautiful cakes, cupcakes and desserts that have to date taken her to amazing places, with amazing collaborations and an Instagram feed that is the perfect place to head when you feel like a virtual sugar hit.

I am so excited today to see how Caroline planned her own wedding and share a glass of bubbles with her!

Tell us about you and your business/blog?

My name is Caroline Khoo, I am a mother to two beautiful boys, Isaiah, 5 and Dimitri, 3. I studied International Relations at University with the intention of working in Politics but ended up working in the Fashion Industry for several years before working as a Medical Product Specialist. The Nectar and Stone concept and business developed whilst I was at home with my kids – my eldest Isaiah being a fussy eater. From there I began designing savoury and sweet creations to appeal to his senses. I then started to develop and refine my ideas into a style that represented my own likes. The business officially launched in 2013 after a little, or should I say, big push from my husband to give it a go. Nectar and Stone is a dessert based business celebrating occasions and events and is well-known for the Pyramid Chocolates.

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Caroline Khoo on Wedding Day

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Caroline Khoo with bridesmaids

Tell us about your wedding?

Nick and I were married on the 6th of March 2005. We met in 2000 whilst I was studying Year 12. Our love was instant and we knew that we belonged together. Being young when we married, we didn’t have a lot of money to spend, but we wanted our wedding to celebrate our cultures. It was a small wedding of 60 guests and was a fusion of Greek and Asian cultures uniting.

We married in the Greek Church – St Andrew’s and celebrated an Asian Banquet of 10 courses at The Golden Pebble. We felt that this combination celebrated both our identities.

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Caroline of Nectar and Stone Wedding Day Moments

Caroline Khoo Wedding Day

Caroline of Nectar and Stone Wedding Ceremony

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Nick and Caroline Khoo

What was your most memorable moment (or moments!)?

Nick sang me a song at the reception (Eric Benet – ‘Spend My Life With You’) whilst his cousin played the piano.

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Caroline Khoo Wedding Photos

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If you could change one thing, what would it be?

To have celebrated our wedding in a different month with a bit more warmth. Our day was overcast with light rain which was lovely, but I do love the thought of twilight weddings.

Caroline of Nectar and Stone Wedding

Who were your favourite vendors?

Our wedding was very simple, and because I was young, I didn’t really know much about the industry the way I do now with all the baking and events I have done.

The wedding of Nectar and stone

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Nick of Nectar and Stone Wedding

Who was your photographer?

My photographer was David Bryant; he is a marine photographer and helped us out with our wedding.

Caroline Khoo Wedding Flowers

What advice do you have for others planning their wedding?

With having dealt with so many brides, I think the main things are think about what makes you happy and what feel and theme are you wanting to achieve. Plan way ahead of time – and where possible have a wedding planner to assist. They are fabulous for ensuring all the small details are considered and executed.

Caroline Khoo Wedding Cake

First photo by Aimee Jones. Additional photos by David Bryant

Thankyou Caroline for sharing your beautiful wedding with us; it was such an intimate day with close friends and family. Your advice on planning way ahead of time and including details that make you happy is so true!!! For more happy thoughts, visit Caroline’s Nectar and Stone; the images are just divine and are guaranteed to make you smile!

 

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Stephanie and Mark’s Elegant Summer Engagement Party

by | Inspired Engagements, Weddings

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie Vrakas
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21022015MSE4Stephanie and Mark

After Mark proposed, Mark and I knew right away that we would have an engagement party so that we could share our joy with the important people in our lives. I had spent years planning for our engagement and wedding in my mind, but the realisation that all I had to show for it was a collection of 3000 pretty screenshots soon dawned on me after Mark asked me to be his wife.

Planning our own party, with our own budgets, had me facing challenges that I had not imagined. As a natural perfectionist, some things were hard to compromise on, and maintaining control over every minute detail is not practical. Planning something with your own money, which you want to be as extravagant as you dream, but also meaningful was so much more complicated than throwing the corporate events I am used to!

After Christmas, Mark and I started planning quickly, and we managed to turn around a DIY marquee engagement party in two months. Our engagement was held at my parents’ home. Our background is Greek and Macedonian, and it is customary to have the engagement party at the woman’s family home. I love tradition, but the challenge of fitting everyone in to a backyard was starting to hit home. The only way around it was to keep our list tight, and we had to limit our numbers to approximately 90 people.

We got to work designing our invitations, started ordering in styling elements and assigning little jobs to our families.  We wanted a sit-down black-tie party that was ‘us’, without the formality of designated seating . We did the catering ourselves (our Mums were fantastic, and Mark’s grandpa is a chef) and although we realised it wasn’t going to be easy, we didn’t think how complicated catering for 90 people would be! We wished for a warm summer night – and we got one with a 38 degree day and a “sweltering” night as described on the news. We even got a 15-minute thunderstorm that added to the humidity for extra pleasure!

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In the lead up, Mark and I spent every weekend shopping around for styling pieces. We sourced vases from IKEA, lighting from online stores as well as charger plates, glassware and cutlery.

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When I couldn’t find the cake stand or champagne holder I was looking for, Mark made them! My parents, who spent weeks preparing the house, were so fabulous, supporting all of our crazy plans. Mark and his Dad constructed the floor, and Mark (being the creative one) did an amazing job decorating our beautiful coconut and lime cake that we had made by the wonderful Vanessa at Cakes by Vanessa with flowers; all I gave him was an inspiration picture and he created a work of art!

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Come the day of the party, I was running to one of the florists to pick up flowers for centrepieces whilst my sister-in-law went to another florist for the cake flowers. We had aunties, uncles and parents constructing everything at the very last minute to avoid everything wilting in the heat. My Dad and sister were helping me clean and trim the rose stems and arranging the centrepieces right up to an hour before guests were arriving! It was more manic and more work than I had expected, but as soon as the champagne started flowing, the stress of it all was soon forgotten.

I couldn’t find the ‘perfect’ dress off the shelf, so I bought a designer gown and worked with Linda Jane Doble to deconstruct it and create exactly what I had in mind. Linda was just amazing, she made the whole process so simple. I did my own makeup, I  freelance and found the process of doing my own makeup so calming on the day. My hair was styled by Silvana at House of Luxe; I was amazed it withstood the heat, and Mark was dressed by Prinzi Collections.

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The Orthodox engagement service was performed by our priest. It is a religious promise that we make to one another, and includes the blessing of our engagement rings.

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Another important Greek engagement and wedding tradition is the offering of sugar almonds which are considered to represent happiness, health, wealth, children and long life.

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Mark and I and our families, including grandparents, also took part in the traditional exchange of gold jewellery.

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The wrapping up of speeches was the cue for another surprise from Mark – a show from three Brazilian dancers (one of whom is going to be one of my gorgeous bridesmaids!) The show well and truly kicked off the party,  followed by lots of Greek dancing, plate smashing and celebrations that kicked on until the early hours of the morning.

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Our wonderful photographer, Grant Williams did such a fabulous job capturing the feel of our party. We wanted our photos to be real, and to capture moments that we were likely to miss; Grant was able to do that with such grace.

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The craziness of planning the party was intense, but it completely paid off. It was a true reflection of who we are as a couple, the love that we have for one another, and for our families.

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Stephanie and Mark; what an amazing DIY engagement party; your attention to detail was perfect; the cake decorated with flowers is just beautiful!

About Stephanie: I am a 25 year old office manager, working for a data analytics firm in Melbourne. I have a love of glamour, makeup, fashion, wine and food. I have organized some corporate events before but nothing could have prepared me for the whirlwind of planning that has been our engagement party – and upcoming wedding!

Photographer: Grant Williams / Dressmaker: Linda Jane Doble / Mark's Suit: Prinzi Collections / Cake Baker: Cakes by Vanessa / Makeup Artist: Stephanie / Hairstylist: House of Luxe

Amanda and Johnny’s Rustic Hunter Valley Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Weddings

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amanda Barbera
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AJ_730Amanda and Johnny

Johnny and I had been great friends for about six years, and we tried dating on and off (we had four first dates!) before finally conquering the ‘just friends’ barrier. We were always very close as friends; I think subconsciously we didn’t want to risk mucking that up unless we were sure it could potentially be forever! Taking the plunge was the best thing we’ve done!

We had a similar vision for our ‘Big Day’ from the start. We wanted to celebrate the day with our incredible friends and family – the vibe would be lively, elegant, relaxed and above all – fun! We kept things simple and classic and a little but rustic, incorporating personal touches along the way.

The “beauty team”, Aleisha Johnson who did our make up and hairstylist Erin Frances were fabulous; they had worked together many times before which made for such a friendly and relaxed buzz.

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I wore the beautiful ‘Taylor’ gown from Karen Willis Holmes and felt incredibly elegant in it. I loved the small sequins – it had such a beautiful shape which was so feminine but also quite modern. I also wore a cathedral veil for a traditional feel. I really enjoyed the process of shopping for my dress and tried on a number of gowns. Karen Willis Holmes was by far the best to deal with, and I fell in love with her ‘Taylor’ design as soon as I saw it.

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Not wanting to be overly formal and wanting to match the location, we went for suits over tuxedos. Johnny had bespoke suits made for himself and his groomsmen. They were dark blue with a feint pattern and we dressed them up with a polka dot bow tie. Blue is always timeless and is a bit less formal than black.

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Our venue, Circa 1876, created an ‘olde worlde’ atmosphere with loads of character –  it barely needed any embellishment. Guests entered through the original cottage, and step into an old-fashioned ‘Harry Potter’ world of large cobblestones, a vintage whisky room, and a glamorous Tattinger lounge. A covered atrium led to the dining room, which has an impressive high-pitched roof with wooden beams, French wrought iron details, intricate chandeliers and a luxe marble bar.

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We had practically locked in another venue, but visited Circa 1876 as part of our venue ‘due diligence’ – and fell in love with it! It is charming and rustic and so full of character. We were married in the ‘Mop Aisle’ outside and then had 112 guests for a beautiful reception and lots of dancing.

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I walked down the aisle to Birdy’s ‘Wings’ sung by our amazing acoustic guitarist, Jake Folbigg. It was beautiful.

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We arranged all of the flowers entirely ourselves  – the bouquets, boutonnieres, table flowers, even the urn for the ceremony! My Mum, Dad and I had several reconnaissance trips to the Sydney Flower Markets in the lead up to the wedding; our last visit was at 5am two days prior to the wedding to purchase everything! Family were all involved in the styling and assembling – this was a huge job, but looking back, spending this time with family was an absolute highlight for me.

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Small particular details were very important to us, like my bouquet brooches with photos of my parents and grandparents (whose marriages I admire) and our parents being involved in the ring warming part of the ceremony. My ‘something blue’ was sewn into the under layer of my dress by my Mum … I guess we wanted to keep it all very personal and meaningful to us.

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We also made sure we had plenty of time to get ready with our bridesmaids and groomsmen – the lead up on the morning of the wedding was so special, being surrounded by our closest friends and family.

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Our photographer, Sarah Christensen, was utterly fabulous; she was so committed to getting great shots and was incredibly easy-going. We couldn’t have asked for more!

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We decorated the tables for dinner with simple candles and garden flowers in eclectic mason jars and hessian runners  – beyond that, the space showed itself off.

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We danced to ‘Bonfire Hearts’ by James Blunt. We’ve always loved the words to the song, and took a few lessons before so we had a few moves… not sure if we really stuck to them on the night though!

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The planning and lead up to our wedding was amazing; it was busy but incredibly fun and was our real little ‘project’ together. Sharing our celebration and happiness with all of our favourite people was so special. Having family and friends travel from all over the world to be there was a highlight as were the beautiful, heartfelt speeches and our fantastic MC (Johnny’s brother, Brett) Having the day unfold just as we had hoped was such a dream!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Amanda and Johnny: what a fun, glamorous wedding with a few special and sentimental touches; the bouquet brooches are so lovely!

About Amanda: Hi, my name is Amanda and I’m a 31 year old aviation lawyer who loves being surrounded by family and friends, the “Bondi bubble” where we live, spin classes and soft sand running. We’re about to pack our bags for London, so I’m now excited for our new chapter together and swapping out the beach for lots of European holidays!

Photographer: Sarah Christensen / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Circa 1876 / Bride’s Dress: Karen Willis Holmes / Hairstylist: Erin Frances / Makeup Artist: Aleisha Johnson / Flowers: Sydney Flower Markets / Videography: Kiss and Tell / Ceremony Officiant: Reverand Peter Little / Wedding Bands: Max Diamonds / Ceremony Musicians: Jake Folbigg
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