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Anna and Murray’s Rustic Mill Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Campbell
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COMMENTS

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Anna & Murray

When Murray and I started to plan our wedding, we knew we wanted to marry at a venue without limitations – so we could eat and drink what we wanted on the night, plus it needed to be somewhere that would allow a DIY approach! So finding a space we could bring everything into was the first challenge.

I grew up just down the road from Anderson’s Mill, plus my older sister had been married there two years before, and it was truly the most beautiful wedding I had ever seen. So not only was the venue beautiful, it was special to us, and provided the most rustic, incredible blank canvas for us to bring in everything and design the wedding we wanted!

How did I decide upon my dress?! As a gown designer, from the beginning I knew that I needed more than one dress, mainly because I love so many different looks and finishes, and I knew I would never be able to choose! Additional to that, I knew that the dress I wanted to create for the ceremony was going to be so heavily embellished, that I would need to change into something lighter for the reception!

However, we had been designing new patterns at work, and I really wanted to use them, however they took much longer than expected to perfect. So six weeks out from the wedding, I didn’t even have one dress let alone four!

In the end, I designed and created four dresses. While they were all different, they each incorporated luxury silk and lace fabrics, as well as an element of hand-beaded embellishment.

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My first dress was worn to our first look at Lavendula, a beautiful lavender farm with open grasslands and sprawling lavender fields. I wanted a free-moving dress that flowed beautifully over the lavender fields, but that was still sparkly and special enough to be the first dress Murray saw me in.

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I walked down the aisle to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’; it was the moment I had always dreamed of, and I wanted to be wearing something truly incredible and sparkly, so I created my ceremony dress with thousands of shimmering beads. Knowing how the dress would sparkle under the vintage lights of the barn, I couldn’t resist being embellished head to toe!

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My third dress, worn upon arrival at the reception and for our sunset photos, was very fitted and intricately beaded, with gorgeous off the shoulder tulle sleeves. Although I was nervous to wear the fitted, mermaid shape, it created the most incredible silhouette, and it ended up being my and Murray’s favourite!

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The final dress was always designed to be my party dress! It was very simple, made of a soft Japanese lace, with an embellished belt detail. It was so much lighter than all of the other dresses, and so fun to dance in!

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Murray only had two outfits! Kate and Laura at Briggins were absolutely incredible, and they helped Murray and his five groomsmen to select the perfect suits and shirts. I think they looked pretty fabulous – Murray particularly! They even made a suit for my Dad at the very last minute!

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The ceremony, and walking down the aisle, is the moment that plays over and over in your head from when you get engaged to when it happens, and it was more special and overwhelming than I could have ever imagined.

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Even though we had a first look, having all of my girls and Mum around me while I put on my incredible beaded dress was amazing! Having Dad by my side was so special too – the whole thing was an absolute whirlwind! I was so excited, I remember it just being a little fuzzy for a few moments, before I could even focus on Murray at the end of the aisle!

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We had so many DIY details! From the start, not only did I want to have our wedding in an impossible space, I also wanted to do all of the flowers and cakes myself. My very wise sister Jane, who is also a wedding planner (Oh Perfect Day) suggested I was being slightly over ambitious! I guess Jane actually was the most important ‘supplier’ – she did all of the logistical planning months out and didn’t rest, even on the night, and kept me focused and sane!

In the end, this was the best decision because I got to work with incredible local suppliers like Catherine from Sweet Empire for the cakes and Arnie from Flowers in a Vase, who are amazing in that they are keen to work with you – and share in the creative process. I felt completely part of both the flowers and the cake creatively.

Of course, each of my four gowns and the bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories were DIY!

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In addition, we created all of the hanging floral arbours, which was used as our ceremony arbour, above our bar, and entrance. I used the flowers from our boutiques, wrapping them around old white gum branches that I found in the corner of my horse’s paddock.

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Mum is an amazing cook, and made all of the quince jams for the favours, from her quince tree which was really lovely. Mum, my little sister and I also made the lace tambourines that our guests shook wildly as we walked down the aisle which was so much fun!

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We had an antipasto table full of all of our favourite cheeses and cured meats. Our best friends helped us put this together the day before. I was so jealous that on the day we were getting our photos taken while everyone was eating it!

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Aside from that, because our venue was just a beautiful empty building, there was a huge amount of DIY involved in styling. I purposefully planned our wedding to be in the Christmas break when our stores close, so that I could borrow all of the stunning lounges and armchairs that I have had upholstered over the last five years!

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We wanted to really wow our guests with a space that was incredibly rustic, but stunning. We wanted our guests to have a huge amount of fun, on the dance floor, with the photo booth, and also to be creative with our DIY bar.

Instead of having beer, wine and a cocktail or two, we had dispensers full of ‘base’ drinks like ginger and lime, grapefruit, and pineapple juice with bowls of cherries, mint, basil, lemongrass and passion fruit syrup on the side. Then we had the bottles of spirits, so guests could get creative and experiment and invent their own cocktails.

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We also wanted to share the kind of food that we cook and eat as a couple – fun food, full of flavour (and chilli!)

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Our incredible cake was one of my favourite details from the day! Catherine from Sweet Empire and I were plotting and planning for months on what would be the perfect cake, and it was so amazing working with her and seeing it all come together!

In the end, we had a dark chocolate triple stack naked cake, oozing with blackberry butter cream, covered with flowers and berries, and finished with lashings of salted caramel which dripped from the top. Catherine was also a guest at my wedding, so she slipped away after the ceremony to finish the cake exactly as she had planned it, which was so special.

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We had a rather unfortunate series of events in the lead up to our wedding though, including the son of my incredible bridesmaid and makeup artist, Melonie Santos, becoming ill; she had to come to the wedding without having slept! Melonie and I have been working together for almost a decade, and it was amazing to have her with me on the day.

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I was so anxious before the wedding that my skin flared up, and she somehow managed to keep me looking flawless for twelve hours! Mel teamed with Alana from Momu Hair who is the best little pocket rocket, and achieved my hair goals with so much ease and fun!

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Then on the day, there were big bush fires in between where we were getting reading and the reception! At the end of the day, none of that really mattered. At some point you have to take a deep breath and just laugh it off!

We also had a funny story, in that Anderson’s Mill was so genuinely rustic that when I got to the end of the aisle, Murray flicked a spider off my veil that must have sailed down onto me from the rafters on my walk down! Luckily, he only told me later!

After years of being in the industry, I had our suppliers picked well before being engaged, so I am very lucky in that sense!

Brown Paper Parcel Photography took our photographs and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Not only were they fabulous to work with on the day, but I am just in love with the images they have created. Jess was also gorgeous to work with, and I adore our photos!

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Marcus from C2 Films went above and beyond. I have known him and have been a huge fan of his work for years, so there was no doubt he was always going to be a part of our day. You spend more time with your photographers and videographers on the day than you do anyone, so you MUST love them. Marcus is one of the kindest, most talented people I know, and you instantly relax around him.

Smugshots Photobooth and Bianco Latte were also a whole lot of fun and provided lots of entertainment on the night!

I am so lucky that Murray was really keen to be involved in planning the wedding, as this definitely took some of the pressure off me! We are always on the same page, and he is such a calming influence. Ultimately, the day was all about celebrating our love and relationship, and walking down the aisle towards him will be a moment I treasure forever.

Being surrounded by my beautiful friends and family, who are always such a source of support and inspiration for me, is a special memory. I will always remember how wonderful it was to be able to create such an intimate, personalised wedding that truly reflected Murray’s and my style – from food, drinks, styling, and of course, the dresses! If any day is going to be all about you, this is it! I think remembering this makes it easier to make decisions along the way.

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Anna and Murray; your exquisite attention to detail created a stunning wedding celebrated with family and friends.

Photographer: Brown Paper Parcel Photography / Bridal Gowns and Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Anna Campbell / Men's Suiting: Briggins / Videographer: C2 Films / Styling: Oh Perfect Day / Makeup: Melonie Santos / Hair: Momu / Flowers: Flowers In A Vase / Desserts and Cake: Sweet Empire / Cake Topper: Glistening Occasions / Photobooth: Smugshots Photobooth / Gelato Cart: Bianco Latte

A Glass Of Bubbles With….Jessica Sepel From JSHealth

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bec Lawrence
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COMMENT

a glass of bubbles with Jessica from JSHealth

She was labelled as having ‘the world’s healthiest wedding’ but Jessica Sepel’s ceremony was far more than that. Health blogger and nutritionist Jessica sat down with us for a virtual glass of bubbles and filled us in on her four romantic days in Thailand.

Tell us about you and your business/blog?

I’m Jessica Sepel.  I’m a nutritionist, author and health blogger. Having completed a Bachelor of Health Science and Nutritional Medicine, my approach to a healthy lifestyle is based around achieving physical and psychological balance by understanding our body’s unique needs. I’ve just released my first hard-copy book, ‘The Healthy Life’. My goal is to inspire people to live the best possible lifestyle by maintaining a healthy relationship with food and themselves.

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Tell us about your wedding?

I always wanted a relatively small wedding. So when we started planning the wedding we thought Thailand would be the perfect spot for the kind of wedding we were hoping to create. A small island beach wedding. Well, not so small in the end – we didn’t quite think so many people would accept our invite to Thailand – all 170  of them. But wow – we were over the moon that so many of our friends and family from around the globe would be making this huge effort to come and celebrate with Dean and me. And I think our guests had the best weekend away in Paradise.

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We decided to have a ‘healthy’ wedding over four days. Each morning, guests were treated to a yoga session followed by a selection of breakfast options made from recipes in my book, The Healthy Life. We visited a local health spa, spent time relaxing by the pool together and had gorgeous dinners each night.

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

My Mum and two sisters helped me put on my wedding gown. When I saw Dean for the first time. I will never forget that. Walking down the aisle with my Mum and Dad. Dancing all night long on the shores of Koh Samui with our closest family and friends was so special. Spending the most magical four days with everyone we love. I will never forget this weekend!

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

I wouldn’t change anything! Honestly, it was the most perfect day and we were so blessed to be surrounded by all our loved ones. I couldn’t have asked for a more magical wedding to celebrate our love for each other.

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Who are your favourite vendors?

Videographer: Jonny Wolman
Wedding Planner: Benita Kam
Décor and flowers: Florabelle and Stick and Wicks Floral Design

Who was your photographer?

Jonny Wolman from XSight Photography

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What advice do you have for others planning their wedding?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything will fall into place, and whilst it’s great to be organised, make sure you delegate the things you know you can delegate. Do this so that you’re able to enjoy every single moment. I think so many brides forget to be present in the lead up to their wedding and on their day. Be in the moment with your partner and all your loved ones – you only do this once!

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Images via Jessica Sepel and XSight Photography

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a beautiful four days in paradise; such a beautifully romantic time spent with family and friends! For the latest updates on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, don’t miss a day of Jessica’s blog – it’s so inspirational!

Kelly & Chris’ Rustic Vintage Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Dobinson
0
COMMENTS

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Kelly & Chris

Chris and I don’t have a great romantic love story for the way we met; we were just simply introduced by his cousin. We hit it off and about a month later after, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I then waited patiently for six years until Chris and I went out to dinner to a new restaurant in town to celebrate our anniversary.

Chris told me he wanted to propose but didn’t know what sort of ring I would like. I don’t blame him because over the years I had circled about every ring in the jewellery catalogues. I had always dreamed of having a Tiffany & Co. engagement ring so we decided to go ring shopping together while travelling through America with my family. Every time we saw a store we would sneak away from the family as we wanted to keep it a secret. Eventually we found the perfect ring at the Tiffany & Co store in the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. That night Chris asked my Dad for his blessing and to asked him to keep it a secret from my Mum and the rest of the family.

That didn’t last long though! As we walked into dinner that night Dad came over and said congratulations and hugged us both in front of everyone but Chris hadn’t officially proposed yet. We tried to brush it off but the rest of the family were onto us so the pressure was on. Chris kept me waiting and it wasn’t until the end of our trip while we spending Christmas Day in Whistler, Canada that Chris popped the question. It was a picture perfect white Christmas and after we had finished the gift exchange with the family, Chris took me upstairs to our room and asked me to marry him. Obviously I said yes!

Our ceremony and reception were held at the same venue, Henderson Park Farm Retreat. We chose this venue for the picturesque landscape, excellent facilities such as the marquee, on site accommodation and the relaxed atmosphere. We knew we didn’t want a traditional, formal wedding; what we did want was a relaxed and intimate ceremony and a big party afterwards to celebrate!  After all, who doesn’t love a good party? Henderson Park was the first place we looked at and it ticked all our boxes.

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Finding my dress was a lot easier than I expected. I saw a dress online that I loved but the designer was only in Sydney and Melbourne – and I was in Queensland! Before forking out money to travel and find the dress didn’t suit me, I decided to go to a local bridal store first to try on similar styles with my Mum. We went to Brides In Style in Rockhampton and the ladies there were so helpful and understanding. I tried on about five dresses and I honestly liked them all but one stood out and when the assistant added a belt around the waist, it was then that I knew it was ‘the dress’.

I called Chris’ mother and asked her come and see what she thought and the look on her face when she walked in confirmed it was the dress. The lace on my dress was quite modern looking which is what I loved about it but it also fitted in with our vintage theme as well.  I didn’t wear a veil for a couple of reasons. For one, I wasn’t really into the traditional reasons behind wearing a veil and secondly I thought the back of my dress was too pretty to be covered up. Instead I had spray roses and baby’s breath flowers pinned into my hair which gave the effect of a small flower crown.

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We held the ceremony on the lawn overlooking a creek with 90 of our family and closest friends. We had an ‘unplugged ceremony’ which of course means no phones/cameras or any other form of technology. We wanted our guests to be there in the moment with us and enjoy it. I walked down the aisle to a YouTube acoustic mash-up of ‘See You Again’, ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and ‘Sugar’. I heard the song on a random wedding video and loved it instantly and madly searched online until I found it.

We wrote our own vows;  I mean we googled “vows” and copied the best bits and added our own personal touches. Even though they weren’t 100% our own words, they still meant a lot to us. Our celebrant, Married By Zac, also did an incredible job of writing us the perfect script for our ceremony. It was romantic. It was funny. It was short and sweet and exactly what we wanted right down to the joke about my love for Justin Bieber!

We used a timber door arbour decorated with a stunning flower garland by our amazing florist Jess Mauger Floral Design along the top as our archway for the ceremony. It blended in with the surroundings and was such a beautiful backdrop.

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I used inspiration from the venue to choose the theme for our wedding. I like to describe it as ‘rustic vintage with a touch of glamour’ and being a spring wedding, I wanted colour and I wanted the wedding to be outdoors as much as possible. The colours I chose were ivory with peaches and corals and I used gold as a touch of glamour. I was lucky enough to stumble across a wedding planner /stylist, Lilly & Lotus. They made planning a breeze and took all the stress away on the day as they took care of setting up plus they have décor items available to hire so I was able to source all of the vintage décor such as the timber doors and timber bar from them.

I wanted to DIY as many decorations as possible but unfortunately I lack artistic skill but that didn’t stop me! We collected empty wine bottles and spray painted them gold for the table centre-pieces which were accompanied by a variety of smaller bottles and jars filled with flowers. Our florist provided roses in a mixture of ivory, apricot and coral and fillers such as baby’s breath while our stylist set up the arrangements. I dipped table numbers in glitter which added a sparkle to the table and around the room. Chris also handmade the love heart C + K sign that we used as a backdrop behind the bridal table and the Mr and Mrs chair signs that I also ‘glitterfied’. We also had signage designed by Hey-ya Creative Design. The signs looked amazing and added another personal touch.

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Our cake was made by Nicky Svensen, Cake Design. It was a three-tiered cake with fondant icing. Flavours were white chocolate mud, caramel mud and dark chocolate mud. The design was simple anD elegant but the gold glitter on the bottom tier really made it stand out. Unfortunately Chris’ grandparents are no longer with us and we wanted to include them in our day so we had a little horse shoe charm from the top of their anniversary cake on top of our wedding cake.

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I think the most fun we had on our wedding day was while we were having our photos taken with our bridal party. I chose to have three of my closest friends as my bridesmaids and Chris chose his three brothers as his groomsmen. We were so lucky that everyone got along so well together and we had an absolute ball. All our photos were taken around the Henderson Park property so we didn’t have to travel.

The drinks were flowing and listening to our closest friends and family laughing and having fun made our day. Our photographer Madelyn Holmes Photographics did an amazing job! She made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera; we hardly knew she there to take photos. I knew Maddy through friends and had always followed her work and once we got engaged I knew I wanted her to be our photographer and luckily for us she was available. We are over the moon with our photos; she caught all the special moments and the locations she chose were breathtaking. We are definitely going to treasure them forever.

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Whilst we were having our photographs taken, our guests were left to have drinks at the outdoor timber bar and nibblies were provided by our caterer, Dunlop Catering. The florist dressed the bar with a greenery garland. I wanted to make sure the guests didn’t get bored while we were away so we set up lawn games and the DJ played music.

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We held the reception dinner in the marquee. We decided to sit at a sweet heart bridal table because at the engagement party we barely spoke to each other and we didn’t want that to happen at the wedding, plus most of our bridal party have partners and we didn’t see the point of splitting them up. It was one of the best decisions we made because we were able to enjoy the intimate moments during the speeches together and actually sit down for five minutes while we ate our dinner to talk about how amazing the day was!

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We set up the dance floor outside on the lawn under festoon lights and scattered little tables with hay bales around them for seats. It really helped achieve the relaxed, party atmosphere we wanted. After the delicious roast buffet dinner, we asked everyone to join us outside for our speeches and first dance.

Our first dance song was to Ellie Goulding – ‘How Long Will I Love You?’ Honestly one of the reasons we chose this song was because it’s a only about two minutes long and we weren’t too keen on everyone watching us dance but the lyrics are beautiful and it turned out to be one of the most memorable moments of the day.

After our first dance, everyone stayed out on the dance floor and partied the night away just like we wanted. I think having a DJ really helped achieve a party atmosphere. We gave the DJ a list of song suggestions but he played all kinds of music which appealed to all age groups and everyone loved it.

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Kelly and Chris; your theme of ivory and peach with a touch of glimmer gold looked so glamorous set against the rural Queensland landscape!

Bridal Salon: Brides In Style / Bride's Engagement Ring: Tiffany & Co. / Bride's Earrings and Groom's Ring: Michael Hill / Bride's Bracelet: Goldmark / Bride's Garter: Lovely Garters / Bride's and Bridesmaids' Shoes: Forever New / Bridesmaid Dresses: For Her And For Him / Hairstylist: Metro Vision Hair and Beauty / Groom’s Attire: Swarv Menswear / Groom's Cufflinks: Life Momentos / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Henderson Park Farm Retreat / Photographer: Madelyn Holmes Photographics / Stylist: Lilly & Lotus / Signage: Hey-ya Creative Design / Florist: Jess Mauger Floral Design / Ceremony Officiant: Married by Zac / Cake Baker: Nicky Svensen Cake Design / Catering: Dunlop Catering / DJ: DJ Richter / Videographer: Maddog Productions
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