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Lauren and Josh’s Boho Rustic Winery Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren
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COMMENTS

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Lauren and Josh

I’m a passionate freshwater scientist for the Victorian Government and Josh is an engineer technician for his family owned and run business. We met when we both worked in hospitality (I was a waitress and Josh was a chef). We hit it off straight away; with my skills in making a wicked coffee and Josh whipping up amazing culinary delights, it was a match made in heaven.

Josh proposed in late November on a secluded Phillip Island beach as a storm was rolling in. We were the only ones on the beach and it was a total surprise! Our beloved dog Ellie was there to witness the romantic event. We had a relatively short engagement of 11 months. We had our engagement party in January and then it was full steam ahead to our wedding day!

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I chose an intricately beaded Maggie Sottero dress after trying on nearly 30 dresses at five stores. I was looking for something different, something not too ‘bridey’ but also something with a wow factor. The instant I had my dress on I knew it was the one; I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. The delicate cap sleeves, the low back and that beading! It was perfection! Jo from Raffaele Cuica was totally amazing at helping me find my dream dress; from the fitting to the alterations I cannot recommend them highly enough.

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Josh chose to have his and the groomsmen’s suits tailor-made by Briggins. He wanted to be slightly different to the guys so he chose a grey suit with vest for himself and navy for the groomsmen.He wanted a modern but timeless look.

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We looked at venues in the Yarra Valley and were particularly attracted to the country feel of a winery wedding. The Riverstone Estate blew us away as soon as we arrived. THAT view, the ceremony location, the intimate reception room and the massive balcony ticked all our boxes and more!

We had a country-boho-rustic theme. The idea was to have an effortless and fun wedding with a party vibe. Our love for the Australian bush was the inspiration for the arbour style and flower selection. Our special day also fell on Halloween, so one of my friends carved us two pumpkins with the date and our initials.

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Our absolute favourite detail from the day was the ceremony arbour we were married under. It was made by my brother Ben. He spent many months sourcing old recycled timber beams, having the headboard designed and then constructing the amazing finished product! The wildflowers and stunning outlook completed the perfect setting.

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We had our heart set on getting married outside, which luckily enough we were able to do! It was raining and stormy in the morning but cleared to a gorgeous afternoon. The ceremony was relaxed, fun and short and sweet. As we were about to walk back down the aisle as husband and wife a massive gust of wind took my veil into the air as if it was perfectly timed – and everyone cheered!

We heard the incredible Angus Legg singing at a local brewery the day we booked our wedding venue and we booked him too on the spot! He sang an acoustic version of our favourite song, “Cinema” by Benni Benassi, as I walked down the aisle – this was something that I had organised with Angus and Josh had no idea! There were no tears but I could see a twinkle in his eyes as I walked towards him.

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We had our grandfathers officiate our marriage documents and photographs of our dearly departed grandmothers framed and placed around the ceremony location.

Both of our parents have had long and loving marriages and they have always told us not to settle for anything less than we deserve. When we found each other we knew it was a meeting of souls and being married means the whole world knows our love and commitment to each other. It also means we get to grow old together, support each other and annoy the hell out of each other too! Our vows included Josh vowing to do the ironing (as I burn everything I touch with an iron) and me vowing to take care of all the spiders (Josh is a big sook when it comes to things with eight legs).

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The totally amazing Erin & Tara were our top photography pick and we were so stoked they were available on our day. They have a classic, natural and not too posey approach to their photography which we loved. We both adore black and white and classic/timeless images, and boy oh boy did they deliver for us!

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The amazing bouquets, as well as all the florals at the ceremony and reception, were created by Kim and Belinda at Hello Posey.

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Our first dance was to Jack Johnson ‘Better Together’. We were so caught up in the moment of being newly married – it felt like we were the only ones in the room.

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We chose to have a cocktail party to keep the atmosphere relaxed and fun, allowing guests to mingle and soak in the gorgeous sunset over the valley. The food was delicious, especially the seafood paella!

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The day goes so so fast. Our advice is to make sure you take the time to have a little moment with your new husband/wife, just the two of you, to really soak up the moment. I’m also so glad that we didn’t restrict ourselves with the big ticket items like photography, videography, the venue and our attire. We managed to make savings by DIY’ing the invitations, props, and favours and by having family and friends help out.

The uber talented team at Ice Cream Sandwich Films had us ‘at hello’, literally. The minute we met founder Pep we chatted non-stop for over an hour about our ideas and vision. We loved his natural flare with a twist of quirky. The fact he’s a fellow Staffordshire bull terrier owner and lover is an added bonus!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Lauren and Josh; THAT view and THAT arbour were just perfect for your romantic ceremony!

Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero / Bridal Salon: Raffaele Cuica / Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Riverstone Estate / Flowers: Hello Posey / Groom's and Groomsmen's Suits: Briggins / Photographer: Erin and Tara / Ceremony Musician: Angus Legg / Videographer: Ice Cream Sandwich Films

Inspired Words – May

by | Inspired Words, Weddings

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ms Chinoiserie
0
COMMENTS

Inspired Words - May

As May looks back on her urban garden party wedding to Hugh, she remembers that the decision to use experienced suppliers led to very relaxed – and stress free – celebration.

“Using experienced vendors made planning very easy. We were comfortable leaving a lot of the details in their hands and trusting in their expertise. Getting ready at our house and having our photographer come over to document it was a great way to start too. It also gives the photos a narrative that they wouldn’t otherwise have.”

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Bride and groom

Melbourne wedding

Images by Renée Stamatis

JoJo and Cam’s Fairytale Chateau Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JoJo Swords
1
COMMENT

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JoJo & Cam

I met Cam in India ten years ago, on a graduate training program with the company we had both joined; he was from Sydney, and I was from London. Our holiday fling turned into something more serious, and we decided to give long distance a go. After six months apart, I moved to Sydney to be with him, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Cam proposed in a photobooth, which he had decorated with balloons, streamers and photos of us. He even remembered the red rose and a princess tiara on the seat. I just thought that it was part of my birthday celebrations, and it wasn’t until he gave me the coins to count out, that I turned back and saw the gorgeous Tiffany & Co. ring he held out to me. The camera flashed just in time to capture my utter shock!

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Our engagement snaps!

I always wanted the fairytale wedding, so getting married in a castle seemed the perfect choice. We knew that our guests would be coming from all over the world, so we decided to pick a beautiful destination, where people could relax and make a real holiday of it. We asked Marry Me In France to find our perfect venue in the land of wine and cheese. The Chateau Cazenac was everything I had dreamed of, and I fell in love with it instantly. It’s nickname is the fairytale chateau – so it was obviously meant to be!

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My dress was a Ronald Joyce design that I found whilst with my mum and sisters in the UK. I knew it was the one when I put on the veil and burst immediately into tears, then turned back to tell my mum, only to find her already crying and nodding in agreement. I wanted something with a dramatic back, and I loved the beautiful beadwork that I attached for a more glamorous look in the evening. As my Mum helped me to step into my dress, ‘Kissing You’ by Des’ree began to play, and I was completely overwhelmed with emotion.

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I left my dress a surprise for my Dad. He waited for me at the bottom of the Chateau’s spiral staircase, and the look of absolute pride on his face is an image I will treasure forever.

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We held the ceremony on the lawn outside, under the trees. It was touch and go as to whether we would be able to as it showered on and off all morning. But we made the call 15 minutes before show time, and the sun shone gloriously throughout.

Our wedding planner Louise (from Marry Me In France) was sensational. Every detail had been covered and executed to perfection. She was the first one on site in the morning, and one of the last standing at the end. I was so grateful because organising a destination wedding is pretty difficult, but she gave us brilliant advice, and answered my millions of questions with the patience of a saint! Everyone commented on how chilled out I was on the morning of the wedding, and it’s really because I knew everything was under control, and all I needed to do was turn up and tell my man how I felt about him.

My little sister did my hair and make up. I’m so lucky to have such a talented hairdresser in the family, as I trust her implicitly, and knew that she would make sure that I looked perfect for my big day. We did two hair trials prior to the wedding, and I felt like a total princess when she was finished. She also did the hair of the entire bridal party,including an elaborate up-do on herself. She seriously amazes me.

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We wrote our own vows, so there were plenty of tears during the ceremony. I almost lost it a few times. It was important for us to make promises to each other that were heartfelt, and to let our playful side shine through at the same time. Our celebrant Roland was great fun, and worked with us to make sure that the ceremony was exactly as we wanted. I walked down the aisle to ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.

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Our friends are a huge part of our lives, and we wanted them to have a special place in our ceremony too. We had three readings: ‘A Gift From The Sea‘, ‘A Lovely Love Story‘ and my favourite passage from ‘His Dark Materials‘. We also asked our parents to be part of a French wedding tradition, holding out a white ribbon across our path, to be cut before we walked back down the aisle as man and wife. The idea is that the couple cut the ribbon and walk into their new life and show that together they can overcome any problems they may encounter in their married life.

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Lou organised our flowers with a local florist. She was delighted that I wanted to go for something with a real pop of colour, rather than the more traditional pale pinks and whites. We opted for deep fuchsia and purples in peonies, roses, lisianthus and alliums, which stood out against the navy of my bridesmaids’ dresses. There were some very special people missing from our celebrations; my stepdad Colin, Cam’s stepdad John, and our grandparents. I carried them with me, attached to my bouquet, and close to my heart.

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Our photographers were Mckinley-Rodgers, and they were absolutely brilliant. Pen and Cam are a super-fun couple, who made us and our guests laugh constantly on the day. They are based in Newquay, in the UK, but are soon moving back to Australia. We went to meet them for a coffee whilst on a visit home in the year before the wedding. They set us at ease immediately, and we knew that we had found life-long friends in the two of them.

Their style is very candid, and they captured the story of the day so beautifully. Even the afternoon rain showers didn’t faze them, and they managed to get one of the most impressive shots of the day inside, in an impromptu ‘Vanity Fair’ style shot of the bridal party in the Chateau kitchen.

The multi-talented pair also captured a video of our day, which makes me cry every single time I watch it. It really brings alive some of the most precious moments, in a way that stills just can’t. We absolutely love it!

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We didn’t have a specific theme, but we were going for a romantic, rustic vibe. The venue was so beautiful we didn’t need to go overboard with additional decorations. We used vintage keys for our seating plan, and Luminous Event Lighting did an amazing job with candles, fairy lights and uplighting on the chateau itself. I’m a massive literary nerd, so we named the tables after books. As Cam told everyone in his speech, our own story and table name, Mr and Mrs Swords is a tale still in the process of being written.

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We decided to embrace our destination and chose to have a cheese tower, rather than a wedding cake. The catering, including the tower, was prepared by Chez Amis. Everyone told me that I wouldn’t actually get to eat much at my own wedding, but the food was so delicious, so I made absolutely sure that I did.

We had a sweetheart table for the two of us, which gave us a chance to enjoy a few private moments together during dinner, as well as slipping away for some photographs when a beautiful mist rolled in over the hills, and again later, when we were blessed with a truly spectacular sunset.

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Our first dance was to ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ by Frankie Valli. We had thankfully taken lessons with Sydney Dance World, so we felt ready to have some fun with it. I loved the dips and lifts, and the way that my dress swirled out around me as Cam spun around. All of our guests joined in with the chorus and it really set the tone for the night ahead. We danced until 3am, and couldn’t believe how quickly the night had flown by. We didn’t want it to end!

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My favourite memories of the day were the moments that we spent laughing with each other and our loved ones. We took several moments to just stop and soak it all up, and were completely overwhelmed by the amount of joy and love in the room. All these people that we adore were under one roof, smiling and dancing and laughing, and all because of our love story. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect gift on our wedding day.

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations JoJo and Cam; your beautifully romantic French chateau wedding was straight out of a fairytale!

Bride’s Dress: Ronald Joyce / Hair and Make-Up: Rebecca Cheri / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Chateau Cazenac / Wedding Planner: Marry Me In France / Photographer: Mckinley-Rodgers / Ceremony Officiant: Celebrants In France / Catering and Cheese Tower: Chez Amis / Dance Lessons: Sydney Dance World / Cinematographer: Story Catchers Films
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