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Our Romantic Redwood Forest Engagement Photoshoot

by | Engagements, Inspired Engagements, Weddings


Margie Sansivirini


My darling fiancé, proposed on the 28 September 2014 – it was a beautiful warm night and we graciously met up after a long day of work. Little did I know that this surprise was quite some time in the making and would literally be life changing. We arrived at the Dandenong Ranges’ SkyHigh Restaurant – the very place we celebrated our first six month anniversary.

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Our dinner was exquisite and the night seemed so perfect. He walked me outside and like magic the city lights illuminated for us and my perfect soon-to-be husband knelt on one knee. This moment was undoubtedly the most beautiful moment of my life – seeing the man I love above all else on one knee.

He pulled out the ring box and it endearingly had a light; it almost seemed like it “dinged” when he opened it and the ring sparkled that much more. I unceremoniously jumped with joy and all the childhood daydreams that I had of my classic and romantic Shakespearean like response were thrown out the window! Now, here we are, in 2016 with four more months until to our December wedding, just as in love and just as joyful.

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The beautiful photographers we have booked for our wedding, Huda Salman Photography, also took our engagement photographs. They considered our love for nature and my clumsy description of “whimsical forestry romantic elegance” and created an atmosphere of serenity and made our uncoordinated selves feel peaceful and at ease. At one point, I could see my fiancé really getting into his new role as a part time model!

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East Warburton’s Redwood Forest is a feast for the senses, nestled away in its picture book beauty. The towering trees created the perfect backdrop for our fairy-tale photoshoot. Our gorgeous photographers used their famed “secret squirrel” action photography very seriously; they crouched on the floor, peaked from behind trees and always seemed to catch an angle we were never even aware of.  What came to be was a series of shots that captured our connection and love for each other.




Images by Huda Salman Photography

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations to you both – such beautifully romantic photographs to cherish!


Inspired Words – Fiona

by | Inspired Words, Weddings


Ms Chinoiserie

Bride with flower hair style

Thinking back on her colourful winery wedding, Fiona remembers that your special day is the start of a new beginning and you should try not to worry too much about the “little details”.

“Argh! You will probably stress out about everything  (especially during the week of the wedding)! But don’t worry…the moment you walk down that aisle and you see each other….all that stuff will dissolve and you are in for the most amazing day of your life. It’s so true…don’t sweat the small stuff – you are there for each other. Such a cliché but it was real for us on the day.”

Bride with eucalypt leaves louquet

Bride in gown with sparkling waist band

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Newly married couple at Brookside Vineyard

Newlyweds at Brookside Vineyard

Images by Objektiv Photography

Tanya & Cameron’s Traditional Mansion Hotel Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,


Tanya Sprague

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Tanya & Cameron

I’m sure everyone says this, but our wedding day really was ‘The Best Day Ever’. It was a lengthy but exciting process to plan our wedding day, having chosen to do all of the event planning ourselves. We planned every detail of the day, from the venue to the hangover kits at breakfast and a Sunday BBQ with family, but after seeing the finished product, we wouldn’t have changed anything at all!

Cameron and I had been together for eight years when he proposed on Christmas Day 2014 (we were high school sweethearts). Because we had been together for so long, we knew straight away that we wanted to have a relaxed but traditional day to finally celebrate our relationship with our amazing family and friends.

With the help of Minted we were able to develop a beautiful, classic invitation set with just a little bit of difference.

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I didn’t have to try on many dresses before I found my amazing Pronovias gown  from Raffaele Ciuca Bridal. They say that the minute you try on your wedding dress, you know it’s for you – I had that feeling. As soon as I walked out of the change room my Mum and sister started crying!

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The dress was the perfect mix of elements; traditional, minimal and elegant. I loved the traditional lace bolero that I was able to take off for the reception, turning one dress into two!

I couldn’t settle on one pair of shoes, so I chose a beautiful ivory pair of Alan Pinkus shoes for the ceremony, and changed into a pair of stunning Badley Mishka red shoes for dancing the night away! My wonderful husband gave me pearl earrings as a wedding gift to match my Francesca pearl bracelet from my bridesmaids! How spoilt was I?

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My beautiful bridesmaid Adele Rossi did our stunning makeup for us.

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My bridesmaids’ Alfred Sung Dresses were from Young Designer Gallery.  All of my girls loved their dresses the second they put them on; they were beautiful and comfortable to wear all day, which at the end of the day was the most important thing to me! We chose to have red as a tribute to my Mum who also had red bridesmaids’ dresses at her wedding and also to include a real pop of colour throughout the day.

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My beautiful husband and lovely groomsmen wore traditional black suits from Modotti as well as a traditional white dress shirt and tie. We tried to keep things really elegant and simple. The boys arrived in style in Cameron’s brother’s vintage Volvo, P1800. It’s a Sprague family tradition that we were so excited to have on our big day!



Our day consisted of a traditional church ceremony, held at St Ambrose’s Church in Brunswick. We chose this beautiful bluestone church for its intimate nature as well as the supportive group of people who conduct the weddings. Our lovely priest, Father Sans, took the time to understand what we wanted from the ceremony, a short (as neither of us do well in the spotlight) yet personal service. I walked down the aisle to “Latch – Acoustic” by Sam Smith.




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We couldn’t help getting a cheeky family portrait with our beloved blue heeler Gromit before darting off to the reception!

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We had our reception at The Mansion Hotel & Spa Werribee Park ; it is such a magical venue with a vast range of locations for photo opportunities and things for our guests to do before the reception.

As you can see from our photographs, the relaxed vibe of the day shines through. The person to thank for that is our amazing photographer Ben Ferguson who made us feel completely relaxed and ourselves during the day. He captured our love and the laughter between us and our great bridal party perfectly. A special thanks too, to the wonderful Meg from Megan Beth Photography, Ben’s photography assistant for the day!








Part of the charm of this venue is that guests, who wanted to stay at The Mansion Hotel overnight, had the opportunity to party on through the night (there was a cheeky little night-cap that ran until 2am!) without having to travel back to Melbourne!

There were welcome bags with all sorts of goodies, late night snacks and helpful vanity kits for guests who were staying at the hotel, including an itinerary of things to do before the reception started. We tried to plan every item of the day to a tee so guests would have a seamless experience, despite being across two locations.

Directly after the ceremony in Brunswick, we had a range of lawn games, music and drinks available at The Mansion Hotel – not complete without personalised stubby holders for all of our guests and handmade Giant Jenga of course! There was also free wine tasting, mansion tours and walking paths around the park for our guests to enjoy until our reception kicked off.





We wanted the whole day to be about us, about our heritage and about our favourite things. Keeping with a traditional wedding theme, I organised with the help of my wonderful friend and florist, A Flower Affair to include both native Australian flowers and foliage to celebrate Cameron’s Australian heritage and Italian olive branches and roses to highlight my family’s Italian background. The end result was perfect – with individual buttonholes, bouquets and corsages for both families. The reception room was just perfect; the main feature was a fragrant and beautiful installation of foliage and flowers above the bridal table.

We decorated the venue with plenty of signs and candles to add to the beautiful atmosphere of the room. I had framed personal quotes that summed up our life together, our relationship and what we wanted our guests to take away from the night! They added a really nice sentimental touch to the whole day.






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We were both petrified of dancing in the limelight, so after a simple opening verse to “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel, our family wrapped us up in coloured streamers – a long time standing family and Italian tradition. We were able to personalize the reception also with our amazing band – The Uncles. They were actually from our holiday town, Metung, and made the long trip down to the city so we could have a little bit of our favourite place at the wedding!

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After our pretty relaxed speeches and the wonderful food, my incredible parents had organised, without me knowing, a food truck and ice-cream truck to set up shop outside the reception venue serving late night pork buns, chips and incredible ice-cream!





The dance floor was packed all night, and thankfully, my wonderful bridesmaids handed out pairs of white thongs that I had organised for the girls in heels; they were indeed a hit!  Our wedding day was an incredible experience; we were like giddy school kids the whole day and you couldn’t wipe the smile off our faces!



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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Tanya and Cameron; your traditional theme suited the elegance of The Mansion Hotel perfectly!

Bride’s Dress: Pronovias from Raffaele Ciuca / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung from Young Designers Gallery / Bride’s Shoes: Alan Pinkus / : Badgley Mischka / Bride's Bracelet: Francesca / Makeup Artist: Adele Rossi / Ceremony Venue: St Ambrose’s Church / Reception Venue: The Mansion Hotel & Spa At Werribee Park / Photographer: Ben Ferguson Photography / : Megan Beth Photography / Florist: A Flower Affair / Wedding Cake: Tim Clarke at Cacao / Invitations & Stationery: Minted / Groom’s Attire: Modotti / Band: The Uncles / Food Truck: Digging for Fire
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