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Anna and Damian’s Old World Glamour Garden Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Weddings



Anna and Damian


Damian and I were engaged after meeting through mutual friends almost eight years before. Although we had been together for a long time Damian had studied in Geelong for four of those years – during that time, we only saw each other on weekends!

Damian proposed after taking me out to a romantic dinner and then onto see a play, and although we had been together so long, I was still surprised when he popped the question. I sobbed hysterically after saying ‘yes’ and Damian was a bit concerned I might pass out from all the excitement!

Although we were keen to get married and not wait too long, we ended up having a year and a half engagement. This was because we had found the perfect reception venue and, although it was everything I had dreamed of, this also was the case for many other brides and the venue was quite heavily booked.

We both got ready at our parents’ houses on the day of the wedding. Damian, his three older bothers and best friend enjoyed playing pool with a drink of  Scotch to relax before the big day.

Getting ready with my bridal party was heaps of fun! Having my three best friends and my younger sister, who had made the trip all the way from London, made the day even more special. I found floral dressing gowns on Etsy; they were so nice to sit around and relax in.

Vivian Ashworth did an amazing job with our hair and make up. I  had asked for an old Hollywood wave to my hair – I was so pleased with the result.

When I first stepped into the Karen Willis Holmes boutique to look for my dress I knew straight away that this was the place I would find it. However because there were so many beautiful dresses in the shop it made my decision very hard! I finally decided on the ‘Jillian’ design. I loved the fit and the lace with my pale skin. The girls at the boutique were so lovely and made the whole experience more than I could ever have hoped for.

It was ‘all hands on deck’ getting me into my dress on the day of the wedding due to its fitted style – there was applause once the last buttons were fastened!

I was really lucky to find my perfect florist in Lucie from Lulu Bird. I had decided on a grey and yellow theme and right from the start Lucie and I were on the same page. I also wanted flowers on my chuppah, which she had done many times before and had showed me examples. The yellow used in both the bouquets and the chuppah was perfect and gave the wedding a nice vibrant outdoors feel.

I walked down the aisle to ‘The Wedding Song’ by Angus and Julia Stone which is both a beautiful and emotional song.

We decided on an outdoor ceremony due to our different faiths – Damian is Catholic and I am Jewish.  Having the chuppah decorated with green and yellow flowers brought some of my culture to our ceremony.

We were also fortunate to find our celebrant Christina Havlin who was recommended by a friend. Christina had performed interfaith weddings before and understood about both Jewish and Catholic traditions. She was able to portray our story and understand what was important to both Damian and me.  We also included the Jewish tradition of breaking a glass under the chuppah as another part of the ceremony.

Rippon Lea Estate provided the perfect outdoor setting for our ceremony. The beautiful old house with its expansive gardens provided an amazing location for the ceremony – and for photographs.  As our reception venue was literally across the road, our photographer Robert Hock took some spectacular photos without making our guests wait. Robert was recommended by a friend as he had photographed her wedding. I loved his natural photos and the way he was able to capture the light so well. Robert did such an amazing job especially under time constraints and I couldn’t have been happier with the photos which we will keep as memories of our wedding.




We had our reception at Quat Quatta. Everything on the day went so smoothly thanks to its amazing team. The food was amazing and all of our guests loved the feeling of the old world glamour! We also asked the girls from Short & Spook use their creative talents to make chalk board signs as personalised touches for our wedding.

We also brought some Jewish tradition to the reception and performed a Jewish dance called the Hora. Although many guests at our wedding were not Jewish,  everyone got up on the dance floor and enjoyed the upbeat tempo of the dance. Damian and I were lifted up on chairs which was one of the highlights of the night.

There were other small touches I added to the reception to make the night enjoyable for everyone. I placed a basket of thongs on the side of the dance floor as I wanted to make sure everyone could dance the night away; no one could have the excuse that their feet were sore!


We also set up a DIY photo both with polaroid cameras I had rented from Short & Spook along with the signs. I bought photobooks and asked our guests to take happy snaps during the reception and leave messages for us as something extra we could look back on.


A tradition with Damian’s family at weddings is the smoking of cigars to celebrate the big occasion. After dinner, we set up a cigar bar so guests could have a cigar and a glass of cognac. It was a great way to end the night – with many guests enjoying a cigar, and the novelty of it, for the first time!


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: The beautiful green and yellow palette was a perfect match for your garden wedding; congratulations Anna and Damian!

About Anna: As I am Jewish and my husband is Catholic it was important to honour both religions during our ceremony. We were married under a chuppah to represent my heritage and included a reading from the New Testament as Catholic tradition. Our reception included some more relaxed, fun details – the cigar and cognac bar was a great success!

Photographer: Robert Hock Photography / Bride’s Dress: Karen Willis Holmes / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Karen Willis Holmes / Bride’s Shoes: Nine West / Bridesmaid Accessories: Samantha Wills Jewellery / Bridesmaid Dresses: Etsy / Ceremony Officiant: Christina Havlin / Ceremony Venue: Rippon Lea Estate / Flowers & Decor: Lulu Bird Florist / Groom’s Attire: Formal Wear of Melbourne / Groomsmen Attire: Formal Wear of Melbourne / Hairstylist: Vivian Ashworth / Makeup Artist: Vivian Ashworth / Invitations & Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas / Band: The Baker Boys / Reception Venue: Quat Quatta / Rental Furniture: Weddings of Distinction / Personalised Signs & Polaroid camera hire: Short & Spook / Dressing Gowns: Etsy

Becky & Raoul’s Engagement..One Couple..Two Proposals!

by | Inspired Engagements, Weddings



Becky and Raoul


Not every girl gets proposed to twice, but I did…

Raoul and I met four years ago. We’re both lawyers, but it was very clear when we first met that there was more than mere ‘courtroom chemistry’. For me at least, I felt like I’d come home. We carried on our romance as a long distance one – with him in Newcastle and me living in Perth.

After three years and countless flights later, he proposed to me at Gibson’s Steps on the Great Ocean Road. We were walking back to the car after seeing the 12 Apostles when he asked if we could do one last stop at Gibson’s Steps where we had been earlier that day.

I was enjoying looking at the sunset when I turned around to see him on bended knee with my favourite piece of poetry hand-written out and rolled up in a scroll. At the end, he asked me to “come away to Newcastle and marry him.”

Image via Becky

We were very lucky. The only other people on the beach happened to be a British couple that were taking photos. When they saw Raoul on bended knee they started snapping away.  So now we have these photos of a very intimate moment in our history as a couple.

Four months later, we travelled to Queenstown, New Zealand. Raoul arranged the most amazing helicopter trip to Milford Sound. We landed on a glacier called Parks Pass and went for a small hike around the glacier with our pilot. Raoul asked her to take one last photo, and he pulled out the ring and said, “I found a rock!”  He had worked with Jason Ree in Sydney to make my amazing ring which is an Asscher cut diamond tension ring. Our pilot, thinking Raoul was proposing for the first time, demanded he get down on his knee. Poor guy! He happily obliged. It was simply incredible- being in this stunning location with the man I adore.

Image via Becky

We recently had our formal engagement photos taken by Jac + Heath Photography at Catherine Hill Bay, which is 50 kilometres south of Newcastle. We’ve become drawn to the place and hope to call it home one day.  I wore two dresses from Willow that Raoul had bought for me to wear.


Raoul and I are getting married on my parent’s Ruby wedding anniversary in November this year at Raoul’s Dad’s house – Stanley Park. It’s situated in Fullerton Cove just outside Newcastle and is becoming a popular wedding venue. We’ve had some lovely times there together as a family celebrating birthdays and family weddings.

Given Raoul’s exceptional taste in clothing, it was a natural choice for him to help me pick out my wedding gown. I wanted a Johanna Johnson creation and he highly approved of that! When Johanna heard a groom was helping his bride choose her wedding dress she raced out to help us. We felt like family with her and her amazing staff by the end of the day. I was beaming from ear to ear. It will be terrific to walk down the aisle knowing he has picked my dress and he loves it.

It’s been a long road to this point but I am so excited to finally be moving into the same state, town and house as the man I love!


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a romantic couple Becky, especially choosing your wedding day to be the same as your parents’ anniversary.  Can’t wait to see your wedding photographs!

About Becky:  I have lived and worked all over Australia as a lawyer, largely working in the Government sector and representing people on the poverty line. Raoul is a qualified mathematician and lawyer but also a beautiful photographer! He is a real silver fox. I feel very fortunate that he loves me so much.

Samantha and Michael’s Ballarat Heritage Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Weddings




Samantha and Michael

Michael and I met while studying education at university. We both volunteered to tutor children at a local primary school, and it was love at first sight when I spotted him from across the staff room! I spent several weeks admiring him from afar, before we became ‘Friends’ on Facebook. We started chatting and the rest is history…

We began the ‘marriage talk’ when we moved in together a couple of years later, and once we bought our first home I was ‘patiently’ waiting for the ring! We went to his family’s beach house for a week during the holidays, and Michael was acting a bit strange. We went for rather awkward silent walk, before he said, “Did you know that this was the place when I first knew I loved you?” He then got down on one knee to ask me to marry him!

After a couple of years (20 years says Michael!!!!) of preparing for this day, I was ready to plan our wedding! Michael helped to make all of the big decisions, but he was happy for me to have the day I’d dreamed of.

My mother, bridesmaids and I got ready for the big day at the Creswick Novotel Resort. Kim from Eve Salon and Jo-Ellen Blacklock came out to do our hair and make up. I chose an up style with pin-curls and wore pearls that had been given to me on my 21st birthday.


Originally, I found my dream dress on Pinterest, but was unable to track it down anywhere! A couple of months later I spotted THE dress in the window of Ferrari Formalwear.  I raced in the next day to try it on, and it was perfect! I loved that it wasn’t traditional white, which was a blessing for my fair skin.


Our colour scheme began with the bridal car – my brother Mark’s 1958 FC Holden, which he and my father had lovingly restored for the day. Michael arrived in Mark’s 1977 HZ Panel Van.



I chose my bridesmaids’ dresses at Young Designer’s Gallery – a simple style in a gorgeous bright colour, with matching ties for the boys.


Pam from The Flower Connection was very patient as I had learned all about floral arrangements and she happily turned my ideas into a reality. I chose a mix of native gum and roses to match our Heritage theme.


I love the history of our hometown Ballarat, and wanted our wedding to compliment the surroundings. We chose the Ballarat Mining Exchange for our ceremony; I liked its industrial look and historical significance to the town. It also provided a perfectly blank canvas for us to work with.


I’m a very emotional person, and after a nervous drive into Ballarat, I was surprised that I didn’t cry as I walked down the aisle! I was just incredibly happy and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! My parents both walked me down the aisle and then, using my maiden name, wished me farewell for the last time ..if anything almost started the waterworks, it was that!



Our celebrant Anastasia Meek helped to make the whole process easy, especially the paperwork!


We booked our reception at Jackson’s & Co in Ballarat. Not only is it an amazing venue, but a few years before it had been a night club, where we shared our first kiss.


We chose to do most of the stationery and decor ourselves, and luckily my father is quite handy when it comes to woodwork. We spent many hours searching local shops and websites to find the necessary bits and pieces. We found lovely bentwood chairs for hire from The Little Black Sheep Hire Co, which complimented our style perfectly.




I have always dreamed of having my name on some candy, and there is no better occasion than a wedding! We visited Suga Rock Candy to order our personalised rock candy. All of our guests had a jar to nibble on during the night.


Our wedding cake was made by The Cheesecake Shop and was served for dessert. My father made the wooden cake stand. We had a personalised cake topper but it went missing on the morning of the wedding…nowhere to be found!


Lindy from Curtain Call Performing Arts Studios choreographed our first dance to a sweet little song called ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ by The Maccabees. We were both nervous but the end result was worth it!


Scott from One Point Photography was our first choice for photography. We had admired some of his previous work because of its unique style. We trusted Scott to do what he does best!




After a night of dinner and dancing with Sam from SJH Entertainment, it was time to say goodbye. We were absolutely thrilled that all of our plans had come together perfectly.

Of course, there were a few bumps along the road, but this is to be expected and we were ready to deal with them together. Most importantly, at the end of the day Michael and I were ready to start the rest of our lives together as husband and wife, and I’m so glad we found each other.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: I love all the sentimental details, especially the ’70s’ Holden cars! Congratulations Samantha and Michael!

About Samantha: I’m a 25 year old teacher from Ballarat, and recently I married the man of my dreams Michael, who is also a teacher. I wanted my wedding to be classic, with a heritage touch to compliment the Ballarat surroundings. My wedding styling began with my brother’s car, an old Holden. I gave him a timeline of a year to have it ready for the wedding – my whole colour scheme revolved around it! It was still in pieces a week before the wedding, but he is a hard worker and had it ready for the big day!

Bride’s Dress: Ferrari Formalwear / Bridesmaid Dresses: Young Designer's Gallery / Photographer: One Point Photography / Makeup Artist: Jo-Ellen Blacklock / Hairstylist: Eve Salon / Ceremony Venue: Ballarat Mining Exchange / Ceremony Officiant: Anastasia Meek / Reception Venue: Jackson's & Co / Flowers & Decor: The Flower Connection / Rental Furniture: The Little Black Sheep Hire Co / Favors: Suga Rock Candy / Cake Baker: The Cheesecake Shop / Dance Lessons: Curtain Call Performing Arts Studios / DJ: SJH Entertainment / Hotel: Creswick Novotel Resort
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