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Newlyweds in country

As we chat to Laura about her beautiful Yarra Valley garden wedding, she remembers that it was so important for her and Anthony just to take some time out – just the two of them away from all their guests – to smile, laugh and reflect on the importance of the day.

“The one piece of advice that I would give would be to take a few moments, just the two of you together, to spend some time to take it all in. The day goes by all too quickly so breathe and soak in every moment! Also don’t sweat the small stuff – if something doesn’t go to plan you probably won’t even notice!”

Newlyweds with sunflowers
Alowyn gardens wedding photo

Black and white photo of newlyweds in grass
Bride and groom with sun flowers

Country wedding photo with stormy sky
Gardens for weddings in the Yarra Valley
Newlywed sin Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley weddding photo

Images by Michael Briggs Photography

Following a surprise proposal in the Bahamas, complete with a private beach and a sea turtle for company, Nicholas and I recently celebrated our engagement at a party with 150 of our closest friends and family at Elizabethan Lodge.

We chose Elizabethan Lodge as the venue for our engagement party because we loved the venue’s private, magical urban oasis gardens.  The team at the Elizabethan Lodge consider their gardens to be one of their best kept secrets; you would hardly know you are just 20 minutes from the city.

Nicholas and I chose a playful, whimsical, candy coloured, luxe theme for our summer party; Elizabethan Lodge’s gardens were in full bloom on the day and we loved the pink, yellow and purple flowers which matched beautifully with the candy coloured theme we had chosen for our event.  We hung lots of votive candle holders and lanterns from the fairy lit trees in the garden which gave our cocktail hour a whimsical and playful feel.

In addition to the magical gardens, Nicholas and I chose Elizabethan Lodge because of the luxurious gold tones of their ballroom and their Tiffany chairs in gold, which were the perfect complement to the candy coloured vibrant look we were seeking for our celebration.

My mother decorated the venue with paper fans and garlands by BHLDN, which looked amazing set against the backdrop of our fairy lit trees at the top of the ballroom.

My closest friends were on hand to help with getting many glitter and confetti filled balloons by Poppies for Grace ready for the big day whilst Nicholas and my brothers did an amazing job of filling countless balloons themselves.

We customised the ballroom with lots of styling touches for our party. Floretta by Grace was on hand to provide gorgeous trios of low arrangements colour blocked in pink, lemon and cornflower blue as well as a jaw dropping statement arrangement featuring hydrangea, peonies, David Austin roses and more. The stunning arrangements were complemented by mixed votive candle holders, metallic table numbers and bunny table menu holders all by BHLDN and styled by the lovely Floretta by Grace.

Nicholas and I worked with the team at Elizabethan Lodge to create a signature cocktail for each of us which our guests enjoyed during cocktail hour. Nicholas’ choice was a Negroni whilst mine was a Hendricks and Tonic.

I wore a dress by Alice + Olivia, with a quick shoe change with two pairs of shoes by Dune and Kurt Geiger, both with appliqué florals to match all of the interior flowers in our ballroom. I did my own hair on the day and dropped in to the nearby MAC Doncaster for a natural makeup look. My stunning candy coloured floral headpiece was by Floretta by Grace.

Nicholas wore a suit by Country Road, boots by Aquila and boutonnière by Floretta by Grace.

We worked closely with Elizabethan Lodge to customise our menu, with shared antipasti, seafood and dessert platters with a choice of five delicious sweets for our guests, all prepared by the venue’s team of chefs.  Nicholas’ mum did an incredible job of preparing her special white chocolate rocky road as party favours for all of the guests and an epic candy coloured cupcake tower, topped with butterfly wafer toppers by Silvermisted.

Nicholas and I made use of the venue’s in-house photo booth by Wonderland Wedding Hire with a champagne glitter gold back drop for our special day.

DJ Kosta was on hand with a mix of contemporary RNB and traditional Greek music to reflect our heritage. I designed all of OUR engagement party stationery with printing by Vistaprint.

Gus of Gus Reyes Photography, a collaborator with Elizabethan Lodge, was on hand to capture all the special moments during the celebration.

Nicholas and I are looking forward to host our upcoming wedding at Tatra Receptions later on this year.

Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Chloe and Nicholas; such a beautiful celebration with fun and charming touches of whimsy!

Photographer: Gus Reyes Photography / Venue: Elizabethan Lodge / Dress: Alice & Olivia / Shoes: Dune / Shoes: Kurt Geiger / Floral Design & Styling: Floretta by Grace / Balloons: Poppies for Grace / Groom To Be Suit: Country Road / Groom To Be Shoes: Aquila / Photo Booth: Wonderland Wedding Hire / Cake Toppers: Silvermisted / Styling Details: BHLDN

As Tash looks back on her beautiful bright fiesta wedding, she chats to us about the importance of not letting the little things (and they really are little things in the end!) get to you; all that is important is the love that you and your fiance share!

“All the bickering and arguing (and there can a lot…over the most stupid things!) about the planning and the payments, the invites and everything else…on the day, it doesn’t mean anything.”

“All those stupid little things you stressed about, they all work out. On the day, the only thing that matters is the two of you, and everyone you love. It’s all worth it.”

“Also, brides try to wear hook earrings! I wore post-earrings, and after 120+ hugs from family and friends, the posts were jutting back into the area behind my ear leaving me a little sore and sorry. Plan ahead!”

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Images by Fiona Hoy