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What Would They Know? Michelle Van Eimeren of Affair with George

by | Flower Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Affair with George What Would They Know? Michelle Van Eimeren of Affair with George

The styling and flowers set the ambiance of the ceremony and reception and build anticipation of a wonderful party to celebrate a wedding. This is where Michelle of Affair with George steps in to make your bouquets and decor all you dream them to be. Always with a touch of elegance, Michelle has an eye for the unusual in colour and flower and foliage shapes. Moss, pebbles, branches, succulents and berries – all play a part in adding that unexpected touch which just takes your breath away! Here’s Michelle’s story…..

How did you become a floral designer?

I have always had a love for design, styling and different forms of creativity, taking every opportunity that came my way to try new things, different mediums, having spent much of my early years throughout Asia working in different fields, though primarily with events. I needed something more creative and hands on, with experience in design and event management and my love of flowers I decided to formalize my training and study commercial floristry when I moved back to Australia.

Affair with George has been working hard providing florals and styling weddings and events for the past six years and loving every moment of it.

Affair with George12 What Would They Know? Michelle Van Eimeren of Affair with George

Image by The Follans

Where is your business based?

Affair with George is based in the gorgeous Southern Highlands of New South Wales. I love living in the country, we have the true four seasons and with that much variety in availability of blooms. It allows me to have an expansive garden from which I like to take cuttings, for my designs. There are so many beautiful venues with lovely gardens and historical aspects and the vineyards.

What do you love about having your own business?

The one thing I love most about having my own business is the fact that I can be true to my own designs, I can decide how to interpret a design brief. I love that freedom J The flexibility of time is important to me too, I can work to my own schedule, which makes it easier to factor in family time.

Affair with George3 What Would They Know? Michelle Van Eimeren of Affair with George

Image by Affair with George

Are you known for a particular style? 

I gravitate more to the lush, relaxed garden style of blooms. Of course, I cater to all styles, and have some lovely images of more formal designs, though my heart sings with the natural, wilder, free, organic feel.

Do you like to add a quirky touch to your bouquets/table settings etc? 

I do love to add something unique to my bouquets, only if the bride is happy for me to do so! Lol It can be a challenge at times to get people to let go. I love succulents, seed pods, etc. I often look through my garden or on my travels from the roadside and keep anything that looks interesting.

Do you have some tips as to when in the planning process, and how, brides should approach the planning of their flowers?

Not to say that floral designers are the most important part of your day……. Of course you need your venue, celebrant, and your photographer to capture the memories, makeup, hair, catering, however, we are the ones that make it look like a wedding and all the pretty that is captured in those images! So it is important to book early, depending on how extensive your design is I would try to plan a minimum of 6 months ahead, mainly to secure the day. One tip which is helpful in getting your ideas across to your designer would be to collate all the images of what you love, designs, that show the flowers you love, shape, style, colours etc. This makes sure everyone is on the same page. Pinterest has been very handy allowing us to see the whole aspect of the wedding and the overall feel the couple are trying to achieve.

Affiar with George2 What Would They Know? Michelle Van Eimeren of Affair with George

Image by Affair with George

Should brides have an idea of their preferred colour scheme first, or choose the flowers first and then build the colour scheme around their choice?

I think this depends on what is more important to the bride, I have found most brides to be flexible with flower choices to work within a colour scheme. This is a personal thing, I chose November when I got married because I love Peonies! Who doesn’t? Another important aspect is to convey to your designer if you are choosy about your flowers are the ones you don’t like, this just makes it easier early in the design process.

What other botanicals do you use other than flowers, to add that unique quality to each bouquet or arrangement?

I absolutely love foliage, for me, foliage makes the arrangements feel natural and frames the blooms. I like to use a variety of tree foliage, ferns, vines, herbs and plants. I also like to use a variety of pods or seed heads, fresh or dried, these add a wonderful textural element.

Affair with George4 What Would They Know? Michelle Van Eimeren of Affair with George

Image by Affair with George

Do you also style the wedding, if requested?

I often style the wedding as I have lots of hire items that I regularly update or I can source different items they have their hearts set on. Being able to style the wedding is fabulous as you are able to pull the whole look together from beginning to end.

What are some favourite elements that you use to style

I don’t really think I have a favourite element to use for ceremonies or receptions, I get excited to do something different each time if possible, so it is dependent on what the brief is. I recently made a birch arch for a ceremony which I just loved and one of the staples I have for receptions is my crystal. Crystal never goes out of fashion, especially when paired with gorgeous flowers!

I always like to have a lot of candles too J

Affair with George5 What Would They Know? Michelle Van Eimeren of Affair with George

Image by Affair with George

How do you guide a bridal couple to decide on the style of their wedding, and the elements to use to bring that to life?

During our consult we discuss the overall feel of the day and anything they may have already decided on. I like to see the invite, the dresses chosen and any mood images of the style of blooms they are after. I also like to have a good chat to the couple about who they are and the experience they wish their guests to have. It is important to bring their personality through the styling. After this, I advise the couple on the ideas that I have and we go from there.

Should they approach you with definite elements in mind, or do you enjoy discussions to help them decide on all the design elements?

I am happy for the couple to have definite elements in mind, though I do like to put my own style to it, I don’t like to copy anything. Obviously, I prefer to discuss different ideas and usually this is when the magic happens, when you get to come up with something exciting and unique.

Do you see wedding floral design based on foliage and/or herbs becoming more popular? 

Thankfully, this has been a popular trend and I think it will continue to be, though there will always be clients that want the emphasis on flowers. Layers of foliage can make an arrangement feel so lush and organic. I just love me some foliage!

If you could design with no restrictions, what would it be, and what sort of flowers and foliage would you use?

When I went to the New York flower market last year there were so many flowers that you don’t get to readily see in the flower market here, for example fritillaria, there are so many varieties and they are so lovely. The Japanese ranunculus are huge, many of the blooms were much bigger than what we have access to here and the variety of colours were astounding!

Heuchera, Oak, Passionfruit, Hellebore, Jasmine, Dusty Miller, Copper Beech is gorgeous foliage, I couldn’t possibly list them all. I love loads of unique foliages, it all depends on the mood I am trying to achieve, I decide on that first then everything else falls into place.

Some of my favourite blooms are:

Garden Roses, Peony, Bleeding Hearts, Anemone, Ranunculus, Poppy, Nigella, Scabiosa, Dahlia, Hellebore, Lily of the Valley, Flannel Flowers, Parrot Tulips, Lilac, Queen Anne’s Lace, Veronica,  Sweet Pea, Blossom, Astilbe, Clematis, Guelder Rose, Tuberose, Grape Hyacinth, Hypericum, Freesia…….. I really am not sure where to stop!

Affair with George7 What Would They Know? Michelle Van Eimeren of Affair with George

Image by Andrew Green Photography

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spare time…..what is that! Lol I would like more of it please J

Generally I like to spend this time with my two daughters and my husband. On rare occasions I get the spare time all to myself to read, do my pottery, sketch or paint and I love to cook for pleasure!

Thank you Michelle for sharing your story with us. To find out more about Affair with George visit the website.

Headshot by Vibrant Photography

Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

by | Event Reviews, Fashion Wisdom, Wisdom


Ms Chevron

It’s that time of year again where spring is literally days away and everyone seems a little happier. I know that I certainly had a pep to my step as I entered Brisbane’s City Hall for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival - Monili Jewellers Bridal Group Show.

I was expecting beauty, hoping for something new, and I can say that I was not disappointed on either front. Six ridiculously talented bridal designers showcased their efforts and below are my pick of their top three gowns:

Brides Desire by Wendy Sullivan

Wendy opened the show with her latest collection, saying it “features double layering of mixed lace components and some soft sequin underlays to create a delicate shimmer on movement. I have also introduced a new lace design  and colour tone, this is in the shade of “Oyster”, a delicate tone that will work well over champagne, ivory and platinum tones.”

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Gown: Fontaine

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Gown: Lassandra

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Gown: Hillary

Paddington Weddings – Bertossi Brides

Anne Bertossi says she “was over the moon to be invited to launch my 2014-15 collection at Fashion Week again, having only recently arrived back from Italy with some beautiful new fabrics to showcase on the catwalk. As always with my designs it is all about the fabric so I wanted to create simple, elegant designs, to allow the silks and laces to shine. I have continued with my ‘Modern Vintage’ feel with this collection including some stunning plunging V neck and boat neck gowns in a fabulous sequin lace from Milan.”

Bertossi 15 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

Bertossi 11 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

Bertossi 10 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

Darb Bridal Couture

“This seasons collection is a mix of luxe fabrics. I really like to keep simple lines and traditional silhouettes with a modern twist. The collection is about interesting details but not overpowering the simplicity.”

Brad Webb of Darb Bridal Couture has given us the insights to his gowns below:

“Ivory silk organza with a bodice of layered bias strips of silk organza alternating with spotted organza ribbon, subtle and elegant.” This gown was pure beauty and one of my favourites from the night!

DarbBridal 11 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

“Gorgeous latte silk organza teamed with hand beadwork at the waist.”

DarbBridal 09 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

“The Alexandra – this gown is soft and floaty and all about movement. It really comes to life when it is on the catwalk or walking down the aisle.”

DarbBridal 02 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

Rayner Lee – Regalia Bridal Designs

Rayner has kindly provided details for each of her gowns pictured below, along with their respective codes should you wish to make one of these pretties your very own:

“Perfected fitted bodice covered by French lace. Rushed tulle skirt overlay wedding satin. Embellished belt adding more elegance.”

Regalia 08 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

Dress Code: 1678

“Knee length wedding dress with cap sleeves.” I personally loved seeing the shorter length dresses featured this year which are great for a warmer wedding, and perfect for a relaxed garden setting.

Regalia 10 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

Dress Code: 1677

“This is a full length princess style wedding gown in white or ivory which features French lace overlay on top of bodice and skirt. Zip or lace up back finish.”

Regalia 05 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

Dress Code: 1645

George Wu

Flowing on from George’s 2013 collection reflecting the Garden of Eden came his latest inspiration – Paganism.

“I have discovered Pagans understood the relationship between people and nature which made me think about how to take that inspiration through my work. The shape of the silhouettes are very effortless and with an ease of movement as it reflects that free-spirited belief they had. The laces are a big part of the collection as Pagans have shown to use foliages and florals to celebrate milestones and occasions, so the details of the laces are bold, rustic, and combined with diamond netting to symbolise their hunting background. The overall mood of the collection is kept simple, effortless, ceremonial, monumental, dark, romantic, rustic, and ethereal.”

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GeorgeWuBridal 05 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

GeorgeWuBridal 02 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

Jack Sullivan Bridal

Jack may only be in his mid-twenties, yet he possesses a wealth of experience and creativity, both of which were evident as he closed the Monili Jewellers Bridal Group Show.
“My latest collection has steered away from strong silver Swarovski elements like in previous collections, and I have a  used bold laces instead to add depth and texture to the gowns. The show was very well received and everyone seemed to love the gowns, can’t wait till next year.”
Neither can I, Jack!

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JackSullivanBridal 09 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

JackSullivanBridal 02 Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

Images provided by Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane

Vendor’s Favourites – Melissa Cornwall Marriage Celebrant

by | Vendor's Favourite, Wisdom


Melissa Cornwall Marriage Celebrant
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Vendors Favourites Vendors Favourites Melissa Cornwall Marriage Celebrant

1. The Melbourne Supper ClubSophisticated and stylish, the Supper Club has a unique charm that is so very Melbourne. Here you’ll find beautiful food and wine, amazing city views, attentive staff and comfy chesterfields for your guests – no wonder it’s my top wedding venue. Photo by Tess Kelly

2. Saint Gertrude LetterpressTo say I’m a massive fan of Saint Gertrude’s is an understatement. Check it out if you want your wedding invitations to stand out. Photo by Luke Lornie

3. Sticky Fingers BakeryThese cakes truly are a work of art and oh so yummy. Their website promises flavour packed wedding cakes designed with a modern twist and I can confidently vouch for that!

4. Charles RoseMy engagement ring is from Charles Rose so I have a soft spot for this Melbourne jeweller. What more can I say? Their jewellery is truly beautiful.

5. Fun flower girls – One of my favourite weddings featured the groom’s gran as a flower girl and yes, she was awesome! It got me thinking, who says flower girls have to be young girls? Your grandmother, your mum or even your beloved pet would all make a great choice. Photo by Tess Follett

Swirl divider3 Vendors Favourites Melissa Cornwall Marriage Celebrant

Ms Gingham says: What a great collection of wedding vendors! I love each and every one!

About Melissa Cornwall Marriage Celebrant: I love weddings and I love what I do. As a celebrant, my job is getting to know couples and crafting memorable marriage ceremonies – and that’s always such a pleasure and privilege.

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