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Melanie & Hamish’s Relaxed Kidogo Arthouse Wedding

by | Australia - Western Australia, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


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Melanie & Hamish

It was the stories of how Melanie and Hamish honoured not only their family heritage but also their own beliefs that made me fall in love with their relaxed Kidogo Arthouse wedding but then? Then I saw that bouquet, and I knew we had to share this special day.  The couple worked with Peggy Saas to capture their day.

Melanie tells the story of how she and Hamish came to fall in love. “I (Melanie) moved from Melbourne to Perth on the 19 January 2013 for a lifestyle change and to further my career; I had also completely sworn off men at the time and was set on focusing on my career only! On Saturday 26th January 2013, approximately 6 days later, I met Hamish. He was having a boat party out at Carnac Island, and the rest as they say is history!”

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Elvi Design created Melanie’s custom lace wedding gown, Melanie remarking, “My dress was designed by Elvi Design in Perth WA. I always knew that I wanted a simple, elegant, long sleeve laced dress. Sandra and Birgitta at Elvi knew straight away what I wanted and drew it straight away at our first consultation and I was sold from the first few minutes! I went to a fitting every 3-4 months and loved all the fittings, I loved watching the dress come to real life at every fitting. Sandra and Birgs always had the best advice.”

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Kidogo Arthouse was chosen as the venue for the day’s festivites, Melanie explaining, “Hamish and I wanted to have our ceremony and reception at the same venue and close to the ocean. I stumbled across the Kidogo Arthouse in Fremantle whilst doing a random Google search. Hamish and I went and saw the venue, we both instantly fell in love with it. The old limestone building, whitewashed walls and the exposed timber beams reminded me of buildings when I used to live in Kenya. The art gallery was just beautiful and we knew it was the perfect fit for our special day. As the countdown for the wedding was on, Joanna (owner of Kidogo) also suggested the outdoor deck overlooking the ocean which was absolutely perfect for drinks and canapés between the ceremony and reception.”

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Melanie and Hamish were married by Liz Hayes, the bride remembering, “I wanted the ceremony (and reception) to be one big family and friend gathering. Hamish and I didn’t have any personal vows or readings. We just wanted to be married! We both know how we feel about each other, and so do our friends and family. We focused more on our celebrant reading our funny stories about us and what our family and friends thought of our relationship. Liz Hayes, our celebrant, was absolutely fantastic! She knew what kind of ceremony we wanted, and delivered it perfectly. There were lots of laughs and tears when she read out all our stories of how we met, how we get along, what we do in our spare time!”

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Of their photographers, Melanie notes, “Peggy and Lifa were absolutely amazing!! Peggy was aware that Hamish and I did not want any posed photos. We didn’t even realise that they were following us around until we saw the wedding photos 8 weeks later. Peggy captured our wedding just PERFECTLY. She was an absolute dream to have on our wedding day.”

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The couple worked with stylist Stacey Clark Weddings , floral designer Botanica Naturalis and caterer Kent Street Deli raving about them all. “My AMAZING bouquet; a one-of-a-kind creation by Anna from Botanica Naturalis. Stacey Clark and her team for bringing my dream of Australian native greenery styling concept to life. Kent Street Deli for providing the TASTIEST canapés and dinner for the wedding; we received lots of compliments after our wedding about the food.”

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“My mum, grandmother and aunty (from Canada) made traditional Kiribati (Sri Lankan celebratory rice dish) for entrees during dinner service and Jane (Hamish’s mum) made our wedding cake and cakes for dessert. Jane makes the BEST chocolate cake and she has made it for us many times before, and it was just fitting for our wedding cake.”

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Melanie and Hamish added traditional elements to the day to make it theirs, Melanie explains. “We included an Acknowledgement to Country, paying respect to Aboriginal Elders for where our wedding events were taking place. Acknowledging country was important for us. We also made sure to include traditional Sri Lankan Kiribath and Jane’s Chocolate cake as our way of letting our immediate family make a contribution for our wedding. My favourite way to unwind is oysters and champagne, so we made sure to have an oyster Shucker. Neil Forbes shucked fresh oysters for our friends and family during evening drinks and canapés.”

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Of the first dance, Melanie remembers, “Hamish and I chose “Better Together” by Jack Johnson. We both love the honest lyrics of the song and we just bopped along, we made our first dance up as we went on the night!! The song resonated with Hamish and myself and how we feel about each other.”

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Congratulations on your marriage Melanie and Hamish! Thank you for sharing your day with us, and thank you also to Peggy Saas for sharing this gorgeous wedding!

Photographer: Peggy Saas / Second Photographer: Lifa Wall / Wedding Stylist: Stacey Clark Weddings / Bride’s Dress: Elvi Design / Bride’s Shoes: Nine West / Bride’s Jewellery: Tiffany & Co / Bride’s Jewellery: Swarovski / Groom’s Attire: MJ Bale / Groomsmen Attire: MJ Bale / Bridesmaid Dresses: Sheike / Bridesmaid Shoes: Target / Hairstylist: The Pretty Parlour / Makeup Artist: The Pretty Parlour / Flowers: Botanica Naturalis / Invitations & Stationery: Vistaprint / Venue: Kidogo Arthouse / Ceremony Hire Items: Event Wedding and Hire / Ceremony Officiant: Liz Hayes / Ceremony Musicians: Les Trois Amies / Reception Hire Items: Event Wedding and Hire / Reception Musician: Cathrine Summers / Catering: Kent Street Deli / Cake: Handmade / Wedding Rings: Bride's Uncle / Transport: Vintage Kombi Promotions
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Madeline & Craig’s Elegant Somersby Gardens Estate Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


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Madeline & Craig

There is a dreamy chic style to the elegant Somersby Gardens Estate Wedding of Madeline and Craig.  Understated, beautiful bouquets and floral arrangements. A quiet yet momentous ceremony, stunning backdrops all still somehow make sure that the focus is on Madeline and Craig and their love for each other. The couple chose EVENT Photography and Videography to capture their day.

Of how they met, Madeline tells, “I met Craig at the Beach Road Hotel in Bondi. He had walked through the door and his smile blew me away. A friend of mine had told him I thought he was cute. When I came down to the dance floor he was there smiling, we had a dance and a sneaky kiss and 3 years later were married!!”

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Madeline chose a lace gown from Alfred Angelo, telling, “I had planned to wear a completely different style. I found this dress in a small bridal shop on the mid north coast. I had been shopping with my mum and decided to have a quick look at dresses. The experience was daunting but the ladies in the boutique made me feel relaxed. I remember trying on maybe four dresses before. I tried this one on and fell in love instantly. The open back and subtle chapel train made it that little bit more special.”

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Gareth Hudson Music played live music for the wedding, starting with the ceremony music, the bride tells, “We had live acoustic guitar playing as I walked down the aisle – the song was Fire and the Flood by Vance Joy. We had our Acoustic singer Gareth Hudson played Kiss Me as we had our first kiss and signed our marriage certificate. He played Stolen Dance as we walked out to our family friends as husband and wife.”

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Madeline and Craig were married by Tara Rennie . “We wanted our ceremony to be simple but meaningful. We chose Tara Rennie as our celebrant. She captured the love we had for each other throughout the ceremony. Craig and I both surprised each other by writing our own vows. We had a good friend of ours read ‘On your wedding day’ – it was such a beautiful poem.”

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Miss Adams Florist created the floral arrangements for the day, the bride noting, “Miss Adams Florist did such an amazing job with our bouquets. I had given her a few ideas I had in mind but she blew me away with how stunning the bouquets turned out.”

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Of their photographers, Madeline tells, “Emanuel and Mary were absolutely amazing. They were so professional and made us feel so relaxed. We can’t thank them enough. They are such wonderful people and we were so happy to have chosen them from day one. They went above and beyond to capture all of the secret places the venue had to offer. I even went rock climbing in my dress and heels to get to the beautiful rock that overlooked the valley.”

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Madeline and Craig chose Somersby Gardens Estate  for their wedding, noting, “Our wedding was held at Somersby Gardens Estate. We fell in love with it as soon as we saw it. We loved that you had to drive through a small creek crossing to get to the venue. It seemed like we were in another world. Our ceremony was held at the amphitheatre located at the bottom of the property. It was surrounded by beautiful gardens. We wanted to make the most of the beautiful stone pathway that led from the house to the ceremony so we used that as the aisle that the bridal party entered.

Our reception was at the Pavilion on the top of the property. It was such an elegant space the captured the countryside so perfectly. We knew we didn’t have to use a lot to decorate the space as we didn’t want to take away the amazing views the property had to offer. The Pavilion was definitely the selling point for us. The corrugated barn like feel with elegant chandeliers hanging from the ceiling was just magnificent. We loved that our guests could enjoy the sun going down whilst enjoying a few drinks and playing lawn games. We then lit up the back area with festoon lighting to dance the night away.”

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“The venue was a blank canvas that we meant were able to create our own space. The place was so beautiful to begin with so I didn’t want to take away from it. Most of our wedding was DIY, from our signs to our table decor, from stationery to lighting. We have some pretty amazing friends and family who helped us create the most amazing wedding day. The eucalyptus garlands which were created by my beautiful bridesmaids were my absolute favourite. The gold tea lights added that touch of romance as the sun went down. We had our beautiful friend make the most amazing homemade wedding cake.”

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Of their first dance, the bride remembers, “We had been practising for this dance for months. We have never laughed so much in our lives. Craig wasn’t much of a dancer. We chose ‘never tear us apart’ by INXS. We felt that the song had so much meaning to both of us and reminded us of the first time we met. When the time came to have our first dance we were so overwhelmed that we forgot half the steps and just went with it.”

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“I surprised my dad with a Father and Daughter’s dance. He had no idea that I had organised this. I had Gareth play Horses by Daryl Braithwaite. Dad always used to play this song to me as a child. He was brought to tears.”

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“We loved that we used local vendors for almost everything at our wedding. We love to support local people. Our wedding was the best day of our lives and we were so grateful to share it with so many amazing family and friends.”

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Congratulations on your marriage Madeline and Craig! Thank you for sharing the day with us! Thank you also to EVENT Photography and Videography for sharing today’s celebration with us.

Photographer: EVENT Photography and Videography / Bride’s Dress: Alfred Angelo / Bride’s Shoes: Mischief Shoes / Bride’s Jewellery: Lovisa / Groom’s Attire: Saba / Groom’s Shoes: Florsheim / Groomsmen Attire: Saba / Groomsmen’s Shoes: Florsheim / Bridesmaid Dresses: Shona Joy / Bridesmaid Accessories: Prouds / Hairstylist: Jordana Stewart Styling / Makeup Artist: Grace by Kelly / Flowers: Miss Adams Florist / Venue: Somersby Gardens Estate / Ceremony Officiant: Tara Rennie / Ceremony Musicians: Gareth Hudson Music / Band: Gareth Hudson Music / Catering: D'vine Group / Cake: Homemade / Dessert: Just A Piece Of Cake / Transport: Bus Charter

Beautiful Outdoor Reception Tablescapes

by | Bride, Reception

 Outdoor Reception Ideas
With Spring here, the idea of beautiful outdoor receptions doesn’t seem so impossible – in fact, they are one of my favourite things about the warmer months! Today I am rounding up some of my favourite beautiful outdoor reception tablescapes to inspire your own reception under the stars. From rustic to elegant, to laid back and flower filled- click on through!

Sandy & Mikey’s Boho Inspired Athol Hall Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


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Sandy & Mikey

With flower crowns and beachside views, the boho inspired Athol Hall wedding of Sandy and Mikey has a laidback feel with handmade touches. I love that Sydney Harbour sets the scene for a day where children run freely and dancing? It’s definitely on the menu! The newlyweds choosing Little Black Bow Photography to join them on the day to capture it all.

Sandy spills the beans on how they came to be. “We met at a local pub; bonded over the football and sealed the deal over a game of Buck Hunter, we have been inseparable ever since.”

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“My brother told me he had a surprise for me. When I had finally finished getting ready in the hotel room, I stepped out in front of everyone to realise that my brother and 8-month old nephew were wearing matching suits, suspenders and bow ties. It was potentially the most adorable thing I had ever seen, and I loved that my amazing photographer caught that on tape!”

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Sandy wore a sparkling gown by Anna Campbell. She tells, “I had been following Anna Campbell online and kept dreaming about her beautiful dresses but was torn as I wanted to keep our wedding on a budget (not very romantic). On a strange whim, I searched a classified site and found that someone was selling an Anna Campbell dress, just around the corner from my house, which had been worn once by the bridesmaid at her wedding. I went with a girlfriend to try it on, I cried. It was my dream dress and spoke to my love of style, of detail, and of classic simplicity.”


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Sandy and Mikey held their ceremony and reception at Athol Hall. “We got married on the grounds and had the reception in their beautiful venue which used to be a dance hall in origin. The grounds overlook Sydney Harbour, we had the bridge in the background, kookaburras, and incredible gardens surrounding the entire space. The staff were incredible, from the moment we first laid eyes on Athol Hall we knew it was our venue, we wanted something relaxed, where our favourite friends and their children could move around freely and celebrate with us.”

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For the processional, Sandy remembers, “We chose “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” by Iron and Wine. Because we both wept when he heard him sing in in the Opera House. Equally as important was the song we walked back down the aisle to, when we were first married, “Maps” by the Yeah Yeahs, my husband’s favourite song.”

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“We wanted our ceremony to be a reflection of who we are and what we believe – we wanted to show our love for each other, our family and our friends, My brother and nephew walked me down the aisle, in tribute to my beautiful Papa who passed away the year before. We wanted to honour him that way.”


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Jennifer Kearns officiated the marriage ceremony, Sandy remembering, “We had readings from the bible (to represent our faith) and also from Khalil Gibran (to represent my Lebanese culture), which were read by both our mothers.”

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Awkward Portraits by Karin Locke was one of the fun additions to the wedding, the couple posing for their own “awkward portraits”. “We simply had to have her as part of our wedding to take awkward photos of our guests. She had an incredible 80’s backdrop with hideous costumes and incredible poses. It was the hit of the wedding, our guests loved it, and being able to see them have so much fun with their hilarious photos was truly the best feeling.”

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Of their photographer, Sandy tells, “We loved how authentic and warm her photos were, and were super excited upon meeting up with her for a coffee, to discover she was just as authentic and warm herself. We hit it off and it made the basis for an incredible day with her. It was like having an old friend there with you taking photos, she was hilarious and brilliant, and the photos are just breathtaking. Thank you, Dea!”

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Clementine and Rose  created the floral arrangements for the day, the bride remarking, “Lauren from Clementine and Rose designed my stunning flower crown, and also my bouquets. Actually, she didn’t just design my bouquets, she saved me because I had planned on using hydrangeas from my father’s garden, and they died two days before the wedding. I contacted her in much distress, and she designed up the most beautiful bouquets to match my flower crown. Designing the flower crown was my favourite part of wedding planning, I am a great lover of the garden, and was able to bring succulents that I had grown, and give them to Lauren to create her masterpiece.”

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There were so many special touches throughout the day. “My favourite colour is yellow, so I wanted splashes of yellow throughout the day, from my bouquet, to the decorations and even my shoes, yellow was everywhere and I loved it. There were a few special people who couldn’t be there that I wanted to remember. I was wearing my Nanna’s sapphire ring so that she was close to me. My florist also helped me to honour my dad, by having blue hydrangeas in my bouquet, a flower that I remember him by. We also wanted our favourite kids around us and part of the day. Our godchildren were our ring bearers and didn’t leave our sides the whole day.”

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Guests received and potted succulents created by the bride under her business Sunshine & Succulents .

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Of the first dance, the bride remembers, “We had used all our favourite songs up in the ceremony and were a bit stuck on what to choose for our first dance. Mikey suggested a beautiful song he had put on a playlist for me when we first started dating, “When Did You Leave Heaven” by Lisa Ekdahl. Still, my favourite part of our wedding, dancing together to that song, in front of our loved ones Mikey dipped me, I wasn’t expecting it, he can be romantic sometimes.”

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Congratulations Sandy and Mikey! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Little Black Bow Photography for sending us today’s celebration.

Photographer: Little Black Bow Photography / Bride’s Dress: Anna Campbell / Bride’s Jewellery: Mimco / Groom’s Attire: Calibre / Groom’s Shoes: Calibre / Bridesmaid Dresses: White Runway / Bridesmaid Accessories: Mimco / Hairstylist: Quennie Diesta / Makeup Artist: Quennie Diesta / Flowers: Clementine and Rose / Venue: Athol Hall / Ceremony Officiant: Jennifer Kearns / Favors: Sunshine & Succulents / Cake: Unbirthday Bakery / Photo Booth: Awkward Portraits by Karin Locke
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