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Melissa & Dave’s Relaxed Bonnie Brae Barn Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


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Melissa & Dave

Melissa and Dave chose an intimate ceremony for just their closest family and bridal party for their day before celebrating with 150 of their favourite people at a relaxed Bonnie Brae barn wedding. They worked with photographer Catherine Forge Photography to capture their day.

Melissa tells the story of how they met. “We are both accountants & met at work 5 years ago. Dave (21 at the time) was a graduate accountant when he started, whereas I (25 at the time) had been working there for a few years. After working together for a year we started hanging out socially, which is when I realized that I had feelings for him. However it took Dave a long time to realize he had feelings for me. We had a close group of friends within the workplace and everyone else could see Dave liked me but him.

After 6 months of chasing, I asked him to if he wanted to be my boyfriend – his response was “no I don’t want a girlfriend’. I said, ‘so you won’t miss me?’ and he said ‘no, not really!’ Dave then went off on holidays with his friends and during this holiday he had a ‘light bulb’ moment where he realized that he did like me. After returning from his holiday he arrived on my doorstep and said he missed me. That was the night (5th April 2012) that we became official. I knew from that night that I was going to marry him (of course Dave had no idea at this time)!”

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The bride chose a gown from Whimsical White, noting “For the past 5 years I thought I knew what my wedding dress was going to be, however when trying on this dress it looked nothing like I’d imagined & it really didn’t fit in with our theme & bridal party. I tried on several other dresses but nothing was making me go WOW. I came across Whimsical White at a bridal show, they had a dress on display that caught my eye & so I booked an appointment as they had an upcoming sale on.

I tried the dress on that caught my eye, it was terrible. They suggested another combination. I really wasn’t sure but gave it a go & fell in love with it straight away. The dress was nothing like I’d ever imaged I would wear or seen in all my bridal mags & internet searching. The dress was so light & comfortable & made to measure so I knew it would fit perfectly on the day.”

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The couple married at Bonnie Brae Barn in Gippsland, noting, “I had the idea of having a wedding in a barn, where we would serve cocktail food rather than a formal sit down meal. However we didn’t want our guests to have to travel too far from our hometown. I had looked & Googled everything I could think of to find a barn close by, but found nothing. I was out one night & mentioned to someone that I was disappointed we weren’t going to be able to have our wedding in a barn as we wanted. It turned out this person knew of someone that knew someone that had their wedding in a local couple’s private barn only 15km from our home. After making contact with the barn owners, we booked in a visit & fell in love with the venue – it was everything that we had imaged.

The barn had everything – rustic tables & chairs, decorations, old cars, historic signage, collectables etc. When we visited the barn for the first time you could feel a buzz in the air, there was so much atmosphere with a warm country feel. Nothing in the barn matched but it all fits together perfectly & created a place we only ever imagined getting married in. We were able to have our own catering and bar, which suited us perfectly. After seeing all the beautiful places around the barn & farm we decided to have our ceremony there as well. Sue & Peter Aryes from Bonnie Brae Barn were probably our standout vendor. Without their amazing property we would not have had the wedding we had.”

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Of the processional, Melissa remembers, “I am a massive One Tree Hill fan & chose to walk down the aisle to the same song Nathan & Haley walked down the aisle to: We Are Man & Wife by Michelle Feathertone. I played the song to Dave & he thought it was perfect to walk down the aisle to, until I told him it was from One Tree Hill. After that he refused to have the song in the wedding, somehow I ended up winning that argument.”

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Christine Skicko Celebrant officiated the ceremony, the bride remarking, “To us the ceremony was a formality that had to be done but we were never excited by it & just wanted it to be a quick as possible. The thought of 150 guests looking at us was terrifying. Our answer to this was to have a private ceremony that was as quick as possible. We had our parents, my grandparents, siblings & bridal party attend (about 25 people). After the ceremony was over, I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it.”

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“We both wrote our own vows. Originally we were going to keep our vows a secret until the day, however we had left this very late & were struggling to put words together. I think we both knew what we wanted to say but didn’t quite know how to tie it all together. On the Thursday night prior to the wedding we sat down & wrote the vows together. At the time & looking back now this was a really special time for both of us.”

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“Dave’s aunty (Sue Van Berkel) kindly offered to put together some baby’s breath bouquets for myself & the bridesmaids, she also put a couple of stems of the baby’s breath on the tables for decoration. It looked fantastic & we got so many compliments on them.”

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Of their photographer, Melissa remembers, “I was very picky on the photographers. I was very adamant that we were not going to pose for photos all day. I wanted our photos to be natural and capture the moment.

As the ceremony was private we wanted as many photos of our guests as possible. We also wanted to make sure the photographer would be able to supply us photos from the ceremony that we could print out to have on display at the reception.

After meeting with Catherine we knew she was the one. She completely understood our vision & wasn’t trying to tell us what we “should” be doing. Catherine worked alongside her second shooter Fiona McLennan (who also happens to be her mother!) and they captured so many amazing moments together.”

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The couple arrived back to their venue to the applause of their guests, who had arrived to celebrate the evening with them.

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“We wanted the reception to be like a party & we wanted everyone to have as much fun as possible we decided to have a few games for people to play. I know not everyone’s idea of fun is to spend the night on the dance floor. We had a friend make us a beer pong table, which was used throughout the night (mainly by older people that had never heard of beer pong & just tried to throw the balls into empty cups which was funny)! The day before the wedding my Dad & Pa worked together to make us a large Jenga set that people also played throughout the night.”

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Brent Sinclair Catering  catered the wedding, the bride remembering, “Although we wanted finger food, I didn’t want any guests to go home hungry. Our caterer was fantastic & already had great reputation locally. The food kept coming for most of the night and we received so many compliments. Although it doesn’t sound that big of a deal, it was really important to us that all guests had delicious food (and plenty of it) and the drink of their choice. We also had tables for people to sit if they wanted to, but there was no allocated seating, so people moved around a lot and switched seats when they wanted to.”

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“I was always dreading the speeches but knew they were kind of a requirement. But it turned out they were fantastic & all the guests enjoyed them (I had a image in my head of the speeches going for an hour with the guests falling asleep). Both my sisters gave a beautiful speech that was a complete surprise to me.”

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Of the first dance, performed by The Club, Melissa remembers, “We had a 5 piece band that played Ed Sheeran – Tenerife Sea for our first dance. We really can’t dance at all & again we didn’t like the thought of everyone looking at us. We danced (or swayed around in circles) for a minute then had the rest of the bridal party & parents join us. After this song finished the band lifted the tempo & the dance floor was filled.”

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Congratulations Melissa and Dave! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Catherine Forge Photography for sharing today’s celebration!

Photographer: Catherine Forge Photography / Bride’s Dress: Whimsical White / Bride’s Shoes: Nine West / Bride’s Jewelry: Myer / Groom’s Attire: Panthers Mensland Traralgon / Groom’s Attire: Myer / Groom’s Shoes: Panthers Mensland Traralgon / Groomsmen Attire: Panthers Mensland Traralgon / Bridesmaid Dresses: Try Angles Traralgon / Bridesmaid Dresses: Swish Clothing / Bridesmaid Dresses: Skadderi Frol / Hairstylist: Mels Cutting Room Traralgon / Makeup Artist: Lauralei Nicholls / Flowers: Sue Van Berkel / Venue: Bonnie Brae Barn / Ceremony Officiant: Christine Skicko Celebrant / Band: The Club / Catering: Brent Sinclair Catering / Cake Baker: Anne Wilson / Wedding Rings: Regal Jewelers Traralgon / Wedding Rings: Jeremy Fleming Jewellers Traralgon
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Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride



Photo by Perth Photography via Melissa and Tom’s Fremantle Heritage Wedding

Not going to lie Dotties, it has been a bit of an insane week around these parts. New launches, endless technical issues (glad to see the back of those!) and plenty of cake. That last detail? One I am truly happy about! I am taking the day to dive deep into work and get caught up after the week that was, so our roundup this week is a little shorter, but not any less full of inspiration for you. May your weekend be filled with relaxation and celebration!


Really love the look of The Pisco People’s Ultimate Pisco Tonic

Manning shares his post wedding Inspired Memories

Oh I love this Home-Made Plum Jam Favours Tutorial

Ben shares his warehouse wedding Groom Style

A pretty handwritten feel for  New Storyteller

We sit down for a A Glass Of Whisky With….Darryn From McKay Photography

Destination? Paris! A gorgeous Romantic Parisian Wedding

Larissa & Rayne share their post wedding inspired words

Rounding up our favourite Copper Wedding Ideas

All Things White – A Magazine Relaunch

Chatting men’s tailoring with Cassie Callegher of Calibre

Gorgeous romantic details in Melissa and Tom’s Fremantle Heritage Wedding

We go behind the door with Cakes 2 Kreate

Perfect for wedding fun-The New Fuji Film Instax Mini 70

Our film of the week comes from C2 Films. The wedding of Heidi and Mark was such a quintessential Melbourne celebration. The industrial style, inner city wedding is super glam but also so very much filled with love.

Bohemian Floral Dream Wedding Inspiration

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspiration Shoot,


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As we reach the end of autumn, and the days become decidedly cooler, we thought we’d share something to combat the onslaught of the winter chill. This bohemian floral dream wedding inspiration shoot has the capacity to send you straight to a warmer, dreamier place. You can almost smell the intoxicating fragrance of the multitude of flowers, and hear the waves languidly lapping against the sunset shore. (A small note – I have Xavier Rudd’s “Follow the Sun” humming along while I write this! I highly recommend you do the same before you scroll on.) Perfectly captured by Cloud Catcher Studio, with stunning floral designs created by Flowers by Julia Rose, the following is perfect inspiration for a luscious summer day wedding celebration.
The coastal, Hamptons inspired interiors of Babalou, by the beach in Kingscliff in northern New South Wales, allowed the rich textures and brilliant colours of the styling by Shoot The Groom to shine against the backdrop of the sparkling pacific ocean.  The team included hairstylist and makeup artist Erin Stuart Styles and gowns by Bohemian Brides, with romantic stationery by  Love Notes Australia. The grand cutlery provided by Gold Wedding Hire and the sumptuous cake by Cake Rebellyous Cake Co


Bohemian Brides Gown

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Wearing stunningly detailed gowns by Bohemian Brides, and with a soft, thick braid and a ‘lit from within’ glowing skin created by Erin Stuart Stylesthe exquisite Jess from Dallys Models was the epitome of the laid back beach bride. 

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The talented Flowers by Julia Rose worked a lush mixture of vibrant coloured flowers around the venue organically, creating vignettes in different areas. The hanging floral decor dripping from the ceiling created an arresting feature, and was perfectly accompanied by the colourful blooms among the table decor.

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Shoot the Groom created a number of whimsical table settings, each inspired by a different set of Love Notes Australia paper ware, and accompanied the setting with single blooms placed sporadically within the table scape.

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Love Notes Australia

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The concept for the shoot was coastal bohemian, with jewel tones, copper and plenty of texture. With this in mind, the team moved outside to the stirring, sunset beach to conclude their shoot. The light draining from the day against the sand and the waves proved to be the perfect backdrop to showcase this dramatic and opulent floral headdress.

Wedding Flowers by Julia Rose

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Thank you to Cloud Catcher Studio, Flowers by Julia Rose and the entire dream team of vendors for sharing this striking, bohemian shoot with us!

Flowers & Decor: Flowers by Julia Rose / Photographer: Cloud Catcher Studio / Venue: Babalou / Cake Baker: Rebellyous Cake Co / Hairstylist: Erin Stuart Styles / Makeup Artist: Erin Stuart Styles / Gowns: Bohemian Brides / Model: Dallys Models - Jessica Cavallaro / Styling: Shoot The Groom / Invitations & Stationery: Love Notes Australia / Rentals: Gold Wedding Hire (cutlery)

Eloise & Eric’s Gold Urban Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


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Eloise & Eric

I love the glam feel of Eloise and Eric’s gold urban wedding. Eloise’s stunning gold gown, which glimmers in the light adds just a little something extra special to what was already a beautiful day. Eloise and Eric worked with photographer Long Way Home Photography to capture their day.

Eloise tells the story of how she and Eric came to be. “We met through mutual friends at a party at the ripe old age of 15! We didn’t start dating straight away but it wasn’t too long after that we officially became a couple. 11 years later, we’re still going strong!”

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Eloise chose a  Jenny Packham gown from  Le Louvre telling, “I wore a gold beaded Jenny Packham dress that I purchased at Le Louvre in South Yarra. I had been looking for a dress for a long time and tried on too many dresses to count, but none of the traditional white dresses I tried on felt right. I wanted something that didn’t necessarily scream ‘bridal’ but that still reflected the special occasion.

When I had finally narrowed it down to my last two, I randomly spotted the gold beaded dress hanging on a rack at Le Louvre and asked to try it on. Once I had it on, there were no tears or cries of joy, just a deep sense of happiness knowing that I had finally found the one! It was unique, glamorous, and chic and reflected my personal style, but still had the ‘wow’ factor to ensure I stood out from the crowd! The dress was covered in gold and white sequins and beading, and featured an embellished gold neckline that made me feel like an Egyptian princess. The dress was complimented with a beautiful bespoke gold veil that was sourced from France by the lovely ladies at Le Louvre.”

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The couple chose Newman Chapel College, University of Melbourne for their wedding ceremony, noting, “Our ceremony was held at Newman Chapel College at the University of Melbourne. As soon as we visited this church we knew it was the one for us; the long aisle added a bit of fanfare to the occasion, and the Gothic features of the church set it apart from a lot of others. There was also large windows behind the alter and we were lucky enough that the sun came out just as the marriage was being pronounced, which flooded the church with a beautiful golden light.”

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The bride chose a traditional organ piece for her walk down the aisle. “Both my parents walked me down the aisle. As an only child I have a very close relationship to both my parents, and it meant a lot to me to have them both by my side.”

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“We wanted our ceremony to have a simple, inclusive, spiritual feel. We had the groom’s high school religious education teacher and Catholic priest perform the mass and he was very laid back which helped put people at ease. We included a lot of readings about love and family, and had our siblings and cousins do the readings.”

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“The most memorable story has to be the first kiss. Once the priest pronounced us husband and wife, instead of turning to me to have our first kiss, Eric turned to the crowd seated in the Church with a huge smile on his face and started fist pumping! I had to remind him that we were meant to kiss!”

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Of their photographer, the bride remarks, “We were lucky enough to have Steph from Long Way Home as our photographer. We fell in love with Steph when we stumbled across her website and knew she was the one for us when we first spoke to her over Skype. Steph’s photos have a beautiful look and feel to them that’s both whimsical and elegant at the same time which was exactly the style we were looking for. We wanted photos that had a relaxed feel and weren’t too posed that captured our laid back natures and that’s exactly what we got!

The fact that Steph is so friendly and kind was also really important to us given how much time we would be spending together! Not only did she take amazing photos, but she was an extremely grounding, positive and relaxing influence on the day and heaps of people commented that they didn’t even notice she was taking photos!”

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RACV City Club hosted the inner city reception. “Our reception was held at the RACV City Club. We needed a reception that would fit all 220 of our guests but didn’t want the atmosphere to get lost in a big, cold space. The large windows on either side of the room which looked over the city created a warmth to the room and was a big talking point!”

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Guests were greeted with tins of Wedgwood tea at their place settings. “We are both massive fans when it comes to tea, so we chose to have little tins of Wedgwood tea for our guest favors! Not only did the guest favors really reflect us as a couple, but they looked great on the table which was a huge bonus! The guest favors alternated between Earl Grey, Darjeeling, and English Breakfast.”

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Of their first dance, Eloise remembers, “Our first dance was ‘You give me something’ by Jamiroquai! Although we both have different taste in music, we both love Jamiroquai and he was one of the first concerts we went to together, so his music has a lot of meaning to us. We were lucky enough to have received dance lessons for our engagement by our best man and had great fun putting together the first dance!

We don’t take ourselves too seriously and love to have a laugh, and we created an atmosphere that reflected us as a couple. For example, our first dance was to a Jamiroquai song, we boogied to Greek and Indian music, and we even walked out during our entrance song to Black and White by Michael Jackson – hopefully people got the reference!”

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Dancing was one of the highlights of the night. The bride remembers, “I’m half Greek-Cypriot and the Groom’s background is Indian and we really wanted to have that reflected on our big day, so we made sure to incorporate Indian and Greek music at our reception! And they went off! There were hankies flying everywhere and one of our best memories is looking out at the crowd during the ‘Zorba’ and seeing the dance floor jam packed full of people as far as our eyes could see! It was really special having everyone up and enjoying the dance together.”

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Congratulations on your marriage Eloise and Eric! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us! Thank you also to Long Way Home Photography for sharing today’s celebration!

Photographer: Long Way Home Photography / Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham / Bridal Salon: Le Louvre / Bride’s Shoes: Ferragamo Vara / Bride’s Jewelry: Mimco / Groom’s Attire: Herringbone / Groom’s Shoes: Florsheim / Groomsmen Attire: Oxford / Bridesmaid Dresses: Witchery / Bridesmaid Accessories: Mimco / Hairstylist: Janice Wu / Makeup Artist: Janice Wu / Flowers: Bouquet Melbourne / Ceremony Venue: Newman Chapel College, University of Melbourne / Reception Venue: RACV City Club / Band: Top Dog Entertainment / Favors: Wedgwood / Cake Baker: Groom's Mother / Cake Flowers: Bouquet Melbourne / Photo Booth: Jimbo's Amazing Photo Booth / Wedding Rings: Arnold jewelery / Transport: Exotic Limo
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