Photo by Louisa Bailey
Shefali & Michael
When Alyssa Wilcox sent the engagement shoot of Shefali and Michael over I was delighted – snow! Scarves! Hats! It’s everything I adore about winter and makes for such a magical engagement session! Then snow itself is magical – the landscapes, the cold, the falling flakes. But it only adds to the warmth that Shefali and Michael exude through these photographs.
Shefali explains, “Michael and I met four years ago through a good friend. It was winter at the time, so we got to know each other over a few group trips up to Steven’s Pass and shortly after began dating. (So how perfect that our engagement pictures were in the snow!) He dazzled me with his colorful spontaneity and I kept him in line with my reason and logic. Just kidding 🙂 Flip that around and it’s a closer match, and a perfect fit.”
Leah & Allen
Leah and Allen had such a fun and cheeky engagement session that I thought it would be the nicest way to kick off the day!
Shot by Sabra Creative, photographer Shawn relays, “The morning of the shoot Leah was cleaning the house and tidying up. She decided that while Alan was still asleep she would surprise him by trimming his 30 year old Bonsai tree. Instead of a trim, it got a shearing. Alan was not impressed. The couple was so fun-loving and carefree, but admitted their engagement shoot acted as a bit of therapy for their relationship after a tense morning bickering about Bonsai.”
Leah explains how they met. “After what felt like a lifetime of bad relationships for both of us, it seems Al and I simultaneously threw caution to the wind and joined RSVP. At the time is seemed almost like an act of desperation – who REALLY uses online dating?! In retrospect, it was the best thing that either of us could have ever done. Not only because we met each other, but because it allowed us both to finally put ourselves first and think of what we wanted in a partner. I had my list of every woman’s dream guy (and what I honestly thought in the back of my mind would be unattainable) Intelligent, funny, honest, loyal, reliable…someone that would be a good role model for my son and if he happened to be good looking that would be a bonus. I remember our first date clearly, I have no idea what we spoke about, but I remember how easily we got on, how much fun I was having just talking to him… and that I really really wanted to spend more time with this guy. He was a tick in every box but he seemed to find me hilariously funny and looked at me with these adoring eyes. We had an instant connection. We were on the same wave length completely, it was like I had known him forever. ”
“Al and I had been dating for 2 years and had many times spoken about getting married and having more babies. I knew that the proposal was coming, but I was not AT ALL expecting it on the day it happened.
We had spoken about treating ourselves to a holiday, so one Saturday morning (on our weekend without the little man) we planned our day to visit the travel agent to collect some brochures to decide on a destination, pick up some supplies for lunch and have a picnic. As we left the travel agent, I said jokingly to Al “Well you have some saving to do don’t you? Your half of the week long holiday to the Maldives AND my engagement ring… because obviously you can’t take me to such a romantic place and NOT propose!” He simply replied “Well who says I have to? Don’t you worry, when I do you will be completely surprised.”
“By 1pm we were set up under our favorite tree on the beach at the Mooloolaba Spit with our champagne, cheese, strawberries, prawns and our Music – overlooking the ocean. We had picnicked under that tree a dozen times before so it wasn’t out of the ordinary. Half way through our bottle of champagne, while listening to the most romantic song (The Difference – by Smoove & Turrell), Al turned to me and said “It must be your turn to write in the sand”. I argued that the last time were were here no sooner than I had written in the sand, the elderly couple walked straight over it.. so it was his turn. He obliged, took one last sip of his champagne, trudged down the sand dune and began carving a big love heart in the shore line with his heel. I thought he looked hilarious while he was doing it – like the hunchback of Notre dame – so I picked up my phone and began to record it all the while giggling at how funny he looked.
As he finished the heart I turned to put the phone away. When I looked back at him, there he was on one bended knee inside the heart holding a little book with a bow on it. “What is that?” I asked curiously. “Open it” he said with a cheeky smile. I galloped down the sand dune towards him like a pony. (Which is very weird for me – because I don’t gallop!) We were both standing on the beach inside the heart when he handed me the book, still on bended knee. I thought to myself “No Leah, this isn’t the engagement ring, this is a book of love poems or something. Don’t get excited!” I opened the book to see the words “Remember this day” and the ring in the centre, in a little hole that he had carved out for it. I was so shocked and so genuinely excited that I started RUNNING on the spot squealing “Aaaaaaaaaahhhh!!! YES YES YES YES! Aaaaaahhhh!!!” ”
“We stood there in the sand, middle of the heart while Al put the ring on my finger and we both cried and hugged for what felt like eternity.
When we finally turned around to head back up the sand dunes to our tree, there was a bunch of people on the beach watching that erupted into spontaneous applause. The girls wiping tears from their eyes. It was really amazing that these total strangers watched the whole thing unfold and how excited they were for us.
Little did I know that earlier that day at the travel agent, when I was being cheeky about him proposing to me at the Maldives – the ring was in the book in his pocket. The holiday has now become our honeymoon.
It sounds like a romantic story written from a ‘Mills and Boon’ novel. Truth is, if you knew anything about both of our past relationship history you would simply find the whole story above impossible for us. Neither of us were expecting to find each other when we did. Al and I constantly joke that ‘all this time, what we were really looking for was an exact replica of ourselves, just in the opposite sex’. We are very similar in almost every way. Our relationship is easy. There is no stress and no fuss. Its just “us”. There is not better feeling than the that of being totally adored. As we say, ‘aint no point in buying a lotto ticket, we used our luck up when we met each other’. ”
1. Candlestick makeover from Cupcakes & Cashmere 2. Blue candlesticks from Sunset 3, Candles from Anik Gneib 4. Candlestick centrepiece from Womans Day 5. Black lacquered candlesticks from Gumps via Remodelista 6. Danish candlesticks from MonkiVintage 7. Chroma candlestick from Anthropologie 8. Coloured candlesticks from Martha Stewart Weddings 9. Coral candlestick photo by Crystal Clear Imagery via Style Me Pretty 10. Green candlestick photo by Michele M. Waite via Elizabeth Anne Designs 11. Painted candlesticks from BHG 12. Distressed pink candlesticks from VintageJulz
We think of candlesticks as being usually made of silver, brass, china or glass. Wooden candlesticks are more often than not stained a brown colour – not terribly inspiring if you wish to include them in your wedding décor.
How can you add a point of difference to your wedding décor? You could source coloured glass or china candlesticks from the web, or from larger decorating ‘supermarkets’. Perhaps second hand markets would unearth a few beauties.
Or you could call on your creative side and source wooden candlesticks of all shapes and sizes – tall and thin, short and squat, or elegant and tapered. Think of how you will group the candlesticks on the tables – different heights and widths look the best in groups of odd numbers.
What are the colours you have chosen for your wedding reception? Which colour is your main one, and which are the accent colours? Once you have decided, head on down to your paint store, with fabric swatches, ribbons or beads (whatever you will use) and compare paint chips against these items. Next decide on whether you will paint the candlesticks with a gloss paint, or a flat matt paint finish. Some paint brushes and fine grade sandpaper and you have all your tools to commence your project. Take your time sanding and painting two coats of your chosen hues – sanding between coats to give a smooth finish.
Your candlesticks could be all painted white, or all black – grouped on a mirrored tabletop and lit with white candles. A metallic finished copper or gold paint might look good with honeycomb patterned beeswax candles.
Try grouped candlesticks of many colours on a plain tablecloth – for example try sky blue, spring green and white candlesticks, grouped on a white or blue tablecloth. Add blue and green hydrangeas and your other accessories in white and you have a simple but stylish table setting. Candlesticks picking up the colours of a floral vintage fabric, a particularly vibrant stripe in a beachside setting, or a simple coloured toile will look co-ordinated.
So that your candlestick arrangements don’t look like a candy shop, just make sure that one of the colours dominates and the other colours are used as accents.