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Whitney & Ryan’s Californian Summer Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings, International,

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Whitney and Ryan

Although I wear my love of Australian weddings on my sleeve, every now and then an international beauty drops onto my radar and I have to share. Not only because we have such a large percentage of international readers, but because confining inspiration to our own country is a little bit limited! I love seeing what brides and grooms around the world do to celebrate their wedding days. So as we head into Winter, this Summery Californian Winery celebration is just the thing to warm the cockles of your heart.

Here’s Whitney and Ryan’s story as told on their wedding website. “We met at none other than Mary’s Pizza Shack, in Novato, California.  Whitney was desperate for an easy job so she could pay for all of those dreamy clothes at Abercrombie and Fitch, and Ryan had been promoted to manager after dedication and hard work as a busser and server.  Of course, we had been attending the same high school for 3 years, but let’s face it – when you’re not running in the same circle of friends in high school, you may as well live on different planets.  Whitney began as a hostess, but quickly learned that the job entailed working early morning shifts making salads on Saturdays.  She was most definitely interested in one thing, and one thing only on the weekends: sleeping in.  Little did she know, Ryan was creating the schedules during those days, so the early morning shifts were the perfect opportunity for him to get to know the new hostess on the block.  We immediately hit it off, and in the words of some of our closest friends, “it was meant to be”.

Throughout the next 4 years we grew as individuals, yet consistently communicated with one another and continued a friendship.  As Whitney’s education in Chico came to an end, and Ryan was ready to embark on his journey into law enforcement in the Bay Area, we reconnected again.  Whitney was feverishly dedicated to her student teaching and studies in her last year at Chico State, which left little time for travel to visit Ryan.  He, however, reinstated the concept of chivalry and did everything in his power to court Whitney as often as possible. When Ryan was in town, we frequented a steakhouse in Chico called 5th Street.  Our favorite meal there is called “Nick’s Grill”, so when Ryan began planning and plotting the perfect proposal a year or so later, he had to include Whitney’s ideal steak dinner.

Ryan began gathering ideas and designs for an engagement ring over the next couple of years, which he made a reality by working with the same jeweler in San Francisco who created his mother’s engagement ring 20 years prior.  With all of the details in place and ready to execute, not to mention an entirely oblivious Whitney, we drove up to Truckee, Tahoe for a relaxing holiday trip before Christmas.  Our first night there was just lovely, with beautiful snow falling all around the cabin.  The following day, Ryan and Whitney ventured up to Squaw Valley to ice skate on the Olympic rink.  With Ryan channeling his inner Scott Hamilton, and Whitney gracefully falling on her rear countless times, we retired to some drinks by the fire in the lodge.  Back at the cabin in Truckee, and after a long day on top of the mountain, Ryan sent Whitney into the other room to rest while he recreated the steak dinner from Chico.  When Whitney came out from their room, the entire cabin was adorned with candles, and smelled like filet mignon and baked potatoes.  After a delicious meal, Ryan gave Whitney her “silly little present” he had brought up as an early Christmas gift.  While she opened the beautiful card he had written to her, Ryan got down on his knee, opened up a little black box, and proposed to Whitney.  And the rest, dear family and friends, is history.  She said yes, of course.”

Photography today is by Gerald Carvalho Photography whose light, bright and beautiful; photography is a beautiful way of looking at Whitney and Ryan’s wedding.

Grant Avenue Florist created luscious green and white floral arrangements.

Whitney chose a lace gown from Lazaro for her wedding gown. She remarks “His designs are absolutely fabulous.  When I saw the dress at The Bridal Galleria in San Francisco, I knew I had to have it.  Originally I didn’t choose this dress to try on, but when my wedding dress consultant held it out for me to slide into, it was so apparent this dress would be perfect.  The lace is to die for, and I danced literally all night long in it! I wore pearl and diamond earrings that belong to my mother, and they complimented the lacy gown just beautifully.  They were subtle, which is all I desired in comparison to the detailed dress.  My mother’s best friend loaned her pearl and diamond three-strand bracelet to me, which was the finishing touch!  It belonged to her mother, so I had my something borrowed covered.”

Whitney’s bridesmaids wore dark blue gowns from J.Crew and jewels by Emily Warner Designs. Whitney explains “Emily’s work can be found on Etsy.  She is such a doll, and wonderful to work with on designing jewellery.  Emily made several prototypes until I was thrilled with the design.  My bridesmaids LOVED the earrings!”

Whitney and Ryan chose B.R Cohn in Sonoma Valley for their wedding. Whitney remarks “B.R. Cohn was a dream come true venue.  It had every last detail we wanted – natural grace and elegance, with an at-home comfortable feel to it.  The venue has so many ceremony and reception locations to choose from, which provided a nice, spread out feel to it.  The staff is incredible, and the rolling vineyard views are absolutely to die for!  I couldn’t have asked for a better bridal suite in which to get ready, a stunning deck overlooking the vineyards on which to say my vows, and an enchanting olive grove where our guests were wined and dined all evening long.  We love B.R. Cohn!”

Whitney and Ryan met up before the ceremony.

Of their photographer, Whitney says “Gerald is positively amazing. After working with him, he feels like a part of our family. He is extremely thoughtful, and wants nothing more than to make your day exactly what you envision.  What I loved most about Gerald was the fact that he puts his opinion aside and focuses solely on his clients’ desires and dreams. Gerald guided us through our wedding day beautifully, capturing every last special moment, and with such incredible ease!  I can’t imagine our photos being taken by any other photographer.”

Whitney describes the wedding as “Elegant, wine-country wedding with unique, rustic details, highlighted by whites, greens, and ivory hues, delicious food, fantastic guests, amazing music, and best of all, unconditional love.”

Whitney walked down the aisle to a sentimental family song, flanked by her parents. Whitney recalls “I chose “For the Beauty of the Earth”.  It’s a hymn that my family has sung for years.  It was featured at my grandmother’s service when she passed away, and since she couldn’t be at the wedding, this hymn represented her in spirit.  I found a lovely acoustic guitar version, which was exactly what my husband and I wanted to have playing as I walked toward him as his future wife.”

Glass jars of coloured cookies were given as favors. Whitney says “We had cookies as our favors, and they were an absolute hit.  My darling mother-in-law spent the days leading into the wedding baking chocolate chip, ginger-molasses, oatmeal raisin, and sugar cookies.  They were fantastically delicious, and the cookie table itself looked so wonderful!  No detail was left undone.  My aunt does printing for Francis Ford Coppola, so she helped design the “cookie recipe books” that guests could take home along with their bags of cookies.”

Whitney loved “Marrying the man of my dreams, being surrounded by incredibly supportive family and friends, each little detail that represented our personalities and love for one another, yummy food and wine, and a lifetime of memories!”

Whitney’s sisters has a huge impact on the day. Whitney says “Our favors were definitely DIY,along with all of the chalkboard details.  One of my sisters is incredibly artistic, so she covered all of the chalkboard phrases and writing, while the other sister planned my entire wedding!  I am forever indebted to them.”

A three tier wedding cake was created by Flour Chyld Bakery.

 

The first dance was utterly romantic. Whitney recalls “Our first dance was like dancing on a cloud.  We were surrounded by the most important family and friends in our lives, yet we felt all alone and so in love on the dance floor.  We danced to Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic,” and every time I hear it now I can’t help but cry!”

The couple hired Quantum Music Event Planners for the wedding music. Whitney says “Our DJ was amazing.  He met with us once to go over our music taste and style, and absolutely nailed both the post-ceremony/cocktail hour music and the reception playlist.  That dance floor was jam-packed all night long!”

Congratulations Whitney and Ryan! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Gerald Carvalho Photography for sharing today’s beautiful images!

Photographer: Gerald Carvalho Photography / Bride's Dress: Lazaro / Bride's Shoes: J.Crew / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew / Bridesmaid Accessories: Emily Warner Designs / Flowers & Decor: Grant Avenue Florist / Venue: B.R. Cohn / Invitations & Stationery: MagnetStreet / Makeup Artist: Eliza Vosburg Dougherty / Wedding Cake: Flour Chyld Bakery / DJ: Quantum Music Event Planners
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Nicola and David’s Relaxed New Zealand Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings, International

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Nicola and Dave

This sweet New Zealand wedding held at Napier is such a delight- from the brides ea length ruffly dress to the fresh punches of yellow and beautiful bouquet. It’s laid back new Zealand at it’s finest!

Of how they met, Nicola says “Dave and I met online when I first moved to London.  I was staying with my uncle and was finding it difficult to meet people my own age. Dave offered to show me around central London (even though he knew very little about the area). It was the first time either of us had ever met someone online (and the last!)”.

Photographs today are by Meredith Lord Photography. Meredith’s clean and elegant style was so complimentary to the nature of Nicola and David’s wedding.

Nicola has her tea length ruffly dress made by a local dressmaker. She recalls “I took a gamble having it made and choosing not to go for a full length dress, but I was so happy I did.” Nicole paired it with shoes from Mischief Shoes, Wellington and a beautiful green, yellow and white bouquet styled by Madisons, Napier.

Nicola’s bridesmaids wore gowns from Portmans. Nicola walked down the aisle to ‘Heartbeats’ by Jose Gonzalez.

Nicola and David held their wedding ceremony at Centennial Gardens, Napier .

Nicola and David were married by Amy Edwards. Nicola remarks ” I loved the amazing women we chose to help us with our day. Our celebrant was bubbly and fun and was so easy to be around, she made everyone so comfortable; our florist knew exactly what I meant when I said I wanted rustic, but not too rustic; our photographer who understood straight away that we wanted whimsical and different; and our musician who played the most beautiful jazz songs all night!”

David wore a grey suit from Rosevear Brothers.

Of their photographer, Nicola says “I came across Meredith by chance when I was admiring pictures of Napier online. I then looked her up and realised she was a wedding photographer, and I was lucky enough that she was still free on our wedding date. Meredith was so helpful when I was trying to find a wedding venue and was so flexible about what we wanted.  We were adamant that we didn’t want a photo shoot that took a couple of hours and instead wanted her to capture us enjoying our wedding.  She worked so quickly so we didn’t spend too long away from our guests and still produced amazing photos!”

 

Nicola and David held their reception at the Hawkes Bay Club as a last minute choice. Nicola explains “My original venue fell through three months before the wedding and we were frantically searching for an alternative, when our caterer called to say the Hawkes Bay Club was free. We were so desperate to get a venue sorted we booked it without even seeing inside.  When we finally saw it (six weeks before the wedding) we were so relieved that it was a lovely old house with lots of character. We had our heart set on having dinner in the front garden, but the weather meant we had to have it inside.”

The wedding was catered by Design Cuisine. Nicola recalls “I loved the food. We had a three course meal, followed by cakes and sweets made by friends and family. The cake table was one of my favourite things and no one could believe that none of it was bought from a bakery.”

For handmade details, Nicola says “We hand stamped all the name cards and printed all of the invitations and menus at home. We also printed the table seating plans and used old photos of our parents to add a personal touch. I also stamped labels for everything and used brown twine to tie them. I bought little bottles, filled them with insect repellent and stamped tags for them.David and I were in Sydney in January and we came across fortune scratchie cards in little brown envelopes. They matched our theme and were a great conversation starter for the tables. They also doubled as name cards and were clipped to the menus with little wooden pegs.”

The first dance was a little spontaneous and absolutely perfect. Nicola recalls “Our first dance was to ‘My Funny Valentine’. Our musician’s equipment was set up in the dining room and we wanted our first dance in the front room. After a little convincing, they were kind enough to sing our song acoustic, and our saxophone player found a piano to play along! It couldn’t have been more beautiful, and it was the first time throughout the day that I was brought to tears. ”

Congratulations Nicola and David! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Meredith Lord Photography for sharing today’s wedding!

Photographer: Meredith Lord Photography / Bride's Dress: Made by a dressmkaer / Bride's Shoes: Mischief Shoes, Wellington / Groom's Attire: Rosevear Brothers / Bridesmaid Dresses: Portmans / Hairstylist: Visage, Napier / Makeup Artist: Visage, Napier / Flowers & Decor: Madisons Napier / Invitations & Stationery: Handmade by the bride / Ceremony Venue: Centennial Gardens, Napier / Ceremony Officiant: Amy Edwards / Reception Venue: Hawkes Bay Club, Napier / Ceremony Musicians: French Jazz / Band: Erna Ferry + saxophone / Catering: Design Cuisine

Marita and Reto’s Quirky Braidwood Wedding

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

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Marita & Reto

The sweet quirkiness of Marita and Reto’s wedding- with an edge of rock and roll makes for such a unique and beautiful wedding. From the bride’s black lace gloves, to the little Swiss traditions.

Marita tells the story of their meeting. “I was out one night with the girls having a blast in Melbourne until someone suggested we head to another popular bar. I wasn’t keen as it is known for being full of tourists, but as fate led me, that’s where I met my own lovely tourist/ backpacker, Reto. He was there after a Roger Federer Match at the Australian open and we hit it off straight away, both being Swiss (well me as a Swauzzie, we had lots in common). He was supposed to go back to Switzerland after that but stayed a bit longer to get to know me. So we did.”

Photographs are by Thorson Photography who always captures images with a sense of being grounded, a sense of what is real, but also with a sense of humor!

Martita wore a traditional style gown with black lace detailing from Baccini and Hill, Melbourne. She paired it with black patent leather heels from Steve Madden.

Marita’s bridesmaids wore royal blue bridesmaids gowns by Dessy purchased from Deblu’s Wedding Supplies, Echuca.

Reto and his groomsmen wore suits from  Sam Catanzariti, Canberra. Marita remarks, “The groomsmen noticed at the last minute that they were without a couple of pairs of cufflinks and a black tie so they called nearly every guest “who might be wearing a black tie that day” and finally scored one.  As for cufflinks, a bit of glad wrap was used to tie the button hole together and that was that.” The couple chose classic black and white wedding invitations and stationery from Fay Street Studio.

Marita walked down the aisle to “Harmony To My Heartbeat” by Sally Seltman. Marita explains “The film clip makes me happy every time I watch it and the words matched my feeling perfectly.”

Marita and Reto held their wedding at St. Bede’s Church, Braidwood. Marita explains “St. Bede’s church was the perfect size for an intimate wedding. Surrounded by lush green grass and with stained glass windows inside it was a lucky find.”

The sweet moments of the day are the ones that made it special for Marita, who explains “For me, special details that stick out were the style of the day. The beautiful bridesmaids with black lacy gloves and beehive hair, the Rockabilly band, the country theme, the musicians in the ceremony, the popcorn, fairy floss machine, the retro print table cloths and old bottles used as vases and the bridal party all jumping on the horse and carriages and heading off to the Boiled Lolly Shop for a big ice cream. Moreover, the combination of Swiss and Australian traditions, the special relationship and support we had from our Priest and lastly as we left the ceremony our guests threw Swiss lollies on us instead of confetti which was a little request from my Swiss Grandfather.”

The reception was held at Garan Vale Woolshed, Braidwood. Marita says “Garan Vale Woolshed was a dream come true. Out on a farm, in our own setting, lots of space for taking photos outside, we could decorate as we liked, we had thousands of fairy lights, a fairy floss machine, an overhead projector for movies and could let the Rockabilly band play all night long without any noise complaints. The lovely property owner was so great to work with, told us of the best service providers in town and they all worked as a team to make our event happen.”

The bridal party was transported in a horse and carriage hired from Roscommon Carriages, Braidwood, Marita recalls “We miscalculated how long it would take on the horse and carriages to the church and ended up there 15 minutes early! Keen bride to be.”

Braidwood Bunyip Jungle (02) 4842 2002 styled the floral arrangements for the day.

Of their photographer, Marita says “Amanda Thorson, what a find! Amanda was super fun to work with, great at listening to my outrageous ideas, very flexible, and most importantly to me, simply creative. She did an amazing job not only capturing the important moments of our day, but the special cute ones that often go unnoticed ie. the big bear hugs, the sleepy page boy, the proud Granny etc…

We love our photos and love her style and would highly recommend her to anyone who prioritises excellent quality wedding photos and a great and personal service.”

The wedding was filled with handmade touches, Marita explains, “The whole show was nearly all DIY (but I didn’t do much myself, I had so many wonderful people working for me like…) my Mother-in-law who made the name tags (little red Swiss cow bells with ribbons), my Aunty arranged the flowers for the church seats, my God mother sewed the tablecloths with my favourite daisy material, my sister hand painted the Table Settings board, my Dad made road signs directing guests to the reception and made lots of Swiss biscuits, my Granny made a birthday cake for the priest, and my mum made all the wedding favours (little lolly bags filled with Swiss chocolates), and church booklets, and with family set up the entire reception including arranging flowers.  Together we made a charity tree (for people to donate to organisations) and we added black lace to the back of my dress. It was so nice to do these things together.”

The Swiss heritage of the groom reflected itself in the details of the day. Marita explains “The Swiss guests organised lots of surprise games, couple challenges, a Skype session with Switzerland, and had even made a magazine about us and sold it to all the guests and gave us a little piggy bank with the money made (as our first joint bank account).”

Congratulations Marita and Reto! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Thorson Photography for sharing today’s photographs!

Photographer: Thorson Photography / Cinematographer: Everclear Video Productions / Bride's Dress: Baccini and Hill, Melbourne / Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden / Bride's Jewellery: Peter Lang / Groom's Attire: Sam Catanzariti, Canberra / Groomsmen Attire: Sam Catanzariti, Canberra / Bridesmaid Dresses: The Dessy Group / Bridesmaid Shoes: Laura Benini Designer Shoes, Canberra / Hairstylist: Braidwood Hair Studio / Makeup Artist: Braidwood Beauty Studio / Flowers & Decor: Braidwood Bunyip Jungle (02) 4842 2002 / Invitations & Stationery: Fay Street Studio / Ceremony Venue: St. Bede's Church, Braidwood / Reception Venue: Garan Vale Woolshed, Braidwood / Ceremony Musicians: Richard Steele, Braidwood / Band: The Drey Rollan Band, Sydney / Catering: Vanilla Catering, Braidwood / Wedding Cake: Cakes of your Dreams, Queanbeyan / Wedding Rings: Hardy Brothers Jewellers, Melbourne / Transport: Roscommon Carriages, Braidwood

Spring Bridal Shower Inspiration

by | Bride, Inspiration Shoot, Wedding Inspiration

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This gorgeous Spring inspired inspiration shoot comes from Californian photographer Sharon De La O Photography made me fall in love with its bright sugar inspired colours. Originally styled by the talented creative team to be a bridesmaid’s luncheon (what a great idea!) I thought it would also provide gorgeous inspiration for a bridal shower.

Sharon explains “The shoot was titled “I Want Candy”.  Since Spring is now upon us, we thought it would be the perfect time to set out upon a bright and cheerful inspiration shoot. Though gorgeous springtime flowers like daffodils, ranunculus and sweet peas speak for themselves, we wanted to make sure that we brought something unique to the table. In addition to the faux trunked tree they draped in acacia branches, Organic Elements created surprising whimsical elements such as marshmallow acorns, gumball centered florals and crushed sugar and marshmallow mushrooms using the candy of A Sweet Addition. Yellow rock sugar made its way onto the table within the votive holders, glowing and sparkling along with the candles.

Since our inspiration was spring, we chose bold fuchsias, yellows, white and pink as our colours. ”

Photographer: Sharon De La O Photography / Venue: Estancia La Jolla / Floral Design: Organic Elements / Candy: A Sweet Addition / Invitations & Stationery: Lauren M Design / Rentals: Concepts Event Design / Bridesmaid Dresses: The Bridesmaid Boutique / Makeup Artist: Melissa Rae & Co. / Hairstylist: Nicomi Morris