Alison and Damien’s Urban Brisbane Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


 Alison and Damien

Fluffy dresses, white bouquets and a backdrop of stunning architecture? Welcome to Alison and Damien’s urban Brisbane wedding! What a beautiful celebration Alison and Damien had!

Alison explains how they met. “We met through a brother and sister who were mutual friends at a ball on Riverfire Night.  We had been at the same university graduation and a few of the same house parties and never crossed paths until that night. ”

Photography is by Studio Sixty Photography. I love the classic style of photography the team used and the amazing captures of the architectural details- they make for such grand photographs!

Alison and Damien got ready and stayed at the Sofitel Brisbane. Alison says “They are so well drilled in assisting with weddings, even though our wedding was not there.  All I had to do was tell them what time I was expecting everything and everyone and they professionally handled it all for me. ” Alison even enlisted a special service the night before the wedding! She explains “I booked Crease Free  They came to our hotel room on the Friday night while we were at dinner, Sofitel let them in and they pressed everything – brides dress, bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dress, mother of the bride dress, grooms shirt and suits, everything.  No hassle and perfect crease free dresses.”

Alison’s bouquet was made by a very dear friend, but Amini Concepts created the rest of the wedding day flowers and decor.

Alison wore a Watters Bridal gown called “Mojave”. Alison explains “I  purchased it from Eve Boutique on the Sunshine Coast.   I went in with a preconceived idea as to what I would wear but finding this classic but modern gown changed everything. ” She paired it with jewels from Stephanie Browne and shoes from Mallouk Shoes. Alison remarks “Custom Made in a week when I couldn’t find the right shoes!!  Size 11 with a 4cm heel anyone??  ”

Damien and his groomsmen wore suits from Tony Barlow Menswear.

Alison walked down the aisle to the Roberto Salis version of Dire Straits ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ Alison explains ” I love the original but I really only wanted an instrumental adaptation, a good version of which was hard to find.  I came across Roberto through Itunes and the Italian guitar take on it is beautiful.  It was the perfect length for my wedding party to walk down the aisle, have a quiet moment with my Dad before heading down, take my time, take it all in and then we could stand out the front with Damien for a few moments without feeling rushed.  ”

The ceremony was held at the Queensland State Library. Alison says “The Queensland Terrace at the State Library is a wonderful venue.  The terrace is made for weddings, it is so beautiful.  The team enjoy hosting weddings and they are happy to accommodate your suppliers and guests. It is the perfect venue as it takes advantage of the weather – if it is raining or fine, you are covered, no plan B required. The surrounding venues and gardens make for incredible wedding photos. ”

Alison recalls “The ceremony was wonderfully overwhelming.  It was a lot more intimate than I think either of us intended.  Saying our own vows was incredibly powerful and hearing our close friends say readings that they had picked themselves made the day even more special.  Peter came all the way from London and was more nervous than me, and Katrina was on 4 hours hospital release after having her appendix burst earlier that week (you can see the bandage around her wrist). ”

Alison recalls “We asked two friends to do readings during the ceremony – they picked their own readings which made it even more meaningful.”

The couple were married by Fiona Robertson. Alison recalls ” She is young, energetic, organised and went above and beyond for us.  She requested the room layout and the details of all of our suppliers at the ceremony so she could make sure everything was as we wanted.  It was incredibly windy, affecting the room set up, she dealt with the State Library and Amini Concepts to work around it. ”

Alison recalls “Damien and I wrote our own vows and they were a secret from each other.  We knew how much we meant to each other but actually saying it aloud, in front of all our friends and families was amazing!”

Although the couple had 100 guests, they wanted to keep the feeling intimate. Alison recalls “It was a little daunting trying to figure out how to see everyone and create an intimate atmosphere when you have over 100 guests, but personalising our ceremony, taking every opportunity to thank our guests and making ourselves available to them through out the night created the intimacy we wanted.”

Alison’s bridesmaids wore floor length gowns by Anna Campbell.

Of their photographer, Alison says “Jason and the team at Studio Sixty Photography were wonderful.  I know they would have catered to any request, but we wanted a relaxed photographer that knew what they were doing, where to be to get the shots and what photos we would want even if we didn’t know at the time we would want them.  Jason was the right photographer for us.  He knew what he was doing, he was very accommodating and he captured wonderful shots of our wedding day.  He was able to blend in to the background yet he didn’t miss a thing!!   ”

Alison notes “We made a point of stealing a few moments away from everyone at various times throughout the day just to reflect and take it all in.  We thought it was important to take that time to appreciate the day. ”

Alison and Damien held their wedding reception at The Gabba! Alison says “We could not have asked for a more incredible reception venue.  If you can wait for the AFL and Cricket calendars to come out and you are happy to have 9 months to plan your wedding then I cannot more highly recommend The Gabba.  They made ours and our guest’s night.  They must have gone to so much effort to accommodate our suppliers, early arrivals, elderly relatives, wedding party and our surprises (secret bag pipe performance).  They used their intimate knowledge of the venue to make suggestions that made all the difference and set up the room just as we wanted it.  The food was also fantastic.  We received so many compliments.  You could see they really cared and were happy to be hosting a wedding.   ”

With Love Stationery created the invitations and paper goods for the wedding.

Alison remarks “Who would have thought you could turn a green, blue, yellow and maroon sporting room in to an ethereal wedding venue!! Kelly at Amini Concepts knew you could.  So many guests could not believe how gorgeous the room looked.  We had a few restrictions (no candles, couldn’t hang anything from the ceiling) but Kelly did it.  Amini Concepts made that room beautiful, simple, delicate and wondrous. ” The wedding cake was made by Jocelyn’s Provisions.

Alison says “Our 94 year old Grandmother, 91 year old Great Aunt and 85 year old grandfather gave us gifts that they received as gifts for their weddings.  They were the only presents we opened on the night and we are so glad we did.  Damien’s family also gave us very special champagne glasses and cake servers that we used on the night which we hope to use to start our own family traditions. ”

Alison and Damien only did a few things for the wedding themselves. Alison explains “We planned the day ourselves which is a big DIY effort.  However, we outsourced many aspects of the day to reliable, tried and tested suppliers.  That was ours and our family’s choice because we wanted them and ourselves to enjoy the day without rushing around and we could enjoy time with our visiting friends and family.  It added a little more to our budget but after shopping around, it saved us on time, hassles and stress (and in some cases money too).  However we had to pull the favour boxes together as what I had ordered hadn’t turned up and we only had Thursday night and Friday to go.  So we rushed around the local shops getting together a few things then sat up on the Thursday night assembling and packing the boxes and then attaching the tags.  In the end, the boxes were filled with our favourite lollies – Fantales, Milkos, Sherbies, all the classics and many of the guests commented on the uniqueness of it. It complimented the theme we were going for- relaxed traditional with a twist.”

The first dance? A challenge! Alison recalls “Music was always going to be a small hurdle for us.  We didn’t have ‘a song’ that we could use.  We also have such divergent tastes but we knew we loved the music our parents played as we were growing up.  We narrowed it down to about 5 songs which we special to us for various reason, then I gave Damien some time to listen to them and we came together and coincidentally we both chose one of my all time favourites – “Sweet Thing’ by Van Morrison.  Van never mentions the word love but you can feel the love through the music and the lyrics.  So when we were dancing together, it summed up our day and relationship perfectly.  Everyone could feel the intimacy and the love that day.  ”  The couple  hired Dan Whitham and Band to keep guests entertained.

There were a few final touches to round out the evening. Alison tells “Damien’s mum always dreamed that Damien would have bagpipes at his wedding and then she discovered that my last name was Scottish she thought it was a given.  When we told her we weren’t having bagpipes, she was a little disappointed.  So I secretly organised with one of Damien’s friends, the Gabba and the band to have live bagpipes playing for ‘You’re the Voice” by John Farnham (Damien, family and friends favourite) and then play “Highland Cathedral.”  Everyone timed it perfectly – with the bagpipe player in his kilt bursting through the door at the right moment.  Damien and his Mum loved it.

We invited everyone back to our hotel bar after our reception.  So many people came back with us and continued the party.  It gave us more time to revel with our friends and family and led to some great memories. ”

Congratulations Alison and Damien! Good luck on your journey together! Thank you to Studio Sixty Photography. for sharing today’s images!

Photographer: Studio Sixty Photography / Bride’s Dress: Watters Bridal Mojave / Bridal Salon: Eve Boutique / Flowers & Decor: Amini Concepts / Ceremony Venue: State Library of Queensland / Reception Venue: The Gabba Rooms, The Gabba / Band: Dan Whitham and Band / Groom’s Attire: Tony Barlow Menswear / Groomsmen Attire: Tony Barlow Menswear / Bride’s Shoes: Mallouk Shoes / Bridesmaid Dresses: Anna Campbell / Invitations & Stationery: With Love Stationery / Wedding Cake: Jocelyn’s Provisions / Bride’s Jewellery: Stephanie Browne / Bridesmaid Accessories: Paula Hall Designs / Ceremony Officiant: Fiona Robertson
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Libby and Scott’s Sweet Southern Highlands Wedding

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


Libby & Scott

Today’s wedding is simply stunning. It’s not through grand floral arrangements, or incredible decor. It is instead through faces, heartfelt moments, emotion and grace. Sometimes, we need a wedding like today’s to ground us. Put our feet on the ground and get to the core of what it really is all about.

Libby tells the story of their relationship. “Our story is an interesting one. In many ways you could say we are similar to ‘high-school sweethearts’, however some things are a bit different. Scott was the spunky leader at the local youth group, which I started going to in year 7. I was instantly smitten, but he was a few years older than me and I was far too shy to act on it – plus Scott would have never even considered dating one of the girls he was leading! I slowly gave up on the idea after a while, but just after I’d finished high school Scott pulled me aside one day to say that he liked me – I was not expecting it in the slightest!

After 2 years of dating, Scott proposed in an extravagant way – taking me to a lookout in our hometown, with a beautiful view of the Australian bush and The Hawkesbury River. He had woken up at 3am to set up balloons on the water to spell out ‘marry me’ – to which I obviously said yes! He’s a web designer, so he also set up a custom Google home-page replica for me on my laptop to celebrate! Very nerdy, but very cute!”

Photos today are by Jeremy Beasley who has captured this wedding in such a stunning way. Lumps in my throat and plenty of happy sighs occurred as I poured over the images and let today’s story unfold. The beautiful captures tell the story in a very real way.

Scott and his groomsmen wore suits from Roger David.

Libby wore a Wendy Makin gown and paired it with shoes from Tony Bianco. She added a bracelet from Oroton and hairpiece from Love.Honor.Upcycle.

The couple made the wedding as eco friendly as possible. Libby explains “Scott and I are fairly conscious people when it comes to the environmental and social ethics behind the purchases we make. While it was not easy to incorporate this across every choice we made, there were some successes. The bridesmaid dresses were from Cue, who are certified with Ethical Clothing Australia, guaranteeing that the majority of their stock has been ethically produced within Australia. We also chose recycled paper for the stationary, used World Vision gift cards as favors and our rings were made with recycled metals and an ethically mined diamond. I also wore a re-purposed vintage brooch as a hair clip that I purchased through Etsy.”

Libby says “The whole day was so special – we couldn’t have asked for things to have gone better, (even when they didn’t go to our original plan!). Preparing with the girls was a lot of fun and truly a highlight as our hair and make-up teams were lovely people. As the photos show there was a moment of tears as we were praying together before the ceremony – it just hit me that I was about to marry the boy I fell in love with so many years ago and I felt so lucky to have had my childhood dream come true. It sounds silly in some ways but I still can hardly believe my luck to be married to such a wonderful man!” Megan Pine from Visionary Hair  styled the girls hair while Ethix styled the makeup.

Libby and Scott held their ceremony and reception at Peppers Manor House. Libby explains, “We decided to have the whole day in the one venue for a few reasons. It was extremely convenient, the Peppers Manor House was absolutely beautiful and suited the plans we had, and it also helped save money by not needing to hire cars. We initially had planned to get married in one of the beautiful gardens but the weather was not quite good enough so we moved inside to the Great Hall. We were initially concerned that this may have been a bit to small to fit all of our guests but we found the ceremony actually became very intimate and had a wonderful sense of closeness. It was also great fun to enter via the beautiful staircase! The staff were really lovely and were also really happy to help us be creative and make the day our own.”

The bridesmaids walked down the aisle to ‘The Book of Love’ by Peter Gabriele. Libby remarks ” I still can’t listen to it without getting so emotional!.”

Libby says “Our ceremony had a beautiful intimate feel. Many of our guests still say it was one of the most wonderful wedding ceremonies to be a part of. It truly is a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by loved ones as you marry the person you love!”

Scott’s mother played a special role in the ceremony. Libby explains “Scott’s mum is a professional singer and has a beautiful and powerful voice. She sang two songs for us, one of which was Amazing Grace sung entirely A Capella as a worship song with the guests. It was a powerful and very spiritual moment. The staff at the venue told us later they stopped everything when the song began and listened because it was so moving.” The couple were married by the minister from their home church Bil Ghali.

Libby notes “As we grew up together, many of our mentors through our teen years knew us both separately and were overjoyed to see us get married. In particular, our old youth pastor and his wife, Tim and Donna, spoke words of blessing right after our vows. It was really quite a special moment for us and we really treasured it.”

Libby says “What we wanted was a very intimate day which was fun and relaxed, and celebrated our faith and our joy.”

Immediately following the reception, Libby and Scott held an afternoon tea. Libby says “I was so glad that by the end of the ceremony the weather held off enough to still have our lawn games! The food was lovely and it was important to us to still have a lot of time with all of our guests who came down from Sydney for the ceremony but were not staying on for the reception. I clearly had a lot of fun trying (but failing) to play Croquet!

Libby says “We did what felt like a lot of DIY! We designed all of our stationary which was a bit trying at times but did save us a lot, as well as most of the decorations such as the aisle ribbons. I loved our games instructions cards and the swing tag seating arrangements that we designed – especially with ‘Alice in Wonderland’ playing croquet!”

The Potager created the beautiful floral arrangements.

Of their photographer, Libby says “We both agree that our best decision for the wedding was choosing Jeremy Beasley to be our photographer. We struggled to find someone with such a short engagement but we are now so glad because it forced us to look outside Sydney. I was so excited to see Jeremy’s photojournalist style and could barely bring myself to read his reply to my enquiry as I was so nervous he’d say he was already booked! I was so relieved when he said he was available to be our photographer!

Not only was he very professional and clearly very talented at capturing the stories of the day, but he is incredibly friendly and lovely, and was such a joy to have with us through the course of such a special day. I think it’s really important to like the person as well as their work, because they spend so much intimate time with you on this important day. We loved having Jeremy there and looking back he really became a special part of the day too. We couldn’t have been more pleased with our experience of working with him from start to finish.”

Libby and Scott made the seat cards themselves. Libby says ” We wanted our whole wedding to feel intimate and full of love, and that continued into the reception. All of our guests sat at one long U shaped table, which we loved. ”

Their wedding date coincided with another special date Libby explains “Our wedding date was actually the 21st Birthday of one of my beautiful bridesmaids, Jess. She is a great friend and was really happy for us to choose this date as it was  the only one that worked for our venue. She kept saying, “This year my birthday is  the following day!” but to make sure we kept her day special too, I had the venue decorate her place at the table – she was really touched and loved the small surprise of it.”

The cake was made by Gumnut Patisserie. Libby and Scott decided against a first dance at their lunch time reception and mingled with guests instead.

Congratulations Libby and Scott! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you to Jeremy Beasley  for today’s beautiful images!

Photographer: Jeremy Beasley / Chair Hire: Weddings With Love / Bride’s Dress: Wendy Makin / Bride’s Shoes: Tony Bianco / Bride’s Jewellery: Oroton / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Love.Honor.Upcycle / Groom’s Attire: Roger David / Groomsmen Attire: Roger David / Bridesmaid Dresses: Cue / Hairstylist: Megan Pine from Visionary Hair / Makeup Artist: Ethix / Flowers & Decor: The Potager / Venue: Peppers Manor House / Ceremony Officiant: Bil Ghali / Wedding Cake: Gumnut Patisserie / Wedding Rings: Ethical Jewellery

Ten Garden Wedding Venues In Victoria

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Wedding Venues


After my “Ten Secret Gardens In The Southern Highlands” post, I’ve had numerous requests for a Victoria special! From country estates, to country gardens, here’s a run down of some of my favourite Victorian garden wedding venues.

Summerfields Country House

Summerfields Country House is located on the Mornington Peninsula and has a gorgeous Cape Cod style to it. The venue features features six accommodation suites, rolling hills and lush gardens all in one secluded venue.

Werribee Park Mansion

Located just outside of Melbourne, Werribee Park Mansion is a stunning property that has over 10 acres of gardens (so plenty of places to tie the knot, including the gorgeous rose garden). There are 91 guest rooms onsite, a day spa and Joseph’s Restaurant- an award winning facility, and three inside function areas. All of which compliment the property which can cater to up 100+ guests.

Campaspe House

Photo from Elise and Brody’s Intimate Country Wedding by Red Telegram

Campaspe House is located on 32 acres of gorgeous gardens just near Woodend. The venue can cater from 10-100 guests and includes a gorgeous array of garden settings for your ceremony. The venue features on site accommodation and a focus on regional produce and wines.

Lake House

Oh this venue is so decadent I could hardly leave it off the list! Daylesford’s Lake House is famous for it’s delicious food and the weddings it holds are just as beautiful! With a variety of menus tailored to your wedding day, on site accommodation, day spa and a divine lake backdrop, this might be the choice that makes me the hungriest for a fine dinner!

Stonelea Country Estate

Stonelea Country Estate, located in Alexandra is an idyllic location for a country garden wedding. The venue offers a huge array of facilities – from cottages to verandah rooms for your guests to stay in, to a golf course, restaurant and day spa. There’s plenty of space for guests to mingle between events with the property containing a billiards table, lawn games, library, tennis courts and a pool. For your wedding, the venue can be catered to your own personal tastes by onsite chefs.

Woodman Estate

At the height of luxury, there is Woodman Estate. Located on the Mornington Peninsula, Woodman Estate is set on a shimmering lake, with plenty of spaces for your wedding ceremony and wedding reception, they even allow marquee receptions. Guests have the option of a huge range of onsite accommodation – from chalets overlooking the water to more basic garden rooms. Of course the venue includes a spa retreat!

Chateau Yering

Chateau Yering, a classic Yarra Valley wedding venue, is stunning. This historic homestead sits on heritage listed gardens which are the most beautiful backdrop for a garden ceremony. There are three rooms available for receptions, including the Oak Room (which can seat 140) and Eleonore’s Restaurant all of which have decadent dishes coming out under the watchful eye of award winning head chef Matthew Macartney. The estate sits on 250 acres and features 32 guest suites on site, as well as being right next to Yering Station’s cellar door!

Alowyn Gardens

Photo from Julie and Matt’s Beautiful Garden Wedding by Jonathan Ong

Located in the Yarra Valley, Alowyn Gardens is filled with green covered arches and tangled webs of luscious plants. Perfect for a secret garden style wedding, Alowyn features a 100 metre rose and wisteria covered arbor and four acres of gardens divided into six distinct areas. Alowyn Gardens has an onsite nursery and a courtyard which can hold 10-100 guests.


Lindenwarrah at Milawa

Lindenwarrah at Milawa located in a boutique country house hotel set on 8 acres of beautiful gardens. Lindenwarrah at Milawa can hold 120 guests for a sit down reception. The venue includes 40 king rooms to accommodate guests, an onsite restaurant and facilities such as an outdoor heated pool, spa centre and private lounges.

Looking for a metro Melbourne garden venue? Try Wattle Park Chalet, Quat Quatta, Rippon Lea, Como Historic House, Butleigh Wootten, Rupertswood Mansion, The Gables, Montsalvat, The Abbotsford Convent, Treacy Centre to name a few!

Letitia and Joss’ Elegant Brisbane Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Letitia and Joss

Letitia and Joss styled there wedding around a beautiful song ” Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Not only was the song chosen for their first dance, but the meaning of the words wove themselves throughout the day. If that’s not enough to make you settle in as we tell their story, perhaps Letitia’s fire engine red hair and stunning wedding gown may be? Or the children who were so evidently important and included in every part of the day?

Letitia and Joss met 8.5 years ago at high school and have been together ever since. Letitia recalls,  “Home is whenever I’m with you” was the theme to our wedding as Joss proposed at the Trevi Fountain in Rome with a ring with the symbol of a home on it. He said “You are my home and I want to grow old with you.” He played this song nearly every day for a month before the proposal.

Photographs today are by Tim Harris Photography, I love the fun Tim had with the couple to take these images.

Letitia wore a beautiful gown from Paul Hunt with Zomp shoes. She carried a long bouquet of white blooms including tulips by Julie Vine.

While her bridesmaids wore charcoal floor length gowns from Christina Kim.

Letitia and Joss were married at St Ignatius Church, Toowong.

Letitia walked down the aisle to Sally Seltman “Heart that’s pounding”.

Letitia remarks “It was the happiest day of our lives. Every extra effort that was made to make the day more meaningful and symbolic for the both of us was worth it.”

Of their photographer, Letitia says “Tim Harris made our day so special. He is a very humble, kind and extremely talented man who gave us everything we asked for on our special day. As you spend lots of time with your photographer on the big day it is very important that you get along with him and feel comfortable. We will always be grateful for his great contributions towards our special day. We recommend his services strongly to everyone who inquires and complements his great work.”

The couple hire vintage cars from Tic Tac Tours as their transportation for the day.

Letitia and Joss held their reception at Moda Events. Letitia recalls “Moda Event at Portside was recommended by Rush Entertainment to us. We were extremely happy with the night. The food, service and room were divine. Both Monica and Michael from Moda were very accommodating and did everything they could to make the night very special.”

The “Home is whenever I’m with you” theme was carried through the wedding. The bridal table was  named “Home” and guests tables were named after significant addresses for the couple. Guests received chalkboard name tag favors in various shapes- including a house. Helen O’Loan created the invitations and stationery.

The delicious white chocolate wedding cake was made by Cake That.

Rush Entertainment not only provided the music for the event, but the couple also used their event coordination services to help plan their wedding.

The couple’s first dance? To “Home” of course! They chose the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros version.

Congratulations Letitia and Joss! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Tim Harris Photography for sharing today’s photographs!

Photographer: Tim Harris Photography / Bride’s Dress: Paul Hunt / Bride’s Shoes: Zomp / Cake Baker: Cake That! / Venue: Moda Portside Events / Music: Rush Entertainment / Wedding Planner: Rush Entertainment / Bridesmaid Dresses: Christina Kim / Invitations & Stationery: Helen O'Loan / Flowers & Decor: Julie Vine / Ceremony Venue: St Ignatius, Toowong / Transport: Tic Tac Tours / Rings: Ari Athens