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Frances & Cory’s Magical Pine Forest Wedding

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


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Frances & Cory

There is something special about this magical pine forest wedding. Saying your vows among trees that have been steadily spreading their wings for years and years is enchanting and exactly what Frances and Corey did for their beautiful day. They wrote their own vows, had the bride’s father belt out a special song just for them (with the encore first!) and made brownies and cheese platters for dessert. James Thomson of All Grown Up Weddings was there to capture every moment.

Frances tells their story. “Cory is from California, and he came to Australia on exchange while at university. He met some of my school friends at university in Australia. Our group of friends have taken annual holidays to Bendalong (on the South Coast of NSW), and we met while down there.”

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The bride chose a gown from The Babushka Ballerina her bridesmaids wearing their own dresses in shades of lilac, burgundy, pink and navy.

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Frances and Cory chose Bilpin Resort for their wedding, noting, “We had our wedding at Bilpin Resort, and we were so happy with our choice of venue. Steve and Amanda were so lovely to work with, and the setting was just gorgeous. We had the ceremony in the pine forest on the property, in a clearing they have named ‘The Secret Circle’. Many of our guests commented that the setting felt magical – there was beautiful golden light slanting through the trees and a gorgeous carpet of pine needles beneath us.”

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The bride chose “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone for her walk down the aisle.

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Elaine Searle officiated the very personal ceremony. “We wrote our own vows, which made it feel extra special. As part of the ceremony, both of our families stood up and ‘formally’ welcomed each of us into our new family – this felt like a very special moment.”

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Of their photographer, Frances notes, “We chose to use All Grown Up Weddings because we had seen other work from this group of talented photographers, and we loved their style – natural photos full of warmth, humour and love. James was absolutely amazing, he made us feel so comfortable and he just knew exactly when to take the perfect shots so that we have beautifully natural photos that capture exactly how we (and our guests) felt on the day. His technical expertise also meant that every photo is a work of art. We couldn’t be happier with all the photos.”

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The bride’s mother arranged the bouquets.pineforest wedding0016

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Guests enjoyed champagne before moving to the marquee for a sit down dinner.

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The bride created the backdrop to the head table, while her father attached special photos on a “photo wall”. Frances remembers, “I hand sketched and painted a canvas backdrop to hang behind us at the bridal table (with the words ‘Love Me Do’).”

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Guests enjoyed a sit down feast. “Bilpin Resort also arranged our catering, and our guests were full of praise for the amazing Brazilian churrasca-style menu they were served. It was cooked on site, and the smoky scent drifted over the property while we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks at dusk.”

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The bride’s father gave a particularly memorable speech. “My dad wrote a three-part song for us, which he sang at the reception. It started off with an encore (“just in case you feel like encouraging me NOT to sing the encore”) and by the end it had everyone crying with laughter. It included a stirring rendition of “Cory’s Combo”, a unique piece that my dad had compiled for the occasion, which was a combination of the American national anthem, the Australian national anthem, Waltzing Matilda, America the Beautiful, and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.”

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Of their first dance, Frances tells, “We danced to “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young, although I was so nervous dancing on our own that I made the bridal party get up and join us pretty quickly!”

Congratulations Frances and Cory! Thank you for sharing all the stories of your day with us! Thank you also to All Grown Up Weddings for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: James Thomson, All Grown Up Weddings / Bride’s Dress: The Babushka Ballerina (in-house design – separates range) / Bride’s Shoes: Mimco / Bride’s Jewelry: Bride's Own / Groom’s Attire: Country Road / Groomsmen Attire: Various (Their Own) / Bridesmaid Dresses: Various (Their Own) / Hairstylist: Anna from Sapphire Makeup and Hair Creations / Makeup Artist: Emily Onikul from Little Fox Makeup Artistry / Flowers: Flower markets (arrangements by bride’s mother) / Invitations & Stationery: Vistaprint (printed our own design) / Venue: Bilpin Resort / Ceremony Officiant: Elaine Searle / Favors: Bilpin Bush Honey / Wedding Rings: Dustins Jewellers
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Sandy and Sam’s Sweet Gum Gully Farm Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


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Sandy & Sam

Sandy and Sam’s sweet Gum Gully  Farm wedding is such a beautiful day. From the country cottage style floral arrangements, to the utterly delicious looking cheese cake, the sunshine that guests enjoyed as they drank champagne and ate cheese and the dance floor that really didn’t stop. To me, a wedding is all about moments like this that are utterly sweet and filled with joy. The couple chose Deanne Kampe of Bonavita Photography to capture their wedding.

The couple met almost a decade ago, Sandy telling, “We met nine years ago through mutual friends at an Australia Day party and then again over Easter the same year. That is when we really started chatting and getting to know each other, and we’ve been together ever since.
The better ‘story’ is probably Sam’s proposal. We spent three months traveling though Europe & East Africa and in our second to last week, we were in Tanzania and spent 5 days climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. We were making our final ascent to the summit and both of us were suffering from altitude sickness, Sam feeling particularly ill. I noted the colour of his face at one point looked very similar to the forest green jacket he was wearing and wondered why he was still battling on and hadn’t turned back. We finally made it to the top and Sam got down on one knee to propose! We spent the next week soaking up our engagement and the beautiful weather in our own private villa in the Seychelles.”

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The bridal party spent their morning at Arnica Views, Sandy telling, “My bridesmaids, family and I all got ready at Arnica Views at the summit of Mount Dandenong. It’s in a beautiful garden setting, and when the power unexpectedly went out whilst in the midst of doing hair for seven ladies, they went straight into action and organised a generator to keep us powered up and on time!”

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Sandy chose a wedding gown from Raffaele Ciuca. “I am happy to say that I’m one of those Bride’s that loved, loved, loved my dress, and was lucky enough to have that ‘this is the one!!’ moment. After trying on many a dress and saying many times ‘hmm, that looks nice’, I put on yet another dress and then heard the shop assistant say ‘Oh my god, you’re smiling!’. And I was… ear to ear… I had definitely found the dress that made me happy!”

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Justine and Zoe from Justine O Makeup Artistry  styled the bride and bridesmaid’s hair and makeup. “Justine and Zoe were great with our hair & make up, all the girls were wrapt with their looks, and mine was exactly what I was after.”

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The bridesmaids wore dresses in shades of pink and purple from Weddington Way with flowers supplied by Sassafras Flower Design. Sandy explains, “Whilst the gorgeous flowers were supplied by Sassafras Flower Design, and Gum Gully Farm organised some large flower pieces and all the flowers outside on the verandah, it was my Aunty that put the bouquets together the afternoon before the wedding, and my mum that did all the table flowers for the reception inside the barn. This saved us a bit of cash and enabled some of our family members to get involved in the wedding, not to mention that I loved the end products, they were stunning!”

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The couple chose Gum Gully Farm  for their wedding festivities. “We had our ceremony, afternoon wine & cheese and reception all at Gum Gully Farm. Our ceremony was in their Sunken Garden which is a lovely green setting, followed by some drinks under the Kiwi vines. The afternoon saw us cutting our Cheese Tower and mingling with all our guests on the verandah of The Barn, followed by our reception inside The Barn. The whole venue has a very quaint and rustic feel and was perfect for the relaxed and fun day we wanted. Oh, and it also met my very informal criteria of no white table cloths!”

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Sandy chose Arithmetic by Brooke Fraser for the processional.

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Of her walk down the aisle, Sandy says, “It was a bit of a winding walk up to the Sunken Garden with my very proud Dad at my side, however when I got to the top and saw Sam I think I almost forgot everyone else existed. I’m completely embarrassed to say that when Sam stepped forward and took my hand and my dad stepped aside, I had forgotten he was there. I was so caught up in the moment that I left my poor dad hanging without a kiss from his last daughter to be married. It’s a good thing he loves me and doesn’t dwell on things, as after a few moments he quietly sat down and didn’t think twice about feeling sorry for himself!”

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Mark Doggett officiated the ceremony, the bride remarking, “Sam & I had an instant connection with Mark, our celebrant, and after our first meeting with him didn’t feel the need to look any further. He was very easy going and friendly, and we knew we could trust him to put everyone at ease during our ceremony and create the right environment for us. Mark provided us with ideas & guidance when it came to putting together our vows and and ultimately tailored the ceremony to what we wanted.”

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A fun stuffed animal made a very special appearance, Sandy explaining “We had someone very special to us be our Ring Bear…. yes, that’s right, Ring Bear! He has traveled the world with us; he’s been trekking on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, bike riding around Paris, on Safari in East Africa, and snow boarding in Austria to name just a few adventures. His name is Hungry Panda, and he looked very smashing in his bow tie!”

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Guests enjoyed champagne and cheese outside while the couple took their photos – the cheese coming from the couple’s “wedding cake”, a cheese wheel stack from Milk The Cow. Sandy telling, “We had a Cheese Tower as our cake, supplied by Milk the Cow, and cut this in the afternoon in between the ceremony and the reception. The staff then set out an array of accompaniments that we’d supplied. The cheese was so popular with our guests that a line quickly formed and everyone has since raved about our Cheese Tower. (Lucky the bride & groom got away with cutting into the line!).”

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Of their photographer, Sandy notes, “Deanne was great! We wanted to do a few things a little differently to the norm, and she listened to our requests and carried them out perfectly. We wanted to spend less time on posed photos and more time just enjoying the day. She kept us to our schedule, but still managed to get heaps of fantastic and very special shots of our family and just us. I thought she did a great job of organising the group shots; being energetic and friendly, but firm when she needed – we were on a schedule after all! :) Both Sam & I were very comfortable with Deanne and she got some great natural pictures of us.”

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Yarra Valley Catering created a delicious feast for guests to enjoy.

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Of their first dance, Sandy notes “Neither of us dance formally, or could be bothered with lessons, so it was more of a slow rotating cuddle, with a kiss or two thrown in for good measure. Our song was Imagine by John Lennon which has a strong sentimental link with a family member who is no longer with us.”

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Boutique Wedding Band was one of the highlights of the reception, Sandy remembering “Our band was Boutique, led by the fabulous Rebecca Walker. Rebecca did a beautiful solo set during our wine & cheese afternoon, and I only wish I’d been able to enjoy it more! I loved the band’s sound, and had an absolute ball dancing the night away.”

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As an extra special bonus, First Look Productions captured Sandy and Sam’s wedding film today and I have it for you! Sandy notes, “First Look Productions did our videography, and produced an awesome six-minute feature film as a summary of our day. They were able to capture some very precious moments that we will treasure and very much enjoy re-watching and showing our children in the future!”

Congratulations Sandy and Sam! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Deanne Kampe of Bonavita Photography for sharing today’s wedding


Photographer: Deanne Kampe, Bonavita Photography / Cinematographer: First Look Productions / Bride’s Dress: Raffaele Ciuca / Groom’s Attire: T.M. Lewin / Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way / Makeup Artist: Justine O Makeup Artistry / Hairstylist: Justine O Makeup Artistry / Flowers & Decor: Provided by Sassafras Flower Design, Bouquets done by bride's aunty, inside table flowers by bride's mum / Venue: Gum Gully Farm / Ceremony Officiant: Mark Doggett / Band: Boutique Wedding Band / Catering: Yarra Valley Catering / Cheese Cake: Milk The Cow / Wedding Rings: Australian Diamond Company / Transport (Bus for guests): Ventura / Wedding Registry: Wedding Gifts Direct

Colourful Bridal Shower Inspiration From The Georgeous Store

by | Bride, Inspiration Shoot, Pre Wedding Parties


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There is nothing I love more than a sunny afternoon with my favourite people filled with good food, good wine and plenty of sunshine. It seems the crew at The Georgeous Store agree with this fun colourful bridal shower inspiration set up they did to showcase their new hire collection.

Aleisha, of The Georgeous Store remarks, “We wanted to create a table that we could imagine sitting at on a sunny afternoon drinking champagne with the girls. We foraged all the floral for the shoot from the lane ways around our warehouse, it is incredible what is right in front of you! We wanted to make this setting not too styled, a little wild and mismatched here and there and of course LOTS of colour. Our ultimate aim (and The Georgeous Store philosophy), we wanted it to look achievable (and it is!) for anyone to create.”

You might recognise The Georgeous Store name – the team have styled weddings under Simply Georgeous Occasions for years and now, with a plethora of beautiful items to behold, they’re opening them up to brides, grooms, event planners and party hosts to hire them for their own special occasions.

For this shoot, the team used neon pink Bonnie & Neil wooden tiles to line the table, simple white crockery, coloured glass votive holders, big bunches of foliage and brightly coloured garden blooms in bright vessels and of course – the pièce de résistance, plenty of big , comfy floor cushions for lounging and relaxing on.

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Concept, Props & Styling: The Georgeous Store / Photographer: Fran Parker

Winter Wedding Cakes

by | Bride, Cakes


With Winter well and truly here, and our seasonal tradition of delicious wedding cake roundups (Spring Wedding Cakes and Summer Wedding Cakes). I knew it was well and truly time to embrace the delicious cake creations for the cooler months with a winter wedding cakes roundup!

I asked some of our favourite Australian cake designers to show me what Winter is to them in a wedding cake. From the simplicity of winter with its icy cold- cakes in all white and silver. To the embracing of delicious Winter flavours like pear, salted caramel and hazelnuts. The options are wide and varied and I suggest looking through this with a full stomach, edible photos aren’t available just yet.

Winter Wedding Cake Miss Ladybird Cakes

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