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Katie and Michael’s Handmade Ewingsdale Hall Wedding

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


Katie & Michael

Sometimes a lot of pomp and ceremony just isn’t your thing. And it turns out, it isn’t Katie and Michael’s thing either. So they found a gorgeous country hall and set about hand-making every single thing for their wedding day. From bouquets to decor, ceremony backdrops to the tables; these two wanted their day to be unequivocally ‘them’ and absolutely heartfelt. Luckily for us, they invited photographer Ludo Petrik to join them – we can’t wait to share it all with you and capture their story!

After meeting through mutual friends (who knew these two were meant to be), Michael popped the question in a way that, just like their wedding, was well and truly reflective of the pair. Katie fills us in, “Michael proposed in a way that really sums up our relationship. He knew I wasn’t one that would want a fancy helicopter ride or sky-rise dinner. It was just like any other Friday afternoon, I got into the car when he picked me up from work, drove home and as we usually did on a summer evening we grabbed a glass of red and a beer, put our dog on a lead and went for a wander around the headland near our house. When we reached a spot around the headland where we often had picnics, he got down on one knee and popped the question. The rest is kind of a blur. I remember I couldn’t sleep that night because I was so excited, but Michael slept like a log. He’d been so nervous for the days in the lead-up, that he crashed out!”

The bride found her second-hand BHLDN gown online, telling, “I hated the idea of dress shopping. I’d been to some bridal stores when I’d been the bridesmaid for a couple of friends and, although I loved watching them find their dress, I could never picture myself doing the same. So I started searching online and fell in love with a BHLDN label dress – the ‘Roane’ gown. It was basically the first dress I found that I loved and I just kept coming back to it. As if it was meant to be, I found my exact size on Still White and bought it second hand from a lovely bride from W.A.”

A first look? Ripe for a good prank! Katie and her friend Marcel planned a special surprise for Michael. The (actual) bride shares, “As we decided to get our photos done before the ceremony, we had spoken about doing ‘the first look’. Little did Michael know, I had a little surprise in store for him! I had arranged with one of his closest friends, Marcel, to play a prank. On the morning of our wedding, he stood, back turned, anxiously waiting to get a glimpse of me in my wedding dress for the first time. However, when he turned around, instead of seeing me, he was greeted by his good friend, wearing an op shop wedding dress looking very ‘pretty’! Needless to say, his reaction was priceless and it really calmed his nerves.”

Choosing a first look before their ceremony, allowed these two maximum time with guests. “We did our photos before the ceremony, which allowed us to have the whole afternoon and evening with our guests. As we had 140 guests, it meant we weren’t stressing out trying to get around to everyone in limited time.”

The bride created the floral arrangements of Australian native flowers, sharing, “I did all the floral decorations including my bouquet myself (with the help of my sister and some close friends!)
On the Thursday before the wedding, we picked them up from a wholesale flower market and spent some of Friday putting them into vases and preparing them for the weekend.
I chose natives as I’ve always loved natives, and they also don’t wilt on hot days. For my bouquet, the main flower was the pink ice Protea, coupled with burgundy, cream and white flowers and silver dollar eucalypt.”

Katie and Michael loved working with photographer Ludo. “We chose Ludo Petrik Wedding Photography for our photos. We’d seen some of his work and just had to have him (plus he was really affordable – which is always a bonus!)
I love our photos, he really captured us, and every detail, perfectly. He was really easy to work with and just fit right in – I often forgot he was even there, which made for really natural, beautiful photographs.

Much of the decor for the day was made by the couple themselves, explains Katie. “I loved that Michael and I did everything as a team. We had a two-year engagement so there was no time pressure and it allowed us the time to really think about what we wanted.
I also loved getting into all the DIY details. I love being creative so I really enjoyed the process.”

Katie and Michael wanted their wedding to be relaxed, so they chose Ewingsdale Hall for their big day noting, “We had both our ceremony and reception at Ewingsdale Hall. We really wanted somewhere that would suit our boho theme, with lots of green space outside. This venue ticked all the boxes!”

This wedding was truly handmade; Katie and Michael making every detail with their family and friends. “Nearly everything about our wedding was DIY! Michael and my dad made all the tables and the bar from scratch, I sewed about 140m of lace bunting, made ‘boho’ cushion covers to toss across the Persian carpets, painted all the signs. All of the floral decorations in vases and on the arbour were done by my sister and I and a few close friends, and I made the doughnut wall myself. Michael and my dad even put the bamboo poles up and strung up the festoon lights themselves. It was a huge team effort and was such a reward to see all of the hard work come together to make an amazing setting!”

The bride walked down the aisle with both of her parents to ‘Lupin Intrigue’ by Asgier. “I had both my mum and my dad walk me down the aisle, and even my dog, Spike joined me part way, when he saw us coming!”

Katie and Michael actually married legally before their wedding day, so that their good friend Rachael could tie their knot on the day. Katie shares, “We wanted our ceremony to reflect who we were and what our relationship was. Because of this, we asked a good friend to be our ‘celebrant’ on the day. Rachel had known us both separately before we were a couple so she’d watched our relationship evolve. We knew she would write a ceremony that truly reflected our relationship – from someone who had watched it blossom from the beginning. As Rachel was not a certified celebrant, we decided to get the formalities out of the way by heading to our local courthouse a few days before the wedding to officially tie the knot. It was a beautiful short ceremony with just our immediate family, and a wonderful start to the celebrations to come. The ceremony we held at our wedding was lighthearted and full of love. Our vows were personalised and we didn’t share them with each other until that day. We wanted to keep it interesting so we even did ‘scissors, paper, rock’ to decide who read their vows first! Since we didn’t have a bridal party, I really wanted to include my sister in some way. So we asked Michael’s best mate and my sister to each look after a ring, and present it to us during the ceremony.

A beautiful vintage car transported the bride to the ceremony, and then the newlyweds away. Katie notes, “My dad also surprised me on the day with a vintage car to arrive in! I had decided just to arrive in our normal car (as you could park it out of sight) and just walk with my parents all the way to the ceremony, but he had arranged this beautiful old car that his friend owned to take us there. It was such a beautiful surprise.”

Once the ceremony concluded, the garden party began! Drinks and pizzas were served up under the summer sky thanks to Crusta Woodfired Pizza. “We went for a really relaxed feel. No sit-down dinner, just a constant flow of woodfired pizzas and antipasto platters (and lots of drinks of course!),” explains Katie. “It was a ‘bohemian’ theme with Persian rugs and brown leather ottomans for people to sit on, as well as a few scattered tables and chairs. It was outdoors and we were lucky enough to be blessed with perfect November weather, so everyone had a great time relaxing under the festoon lights on the grass, playing lawn games, surrounded by massive fig trees.

For a little magic (literally) for their guests, Katie and Michael hired Pete Booth Comedy Magic to roam among them with amazing magic tricks. “We decided to mix things up a little and had a ‘roaming magician’ entertaining the crowd throughout the afternoon. He was incredible and our guests couldn’t stop raving about it!

Katie and Michael made sure to take time away from the party and that time turned into one of the bride’s favourite parts of the day. She explains, “Michael and I snuck away from the party, sat together on the grass across the field, with a glass of Champagne and just took in the atmosphere and what we’d created. It was a beautiful moment for just the two of us to ‘take it all in’. We had worked really hard to create our wedding and it was such a reward to see it all come to life and have all of our family and friends there to enjoy it.”

The country hall charmed everyone’s socks off as these two danced on its historic floors for their first dance. “We chose ‘Blue Eyes’ by Cary Brothers. It was a song we both loved and had listened to together a lot. At first, we weren’t sure we wanted to do the first dance, but I’m glad we did – it was one moment where we just got to look at each other and take it all in,” remembers the bride.

Not only did Ludo Petrik capture stills of the day, but he also created this gorgeous film for the newlyweds.

A big congratulations to you both Katie and Michael! Thank you for sharing your bohemian day with us. Thank you also to Ludo Petrik for sharing today’s handmade wedding.

Photographer: Ludo Petrik / Bride's Dress: BHLDN / Makeup Artist: Byron Beauty Bar / Flowers: Bride / Venue: Ewingsdale Hall / Band: Manoa Music / Magician: Pete Booth Comedy Magic / Catering: Crusta Woodfired Pizza / Wedding Cake: Suffolk Park Bakery
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Friday Roundup

by | Blog News, Bride


Photo by Jack Chauvel via Kym and James’ Vintage Inspired Iceland Elopement

We’re fast approaching the end of The Bouquet Issue and I hate to state the obvious but my. goodness. Have we learnt a lot about bouquets or what? SO excited to round up all the expert tips and inspiration this Friday!

A guide to Australian native bouquets in a florist’s own words

Exploring the beautiful Marina Bay Sands – drop-dead gorgeous honeymoon, anyone?

Loving the blue of Hamish’s wedding day suit

This hibiscus and rose petal fizz cocktail from Gin Lane is on the menu this weekend!

How to plan your ultimate bridal bouquet with the amazing Kate of Mary Mary Studio

Loving the stories  from Mark’s wedding day

So much to love in this Northern beaches wedding

I can’t stop dreaming about Sydney bride Jess’s stunning wedding bouquet

Kym and James utterly enchanted us with their Icelandic elopement this week

Make these sweet mini-floral post-wedding favours for any wedding event!

Dreaming and scheming a proposal right this second? The beautiful Terindah Estate has just released proposal packages. Imagine popping the question amongst the vines! Their team will work with you to find a private spot at the estate, set up a romantic picnic, and spoil you with a wine tour. If you’d like, they’ll even include a bottle of their own house bubbles. What a way to celebrate: visit their website for all the info.

Need a wedding caterer but want to try before you buy? Melbourne caterers Your Private Chef are offering up group tastings once a month so you can meet their team (including Head Chef David Kolembus and the event planning team) so you can explore their menu, brainstorm big ideas and fill your belly while you’re at it! Reservations are $50 and redeemable against any wedding booking, check their website for all the decadent food options.

Sending a big thank you over to our friends at Confetti Fair who included us in their brand new digital magazine featuring all the party trends of 2019. We’re in such good company, so grab a cup of tea and settle in – find the magazine here!

We’re doing something a little different for this week’s song of the week; we’re sharing the brand new original song by Melbourne wedding duo Tobi Tobi who have recorded ‘Ice and Rum’. The lyrics are utterly romantic!

Amazing Australian Native Wedding Bouquets

by | Bride, Flowers


When it comes to bouquets, few blooms are more popular than Australian natives. We know, we know, there is much conjecture about what flowers are truly Australian. But today, we’re working with the general consensus, the kind of bloom the average Joe asks for when they mean Australian “natives” – Proteas, Banksias, flannel flowers, bottle brushes, Waratahs and even flowering gum.

The beauty of Australian natives is in their tones and textures. They’re rich with earthy hues and artistic in their unusual shapes; the unusual ways their leaves and seeds form. It’s pretty easy to see why they’re so adored! Click on through for all the beautiful bouquets.

Khat & Simon’s Bright & Bold Garden Wedding

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


Khat and Simon

If there was ever a wedding defined by “colour, laughter and sequins” it would be the bright and bold garden celebration of today’s newlyweds, Khat and Simon. These two embodied every bit of those three words chosen as their wedding theme; from filling their day with as many flowers as they could, to adding sequins and literal sparkle at every single turn. But there is a beautiful story behind the glimmer! Festive photography by Charlotte Exton is accompanying the story today, as we share what is sure to be something unforgettable.

The pair met online, with Simon adamant about the way he felt from day dot. Khat tells the tale, “I had been on ‘Plenty of Fish’ for one day and Simon, for one year. He wrote ‘YOU! I LIKE YOU!’ in his first message. I told him he didn’t know me from a bar of soap and he replied that he would like to get to know me over coffee. We met that day for afternoon tea and as soon as he walked in I thought, ‘Oh damn, this could be the boy I marry’. Our first date lasted eight hours before it ended because the police beeped at us for kissing outside my car and told us to move along.”

The groom chose a deep eggplant coloured suit by Zimma Tailors, upon the hinting of the bride. The suit and his look were kept secret from Khat until her walk down the aisle.

Kate’s bridesmaids each wore a colourful kaftan from Camilla. The bridal party included a very special friend: “My maid of honour was seven months pregnant for the day and I just couldn’t believe how amazing she was,” notes the bride. “She made every possible emotional stress or family drama melt away. She looked after so many of the details and it was really special to think that her gorgeous baby boy was there for such a special day.”

Khat chose to wear a voluminous, custom ballgown. “I chose an amazing dress from Marry Me Bridal in Mosman which I customised with sleeves, lace appliques, velvet ribbon and beading. The girls at Marry Me are so lovely that I ended up working a few shifts at the boutique and helping brides select their dress!”

Khat and Simon set their wedding style from the get-go, the ceremony decorated with plenty of sparkle and a rainbow of fresh, eye-catching flowers.

The bride walked down the aisle with her father to an acoustic version of Tina Turner’s ‘Simply The Best’.

The ceremony was led by Nicola Josey. Khat and Simon made sure to not only honour present family members but also those no longer with them. “My brother read a Pablo Neruda reading and we incorporated a ‘ring warming’ where the rings where passed around to all guests who set an intention for our future,” tells Khat. “My cousin was the celebrant which meant that she incorporated some really beautiful touches about my mother who passed away from breast cancer a few years ago. The ceremony was genuine, full of tears and laughter.”

Khat and Simon made sure to include their very favourite people in their wedding party, choosing “both our brothers and our friends who are our chosen family. We had six bridesmaids and six groomsmen. Each person is so different and important in our lives; it was a true delight that they all agreed to be a part of the day.”

“We visited one of our groomsmen and one of our bridesmaids overseas to ask them to be a part of our wedding in person. It was great to go from talking about the wedding in the snow in Canada and over dinner in Brooklyn to then having them both be present on the day.”

These two couldn’t be more thrilled with their photographer Charlotte, noting, “Charlotte is everything. I couldn’t have asked for a cooler, more talented artist to capture the day. She was on-board from day dot and knew exactly what we wanted in terms of colour and fun. I will love her forever and cannot rate her work highly enough.”

Khat and Simon chose the nature-filled venue of Eden Gardens for their ceremony and reception, remarking, “We chose it because we love plants and flowers and wanted to get married in a garden. The display garden at Eden is filled with art and sculpture which we also thought was great fun.”

A florist herself, Khat sourced all the flowers personally and asked her friends to execute her vision. “I was able to hand select all my flowers. I spoke to the best growers and literally just picked everything I loved, that was in season, and that was vibrant. I was like a kid in a candy store picking fragrant roses, huge purple orchids and textured natives. I left it to some incredibly generous and talented friends to put it all together and surprise me. Suffice it to say they outdid themselves!”


Guests were gifted garden seeds as wedding favours in customised packets.


The speeches were as colourful and love-filled as you can imagine. Says Khat. “Simon and I both have younger brothers who we love dearly. They both made speeches that were warm, funny and make me teary every time I think about them.”

The first dance? Well these two couldn’t let the serious nature of the event take over, the bride and groom, who chose Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘At Last’, ended up in fits of laughter. The bride shares, “we had planned to dance to it romantically but I did take one chorus to push him up against the wall and slide down him slowly like he was a tall glass of water and I was a woman caught in the desert, dying of thirst! Everyone was shocked and burst out laughing including my Nana.”

And with the formalities done he newlyweds were ready to party – Khat switching up her look with a sparkling sequinned gown made generously by a friend. She explains “The dress was inspired by a drag ensemble that haunted my dreams. It was so fabulous that I knew I had to wear something like it on my wedding day. I loved doing a reveal to everyone wearing that dress, it was so extra and I had about 30 rare pinks, fragrant Cattleya Orchids pinned into my hair. I felt like a queen!”

And the dance floor was epic, thanks to Simon’s careful planning. Khat explains, “For Simon, it was important to include some great songs to dance to. He pored over playlists of his favourite songs for months selecting each one with the intention of making sure everyone would get the chance to have a good boogie.”

Of course, a wedding such as this demands film. Mitch Tooley captured the day as it unfolded.

A big congratulations Khat and Simon! We’re so thankful that you shared all the beautiful stories of your day with us. A big thank you to Charlotte Exton for today’s beautiful images.

Photographer: Charlotte Exton / Cinematographer: Mitch Tooley / Bride's Dress: Mori Lee / Bride's Reception Dress: A friend / Bridal Salon: Marry Me Bridal / Bridesmaid Dresses: Camilla / Groom's Attire: Zimma Tailors / Groomsmen Attire: Asos / Flowers: Bride / Makeup Artist: Freya Helena / Hairstylist: Glamazon / Venue: Eden Gardens / Ceremony Officiant: Nicola Josey / Wedding Cake: My Little Cupcake