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Nikki & Curly’s Intimate Beachside Outback Wedding

by | Australia - Western Australia, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Nikki & Curly

It’s not often we hear a wedding described as being both beachside and outback, but this breathtaking and intimate day, set at Gnaraloo Station, is just that. The perfect combination of sweeping ocean horizon and wild, rustic desert, our bride and groom celebrated their love in the most beautiful place they could find! Freedom Garvey captured every moment.

Nikki and Curly first met in the surf. The bride shares, ”We knew of each other so he paddled over and we were talking, then an eight foot set came through that absolutely destroyed us. Luckily for me he snapped his leg rope on that wave so I loaned him mine, which meant he had to drop it back. Curly said later that he knew he wanted to see me again when I came up laughing.”

Having met in the ocean, it was the perfect choice for the perfect proposal! Nikki tells, ”Curly popped the question in the surf at Gnaraloo. It was completely unexpected, we hadn’t even discussed getting engaged so I wasn’t suspicious when he suggested going out in such terrible conditions, then kept staring at me while I was getting ready. We were surfing for about ten minutes and he started paddling over to me to ask my hand. I thought he was going for a wave so I swung around and started paddling away from him. He caught up to me and pulled out this ring he’d made from a surfboard fin, and put it on my finger. I was so shocked and surprised I forgot to answer him, I was too busy laughing and hugging him. We kept surfing afterwards too. Well, he surfed, I just sat there grinning like an idiot.”

Nikki and a good friend were wedding dress shopping in Melbourne when, she says, ”The whole experience was becoming a bit overwhelming. We happened to find Bluebell Bridal and they conveniently fit us in with no appointment. People told me I’d know when I found ‘the one’ but it wasn’t like that at all. When I stepped in front of the mirror I said to myself ‘I can’t fault this’ and that was it.” The groom wore a suit from V&J Menswear, with the bridesmaids wearing two tone gowns from Etsy. The bride says of her bridesmaids, ” Since I moved around a lot I had a friend from each part of my life, as well as my sisters. I knew these women wouldn’t just feature in my life, we have friendships that pick up where they left off, so it was a no brainer who I chose.”

Getting married in the desert created a few creative hurdles, however, they were completely overcome by talented vendor Eventier. Nikki tells, ”I left it entirely up to my florist friend. She chose flowers that she could semi dry due to the heat and travel (she drove 16 hours to get there). It was a lot of work for her and they looked beautiful. I was so pleased to be able to have something I never thought I could in the desert.” The couple chose to maintain some traditional aspects along with a more relaxed wedding, sharing, ”We had the bridesmaid/groomsmen, aisle and old/new/borrowed/blue traditions. They seemed extra special since they contrasted against our laid back and very un-traditional day. It seemed to work out perfectly having bridesmaids stroll past guests in shorts and a T-shirt, and us arriving together before the ceremony started to welcome everyone.”

With perfect weather for their beachside wedding, the couple had a simple ceremony with a magnificent backdrop.  They tell, ”All we wanted was an intimate, personal ceremony that didn’t drag on. We took our vows very seriously, ensuring they were personal, relatable and reflected who we were as a couple.” Sharing a favourite moment of the day, Nikki recalls, ”I reacted in a very emotional way during the ceremony and couldn’t stop crying. The whole time I didn’t take my eyes off Curly, nor did he with me. He kept urging me to take deep breaths, so we must have looked pretty silly both of us doing breathing exercises together. I remember thinking ‘yep this is it, I’m never going to forget this moment’. Curly kept me from completely losing it and grounded me to a moment so unique and special. It overwhelmed me completely and still does.” The bride was walked down the aisle by her dad to the song ‘Lay It Down’ by The Reubens.

With Gnaraloo Station holding such a special place in the bride and groom’s hearts already, choosing it as a wedding venue was an inspired choice. Nikki shares, ”We were up for our annual holiday at Gnaraloo, having been there for a few weeks after we got engaged. I was already getting overwhelmed with what we had in front of us with all the politics that seem to come with planning a wedding. Then my friend suggested getting married here and that was it. Curly didn’t need any convincing, so we set the wheels in motion while we were up there still; scouting for good ceremony locations and talking to the camp owners. After we got back it was just the process of organising our annual trip and having a wedding at the same time. We were thorough with our planning since we had to bring everything. Luckily we didn’t need anything special done to the site since it was already perfect, and everything we brought to the place was purely essential. Even the arbour was taken down and used for firewood after.”

With such overwhelmingly beautiful wedding photos, the newlyweds were thrilled with their photographer. They tell, ”We were lucky enough to be recommended Freedom Garvey and we are so glad the universe gave her to us. Both her and her husband (who Curly knew from surfing) were so happy, organized and professional leading up to the day and after it. They listened to everything that we wanted and put our minds at ease. On the day they were frothing out more than we were, which was pretty hard to do. After the wedding day they suggested photos in a location we didn’t have time for on the day, we spent an hour or so up on the ridge getting the shots. We could not believe the extra effort they went to. When the photos came we were over the moon. I couldn’t recommend them more, they go above and beyond and we will be eternally grateful.”

Bringing everything they needed with them to their outback wedding required a lot of work, but every detail was beautifully thought through. The bride tells, ”Everything we had was DIY, but I don’t have much of a creative side so luckily my friends and Curly did the designs and details for our decorations. The dream catchers were made by one of my bridesmaids and the arbour was a detail that was included last minute. That was Curly’s idea and project, he suggested using it as firewood after so it was practical. Looking back now, pretty much the whole setting of the wedding fell into place around it. I’m so glad it was included and smile every time I look at the photos of it.”

With their outback and beachside wedding plans set, the couple decided on a very important factor on the day for them both. The bride shares, ”The most important detail for us as a couple was that we were to stay together. All the weddings we had been to, you never saw the bride and groom together, they were always off chatting to other people or dancing. We wanted to experience this day together so we decided on staying close until at least after the first dance. I cannot express how this often overlooked detail turned out to be the most important. I not only had my husband by my side the entire time, but we went up to each individual guest and thanked them together. Curly bear stayed by my side the entire night. After the first dance we’d drift apart and do our own thing, but before I even had the chance to miss him he’d have his hand back in mine giving me a huge grin. He always had everything under control and kept such a cool head all day and night. He pulled me away after a few hours of mingling and dancing, walked me up the sand dune and said to me ‘this is it, this is our wedding.’ We hugged each other in that quiet moment, looking down at everything that was happening in front of us.”

With wooden cutlery that could be recycled and a handmade cake crafted by a close friend, the reception was held in a marquee on the sand. Nikki tells, ”Celebrations were well under way. I came across some friends who had started climbing the pole holding up our marquee. First it was the small girls but quickly ended up with my new brother in law (who is a big dude) climbing to the very top. At that moment the pole gave way and he came crashing down, everyone was scattering and squealing. He landed on his feet, turned and claimed it. Before I knew it the pole was back up again like nothing ever happened. Then it was onto the next escapade!” The couple had their first dance with a slight glitch, sharing, ”Since there was no service we downloaded a few songs that we liked, but only one worked. It turned out to be ‘Stolen Dance’ by Milky Chance, which was the first song we danced to at a party when we first met. In hindsight I probably would have chosen something different but Curly liked it so it worked out great.”

Thank you to our gorgeous bride and groom for sharing your mind-bogglingly beautiful day, and congratulations! Thank you also to Freedom Garvey for your stunning photographs.

Photographer: Freedom Garvey / Bride's Dress: Bluebell Bridal / Bridesmaid Dresses: Etsy / Groom's Attire: V&J Menswear / Makeup Artist: Amanda Jongedyk / Flowers: Eventier / Ceremony Venue: Gnaraloo Station / Ceremony Officiant: Lisa Ladhams / Wedding Cake: A friend / Rental Furniture: Mitre 10 Carnarvon / Catering: BBQ and salads made and cooked by friends and family
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Fabulous Fathers Day Gift Ideas

by | Bride, Gift Guide


It’s just a few weeks until Fathers Day so today? We’ve rounded up some of our favourite gifts for the papas, dads, fathers and father figures in our lives! We’ve picked plenty of options – from gifts tailored for good at napping dads, to gifts for the coffee drinkers, the paper lovers, the cooks, even the wine drinkers! Click the links below to shop the post!

Oscar Hunt Panama Hat, Candylab The Drifter Wooden Car, Calhoun & Co. Good At Naps Woven Throw Blanket, Hunter Lab Essentials Kit via InStitchu,Luster Trio Pencil Holder from Anthropologie, Apple Watch, Lush Dirty Springwash Shower Gel, Country Road Lenn Apron, Aesop Jet Set Gift Pack, The Wedding Nest Leather Overnight Bag, India K For UO Ready Set Go Lowball Glass, Oscar Hunt Burgundy Suspenders, R.L Foote Design Co Bubble Glaze Tea Set


Replica By the Fireplace EDT, Country Road Single Striped Scarf, Exsect Leather Camera Strap, EM Press Coffee Maker, West Elm Mista Tray, Personalised Star Wars Mug from Identity Direct, TheSpaceCube Organiser, Wolf Kanat Red Aroma Pocket Square, Lonely Planet’s Atlas Of Adventure, The Everleigh Bottled Cocktail Gift Set, Pacifico Optical Campbell Matte Black Sunglasses via InStitchu, Ralph Lauren Home Wyatt Cocktail Shaker, Halliday Wine Companion 2019 by James Halliday, West Elm Visor Desk Lamp

Julie & Eddie’s Dramatic Glam Winter Wedding In Bowral

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


Julie & Eddie

For us, we live to tell wedding stories, but todays is one that encapsulates everything we love about wedding stories. The words, shared by the bride, tell us about every detail – the beautiful Winter setting, the jaw-droppingly gorgeous red wedding gown and a proposal that is definitely movie worthy. It is the words, coupled with the beautiful imagery by  Zea of Anna Blackman Photography that are the best way to spend a Tuesday!

As for that proposal? Julie shares, in her own words “It, was December 2016. Eddie and I decided to spend Christmas and New Year in New York together (my most favourite time of the year). I had said to Eddie prior to leaving for New York I hadn’t bought a Christmas gift for him as I was going to take him to Tiffany’s in New York and get him to select a new dress ring to replace the ring I had bought him on our very first Christmas together 8 years ago. Therefore, it was no surprise for me when Eddie said on an extremely cold and very windy winter morning that we should go up to Tiffany’s.

As I was searching in the mens’ dress rings I look around and see Eddie is no longer with me but engaged in conversation on the other side of the room. Eddie called me over. Flustered and rather confused I started to take off my scarf and as I did, I dropped my hat. I turned around to find Eddie (doing what I thought was helping retrieve my hat and scarf) on his knees and behind him were beaming and smiling Tiffany staff (with glasses of champagne). Eddie had chosen the most beautiful ring and he was asking me to marry him. What an incredible and wonderful surprise ….we went back to Tiffany’s in April this year to select our wedding rings. x”

The groom and groomsmen dressed in dapper black suits and crisp white shirts from Formal Image.

It was the preparation for the day (with the help of hairstylist Mae You Be and makeup artist Makeup By Megan), that turned out to be one of Julie’s favourite parts. She shares “I loved having the opportunity to spend time with my amazing bridesmaids, stunningly beautiful daughters, daughter in law and gorgeous granddaughters in the bridal suite as we prepared for the wedding ceremony. We had very relaxed luxurious surroundings with amazing food and glasses of champagne (which) was an extra bonus of my wedding day that I had not thought of as something that would remain with me as an incredible part of the day. However, on reflection, this time was probably the most favourite part of my day leading up to the actual wedding itself. As our makeup and hair was done, we swapped stories, laughed and had the most wonderful fun together, as we admired the incredible talent of our hair and makeup artists to create totally individual styles and looks for all of us. So very lucky to have this memory.”

“I was given by my sister, my mother’s brooch which I pinned on to my flowers as a special heirloom to carry on the day. Another very unexpected and very special moment and perhaps new tradition also unfolded. Before I went downstairs to the ceremony my grandsons came up to the bridal suite and gave me a guardian angel to pin to the inside of my pocket, a new tradition has begun. I will be giving this guardian angel back to them to pin on each of my grandchildren when they marry.”

Julie chose Diane Lewis to create her showstopper red wedding gown, a decision made after both of my daughters chose Diane to make their own gowns. She explains “Twenty years ago my daughter in law chose Diane Lewis  to design her wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses as did my daughter three years later… the results were simply stunning. For me, there was no other person I wanted to design my gown. I wanted my gown to not only make me look elegant and stylish but be fashion forward and emulate sophistication and grace befitting an older woman. I wanted NO mother of the bride fading into the background outfit for me!!!

Diane was wonderful! As soon as I saw my thoughts and ideas put into images Diane drew at our initial meeting I knew I was going to thoroughly enjoy this once in a lifetime every woman deserves to experience. She really understands woman’s bodies she seeks out every woman’s assets to ensure that every woman feels confident and beautiful in a gown created just for them.”

Fleur My Darling styled the beautiful bouquets, “To be perfectly honest I have no idea when it comes to flowers” tells Julie, continuing “I was very lucky to have recommended to me Samantha Andon as a maker of floral heaven. Our flowers were designed and chosen by the super talented Samantha Andon from Fleur My Darling. From my initial meeting with Sam I voiced my vision for the wedding and told her the colour of my dress. From here Sam created a floral paradise for our ceremony and reception WOW so exquisite!”

Beautiful French Jacquard was chosen for the gown, the bride telling “Diane uses the most sophisticated garment construction as well as the most highly sophisticated fabrics from the best fabric houses in the world. My gown of French Jacquard was specifically woven for me in France and the French ribbon lace bodice with a splash of Swarovski crystals was dyed to match. The results were incredible not only for myself but for my bridesmaids (in their black crepe and corded Chantilly lace individually designed gowns). Amazing fabrics would have been nothing without Diane’s attention to detail and her commitment to ensuring the fit and finish of each garment was perfect. We felt like we had stepped out a page from a Vogue magazine. We were so fortunate to have this amazing empowering woman work her magic for us.”

The bride to be walked down the aisle with her son to Nat King Cole’s “The Very Thought of You”.

Sue M Jackman officiated the ceremony, Julie telling “Our ceremony we wanted to be relaxed and fun – a celebration, with all the people who have shared our journey as a couple to have the opportunity to enjoy seeing us married in an amazingly beautiful venue with amazing views relaxing and listening to the music chosen by Eddie and me, music that meant a lot to us and reflected our love for each other.”

The Southern Highlands Gibraltar Hotel Bowral was chosen for the weekend wedding, Julie shares “We chose the Gibraltar Hotel not only because of the magnificent views for our guests and the serenity of the beautiful countryside. We wanted the venue to reflect elegance and style for our day and this the Gibraltar certainly offered. We also were very mindful that we wanted it to be a wonderful very relaxing weekend away spent in luxury and sheer enjoyment for our closest family and friends. This the venue did in spades. Alicia and her wedding team went above and beyond to ensure not only our day was perfect and ran like clockwork but they were easily able to accommodate a large party of 50 for a pre-wedding dinner, pre-wedding activities of golf for the groom and his friends. Spa and beauty facilities for the bride and her party. We were so very lucky to find everything we were looking for in the one venue.”

Julie and Eddie actually met online, the bride remembering “One Tuesday night after we had been chatting on the phone for over three months he asked if we could meet for coffee, then before I could answer, he said, “no dinner, we need to meet for dinner!! You are such an interesting and intelligent woman to talk to”. Yes I know, heaven help me, a smooth talker! But that actually got me! No one had ever wanted to take me to dinner because I could hold an interesting conversation!!! We met for dinner and the rest is history.”

Julie remarks “There are no words to do her justice – what an incredible talent Zea of Anna Blackman Photography has. Every image was stunning, visually immaculate.

Zea captured our wedding with such an amazing eye. I never in my wildest dreams believed I could look so beautiful. I am amazed at how brilliantly Zea captured the pure essence of how happy we were on our day. Perfection is the only word that comes to mind. We are so very blessed having chosen you. You guys are everything!!!”

Guests gathered for a sit-down dinner to celebrate the newlyweds, topped off with a tiered cake created by Cake Arcade. Julie remarks “Creating a dream wedding requires a team of dedicated professionals, it truly is a team effort and boy did I have the dream team. Diane Lewis of Diane Lewis Couture for creating the incredible gown. Zea from Anna Blackman images for creating the perfect images that captured the pure happiness of our day. Megan from Makeup by Megan for making me believe I was beautiful enough and then magically making me so beautiful to wear such an amazing gown. Michelle from Mae You Be/The Future Mrs for understanding the need for and then providing for me a vintage classy look to support the makeup and gown. Samantha from Fleur My Darling for creating the floral masterpieces that reflected elegance and style. Catherine from the Cake Arcade for the cake that left our guests wanting more. Alan our DJ from Pro Discos for creating the playlist from guests’ suggestions to have everyone dancing all night. Sue our celebrant for making sure Eddie and I had so much fun. Lastly the incredible wedding team lead by Alicia at the Gibraltar Hotel – WOW you guys went above and beyond to ensure the day went so well. Thank you so much dream team you were perfection!”

Shares Julie “We wanted to include and to invite to our wedding not only our amazing families and friends to help us celebrate but we also wanted to include anyone who helped us grow to be who we were today, who without them, we wouldn’t have been….. Just right for each other …… and this took some searching…. but so worth it for us to have these special people at our wedding.”

And then it was time to dance! Julie remembers “Eddie and I chose Fallen by Lauren Wood as our first dance ….. The lyrics get us every time!”

A big congratulations to Julie & Eddie! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us! Thank you also to Anna Blackman Photography for sharing today’s beautiful wedding!

Photographer: Anna Blackman Photography / Bride's Dress: Diane Lewis / Bridesmaid Dresses: Diane Lewis / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Formal Image / Makeup Artist: Makeup By Megan / Hairstylist: Mae You Be / Flowers: Fleur My Darling / Venue: Gibraltar Hotel Bowral / Ceremony Officiant: Sue M Jackman / Wedding Cake: Cake Arcade / DJ: ProDiscos

The 2018 Aurora Bridal Collection by Sabina Motasem

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride


In a world where wedding gowns are as trend-driven as ever, the 2019 collection from English designer Sabina Motasem titled “Aurora” is filled with elegant, paired back beauty.

Creating her first gown in 2007, as a gift for a very close friend, Sabina’s hobby soon turned into a fully fledged business. The designer committed and known, for creating timeless silhouettes that speak of beautiful quality.

“Bonni” (above) features an of the moment, off the shoulder neckline and is simply made of silk, letting the clean lines and beautiful cut do the talking. While, below, pieces like “Elsa” with their backless detail and spaghetti straps put all their focus on the wearer’s own silhouette. There are wrap skirts, satin camis, carefully considered cowl necklines and backless details all designed with modern elegance in mind.

For those who love the idea of adding a little something extra, Sabina’s designed a collection of toppers. allowing brides to be to combine the simple lines, with an addition that speaks to a love of a little more. Floral fabric appliqued flowers, hand beaded tulle, and 3D flowers all featuring, giving you the option of creating separate looks on your day, or just one of your very own.

The British designed and made gowns are available in Australia via stockist Through The White Door.

Photographer: Helen McCardle / Gowns: Sabina Motasem / Hairstylist: Paola Grasso / Makeup Artist: Birute Thomas / Bride's Shoes: Emmy London / Bride's Veil/Hair Accessories: Stephanie Browne / Bride's Veil/Hair Accessories: Kelly Spence Bridal Accessory Design / Bride's Jewellery: Asos / Styling: Jemma Ali / Styling Assistant: Kay Couture London / Venue: The Andaz London