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Clare & Flo

There is something about the beach at sunset, as the golden light makes the water glitter, the sand shine, and auras of golden fade in and out that are just a little more than magic. Clare and Flo took to the beautiful Nielsen Park with photographer Akaness Shaks Photo to capture the beginning of the next stage of their lives together. “We wanted something casual, chilled and not over the top. Considering Flo is from Austria and we were hoping to show his family (who’s never been to Australia before) the photos, we decided we wanted it to be near the ocean” tells the bride to be. And so it was decided, the stunning backdrop of the sea setting the scene for the story to unfold.

It was international love for these two, who were both far from home when they met. Clare tells “We meet during an exchange semester abroad in Flagstaff Arizona in 2014. I’m Australian and Flo is from Austria. We were at northern Arizona university and met on the first day of exchange in the library. After the exchange, we did long distance for a year traveling back and forth between Australia and Austria before Flo made the move to Australia at the beginning of 2016.”

Clare remembers “When I first met Flo he was quite shy and quiet. We went out that night and I thought he was super cute but didn’t know if he would have the guts to try anything so I decided to challenge him to a drinking, competition to try and loosen him up. Later that night, and plenty of drinks in I accidentally said “scull your drink or kiss me” and luckily for me Flo wasn’t too thirsty.”

“As a couple, I love our sense of adventure and our willingness to give anything a go. We’re always on the lookout for next experiences, new places to go and new things to try. We could happily spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week together and never tire of each other’s company” tells the bride to be.

On what she loves about Flo, Clare remarks “He is the most caring, loving and gentle person I have ever met. He makes me happy every single day and I feel so fortunate that for whatever reason, we were both sent to Flagstaff for exchange.”

Clare was completely surprised when Flo proposed on the day of his graduation. “Flo has recently completed his master of sports management in Sydney and it was the day of his graduation. I planned a celebratory lunch at Catalina in Sydney for before the ceremony. We got there super early and Flo told me that to say thank you for all my help while he’d been studying he’d booked us for a seaplane ride over Sydney. After the ride, we had lunch at Catalina and once that was over I thought we were being picked up by my parents to go to the ceremony. As we left the restaurant and were walking towards the car park a boat pulled up to the wharf next to us and jokingly I asked if it was for us… turns out it was. The boat took us across the water to Milk Beach where Flo proposed. My parents who were hiding in the bushes jumped out afterwards with flowers and champagne. Amongst all of it I had to ask Flo if he was even graduating that day – he was and we had to rush to the ceremony.”

Photographer: Akaness Shaks Photo
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Bec & Christian

So often we talk about relaxed weddings, and how ultimately what every couple wants, is for their guests to feel that chilled out vibe. But today? Bec & Christian took the idea of a relaxed wedding and completely nailed it. Their surprise Central Coast wedding was planned in just eight weeks. What was a discussion about their baby boy’s baptism, soon turned into the idea of surprising their guests with a wedding and the casual, relaxed vibes just continued from there. They chose Jennifer Burch Photography to be there to capture every reaction!

“Our proposal story isn’t very romantic” tells the bride, kicking off the story. “Basically we had talked about marriage when I was pregnant but decided (at our first ‘date night’ after having our son, Alfie) that we would have a surprise wedding at our son’s baptism. Note: we ended up postponing the baptism (so I had time for hair and makeup) and just had the wedding, though the guests still believed they were attending a baptism).”

The couple’s baby boy took centre stage as the day unfolded.

The bride found her gown at, Karen Willis Holmes, noting “Organising a wedding in 8 weeks the thing that stressed me out the most was ‘what am I going to wear?’. I ended up getting super lucky! One morning while breastfeeding my son in the early hours I saw that Karen Wills Holmes was having a sample sale at her boutique, luckily it was my birthday and my Mum just happened to be over so we arrived at KWH at opening and ended up finding my dream dress that we took home that day (birthday luck was there!). The designer had an amazing seamstress that made the dress fit like a glove”

The bride added a sentimental touch to her outfit, telling “My mother in law gave me a beautiful ring to wear on the day (she made a trip to Sydney from the south coast to give me the ring a few days before the wedding which was very special).”

Bec walked down the aisle with her mother to Bruno Mars “Marry You”.

Amanda Pollock performed the official duties, Bec explaining “We were lucky enough to be married by one of my oldest friends, Amanda Pollock. Mandy and I went to school together and have been friends for almost 20 years. We kept it short and sweet but wrote our own vows.”

Bec and Christian were married the backyard of Bec’s Mother’s home. The bride noting the backyard ceremony as one of her favourite parts of the day. 

Of their photographer, the bride remarks “Jen was amazing, we were so lucky to get her on such short notice! She completely met our brief and far exceeded all of our expectations. We were nightmare clients always confirming details late but Jen was always the professional and extremely patient.” Jen chiming in “hey were not nightmare clients at all. The middle Saturday of October is always my first Saturday to book, and 14 October 2017 was no exception. It had been booked for 18 months when I received a last minute cancellation on account of family issues – the date was available for only 2 weeks before Bec snapped it up. They were such a gift to me! I had turned down several other weddings over the previous 18 months!”

Guests gathered for a casual reception celebration at  Mercure Kooindah Waters.

The reception blooms were styled by the bride and her friends. She tells “The day before the wedding my sisters and I went to the Sydney flower markets, that night we, along with the few girlfriends that knew I was getting married. The next day we drank champagne and made flower arrangements, it was a night filled with laughter and competitiveness (who could make the best arrangement).”

Hype Duo sung “Stand By me” as the newlyweds took to the dance floor for their first dance.

Her favourite part of the day? The end! Bec remarks “Honestly, my favourite part was the end of the night, dancing with all of our amazing family and friends and most importantly my new husband.”

A big congratulations to you both Bec and Christian! Thank you for sharing your day with us. Thank you also to Jennifer Burch Photography for sharing today’s celebration!

Photographer: Jennifer Burch Photography / Bride's Dress: Karen Willis Holmes / Bride's Shoes: Valentino / Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss / Flowers: Wild Bunch Glenhaven / Ceremony Venue: Private property / Ceremony Officiant: Amanda Pollock / Reception Venue: Mercure Kooindah Waters / Band: Hype Duo

Capri Palace
Photo of Capri Palace, via  Five Favourite Italian Hotels For Your Honeymoon


Happy Friday Dotties! What a week of endless summer we’ve had with The Italy Issue! It has certainly added plenty of Sunshine to this bitterly cold weather we’ve been having (and if we’re being honest, had us planning a few little trips to the sunnier States!). Let’s dive in as we celebrate the weekend!

roundup 22nd june 2018

The Foodie’s Guide to Italy

Chatting gorgeous wedding stationery with a difference with The Rustic At Heart

Our Italian Sgroppino Recipe is a sure fire way to bring an Italian Summer home!

Loving this classic groom style look

Grazing tables with an Italian flavour

Loving the vibe of this endless Summer wedding

Five favourite Italian hotels for your honeymoon

news roundup 22nd 2018 june

New Zealand brides! A Southern bride is hosting “A Practical Wedding Planning Evening” in Dunedin! Join the crew, with their favourite wedding vendors as they share an evening jam packed with useful wedding advice from the experts. Complete with plenty of surprises and treats!  To attend the event purchase your tickets here.

Love the idea of a wedding in a vineyard? Balgownie Estate Yarra Valley and its sister property, Balgownie Estate Bendigo are offering up something very special for bridal couples! For all weddings booked before September 20th, 2018, the venues will gift each of your guests their very own bottle of Balgownie Estate Black Label wine. Visit their websites to make your booking and make your wedding guests so very happy!

Wedding planners Foreva Events are offering up something special to  all bookings made before June 30th. Book your “On The Day Coordination” package before the date and receive a $1000 discount! Book your package here.

Dancing out our weekend thanks to The Hip Stars Band!  This old favourite of “Gimme Some Lovin'” is always the best crowd pleaser!