Twenty Eighteen was our big year!  The one we had been dreaming off since the day we got engaged.  I met my husband back in 2011 and we instantly fell in love. Within six weeks of meeting we were living together and five months later we were engaged (and I was the one who proposed to him). Yes, we were that ‘crazy in love’ type.

My husband and I were engaged for six years before we actually got married. During that six years we had planned several types of weddings but could never really decide. We were torn between wanting  the intimacy of an elopement but also yearned to share the moment with every single person in our circle of friends so we decided to have two weddings! Yes TWO, and we partied for four months long.   It all started in January with our two rockstar Hens and Bucks weekends.  Then in February we had our ceremony. In March, we had our reception at home and the month after we took off for our honeymoon. It was so much fun stretching out the celebrations!


For our first wedding celebration – the ceremony, we invited our nearest and dearest guests for a three day weekend at the Palazzo Versace hotel on the Gold Coast where we would be married. We welcomed them with an Italian feast over lunch the day before the ceremony, followed by a relaxing afternoon around the hotel pool. We had a small and intimate ceremony, followed by canapes and cocktails in the hotel lobby and a three course dinner with our own DJ that would take us into the night.  The following day we recovered with butler service in the hotel pool cabanas.

Ceremony Venue

Everything at the Palazzo Versace Hotel is simply breathtaking. The best part about having a wedding at the Versace, was that the hotel has their very own wedding coordinator/Fairy Godmother. Simply tell her what you want and she will make it happen for you. It was like magic. From styling, floral arrangements, menus, invitations, and transport, our wedding fairy godmother took care of it all, which meant we could really relax and enjoy the weekend together.

I was getting married right in the middle of an Australian summer  so I was looking for something cool and comfortable to wear.  I am also very athletic so the dress I chose needed to fit me really well.  Because of this I knew that getting a dress custom made was the only decision for me and I couldn’t go past the lovely Judy Copley Couture who is based on the Sunshine Coast where I live and makes the most stunning gowns. I kept my accessories minimal as I wore a custom made crown also hand crafted by Judy Copley. I just threw on some Tom Ford perfume and my Valentino rock stud heels and I was done!

I went for a very classic pony tail for my hair on the day with my favourite glam make up look.  Nikki from Sass and Niki Wedding Hair and Erin from Erin Fedele Make up Artistry did an amazing job. I didn’t know how much went into a pony tail until I worked with Nikki on this day! We kept it simple for the bridesmaids with some glamour waves.

I had my two best friends as my bridesmaids. I am a big fan of dress hire so we hired our bridesmaid dresses. In consultation with the girls, we decided on a classic, black ‘off the shoulder’ gown which we hired from Glamcorner for only $79 per dress.  We hired two sizes for each girl so we were confident that there would be no sizing issues on the wedding day! I treated the girls with some gold statement earrings from Brie Leon and Reliquia Jewellery and the entire bridal party enjoyed getting ready in their personalised black robes from Homebodii. 

The groom opted for a James Bond look with his suit and accessories selected from Hugo Boss. The groomsmen hired their formal suits.

Both our daughters were our flower girls on the day.  Their dresses and accessories were from Tutu De Monde and they each wore sparkly gold ballet flats from Walnut Melbourne.

My ring was a classic band from Tiffany’s and the groom got his from Prouds.

We were married by Daniel Gettis, a celebrant and a pastor at our local church. Our youngest daughter Sydnee walked down the aisle on my hip and stayed there for the entire ceremony! For the styling, we kept it simple and classic with gold tiffany chairs and white floral arrangements. 


After our ceremony our little crew enjoyed cocktails and canapes in the hotel lobby followed by a lovely three course degustation in the La Finestra Room at the hotel.  The space was intimate and breathtaking, so again we opted to keep things simple. Fresh white flowers, gold tiffany chairs, a classic table setting and a white wedding cake with gold foiling did the trick.


Two weeks after our wedding ceremony we enjoyed a big old fashioned house party at our home. We invited anyone and everyone we knew and told them all to dress in white. We really got to let our hair down as the pressure of the wedding was over and we got to indulge in the moment (for a second time) with our entire tribe of friends. For the party I did the styling myself and hired all the props we needed – a juke box and a personal chef to do all the catering. With buckets of champagne and beer, a photo booth, grazing table and a few self dispensing cocktail jugs, we were set for a good night in!


Ms Zebra Says: I’m in awe! What an incredible idea to stretch out the one event in life you never want to end!! Congratulations Claudia and Simon on a beautiful life and marriage together!

About the Bride: Hi I’m Claudia, mum of two girls, lifestyle blogger and content creator based on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. As a former corporate marketing professional, now running my own business, I am a creative at heart who loves to write. I’ll be the first to admit that I am ‘winging it’ most days while I do my best to master the delicate balance of running a business and household while trying to be a ‘cool’ mum and half decent human. Find out more here.

Photographer: Cassandra Ladru Photography / Photographer: Nicola Holland / Ceremony Venue: Palazzo Versace / Wedding Cake: Palazzo Versace / Ceremony Officiant: Daniel Gettis / DJ: DJ Zee / Cinematographer: And Ever Collective / Bride's Dress: Judy Copley Couture / Bride's Accessories: Judy Copley Couture / Hairstylist: Sass and Niki / Makeup Artist: Erin Fedele Beauty and Make up / Bridesmaid Dresses: Glamcorner / Bride's Jewellery: Brie Leon / Bride's Jewellery: Reliquia Jewellery / Bridal Robes: Homebodii / Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss / Flowergirl's Attire: Tutu Du Monde / Flowergirl's Attire: Walnut / Catering: Penfolds Catering / Styling: Splash Events

Taleah & Ryan

There’s nothing more romantic than a snow covered mountain top, a beautiful floral arrangement – and of course, two newly engaged lovebirds in blissful love! Talented florist Taleah shares her stunning engagement shoot and story of how her partner surprised her and popped the question!

We woke up at 4am one Saturday morning to go for a day of Mountain Biking with friends in Bright, Victoria. This wasn’t a one off occurrence, so I wasn’t suspicious that “this could be the day!” because we often do biking trips just like this one. The morning was beautiful and sunny and made for some nice riding. On our last lap, the rain poured down. We ended up fully covered in mud but happy.

After I changed into a comfy hoodie I noticed Ryan changing into his Sunday best (well, almost) and I started to get a bit suspicious at that point. We drove to a beautiful look out over bright at the top of a mountain and the rain stopped, the clouds parted and we had an amazing view of the little town below us. Ryan got down on one knee and I said yes to spending life with my best friend.

We returned in the winter with our fabulous photographer Cindy Habel to capture some beautiful snowy photos. As I am a florist, I chose to add to the snowy environment with a wintery foliage bouquet.


Photographer: Cindy Habel / Flowers: Taleah Tilley / Wedding Ring: Heidi Gibson

Although the weather was certainly not ideal, the day turned out to be the charming love story that this beautiful couple deserved. Tiffany and Andrew, together with good friends meant that even the gloomy clouds couldn’t dampen the shine radiating! Tiffany details her best bridal advice for any bride to be after enjoying her blissful wedding day – and embracing all the things you certainly can’t control!

Don’t let the stress of the day get the best of you, for all the months of planning and stressing on the day it all melts away anyway. You are marrying your person and it’s your day. Don’t listen to anyone else – do what you want! It doesn’t have to be traditional, it doesn’t have to be like everyone else. Make your day about your love and do what makes you happy.

Photographer: Salt Media