Katie & Grant’s Eclectic & Rustic Wedding At Tanglewood Estate

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Katie & Grant

I gotta tell you, I’m in love with every bit of Katie and Grant’s rustic Tanglewood Estate wedding. Because while I have seen this beautiful country venue many a time before, it’s never had these two and their own special version of a wedding day. A blush wedding gown, a dessert buffet (on a  wagon!) that will leave you wanting smell-o-vision, a wedding film that might have you sobbing at your desk (just me?). We’re so honoured to tell their tale (which took place on the third anniversary of when they met, complemented by beautiful photographs by Ada + Ivy Photography.

We have SO many stories to share today, but we need to go back to the beginning, with the tale of how Katie and Grant met in their own words. “We met on Tinder. Katie was just about to delete the app when she sent the last few people that she hadn’t chatted to in her inbox a message. Grant was one of them. They got on really well and planned a date at the Nachos Cantina in Aspendale by the beach. Katie nearly cancelled the date because her grandfather was very ill and in the hospital. But she decided that going might cheer her up. She went straight from visiting with her grandpa, which did cheer her up. Grant was the perfect gentleman. He was understanding and listened, but also spoke about himself and his family. He was polite, opened doors, refused to let Katie pay, kissed her goodbye on the sidewalk before waiting until Katie had driven away to leave himself. The next day, Katie’s grandpa passed away. She was devastated, as she had never lost anyone close to her before. Grant was a pillar of strength and supported her through everything. A couple of days after the funeral, Katie came down with severe tonsillitis. She had to go to the doctor’s office every day for penicillin injections. Grant didn’t care what she looked like or that she was sick in bed and not much fun to be around, he hung around anyway! She got quite sick from all the antibiotics and then developed stress induced alopecia, but none of this deterred Grant! He stayed and cheered her up no matter what.”

The unexpected beginning led to Grant proposing on Sorrento Pier after a beautiful day out and utterly romantic dinner. That leads us to today…

After much flip-flopping, Grant chose chinos and a beautiful blue jacket from Arthur Galan.

Shares  Katie “I’m very superstitious, so I wanted to make sure I had my something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. I wore my mum’s blue garter from her wedding, and borrowed a ruby ring of her grandmothers, my dress was new and I wore a family friend’s hoop underneath it as my something old. ”

The bride found her beautiful blush Ida Torez gown at Be A Star Bridal. This bride to experiencing her “aha” moment as soon as she saw it. “Oh my gosh, I will love that dress forever! She is so beautiful! We’d been to a few dress shops and I’d found a couple that I liked, but wasn’t like “oh my gosh this is THE ONE!” We had the appointment at Be A Star and one other place after. We walked into Be A Star and I saw it on the rack and, they were right! I knew! I picked out a couple of other dresses to try on too, as I’ve always learnt not to put all my eggs in one basket. But I tried it on first and it was love. I came out and told Mum and Chels, my best friend since birth and matron of honour, that that beautiful blush pink Ida Torez gown was the one. I never wanted to take it off! We ordered it right there on the spot.

When we added the cathedral length two tier veil, it was just what I’d always imagined. I later decided to add straps and an overskirt for the ceremony. The white addition had a longer train than the pink skirt and just added more drama, and a hint more tradition. And, with all my tattoos, I look anything but traditional. For the reception, I changed my veil to a fingertip two tier with the same lace edging and removed the overskirt to be announced, with my gorgeous new husband, in party pink! I wish I could wear that dress forever!”

Katie and Grant worked with Desflora on the beautiful coral and white bouquets, Katie tells  “So I’ve always loved flowers. My grandpa had a glorious garden which he tended lovingly and even bred new versions of flowers in his greenhouse. This love of flowers was definitely passed down and now to me. However, I am painfully sentimental. I couldn’t bear the thought of my beautiful wedding flowers wilting. I loved that my best friend Chelsea had her silk bouquet from her wedding on display in her home and wanted to be able to do the same. Desflora came highly recommended by more than one person, so we went to check them out. I had an idea of colours and basic style, but they brought all my dreams to life. ! I picked out a few things I liked and they added things I never would have myself, including some succulents and dusty green foliage and even some peppercorn, to make the most stunning bouquet I’ve ever seen! It had just the right amount of individuality as well! ”

You will soon come to know, that every single detail at Katie and Grant’s wedding was so very carefully chosen, right down to each song. Katie explains of the processional, “We went to America shortly after we got engaged. And on a date in Santa Monica one night, while we were sitting eating dinner, this fantastic old cowboy type busker was playing outside the restaurant. We sat and listened to him and just talked about how great he was. Then he played “Country Roads Take Me Home” by John Denver and it gave us goosebumps! I still have the recording on my phone because I wanted to capture it forever. We decided then and there that I’d walk down the aisle to that. As soon as I heard Nick, from the Velvet Archers, who did all our ceremony music, start to play it, I got those same goosebumps and those butterflies started as I walked into the chapel. My dad was by my side, just as I’d always dreamed he would be and it was just so special and perfect.”

Katie knew just the person she wanted to perform the ceremony-Katherine Dolphin! She tells “I have been singing all my life and when my singing teacher, Katherine Dolphin, told us that she was becoming a celebrant, we just knew that we wanted her to marry us. She kept what she would be saying a surprise for the most part, which I loved, as I knew about everything else for the wedding. Because she was a friend of ours, the ceremony was super personal and emotional. We all cried, even Kath! And I think that just made it even more beautiful. Chelsea read a section of First Corinthians 13, which was lovely. Some might say it’s cheesy, but I’ve always loved it and when I showed Grant, he loved it too. My grandma is quite religious and given that it wasn’t a very religious ceremony, I wanted to include that for her. We also wrote our own vows to each other, which ensured there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! ”

Guests dined on an absolute feast catered by Prvdr and this, remains the groom’s favourite part of the day. “When I asked Grant to tell me through things he wanted to be included in the day, Grant wrote food. Three times. He wanted to make sure that there was no time from the end of the ceremony that people didn’t have access to good food and a drink. We definitely achieved all of this! ”

The newlyweds could not have been more thrilled with their photographer, the bride gushing “I cannot even begin to explain to you how much I love Brenna. She quickly became a friend and confidant, not just a photographer! She supported me especially, but everyone at some point or other in this journey. We met her at a bridal fair that we heard about through Polka Dot Bride actually! As soon as we saw her photos, we were hooked. We wanted photos that weren’t too over the top posey, or bright, but were a bit more antique and moody and captured all the unspoken things in a moment and that’s Ada & Ivy Photography in a nutshell! When we booked her, she kindly gave us a complimentary hour, to be used whenever we wanted. So, she came to the end of our engagement party, the September before we were married. The photos that she took that day are still some of my favourite photos ever! She just nails it every time! She lets you be relaxed and you and just capture that so effortlessly and naturally.”

Katie and Grant chose the beautiful country venue of  Tanglewood Estate for both their ceremony and reception, noting  “We went to a few venues, found a couple we thought we really liked, but when we went to visit Tanglewood, the feeling was pretty unanimous that it was the one. Of course, the venue itself is stunning! But the family that owns it, especially Donna and Emma, were so welcoming and friendly and helpful too! The barn suited our rustic, country dreams to a tee! But the chapel won our hearts. Its beautiful raw wood finish is just breathtaking! rant is a carpenter, so he loved the simple elegance of it and the crystal clear glass windows looking straight out to Sorrento bay, where we were engaged.”

Zephyr & Bloom Cakes created an amazing wedding cake and dessert table, In Katie’s words “Jemima at Zephyr and Bloom was outstanding! Her cake was to die for and her dessert bar?! Oh my gosh, it was the best thing ever!”

To ensure they could truly relax on the day, the newlyweds hired Event & Flavour to make sure everything was under control. “Lisa, at Event & Flavour, played a huge role in the planning, organising of the day and made sure everything ran smoothly. She put all of our design elements in place perfectly as well! She was a huge emotional support throughout the whole lead up as well.”

Katie and her mum decorated much of the day themselves with beautiful, handmade country touches (including a quote for guests to sign as the guestbook!) Katie shares “We like little details, and personalised touches, so we got vinyl stickers made to put on drinking glasses for the wedding party, coat hangers for the bridesmaids, and our welcome sign, which was an antique mirror. We used various jars and milk bottles in all shapes and sizes and decorated them with lace, hessian and ribbon to pop some live flowers in. We bought shepherds hooks which lined the path to the chapel, and later, to the barn and hung the decorated jars of flowers from them. Similar jars also hung from the ends of all the pews. Mum made gorgeous hessian bunting that said “Mr & Mrs Scotland” which hung behind the head table. For our guest book, we got people to sign blank quilt squares which we will be sewing together to make a wedding quilt. Robyn from Ribbon visions made us personalised ribbon to tie around little bags of personalised candies for the bonbonieres. She also printed each guest’s name onto the ribbon, which Mum cut up and sewed onto personalised cutlery holders at each guest’s seat. Grant hand made our beautiful wishing well from old fence palings! I adore it!”

We agonised over the first dance song for a while! We really wanted “If I Were A Carpenter” by Johnny Cash. But, because it’s sort of the wrong tempo and feel, plus it’s a duet with June, we didn’t feel like it would work with our three-piece, all male, band, The Velvet Archers. Who were incredible by the way! We both listened to Country Radio on Spotify and we’d suggest songs, but none felt right. Grant really doesn’t like Ed Sheeran and wanted a “No-Ed-Wed”. We finally settled on a duet called “The Rest Of Our Life” by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Irony upon ironies, I found out later that it was actually written by old Ed himself! So shhhhh.”

 The Velvet Archers were a hit on the dance floor, playing live music all night long. “The band, The Velvet Archers, especially Nick, were great!” raves Katie. “They took your typical songs everyone knows and turned them into fantastic a bluegrass country party vibe and everyone loved dancing to them! Nick accompanied me in singing a song I wrote for Grant and he made me feel at ease and comfortable, even when I was suffering pretty shocking performance anxiety.”

Katie and Grant enlisted Four by Four Filmss to create a stunning film of their day  Irwin at Four By Four Films were fantastic! His highlight reel has made sooooo many people ugly cry! The way he captured the best parts of our day and put them to the most perfect song is just unbelievable. ”

A big congratulations Katie and Grant! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you to  Ada + Ivy Photography for today’s beautiful wedding imagery!

Photographer: Ada + Ivy Photography / Cinematographer: Four by Four Films / Wedding Planner: Event & Flavour / Bride's Dress: Ida Torez / Bridal Salon: Be A Star Bridal / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Arthur Galan / Bridesmaid Dresses: Coco Melody / Makeup Artist: Samii Salisbury / Hairstylist: Naomi Paris / Flowers: Desflora / Venue: Tanglewood Estate / Ceremony Officiant: Katherine Dolphin / Catering: Prvdr / Wedding Cake: Zephyr & Bloom Cakes / Band: The Velvet Archers / Dance Lessons: Dance Union Studios / Wedding Ring: Windfall Jewellery
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Alex & Greg’s Fun & Relaxed Canberra Wedding

by | Australia - ACT, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Alex & Greg

Sometimes a wedding filled with pomp and circumstance just isn’t your jam and if that’s you, then the wedding of Alex and Greg is a must read, because these two? They did it their way. They did away with everything that didn’t work for them- grand entrances, a bridal party, a first dance. Instead, they spent the day together, celebrating with guests with amazing food, amazing gin (yes please!) their favourite four-legged friends and plenty of sunshine. This was a day, that just as it should be, was about what mattered to Alex and Greg and along with the stunning photography by Dan at All Grown Up Weddings is an absolute delight to share with you this fine day.

It’s always been easy and relaxed for these two, who met while the bride was on a gap year from her homeland of Canada, she sets the scene “I’m Canadian and grew up in Ottawa but came to Canberra on a gap year and met Greg while we both worked at the Hotel Realm back in 2009. You could say that our senses of humour aligned and we quickly formed a very fun friendship. In less than a month it developed into more than that and we were keen to see where things would take us.”

Alex and Greg chose to have photographs taken before their ceremony, noting of their photographer “Dan B from All Grown Up Weddings was super easy to get along with and listened to all of our ideas and was very relaxed on the day and I couldn’t recommend Dan B or All Grown Up Weddings more highly.”

Alex wore a gorgeous white minidress from designer L’Wren, “I was dreading trying to find a wedding dress as I could never imagine myself in one,” she explains “but it turned out being much easier than anticipated. The designer is L’Wren and it was purchased at Annabel’s in Kingston. It was the second dress I tried on and I was in and out in 15 minutes. It’s a two piece so I plan on wearing them separately again.”

There was, of course, one very special guest. “The day felt super relaxed and intimate. It was so special to have our rescue dog, King, with us at the ceremony. He just makes us happy and he deserved some extra pats from all of the guests” tells Alex.

Alex and Greg were married at Mt Stromlo Observatory, the bride sharing “We chose Mt Stromlo because we thought it was such a cool place in Canberra to show off. We had quite a few relatives come from overseas so it was a great place that they could see the whole of Canberra from. We also liked how stark white the dome is. It’s just beautiful the way it is.

“Our favourite part was being with everyone we love and seeing them all smiling ear to ear all day long,” remembers Alex, who along with Greg chose Steven Murray
 to officiate the one formal part of the day.

Guests enjoyed a gorgeous garden party reception at (now closed)  Pod Food. “Pod Food was one of the two places we checked out for our reception” remembers Alex. “We loved the feel instantly upon our first meeting with the restaurant manager. It was a lush, green refuge in the summer heat. A beautiful little time capsule hidden amongst the nurseries of Pialligo. Not to mention the food is absolutely to die for and it was the perfect size for our group of people.”

Guests were greeted by a plentiful gin bar, Alex noting “We didn’t fuss over anything because our goal was to have a fun time with all of the people we love while sharing some fabulous food and delectable drinks. We didn’t want anything too traditional so we did away with a bridal party, grand entrances, we didn’t spend money on senseless decorations or hire cars. Instead, we focused on what mattered to us. Which were clearly great food and awesome gin! Pod Food created the perfect fun and social atmosphere. We were surrounded by delicious smells of meats roasting and friendly smiles from all of the staff that was there to make everyone feel welcome and looked after.”

Congratulations Alex and Greg! Thank you for letting us share the stories of your day! Thank you also to All Grown Up Weddings for sharing the beautiful photographs!

Photographer: All Grown Up Weddings / Bride's Dress: L’Wren / Bride's Shoes: Tony Bianco / Bride's Jewellery: Keshett / Groom's Attire: Saba / Groom's Attire: MJ Bale / Groom's Attire: Liberty of London / Hairstylist: Stephanie Savvoudiou / Makeup Artist: Gloww Beauty
 / Flowers: Nature Child / Ceremony Venue: Mt Stromlo Observatory / Ceremony Officiant: Steven Murray
 / Reception Venue: Pod Food / Rental Furniture: Dream Hire Design / Rental Furniture: Love Me Tender / Wedding Cake: Sweet Bones

Chic Style For Bridesmaids From Esther & Co

by | Bride, Bridesmaids


If there is any lady (apart from the bride!) that deserves to don a fabulous dress on a wedding day, it’s the bridesmaids! And we’re always on the hunt for beautiful gowns for your favourite ladies to wear down the aisle. Today? Enter the crew at Australian fashion favourites Esther & Co!

The brand, who has been loved for their fun and flirty pieces for everyday style has released their brand new collection just for bridesmaids and we’re on board!

The new “Esther Luxe” range is designed to be completely accessible while staying true to the brand’s on-trend vision. Think of the moment colour tones of marsala, navy, blush, white, cream and black coupled with trend based silhouettes – halternecks, off the shoulder necklines and cold shoulder detailing all taking their moment in the spotlight.

There’s not just plenty to choose from in necklines and colours either- the gowns come in everything from mid-length to long, short sleeve to full, sleeveless and of course the classic favourite- strapless, so you can find a look for everyone.

And these gowns? They’re mix and match friendly, the team curating a colour guide on the website, so they’re easy to coordinate across the styles (they’ll even ship you jewellery and accessories to complete the look).

My favourite? The strapless, “Fleur” is utterly romantic, with a touch of chic with it’s tiered, draped design that paired with lightly toned blooms is the most beautiful option for a Spring or Summer celebration.

The new “Esther Luxe” collection is available from the Esther & Co website.


Photographer: Sara Eshu / Bridesmaid Dresses: Esther & Co / Stylist: Bailey Macdonald / Bridesmaid Shoes: Tony Bianco / Model: Kaily Smith

Emma & Evi’s Sweet Wollongong Garden Wedding

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


Emma & Evi

I love nothing more than getting to know the amazing couples that cross our pages and it has been an absolute delight to meet Emma and Evi. Their beautiful day, which was every bit relaxed and equally as beautiful was one of those stories that truly is “feel good”.

With stunning photography by the lovely Sarah Kennedy Photography, the pair chose a garden setting for their ceremony, before a waterside restaurant hosted their sparkling reception. But that’s not what stood out to me the most. These two added personal touches to every part of their day- from traditional Nigerian dress for the dance floor, handmade by the newlyweds wedding stationery, heartfelt readings and a pure love for not just each other, but they life they lead. It’s stories like this we live to tell.

It was nothing fancy when these two met, a suburban shopping centre holding the key! Emma tells their tale “This romance began in one of the world’s most romantic locations…no not Paris or even on a yacht in the Med…oh no it began in Westfield Belconnen! haha

We met when we were both working at Westfield Belconnen in Canberra ACT. Evi was a security guard and I was working at the concierge desk.

We have chatted a few times but one fateful afternoon when Evi was going down the escalators and I going up. As we passed each other and Evi flashed his smile, sparks flew and something special was born in that moment and the rest is history.”

Evi wore a dapper three piece suit custom made by InStitchu.

Could we be any more in love with the bride’s stunning Carla Zampatti gown? “I didn’t want a typical “wedding dress” tells Emma. “I was in the Carla Zampatti store when the dresses were first delivered. As soon as I tried it on I knew that it was the dress. It was perfectly elegant with just enough frill!” We agree!

Emma walked down the aisle with her father to William Tell’s Overture, the couple choosing the song from a recent trip to Melbourne to see the opera.

“It was perfect for the number of guests we had and had the perfect backdrop for our ceremony” tells Emma of their ceremony at the Temple Garden at Wollongong Botanic Gardens.

Emma and Evi chose  Melissa Fahey – Mine Forever Celebrant Services to officiate their ceremony. “She was amazing and made everyone so relaxed. Melissa went out of the way to really get to know us.  The ceremony was a lot about family and really showed how much we  love each other and our  families.”

Special readings personalised the ceremony. “Emma’s brother Evan did a reading “He’s not perfect” by Bob Marley as well as Evi’s twin sisters Keno & Vivien did the final blessing” tells Emma.

“I chose a simple white palette which fitted in well with the casual style of the wedding” explains Emma of the simple, white bouquet styled by  Wildflower Florist.

“She was brilliant and made us feel so relaxed on the day,” remarks Emma of their chosen photographer, Sarah Kennedy. She continues “The pictures are perfect and whenever we look at them we’re taken back to the day. She captured so many beautiful moments of the day.
We had an engagement photo shoot a couple of months beforehand which I definitely recommend. On the wedding day, we were already used to having our photo taken and posing for the camera.”

Emma and Evi chose  Level One at Harbourfront for their sit down reception, noting “We loved the outlook on the water and again was perfect for the number of guests. The food is also pretty good!! Doing the menu tasting at Harbourfront with Emma’s parents was our favourite part of wedding planning. The weather was beautiful and the food was amazing. It was a great time to relax in the lead up to the big day.”

Emma and Evi chose a cheese tiered wedding cake from Burnt Butter Cakes to honour the bride’s love of cheese.

Instead of a “Traditional” first dance, Emma and Evi joined their guests on the dance floor in traditional Nigerian dress. Emma explaining “We danced back into the reception venue to Ada Ada by Flavour & All Over by Tiwa Savage ( both Nigerian artists). Everyone else joined in dancing with us so not a typical first dance but lots of fun!”

A big congratulations to you Emma and Evi! Thank you for telling us all the stories of your day Thank you also to  Sarah Kennedy Photography for today’s wedding!

Photographer: Sarah Kennedy Photography / Bride's Dress: Carla Zampatti / Bride's Shoes: Wittner / Groom's Attire: InStitchu / Makeup Artist: Lu Lu Makeup / Hairstylist: Neve Art Of Hair / Flowers: Wildflower Florist / Ceremony Venue: Wollongong Botanic Gardens / Ceremony Officiant: Melissa Fahey - Mine Forever Celebrant Services / Reception Venue: Level One at Harbourfront / Decor: Splash Events / Wedding Cake: Burnt Butter Cakes