Annabel & Tom’s Outback Elegance Wedding

by | Australia - Northern Territory, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Annabel & Tom

If there ever was a state of Australia that knows what it is to live Summer, it’s the Northern Territory. The stunning deep red soil, the beautiful blue skies, the sunsets that take your breath away.

And so, for the Summer Issue, we thought, there was no better wedding to share than one that made the most of its Australian outback location – the outdoor reception, the fireworks that lit up the night sky and the wide-open landscapes that really only the Australian outback can deliver. With the most beautiful sunset (wait until you see the horse photos!) the couple enlisted photographer Lisa Hatz to join them as the day unfolded in beautiful Northern Territory style.

As for how they met, it was true to form – the pair meeting when the bride’s father picked up the random hitchhiker (who also turned out to be the groom!) Annabel tells the story “Tom found himself in a tight situation trying to hitchhike to an event 200km away. He was walking down the highway in his cowboy hat and with a saddle bag slung over one shoulder when a farmer noticed him looking out of place. The farmer offered him a lift and as luck would have it he was heading to the same event the following day. Later that night the farmer’s daughter arrived back at the farm dressed in her corporate attire from her job in Perth an hour away. That girl was me, Annabel.

Although we lived 4,000kms away (Tom in the NT and myself in southern WA), we stayed in touch over the phone for 12 months before I threw in my corporate job and city life and moved to Katherine in the middle of the outback.”      

The bride has one very crucial piece of advice to other brides to be – don’t change your skincare! She explains “I was one of those brides who made a fatal mistake in the lead-up to the wedding. Despite having read horror stories of brides changing skincare products and having allergic reactions in weeks before their wedding – I did just that. I didn’t think twice when it was suggested I try a new cleanser. It was two weeks prior to the wedding and I generally don’t react to soaps/ moisturisers. Five days after I started using the product I woke up with what I thought was a small rash on my cheek. I didn’t think much of it until two days later (five days prior to the wedding) my whole face was covered in red lumps. I went to emergency thinking it was just an allergic reaction and a cream would fix it to be told I had chemically burnt my face and there wasn’t a lot I could do but wait for it to heal and apply colours to it. Fortunately, it came good by the wedding day however, as a result, my skin was very sensitive and I ended up reacting to the glue of the fake eyelashes. Two days after the wedding my face was very swollen!”

The bride chose a beautiful gown with sheer sleeves from  Ae’lkemi, “I already had an idea of what I wanted (after scanning many wedding dress sites); long sleeve, front split, v-neck, full length and flattering. My sister had an incredible wedding dress custom made by Ae’lkemi some years earlier and Alvin was so easy to work with. I made an appointment, walked in, tried on two dresses, agreed to use the top of one dress and the bottom of the other, agreed on the price, Alvin took my measurements, I paid the deposit and was done in about 20 minutes.
I had another two dress fittings prior to the wedding. I didn’t actually have a ‘final dress fitting’ due to not being able to get back down to WA. To be honest, the dress turned out different to what I had envisaged – it was better! I had a lot of faith in Alvin, he’s dressed so many women and knows what works on different body shapes.”

Annabel and Tom met before their ceremony for a “first look”. Annabel remarks ” I can highly recommend having photos prior to the ceremony. Our ‘first look’ moment was intimate (I think we both laughed at each other). By the time the ceremony came around we were super relaxed and able to take more in. It also meant we were able to roll straight into the reception.”

  Tom popped the question on a trip down south, Annabel remembering “Tom proposed to me on the red pindan cliffs that overlook the Indian Ocean at Barn Hill Station, 130km south of Broome.
During the Top End Wet Season tourist numbers are low so we close and head south for four months. We were on our way back to the NT in March with something like 12 horses and 14 working dogs. We hit flood waters south of Newman which caused us to break down in the middle of nowhere between Newman and Port Hedland. The nights were around 36 degrees and we were sleeping in a swag with a mozzie net over us hoping not to be rained on. My car was meant to be delivered to Katherine but got dropped off in Fitzroy Crossing (1,160km short of the destination).
We made it to Barn Hill one day later than planned and Tom did very well. He had arranged for champagne and a cheese platter to be hidden in the dunes where he got down on one knee at sunset and asked me to marry him.”

The bride chose beautiful bright tropical blooms styled by Beija Flor. She explains “I always thought I would have simple native flowers, however, being surrounded by so much colour here in the Top End, I was inspired to mix tropical flowers with the natives. This tied in beautifully with the natural setting. The boys had mixed buttonholes and Matilda had a gorgeous flower crown made from native orchids.
We had vases of native flowers and greenery from our garden down the centre of the tables. We wanted to keep the styling simple..”

Annabel and Tom chose Harry Hookey to play the bride down the aisle, Annabel noting “Harry played his original tune “Audrey’s Song” which is our favourite song and fitting with our story. My father Leigh walked me down the aisle.”

These two had the most gorgeous venue available for their day- they’re the owners of Katherine Outback Experience and the setting was just the ticket for a wedding! “We got married on our property just out of Katherine. We have a beautiful big backyard with huge shady trees and lush green lawn. Being a tourism business, we already have great ablution facilities and plenty of space for family and friends to camp in caravans, motorhomes and swags.”

Annabel and Tom chose Fay Miller to officiate their ceremony, Annabel remembers “We had a relaxed outdoor ceremony. We chose a spot on our property that allowed all our guests to be in the shade. We had our wedding photos before the ceremony so the bridal party was already relaxed. We have a lot of nieces and nephews so we had them sitting down the front on cushions which was really sweet.
Our celebrant (and local mayor), Fay Miller is a lot of fun and has a really warm nature about her. There were a lot of funny moments and laughs.”

Guests celebrated at long tables under the open sky, with the help of Longrass Style. “We engaged Belinda Rasheed of Longrass Style to assist with styling the venue on the day of the wedding. She was absolutely phenomenal. Having her setting the tables, arranging flowers and adding all the final touches allowed me to sit back and enjoy the day” explains the bride.

“The theme and styling was simple with a touch of outback elegance. We had long tables dressed with white table clothes and natives flowers and greenery. Lines of festoon lights created a beautiful setting under the stars on our green lawn. The atmosphere was social and happy with lots of dancing and laughter.”

Of their chosen photographer, Annabel tells “Our photographer Lisa Hatz Photography was amazing. She had photographed another outback wedding and it was clear she understood the stunning colours of the landscape. Since working with Lisa, I have a whole new appreciation of the role the photographer plays in the planning and running of the wedding day. She really went above and beyond. She provided a detailed timeline for the day, recommendations for the ceremony location, pros and cons around the order of events, fake tans, eyelashes etc.”

Tells Annabel “It is hard to pick a favourite part. It was fun getting the photos with the horses galloping around us. The speeches were absolutely hilarious, the music was sensational and the dance floor went off!”

The first dance mixed in the couple’s favourites, played live by Harry Hookey Annabel explaining “We again had Harry Hookey perform Audrey’s Song for the first dance. I had been chatting to him prior to the reception and I asked if he knew any Bruce Springsteen songs. He mixed ‘I’m on Fire’ into the first dance which was very cool.”

A big congratulations to you both Annabel and Tom! Thank you for taking the time to share our stories with us. Thank you also to Lisa Hatz for sharing the beautiful day with us!

Photographer: Lisa Hatz / Styling: Longrass Style / Bride's Dress: Ae'lkemi / Groom's Attire: Attitude for Men / Makeup Artist: The Beauty Bar / Hairstylist: Visons Hair Design / Flowers: Beija Flor / Venue: Katherine Outback Experience / Ceremony Officiant: Fay Miller / Catering: Dragonfly Catering and Events / Band: Harry Hookey / Band: Innocent Eve
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Lauren & Adam’s Elegant Brisbane Garden Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Lauren & Adam

There really isn’t much more romantic than a garden wedding is there? The hidden city garden that Lauren and Adam found in the middle of Brisbane turned out to be just the most stunning of settings for a simple, honest garden wedding day. Choosing Quince & Mulberry Studios to photograph the day, the lush green setting invited guests in, welcoming them to the most intimate of ceremonies, before a sit down dinner with the newlyweds unfolded. This was a day that was purely Lauren and Adam – simple, elegant, natural and a beautiful tale to tell.

And it was on Christmas day that Adam popped the question, the proposal coming after the pair met at work, knowing there was a connection the first time he laid eyes on her. The newlyweds tell their story. “Lauren had been hinting that she would like to get married for some time and Christmas was fast approaching. Adam bought a range of gifts, one being a round brilliant cut diamond ring and also a set of earrings. Adam had planned to give the earrings on Christmas Day surrounded by family and leave the ring till the next day, but when Lauren opened the box and saw the disappointment on her face, he grabbed the ring and knelt on bended knee and asked Lauren to be his wife”.


Lauren chose an elegant lace gown designed by Made With Love. She tells “My dress was simple and elegant, lace with sleeves – as soon as I tried it on, I knew it was perfect.”

Lauren added her own special touches to her look. “On the day I was given my mum’s bracelet (she passed away a number of years ago) it was nice to wear something of hers on the day – it felt like she was there celebrating with me.”

A hidden inner city garden The Gardens Club, set the scene for the day, Lauren explaining “As we were living in New Zealand we enquired about a range of venues (restaurants, commercial/industrial spaces, etc) and whilst we were walking through the botanical gardens weighing up a range of venues across Brisbane, we stopped for a coffee at the Gardens Club. We really wanted a nature/garden style wedding and we noticed the cute cottage linked to the Cafe. We asked to see inside and once there, we made up our mind that this was for us… timber floors, classic architraves, large windows looking out onto the gardens – perfect. When they advised us that it was also a non-profit supporting the Wise Foundation we signed up straight away”. The couple chose Inspired By Love Events to style and set up their day.

Lauren walked part way down the aisle to “The One” by Kodaline, accompanied by her father and stepfather, she then finished her walk by herself.


Adam and Lauren were married by Geoff of I Do Creative Ceremonies, noting “We wanted a fairly simple ceremony that told the story of our meeting through to the ceremony, our celebrant Geoff Mazlin did an amazing job of this. Adam actually worked with Geoff approximately 15 years prior.”

Inspired By Love Events created the romantic floral details for the day, Lauren telling “Gemma gave me a few photos of what she was thinking for them to suit our simple, white and natural colour palette. I just went with her judgement and I couldn’t have picked a better bunch myself.”

Of their photographer, Lauren shares “Kate (Quince & Mulberry) did an amazing job from the moment we started liaising from New Zealand. She was really personable, full of ideas and just so easy to work with. We were amazed at the results because we were given so many photos that captured the essence of the day, some we couldn’t actually recall being taken so they were such a pleasant surprise.”

Lauren and Adam opted out of a bridal party, but made sure to include their favourite people in special ways, from holding the rings, to sitting with them on the bridal table, they explain. “We kept our closet friends’ names off the seating chart to raise some suspicion that they had been left off only to surprise them that they were sitting with us.”

Cake Kiosk made a beautiful tiered semi-naked cake, topped with fresh flowers, The newlyweds telling “It was hard to pick one – each of our vendors were fantastic and understood our vision. Without living in Brisbane at the time- everything was done via email and phone. We couldn’t fault any detail”

“We loved being surrounded by our closest family and friends, especially those that had to travel”

And the night ended (or began!) with the newlyweds taking to the dance floor to a slow, acoustic version of Maroon Five’s “Sugar” which soon kicked into the uptempo, party version!

Lauren & Adam, thank you so much for sharing the stories of your day with us! And a big thank you to the ever lovely and talented Quince & Mulberry Studios for sharing today’s wedding.


Photographer: Quince & Mulberry Studios / Styling: Inspired By Love Events / Bride's Dress: Made With Love / Groom's Attire: Barkers / Makeup Artist: Hayley Sullivan / Hairstylist: Meraki Hair By Brie / Flowers: Inspired By Love Events / Venue: The Gardens Club / Ceremony Officiant: I Do Creative Ceremonies / Wedding Cake: Cake Kiosk

Amy & Joe’s Modern Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Amy & Joe

When Amy And Joe were asked to sum up their wedding, the answer was simple. “Modern, relaxed with a big party feel!” The stunning Mornington Peninsula playing host to a weekend packed with festivities and the most important? A sweet chapel ceremony, and a beautiful waterside reception. With White Vine Photography behind the camera. it was the most beautiful new beginning for these high school sweethearts who have been together for more than eleven years. The groom to be popping the question at the bride’s favourite winery, Joe pulled out a ring as a complete shock to Amy!

Amy and Joe opted to skip the wedding party noting that they had too many friends to choose from. Instead, they asked their friends to be with them as they got ready, and asked their mothers to sign their marriage certificate.

The bride worked with Cappellazzo Couture on her stunning couture gown, telling “I wore a slim fitting modern neoprene gown with chapel length veil borrowed from my cousin’s best friend with a big bow on the back.”


Amy and Joe held their wedding ceremony at the sweet St Thomas’ Catholic Church, Portsea. “St Thomas’ is a beautiful little chapel just off Main Street,” tells Amy.

The bride walked down the aisle to “Fallen so young” by Declan J Donovan sung by cousin Luke.

“The newlyweds telling “The ceremony was fantastic for both of us, really loved finally being married after 11 years together .We chose a service instead of a full mass. We wanted a Catholic service with an inclusive and warm feel. Our priest was fantastic and it was quite emotional for us and most of the congregation.”

“Being with all our closest friends and family was such a special feeling. We feel very lucky.”

Of their photographers, the bride tells “Dan and Alexandra were amazing and made us feel so comfortable. We had such fun taking our photos, was easy and a good part of the day.”

It was by the water that the newlyweds celebrated, choosing Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron for their evening reception. “Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron is a beautiful new modern venue right on the water’s edge.  The Venue made everything so easy and the food was outstanding, some of the best wedding food I’ve had!” remarks the bride.

The reception was filled with fun touches, tell the newlyweds. “Our reception ended up being a huge party, which is exactly what we wanted. We had a Froze machine, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed and we  also wanted cheeseburgers at the end but McDonald’s cancelled the day before. The venue filled in with French fries late in the night.”

Despite. dance lessons, the bride’s dress got in the way a little for the newlywed’s first dance, for which they chose Frank Ocean’s “Pink + White”. Guests danced away with live music from Top Dog Entertainment.

A big congratulations to you both Amy and Joe! Thank you so much for sharing your wedding day stories with us. Thank you also to White Vine Photography for sharing today’s celebration.

Photographer: White Vine Photography / Bride's Dress: Cappellazzo Couture / Bride's Shoes: Jo Mercer / Groom's Attire: Travellers Apparel / Hairstylist: Taylor D Hair / Makeup Artist: Chelsea Darnell / Groom's Shoes: Calibre / Flowers: Flowers Etc / Invitations & Stationery: Minted / Ceremony Venue: St Thomas' Catholic Church, Portsea / Ceremony Officiant: Father Bill Ousley / Reception Venue: Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron / Signage: Minted / Band: Top Dog Entertainment / Wedding Cake: Custom Cakes By Tina Ayer / Wedding Ring: Ralf Fisch

Polka Dot Gift Guide – Couples & Newlyweds

by | Bride, Gift Guide


We’re counting down until the big day around these parts and so today we’re sharing our third instalment in this year’s Polka Dot Gift Guides as we round up gift ideas for the couples and newlyweds.

Being engaged, or just married has to be one of the most exciting and crazy times of one’s life. So much is focused on the relationship that is sometimes at the very core of who you are, so why not celebrate it?
We’ve filled this guide with fun tokens that acknowledge the big step, from the fun and frivolous, to the sentimental and sweet!

OliveCreativeCompany Personalised Doormat, Beehive Handmade Cheese Markers,Pottery Barn Bleecker Bar Martini Jug, Nkdna Dream House Keyring, Artifact Uprising Personal Photo Book, The Wedding Nest Leather Magazine Holder, Country Road Four In A Row Game, Google Home Mini in Aqua, The Astrology OF You & Me by Gary Goldschneider, Williams Sonoma Himalayan Salt Plate, Talking Heads Host Your Own Casino Night Set, Glamp My Camp Stripe Hammock, Little Pineapple Neon Light

Anthropologie Monogram Cheese Board, Wheel & Barrow Mojito Set, Kate Spade Love You More Mug Set, Gorman End Of The Rainbow Linen, Wheel & Barrow Gold Champagne Tub, Amira Marble Cheese Set, Kikki K Life Plan Journal, Anthropologie Betti Cake Stand, Kreafunk Afunk Bluetooth Speaker From The Wedding Nest, I Love Linen Linen Sheet Set, WystarWeddingShop Newlywed Pillowcases, Country Road Ombra Mirror, Juniper Books Harry Potter Mashup Set, JclayPottery Bride & Groom Vase