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Classic Vintage Chic Wedding at Montsalvat

Classic at its very core, and beyond gorgeous – this Australian soiree at the Montsalvat is what my wedding dreams are made of. Complete with a stunning gown from non other than Project Runway winner, Leanne Marshall and gorgeous florals from Floral Concepts, every detail sitting in Luma Photo‘s gorgeous photos are just as pretty as they come, and you can see them all here.


From the Bride…I met Andrew, love of my life, and now my husband, at work two years ago. We dated for 12 months before Andrew proposed on the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise on a holiday to New York. I was obviously thrilled and we started to plan our wedding straight away!

For us, the venue was the easiest part to choose as we had both visited and loved Montsalvat which is a small artist colony that resembles an ancient European castle and was built by bohemians in the 1920s. As children we had both wandered the gardens amazed by its enchanting features so different to anywhere else, and when we were dating we would frequent the restaurant for coffee with the peacocks on several occasions! We chose a simplistic style and used the medieval/vintage feel of the venue to inspire us.

My dress I bought online and it was designed by Leanne Marshall (project runway winner in the USA). I sent my measurements over to the USA and my dress arrived 12 weeks later. The dress was simple and beautiful with a silk underlay and full lace overlay. I am absolutely obsessed with lace and very girly styling. I wore pearl earrings given to me by Andrew for my birthday and a delicate vintage watch that was my grandmothers (given to her on her wedding day). My veil was full length silk tulle and I bought that online from a UK designer, Sarah Morgan.

I chose baby pink for my gorgeous bridesmaids to wear because firstly its a beautiful feminine soft colour and also because our venue was quite dark inside and I wanted to lighten the mood. The girls dresses were hand made by a dressmaker I knew who had made other dresses for me in the past. All the girls had slightly different styles to keep things interesting. They also wore pearl jewels and I presented them with a pearl clutch on the day, that I purchased from Etsy. Andrew wore a classic black single-breasted peaked lapel suit by Melbourne designer Godwin and Charlie. He has loved Godwin and Charlie for years as they make beautiful fitting suits and stylish jackets. He even learnt to tie his own bow tie for the occasion! His groomsmen all wore black dinner suits.

Our flowers were provided by floral concepts- inspired by nature. Jessica Higgins (floral designer) made me the most gorgeous tear drop bouquet and my beautiful bridesmaids had poses of pastel pink and ivory roses as well as Lissianthus, andromeda and seasonal foliage. Jessica also dressed the tables with two lovely bouquets in fowlers jars and she provide the bouquets for the church.

The wedding ceremony was held in the upper gallery in front of a stunning stain-glass window. We had a Catholic ceremony and used traditional vows and readings. The entry music was played by a classical trio (cello, violin and piano) and was an arrangement of the song ‘The Giant of Illinois’ by Andrew Bird. Our friend Steven Walker also performed an emotional rendition of our favourite songs ‘To Build a Home’ by Cinematic Orchestra.

The reception was held in the great hall- the largest building on the Montsalvat grounds. The 120 guests dined with roaring open fires and huge candelabra’s on each table while they listened and later danced to the amazing tunes played by ‘The Royal Jellies’ a fantastic 8 piece swing style band. My very clever mum and her friend from work made all the place cards and mum hand-made all the favours as well as a material tree with hearts for people to write a message on and add to the tree.

The favours were individually made lace bags with pink ribbon roses, filled with delicious heart chocolates. Our cake was made by another talented family friend, Patricia Lovegrove. It was an ivory three tiered chocolate mud cake with a swirl design and was decorated by our florist in fresh roses.
We had dance lessons at ‘Forever Dance’ and gorgeous instructor Kate created a lovely first dance for two uncoordinated individuals, to the song ‘A case of you’ – James Blake cover. Everyone then joined us on the dance floor to continue the celebration into the night!

Of course Luma Photo were there to capture the whole day and we were so impressed with the beautiful photos this talented team were able to present to us. Not to mention their professional, calming and caring nature. It’s so wonderful to have all these beautiful memories.

Photography: Luma Photo | Flowers: Floral Concepts | Band: The Royal Jellies | Groom's Suit: Godwin And Charli | Bride's Dress: Leanne Marshall | Reception & Ceremony: Montsalvat

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Laid Back, Rustic Barn Wedding

A good barn wedding is hard for us to pass up. They’re just so much fun! The Wallington Barn provided the perfect rustic backdrop for the the bride’s show-stopping Claire Pettibone gown and refreshing florals from Flowerbowl (note: the black raspberries in the bouquets. Love!). Keep scrolling for Louisa Bailey‘s photos from the event, and make sure to check out the rest of her snapshots in the full gallery.


From the Bride…After being together for nearly 10 years, Justin and I already knew we were in it for life. We feel pretty lucky that we found each other, and that we live such a fortunate life with so many good people around us. So, based on this we really saw our wedding as an opportunity to put on a great party to celebrate all our favorite people, just as much as it was a confirmation that we will always be together!

Ultimately we just wanted to have a really happy day; to see each other and all our favorite people in one room having an awesome time. So the day was really planned around that.

The wedding was definitely a team effort with lots of friends and family members helping to set up and pack up. In particular my parents were a huge help; Mum spent days making bunting, hay bale covers and table runners while Dad searched the sand dunes for native grasses and hunted through timber yards for the perfect stumps to mark out the isle. They are amazing people and incredibly supportive of everything.

Having a wedding at The Barn meant we had to hire in everything from glassware and ovens to fridges and forks, so there was a lot of paper work and logistics involved. Luckily this was Justin’s strong point and he took care of lots of these finer details!

We were also very lucky to have some great suppliers who were not only very talented, but equally lovely, helpful, and genuine people. In particular my awesome hairdresser and make-up artist Cassandra de Bruin went above and beyond (even repairing my bridesmaid’s broken shoe at the last minute), our amazing photographer Louisa Bailey was so professional and lovely, our celebrant Jo put everyone at ease and created a relaxed and fun atmosphere and nothing was too much trouble for our caterers. Everyone involved on the day, right down to our ice cream man Des, was so lovely and so easy to work with.

We loved the natural setting of The Barn, it is such a peaceful and beautiful spot. It also allowed us to quickly sneak up to the Bluff at Barwon Heads for a few photos too – which was important to us.

Even months after the day it still brings a smile to my face and I think it always will. We feel really lucky. It was such a happy day and we wouldn’t change a thing!

Photography: Louisa Bailey | Flowers: Flowerbowl | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Cake: Love It Cakes | Brides Shoes: Tony Bianco | Bridesmaids Dresses: Review | Catering: The RK Group | Hair And Make Up: Cassanda De Bruin | Band: The Beachniks | Grooms Attire: Gibson From Eddy Elias Menswear | Celebrant: Jo Betz | Ceremony And Reception: The Barn In Wallington | Ice Cream Truck: Timboon Fine Ice Cream

Surprise Proposal Shoot and Film

While this is just as beautiful as the inspiration shoots we post, this, my friends, is an actual proposal. The groom-to-be enlisted the help of Amy Magnisalis from Simply Photography to set up a photo shoot then ask the couple to “model” for it. I don’t want to ruin it, but you HAVE to watch the film from Inkster Productions at the end. It’s so cute! And for more images find the full gallery here

From Simply Photography I am very very excited to show you the best surprise proposal shoot ever! I received an inbox from Josh the week before asking if I would photograph a proposal shoot. So after and day of creative planning and a few phone calls I got creative.
I phoned Kim asking if she could model for a shoot and she happily agreed. Josh had arranged some of Kim’s favourite Cup Cakes from “my cupcakes” which said “Will you marry me” which we exchanged earlier in the day whilst gorgeous Kim was getting hair and makeup done by the talented Kilyne Le of Dazzling Makeup. Then off we went to set up, with loads of gorgeous flowers and three amazing setups, A vintage dining set full of flowers with a vintage candelabra, A park bench setup with flowers, suitcases, a tea set and an umbrella, and a romantic picnic setup with cushions, blanket, flowers and red wine in real vintage wine glasses that my great grandmother owned.

Josh proposed on the picnic set (set with flowers, baskets and red wine) where he gave Kim the box of cupcakes to open. For a second Kim thought it was “a cute idea” for the shoot until she realized and then Josh popped the question. Of course Kim said YES!!!

Josh contacted me through Facebook as he knew Kim loved my work. He ask for my assistance as he wanted to propose to Kim. He told me she loved the Tree Farm at Richmond where I’ve shot a few wedding. So after a few phone calls I got creative and so did Donna from Unique Floral and together we created the most sweet romantic settings within the trees. The plan was for me to call Kim and ask her to model for a shoot BUT the catch was we needed a couple, and Kim always wanted to do a shoot with me and said “don’t worry I’ll make him do it”. But prior to the shoot was Kim’s birthday and Kim was expecting Josh to take her away for the weekend before the shoot on Monday. But Josh said no as he couldn’t be bothered…. This was to plan the surprise! Kim got cranky and took off without him which was great for Josh! Let the planning begin!

Kim came back in a good mood in hope that Josh wouldn’t complain about the shoot. I arranged for the Makeup artist to go to kims house to do her up. Then they arrived and Kim had no idea. When the light was right on the gorgeous picnic setting Josh handed Kim the Box of cupcakes. I instructed her to take the box and untie the ribbon, Then the magic happened and tears of joy flowed from Kim’s eyes. After the shoot Josh had arranged a night in a five star hotel for the two of them for the night.

From the Bride… Wow! I’m so happy to be able to share this with my family and friends…. The best day of my life so far! I’m so lucky to have such an amazing man and beautiful friends. Amy Magnisalis, Matthew Inkster, Donna Pellew, Glen Pellew words cannot express how much I love what you have done for us both! Thank you again guys. I love you fiancé Josh Cottees xxxxx

Photography: Simply Photography | Videographer: Inkster Productions | Floral Design: Unique Floral | Hair & Makeup: Dazzling Makeup