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Emotional + Intimate Wedding Chosen by the Public

Truth be told, you won’t find a dry eye around the office after reading through this couple’s journey down the aisle. It’s a story about strength, survival, and a love so powerful that not even a life-changing diagnosis could derail them. What started out as a promotion for a local venue, BV Pizzeria + Wine Bar, Kawana Island, turned into a full Express Wedding give-away with radio station 92.7 MixFM holding the reigns and a fantastic number of generous wedding vendors jumping on-board to donate $15000 of services and products. Every moment that photographer Lani Carter captured is undeniably powerful and we invite you to witness it all here.


From the photographer, Lani Carter… This wedding started out as a promotion to launch weddings at a local venue, the radio station and some suppliers got on board and donated a wedding to the value of $15,000. Every step of the way, the public voted on theme, dress, and ultimately they even chose the couple who would win their dream-come-true wedding. The couple who won changed the vibe of the entire thing.

The Bride’s entry-winning letter:  
So, our story begins like this…. October last year I had a grand mal seizure while playing in the park with our kids. I was rushed to hospital. They thought I had a stroke. At the age of 27, fit and healthy I thought “how could this happen to me”? My mum had a stroke 2 years ago and she has recovered miraculously – I thought yup if she can do it and be perfectly normal and happy – I can do it too. It wasn’t until my MRI scans came through and the results of the CT scan that would change our lives forever. I had a 4.5cm lesion in my right paretial lobe of the brain. They couldn’t tell me how long it had been there but kept saying how lucky we were that the seizure had happened. Normally you don’t get a warning like this especially so early on, the tumour itself was putting so much pressure on the other areas of my brain from the swelling from being so fatigued and tired from work and being a mum of a 2 year old that it just erupted. The word “lucky” was not one that came to our minds.

In January I had a biopsy of the brain tumor. The results that came back were as good as can be – stage 2 cancer, the type of tumor is called an Astrocytoma Glioma. The median life span of this particular tumor is 10 years. I was referred straight through to my oncologist team at the RBWH where I met with my radio-oncologist and my chemo-oncologist. It was then when reality hit the hardest – they looked at my husband and me and said great news we have caught this early – however the type of tumor it is, and where it’s located in the brain makes it inoperable. Radiation won’t shrink it or cure it – it will only give you time. The tumor has stealth like features it grows little tentacles (like arms and legs) and goes to good parts of the brain and grows. Those little tentacles won’t show up on scans only when it forms more tumours will be when we see another lesion/growth in the brain. Even if they operate those little legs won’t be seen therefore they will just keep growing and multiplying. My first reaction was let’s beat this thing, let’s get straight into radio and chemo I need to see my son grow up, and I want to grow old and experience life adventures with my best friend and husband-to-be. The doctors then went into the risks of the radio and chemo – at 28 – loss of sight, permanent loss of hair, brain damage to good parts of the brain and cells, early dementia, infertility, numbness and loss of full movement and quality of life were just some of the things I would be at risk of losing. Again – reality sunk in along with a lot of emotions. This wasn’t going to be over in a couple of weeks nor months. The one course of the first treatment is 6 weeks radio therapy every day which equals time off work = no income or support for my family from me.

At this stage Troy and I are buying our time together until the next MRI and radio-oncologist appointment in April and May. The risk of treatment is all too much for me right now. Too much at risk, too much to lose. We have decided to put our wedding plans on hold and defer them for a couple of years and focus on getting better this year which means spending quality time with family. I know in a couple of years I may not get this opportunity to marry Troy or even physically walk down the aisle the way I had dreamt of; however, we now have the best opportunity to do both. Have our cake and eat it too.

We had our friends and family nominate us for Mark and Caroline’s Express Wedding. We know we don’t have forever together but forever is our now and we are hoping that everyone in our family can get involved and have their loved ones and friends get behind us and support us by voting.


So obviously since this was written, Troy and I did indeed win Mark and Caroline’s Express Wedding. We were announced legally Husband and Wife on the 16th of March 2015. We were surrounded by all our loved ones – family and friends and had a spectacular day. It was certainly an express rollercoaster and luckily enough not too many hiccups along the way. I really have a lot of respect for Bride’s who plan a wedding over a year – I could not have handled that – the pressure and organizing it all, mine was organized in just one a week! No stress since it was all done. 

We still feel extremely grateful for all the support from the sunshine coast including our friends and family and those who continue supporting us and those who we have met along the way since the wedding and exposure in the media. We are truly in awe and still very much on cloud nine.

Photography: Lani Carter | Styling: Beedazzled Events | Flowers: Magnolia Grove Flowers | Wedding Dress: Elizabeths Bridal Palace | Cake: Ideas In Icing | Ceremony Venue: BV Pizzeria & Wine Bar | Reception Venue: BV Pizzeria & Wine Bar | Makeup: Pure Envi | Hair: Altered Images Kawana | Entertainment: Sunshine Music Bookings | Celebrant: Kim Morrison | Jeweler : NYTK | Promotion (Mark And Carolines Express Wedding): 92.7 Mix FM

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Elegant + Romantic Sydney Wedding

From the Bride’s stunning lace gown, to the seriously stare-worthy reception, this wedding is truly something special. A family-centered celebration, this gorgeous affair is overflowing with the beautiful Sydney as a backdrop and one lucky-in-love duo. Jonathan Wherrett captured it all and it’s waiting for you in the gallery.


From Jonathan WherrettAbout a year ago, I was contacted by Shirley (the bride) who had been drawing inspiration from weddings on Style Me Pretty. She had stumbled upon a wedding I shot and contacted me to shoot her special day. I was excited about the prospect of shooting an inner-city wedding, and as Shirley and Daniel’s wedding day unfolded I was blown away by every detail.

From her stunning fitted lace gown and veil designed by Steven Khalil, to the reception at Quay Restaurant with some of the best views of Sydney I’ve ever seen, this wedding was something special. The venue was beautifully styled by She Designs with no detail unconsidered.

With many of Daniel’s family flying in from China especially for the wedding, there were many emotional moments. It was incredibly family-centered and Shirley and Daniel were very intentional about making the day amazing for their guests.

Married in the stunning St Marks Darling Point in the heart of Sydney, this wedding reflects the greatest attractions of Sydney in a creative, elegant and beautiful way.

Photography: Jonathan Wherrett | Event Styling: She Designs | Floral Design: Jordine Botanic | Wedding Dress: Steven Khalil | Ceremony: St Marks Darling Point | Reception Venue: Quay Restaurant | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Zimmermann | Makeup: Filomena Natoli | Hair: Rhiane Schroder | Groom's Suit: Roger Zimma

Intimate Lakeview Queensland Wedding

The work of a wedding photographer is intimately special, but add in the fact that Leanne Jade also played the role of a proud sister to the handsome groom makes this special day unlike any other. Capturing a beautifully intimate affair situated overlooking a lake, every moment in the heartfelt gallery is waiting for you here!


From Leanne Jade PhotographyTwo families and a few friends flew half way round the globe, to witness a ‘never-to-be-forgotten’ event at the  union of Jonny and Beki.

I had the honour and privilege of photographing my Big Brother’s wedding. A beautiful, intimate wedding celebration shared  with some of my favourite people in the world.

The work of a wedding photographer is tough enough, but combining it with the role of being a proud sister made this day like no other.

Lakeside Terrace is a beautifully restored 100-year-old venue. Situated in the  Hinterland above Montville, a quaint Queensland town overlooking a Lake with views down to the Sunshine Coast and the ocean. Truly breathtaking.

My mission was to capture the moments, and the moments in-between. Waiting for that knowing glance; that look of love; that smile of pure joy.

Our two families united; with the pride of four parents; the mateship of close friends and especially the unbridled joy, of two people very much in love. An experience I’ll cherish forever.

I hope to capture many more love stories as real as this one.

Photography: Leanne Jade Photography | Videography: Lester & May | Wedding Dress: Jeffrey's Boutique | Makeup Artist: Kate Fide | Groom's Attire: Topman | Groom's Shoes: Poste | Boutonierres: Montville Florists | Bride's Ceremony Shoes: Zara | Bride's Reception Dress: ASOS | Bride's Reception Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid's Dress: Country Road | Ceremony And Reception Venue: Montville Lake Terrace | Flower Girl's Dress & Shoes: Country Road | Groom's Barber: General Officer Barber | Groom's Hat: Laird & Co Hat | Private Chef: Matt Yurko

Glamorous Pink & Ivory Country Wedding

Opulent and sophisticated, this glamorous affair planned in the hands of Lovebird Weddings is filled with plenty of loveliness. Overflowing with artistically arranged Mondo Floral Designs blooms, Studio Impressions Photography captured it all in the gallery waiting for you, here!


From Studio Impressions PhotographyThe beautiful and emotional wedding of Kristy & Trent took place at the lovely Spicers Clovelly Estate in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. It was an opulent and sophisticated affair with many DIY details. Flowers were a must for Kristy who chose a pink colour palette with shades of coral, orange and ivory. Mondo Floral Designs artistically arranged coral peonies, with David Austin roses, double tulips, lace roses, sweet pea, cottage roses & hydrangea.

From the beautiful Bride… I love design and surprising people so I put a lot of time into the details. I worked closely with my wedding planner and amazing florist to bring to life my table design ideas.
I also designed my dress and got to work with the most beautiful talented lady who would do anything to make it happen!

I made personalised boxes as bonbonieres and in each one was a stamped lolly bag with our own wedding logo on it. Lollies were in abundance on every table to delve into at anytime. Also inside was a printed card letting the guests that we had donated to the cancer council in memory of a recent uncle passing and a cousin suffering & fighting from this disease.
We also had photographs on each table of a lost loved one, instead of table numbers.

Our relationship is one of soulmates. The wedding nearly didn’t happen because of outside challenges that nearly broke us. We knew that this day had become more important than ever, we had to make it happen and did against all odds.
We met online, fell head over heels, moved in together, had a beautiful daughter and we are now husband and wife.

As predictable as it might sound, our wedding really was a celebration of two soulmates coming together against all odds. The day was all about our love and our journey and it could be heard, seen, and felt.

Walking down the aisle towards the man I have loved for so long, grown with and seeing his reaction was unbelievable. Standing next to him during our vows and him hearing those words for the first time was simply magical. But the most beautiful memory was knowing that this moment was perfect. It was all I had dreamed of and our souls really did connect in the most moving way.
We shared that moment together like no one else was even there!

Having our beautiful daughter Chloé in our wedding was beyond amazing and we loved knowing that everyone was there to share our journey. We loved having a beautiful ring & hand warming ceremony and secret vows.

For Brides-to-be, do what is you, what you love and make it personal! It’s your day to share your love. Enjoy the process and take help if offered. Take time out on the night to enjoy your new husband and try and plan an event before and/or after to talk to those who you missed because it is the quickest night of your life and you will want it to go on forever!

Photography: Studio Impressions Photography | Event Planning: Lovebird Weddings | Floral Design: Mondo Floral Designs | Wedding Dress: Judy Copley Bridal | Wedding Venue: Spicers Clovelly Estate

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Vintage Chic Spring Wedding in Sydney

This vintage chic affair? Well, it’s a new favorite. Beginning with the Bride’s adorable VW escort to their beachside nuptials, every detail essentially what seaside dreams are made of. With a love that is palpable and a beauty that defines relaxed elegance, you can see it all unfold through the lens of SugarLove Weddings in the full gallery!


From the beautiful Bride…Jack organized an amazing proposal at Bathers Pavilion in Balmoral. He had organized the top balcony just for us. I was so shocked that when I got out there, I said “wow, they’ve set this up so nicely for someone”. The next thing I knew he was down on one knee and I had mascara running down my cheeks with such joy. I immediately said yes and we enjoyed some champagne while watching the sun set. He then lead me downstairs to the private dining room where both of our parents and sisters with their husbands were waiting for a surprise. Jack had told them that it was a surprise dinner for my birthday. No one believed him but his sister, who brought me a present. The lead up to the wedding was really relaxed and we enjoyed celebrating with friends and family. We were so beyond flattered with how excited everyone was.

We wanted a very relaxed, casual beachy vibe and thought the venue and styling suited it perfectly.

Our favorite moment was becoming husband and wife of course! or Wife and Wife, or Husband and Husband!)

We will never forget the ceremony. When you’re standing up there you completely forget that there are 120 people staring at you. But when you look out, you’re completely flawed that all of your family and friends are there to support and celebrate with you.

Marriage means spending every day with your best friend and knowing that you get to wake up and lay beside them every night.

The wedding dress was from Sarah Janks in Mosman. I knew as soon as I tried it on that it was the one for me. The shop assistant made me try on more just to be sure but I kept going back to the first one and never looked back. I absolutely loved how elegant yet simple it was (and very easy to dance in!)

At the rehearsal I was so nervous of thinking that on the day I wouldn’t say the right thing and I think I stuffed up the words about 5 times. Then on the day of the wedding we were in the middle of saying the vows, and jack said “with this wing, I wed” the whole crowd including myself was in stitches and now provides all of jacks friends with countless years of wing jokes.

The best advice that we could give was that we made a rule that we wouldn’t talk about the wedding in bed so we weren’t fussing over flower details and colours of invitations before going to sleep.

Other than that, enjoy the lead up and take the time on the day to soak it all in.

Photography: SugarLove Weddings | Flowers: Justine Rose | Ceremony Venue: St Swithun's Anglican Church | Reception Venue: Moby Dicks, Whale Beach | Brides Shoes: Kurt Geiger | Rings: Larsen Jewellery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Zimmermann | Catering: Moby Dicks | Hair & Makeup: Eternal Elegance | Grooms Suit: Country Road | Bridal Gown: Sarah Janks | Brides Veil & Hairpiece: Sarah Janks | Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Rhodes & Beckett | Groomsmen Suits: Country Road | Guest Transport: Beach Wheels | Jewellery/Accessories: Samantha Wills | Music: The White Tree | Stationery Designs: Senna Jean Designs | Transport: Kombi Style

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Carats & Couture with Linneys + A Special Offer

When leading fine jeweler Linneys and haute couture designer Steven Khalil team up for an exclusive exhibition, it’s the greatest celebration of diamond month ever.  Picture a carefully curated collection of bridal looks featuring the new Steven Khalil Runway Collection and some stunning pieces of bling hand picked by Linneys’ Creative Director, Justin Linney.  It’s “Carats & Couture,” lovelies… and it’s awesome.

Running from April 17 – May 2, 2015 at the Linneys Subiaco Showroom, the exclusive “Carats & Couture” exhibition will feature eight jaw-droppingly gorgeous Steven Khalil couture gowns (including a hero dress never before seen in Australia!) paired up with exquisite jewels that will, put simply, leave you speechless.  Now it’s your turn to see the dresses that have celebrities like Erin McNaught and Rachel Finch lining up to have a custom gown designed by Steven Khalil himself.  And in honor of this fabulous collaboration, Linneys will be launching a capsule collection of beautiful bridal jewelry, engagement rings and wedding bands. Which means your chance to own your very own piece of art from Linneys’ award winning team of designers and jewelers.

Mark your calendars NOW, loves for “Carats & Couture” happening from April 17 – May 2nd.  And don’t forget – all customers who purchase a diamond engagement ring between April 17th and May 17th, 2015 will receive $1,000 towards wedding bands!