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Elegant Wedding at Luminare Australia

I’ve been a fan of anything Stewart Leishman sends our way for some time now, and the reason is simple. He captures moments and details within weddings that truly make me stop for to take them in. That’s impressive to me in this day and age. And this stunning, love-filled soiree is going to make me want to spend the entire day happily right here.


Urban Space

From The Bride…At the picturesque botanical gardens in Melbourne, with a beautiful spot on the hill overlooking the lake, a picnic rug laid out with Karina’s favourite food, his dog Piggy by his side, Thushan proposed to Karina. With a shared love for the simple things in life, their day was perfect in every way.

Drawing inspiration from the proposal the couple started to plan their perfect wedding. A venue just several kilometres away from where Thushan proposed, the couple selected Luminare in South Melbourne as their venue. With Karina’s fashion and creative background, she started to design and execute nearly all features of the wedding from ground up.

The couple placed importance on incorporating their respective cultural elements into the wedding. The afternoon started with the civil ceremony where Karina walked down the aisle is a silver beaded, custom made muse gown by Johanna Johnson. Following the civil ceremony, the couple completed the ceremonial formalities with a traditional Sri Lankan “Poruwa” ceremony. The crowd was entertained by traditional Sri Lankan dancers as they guided the couple down the aisle.

With canapés filling the room, the night was underway. Shortly after, Chinese lion dancers surprised the crowd by performing a traditional dance to bless the couple for good health and double happiness. The MC, Paris Zachariou accompanied by the band, M & The Best Men and DJ by Top Dog Entertainment, ensured the guests could dance the night away. With concrete besser bricks as the table centre pieces, representative of the couple’s modern industrial theme, the venue was further glamorised by their florist North St Botanical. Beautiful flowing flower decorations filled the besser bricks with festoon lighting installed across the entire venue creating a modern yet elegant feel.

As the sun set in the distance and the city skyline in the background, it was a night that celebrated the meeting of two cultures, friendship and love.

Photography: Stewart Leishman Photography | Floral Design: North St. Botanical | Wedding Dress: Johanna Johnson | Cake: Splendid Servings | Bride's Shoes: Valentino Rock Studs In Poudre | Bridesmaid Shoes: Tony Bianco | Rings: Individual Jewellery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dion Lee | Makeup: Chantelle Baker | Hair: Marie Uva | DJ: Top Dog Entertainment | Band: M & The Best Men | Venue: Luminare | Festoon Lights & Long Table/Dance Floor Hire: Harry The Hirer | Groomsmen Attire: Jack London | Linen Rentals: TableArt | Lion Dancers: Hong De Lion | MC: Paris Zachariou | Photo Booth: VIP Photobooth

Abby Capalbo

Design, Styling, Parties

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Elegant Yarra Valley Wedding

Wine country weddings are my fave, especially when said region houses one amazing venue. With sprawling vineyards and golden light, this wedding is one for the books. Because not only did the Groom partake in planning, but he’s also a valued member of the Zonzo Estate magic. And with Jonathan Ong behind the lens it’s the type of insider beauty you don’t want to miss – see it all in The Vault!



From Zonzo Estate… Zonzo Estate in the Yarra Valley wine region, was delighted to host the wedding of their very own, owner Roderick and his bride Cristina on New Year’s Eve, Wednesday 31st December 2014.

They decided to marry at Zonzo as this is where they found love four years earlier, it held sentimental value to them both and it made sense to have it at a venue which they had infinite trust for.

After hosting hundreds of weddings himself it was Rod’s turn at enjoying the delicious dishes and spectacular views of the rolling hills & vineyard. What makes this wedding extra unique is that in majority it was planned by the groom – what a lucky bride!

The groom Rod was hands on with all aspects of the wedding and was arranging the place settings for the tables the day prior. All glasses were polished until sparkling clean and not a single item out of place. His perfectionism showed. The large candle holders were picked and ordered by the Groom which now are available to hire for future brides & grooms of the venue.

The Zonzo team worked tirelessly on the day of the wedding to ensure everything from styling to food and service was to Zonzo (and Rod’s) standard so that the couple could just relax and enjoy every minute amongst their family and close friends.

The look and feel the couple were after was a romantic, relaxed and elegant wedding. Styling was kept mainly to floral design, candles and touches of gold throughout. Crissy wanted the reception room to feel romantic, warm and intimate (even with over 100 guests). It needed a fun element too as it was NYE after all. They organised a Photo Booth, Champagne Tower and Lemonade Stand. The guest signing table had a digital photo frame with slideshow from Rod’s elaborate proposal four months earlier (chauffeured vintage Bentley, private chef, countless long stem roses, Cristal champagne then ‘she said yes’ mapped out in fairy lights – and the 2ct ring!)

The wedding planning duration was four months. Planning began with Rod securing all of the right suppliers to pull off what was the last wedding held at Zonzo Estate for 2014.

Over the many years of weddings held at the venue, Rod was lucky to get to know many trusted suppliers. This made the planning process easy and very little interaction was required, perhaps a couple of emails at most which was perfect for this busy couple. As expected on the wedding day the suppliers were all incredible in their respective fields and went above and beyond with their efforts.

The couple chose a local and beautiful church established in 1887. Full mass Catholic church service held by Father Arsenio. A string quartet was organised to play classical music for guest arrival and for certain points throughout the ceremony procession. The couple light a unity candle during the ceremony. The four flower girls and one page boy handed out service program booklets to arriving guests. The florist organised the flower arrangements throughout which were then donated to the church post ceremony service. The Bride arrived to the church in a 1950 Rolls Royce which then transported the Bride and Groom to the Reception. After their intimate church ceremony the couple and guests headed to Zonzo Estate to begin reception celebrations where the MUMM champagne started flowing to ring in the New Year.

Styling for the two long tables was kept elegant to crisp white table cloths and dark oak original Bentwood chairs. On the tables were white plates with folded linen napkins and Name Card/Menus. Gold touches were brought in from the gold foiling custom RC logo designed by the Stationery supplier and tied in with the hired gold cutlery. The glassware, Zonzo wine glasses, water glasses and vintage style champagne glasses. The fireplace was decorated with flowers and photo frame of Rod’s parents and grandparents on their wedding day. The delicious authentic Italian food was served Italian Feast sharing style – all placed in the middle of the table for guests to enjoy as much as they wished. Food and drinks were served in abundance!

On the menu were ten types of stuzzichini (Italian canapés) served on the outdoor terrace with cocktail drink on arrival and Lemonade Stand. This was perfectly suited for a beautiful mild Summer’s day. Cocktail drinks served on arrival, Chambord/MUMM champagne with gold sugar rim and Campari/Soda.

Once guests were seated inside this was followed by antipasto platters, wood-fire pizzas and slow cooked lamb and pork, vegetables and salads. For dessert was served multiple flavours from the (baked from scratch!) 5 tier wedding cake which accompanied by a plate of petit-fours consisting of tiramisu, panna cotta and chocolate mousse handmade by Zonzo. Barista style coffee or tea was provided at this time. Drinks served to the table during the evening were Serrat white & red wine, Peroni beer, MUMM champagne and soft drinks. Guests also had the option to have any spirits they wished from the bar.

The first dance song was Ed Sheeran’s – Thinking Out Loud. This was chosen for the lyric aspect of “And we found love right where we are”. Having met at Zonzo four years earlier (right by the bar area) this was a fitting song. They were serenaded by a male vocalist from the band which coincidentally was a big ES fan and sang the song amazingly! (this was not planned – it was going to be an iPod!) The rest of the music was kept to songs that all guests young and old would know (Michael Jackson etc) and enjoy to listen to and have a dance. The band did a great job keeping the dance floor full during their sets and doing the NYE countdown as the (red love heart) confetti blowers erupted.

Bride and Groom, Maid of Honour Bride’s Cousin, Best Man Groom’s Brother, Three flower girls Groom’s nieces, One flower girl Groom’s Goddaughter and Page Boy Groom’s nephew. Last but not least their much loved Australian cattle dog – Diesel – posed for the camera dressed in a cute bow tie.

Crissy saw a photo of this dress online. She visited the store to try it on however they only had a larger size which was then resized to fit by the lovely Sarah from Karen Willis Holmes boutique. Sarah had ensured Crissy her dream dress, the service was beyond exceptional. The sequin gown had a New Year’s vibe and the simple cut made for the perfect choice. The belt and cathedral veil also from KWH completed the look. The bride discovered this Australian designer (who also stocks in the US) from a previous Zonzo bride who was married years earlier.

Previous Zonzo weddings! Style Me Pretty for the unique weddings they blog and Pinterest has plenty of ideas. Also in general the bride and groom’s own personal taste for creating an elegant dinner party.

Floral Design was created by the fabulous and talented (Blooming Brides) Rita and her team who work tirelessly from the morning to arrange and hang the flowers and garlands (hydrangeas, roses) over the tables and hand thread the carnations over the dance floor (even the lovely cake supplier stayed to help thread!).

The Groom and Florist surprised the bride with the floral design for the day (all she knew is that her chosen colours were being used – white & green). The bride was overwhelmed with emotion to see the amount of effort and work that was required to execute such floral beauty.

The Bride’s bouquet was a mix of white Peonies and David Austin’s. The blue cross on the bouquet signified – something old, something borrowed and something blue. It is from Malta and has belonged to the Groom’s mother for 58 years.

In lieu of favours there was a Photo Booth which provided some fun and allowed guests to take home photos from the evening. There were two copies printed each time in the booth that guests could stick one in the guest signing book and take one home. The attendant was interactive with the guests and assisted them wherever needed. Great option for a favour – fun experience and guests still have something to take home as a memento.

After a dream wedding day the happy newlyweds spent the following day relaxing in the Yarra Valley, and then it was straight back to work to take care of the beauitful Zonzo Estate 2015 weddings!

Photography: Jonathan Ong | Cinematography: Purple Ribbon Weddings | Event Planning: Zonzo Estate | Floral Design: Blooming Brides | Wedding Dress: Karen Willis Holmes | Cake: The Cake Company | Stationery: La D'Vine | Ceremony Venue: St Patrick's Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Zonzo Estate | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Saba | Makeup: Makeup With Me | Hair: Rokk Ebony | Band: Spin | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Groom's Shoes: Hugo Boss | Groomsmen's Attire: Calibre | Transportation: RR Classic Cars | Accommodation: Yering Gorge Cottages | Bride's Earrings: Samantha Wills | Dog's Bow Tie: Silly Buddy | Gold Cutlery Hire: Place Settings | Groom's Wooden Ring: Northwood Rings | Inspiration: Style Me Pretty | Photo Booth: In The Booth | Red Heart Confetti: Blaso Pyrotechnics | Ring Consultant: Rocks And Rings

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Elegant Pastel Ripponlea Estate Wedding in Melbourne

This beautiful Bride is a self-proclaimed girlie-girl, incorporating feminine pastels, garden florals and sweet ruffled detailing throughout her Big Day, but she and her handsome Hubby actually met in the line of fire on a paintball field! This darling duo continued to bring the playfulness to their super fun pastel and candy-filled fête, and Kristen Cook Photography captured it all perfectly in the gallery here!


From The Bride… Jason and I met on the battlefield of paintball, both playing for the same team. He thought I was injured and crying, I thought he had seriously hurt himself walking into friendly fire! Either way we both had misinterpreted the situation but it opened a line of communication which led to date. As they say the rest is history… forward a few years we got married!

I’ve always wanted our wedding to feel as though it’s very romantic, sweet, princess/girly and incorporating pastel colours which everyone know is me (pinks & purples) and where possible bows. I’m the girl who wears bows all the time, either in my hair, on my dresses or even my shoes.

We are also known as the couple who LOVE our fur baby/ pooch ‘Bailey’, our 6 year old labrador. What I wanted to bring to the wedding was something of Jason as well, he’s a real outdoorsy guy having grown up in the country and we wanted to pick a venue that felt classy, rich in heritage but somewhere that had amazing gardens to accommodate a ceremony.

We picked Ripponlea Estate in Elsternwick to hold our wedding, the ceremony in the gardens and reception in the ballroom held on Saturday 9th November 2013. That year it rained ALL WEEK, starting from the Monday all the way up to the day. I remembered thinking on the Friday evening (night before the wedding), it was pouring so hard I had no idea how we could even achieve an outside wedding the following day!

Waking up in the morning to drizzle on our wedding day (you can see it on our wedding video in the morning, it was grey/gloomy and wet) just made my heart sink! But I had a fantastic group of friends that made the morning getting ready a real breeze! Possibly because I had the help of my awesome Wedding Planner and having planned timing to a T, we were actually running ahead of schedule!

Not to mention my good friend Dannii who is also my hair and makeup artist it made getting ready in the morning really fun. The girls even had time to get take away breakfast/coffee from Cafe Vue just a few doors down.

By the time the afternoon came around…I ‘d say about 2pm I started to stop feeling so anxious…the clouds were dissipating and there were blue skies!!! Just in time for the ceremony!!

The ceremony was planned for 4pm and there were no clouds in sight! My husband mentioned getting the ceremony ready it was soo windy the BIG white and pink balloons kept taking off in the wind, chairs with it too!! But for some reason minutes before the ceremony began the wind died down and it was perfect!

The whole day was a whirlwind I must admit, everything went to clockwork and I even arrived 15 minutes early to the ceremony and had to sit in the car! Everything went smoothly thanks to my wedding planner, sun was shining, ceremony went off without a hitch and we really enjoyed taking our time wandering through the luscious gardens to take our wedding photos.

Soon the sun was setting and the girls re-wrapped their dresses so that it looked like a different style in the evening for the reception.

My husband and I were super nervous for the reception, we had a HUGE lift at the end of our bridal dance and for the most part in our rehearsals we never practiced it in my wedding dress. He was panicking he’d drop me or not pick me up properly because of the dress and I was worried iId trip in my dress, since it’s so long! Luckily none of our fears came to life!

By the time we had finished all speeches, we could RELAX! We ended up boogying the night away and from what our guests told us, they loved the photobooth out on the terrace. It gave them a place to get away and have fun without having to dance too (another option for them really). It was a hit, we got to keep copies of everyone’s photos onto a CD and we noticed a lot of guests went back to 2nd and 3rd round of photos! Some were absolutely hilarious!

Everybody told us to make sure you leave at least 10 minutes of your wedding day to yourselves (you and your husband). Sit down, relax and soak it all in. You’re too busy running around being here and there for photographers, saying hi to guests, making sure everyone is ok and running on time that you forget to enjoy the day and the whole moment. Make sure brides and groom find at least 10 minutes, sit down and soak it all in. Be on your own just the two of you and savour this moment because it goes by so quickly!

Favourite part of the wedding: Would have to be the candy buffet! Everyone kept going for 2nd’s and 3rd’s. It was fun and I had a blast working with Sweet Studios in putting it together and styling it. It was a creative outlet for me and made me so happy to see it come to life and have my guests enjoy it! Not to mention the best moment for the both of us was the wedding dance! We had so much fun learning it that we couldn’t wait to get onto the dance floor even though we were a nervous wreck beforehand!

Photography: Kristen Cook Photography | Videographer : Living Lens | Wedding Planner : Eventuous By Belle | Floral Design: Flowers By Terra | Wedding Dress : Raffaele Ciuca | Cake: Cakes By Puay Lim | Ceremony Venue: Ripponlea Estate | Reception Venue: Ripponlea Estate | Bridesmaids' Shoes : Tony Bianco | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Intoxiquette | Hair And Make Up : Dannii Hair And Makeup | Groom's Attire: Oscar Hunt | Groomsmen's Attire: Oscar Hunt | Hotel: Royce Hotel | Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bride's Jewellery : Rutherfords | Cake Toppers : Unusually Creation | Candy Buffet Styling/Hiring: Sweet Studios: Event Outfitters | Chair Sash/covers : Balwyn Events | Helium Balloons : The Balloonery | Photobooth : Flashback Photobooth | Table Number Photography (Of Dog Bailey - Labrador): Dewinta Dandot Photography | Vases/Mirror Hiring For Table Decorations: Sweet Studios: Event Outfitters | Wedding Band : Craig Francis Music | Wedding Invitation/save The Date Photography: Kenneth Wu Photography | Wedding Invitations/ Stationary Designers: Sweet Studios: Event Outfitters | Wedding Rings: Camerons Jewellers

6 Vibrant Wedding Bouquets That Will Wow You

With all the abundance of natural beauty in Australia, there’s no surprise that stunning wedding flowers are widely available and showcased at weddings nationwide. Whether filled with local florals or exotic blooms that were flown in for the occasion, these six bouquets are some of our faves from weddings across Australia, so take a peek!

Vibrant Australian Bouquets
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Vibrant Australian Bouquets
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Quick Tip: The Faux Glow, Perfected


Even if you consider yourself to be a self-tanning aficionado, doing a trial run at least a week in advance of your Big Day is an absolute must. Before the main event, make sure your entire body has been thoroughly exfoliated, and that any necessary hair removal has taken place at least 12 hours prior, before applying self-tanner, and you’re practically guaranteed a gorgeous, even glow!

Photography: Jerome Cole Photography

Rustic Melbourne Wedding at Wattle Park Chalet

I’m pretty sure I could live and die in the flowers behind this gorgeous wedding. They are perfect. Utterly perfect. And the adorable story, the stunning backdrop, the great music choices and the totally smitten couple just make it all the sweeter. With images from Oy Photography, this is one of those wedding that will have you smiling from beginning to end. Full gallery here!

From the Bride…
How We Met: Aaron’s sister works with a mutual friend of mine, and they decided to play matchmaking! It all came about as I was complaining to this friend I couldn’t find anyone who suited to me, which later came up in conversation with Aaron’s sister, when they had a light bulb moment to set us up. A blind date was arranged and the rest is history!

The Proposal: We had planned a weekend in the Dandenong Ranges to celebrate our one-year anniversary. We had promised no gifts, but I couldn’t help myself! As we strolled through the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, I presented Aaron with a journal titled “Our Year” – filled with our top songs for the year, each song containing an entry that I wrote as to why each song meant something to us, along with the playlist that I had organized on his phone for us to listen to that weekend. After reading through the journal, we were about to head back for a coffee when Aaron quite casually said, “I was going to ask you later…but…” there was a pause for about 10 seconds, he got quite nervous and serious and I just froze, everything seemed so still and crazy at the same time. I had a massive lump in my throat. He just remained silent. ‘Well what, what is it you wanted to ask?!’ I managed to get out. The silence was killing me. ‘Well I was going to ask if you’d marry me’. I burst into tears and eventually I managed to nod a few times, before continuing the water works. It was the happiest moment of my life. Aaron told me he actually planned to propose that evening, he had nice wine and food organized at our cottage, but he just thought this was a good moment. Very Aaron. Very calm and collected and casual. The rest of the day was an absolute blur. I don’t think I came back down to earth until a few weeks later!

Our Inspiration: Our theme was rustic/earthy/provincial. The rustic, earthy element reflects our love of nature and the desire for our wedding to be a laid back, yet celebratory affair. We spend a lot of time bush walking, and I am also a keen gardener, so that earthy feel very much represents who we are. The provincial element comes through as a reflection of our wedding venue, Wattle Park Chalet, the oldest operating wedding venue in Melbourne. The chalet is a beautiful, grand hall and we wanted to let it speak for itself, and honor the surrounding garden and parkland. Our ceremony was held in the chalet’s garden, filled with roses, overlooking a backdrop of gumtrees, the combination of elegance and rustic bushland was the perfect setting for us to marry.

Our Flowers: I feel our wedding theme was ultimately captured through the stunning work of our florist, Mary, founder of Flower Bird. The flowers spoke of our love of native bush, reflected the surrounds of Wattle Park and managed to work in cohesion with the color palette of the bridal party. The bouquets were a mix of native and European flowers, each with a mighty king protea, my favorite flower. Mary went to great lengths to source these king proteas, they were scarce due to the time of the year. Proteas were plotted around the chalet, and it was just such a lovely surprise. She completely surpassed my expectations. She even incorporated succulents tastefully throughout the floral decoration to tie in with our bonbonnieres, which were individual succulents in biodegradable pots for each guest to take home and plant. The floral design pulled every idea and element of our wedding together. The flowers were the medium of all that we could ever wish our wedding to be.

Our Cake: Our cake was a three tier flourless chocolate cake, a crowd favorite. Mary, did a wonderful job decorating the cake with a mix of succulents, roses and natives, tying in with the bouquets and other floral decorations at the venue. The cake was placed on a huge elm log board, sourced by my horticulturalist friend, which in the future we will use as the ultimate cheese board!

Our Music: Both being music lovers, we wanted to make all music very personal. Aaron’s talented cousin played acoustic guitar throughout the ceremony, which sounded beautiful. Aaron and I then created playlists for each stage of the occasion, from the prelude, canapés, background music during meals and dancing. For the prelude and canapés we chose music from a range of our favorite artists including Paul Kelly, The Beatles, The Waifs, Cat Power and Ben Harper. We wanted a mix of our favorite songs. Dinner music mainly consisted of classic soul songs from Otis Redding, Al Green, Nina Simone and Curtis Mayfield. The partying mix was a compilation of new and old hits, the classic songs that get everyone up and dancing! Our first dance was to ‘Take Me Out of This World’, by Jordie Lane, one of my favorite musicians. Our bridal entry was to the Game of Thrones theme song! It’s our favorite show and Aaron insisted we do it, so I just went along with it! The music made the whole event, we wanted a relaxed affair and for everyone to kick up their heels and have a good time. We wanted the way we felt on our wedding day be an extension to the guests, ecstatic, incredibly grateful and ultimately filled with love.

Our Ceremony: A memorable moment of the day for me occurred during the ceremony, hearing the celebrant speak of our story. She did a wonderful job of compiling information from both of us, and listening to how our wedding day came to be was like fast-forwarding the past nearly two years since we had met, and have it sped up to this moment in time. It was surreal and amazing to have all these memories wash over me of significant times we had spent, and then be standing in a wedding dress, with all our family and friends, about to marry. It was a surreal moment, I had to stop and think, wow, this is really happening!

Photography: Oy Photography | Floral Design: Flower Bird | Wedding Dress: Zimmermann | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Zimmermann | Hair & Makeup: Runway Hair & Beauty Studio | Venue: Wattle Park Chalet | Photography - Assistance: Wilari Tedjosiswoyo