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Bride paralysed three weeks before beach wedding: Tahnee & Travis

When Tahnee Lieshout took a sip from her water bottle the day after her hen’s night – and it all dribbled out – she knew something was terribly wrong.

Three weeks before her beach wedding to 29-year-old Travis Starling, Tahnee, 28, was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy – a puzzling condition that causes facial paralysis leaving its victims unable to blink, smile or frown, usually down one side of the face. Worst of all, there’s no definitive cure – and it can take a whole year to heal.

Not content with the doctors’ prognosis – or the unthinkable – to cancel the wedding – Tahnee turned to natural therapies, undergoing painful acupuncture every day and virtually “taking everything anyone suggested” might be helpful to speed up her recovery.

It was a hectic, emotionally draining three weeks.

With one eye unable to blink, the days leading up to the wedding were not about last minute details and joyful anticipation but, agonisingly, constant rounds of eye drops. She even had to tape her eye shut each night in order to sleep.

It was not at all how Tahnee imagined that special time to be. But on the morning of Feburary 8, 2014, all the intense treatments had paid off – the paralysis had softened enough that she could indeed smile, clearly say ‘I do’ and spend a day, she says, “that was more perfect than we could have both ever imagined.”

The beautiful photos that show not a hint of this Adelaide bride’s ordeal are by Sven Studios.

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Most of the 80 guests at the wedding were none the wiser to Tahnee’s unfortunate condition. “In the end, I don’t think I thought about it once,” she smiles.

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The couple were wed by Mark Bassett on a sweltering 43 degree day at Southport Beach, Port Noarlunga South.

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Tahnee’s beautiful off the shoulder gown had a boho vibe and was from Etsy.

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The Coriole Winery reception was “one big party,” with a friend’s punk band that “played all sorts of tuned loud into the night,” says the bride.

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Despite her facial woes, Tahnee managed an impromptu speech thanking her husband, mum and six bridesmaids for getting her through the ordeal.

Photos courtesy of Sven Studios.

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Love just a click away: rustic wedding begins with online romance

It was modern love for Jane Webster, 33, and Christopher Powell, 36.

After meeting online and falling in love within a week of their first meeting, the pair were later married at their rustic wedding in Williamstown, South Australia, on November 23, 2013.

“Being a single mum of three boys I had pretty much given up on finding ‘the one’ but within a week of meeting this guy I knew he was the one for me,” smiles Jane.

Jane says family is the number one priority for the couple and consequently the proposal was a family affair. “We went for a family bush walk at a local walking track…I was looking at the view when Chris and the kids ran down the hill in front of me,” she explains. “I spotted a little blue box on the path…I picked it up and Chris came over and took out the ring and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”

She said with four children, planning a wedding was always going to be a challenge time-wise. “There were only two dates still available at Stevens Estate Garden so we booked on the spot and then had to work out how we were going to plan the whole wedding in less than three months,” she laughs. ”But we did it and it was just perfect!”

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Jane’s strapless gown with plunging neckline was purchased from Spurling.

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“As you can imagine with four children we are very busy people and finding the money and the right time to get married was a challenge but it was important to us,” Jane explains.

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Children Keegan, Tyler, Jaylen and Sophie were a huge part of this couple’s special day.

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“It’s been five months since our wedding and I still can’t get enough of looking back at our wedding photos,” says Jane. “It really was a magical day that we will never forget.”

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Photos courtesy of With Love and Lace by Melanie.

Featured Suppliers:

Bomboniere: DIY / Bride's Gown: Spurling / Bridesmaids Dresses: Tea Rose Fashions / Cake: Lee's Cakes / Celebrant: Kimberley Allmond / Ceremony Music: DIY / Ceremony Venue: Stevens Estate Gardens / Flowers: Events of Elegance / Flower Girl Dresses: Little Chiyo / Groom's Attire: Spurling / Hair: Heart 'n' Soul / Invitations: DIY / Makeup: Beauty Le Femme / Photographer: With Love & Lace by Melanie / Reception Venue: The Lord Lyndoch


Garden wedding in Melbourne forecast for loved up couple

From an icy proposal to a blistering summer wedding, Rei Sak and Damon Troughton certainly brought the weather with them.

“Damon’s [37] proposal was the most romantic thing he had ever done for me,” says Rei, 34. “He knew how much I loved the snow so being winter still in England [where they were living at the time] he was waiting for the perfect day when it would snow.”

Unfortunately, the soft ice never fell and their anniversary was fast approaching. “He thought he would create the perfect winter wonderland.” says Rei. “He went and bought a snow machine and covered our whole back garden in snow!”

Fast forward to their garden wedding on January 10, 2014 in Melbourne, the sun was shining at its fullest. “It was a beautiful 38-degree day in the height of summer in Melbourne,” explains Rei.

Fitting for their romantic theming, the day began with a traditional tea ceremony in the morning at the couple’s home with their closest family and friends. This was followed by the ceremony and reception at Ripponlea Estate and Gardens in Elsternwick.

“We had anticipated that it was going to be quite a warm day, so we sourced some handmade paper fans from Etsy,” says Rei. “They had different love quotes written on them that we had chosen – our guests loved these.”

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Rei’s Baccini and Hill strapless gown was adorned with lace and had a bone corset.

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As well as personalised fans to keep guests cool, the pair had water bottles on hand.

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“The whole day was so magical, like a perfect summer’s day. For us, it was all about celebrating our love for each other, with good food, surrounded by the people we adore,” smiles Rei.

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Taking inspiration from Kate Moss’s wedding cake, Rei and Damon commissioned Nikos Cakes to recreate it (minus a couple of tiers).

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Images courtesy of Photos by Jessica.

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Dating rules no obstacle for Marina & Jeremey’s classic wedding

Not being allowed to date would be a difficult start to anyone’s relationship.

Lucky for Marina Kovacevic, Jeremey Czabotar hung in there and, a year after he first asked her out, they began seeing one another. “We have been inseparable ever since,” smiles Marina, 24.

Jeremey, 25, didn’t disappoint with his proposal of marriage either, choosing none other than the City of Love to make his move. “Our last evening in Paris we walked towards the Eiffel Tower so we could watch the fireworks…we were standing there watching how beautiful all the colours in the sky were, when I turned around to look at Jeremey and saw him on bended knee,” remembers Marina.

Their classic wedding on March 2, 2014 included almost 100 guests and simple, elegant theming. They were married at St Sava Church, Serbian Orthodox and celebrated at the Fremantle Sailing Club in Perth.

Like most weddings, theirs didn’t go to plan, but it didn’t spoil a thing, says Marina. “There were many hiccups leading up to the day and when it finally arrived all of our family and friends brought a great spirit which made me forget all of the imperfections.”

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Marina’s bridal gown was by Collezione Bridal Couture.

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The couple created original gifts for their guests. “We purchased our favourite cologne and perfume as a miniature (5mL). His being Versace and mine, Gucci.”

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Marina’s tip for the perfect wedding day? “If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would relax more. As hard as that sounds, I wouldn’t let small things get to me as much.”

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Photos courtesy of Alan Khan Wedding Photography and Video.

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Rhianna brings the wow factor at her elegant wedding to John

And the bride wore…floral.

It’s hard to deny the highlight of this wedding was Rhianna Mackinnon’s choice of bridal gown. The stunning Wendy Makin design was a strapless princess style in a pastel floral pattern. “The whole experience, from the time I stepped into their bridal salon to the time I picked up my dress, was amazing,” praises Rhianna, 29.

Rhianna married John Lawson, also 29, on Waiheke Island, New Zealand December 29, 2013. The elegant wedding began with plenty of relaxing. “Our wedding celebration started at 5pm, so we had the day to relax and enjoy the island,” explained Rhianna. “John played golf on the morning of the wedding and I went for a run, swam at the beach and had a late brunch before starting to get ready.”

It was a family affair, with both the bride and groom including their siblings on the day. “John and I were lucky enough to have all of our siblings in our bridal party,” says Rhianna.

Seventy guests gathered for the ceremony and reception at Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant. “John and I could not have imagined a more perfect way to start our lives as Mr and Mrs Lawson. Not only did we get to spend our wedding day on beautiful Waiheke Island, but we got to continue celebrations over a week long holiday.”

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The pair opted for a Silver Wraith Rolls Royce to transport the bride.

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This couple got together after playing together in a work basketball team.

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“John wakes up every day thinking it will be his best day yet – and that’s infectious!” says Rhianna.

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Photos courtesy of Shine Studios.

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