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Wedding of the Year: Anna & Jamie win May

Anna & Jamie of Brisbane have won our May Wedding of the Year competition. Congratulations!

And thanks to their photographer, Bernadette Draffin, who submitted their red rustic wedding held in March this year at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard. It ticked so many boxes for us, and obviously all of you, too: A truly romantic love story whose plot included heart-wrenching separation, an emotional airport reunion and generous volunteer work in Africa; a beautiful outdoor ceremony enveloped in nature; rustic styling in deep scarlet; and a stunning marquee reception among the vineyards.

Anna and Jamie are the lucky winners of a $1000 gift card from Michael Hill and have secured the fifth spot in our yearly competition to win an pampered Fiji honeymoon at InterContinental Fiji flying in absolute style with Fiji Airways.

Our thanks goes out to the other eight nominees who shared their days with us and inspired us so!

Here’s a recap of Bernadette’s photos from this winning wedding. You can see the full story here.

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Photographer: Bernadette Draffin Photography & Videography


April & Alex bring classic elegance to Sydney beach wedding

High-school sweethearts April Morley and Alex Hamilton are all about the location when it comes to creating special memories.

Not only did 26-year-old Alex propose to April, 24, in New York’s Central Park, they chose the picturesque Watsons Bay for their elegant beach wedding. Eighty guests attended the March 27, 2015 event with classic white, pink and gold styling.

Hand-made wedding invitations were the first to set the theme. “Being very crafty and wanting something unique, I decided to make the invitations myself,” says April. Although they boasted a simple design, this bride battled with hundreds of microbeads to create the look she was after. “I must have had a million beads all over the house,” she laughs.

April knew she had found “the one” (the other important “one”), when a sales girl pulled her a Maggie Sottero gown. “When I found out it was called ‘April’ – it was a done deal,” smiles the bride. “It really seemed the dress was made just for me.”

April says the pair achieved their wedding goal which was all about the guests. “We said from the very beginning that we just wanted everyone that means the world to us to come along and have a good time, and we really felt that everyone did.”

April and Alex honeymooned on Hayman Island.

Photos courtesy of Lucie Zeka.

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Alex says he loves how happy and smiling April always is.

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April says she and Alex always have fun together.

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“Don’t sweat the small stuff,” is April’s advice for brides-to-be.

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Kara & Josh deliver bling for their ballroom wedding in Perth

A ballroom wedding calls for attention to detail and that is exactly what bride Kara D’Ippolito and her groom Joshua Corica delivered.

The couple, aged 26 and 24 respectively, dreamt of a romantic and elegant wedding day. Their ballroom wedding on January 24, 2015 was glamour from go to whoa including boxed silk invitations and tall, flower-adorned chandeliers. Kara wore Pallas Couture and Josh, Giorgio Armani. “We married in the magnificent St Mary’s Cathedral followed by our reception at the Crown Astral Ballroom,” says Kara. “We even had king and queen chairs at the reception.”

But there’s no point going to all this trouble if you don’t have the right person capturing the memories, right? “Choose your venue and wedding theme to express your personalities and a good photographer to capture every special moment of the wedding day,” says the bride.

The 120 guests indulged on a five-course meal followed by plenty of dancing. “Our day was filled with so much love and surrounded with all our family and friends we care about that have been in our lives,” smiles Kara.

Photos courtesy of Peter Edwards Photography.

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Josh was dressed head to toe by Giorgio Armani.

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Kara found her bridesmaid dresses from Saks New York.

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Kara wore a lace fitted gown by Pallas Couture.

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The glamorous reception took place at Crown Perth in the Astral Ballroom.

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Superman’s fairy tale: Caitlin & Will celebrate Perth wedding

She wanted a fairy tale, he wanted birds and superheroes.

It might sound strange but this is the wedding of Caitlin Choveaux, 24, and William Chodakowsky, 27. “We worked together to seamlessly combine Will’s quirky love for birds and superheros with my desire for the classic fairy tale wedding,” explains Caitlin. “We also got our creative DIY juices flowing to cut costs – sawing off an old netball pole to make a stand for our wooden cross.”

The young lovebirds from Perth met three years ago at a masquerade ball. “Suddenly we started bumping into each other more often, despite living 50km apart,” says Caitlin. Not long after they knew they were “meant to be”.

Their Perth wedding included a ceremony in Caitlin’s home church followed by a celebration at the family-owned Forrest Reception Centre. “Guests could not help but experience the wow factor when entering the stunning atrium area hidden behind a heritage listed building and city skyscrapers,” says the bride. “Playing off names Will and Cait, like England’s young royals, we enjoyed having a royal kiss on the balcony above before the bridal entry.”

Photos courtesy of Kirsty Rusell Photography.

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A vintage dodge car provided some of the transport on the day.

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Caitlin said she fell in love with the spearmint-coloured bridesmaid gowns.

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“The boys got out their toys…T-shirts and matching weapons of their favourite superheros,” says Caitlin.

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New Zealand neighbours share the love at Bali wedding

Amy Walsh and Tony Clement met thousands of kilometres from home, only to discover they had been neighbours all their life.

“Tony and I met in Western Australia on a mine site…little did we know we were from the same home town in New Zealand and grew up living just down the road from each other,” laughs 29-year-old Amy of her 30-year-old beau. “We were pretty much connected at the hip from that point onwards.”

The mining pair decided on a Bali wedding for their special day, inviting only 44 of their nearest and dearest to attend on April 12, 2015. “Having family based in several different locations, we wanted to make the occasion more than just a wedding day and make a holiday out of it for everyone,” explains Amy.

Amy says the couple put a lot of time and effort into the décor for the “classic vintage” theme, creating a relaxed, but stylish atmosphere. “We spent hours with our wedding planner describing the elements and vision, this can be particularly challenging when planning from overseas.”

The highlight of the day according to the bride was her new husband’s speech. “After weeks of reminding him to start writing he decided that he was going to confidently do it impromptu, I was a little sceptical but went with it – and I’m glad I did,” says Amy. “It was the most heartfelt, romantic, and natural thing I had ever seen.”

Photos courtesy of Scott Riley.

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Amy’s ivory lace mermaid gown was an Essense of Australia design.

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The New Zealand-born couple were wed at Villa Sayang D’Amour in Bali.

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“It took 48 hours of onsite work to create the fresh flower arrangements for the ceremony and reception,” says the bride.

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