Say yes to the wedding dress ~ Part Two

My search continued in the suburbs, with my mum and oldest friend (flown in from Townsville).

The first stop was the store where I obtained my Debutante Ball dress fifteen years ago. Their gowns were gorgeous, but rather ridiculous in their use of hoops and taffeta. So. Much. Fabric. I’m only a little person and some of these dresses weighed more than me. It was fun – don’t get me wrong – but not for me. We then ventured to a store that made you wear gloves whilst browsing the dresses and trying them on. The less said about that store, the better.

era vintage

I was at the end of my patience. This was supposed to be the bit I was good at! The fun part! Everything just wasn’t right though, and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. My google searches and instagram trawling were showing me all these amazing frocks, that I couldn’t find in Australia, until I stumbled across my next appointment, with Lucy at Era Vintage Bride.

Within minutes, I was sure I had found ‘the one’. And not the one as in the dress, but the one in terms of the person I wanted to work with to make the dress. My search was over. Lucy has a collection of vintage dresses on site, but I had other ideas in mind. We chatted and brainstormed and I spent the next two days thinking about working with her.


The following weekend I went on a pre planned trip to Sydney to look at dresses whose labels are not stocked in Melbourne. I tried on more frocks, mostly two piece outfits that I thought would have more wearability post wedding, and had still more ideas about how my dress should look. Maybe I should have two dresses!? The opportunities continued to present themselves. But I remained committed to Lucy and the ideas we had come up with.

love found true

A side note about a Sydney wedding dress stores vs Melbourne wedding dress stores. Sydney like to charge you to come in on a Saturday, or will take a credit card number in case you don’t show up. Melbourne is a bit more relaxed but you can’t just walk in and try on one dress on a Saturday, even if the store is empty. The wedding dress game is a well oiled machine and bridal store assistants are a breed of their own. Some were fantastic and made you feel amazing. Others made you feel like you were simply interrupting their day. Proceed with caution.

Lucy, on the other hand, is a delight. A week after I got back from Sydney, we started talking fabrics, and next week I’ll head in for measurements. I have a new secret Pinterest board with yet more ideas (poor Lucy isn’t going to know what she’s in for!) and a 2 inch square of lace that I’m showing anyone who’ll listen.

Now the hunt for shoes starts. Wheeee!!!!

Images 1 and 2 thanks to and 3,

Say yes to the wedding dress ~ Part One

You might say that I’m the kind of girl who has thought about her wedding dress for some time. You might imagine that ‘some time’ started long before there was a wedding in sight, and you’d be right. When it comes to all out frocks, the wedding dress is perhaps the only time you get to step outside the box and wear something truly incredible (unless you are someone who regularly attends awards ceremonies or black tie galas).


So my wedding dress search for my upcoming nuptials started in earnest. I was super excited to be the princess I’d always dreamed of, but I also had lots of ideas about my this one amazing dress. My plan was a bit champagne tastes on a beer budget and my fashion experience and ethics said I wanted something I could wear more than once, so after poring over several issues of Hello May, I was convinced I could find what I was looking for.

And then I went shopping.

Following solo trips to a vintage store and David Jones, I decided to start at the epicenter of wedding dresses in Melbourne – High Street, Armadale. First mistake? I tried to make appointments at the stores a week before I wanted to head in. It was almost amusing how the sales assistants laughed when I requested an appointment a week out. As if!


So I went anyway and just hit the pavement, taking a walk up and down High Street and simply window shopping, removing the stores from my list that were not in my price range, not in my date range, or not in my style range. I had one left.

My appointment at The Bridal Atelier was a wonderful experience. I took two girlfriends (we are not having a bridal party) and there was champagne. So far, so good! I tried on frocks of various shapes and colours, including a gorgeous gold SarahSeven creation that had to be seen to be believed and a pink ombre number that was ridiculously heavy and cost $13,000.


I picked a favourite and we went on our way, stopping in at Rachel Gilbert, Aje and Carla Zampatti since we were in the area. They were all good, but not great.

Next stop? Madame Virtue & Co for the most amazing vintage and designer dresses a girl could ask for – if she has a teeny sized waist. I squeezed into a sweet original 1950s Audrey Hepburn-eque gown and shimmied in feathers and sequins. It was the most fun I’d had so far, but I wasn’t feeling it. I can’t wait to go back and just find fab pieces for my wardrobe though!

Carla Zampatti at David Jones got another run with the new season collection, before I made appointments with Gwendolynne and Pamela Usanto to talk bespoke dresses. It was a dream world of sequins and beading, tulle and taffeta.


And yet I wasn’t feeling it. The more I looked, the more confused I became and the more what I wanted became murky. It was time to broaden the search – so off to the suburbs I went.

Images 1-3 with thanks to instagram/thebridalatelier and 4,


Happy 2015!!! I know it’s only a week old, but I’m almost certain it’s going to be the best yet. Why? Because I’m (probably) going to get married. We haven’t picked a date yet, or even decided what we’ll do for our wedding, but at the end of 2014, my boyfriend became my fiancee. It’s possibly the most exciting, happy, wonderful time ever. And the past three years have been pretty exciting, happy and wonderful.

You might remember my little tale of love from a while back, over at Onya Magazine. I wrote about my sketchy dating history, and how meeting Prince Charming was everything I had always hoped. His proposal was just the same – romantic and unexpected. Charming, and perfect for us. Telling and retelling the story has been one of the highlights of my Christmas.


And then he sent me this picture and I’m reminded of how much and why I love him. It’s hilarious.

So now the fun of wedding planning commences! Already we have differing opinions on what type of wedding to have, how many people to invite and what the dress code should be – but I guess that’s all part of the fun isn’t it?

Tell me your favourite wedding shortcuts, tips and tricks – I’ve got lot’s of learning to do!

The Blow Out Bar

This weekend, I attended my second wedding in two weeks. It seems February is THE time to get married, and everyone is doing it – or at least everyone I know. I’m just turning 30! (What’s the rush?!)

With all the events I’ve had of late, my creativity in the hair department is at it’s end. Failing a ponytail with a bit of height, my not-cut-since-Christmas locks are a bit tired and flat, overworked (and underpaid) with heat and product. I put in an emergency call to the Blow Out Bar for a stylish wedding do and got ready to RE-LAX.

After a quick sesh at the Napoleon Perdis Lifestyle store at the Como Centre for a wedding make up look, I arrived at the Blow Out Bar only knowing I wanted something not too ‘done’ – which I am sure stylists hear all the time, probably a bit like asking for a Big Mac with a diet coke.

Blow out bar

My stylist Aiden showed me some pictures and I oohed and ahhed, and then told him to do whatever he thought would look good and get it ‘up’, out of the weather. Magazines were thrust into my hands and I sat in the opulent surrounds while Aiden set to work. The TV was also showing a movie, with teletext to follow over the music, and within minutes I was immersed in back issues of Shop Til You Drop, and ‘Identity Thief‘.

Aiden curled and twisted, pinned and spritzed. He added a donut (hair speak for ‘you don’t have enough hair’) and braids for some fun at the front. It was the exact right mix of formal and fun. Fabulous.

wedding lookDress by Sol Hermana, Shoes by Sachi and Clutch by Kmart. Jewels by Swarovski.

Braids are all the rage at the moment, according to Simone Van Haltren, the General Manager at BlowOut Bar Toorak, with celebs Scarlett Johansson being famous for braid crowns, Blake Lively often rocking the fishtail braid and Sienna Miller, Jessica Alba and Charlize Theron all sporting the look of late. It seems the braid is the new top knot, effortlessly combining the more relaxed natural look with a ‘done’ but ‘undone’ style.

I ask whether braids are particularly suited to any face shape or hairstyle, and Simone tells me that braids are best in blonde and medium brown hair, as highlights and differences in tones show up best, but that any face shape can rock the braided look. The stylists at Blow Out Bar can assist in working out whether the hair should be parted in the centre, or the side, and whether the majority of the hair should sit at the back or to either side.

I leave the Blow Out Bar sufficiently relaxed, and in need of a video store so I can see how Identity Thief ends. The wedding was divine (as weddings are!) and my hair stayed put for a good twelve hours, collecting compliments along the way.


And just in case you were wondering (as I was!), what the difference between a plait and a braid is? A braid incorporates whole sections (big or small) of the hair and can be done in many different shapes and forms – the 3 strand braid, 4 strand braid, 5 strand braid, up- close to the scalp, away from the scalp, fishtail or waterfall. A plait is more simplistic and usually only uses 3 strands. It’s much more limited with the choice of shape and sectioning patterns, a plait can not be done close to the scalp and has a more loose appeal to the eye.

Keshett Jewellery

I like shiny things. Glitter, sequins, metallics and bling, reflective surfaces and things that sparkle when the sun catches them. Walking past a jewellery store window brings out the best of my attention deficit disorder – I might be mid sentence discussing politics and then oooh, shiny! – and I’m gone.

oooh shiny

Being actually invited into the jewellery store is almost beyond comprehension. I might want things, and in the way you never leave cake in front of a dieting person, I should never be left alone near the shiny things. Until last week when I was invited to visit Keshett, on Little Collins Street, in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.


Keshett has been a jewellery mecca for over 30 years, owned and operated by Eugene and Paula Keshett, and catering to the many and varied needs of those in need of shiny things. With individual pieces, both antique, vintage and modern, their collection is sure to wow any shopper searching for something sparkly.


I visited on a bustling Thursday afternoon, where a young couple who had been searching for an engagement ring for over seven weeks found ‘the one’ after just five minutes at Keshett. They departed, and the gentleman that followed (and certainly knew his diamonds!) purchased the perfect ring for his beloved after examining the ring in detail on the hand of another shopper – or ‘ring model’ if you will.

A tour of the store with Paula showcases the amazing pieces she has uncovered all over the world. With a schedule that takes in Miami, New York, France, Germany, England, Vegas and Hong Kong, Paula looks for pieces that are interesting but different, always searching for the next story.

diamond necklace

And stories, the Keshett team have in droves. If not for the fact that my car parking was about to expire, I could have listened to proposal stories all afternoon. There was the one where the guy sold his car to fund the perfect ring, the proposals that have taken place in the store, a case of a ring lost between purchase and proposal, and the celebrity stories I have been sworn to secrecy about. We laughed and cried over champagne and macaroons. Keshett isn’t just about jewellery for Paula, it’s about having some fun and finding the perfect piece of sparkle to suit a personality.

shiny things

I tried on diamonds (oh, the DIAMONDS!), emeralds, sapphires and rubies.  Stunning gems any girl would be proud to display. Whether you are looking for an engagement ring, wedding band, something stunning for a special occasion, or just something shiny cause you can, Keshett is where you will find it!

Stay tuned to see the AH-MAZING piece I’ve borrowed to wear at my 30th birthday party and start thinking about what you’ll get your Valentine this February 14th. I’ve got a $250 gift certificate to give away to one lucky Valentine – simply comment below about your V Day plans! And if you’re single, how will you spoil yourself? Who says you need a man to buy you diamonds… (Competition open to Australian residents only, random draw, entries close February 10 at 5pm).


Weddings at Eureka 89

I’d like to start this blog post with a disclaimer – I am not getting married.

Not this week. Not this year. Not soon.

And now that my boyfriend has stopped freaking out, I can tell you about one of the newest places to have a wedding, if you are in fact, getting married.

Sarah Kempson at Eureka 89

I recently was invited to preview the 89th floor of the Eureka Tower, a venue that has previously been available for functions and dinners. The team at Eureka have put together a wedding package for prospective brides and grooms, allowing them to celebrate their union, quite literally, on top of the world.

With space for 120 guests (cocktail style, minimum 80), Eureka is the kind of destination venue your friends and family don’t have to get in a plane for.

Weddings at Eureka

Check out the amazing views from Eureka (and imagine just how pretty it would be of an evening with all the sparkling lights!) and start dreaming about standing next to the love of your life, wearing the most amazing dress, overlooking the best city in the world.