A cocktail wedding at Sydney’s Athol Hall: Verity & German

June 29th, 2013   •   no comments   
The stars were aligned for Verity Graham and Columbian-born German Cardenas the night they met doing a salsa at Latin club, El Barrio at The Rocks in Sydney. They were both IT professionals. (Verity works for Google and German for UberTech). They were both born in April and share the same star sign (Taurus). But the icing on the cake for Verity was that German could dance.Verity says, “I’d always dreamt of a man who could dance and here he was before me.” She adds, “I fell in love with him after just a few successive nights out – I think it was during a merengue – he was swirling me around and I had this amazing sense of security and liberation at the same time.”That was in 2008. In 2010, the couple travelled to Queenstown, New Zealand, and as the moon blazed over a mountain with the ski fields below them, German asked Verity to be his wife. Verity recalls, “The moon was so bright that night and the ring glistened before I could even tell what it was! Afterward we took the chairlift down and I couldn’t stop smiling at everyone around me and telling them we just got engaged.”

Two years later the couple said ‘I do’ (or ‘yo acepto’ in Spanish) in a garden ceremony and cocktail wedding reception for 110 guests at Sydney’s Athol Hall.

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Verity found her blue Elisa Litz peep toe shoes on a trip to Singapore. “I didn’t set out to buy blue shoes, they found me! I zeroed in on them immediately.”Of her fresh and modern bouquet she explains, “I was looking for something non-traditional and knew I wanted yellow billy buttons. I was quite relaxed about letting the florist [Deborah Leah] do the rest. I let her do her own thing and she did an amazing job.”
“I absolutely had to have my mum walk me down the aisle,” says Verity. “She is my best friend.” Verity and her mum and dad walked down the rose-petal aisle to Steve Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”, played by three-piece ensemble, Vov Dylan Orchestras.
The couple’s celebrant, Margarita Wilson, who conducted parts of the ceremony in German’s native language, Spanish, suggested to them the idea of a pebble ceremony. In this lovely ritual, the couple selected three guests each to bestow a wish upon the pair, which is written on a pebble and placed into a bowl or vase that holds all the wishes for the marriage.Verity explains that it was a wonderful way to make the ceremony interactive. One of their favourite wishes was: “I bring you LIFE. Enjoy the little things in life for one day you will realise that they are the big things. Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”
Whilst the bridal party was having photos on the secluded beach nearby, guests were entertained with games of bowling and cricket. Vov Dylan Orchestras played as they moved around the big beautiful lawns of Athol Hall. “We didn’t want our guests to be bored while we were taking photos,” Verity explains.
The boys were dressed in blue-grey peak lapel lounge suits by Sydney menswear designer, Brent Wilson. The brown-buttoned suits were teamed with shoes and belts of the same colour, and silver ties to complement the bridesmaids’ silver Bariano sequined dresses.
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Verity chose couturier, Karen Willis Holmes, to create her two-piece wedding gown. “It was a fully boned, ribbon bodice from one design and the Margot tulle skirt from another,” says Verity. She accessorised with a matching satin-edge veil, sequined belt, headpiece and earrings – all from Karen Willis Holmes.
Of the bomboniere, each guest was given a seedling of lavender wrapped in hessian and fine yellow ribbon – which was all ordered and put together by Verity’s green-thumb mum. “It was a lovely way to involve her,” says Verity.
The couple’s Adriano Zumbo croquembouche wedding cake was perfect for their cocktail reception. “Bite sized and perfectly suited for juggling beer and wine in the hand!” says the bride.
Of photographers, T-One Image, Verity praises, “Kevin was an absolute pleasure to have in our homes. They dress for the occasion, are polite and non-obtrusive. The whole experience has been delightful.”

A modern romantic summer garden wedding: Katrina & Robert

June 29th, 2013   •   no comments   

I get excited to see green used in wedding theming; it’s one of my all-time favourite colours – so fresh and uplifting. Melbourne couple, Katrina Duncan and Robert Pepyat infused it ever so nicely (and subtly) into their modern romantic garden wedding at the equally as green, RACV Club in Healesville, Victoria.

Katrina says, “Being a landscape architect, I just knew that I wanted an outdoor summer wedding (we got a scorcher, it was sunny and 34 degrees). When we were looking for a ceremony location, we were on our way home and happened to drive past RACV and noticed the newly renovated establishment (even though I wasn’t that keen on having a golf club wedding).

But straight away I fell in love with the diverse mix of strong architectural elements set within the undulating landscape and mountainous views and when I saw the gazebo I was sold. It was truly an amazing backdrop framed in a contemporary timber structure.”

She adds, “Another reason why we liked the venue was its ability to cater for the ceremony, reception and accommodation all in the one place and we were met with exceptional service. The food and wine were amazing; we had guests say to us that it was the best wedding food they had ever had. Most of our family stayed at the venue that night so we were able to share breakfast together the morning after.”






“I tried to keep the wedding styling consistent by using our invite design and monogram as much as possible throughout. I designed and printed the ceremony fans and stained the fan handles the same colour as the guest book. I had magnets with our monogram made up for the guest seating board with tags that mimicked our invite and was carried through to the guest seating card,” explains Katrina.

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“The gown was a Sophia Tolli from Ravish Bridal in Burwood,” says Katrina. “It took me so long to find a gown, I wasn’t sure what style I wanted. I really liked the idea of a big gown but wasn’t sure if I should go with something more modern and mermaid. And then I found it on their website and I just knew it was the dress for me. It had a dropped waistline that was met with a soft full skirt and the colour was a light gold which I loved.”   Katrina_Robert_Wedding_010

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Katrina tells, “Not only did my mum do the me the honour of walking me down the aisle, she was also my rock. Mum was the honest opinion for my dress and stayed up late to help with the bomboniere and was just good moral support and guidance when I needed it most.”




The boys were dressed in grey wool suits from Man to Man with slim black ties. Rob stood out from his four groomsmen in a black waist coat.

The couple were lucky enough to have family friends provide the wedding cards – a classic Citroen, a black and yellow Camero and a Mustang.



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Of her bridesmaids’ dresses, Katrina says, “I wanted a colour that would complement colour of my gown but it also needed to be strong enough to stand out.” She found what she was looking for at online retailer, J. Crew, and all the girls wore Tony Bianco platform skin lizard shoes in nude.



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“Originally when I ordered my three-tier, double layered, three-flavoured mud cake from The Cheesecake Shop, I thought that I could decorate it myself,” says Katrina. “I changed my mind closer to the date and Rebecca’s Cakes stepped in to do it for me. I went for a modern simplistic look with grey and white tones.”


Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden wedding with us, Katrina & Robert!

Vanessa & Nino’s wedding @ Sorrento

May 25th, 2013   •   no comments   

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