There is always a lot to love about a wedding with classic touches and Emma and Samuel’s waterside black tie wedding is not only a classic celebration, but it’s full of special, sentimental moments and stunning waterside views.

Emma wore a Pallas Couture  gown, noting, “The dress was from the Pallas Couture collection La Promesse. It had French lace detail and beading with sheer panels at the back covered by French Spider Lace. The veil I wore was my eldest sister’s, also from Pallas Couture. I knew it was the dress for me as soon as I tried it on. The experience was exciting and nerve racking at the same time as I wanted to make sure I picked the best dress for me.”

Blessed Sacrament Clifton Gardens hosted the ceremony, the bride and groom noting, “Our service was held in our local Catholic Church – Blessed Sacrament, Clifton Gardens. It is a beautiful, traditional church with large stained glass windows.”

Emma remembers, “My mum walked me down the aisle to Allegro – Handel, played on the church organ.”

The newlyweds recall, “Our ceremony was very traditional, just as we wanted. We had two readings and four prayers of the faithful. The readings were read by the bride’s brother in law, the groom’s sister and the prayers of the faithful read by two very close friends who also drove the bride and bridesmaids to the church. We had traditional hymns, played on the organ and accompanied by an amazing singer. We left the church to, I vow to thee, “thaxted” – Gustav Holst the original version of the Rugby World Cup Anthem.”

For the full article head to

Credits Photographer: GM Photographics / Bride’s Dress: Pallas Couture / Bride’s Shoes: Charlotte Olympia / Bride’s Jewelry: Personal (Nana’s engagement ring) / Groom’s Attire: Peppers Formal Hire / Groomsmen Attire: Peppers Formal Hire / Bridesmaid Dresses: Camilla and Marc / Hairstylist: Emma Dean Salon / Makeup Artist: Rozlyne Vidal / Flowers (Bridal Party & Church): Bonfleur / Flowers (Reception): Maggie May Flowers / Invitations & Stationery: Blue Duck Design / Ceremony Venue: Blessed Sacrament Clifton Gardens / Ceremony Officiant: Fr Phillip Linder / Ceremony Musicians: Anne Hayson (Organ) Henry Wright (Singer) / Reception Venue: Zest @ The Spit / Band: Peppermint Jam / Cake Baker: Grooms Mother / Wedding Rings: Fedeli Jewellers / Transport: Grooms Father’s Car / Wedding Registry: David Jones



Fiona Deans- Dundas is the founder and CEO of Couture Wedding Planning. As one of the best in the business, we sat down with her to talk all things weddings. Here is her take on weddings for 2015 and the New Year coming…

When asked of her favourite venues Fiona is quick to respond with Sergeants Mess. “It’s a larger venue to style located in Chowder Bay in Mosman. Sergeant Mess has incredible harbour views and has beautiful art deco chandeliers and bar. Sergeants Mess has a minimum of 100 guests and maximum of 250.”

“One of my favourite smaller venues at the moment to style is Gunner Barracks also located in Mosman and also has beautiful harbour views with a vintage luxe feel – they have 3 ceremony location, the stunning Harbourivew lawn, the historic courtyard and enclosed Harbourview Terrace. Gunners’  can take approx. 80 guest seated in the main dining room depending on the floorplan. A wonderful thing about both venue is you are the only bride at each venue when you get married – both are very exclusive.”

“I actually wanted to get married in Gunner Barracks’ but sadly it was a little small for my guest numbers and also enquired about Sergeants Mess for my wedding but sadly it was still under construction 6 years ago.”

“Both venues are owned by the incredible Grand Pacific Group who also own Dunbar House and The Queen Victoria Tea Rooms.  I particularly like working with this group as they have very helpful sales staff with a can do attitude and wonderful banquet staff that run the events.”

Some of Fiona’s favourite venues located in Sydney if you wanted to consider them for your upcoming wedding include:

Over 100 Guests

Under 80 guests

When it comes to finding the ultimate wedding dress Fiona says “I adore going to the Wedding Dress Boutique with my brides, it is one of my Favourite parts of the wedding planning process. You immediately know when the bride finds the gown of her dreams as there is usually a very emotional energy in the room and most of the time we all cry – which is lovely to witness.”

‘From overseas I adore Galia Lahav who is fantastic Israel Designer, thankfully Eternal Bridal now stocks this stunning brand so it is available to Australian brides.”

“I also love Vera Wang (had the privilege of trying on her Fall 2015 collection in New York Recently and the gowns where exquisite) Inbal Dror –  available at Helen Rodrigues and Berta Bridal – available at Brides By Francesca. Locally I really love what Steven Khalil has created for my brides over the years, he has incredible fit and really knows how to dress a women’s figure. Some of my other designers here locally include Pallas CoutureVelaniDiane Lewis and Moira Hughes.”

If you are a bride just starting out and planning your wedding, here is Fiona’s best tips;

“Firstly, Start a basic Budget, begin with some approx. costings – what you think things will cost and then add in the actual costs as you receive the quotes from your suppliers and then once you lock them in, add in the deposit you have paid and how much and when final payments are due so you don’t have to go back through all the invoices and contracts again.” The Easy Weddings Website has some very helpful Wedding Planning Tools including Budget Management for the brides that wants to plan their own weddings. For our Couture Wedding Planning Brides this is major part of what we do for each of couple.

“Secondly, Make sure you begin a rough timeline from the beginning of your planning – begin by adding the start time of the ceremony and reception and then as you go through the wedding planning process just add the information as you receive it from your suppliers such as the start time the make up artist, when you cars will arrive and what time your florist will be setting up for the ceremony and reception and then when you get to the wedding, you can just send this document to you all your suppliers to confirm you are all on the same page. For each Couture Wedding Planning Bride we will make sure we maintain a very detailed timeline that we communicate to all your suppliers.”

“Thirdly, Create a mood board either on Pinterest or just add your Favourite images to a word document – this way you can take this document or present your pinterest board to your supplier such as your florist, Stylist and Décor Hiring Company etc to show them the direction and Colours you would like to incorporate into your wedding. We love creating a unique moodboard for each couple so they have a clear understanding of what their wedding will look like before the wedding day.”

When asked about wedding trends, Fiona replies “Looking at the coming year florals are trending heavily. Flower Walls are increasing in popularity at the wedding. Love the stunning framed fresh flower walls by Maria Lush Floral Designer.

Beautiful Floral Ceiling Installations are massive at the moment. Vesna Grasso has some beautiful silk wisteria which are perfect for ceiling installations.

Gold is very on trend at the moment. Both John Emmanuel, another talented florist I love working with at the moment and I are obsessed with.

Luscious Linens are becoming even more popular in Australia like the incredible Preston Bailey Linen available at Events by Nadia.

Stunning Charger plates are increasing in popularity at wedding in Australia at the moment as suppliers have a much wider variety available to our brides. Contact harbourside decorators to view their large range.”

If you are just starting out Fiona suggests an appointment sooner rather than later… “One year is fantastic but we have planned weddings in 3 months before for example Joe and Kuan we planned with in a year 1 year and Frank and Elizabeth we planned in 3 months.   I am also planning two wedding at the moment for 18 months.”

Fiona’s favourite element when styling a wedding is florals.

“Flowers are Key – Florals are a key element in any wedding styling – they can communicate the colour scheme of the wedding to all the guests as well as theme of the wedding and personality of the Bride and Groom in the way they are arranged and what vases they are contained within. For example a modern bride use structured flowers like orchids and tulips in glass vessels, a classic bride might us a tall vases with beautiful floral balls and a boho bride might use Hessen wrapped vases of a mixture of vases.”

Fiona has seen dramatic changes in wedding styling in the last 2 years in Australia – “Things have just amplified. I believe this is due to increasing popularity of social media amongst Brides like Pinterest and Instagram which shows Aussie Brides what is trending in America and so these items are becoming more and more available in Australia such as Charger plates, a large range of stunning chairs and beautiful linens.”

“Some brides arrive with whole folders and some with just one or two photos and then we help them build on these as we develop their Wedding Mood Board. Magazines and Instagram are very inspiration but pinterest is by far the most popular way of creating mood boards and easily communicating them to your creative suppliers – We normally create an anonymous pinterest board for each of our couples. Pinterest is such an amazing tool but be warned it is very addictive.”

Here are some tips for all couples to make follow during their wedding planning

Always ask how much Extra Sides are when seeing your photographer

Always read the contract

Always do a menu tasting

Always do a floral mock up

Always do a final meeting with you venue, florist and photographer

Here is a taste of Couture Wedding Planning’s packages;

The Haute Couture is a very exclusive package available to 3 lucky couples each year. We limit this package to small number of couples so we can provide them with the exclusive and detailed service. Be part of this Exclusive Society and allow Couture Wedding Planning to create a beautiful wedding for you and your fiancé from concept to completion. Our Haute Couture Couples will be provided with an Ipad so they can connect with their personal wedding planner and create mood boards and store all their documentation.

The Demi Couture package is perfect for couples who have organised their wedding venue and a few other suppliers so far but not sure what to do next and need help with organising the rest of the wedding and with tying all their ideas together.

The Couture Coordination package is perfect for a Bride and Groom who would like to plan their own wedding but would love to have professional wedding planner there on their wedding day to ensure that all your intricate details are in place and will make sure their day is seamless.

Check out Couture Wedding Planning’s website for more details on our packages and view their portfolio

Follow them on Instagram and Facebook to keep up the latest styling trends Check out the Pinterest page and start pinning!








  • Moira HughesNovember 7, 2015 - 1:43 pm

    Some great recommendations Fiona and thank you for your kind words about our gowns. We love working with Gm Photographics and Couture Wedding Planning!ReplyCancel

  • Lorraine swiftNovember 8, 2015 - 11:22 am

    Could I get some prices for my wedding next aug 22nd 2016.

    Ceremony at Bradley’s Head and reception at Sergeants Mess, only a small wedding around 30-40 guests!
    Staying at the star darling harbour.

    Ceremony 4pm, so would probable need photos from 1:30 up to 7:30… Maybe 8:30



Andy and Carly went through school together and knew many of the same people but had never met until 2009 when a mutual friend introduced them. “Andy asked me to add him as a friend on Facebook and that night I did… we started chatting and it only got better.”

“Andy proposed to me at my favourite restaurant – China Doll in Woolloomooloo. We enjoyed dinner and then whilst we were eating dessert, we were also served a fortune cookie which I opened to read “Will you marry me?” I was hysterical !!! I replied “yes”.”

Carly wore a Steven Khalil strapless nude fully embellished crystal gown with detachable sleeves and a heavily embellished veil. Her bridesmaids looked so beautiful in dresses by Yulia Mc CoutureAnthony Ellis did hair whilst Melissa Sassine perfected the make-up.

Carly says “Our reception was held at Waterview in Bicentennial Park  My father is the Director of Waterview and this is why we got married there. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Waterview was built for the purpose of having all our family weddings there and this is what made it so special. It made me feel so proud. Our wedding planner and stylist Jason James Design transformed the space into a modern, sophisticated and avant-garde ‘Fairytale Forest’. Our colour choice was black, gold and white – it was very royal, elegant and modern. We wanted our styling to be unique and this is exactly what Jason delivered – he was amazing!”

“I love and persisted on having masses of cascading greenery, Columbian roses and phalaenopsis orchids in my arrangements and bouquets. I provided my florist, Seed Flora, with a budget and let them work with Jason to bring their magic to life. I really wanted my florals to be a statement and look abundant, breathtaking and unique. Andy and I organized onyx personalised nametags and gold bottles of Ace of Spades Champagne to be placed on each table for all our guests. A flower wrapping station was setup by our florist to wrap up all the flowers for the guests to take home too – with paper which included our monogrammed emblem.”

To read more of this article and see more of our photographs click here


Photographer: GM Photographics / Siempre / Jess Jacob Creative / Bride’s Dress and Veil: Steven Khalil / Bridesmaid Shoes: Cosmopolitan Shoes / Bridesmaid Dresses: Yulia Mc Couture / Bridesmaid Accessories: Midas Jewellery / Hairstylist: Anthony Ellis / Makeup Artist: Melissa Sassine / Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford / Ceremony Venue: St Mary’s Cathedral / Reception Venue: Waterview in Bicentennial Park / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Jason James / Flowers & Decor: Seed Flora / Cake Baker: Sweet Bloom Cakes / Invitations & Stationery: Zed and Bee /  Styling and Decoration: Events by Nadia / Candles and Favours: Loved by Lucy XO


Sometimes all you need is simplicity and elegance and this elegant Sydney wedding has all that and more! Sousan and Harvey chose a popular Sydney venue for their wedding – marrying in the courtyard before celebrating with their guests at a sit down reception and of course, the best part – dancing the night away! We were there to capture it all.

Marianna Grillo styled the bride’s hair and makeup.

The bride wore an elegant gown by Amanda Garrett. Her bouquet of roses and blushing brides was created by Maria Lush.

Sousan remembers, “There was a huge storm / mini cyclone from 3.30-4.15pm which we could see from our hotel as we were getting ready for the ceremony. The skies opened up and the sun shone just in time for the 5.30pm service!”

Sousan and Harvey held their wedding at Gunners Barracks. They both wanted a relaxed ceremony surrounded by family and friends, so chose the venue’s courtyard for the ceremony proceedings. Sousan remarks, “Many attending the wedding were from overseas and interstate so the Gunners Barracks was the perfect Sydney venue – a venue so unique!”

Celebrations continued inside at Gunners Barracks, the entire event planned by Events by Nightingales who worked with Maria Lush to create a beautiful feeling to the space. Sousan remarks, “All of our chosen vendors were outstanding, but the florist drew the most comments from the guests. The wonderful organisation of Nightingales and the venue allowed us to relax and enjoy the day.”

To read the full article on Polkadot Bride click here


Photographer: gm photographics / Wedding Planner & Stylist: Events by Nightingales / Bride’s Dress: Amanda Garrett / Bride’s Shoes: Saint Laurent / Bride’s Jewelry: Tiffany & Co / Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford / Groom’s Shoes: Bally / Groomsmen Attire: Harrolds / Hairstylist: Marianna Grillo / Makeup Artist: Marianna Grillo / Flowers: Maria Lush / Invitations & Stationery: Natalie by Design / Venue: Gunners Barracks / Ceremony Musicians: Vov Dylan – String Quartet / Cake Baker: Something Blue Cakes / Band: Lets Groove Tonight


Michelle Date-Chong & Marc Harris

29 NOVEMBER, 2014

They were both studying the same accounting course at university, and within a year Michelle and Marc, both 31, were close friends. ‘We started dating soon after,’ she says. On their nine year anniversary, Marc proposed, before whisking Michelle away to her favourite restaurant for a celebratory dinner.

The couple’s suppliers: