A Whimsical Garden Wedding

Sometimes, we don’t feel the need to say much about a particular wedding, because the photos speak for it so beautifully. From El’s delicately accented gown to that stunning ceremony site, this whimsical garden wedding is so beautiful that we’ll just let the bride tell her story!

More from the bride:
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a vision for my wedding day firmly implanted in my mind – a whimsical, fairytale-esque garden party.

When Michael and I stumbled across Tree Elle Retreat’s beautifully manicured European style gardens, we booked it on the spot.  Being a specialist turf consultant, Michael was sold on the venue’s lush lawns, while I was in awe of the crab-apple and canopy of weeping trees, reminiscent of childhood days I spent fawning over pictures in Jill Barklem’s ‘Brambly Hedge’ series.

My choice of gown and veil was dictated by my love for the feeling arisen when looking through another one of my favourite childhood books – Walter Crane’s ‘A Flower Wedding.’ The celestial mood Crane’s illustrations evoke were a huge inspiration from the hand sewn delicate lace veil and headpiece to the hint of art deco beading on my dress. I carried the ethereal theme through with the soft palettes of my bridesmaid’s dresses and the flower girl’s floral headpieces and forest foraged-looking posies.

For me, flowers were always going to be one of the most important aesthetic elements of the day. I was looking to create a lush, naturally abundant and enchanted tone, enhancing the natural aisle the weeping trees make with rows of bountiful blooms on either side. I was awe struck by the way Rebecca Grace had perfectly merged her floral designs into the natural landscape of the venue.

We carried the garden party theme on through to the cocktail hour, creating a whimsical feel with the laid back jazz band, canapés and custom lavender cocktails. Once guests migrated into the marquee, there was a sumptuous and abundant floral chandelier over the dancefloor with potted ferns and orchids down the tables. Hints of luminous gold vases and glimmering candlelight throughout dinner added to the nights enchantment.

Our photographer, Jemma Keech, has a charming and innate ability to capture the iridescent details of our wedding in such a mesmeric and dreamy way. The photos make me want to relive our special day all over again!”
Photographer: Jemma Keech | Florals & Styling: Natural Art by Rebecca Grace | Make-up: Hendra Widjaja | Hair: Lee Preston | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Gown: Pronovias Atelier | Venue: Tree Elle Retreat | Wedding Coordinator: Rachael Haase | Marquee & Furniture Hire: Albany Event Hire | Catering: Pepper & Salt Restaurant | Cake: The Cake & I

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05.05.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Natural Anniversary Photos

We love that today’s couples know that a wedding isn’t the only day they should have documented with beautiful images. Nearly every couple chooses an engagement session, and the popularity of elegant, fine-art style maternity photography is ever increasing. This couple has been together for 10 years, and want to document their love for each other as it changes throughout their relationship. The natural, laid-back feel to these images will become a perfect reminder for them of their everyday lives as they continue to celebrate future anniversaries.

Photography: Tec Petaja

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05.04.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Poached Egg and Asparagus Crostini Recipe

We’re so excited to share this simple brunch recipe from Katelyn Hardwick with you all today! A quick and easy recipe like this would be perfect for a bridal brunch or keep this little gem of a recipe in your pocket for your first days at home after the honeymoon! Serve these gorgeous crostini on beautiful Vietri platters from your Zola Registry – the all-in-one, completely customizable registry that we can’t get enough of – to elevate your meal to the next level. And remember, Once Wed readers get $25 toward their registry when you sign up today!

Simple Asparagus and Poached Egg Crostini

-1 small bunch of asparagus (ends chopped off)

-4 eggs

-2 tsp white vinegar

-1 baguette or rustic loaf of bread (sliced on the angle and toasted)

-Pea shoot micro greens (or any other sprouts or micros that you prefer)

-Olive oil

-Salt & pepper to garnish

Avocado Spread:

-2 ripe avocados

-1 lemon, juiced

-2 small cloves of garlic, minced

-Salt & pepper


1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice, set aside.  Fill a medium sized saucepan halfway with water, bring to a boil.  Add the asparagus and let cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute depending on thickness of asparagus. Drain. Place asparagus in ice bath and let them sit for 5 minutes. Drain.

2. Cutting at an angle slice the loaf of bread into 1 inch slices.  Spread slices with olive oil and toast in pan until golden brown.

3. Chop and smash the avocados in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, minced lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Combine well.

4. Spread avocado smear onto toasts.

5. Fill a large saucepan with water.  Add 2 tsp. white vinegar and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Meanwhile, crack 1 egg into a small ramekin.  Quickly stir the water in one direction until spinning.  Carefully drop the cracked egg into the center.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.  Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and place on top of a crostini.  Repeat for each additional crostini.  Garnish with drizzled olive oil, micro greens and salt & pepper to taste.

Creative and Art Direction: Emily Newman for Once Wed | Photography: Meghan Kay Sadler | Styling: Ginny Branch and Ginny Au| Food Styling and Recuoe: Katelyn Hardwick | Products: Zola

05.04.15 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog

Shoppe Signora Launch

Once in a while, we’re able to share with brides and wedding professionals alike the news of an exciting launch. Today, we’re thrilled to introduce to you Shoppe Signora.

From Katie Decker of Shoppe Signora:

Shoppe Signora was born from my desire to make handmade paper that calligraphers would have access to. It was an idea that quickly evolved into a collection featuring goods to assist in the life of any maker or creator, beginning with our leather calligraphy kit.

It is a collection with aspirations of heirloom quality. Each article intended to become more refined with age…designed to be loved and used often. From the crafter to the professional artist, there is a piece that speaks to everyone. 

While the vision originated from me, Shoppe Signora is really a blend of myself and my mother. It’s truly been a privilege to collaborate with her (also a self-taught artist), and hopefully bring a few of her dreams to fruition as well. She cuts and sews with leather sourced from Italy and Germany and natural fibres like cotton and Belgian linen to craft items worthy of bequest, while I have the honor of making posts of paper for those who crave unique and organic tendencies. Together, we create beautifully curated handmade articles for the creative soul. 

Each piece is made by our hands and comes from inspiration found in the letters of lovers, the feel of worn linen and the old Florentine leather shops that hold the secrets of days past. 

It is our hope that when our products are used, the imagination is enhanced, ideas are manifested and achievements are made. We want to add a little bit of quality to life.   

And be sure to check out Shoppe Signora on Instagram today for an exciting contest!

Hair/Makeup: Claudia Mejerle | Styling: Ginny Branch | Photography: Laura Catherine Organic Photography

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05.01.15 / Contests, Featured, New Sponsor Blog, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog