Wedding: Cocktail Hour

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After the ceremony, the guests moved onto the patio for drinks and canapés. It was time for everyone to catch up, have a glass of sparkling and enjoy a few appetisers. We joined the guests to celebrate before moving on to take our professional photos. After the photo-shoot, my husband and I took some time to have a moment together and crack open a bottle of champagne before joining the guests again for the reception.

Decor
One of the best decisions we made is to hire Leipzig to help us realise our vision of a vintage, yet elegant wedding. A few days before the wedding, we went to their workshop to discuss the final details of our decor and flowers. We were lucky enough to hand pick a few props, vases and containers for the day. The fact that they were familiar with the venue was an enormous plus. They managed to make everything feel like part of the original decor – vintage suitcases, books and picture frames created a magical ambiance. We displayed a few photos of us growing up with family and friends over the years, which brought back good memories.

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Food
La Petite Dauphine did an amazing job preparing the food. All of their canapés were a hit – boccocini lollipops, arancini balls, grilled zucchini, petit tartlets, tempura nori rolls and many others. Each appetiser was so delicious, unique and easy to eat.

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Wedding Photography
We were lucky to have my husband’s cousin and his wife from Picture Happiness doing our wedding photography. We honestly couldn’t have wished for better photos. It didn’t feel staged, but rather easy and natural. We had very indecisive weather on the day, it rained at midday, somewhat cleared for the ceremony and then started sprinkling while we were taking our photos. Eventually nature gifted us a rainbow and this absolutely made our day!

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Photos by Picture Happiness

Wedding: The Ceremony

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When we decided to have our wedding in South Africa, we hoped that we could have it on a winery. We also knew that we wanted it to be small, intimate and centred around family and close friends. One of the first venues that we looked at was La Petite Dauphine in Fraschhoek and it stole our hearts. The venue is located on a historical working fruit and wine farm which gives it a warm country feel. And since staff offered such exceptional service, we didn’t need to look any further.

The Venue
Our wedding ceremony was held on the lawns next to a pond with a picturesque view of the surrounding mountains. Signs of autumn could be seen everywhere, with citrus fruits lining the trees and a wide array of autumn colours on display.

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Details
I didn’t start looking for my wedding dress until we decided where we’d be getting married. Since the dress is one of the biggest wedding-related decisions, I wanted it to reflect that same vibe. I had a dress in mind that was simple, yet elegant with delicate lacy details. I went to a couple of different bridal shops and tried on a handful of dresses, but when I slipped on the dress by Pronovias, it just felt right. It was full of little details: bodice with sweetheart neckline, plunging back and gemstone embroidered lace.
As we decided not to have a bridal party, we wanted to emphasise the importance of our direct families on our wedding day. The ladies wore floral wrist arrangements and gentlemen wore matching boutonnières as well as socks embroidered with our initials.

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Ambiance
Before walking down the aisle, I was very nervous – the idea of being the centre of attention seemed intimidating. I had the chance to have a quick glimpse of the guests gathered on the lawn, happily chatting while sipping on some refreshments, and it made me feel relaxed. We walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon played on a harp. I had fully prepared to weep as soon as we’d appear in front of everyone, and yet somehow I felt calm, present and grateful. Seeing the smile of my husband-to-be in the distance was one of the best and happiest memories of the day. After we were pronounced husband and wife, we walked back up the aisle to Chaconne by J. Clarke.

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Photos by Picture Happiness

Wearing Right Now

18.05.15 Wearing right now
[1. Scanlan and Theodore top; 2.’Mise En Dior’ earrings; 3. Zara skirt; 4. Prada Handbag; 5. Essie ‘Lovie Dovie’ nail polish; 6. Zara shoes]

Since arriving back in Sydney, I can feel that winter has arrived. As I’m not a big fan of layering, I was on a mission to find a top that would have a warm texture and be suitable to wear to the office. This top from Scanlan and Theodore was exactly what I was after. Knowing that it’s from an Australian designer makes me feel special as I’m really getting into Australian fashion. I’m looking forward to owning a few more pieces from our local designers.

Lunchbox Idea: Vegetarian Option

Lunchbox Idea
I normally take my own lunch to work as I’m not a big fan of take-away places. On days when I need to buy lunch, I head straight to Thr1ve and order the vegetarian bowl with brown rice and sweet potato mash. It’s so delicious and seemed like something I could easily replicate at home. I’m also developing a habit of pre-making lunch on weekends. It requires me to be organised, but at the same time saves so much time in the morning while still providing all the healthy nutrients. There are so many different options and variations, so this week I separately pre-made the following:

Brown rice (follow a general recipe)
Sweet potato mash (bake sweet potatoes and mash them using a food processor)
Butternut pumpkin (cut into cubes, sprinkle with paprika and roast in oven)
Spinach (fresh, handful)
Egg (hard boiled)
Tomato (roasted)

When everything is cooled to room temperature, seal each component in a separate airtight tupperware and store in fridge. Arrange the ingredients in a lunchbox to take to work.

May Beauty

May Beauty

In the past 5 weeks of being away from home, I had to be very organised with my beauty routine. Before the trip, I carefully selected essential items and these three products made the list: Kérastase Cristalliste Lumière Liquide for an instant hair shine, Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Foam for a gentle skin cleanse and mini Diptyque candle to remind me of home.

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On our honeymoon, we visited a few countries and each of them had a different climate – from cool and wintery days in South Africa to tropical sunshine in Mauritius. I used Kérastase Cristalliste Lumière Liquide to maintain the ends of my hair as they seem to really get damaged in different conditions.

Shiseido
I have become a big fan of this cleanser. It removes what’s left of my makeup completely and leaves my skin soft and hydrated. It lathers up into a thick foam so a little goes a long way.

Diptyque
Diptyque candles have been part of our home for a while and now this miniature candle can even be with me when I travel (I had one with me on our honeymoon and used it whenever I took a bath).

Roasted Tomatoes Stuffed With Pearl Couscous

Roasted tomatoes stuffed with pearl couscous
I like the idea of having family traditions and a Sunday roast is something I’ve always wanted to do. As this is our first weekend at home after the wedding and honeymoon, I was so excited to come across this recipe and give it a try. While this dish isn’t necessarily a traditional roast, I loved making it and enjoying it in our small family of two.

Ingredients:
1 cup pearl couscous
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra sprigs to serve (optional)
1/2 cup chopped mint, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
10-12 tomatoes

Method:
Preheat oven to 200C or180C fan. Bring a saucepan of water to boil on high heat. Add couscous and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Add parsley, mint, spring onion, lemon juice and half of oil. Season and stir to combine.
Trim tops from tomatoes. Using a small knife and a teaspoon remove seeds and membranes. Divide couscous mixture between tomatoes. Replace tops and drizzle with remaining oil. Roast for 12-15 minutes, until tender and heated through. Scatter over extra parsley to serve (optional).

Little Things

OPI nail polishes
[Choosing nail polishes for my wedding]

The last couple of months have certainly been the best period of my life. I am now married and just enjoying every moment. As we have just returned from our honeymoon and are getting back to our normal routine, I want to share five little things that were part of the week before we left.

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[Sunday long run as part of my Half Marathon training]

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[Bright table top at a local coffee shop]

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[Frangipani flower, which brightened my bus trip to work]

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[Leftover chocolate freckle from Happy Lab]

Wearing Right Now

06.05.15 Wearing right now
[1. Zara jumper; 2. Chloe Susanna boots; 3. Prada Handbag; 4. OPI ‘I Love Applause’ nail polish; 5. Zara skirt]

My casual wardrobe is very basic, but occasionally I like to add one or two statement pieces. These Chloe Susanna boots were on my wish list for a very long time. As they are now a part of my wardrobe, I like to think of clothes to pair them with. They are a centrepiece on their own so I balance them with soft simple knits, a pair of jeans or a leather skirt. A pastel nail polish adds that warm, soft finish to my whole outfit.

Teacup Candles DIY

Teacup candles DIY

I like going to markets to see arts and crafts created by some talented people. It’s the best place to get inspired and source some DIY ideas. I saw these vintage teacup candles at Kirribilli market last year and have been wanting to make them for a very long time. They are perfect as a gift and don’t take too long to make. I bought this candle making kit on Amazon and scored these vintage Royal Albert teacups in one of the Newtown’s antique stores.

Step1
You need: vintage teacups, candle making kit, essential oils of your choice.

Step2
Follow the instructions when melting the wax. When the wax is at the right temperature, add a few drops of the essential oils and pour the wax into the cups.

Step3
After approximately 5 minutes, place a wick assembly into each cup. Make sure the wick tab is centred on the bottom of the cup. The hot wax will cause the wick lean so use wooden sticks to prevent the wick from falling towards the sides of the cup. Place the wick between two sticks until it is centred.

Step5
Allow to cool and solidify completely.

Flower Arrangements with Roses

Flower arragements

During the prep for my wedding, I went through a number of Pinterest boards looking for some flower inspiration. The variety of options has not only helped with ideas, but made me realise that you don’t really need a special occasion for a beautifully arranged bouquet. Adding some extra foilage to a standard bunch of flowers can make a big difference. I used roses as a key flower and added two different foilages to blend and soften the colour palette. It instantly lifted the mood and brought a tiny bit of luxury into the room.

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Some of my other flower arrangements: autumn flower arrangements and flower arrangement in a jar

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