R + R Get Married! The Details (Part 5)

Details, details, details. Without a doubt, it’s the deep love and the people that make a wedding, but often it’s the little details that can pull together a truckload of inspiration to create a memorable and aesthetically beautiful celebration.

After a few stops and starts, we were truly blessed to assemble what we affectionately refer to as ‘The A-Team’ for our wedding, and I’m crazy about everyone involved.

Today is all about all the juicy details, so read on and feel free to ask any questions in the comments. I’m sure I’ve missed some things!

The Florals


I’m not really sure where to start when it comes to Elise, the creative talent behind our stunning florals.

Ramai and I first met Elise when we worked together on our engagement photo shoot, and thankfully the stars aligned after the florist we had originally booked for our wedding didn’t work out, which freed us up to be able to team up on the ‘main event.’ Everything happens for a reason, and in this case, it was the best damn reason in the world. There’s simply no comparison!

The brief I gave Elise for the florals had two components – the first being a request for a combination of soft pastels, gum leaves, natives (including King Proteas, which I love) and wildflowers for displaying in the “inside out room” and the marquee, and the second, bright-as-anything blooms to match the neon vibe I had going on in the artist’s studio (the dancing shed). She absolutely nailed it.

Elise’s incredible creations included:

+ The arch for the ceremony (oh my, OH-FREAKING-MY!)
+ Draped florals and leaves across the doorway at the front entrance to the property
+ Single stems in bottles hung from the roof (no pics of these unfortunately)
+ Baby’s Breath in bottles scattered around the venue
+ A mix of leaves and pretty flowers in vintage decanters and vases on the tables in the marquee
+ The cake decorations
+ Big vintage bowls (vases) with gorgeous arrangements for the guestbook table and other spots in the inside out room
+ Flower-filled jars everywhere!
+ The dessert table
+ Bright arrangements for the studio
+ The succulents for the favours/ escort cards
+ Baby’s Breath flower crowns

Along with all that – an impressive effort in itself – Elise created the beautiful bouquets for my bridesmaids and I and the buttonholes for the boys. My head nearly fell off when I found out there would be peonies – my all-time favourite flower – flown in from Holland for the occasion!

If you haven’t gathered by now, we love Elise and it’s been so lovely seeing things blossom (mind the pun) for her business Elyssium Blooms over the past few months. You heard it here first – this girl is going to go far.

The Storytellers


I’ve previously introduced you to our mega-talented  photographer Ali Mitton but it needs to be said again – she is simply amazing.

Not only is she a supremely talented photographer, but Ali is also one of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around. She was joined on the day by one of her best friends Emma McMillan (behind my Dad in the shot above), who I am also friends with, and together they made a formidable team. They put in 12 solid hours and so many people commented on how wonderful they were. Total treasures.

When it came to finding a videographer, Ali recommended I get in touch with her friend Jesse McCormack (also above) who she had worked with on Element campaigns, and again, he was an absolute joy. The style of our video is very much like the photos – but with a soundtrack of our favourite songs thrown in the mix – and we know we’ll treasure the many memories they all captured forever.

The Food


From the moment we met Simon from Eat Drink Catering, we knew he was our man.

Simon is a true professional and the union of his charismatic personality and his obvious passion for food is nothing short of glorious. He gets it. It’s easy. Things flow, suggestions are put on the table, advice and support is offered along the way. It just works. 

Testament to Simon’s good nature is the Eat Drink team he has assembled, who are all lovely and equally as professional. You get the feeling that “over and above” is their mantra, and we were truly made to feel like VIP’s all day with lots of “extra” attention.

Simon was a pleasure to work with start to finish, and I know we’ll continue to keep in touch as the years go by. If you’re getting married in Byron Bay or around the area, you need to get in touch with him.

The Paper Goods


We enlisted the help of someone who I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with to design our paper goods, the lovely Jo from August Empress/ The Darling Tree.

Jo is amazing to work with because she just “gets” it off the bat and is totally patient and understanding (umm… especially when I emailed her in the last week asking for a few additional items!)

Jo wove her design magic over:

+ The feasting menu, which were printed on brown kraft bags
+ Lots of tags/ flags – escort cards, placecards, straws, table numbers
+ Signage for the guestbook table
+ Bar and cocktail menus
+ And my favourite – the ‘Love Manifesto’ we printed and placed on everyone’s plate in the marquee

* All items were printed at sarbe invitations + papers on the Gold Coast. Ask for Andrea if you go there, she’s the best!

The Lighting


It’s rare to find people as truly passionate about what they do as Dan and Sean from North Coast Events. Again, we hooked up with these guys when the previous supplier we’d spoken to was basically impossible to get a hold of, and once again, we’re so blessed we did.

These guys both worked tirelessly (in the rain) in the lead up to the day, hanging lanterns from trees and throughout the roof in the inside out room and the marquee, as well as transforming the dancing room with festoon bulbs and an array of other lights that really created the party atmosphere.  It’s a pleasure to watch people get as excited as they do about their work.

Dan and Sean were also responsible for the gorgeous rustic ladder that hung through the centre of the marquee, shown above, and all the audio for the ceremony and speeches. Absolute legends, I can’t speak highly enough of them both (they also DJ if you’re interested).

The Dress


Ahh, the dress. I searched and searched online for The Perfect Dress, and after realising I just wasn’t going to find what I wanted in Queensland, last October I took the opportunity while down in Melbourne to visit designer Amaline Vitale to try a style I’d seen online… and it was love at first sight. My bridesmaids cried, I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day and I knew I had to have it.

My gown was made to measure, which meant I had to fly to Melbourne for 3 different fittings (actually, there were 5 fittings all up) earlier this year, and seeing the workmanship and it all come together slowly each time I went in was just amazing. It really was an ‘experience’ and I can’t speak highly enough about Amaline and her the boutique manager Sam.

My favourite thing about this dress was that it was ridiculously comfortable, which is big for me as I knew I didn’t want to be hiking up a strapless all day. I love that the look is both timeless and modern and I’m preeeeetty certain I won’t be looking back in horror at my wedding pics when I’m 50, which is always a good thing!

* I’ve made the decision to sell my beloved gown, so if you are interested please drop me a line so we can chat. 

My beautiful bridesmaids wore Alannah Hill and I gave them Fuji Instax Mini’s with film (to capture memories on the day and in the future) to thank them for being such an important part of our wedding.

The Support Crew


We hired my friend from work Shannon to be our day-of coordinator, but Shan being as awesome as she is, showed up the day before to help with the set-up, worked her butt off all day Saturday and into the night, and again, was there on the Sunday doing most of the pack-down with my parents (we were oblivious this was going on as we were told that was all meant to happen later that afternoon).

To say she went above and beyond would be a gross understatement. Shan may not being a wedding coordinator by trade – she works in business events and her work ethic is just part of the reason I trust her judgement implicitly – but seriously, there’s a career there for her if she ever wants to grab it by the horns.

I also cannot fail to mention my parents who were so unbelievable with everything in the lead-in and over the wedding weekend it actually brings me to tears. They worked tirelessly to help us achieve my “vision” for the day and were up again first thing the morning after cleaning up, packing decorations in the trailer and doing whatever they could to assist. So, so blessed.

The Props


As I mentioned in this post, we borrowed some furniture/ vintage props from our friends Judi and Kris from Little Gray Station – things like a sofa, vintage wooden boxes, vases, a linen table cloth and so on.

LGS have a fantastic inventory that’s growing weekly, so I highly recommend you check them out if you’re having a wedding in South-East Queensland/ Northern NSW. They’re also awesome people, which is VERY important when it comes to “anything wedding” – you need the best of the best around you when you’re planning something so huge.

Other Bits + Pieces


Screen printed HOORAY flags for waving when we walked down the aisle. You wouldn’t believe how long it took to stick those things to skewers!

We made signs (Welcome/ I Do’s/ Mrs & Mr/ Restroom/ Photobooth/ Dancing) out of old fence palings and wooden letters from Bunnings that we painted white and glued on. We also did a bit of a renovation rescue on an old rustic box to create our wishing well.

Printstagram prints were pegged to twine. We also had an Instax Mini on the guestbook table for guests to take mini polaroids of themselves to add to the twine throughout the day.

I bought one of those “finish this sentence” style guestbooks from kikki.K and had vintage postcards of New York and London that I’d sourced on Etsy on the table for people to write their well wishes or words of wisdom on.

Both these cities are significant for us, and the idea was that the cards would be mailed to us over the first year of our marriage to remind us of our special day  – however, most people just signed the guestbook so that whole concept kind of fell by the wayside!

My dear friend Liz did an amazing job in creating the prettiest caramel mud wedding cake for us (bonus points that it tasted so damn good too!) Along with my step-dad’s famous cheesecake – which is seriously beyond – the wedding cake and the rest of the dessert table was attacked with vigour. I’d like to blame it all on the oldies but I know better.

Ramai gave me a gorgeous, delicate diamond Tiffany bracelet to wear on the day (it’s now a permanent fixture on my wrist) and in lieu of a watch/ other piece of jewellery (he already has one and he doesn’t wear anything else), I had to get creative with his present.

After much brain-wracking and with the help of a friend who works for the AFL here on the Gold Coast, we arranged to send Ramai’s Essendon guernsey down to Melbourne to have it signed by the coach and captain – his favourites. As a huge Bombers fan, I think it’s fair to say he was pretty stoked when he opened it on the morning of our wedding day!

I also got him a new iPad – totally unromantic but the guy has everything, which makes present buying impossible – and a ‘wedding survival kit’ with cigars and Rescue Remedy and other bits and bobs.

Pretty much everything in the dancing room was a DIY job. Neon tassel garlands made from cellophane, a coffee table and picnic table made from shipping pallets, step stools painted two-tone and jars wrapped in coloured builders string.

I sourced the awesome hot pink chevron cushions from Earth Cadets on Etsy and the rest was a mix from IKEA, Spotlight and thrift stores. We also made our own photo booth (using props bought at the local party store) and had a rotating slideshow of images of us and our loved ones projected an a huge drop down screen.

Venue: Gurragawee (truly beautiful, you’ll want to own the place once you see it! )
Makeup: Ashlea Penfold
Hair: Alisha Anjaiya
Celebrant: Karen Tesar
Musician: Linc Hillard (absolute gem with a killer voice)
DJ: Aleksander Kornel (bro of my besty’s boyfriend)
Hire: Byron Bay Wedding & Party Hire
Transportation: Blanch’s Bus Company (guests were bussed in)
Invitations + website: Tabitha Emma
Rings: Adam Graham

For more wedding goodness, check out:

R + R Get Married! Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I hope you’ve enjoyed our wedding recaps and please, if you have any questions on specifics, please let me know. I haven’t included everything above as the post was getting rather massive, but I’m more than happy to help with any advice or recommendations. Ask away my lovely brides-to-be! x

R + R Get Married! Party Time (Part 4)

I love playing with different themes when it comes to styling and the reason is pretty simple: my “flavour of the month” is prone to changing constantly. Variety is the spice of life, right?

For my hens party and engagement photo shoot, I knew I wanted to go for a laid-back bohemian vibe – complete with flower crowns, native blooms and lots of brass – and when it came to planning our wedding, I knew that a natural, rustic look would tie in perfectly with our chosen venue.

As well as loving soft colours and natural decor, I absolutely adore bright, modern neons, stripes and graphic prints and I knew I wanted to incorporate those styling elements into our day somehow, which is how I ended up decorating the artists studio – AKA, the space where we partied the night away – as shown above.

Everything was DIY’d and there was a definite shift in the mood as we walked through the door at around 8:30pm and everyone took in the Neon Nights vibe. It had all the essentials – the disco ball was spinning, the DJ was cranking out the floor-fillers and the bar staff were serving up signature R + R cocktails. We called them The Love Bomb (Lychee Caiprioska) and Mint to Be (Moscow Mule) and they were a huuuuge hit. Freaking delicious.

* We also had some Really Important Security Guards keeping the crowd under control, as you can see below. Thank god they were there on the job.

Ramai and I have (far too) many photos of us dressed up in crazy outfits, so it was only fitting that we’d have a photo booth at our wedding, complete with hideous beards, fluoro wigs and other bits and pieces.

We created our own set up in the back corner and these photos have brought us endless joy (I’m talking laugh-til-you-cry-your-eyes-out tears). And just FYI, there’s 400 other shots where they came from. Laughter for days!

The Photobooth


I hope these silly pics brought a smile to your face after the more heartfelt stuff in Parts 1, 2 and 3. And finally, the lucky last installment will cover all the details on our vendors and the supplies we used, so if you have any questions please let me know in the comments and I’ll be more than happy to answer them for you!

Photos from… everywhere! A total mish mash, as you can probably tell. 

R + R Get Married! The Reception (Part 3)

Following our ceremony, the eating, drinking and good times well and truly kicked off while Ramai and I went to get our photos, and the guests had fun mingling on the gorgeous front verandah, eating from a beautiful big mezze platter crafted by the wonderful Eat Drink Catering and listening to sweet acoustic tunes played by our musician.

Half an hour or so later, everyone (including our muso Linc) headed back into the “inside out” room – which had been transformed into a lounge area by that stage – and the canapes started circulating. Highlights were the tempura zucchini flowers and Panko fish and chips in cones with dill aioli, which one of the waitresses kindly delivered to us while we were getting our photos taken. OH. EM. GEE. Yum.

We came back and had about half an hour to hang and chat with everyone, and although this part is a bit of a blur of conversations, I just remember awesome music, loud chatter, lots of excitement, plenty of hugs and kisses and photos galore. 92 people in a room, vibin’ off the love.

Our friend Scott took on the job of capturing everyone in the room on our Instax mini and hanging the little polaroids on the strings above the guestbook table (what a legend) so we have plenty of keepsakes to tuck away safely in an album which is wonderful. Yay for Scott!

Once it was time to move into the marquee for the main meal, I had hilariously “dumb” moment and (with the intention of encouraging others to follow suit) walked in and sat down at the bridal table in the middle of the room, chatting away mindlessly to one of the other guests.

A few minutes later, Ramai’s groomsmen Chris came up and tapped me on the shoulder and said “Um, aren’t you and Ramai meant to be ‘announced’ and walk in last?” Oops. I seriously lost it laughing and scooted out of there as quickly as possible – hello brain!

When we entered The Right Way, to the sound of Florence + The Machine’s ‘You’ve Got the Love’ and lots of cheering and clapping, it was straight into the formalities so that everyone could enjoy their meal without stopping and starting to listen to speeches.

Funny story: up until a few months ago, we weren’t actually going to have speeches at our wedding. We’ve been to a few weddings where the speeches were awkward and uncomfortable and Ramai literally begged me after one particularly strange one saying “Can we please NOT do speeches, you have to agree that was baaaaad.”

We had this idea (that never came off due to time restraints) that we wanted all of the guests to be involved in the speeches and that we were going to send around a video camera, get all our friends to do a piece to camera with their well wishes or funny anecdotes, and then we’d edit it all up to play on the day with some other cool footage mixed in.

That never happened, and although I still think it’s a pretty cool idea, I’m SO glad because the speech gods clearly had better things in store for us.

The best man and bridesmaid speeches were awesome (seeing all three of my girls up there made me super teary, they said the most beautiful things!) and then my step-dad did this incredibily heartfelt speech, absolutely nailing Ramai – and when I say nailing, I mean dissecting his character to a T and talking about his authenticity and ability to make anyone he’s speaking to feel important, which I agree is truly one of his biggest strengths.

And then my Dad – who had been nervous as hell all day – came out and freaking knocked it out of the ballpark, down the road, around the corner, and back again. Like, majorly. We’re talking standing ovations, high fives from half the guests, girls asking him to be the stand-in father at their weddings and a whole lot of “Speech of the century, or what?!” chit chat. It was beyond hilarious and I don’t think anyone was more surprised than Dad at the reception he received. I think the fact he has an Irish accent definitely helped – I just remember my bridesmaids yelling out “Davey” through the whole thing. Classic.

Once the speeches were done, it was all about the food and the wine, and the feasting menu – a progressive menu of 8 dishes – went down an absolute treat. One thing I can tell you is that no one went home from our wedding hungry, as I’m sure you’re starting to gather.

Drinking + Dancing + Having a Raucous Time


I’ve got a real mix of photos from the last part of the night – including some photobooth shenanigans – so I’ll save them for a separate post. The last and final post in the wedding series will contain all the juicy details, from my dress designer to the suppliers, so for all of you that have been curious and have emailed questions, stay tuned!

R + R Get Married! The Ceremony (Part 2)

When we started planning our wedding and put some thought around the way the day would unfold, we knew it was crucial to find a celebrant who would really “get” our vision – that is, that burning desire we shared that our ceremony be heartfelt, intimate, totally real and a deep and true reflection of  ‘Team R & R.’

We were (beyond) blessed to find that person in Karen Tesar, and it was a joy to work with her on distilling the essence of our love into a thoughtful ceremony that was personal, contemporary and unfussy. It seriously couldn’t have been more “us.”

This is how it went…

Like most of us, when I’m a guest at a wedding I always look to the groom to see his reaction when the bride appears at the top of the aisle, and one of my clearest memories is locking eyes with Ramai as I stepped out through the sheer draping I was hidden behind with my Dad and keeping that gaze fixed the whole time I walked towards him. I probably would’ve pulled a muscle if my smile was any bigger!

My bridesmaids Megan, Ez and Jess and my brothers Andy, Ryan and Kaidyn had walked down the aisle to Songbird by Fleetwood Mac – one of my all-time favourite bands – and as soon as I heard the intro to James Vincent McMorrow’s version of Higher Love, which indicated it was “almost time” for my entrance, I took a deep breath, looped my arm through my Dad’s, felt him squeeze my hand and started walking.

Choosing a song to walk down the aisle to is a pretty huge – and daunting task – and when we were going through options, we just couldn’t go past this beautifully haunting rendition of Higher Love. I love the lyric “Bring me a higher love” because I imagined that was what Ramai was saying – with my Dad of course “bringing” me to him – and every.single.time I hear the part where he sings “Let me feel the love come over me, let me feel how strong it can be” I tear up. Without fail. Yes, still. And probably forever.

The Readings


We wanted our gorgeous friends Kim and Liz to be involved in the ceremony so we asked them to do our readings, which were as follows:

Passage from The Alchemist (one of our favourite books) 

“When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke – the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognised the same thing.

Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”

Excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

“Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”

The Vows


I’d always pictured us having our ceremony on the outside lawn area at Gurragawee because, of course, like most brides I didn’t envisage it raining on our Big Day (especially at the beginning of June, which is typically super clear and completely rain-free).

I can honestly say though, hand on heart, that the rain made our wedding. I never thought I’d say that about rainy weather – seriously, I’m the biggest weather freak out – but I don’t think I’ve ever heard the words “magical” and “mystical” uttered more than I did on that day.

Without a doubt, the biggest benefits were that it kept everyone together – which wouldn’t have happened otherwise at a venue that had lots of nooks and crannies to explore – creating a bustling, vibrant, electric atmosphere, and most importantly, because it meant we had to have our ceremony in the large conservatorium-style area known as the “inside-out room.” A gorgeously rustic, perfect space that I can’t believe we didn’t think to utilise for the ceremony beforehand. Honestly – waaaay better than the lawn. Times infinity. Ask everyone.

Ramai and I wrote our own vows, and it’s funny, when I was saying mine I almost felt like I was “out of my body.” I’m someone who sobs at other people’s weddings – yep, even that time when I didn’t even know the bride and I was losing it more than her mother – but I think I was just so overcome with joy, excitement and adrenalin that I was able to hold it together pretty well. Well… except for a few parts when Ramai was saying his vows and his voice started wavering which made me choke up too (and let’s just say I’m glad I was looking at the groomsmen rather than the bridesmaids and my brother Andy, who apparently were all tearing up).

As we said our vows, I remember listening to the rain as it trickled down on the roof and I could literally feel the love emanating off everyone as we stood there grinning like mad. It was the best feeling in the world.

Once the vows were done, we signed our register (with my Mum and Ramai’s best man Jason as our witnesses) to Adele’s cover of The Cure’s Lovesong and then it was all about The Kiss (!) as we were declared husband and wife. Or kisses perhaps – I think there were several from memory! Why not hey?!

Champagne was poured and glasses were raised as the new Mr and Mrs MacDonald walked out into the crowd to the tune of Beyonce’s Halo – a light, energetic song we chose simply because we knew it would be perfect to kickstart the celebrations for the rest of the day and night.

Next up I’ll be posting on our reception, so stay tuned!

+ If you missed Part 1, check it out here.

All photos by Ali Mitton and Emma McMillan, except black & whites shown. 

Behind the Scenes with a Bride-to-Be: Under 3 Weeks to Go!


Holy moooooley.

Here’s how this excited bride-to-be has been keeping busy of late…

Health & Beauty


No-one had the heart to tell Rachel that she’d mistakenly covered her face in Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing. 

The lowlight of the week was definitely spending Wednesday doubled-over in pain with… get this… kidney stones. I know – what? All is well now but I definitely won’t be rushing to experience that kind of pain again. Eck. 

Kidney stones aside, on the beauty front I’ve been madly slathering Sodashi’s beautiful new Brightening Marine Mineral Mask all over my face twice a week and hand-on-heart, I can honestly say that this is the best mask I’ve ever used. Period.

I always look for ‘brightening’ properties in my skincare (to counteract pigmentation – I live in sunny Queensland after all) and the consistency and way the mask leaves my skin feeling is just divine. It’s nice and thick ‘n’ creamy and comes with a handy mini “spatula” (I’m sure this is the technical term) for applying the product. Winner.

I also start my 12 Hypoxi sessions next week so will do a full wrap up before the wedding as I know a few of you were keen to know more.



I’m not going to sugar-coat this – my moods over the past week have been kinda up and down (and up… and down). So fun, you guys!

On Tuesday, before The Kidney Stone Adventure, I was feeling so “un-me” that I left work feeling sick, called my naturopath to see if she could squeeze me in for an appointment ASAP and literally had to hold back tears as I walked through the door and she greeted me with a big hug and a knowing smile.

The conversation basically went like this:

Her: “So lovely, what’s up?”

Me: “I’m just feeling a bit… you know… UGH… and…”

Her: “You’re melting?”

Me: “Exactly.”

Her: “Mmm hmmm.” (knowing smile)

We chatted about what was on my plate at the moment and the ways I could make the last couple of weeks before the wedding less crazy-crazy and more crazy-good, and I instantly felt better. She made a very good point that when you try to live/ do live your life at an ambitious 10 out of 10 most of the time, dipping down to a 7 out of 10 can have a huge effect on the way you show up in the world, and that often, there may be other things at play.

Sam (naturopath wonder woman) is a specialist in female hormones and previous tests had revealed mine were quite out of whack, so she stocked me up with some fantastic supplements to help them along and I feel eleventy million times better already.

If you’re ever feeling slightly left-of-centre and you feel like “something is just not right” I can’t recommend getting a hormone test enough. The results may surprise you. Burnt out adrenals and weird cortisol readings ain’t cool in the long-term sweet thangs!

Random tidbit:

In discussions with Sam, we came up with a plan for a Wedding Week, which will kick off on the Sunday night prior to the wedding and entail a bushwalk, reading, pampering, lots of quality time with Ramai and absolutely no planning (until the day before, which is Decorate The Venue Day). Sounds pretty much perfect to me!



I think in my last update I said that we were aiming to have everything pretty much sorted out by May 6.

So, did we get it all done? Not quite. Lots of it, yes, but there are still a few things to wrap up, and following a trip to our venue last weekend we realised that there are some decorations required for areas we hadn’t previously considered. Never-ending I tells ya!

Some of the things we have been doing:


As you can see above, this morning we wandered across to the beach to go on a stick finding mission so we can create our very own “rustic arch” for the wedding. I love the sun/ salt-bleached ones we found on the rocks and looking forward to seeing how it all comes together!


All has been decided, and they are going to be epic.


Ramai visited his parents yesterday, who were getting rid of some weathered old fence palings, and what do you know – WE need weathered old fence palings! Win win.


Is freaking expensive. But necessary. Currently going through a gargantuan quote and picking the essentials, but we’re thrilled to be working with two guys that just ‘get it.’


Are nearly complete! I had to stop writing them on the plane to Melbourne yesterday as I was tearing up too much, and then had to pretend I was reading a really sad book (Danielle LaPorte’s The Fire Starter Sessions, FYI, which is anything but sad).

Note to self: finish vows off in a private place. Second note to self: practice like a mofo to avoid full-on tear-fest at altar.


Now I’ve been saving the best news for last. As mentioned above, yesterday I flew to Melbourne for the day, and for a very special reason – to pick up my wedding dress!

Seriously, is it legal to marry a dress? I’m crazy about it! Love love love. It’s everything I dreamt of and more, and my girlfriend who accompanied me as I picked it up simply said (tears in eyes): “Oh Rach, it’s just so YOU.”

‘Til next time! Drop me a line in the comments to tell me what’s going on in your world, I’d love to chat. 

Image: via JustB

Behind the Scenes with a Bride-to-Be: 5 Weeks to Go!

Well, if we’re going to get technical, it’s actually 4 weeks and 5 days til THE BIG DAY but to keep the butterflies at bay for this prone-to-overstimulation soon-to-be-wife (also prone to hyphenation) let’s just say 5 weeks shall we?

Here’s the scoop on what’s been going on since my first update.



I’ve had 1 x beauty treatment in the past week and 4 x compliments on my skin so I think I’ll take that rather decent ratio and run with it. Hey-yah! It’s a nice feeling to know that the results of the sessions are visible to people that aren’t examining my face closely in a rearviewmirror, which, let’s face it, is one of the most flattering mirrors on the planet (do you agree?) and one of the only mirrors I do the wink/ side-mouth tongue-click/ trigger-finger point thing at myself.*

On a serious note – now that I’ve easily earnt my ten points for modesty – the noticeable improvements to my skin can only be credited to the below:

1. The Hydrazone package from Pure Indulgence that I mentioned previously. Winner. My last sesh – a microdermabrasion – is tomorrow and I’m going to miss these gorgeous treatments dearly.

2. Being vigilant with taking my Nails, Hair & Skin vitamins (2 a day).

3. Ensuring I add chia seeds into my day somehow – either in smoothies or sprinkled on salads. They work.

4. Fish oil capsules!

5. The delicious combo that is Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream and Trilogy’s new Rosehip Oil Antioxidant + (and just when I thought Rosehip Oil couldn’t get any better!)

The combination seems to be working so far, and now that I’ve made a commitment to myself to seriously overdose on vegetables over the next month, my hope is things will only get glowier. And that the under-eye wrinkle fairies might come and magically erase the expression lines under my eyes while I sleep. Dream a little dream.

* jokes. I do that in all mirrors. Ha!



I’m thrilled to be part of a fabulous online event called Selfish for 27 days, run by superstar Susana Frioni, and my focus for the 27 days is going to be on a “Happy Body, Vibrant Mind.” I think I’ll make that my unofficial mantra and what it means to me is:

Happy Body = a body that is nourished by energy-giving foods; food that leaves me feeling clean and satisfied, as opposed to sluggish and wired/ uneasy. A body that moves with ease, that sweats, is flooded with endorphins on a regular basis and as a counterbalance, is stretched and nurtured.

Vibrant Mind = a mind that is full of electric thoughts – sizzling creative energy, a steady stream of optimism (regardless of what’s going on around me). I’m not normally much of a TV watcher but got sucked in to a few hours of “couch potato-ness” over the weekend when it was raining torrentially outside, and by last night, I felt flat. I realised that the next month needs to be about reading uplifting books, choosing a few stellar affirmations, writing notes and love letters (!), connecting with friends and fam, and injecting as much happiness into my life as possible.

I also came to the conclusion as I was talking to Ramai last night that I need to seriously switch off from regularly checking Twitter and Facebook for a while after a few incidents on the weekend where I realised that people’s updates were directly affecting my mood. It was a lesson in detachment I really needed, and a reminder that repetitive whineging on social media won’t only make the complainer feel bad, it’ll bring down the mood of the people reading it as well. Not ideal.



Despite a couple of low energy moments over the weekend, I’m feeling pretty damn ahhh-mazing at the moment, and as Ramai mentioned to some friends on Saturday, it seems like the closer the wedding gets the calmer we both feel.

We’re both not fans of public speaking, which is something I will really be working on post-wedding (I look forward to the day where I’m literally begging people to let me rock the mic like nobody’s business!) and even so, Ramai said he’s not feeling nervous about his groom’s speech and is actually looking forward to saying a few words. I’m sure that will change a little on the day of course, but I think it’s easy to build these things up and freak yourself out when really, you’re talking to a room full of your favourite people in the universe, who are there to love, not judge.

We’re writing our own vows and I’m sure the heady combo of nerves and emotion will make it quite overwhelming to come out and say these to each other straight off the bat (pass the champers darling! No… the bottle!), but I’m kinda vibing on the vulnerability of it all. You can plan a wedding down to the last detail but the rawness and real emotion is something you can never plan… and that’s where the magic lives.

*** I should make mention here that I still get teary over some of the sweet messages and emails Ramai sends me daily, so I can only imagine what his vows will do to me. Just call me Blubber. Blub blub.



There are 26 things left to do on my list – do you think I can get them done by my self-created deadline of Sunday 6 May? Here’s hoping, I love a good challenge!

Some things that we got sorted over the weekend were getting our notes done for our vows (I now just need to pull mine together properly), sorting out the photobooth, approving the menu design and getting all the details for the ceremony programs off to the designer.

Big ones this week are the script for the MC – is there some kind of template for this, married friends? – choosing all the songs, booking beauty appointments, making the “R & R Wedding Bible” for our day-of coordinator which will have a complete start to finish run sheet with every little detail and images, and finally, doing the big meet up at the venue with all the suppliers. We also need to hunt down a timber yard.

Fianlly, another notable event is that we’re about to start this really fun game where we see how fast we can get our bank balance to go down. It’s just like gambling, only there’s less chance of getting any back. Yippee.


Last but not least: hair up or down? Half up and down? In a crimped side pony? I can’t decide!

I may even post some pics in the next few weeks and you guys can tell me your thoughts! (not of the crimped side pony, silly billies, although I did rock that at my 7th birthday in 1989 and it was quite delightful).

So there you go, 5 weeks and counting and a lot to do before then, but bring it on! I was just reading my horoscopes on AstroStyle and it said that 2012 has been the busiest year of my life, and ain’t that the truth?! Maybe 2013 will be the slothiest year of my life to balance it all out? I realise slothiest may not be a word.

Big love and hugs to you all, and thanks for understanding my random posting schedule at the moment, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it! x

Images: Beauty | Health | Mood | Organisation | Hair

6 Weeks Today: The Wedding Countdown is ON!

In 6 weeks time, I’ll be walking down the aisle and exchanging vows, rings and kisses with the love of my life – who, coincidentally, I’ve been with for 6 years (our 6 year anniversary is the day after our wedding).

To continue the 6 theme, the reason I’ve been missing in action around here is because I’ve given myself a deadline of May 6 to have pretty much everything planned and locked away for our wedding. We’re visiting our venue that day to meet with a few of our superstar suppliers for the last time and I’ve always liked the idea of having things sorted a few weeks out so that the remaining weeks before the Big Day can be dedicated to some serious quality time with my love before we do this thing called marrrrrriage.

I’ve had thoughts of doing a “Diary of a Bride-to-Be” type series starting a month out so let’s get up-to-the-minute with a mish-mash of random things I’ve been doing/ thinking/ loving/ trying out of late. I’ve missed you guys.



I’m on session 4 of a 6 session Hydrazone facial package at Pure Indulgence, which means alternating between gentle lactic acid peels and microdermabrasion. I’m obsessed with facials and they advise you get these close together (once a week) so I definitely look forward to “facial day” when it’s approaching!

The sessions have made a noticeable difference to my skin and following Zoe Foster’s glowing (geddit?) review of Omnilux Revive, I may do a sesh or two under the light in the week leading in to the wedding. Has anyone tried Omnilux? I’ve actually got the hand-held version, the New-U, and I promise myself I’ll use it at least every second day… and never do. I must, I MUST.



1. Hypoxi

I’m going to do a separate post on Hypoxi to explain all the finer details, but let’s just say I’m a huge fan! I’ve got 12 sessions booked for the next 6 weeks – 6 of which I’ll probably do right before the wedding – with the aim of not only feeling as toned as possible, but because it’s awesome for circulation and lymphatic drainage. Yes!

2. Bootcamp and PT 

I do bootcamp twice a week at the moment but the structure is changing so I may be doing once a week plus a few smash-it-up PT sessions. Argh, help me!

3. Running 

I’m currently running about 30 – 40kms a week.

4. Eating

This is where I’ve been a little up and down. I find it very hard to be super, super strict on what I’m eating when I’m really happy. I know that might sound a little weird but thinking back over time, the only times I’ve ever been really full-on with following a “diet” as such has been when I’ve been unhappy (hello ex-boyfriend mistake).

My approach is definitely 80/20 (or 70/ 30, if I’m honest) and while I’ve still had my sneaky chocolate or a wine here or there, I’ve been eating lots of veggies and keeping my protein up so I feel satisfied after a meal.

In saying that, I’m definitely going to give the no-chocolate thing a solid go over the next few weeks – I don’t need it and I know I’ll feel better with less sugar in my life. Also: less sugar = glowy skin = WIN.



* my work computer (this folder system is replicated on my home computer too!) 

I was telling some friends on Twitter that I have spreadsheets for spreadsheets and Master Lists for my lists… and I wasn’t exaggerating.

I’m a bit of an organisation nut by nature anyway, but it’s surprised me how many times I’ve “re-done” the moodboards for the different areas of the property where we’re getting married (all up there are 5 areas that need to be decorated quite substantially).

I blame Pinterest. Just when I think I’ve got all my ideas sorted, I see some shiny new pin pop up and thus unfolds the “Should I do something like that? Do I have time/ budget/ the inclination?” debate in my head. It’s a rollercoaster ride through paper lanterns and fabric strips, I tell ya (it would be remiss of me not to say here that Pinterest has actually been amazing for wedding planning).

I’ve found Evernote to be a saviour and I have a variety of Notes set up that I add to quite regularly, including:

Songs: Music is so important at a wedding and there’s a lot to choose. Music for when the guests are gathered waiting for the bride to arrive, the processional, signing of the registry, drinks and canapes, dancing – you name it. I type songs into a specific Note when I hear or think of them, which is making it easier to narrow down our faves. I’ve also got a dedicated “Wedding” playlist in iTunes to pass on to our DJ.

Vows/ Readings/ Wording: This is where I jot down great quotes or ideas for readings or thoughts about Ramai that I want to write into my vows.

Wedding Bible: We haven’t got a wedding planner (that’s me guys!) but we’ve hired a friend to do our on-the-day coordination and I’ve created a comprehensive run sheet for her to follow. I’ll be printing it all out – along with moodboards and other visual info – and sticking it in a nice notebook for her for the day. Preparation is golden.

Random notes:

Wedding forums scare me slightly. I find them helpful 10% of the time (and note, I haven’t become a member of one, I normally stumble into them blindly when I’m googling info on something) but 90% of the time, I find them strange.

Every time someone uses an abbreviation it takes me a good minute to work out what they’re talking about (apparently MOH does not stand for Messages on Hold) and the majority of the time, the style preferences of the forum users and myself are… erm… different. Vastly. Which is neither good nor bad, but not very useful for me personally.



I think calling a bride-to-be a “bridezilla” is about as derogatory as calling someone who’s looking after their health an “anorexic psychopath” but in the same token, I don’t agree that getting married gives you license to abuse anyone that crosses your path because you happen to be in a crappy mood (not that anyone here would do that of course, but you do hear the horror stories!) Respect, always.

The thing is – and I work in marketing/ PR, so this is speaking from experience – when you’re organising any event, not to mention the biggest event of your life, there will be hours or days where it will all get too much. It’s a given. I’ve been there and have had several moments where I’ve uttered “Ugh, I’m so over this!” and then an hour later, have called Ramai excitedly because everything has fallen into place or I’ve found an alternative.

The best remedy to wedding planning madness is:

1. Stop what you’re doing and focus on something completely unrelated to your wedding. Step awaaaay.
2. Understand that losing a day or two of planning time isn’t going to matter in the long run.
3. Acknowledge that you’ll get twice as much done when you’re in an electric, throw-anything-at-me mood – we all know this feeling, you can conquer the world when you’re like this!

That’s it. I’ve noticed that this real sense of calm has washed over me over the past couple of weeks and it’s purely because everything is now taking shape, so just know that it WILL come together. Wedding planning is a huge job and the easiest way to get through it is by plotting things out on a timeline/ checklist and working your way through the list, doing the most important things (like venue booking, dress buying and so on) first, and then plodding through the rest as time goes on.

Random notes:

I love running and it’s been my saviour throughout the planning process. I’m sorta training for a half marathon – the race is 3 weeks after our wedding, so haven’t made a decision on whether I’ll run it yet – and the benefit is that there’s no way I can come back from a 15km run without a clear head. If running isn’t your thing, I really recommend trying some form of exercise to help keep stress levels at bay.

Also, delegating is crucial – something I’ve only learned in the past month (and something I’ve never been very good at, it’s definitely been a learning process to get over the self-imposed guilt about asking for help). This morning 2 of my girlfriends came over and helped me make a tissue paper tassel garland, and with 3 of us doing it we got it done in no time. Whip them up a fruit platter or pour them a glass of wine, and you’ll be amazed how fun your little crafting sesh will be. Ask and ye shall receive.



Unfortunately I can’t show you a great deal of what we’ll be doing style-wise without spoiling the surprise, but just know that there have been a million trips to Bunnings and Spotlight and fair bit of DIY-ing going on!

We’re also utilising some of the fantastic inventory from Little Gray Station (the business owned by our friends Judi and Kris) and Jude has been great, texting me when she’s purchased something new to see if we want to use it. How good is that?

Speaking of styling, looks like I’ll be styling a wedding in September. Woohoo!



Having limited time to get out to the shops means I’ve been shopping online like a boss. (I’ve been waiting to use that).

There comes a point where you have to weigh up whether it will actually cost more to DIY something or cause unwanted frustration and because Australia is quite limited/ expensive when it comes to craft supplies, there are some things I’ve just gone ahead and bought because it’s easier.

Recent purchases have been a vintage ring pillow (Etsy), white paper lanterns (eBay), the above vintage photo display (The Wanderlust – awesome store run by Danni from Oh, Hello Friend), an Instax Mini 25 for our guestbook photos (Amazon) and a few other small items.



+ Rings and jewellery – although we’re meeting our jeweller tomorrow so should have the rings sorted asap!
+ Vows/ speeches
+ Final song list
+ Organising desserts
+ Hair and beauty decisions – hair up or hair down? Eek!
+ Buying the alcohol 
+ Wooden signs and a bunch of other decorations
+ Running through the day with our MC
+ Venue meet-up with suppliers
+ Paper goods (programs, signs, tags and so on)
+ Gifts

So there’s still a bit to do, but we can do it! Feeling positive.

I hope you enjoyed a little insight into what we’ve got going on at the moment, and that life is absolutely brimming with goodness wherever you are and whatever you’re doing! Leave a comment below to tell me what’s going on for you – or some wedding planning advice if you have any, it will definitely be gratefully received. x

Images: Beauty | Health | Girls | Styling Brownies