SARA + LEVI | WEDDING IN THE MEADOW

WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN?

I had the pleasure of styling a wedding for two of our nearest friends SARA + LEVI CORBY. Sara and I worked together at the AFL and from day one we became so close, so when she asked me to style her wedding day, I was so blown away. Sara was incredibly kind and let me have full creative control on the day - so a lot of the styling was just as much a surprise for her on the day as it was for the guests. The wedding was a dream and to see two people so madly in love, makes for a day filled with a million happy tears and so much joy. 

You need to start by watching the wedding video here + then head back for all the details below. Images in the post are a mix from The Rare Negatives and also stills from the Roost film. 


DETAILS

DATE | 21 / 3 / 15
VENUE | ‘Shamba Malaika’ Currumbin Valley, QLD
GUESTS | 125
PHOTOGRAPHER | The Rare Negatives
VIDEOGRAPHER | Roost Films
DRESS | Grace Loves Lace
STYLING | Peppa Hart
FLOWERS | Peppa Hart and Helen Foukkare made the bouquets, fern crowns and boutonnières.
HAIR | Jarrah Hustler
MAKEUP | Luciana Rose
ON THE DAY COORDINATION | The Events Lounge
CATERING | Graze Catering
TIPI HIRE | Tipi Luxe
MOBILE BAR | Woody from Luxury of Vintage Enterprises


WORDS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR GRACE LOVES LACE

ENGAGEMENT STORY

Levi and I were hosting Christmas in 2012. After a fun-filled day of opening (too many) presents and playing backyard cricket, all 20 of us sat down to eat dinner on long tables we’d set up on our back deck. Levi had made one of those tables specifically for the event (little did I know) in order to build a secret concealed space beneath where he’d sit.

We’d all made our toasts, but just before dessert, Levi got up to make a final one. I remember thinking to myself, “sit down Levi, enough for today!” when he pulled out a piece of paper from his little hidey-hole and started to read a light-hearted poem he’d written… it took a moment for me to register what was going on, and when I looked around the table and saw everyone with tears in their eyes, I knew it was serious! There was no ‘drop knee’, but as the poem came to an end, he pulled out the ring from the same place and asked me to be his wife! One of the best moments of my life.

Our engagement ended up lasting just over two years. We had started planning the wedding in early 2013 when, in April, I found out I had fallen pregnant with Clover. As excited as I was, I remember thinking “this isn’t the order it’s meant to happen in… first marriage, THEN the baby!” But now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. To have had her there as Levi and I said “I do”, was so incredibly special and we couldn’t be more grateful for how things worked out.

Inspiration: It was really important to both Levi and I that our wedding be relaxed, comfortable, super-fun but still romantic and intimate. I guess our theme would have been boho-chic, but it was more about bringing-in things that we loved and that our guests would enjoy and appreciate. We had beer on ice as guests arrived; live musicians, giant games, beautiful big tipis where guests sat underneath on long tables to enjoy a ‘feasting’ style menu. For us, it was all about good food, good drinks and good music and good FUN!

EVENT STYLING

I planned a lot of it myself, but I had on-the-day-coordination help from ‘The Events Lounge’ and wedding styled by Sophie Bell from Peppa Hart.

A standout from the entire wedding was the triple-tipi setup and lighting by the amazing team at TipiLuxe – WOW. The time and effort that they put into installing these big, beautiful structures as well as the meticulous placement of the festoon and fairy lights by Emma Bell to create the right ambience and achieve an elegant glow, certainly didn’t go unnoticed.

Other favourite details included our double-arches and foliage chandeliers created by my dear friend and insanely talented, Sophie Bell from Peppa Hart. The thought and love that went into these pieces was awe- inspiring and the results, simply stunning. To see the LOVE-NEST that she created underneath the tipis – from the foliage chandeliers, the beautiful fresh flowers, the lush rugs and furs, to the brassware and floor trays dripping in hundred of candles – was beyond anything I could ever imagine.

And lastly, all of the pretty little details by my bestie, Helen Foukkare. I couldn’t have done it without her – all of the love, energy, effort and time will never be forgotten.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT

I have so many, but there were two standouts. One was when I reached the end of the aisle and saw my husband-to-be, the look in his eyes and my darling little daughter in his arms. In that moment I knew that everything was as it should be. And the second was our first-dance. Over a year earlier, Levi introduced me to the sound of an incredibly talented musician called Julia Jacklin. He had heard her song ‘Santafel’ on Triple J Unearthed and played it to me. As soon as I heard her voice, I felt compelled to contact her and see if she would be interested in playing at our wedding. I didn’t get my hopes up as I knew it would be a long- shot, but a few days later I heard back from her saying she’d love to!

Julia and her friend Elizabeth Hughes created magic amongst the trees at Shamba Malaika. And Julia’s rendition of Julia Stone’s “Wedding Song” for our first-dance was a moment in time I’ll never forget. It felt like Levi and I were the only two people in the room, twirling to the sound of that beautiful voice we’d fallen in love with all that time ago (until Levi grabbed my bum in front of our 125 odd guests!).

ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES

Breathe! And I highly recommend hiring an on-the-day-wedding-coordinator! I wasn’t planning on doing this, but after some sound advice from a friend, I thought I should look into it – and I’m so thankful I did! Rachael and Annique from ‘The Events Lounge’ were fantastic to work with, incredibly thorough and organised. There was no detail too big or task too small. Having them there on the day certainly provided that ‘peace of mind’ every Bride needs on the day of her wedding.

A LITTLE LOL MOMENT

I’m not sure how funny this is, but it’s worth noting.. One week prior to the wedding, Levi fell victim to salmonella poisoning. (According to Levi) I wasn’t blessed with much of a compassionate streak, so I was convinced it was just nerves and refused to acknowledge his timely sickness just as I needed the most amount of help leading up to our wedding day. It wasn’t until our wedding night, just before we were invited to get up and cut the cake, that he turned to me and said “if I don’t leave right now, our guests are going to witness something they don’t ever want to see!” Understandably, the cake-cutting was delayed a few minutes while Levi found the closest tree to barf behind! Poor thing didn’t even get to eat his dinner.

THE BRIDE WORE

My dress, oh my dress! As a lover of all things lace, there was no question where I going to get my dress from. One of my dear friends, Megan, happens to be the owner of ‘Grace Loves Lace’ – who had a new dress custom-made for my special day. Luckiest girl in the world! For me, the process was fairly simple: I had a design meeting with Megs and her team, my measurements taken, and they took it from there. When I first saw my dress, I was a blubbering mess! I was completely lost for words. They had made a dream of mine, become a reality. When it came time to trying it on, I didn’t want to take it off! I was so honoured to wear it on my wedding day, and will be eternally grateful. It’s now called the “Francis” dress.

I also had a reception dress. After our first dance, I snuck away and changed into the ‘Francesca’ dress by Grace Loves Lace – one of my favourites from their collection. The colour, fabric and fit were perfect and it was so much fun to wear and dance in! I also wore the Grace Loves Lace Dosa heel, the Salita Matthews for Grace Loves Lace Hera anklet and the Maya earrings!



OUR WEDDING

It might seem crazy but I have never actually blogged all the details from my own wedding, I have been interviewed for a bunch of other sites on all the details but have never taken the time to document it here. Only 16 months late.... Better late than never. 

Below is an interview I did for Hitched Magazine (Now Hooray Mag), which has all the details for our big day. Start with watching our wedding video, then trawl your way through all the details.

E N J O Y x

DATE | 16th March 2013
LOCATION | Latitude Villa, Kerang Kembar Estate Bali

 

Please provide us with a brief history on your relationship?

We had been best friends for 10 years before we got together, we grew up hanging out a lot and saw the very best and the worst of each other over the years.  Michael moved to London for two years and we didn't see each other that whole time, when he arrived home our paths crossed at exactly the right time, we had both grown up and become the kind of people we wanted to spend the rest of our days with, we looked at each other differently for some reason. 

Everything from that day forward just fell into place, it all came so naturally for us to be together. 

From the day we got together we knew it was on, we had found our perfect place. Michael proposed on the Greek Islands on my birthday, 9 months after we got together and we were married 18 months after that.

We are extremely lucky that our relationship has been built on years and years of friendship. We are very blessed to be healthy, happy and madly in love. 

FACT FILE 

Photographer:  Ali Mitton
Videography: Andy Elliott  
Event Planning/Styling: I was the stylist and our events company was Beyond Events Bali  
Ceremony Venue: Latitude Villa  
CelebrantKim
Reception VenueLatitude Villa  
Catering + Drinks: Grocer and Grind, Seminyak  
Wedding Cake: Ixora Cakes  
Stationary: I designed all of our wedding stationary   
FloristGloriosa  
DJ: Kevin Kloer
HairYeanne  
MakeupYeanne
Bridal GownLeonard Derecourt  
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Pauletter Coulter, Dressmaker on the Gold Coast
Shoes: Friend of Mine  
Suits: Myer and the bowties were custom made by Tilly Fluff
Engagement Ring:  Purchased from a store New York 
Wedding Bands: Purchased from a store New York

It’s In The Details, tell us about the little details that made your wedding uniquely you?

We had our wedding overseas in Bali and really made a celebration of it, we had events for the week that everyone could come to, lots of sunset cocktail and dinners, Bucks and Hens, Pre-Wedding event at Potato Head, and a very lazy day in the pool on the Sunday following the wedding.  Having 75 of your nearest and dearest travelling together overseas is the most fun, I would highly recommend a destination wedding, the memories we all made will last forever. 

We had a lot of the details custom made, as we knew what we wanted, like floor cushions, throw rugs, paintings, bridesmaids dresses, bowties, flower canopies, furniture and picked a photographer and videographer who do not usually shoot weddings, the style we wanted was natural and more creative. There are SO many talented craftsman in Bali that you can pretty much get anything you want made.

One of my favourite parts was the huge flower arch we got married under and our dance floor flower canopy, our talented florist Gloriosa had a team of guys building for 2 days straight. The result was beyond everything I had imagined in my mind. 

The wedding very much looked like our house. Lots of eclectic bohemian cushions, throw rugs from Mexico and Guatemala (you can purchase these at dosombre.com), candles, skull vases, millions of pineapples, beautiful blooms and splashes of colour. The kind of theme we were aiming for is young hearts run free, which meant that pretty much anything goes! 

We had some of our favourite quotes painted onto huge canvas’ which were hanging around the wedding.

Michael wore cufflinks which had my initials and his late brothers initials so that we were close by him the whole day.

The biggest surprise of the day for me was when I read a card from Michael as I was getting ready, there was a small box with my card when I opened the box there was a bunch of photos of a Dalmatian puppy, Michael had a puppy waiting at home for me as my wedding present. The waterworks definitely started after that, I was extremely calm all day until this moment. It was the best present, and the biggest surprise! I was thinking it would be earrings or something a little more traditional. Could not wipe the smile off my face.

We tried to incorporate as many personal touches as possible throughout the wedding, we stood on a blanket that is from our lounge room at home so that we had a piece of home with us in Bali. Every time we now snuggle up with this blanket on the couch, it brings back the most special memories for us both. 

We had napkins with quotes from E.E Cummings “unless you love someone nothing else makes sense” and some with young hearts run free on them. 

One of my favourite things at our reception was a video that we had projected onto the side of the villa which was clips from every amazing dance scene from all the best movies and video clips from the past 50 years, a company in USA called Shark Pig created it and it featured the likes of Michael Jackson, scenes from Dirty Dancing, go go girls and more. Everyone loved it and it added another element to the reception area. 

I love graphic design so I created all the printed goods like our bar menus and Michaels cigar bar signs, invites, programs and thank you cards. 

Michael had a bar set up for the boys which had all his favourite whiskeys and spirits like Patrone, Henessey, Makers Mark and a whole lot of cigars. It was extremely popular with the boys.

COCKTAILS + FOOD

We had a whole lot of cocktails, the most popular were the lychee martini’s and the mojitos.

Food was canapés but lots of it, we thought a sit down dinner wasn’t really fitting for Bali so we had all our favourite foods, some of the food we had is below. 

Chili marinated king prawn, mango & coconut cheviche
Pan seared scallops, bacon sherry vinaigrette
Seared pink tuna sesame coated, capsicum salsa verde’
Prawn gyoza, ginger soy dressing
Crispy prawn wanton, terriyaki sauce
Arancini, herbed pumpkin risotto balls, mozzarella
King prawn tempura mirrin sauce
Peking duck pancake plumb sauce
Vietnamese spring roll, vegetables julienne, mint, coriander, chilli sauce
Orange star anise duck, scallions, crispy wanton, hoisin sauce
Spicy tuna rolls, sushi tuna, shaved cucumber, soy sauce, toasted sesame
Rare roast beef, ruccola, wasabi crème fraiche, choux pastry
Chicken coriander & lime quesadilla

We had a late night feast to help with anyone that was hitting the cocktails all day, we served Chicken Pad Thai in Asian white takeaway boxes at around 11pm, it was so good.

Sweets were Macaroons and our cake was red velvet on the bottom and almond-hazelnut on the top layer, it was covered in ombre purple ruffles, it was so delicious. 

The Styling, tell us what inspired your decor and styling?

I tended to steer away from “wedding” style and went with the theme young hearts run free, it was a wild mix of all the things I love so much.  

I kind of wished I was born in the 70’s, so the style of our wedding very much reflected this but with modern pieces added. Our wedding very much embraced the feel of the 70’s bohemian era with the floor cushions, poofs, throws and feathers everywhere. Our bridesmaids and I were all in lace and flowers crowns, hippie kids at heart. 

We wanted everyone of our wedding guests to fall in love with Bali as much as we have so our venue definitely showed off the very best the beautiful island has to offer. The view was insane and all of the food and cockatails were the best we have ever had. It was all open air and relaxed with day beds and lounges. There were some tables set up for the guests that preferred to sit and eat.  

Your Day, give us a run down?

The boys got ready at a house near by in Padang Padang, the beautiful Villa Laut on the beach so they could all surf and swim on the morning of the wedding. At the wedding house, all of the girls and my immediate family had an amazing breakfast together and the set up was well underway, there was a hive of activity at the house. Getting ready at the venue made it so easy to check on how it was all going and help with finishing touches, as a stylist it was very hard to hand the wedding planning over to someone else but Beyond Events were more than I could have ever asked for. 

We had a large bridal party so we all started getting ready at around 11, we had an amazing team of hair and makeup girls who got us all ready and looking our very best. 

At around 2:30pm the boys headed to the wedding venue and finished getting ready there. Guests started to arrive at around 3:30pm, everyone was ushered into the main villa for drinks and a chance to relax in the cool until all the wedding guests arrived.

The ceremony started at around 4pm and it was beyond anything we had imagined, Michael and I wrote our own vows and it was so emotional hearing them for the very first time. We had moving readings from some of our closest friends, a hand blessing and a reading from a children’s book, both Michael and I searched and searched for the perfect readings but they all seemed to complicated for us. In the end we picked a lovely love story from a children’s book which we felt did the best job of explaining love, in a simple and beautiful way. 

We then sealed the deal with a beautiful kiss and we were officially husband and wife!

We only had photos for 30 or 40 minutes, we didn’t want to be away from our guests for too long, we then headed back for the reception with live drummers introducing us all. It was the best feeling walking into the reception, being surrounded with so much love.

The food started early and continued for hours, the cocktails were flowing. There was so much dancing! So many tears of joy and some of the best speeches I have ever heard. The word magical and the best night of our life was used a million times. 

Our first dance was probably one of the biggest highlights for me, it was a moment that I will never forget, being held in Michaels arms and looking around at what we created was pretty overwhelming, all our dreams had come to life.

We had a D.J play all night and a lot of entertainment with live fire twirlers and dancers and live drummers, really helped set the party vibe.

At around 10:30 we had all the candles removed from the pool and filled it with inflatable pool toys like giant swans and rings. Our awesome M.C officially announced that the pool was open for business and the whole wedding ended up in the water, fully clothed in suits, bow ties, lace dresses, flower crowns and all. 

The dancing continued well into the early early hours of the morning, I think the last of the guests left at around 4am.

Everyone was then back again on the Sunday for a pool party! It was pizzas and burgers, rehydrating and lots of floating around on giant swans in the pool.

Family and friends, how did you involve your family in friends in the wedding?

Friends and family are so incredibly important to us, and everyone made a humungous effort to be at our wedding in Bali. We had our immediate family all stay in a villa together for the few weeks before the wedding so we could all share in the excitement together.  

My sisters and my best friends were bridesmaids and my niece and nephew were also in the bridal party. We had so much help from family and friends making decorations, lugging all the styling pieces over to Bali (we had 120kg’s of decorations to get to Bali) and lots of running around the week of the wedding. We are extremely lucky to have a big group of close friends, it was very tough picking our bridal party, hence why it was so big. 

All our friends and family helped us so much with not only our wedding but our engagement party as well, we could not have pulled anything off without the help of so many amazing people. We are extremely blessed. 

The Gown, tell us about your gown, what inspired you to pick it, who designed it etc?

I tried on a few gowns and felt completely lost wearing them, I couldn’t see myself wearing a traditional gown so I got to designing what I wanted. 

I more looked at beautiful evening gowns from awards ceremonies rather than wedding dresses, once I had a pretty good idea of what suited my body and style I went on the hunt for someone to bring my dream to life. After lots of phone calls I found Leonard Derecourt, he made my dream dress come to life! He is extremely talented, nothing was too much trouble. 

I originally didn’t want to have a veil but once I tried a few on when my dress was almost complete I had to have one, I then changed into a David Austin rose fresh flower crown for the reception, was more relaxed and easy for dancing all night in. 

It was so hot in Bali, so my dress had to fit with the climate, from my thighs down it was a sheer light fabric so I didn’t get too hot. The bodice was made from a beautiful French lace, it fit like a glove and didn't have any boning or anything to restrictive. 

Any advice for other couples getting married, how to enjoy the day, stress management tips?

Just stick to what is in your heart, everyone has advice for you but if you truly know what you want go with it! We were so worried about having our wedding overseas and the strain it would put on everyone. Our family is a little more traditional when it comes to weddings so we thought they would not like a Bali wedding but our family and friends said it was the most incredible week of their lives. We wouldn’t change a thing! 

And be calm, don’t stress about weather, you cannot control the rain so just have a back up plan and know that you will still have the best day of your life. Do not stress the small stuff, the only person that will know if the peonies are not the right shade of purple is you, and after the wedding people will talk about how much fun they had not the shade of purple or your flowers.

Playlist, any specific songs you played that got your guests up and dancing?

We are BIG time lovers of Fleetwood Mac, I walked down the isle to Songbird, we also had a few songs from the XX like Islands and Angels, We walked down the isle after the ceremony to Home is Where the heart is by Edward Sharpe, first dance was to No Ones Going to Love you More Than I do by Band of Horses. First dance with my dad was to Landslide from Feeetwood Mac. 

We had an amazing D.J Kevin Kloer who use to D.J for Ministry of Sound so he had the WHOLE wedding dancing all night long. My favourite part was having live drummers play when we walked into the reception as Mr and Mrs Bell, they played for around half an hour and really got everyone in the mood to party. 

Your favourite moment?

Sophie: It was hearing Michael’s incredible vows, we had written our own vows and it was the first time I had heard them, they were so deeply romantic and heartfelt. There was not a dry eye. 

Michael: Seeing Sophie for the first time when she walked down the isle, I looked forward until she got to the start of the isle and then turned around, the feeling that came over me when I saw her was crazy. As cliché as it sounds it felt complete after planning our wedding for 18 months, seeing my wife to be look so beautiful made everything feel like it had all fallen into place. I could not stop smiling. 

A joint favourite moment for us would be seeing both our parents fully clothed swimming around in the pool, then jumping out and dancing all night long on the dance floor dripping wet. We have both never seen our parents so carefree and happy! 


It was an incredible few weeks in Bali to all spend so much time together with not only our family but also our bestest friends. There was so much emotion and love on that trip, not only did we have our wedding but there was two wedding proposals while we were over there! Love was definitely in the air. In every photo from our wedding away there is so much happiness, we will never ever forget that feeling, we really cannot thank everyone who made our wildest dreams come true. We wish we could do it every year!   

 

L O V E F E S T | Melissa Ambrosini + Nick Broadhurst

I don't even know where to start on this post, it's hard to put into words how much I loved working on the L O V E  F E S T for the beautiful and madly in love Melissa Ambrosini and Nick Broadhurst. 

From the first day I met this couple at the wedding venue for a look around, you could feel the love and happiness radiating from them, it's a magical feeling to be around. From the get go we all clicked so easily and I knew this was a project I would love to be a part of.

The styling brief was a romantic love fest, with a rustic boho feel and not very traditional. The best part about working on the L O V E  F E S T was the freedom Melissa and Nick gave me to run wild with my ideas and run wild I did. I sourced pieces from all over, Bali to USA to vintage shops on the Gold Coast and Northern NSW. There was floor cushions and rugs galore with a mix of eclectic prints. 

The brief for the flowers was bright, romantic and nothing too old school. This was my first time styling a flower arch, I loved it and cannot wait to make a million more.

Thank you to Nick's father Graham for building the wooden arch and giant M + N for me, you were very patient with all of my requests. It was so nice getting to know Nick and Melissa's families in the lead up, thank you to Nick's sister Emma from Love Fest Events for all your help along the way. 

S U P P L I E R S

We hired most of the furniture from Little Gray Stationthey have a huge selection to choose from. Props from Signs Of Wear and my own and succulents from the Borrowed Nursery (contact Signs of Wear for the Borrowed Nursery). Custom signage and stationary was created by our Art Shop service here at Peppa Hart. 

All images taken by the insanely talented Bayleigh Vedelago, you can view Bayleigh's post here. And the wedding video was shot by Lester and May, you can watch it at the end of the post, it will blow your mind. 

Tipi's from Kata Lane, I wish I could live in these giant tipi's forever.

Flower crown was created by my very talented friend Elise from Elyssium Blooms

C A T E R I N G

Paleo inspired menu was created by Spoon Fed
Raw desert bar was from Blended Earth
Insane smoothie bar was from the Sunflower Hotel 
Kombucha bar by Paul Chermak from Organic Family
Cold press juice Bar from 
Ground Organics
Tea Station from my beautiful friends at The Seventh Dutchess
Juice drink dispensers from Holly Lee Health

And to hear all the details from the beautiful bride Melissa, visit her site here + check out all the images on Instagram from the day by searching #nickandmelissalovefest.

+ A very special shout out to Penelope Younger who was my styling assistant on the day, I could not have done it without you. You are one in a million x

Click on any of the images for the full screen size, I will let the photos and video do the talking from here. 


S E T  U P 

C E R E M O N Y

R E C E P T I O N

S U N  D O W N

V I D E O 

HOLY WEDDING VIDEO | The guys from Lester and May created one hell of a wedding video, there was massive booms and cameras coming in from all angles, it was such an impressive set up. The results will blow your mind. Check out more of their work here


It was months in the planning, plenty of late nights in the lead up and a 22 hour day setting up, but to stand back and see it all come together was incredible. I really cannot thank Melissa and Nick enough for asking me to be a part of their most special day, I will never forget it and feel beyond blessed that we are now great friends as well. I wish Nick and Melissa a lifetime of love, happiness + health. 

Catch more of the L O V E  F E S T details on Melissa's site here

S T Y L I N G  S E R V I C E S

If you have an event coming up, small or big - or even just want your loungeroom or office made over, please get in contact, would love to talk to you about it  x

Renee Douros | Founder + Editor of Hitched Magazine

Talk about inspirational, Renee Douros had the marvellous idea of starting a wedding magazine like no other, it's the non wedding, wedding magazine. It's so damn good that even if you are not planning a wedding, you would still want to get your hands on a copy. The articles and images are out of this world, so much thought goes into every piece of this glorious magazine. 

Renee put her all into making this dream of hers a reality, if that doesn't inspire you to pursue your dreams then I don't know what will. 

Not only has the beautiful Renee given us an insight in to her magazine, she has also kindly shared her stunning home with us. The images of Renee's home are shot by Peta Rudd, check out more of Peta's work here.  

We were lucky enough to have our wedding featured on the pages of Hitched Magazine in their second issue. We will cherish this magazine for the rest of our days. Renee and the whole team at Hitched are talented beyond belief and even though I am no longer a bride to be, I will still be buying every issue.  

S A Y   H E L L O   T O   R E N E E   D O U R O S

renee douros portrait 1_peta rudd copy.jpg

How did the wonderful “Hitched” concept come about?

I was finding myself uninspired and disappointed by the general sameness evident in a magazine industry that is largely driven by commercialisation with a big focus on product placement and paid editorials. I became obsessed with publishing a title where content and form were dictated by aesthetics and ideas rather than advertising and business models. 

I identified a niche market in the wedding industry for a title that celebrated equality, originality and creativity.  A publication that was a sumptuous, visual feast for readers who aren’t necessarily getting married or even have plans to. I also had a strong idea of what I didn’t want the magazine to be and this was informed by what was making me cringe in other titles. 

renee douros interior 2_peta rudd copy.jpg

What is your background, how did you get to where you are today, the Editor of Hitched Magazine (The best wedding mag in the world)?

I started my first business when I was ten, a ‘Fun Fair’ that I charged other kids in my neighbourhood to use. Then, when I was 18 I launched my first profitable venture, a swim-school that was operated from my parent’s backyard pool. 

I studied two completely unrelated things at university, public relations and interior architecture; I figured ‘hey, one of them is bound to land me a semi-interesting job!’.

Upon graduating I bounced around from job to job and realised that I hated what I was doing. A late night phone call with my dad was a really pivotal moment, he told me to quit my job and peruse my passion. So I listened to him and et voilà, 

Hitched was born! 

renee douros interior 9_peta rudd copy.jpg

What do you want readers to feel when they read your beautiful magazine?

Inspired, enlightened and excited. 

Talk us through how you set up a magazine from scratch? How long did it take you to get from the idea of Hitched to launching your first issue?

Hitched was conceptualized in January 2012 and we launched our first issue on 3 April, 2013. I took it through a rigorous creative process, refining it over and over again and really nutting out exactly what I wanted Hitched to be.

You need two things when starting a magazine from scratch. The first is money, and a lot of it; I had been saving for years knowing that one day I would put it all to good use somehow. Secondly, you need a good team of people around you who can contribute to getting it off the ground and encourage you when you’re feeling deflated. 

How many people work at Hitched and what are their roles?

We have a team of six talented ladies working with Hitched. Some may interpret it as over-kill so early on but I’m a firm believer in the value of a strong team. 

Our Features and Production Manager Tori is my rock, she reminds me to calm down when I’m stressed and plays a massive part in pulling each issue together.

Jacinda our Art Director is truly one of the most creatively talented people I’ve ever come across. She’s an asset to Hitched and a kind soul. 

Karmin is the hard-hitter. The one who asks the tough questions and handles stuff that goes well over my head.

Yadira is our little pocket-rocket Marketing and Advertising Sales Manager. She’s like a little Chihuahua; tiny but feisty! She’s also a writing whiz. 

And then there’s Rosalie, she started off interning with us and is now our Production Assistant. She’s a breath of fresh air in the studio and is always enthusiastic about everything we’re doing (even the mundane stuff!). 

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How long does it take you to pull together an issue, what is the process?

We’re always working on several issues consecutively. It’s the only way to stay ahead of the game! The whole procedure is really different for each issue and because we produce most of the content ourselves our roles are extremely hands on. Although, initially we always kick-off a new issue with the entire team, our chalkboard wall, copious cups of coffee and entire days spent brainstorming new concepts.  

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If you could give any budding entrepreneurs advice for starting their own business, what would it be?

Be prepared to hustle; there’s going to be a lot of early starts and late nights. Carve out your own niche and find someone who is willing to act as your mentor, gently guiding you through the ebbs and flows associated with owning your own business. 

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What is the most rewarding part of starting a magazine like Hitched?

Seeing what started off as a sketchy idea scribbled down on a post-it note become a reality and of course the warm messages of support and praise that we receive from our readers everyday, it makes all of us smile and validates the job we’re doing. 

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What has been the most challenging moment for you?

I’m a perfectionist by nature; good enough is never good enough. I must always do better and better and it drives you crazy sometimes. My biggest challenge has been learning to say to myself  ‘Relax for five minutes. Take a deep breath.’

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Can you give us a little sneak peek into what’s coming next issue?

So much! Hitched is taking a little trip to New York and London in August/September for a series of interviews, shoots and large-scale fashion editorials with some wonderfully inspiring and talented folk. You’ll see the fruits of our trip trickled throughout the pages of many issues to come. 

Issue three is going to be our best issue yet! Our guest illustrator is one of my personal favourites, we’ve got some gorgeous real weddings that we are really excited to share with our readers plus some interesting reads with a typical ‘Hitched’ twist, we take a look into the creative spaces of some of our idols and we’ve got a fashion editorial that will knock your socks off. 

The highlights so far?

The overwhelming response we received when we first hit the newsstands still astounds me. Copies were flying off the shelves of newsagents and our social media accounts and inboxes were running hot. It was crazy! 

What are your thoughts on the wedding industry and how do you think it’s changing?

Couples these days are more empowered and confident to have a wedding that is entirely their own. Publications like Hitched magazine inspire readers to think outside the box and host a celebration that is unlike anything else there guests have ever or will ever attend. 

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If you could offer all the brides to be out there one piece of advice, what would it be?

Do it your own way. Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by what everyone else is doing. Think about who you are as a couple and let that dictate your theme.

A LITTLE MORE ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:

Coffee or tea?

Coffee. All the way. 

Heels of flats?

Flats. I just nabbed myself a pair of Kenzo house slippers! They’re amazing. 

Favourite cocktail?

I swear by a lychee caprioska 

Favourite food?

Sarma – a dish that is native to the Balkan regions of Eastern Europe where my family comes from. It’s basically minced wrapped in boiled cabbage leaves. It sounds gross but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! 

Dream holiday?

Russia. I’m fascinated by the history of this country. The shelves of my home library are filled with Russian literature and historical tales. 

Favourite magazines (apart from Hitched)?

Tank Magazine – they have a very unique take on contemporary culture

Betty Magazine – a quirky expression of femininity and vintage charm  

Favourite Instagram accounts?

@aguynamedpatrick – New York City through the eyes of a local

@Nicole_Franzen – A photographer I admire. Her Instagram does not disappoint, Flowers, food, amazing light and interiors.

@ElisabethErin – Erin’s photos are more art than just iPhone photographs. How she does it I don’t know but the results are remarkable

Favourite blogs?

Garance Dore -  She approaches fashion and the world she lives in with a great sense of humour, it’s infectious!

Yimmy Yayo – This has been a staple of mine for years. Sometimes rude and often vulgar – I can’t look away. 

The Jealous Curator - A visual feast for the creatively inclined

Favourite designers?

The list is endless! Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, The Row, Pamela Love and Oliver Rousteing for Balmain. 

Staples in your wardrobe?

Quality blouses in an array of colours– thank-god for Equipment. A good heel – Alexander Wang is a personal favourite at the moment. A quality vintage fur and a great bag that I can shove my life into, Status Anxiety are doing really beautiful totes at the moment. 

What’s in your handbag at the moment? 

At the moment I’m sporting my YSL tote that I picked on a trip to London in 2010, a giant Mimco travel wallet, my iPhone and Blackberry, a moleskin and sharpies for writing down ideas when I’m on the go, Aesop handbalm, Ray Bans (both sunglasses and glasses), Balenciaga perfume and red lipstick – it will salvage any outfit or tired face. 

What can you not live without?

My parents, brother, boyfriend and my dog - she has the face of a teddy bear! 

I love to know about creative souls homes and office spaces, what does Hitched HQ look like and what does your home look like?

My home and the Hitched Studio are extensions of each other and very much reflective of my personal style. Eclectic and colorful with a strong vintage twist. Living and working from beautifully styled surrounds I believe, is integral to productivity and overall well-being. 

How do Peppa Hart readers get their hands on a copy?

We’re stocked at over 2,000 newsagents Australia wide and online at hitchedmag.com.au/shop. For overseas readers we’re throughout New Zealand, Asia, Canada, Dubai and the United Kingdom at newsagents and English language bookstores. 

Words to live by…. 

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

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FOLLOW: 

Website: hitchedmag.com.au 
Facebook here.
Twitter here
Pinterest here
And most importantly Instagram @HitchedMagazine

Images of Renee's home shot by Peta Rudd + Image of the flower crown. 

Purchase Hitched Magazine here.  

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HITCHED | Our Wedding Spread

A very exciting moment seeing our wedding featured in the stunning Hitched Magazine, it's the non bridal, bridal magazine. A perfect fit for us and a magazine we feel extremely proud to be featured in. We will hold onto this for the rest of our days, such a special keep sake. 

Even if you are not planning a wedding, it's a beautiful magazine for your coffee table, it's kinda like Frankie Mag. Visit their website hitchedmag.com.au  to get your hands on a copy, I promise you will not be disappointed. 

Hitched also has a killer Instagram, follow them @HitchedMagazine 

E N J O Y x

Our Wedding Video | LOVE

It never gets old, I could watch this video over and over. Every time I watch it, I feel incredibly loved and have to pinch myself that this was our wedding.

As cliche as it sounds, it really was what dreams are made of, grateful for every single moment and every single person who made it the best week EVER. 

To say I feel LUCKY doesn't quite cut it.

I hope you enjoy it x

VIDEO SHOT AND EDITED BY ANDY SIX STRING { LEGEND }