THE ENGAGEMENT SHOOT
I was absolutely blown away when we go home from Melbourne after our big engagement and I had a message in my inbox from the beautiful Tanja, a gorgeous model and planner I have had the pleasure of working with and an incredible team of wedding vendors saying they had all had a chat and wanted to create our dream Engagement shoot! Holy Guacamole! We were so blown away by the incredibly thoughtful and totally generous offer and still am in a little bit of a spin that these incredible people have come into our lives and have offered such a beautiful and heartfelt gift! Eeek!
So the first thing was to throw around a few ideas of what we might like to do. I had a few ideas which I had been brewing for, let’s face it, forever. Second to the wedding day itself, this is a chance to get creative with our “Love Story” and what we love. It definitely makes it so easy that a bunch of incredibly talented people are there to help us make these dreams come true!
So I popped onto Pinterest (“Every Bride-to-Be’s Bible!”) and found a few pictures that offered a visual to what I would love to create. Gauging from the team their ideas and inspirations. I am a huge lover of Disney and fairy tales so everything I had in mind sort of circled around those! I have seen some super gorgeous pictures of couples wearing large character heads and cute outfits, running around getting some really fun, cute pictures. But I knew that wasn’t really something Rob would enjoy as much as I would! We are definitely both ‘Old Romantic’s and love old-world charm so one of my other ideas (and most favourite) was a sort of Modern Fairy-tale.
A gentle nod to one of my favourite Disneys, Cinderella. I have always called Rob my Prince and always said I would marry one, and here is my chance to live a day like a Queen and what a great excuse to make an epic gown (or 2!)!!!
So our fabulous team of vendors started dreaming up ideas that would work with the theme.
With the beautiful Tanja at the helm, bringing and collaborating with all the vendors, she has put together the most amazing team! The incredibly talented Ngaire from Event Stylist & Co along with floral genius and event stylist Mandi, Ivy & Bleu Events, will be putting together an epic table-scape and beautiful styling that will create a dream fairy-tale setting.
Bringing our vision to life would not be possible without these incredible people and I am absolutely jumping out of my skin with excitement chatting to Mandi about what her and Ngaire have planned “We are super excited to play apart in creating this memory for you! Think hanging florals in wisteria lane and classic white blooms. Myself & Nagire wanted to make the styling and florals simple and elegant, yet impactful, to ensure the main things stood out - the stunning venue and you in that dress (oh and the prince of course). From crystal cut glass to the twinkling ambience of candlelit under the tabernacle every element of the styling and florals is being hand crafted to make dreams come true.”
We also have the incredible KB Lettering creating some beautiful stationery and something a little bit special to go in the setting of the exquisite Evergreen Garden Venue. Evergreen is full of gorgeous secret nooks and perfectly preened hedges. A place in itself, a fairy-tale and the perfect location to hold such a beautiful shoot! Or a small intimate wedding if you are so inclined. ;)
And it would seem you can’t have a beautiful table set without something sweet upon it! The amazing Two Little Bakers providing delish morsels and macarons (My favourite), I don’t know how we will resist not eating everything before we shoot it!
The fabulous team at Bella Brides Hair & Makeup will be turning me into a true princess. Eeeek! I hope they’re ready for that challenge!
To capture all this magic, a skill she is truly incredible at doing, is Kaitlin Maree Photography. An absolutely talented woman who seems to make real life look like a fairytale. She will be “Capturing this heavenly and romantic session in a way that is classic and subtle” with her whisper soft imagery. And of course I will be creating a dreamy gown to wear, something beautifully fairytale and delicately romantic!
Have a peek at our MOODBOARD below or better yet, follow along via pinterest right HERE!
.... BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
Tanja has also organised a few surprise vendors! Perhaps a few extra models! So make sure you check out our Instagram stories via @Begitta on August 16th to see the little sneak peeks!
A little peek at the creating of the gown...
Photography: KAITLIN MAREE PHOTOHRAPHY // Event Planner: TANJA MEYER // Event Stylist: EVENT STYLIST AND CO // Florals/Stylist: IVY AND BLEU EVENTS // Gown Designer: BEGITTA -BRIDAL & COUTURE // Hair & Makeup: BELLA BRIDES // Stationary: KB LETTERING // Sweets: TWO LITTLE BAKERS // Venue: EVERGREEN GARDEN VENUE
- Tips & Tricks-
If you're planning your wedding and you're not on Pinterest you MUST check it out! An incredible platform where you can create your own moodboards and hone your ideas and find so much incredible inspiration! But the biggest tip is that once your ideas are locked in, try not to be swayed by new inspiration and stick to the plans you already have!
I am so excited to share a little bit of my/our journey through this exciting time with you! We’re totally over the moon at the moment and I am sure, if you’re in this boat with me, you are too!!
Firstly, Congratulations! You're Engaged!!! Woohoo!
So… now what?
As someone who has worked in the wedding and fashion industries for quite a few years I have planned countless photoshoots, assembling vendors, locations, models, moodboards and timelines. How hard can it be? Swap models for Besties and throw in some (real) food and a lot of champagne, Right??!
Well to be honest, I’m totally overwhelmed! Which is why I’ll be enlisting the advice and help of some incredible industry friends, previous brides and wise words from Google! Add in a handy little wedding planning diary, aptly named “Count Down To WIFE LIFE” and I think I’ve got it in the bag, or church!!
I cannot wait to share each step of my adventures with you and hopefully shed some light whilst we navigate the nuptial planning together!
So the very first thing to do?
Announce your engagement!
We got engaged in Melbourne, which is interstate from our home and our friends. Although we would have liked to share the news in person, the both of us just couldn’t wait to tell our parents (and the world) that we were/are getting married! As Rob had asked both my parents for permission and sought advice from my brothers my family knew it was going to happen at some point, as did Robs parents. So we knew they would be hanging by the phone whilst we were in Melbourne. We called our family a few hours after it all happened and took the following morning to call our close friends and other family to let them know we were engaged. The next part was making it “Facebook Official” (if its not on FB it didn’t happen! Hahaha!)
Whilst we were in Melbourne we have the perfect opportunity to go and explore the city together and capture those feelings and emotions the following day. We spent some time in the park opposite our hotel and captured some photos that I will cherish forever! These images make me giggle, cry and have my heart singing. The best place to start for engagement announcement inspo is definitely Pinterest! You can find my fabulous board of engaged inspo right HERE!
After you have announced that he put a ring on it there is a lot of excitement and so much love going around. Enjoy it! Take this time to bathe in the love and joy and overwhelming feeling that there is now something really sparkly that follows you wherever you go.
Pretty much straight after our announcement I felt like 10,000 people were asking if we had set a date! I was like “I’ve known I will be getting married for about 5 minutes!” not to mention it’s hard to even keep your head on straight with so much excitement and sparkle distracting you!
Don't forget to make time for each other to talk about how excited you are and reminisce on memories from your relationship and fun times you have had. Really focus on being present with each other and hold onto these memories in your memory bank for when it starts to feel overwhelming during the planning process.
Then when the excitement starts to wear down (for others, but not for you!) then the real adventure begins, THE PLANNING!!!!
THE WINNING SHOT
(Our Engagement Announcement)
- Tips & Tricks-
Take the planning process slow to begin with. Have a little chat to your Groom-To-Be about what he wants on his wedding day. Does he have any ideas about what he might like to have or do? Does he have a preference on a church or a garden? Does he have any family traditions you may need to take into consideration? Remember it's about him too!
-From Our Wedding Friends-
Q: As a bride planning the wedding for her and her husband to be, What are some great jobs to give/delegate to the Groom?
@IVYANDBLEUEVENTS: "We think the groom should be as involved as they like from venue selection to styling we are starting to see a trend in Grooms playing a much more active approach in the whole wedding process."
@KAITLINMAREEPHOTOGRAPHY: "Get him involved with food, alcohol, music, suit, wedding colours. Also the BUDGET."
COMING UP NEXT:: Planning The Engagement Photoshoot!
Oh my goodness! There are few moments as special as when a man gets down on one knee, the world stops spinning for those few seconds, the heart seems to stop and go faster at the same time and he asks the love of his life to be his wife. And he chose me! Me!
How it all happened… The Long Version!
It all started with a trip to Melbourne, Australia. I am a Fashion Designer (coincidently I specialize in Bridal gowns) and over the past few months have been working on creating gowns for Miss Universe Australia. As a state sponsor I created gowns for the top 5 National finalists from our state, Queensland. The national finals were held in the beautiful city of Melbourne so my amazing and supportive man, Rob, flew down with me to attend the week of events and the big Gala dinner.
Being the perfectionist that I am I asked Rob to send me through the accommodation booking so I had the address and details for where we were staying so I could plan our way around to all the events etc. Upon arriving at the Hotel/Apartment early Tuesday morning, the lady we were checking in with said that we had only booked 3 nights. I freaked out a little as we were supposed to be there for 5 nights, wondering why in the world I let him book the hotel (control freak!), Rob then said that was correct and told me he had booked the last 2 nights in another hotel with fluffy robes, having an affinity with the sweet caress of those fluffy hotel robes and disposable waffle slippers I shut my mouth and walked away letting him finalize the check-in. Who was I to complain about fluffy robes?
I didn’t ask questions, both of us having spent the last 3 months working incredibly long hours, I knew Rob wanted to treat us to a bit of relaxation and spoiling (and fluffy robes!!). Rob then spent the next 15 minutes downplaying the hotel saying we were moving somewhere closer to football stadium, as we were going to a game on Friday night.
We spent the week in the city lunching in beautiful restaurants and having coffee and French pastries in laneways and hidden alleys. The Thursday night Gala dinner and Miss Universe Australia Crowning was absolutely amazing and the event was so much fun. Come Friday, feeling a little fragile after ever flowing complimentary wine throughout the previous night, we packed our bags and Rob ordered an Uber. As we were about a block from the hotel the Uber driver said “You’re staying at the Hotel Windsor, is that right?”, Rob froze and then turned to me and said “Surprise!! For all your hard work, I wanted to treat you” being very gracious to the Uber driver who just soiled his excitement, but not mine, I was over the moon! Having stayed a night at the Windsor the previous year with my mum I was so excited to spend TWO WHOLE NIGHTS there and with my love as well!!! To add to my excitement we were upgraded to a top floor suite! Such a treat and we were both so excited to explore the hotel.
The Hotel Windsor is like a dream, with previous guests including Royalty, Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep, Prime ministers… Just to name a few. The old elevators are like bird cages and the restaurant is beautiful silver service with heavy white linen table cloths and exquisite food, pretty much my idea of heaven! It’s my dream hotel and Rob, having a bit of an old soul much like me, is a lover of old world style decadence. After our first date we had both felt we’d known each other a lifetime, we’ve often discussed that we may have met in a previous life in an old era of the world as we both have a penchant for the finer things. #MeantToBe!
We had planned a ‘Date Night’ on the Saturday evening, our last night in Melbourne, at a beautiful French Restaurant that we had been to on our Anniversary the previous year. When we awoke on Saturday morning to the room service I’d ordered the night before (on those gorgeous little pre-order cards you hang on the door!) Rob said “Happy Anniversary!” I hadn't even realized it was the 1st of the month, which is our Monthly Anniversary! It was our 2 year and 10month-iversary!
We spent the rest of the lazy morning nibbling breakfast and drinking coffee. While sat at the window overlooking the stunning view of the park and Parliament building, Rob pawed through the information booklets in the hotel room compendium and pulled out the luxe gold ‘Hotel Windsor’ embossed stationery and we decided we should write each other love letters and post them home. Something about snail-mail that is so special when you receive it, so we both went into our own little corner and wrote a little something then sealed off the letters to drop to the concierge to post. We then got dressed around midday and went to explore the city. We visited the Victoria Parliament building and spent time in the park, playing and kicking up autumn leaves like children then we lounged on a park bench reading our books. As the sun drifted lower in the sky the freezing Melbourne air bit our skin so we made our way back to the hotel to get ready.
I put on a dress Rob had suggested I bring, not really thinking, I had packed it and decided to wear it after he said again that I should. It was a white slip dress and skirt of my creation that is so swishy and fun to wear. We arrived at the restaurant and waited for our table, whilst we waited we sampled wines and then chose a beautiful bottle of French white wine. Rob had made the booking and requested “The most romantic table”, in hindsight it should have been a hint but he had wanted a particular table last time we were there so it didn’t spark any interest, I felt more excitement because I loved “our” intimate table towards the back.
Rob seemed so calm and collected the whole time so I easily squelched the thoughts that it might happen tonight, we ate a platter of h’orderves and then sampled the escargot! After that Rob started saying he felt funny, we ate our delicious mains and held off on dessert for a bit as we were sooo full. Rob went to the restroom (where I later found out he was checking the ring was still there!) and our dessert, Crème brûlée, came out. When he sat down he said we should get a photo, we were taking photos all night but he wanted to waitress to take it. She didn’t come back for a while so we waited, for what felt like forever, I just wanted to taste the Crème brûlée! Rob seemed to get more and more nervous in just those 2 minutes and as she came over he asked for “a photo…” then in somewhat of a mumble he said “or a video”. The lovely lady started filming, asking how my meal was, I felt so awkward I had no idea what was going on.
Then Rob took out a pocket watch, it was a beautiful little vintage one we had found when we were in Melbourne the previous year, He told me when we had bought it at Victoria Market that there was so much going on, so much hustle and bustle and for just a minute time stopped, we had looked at each other, he said he knew more than ever in that moment he loved me. He started pulling out a little white bag from inside the watch. Then he pulled out the ring, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, then got down on one knee beside the table. I stood up realizing what was happening, by this time my eyes were streaming and my ears were buzzing and the whole world seemed to have stopped spinning and the words Rob said melted my heart. The moment when so quickly and so slow at the same time, so overwhelmed with all the emotions that I can barely recall the words though, I remember him saying “I want nothing more in my life than for you to be my wife, will you marry me?”…
The universe fell silent for that moment in time, I said yes and he slipped the ring on my finger. It fit perfectly and it felt like all the stars had aligned. Then the world started spinning again and the entire restaurant erupted and so many got to their feet clapping and cheering and I kept asking if this was real! We sat down and just stared at each other whilst my eyes streamed. You could not have wiped the grin off Robs face while he started telling me how long he had been waiting to ask me, that he had worked so long on the ring. Having looked at over 80 diamonds until he found the right one, he told me “I searched and searched for the perfect diamond like a penguin searches for the perfect stone when they find their partner for life”. Then he agonized over every detail of the custom setting, I had wanted a Tiffany set solitaire since I was about 12 years old and dreaming of my Prince Charming, but Robs slight changes made it even more beautiful. It is more stunning than I could ever imagine, so classic and as timeless as our love.
When we got back to our beautiful suite at the hotel we took our shoes off and holding hands jumped on the bed like kids! Rob in his suit and me in my dress laughing and jumping in circles yelling “We’re Getting Married!” I can’t imagine a more magical moment! The whole weekend feels like a complete dream and getting to spend our whole lives together forever feels like a true fairy-tale!
Days after arriving home the postman dropped off the most beautiful mail I have ever received.
A luxe gold embossed ‘Hotel Windsor’ envelope entitled “My Dearest Begitta” had arrived.
“My Dearest Begitta,
I write you this letter on the evening before I ask you a question that will forever change our lives. I write this with my heart full of love and my mind full of dreams for us.
I write this as a promise that I will forever be giving you my love and forever be trying my hardest to keep you happy.
As I write this letter you have no idea what I have in store for you but I will soon be the happiest man alive.
My sweet love, every moment with you is a dream come true.
Every kiss is passionate enough to make my heart skip a beat.
Every cuddle gives enough love to power a rocket to the moon.
To my future wife and mother to our future children, you are the reason I wake up every day and the reason my life is so wonderful.
With all of my love,
Your biggest admirer,
Did I mention I’m the luckiest girl in the world??
THE HOTEL:HOTEL WINDSOR // THE RESTAURANT:FRENCH BRASSERIE, MELBOURNE // THE RING: MY JEWELLERY SHOP, GOLD COAST // THE DRESS: BEGITTA BRIDAL & COUTURE
Stay tuned for our incredibly exciting Engagement Shoot! Eeeek!
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