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An Evening in Florence

Accessory: Bordeaux ponytail wedding veil
Dress: Karen Willis Holmes
Photography: Cassandra Ladru
Venue: The Ungasan, Bali
HMUA: Isabella Jane + Melanie Jane

Melanie’s bridal story:

Most weekends you’ll find Melanie at a wedding, surrounded by lipsticks and eye shadows as she uses artistry to create beautiful bridal looks. With years of wedding day experience, she knew a thing or two when it came to planning her own special day.

And special it was. Melanie and Matthew married at a clifftop in Bali, overlooking the breathtaking Indian Ocean and they finished the day with a dazzling reception under the stars. Melanie sparkled in a sequin gown and our Bordeaux ponytail veil, a perfect look for a balmy beach-side wedding.

A Bali Wedding

Melanie, Matthew and their guests ventured to the limestone cliffs on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula for the ceremony. The clifftop was later transformed into a glittering reception party with crystal chandeliers, fairy lights and floral displays, all in neutral tones with a touches of soft pink.

“I can’t recommend The Ungasan as a wedding venue enough, it was breathtaking. No photos do it justice, once you walk in you are blown away. Both our ceremony and reception were held there and as a special touch, we had a personalised neon sign made with words from our first dance song – ‘sipping bubbly’. It looked amazing and they ended up keeping it as a permanent sign in their bar!” says Melanie.

An added Advantage

After 14 years of being makeup artist, Melanie had stored many ideas and inspirations for her own day and knew exactly what she wanted for her hair and makeup. She loves her job, and now has her own first-hand bridal advice to pass on to her clients.

“I love being part of the bride’s morning. Everyone is always in a good mood and I get to share those special moments with the bride, her bridal party and family. After being a bride I now understand when people say ‘the day will go so fast’ and to make the most of every moment. It really does fly! I now relay that information to my brides as I’ve recently experienced it.”

A dazzling gown

At Tania Maras we love the work of Australian bridal designer Karen Willis Holmes (KWH) and have many of her gowns featured in our photo shoots. Melanie also shares our love for this remarkable designer and wore a KWH sequin wedding gown, Anya, on her wedding day.

“Once I tried this dress on, I knew it was the one! I loved the delicate spaghetti straps and stunning beads from head to toe. The dress was fitted with a long beautiful train and I had a removable skirt added for a whimsical look for the ceremony. Picking your dress is a feeling not a decision, and I definitely had that feeling when I stepped into it.”

When it comes to picking a gown, Melanie shares her top tips;

“Make sure your dress is comfortable! If the dress has a bustle, get one of your bridesmaids to learn how to put it up before your wedding – this was the best decision I made. Also if you need any alterations made, get them done as close to the wedding as possible to ensure it fits your body perfectly.”

Melanie wore our chic Bordeaux veil which is designed to be worn around a ponytail and features crystal details along the top.

“I found the beautiful veil on Pinterest! I had tried on normal veils but felt it didn’t suit my personal style. Once I tried the Bordeaux veil wrapped around my ponytail, I felt way more relaxed and at ease. It was beautiful!”

A Bright Idea

Melanie’s wedding also sparked an exciting new business venture for Melanie and her sister. Just like many wonderful ideas, the idea came about as a solution to a problem.

“When I was searching for my bridesmaids’ ‘getting ready’ outfits, I couldn’t find anything that I liked. So if planning a wedding wasn’t enough, my sister and I created our own linen sets to wear on the day. They were perfect! Breathable and comfy linen that we ended up wearing the rest of the holiday. One of the highlights was walking around The Ungasan wearing our own label The Bridal Thread, it felt like a dream!”

The duo launched The Bridal Thread in December 2019, and offer a range of fresh and modern linen/cotton sets, as well as earrings and wedding themed postcards.

“I’m a very creative person which is why I love being a makeup artist and I’ve also ran my own business for the past 14 years. My sister is creative too, she’s a copywriter with many years of digital marketing experience. We make the perfect team as our strengths complement each other.”

Best Advice

“My best piece of advice is to hire a wedding planner! It’s worth every cent to save you time and reduce stress leading up to the big day,” says Melanie.