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An Evening in Florence

In some cultures, rain on your wedding day is a sign of good luck. Not only did Charlie and Sara have rain, their day was extra lucky because they also had strong winds gushing through their Ontario woodland wedding venue. This made for some very romantic, wind-swept photos, lots of laughter and great stories to share.

For her wind-proof wedding day ensemble, Sara wore a simple, soft silk gown, statement earrings, black leather jacket and our chapel length AMORA wedding veil. With the sheer tulle of the veil catching in the breeze and her dazzling smile – we were truly blown away by Sara’s chic wedding day look.

A wedding amongst the pine trees

Sara and Charlie’s ceremony and reception took place at Wheatfield Estate in Canada, surrounded by pine and spruce trees. The couple highlighted the beautiful, natural surroundings with simple decor and styling.

“I love the way our planner executed the tablescape; taupe linen napkins, white dish wear, gold cutlery, black name tags and candle holders, and of course the gorgeous floral arrangements as the centrepiece,” enthuses Sara. “I have always loved toffee-coloured roses and these were the highlight of our floral arrangements for me!”

A Wedding Day Look from Australia

Sara was limited when choosing a wedding dress, as Ontario, Canada, was in strict lockdown. This meant she needed to buy her dress online and luckily she came across Australian, online bridal brand, Grace Loves Lace and fell in love with their Dove gown.

“I loved the crossed straps and the V-back. I particularly liked that the V-back was not too low, it hit the mid back, which was flattering but not too revealing,” says Sara. “I opted for the 40 cm train (you can also customise it to have no train or an 80 cm train). The material is so soft and comfortable too, and it is double-layered so it is not see-through.”

To elevate her simple dress, Sara wore statement earrings by Australian jewellery designer, Christie Nicolaides. To complete her wedding day look, Sara looked to another Australian designer for her veil.

A veil to withstand the elements

To adorn her simple, low bun, she wore our chapel length AMORA blusher veil. As Sara is 1.2 metres (4’11”) tall, the Tania Maras team customised the length of her veil to ensure the proportions were perfect for her. Best of all, the veil stayed firmly in place throughout the day.

“The veil comb stayed in so securely, even during my super windy wedding day, and was very comfortable. My hair stylist said it was one of the best veil combs she’d ever worked with,” says Sara. “I also wanted a blusher because my photographer has a knack for doing gorgeous bridal photos with the bride and groom both under the bride’s blusher, and I needed to have some of these photos! When the veil arrived I was so happy with the material. It definitely exceeded my expectations.”

 

Best advice

“The best thing I did for myself was to hire a wedding planner. No matter how organised you are, there are always an overwhelming number of details to manage, and for someone who is not in the wedding industry, it is very hard,” explains Sara. “This was made even worse during the pandemic because the gathering guidelines kept changing and so I had to re-plan my wedding a few times. My wedding planner (Perfectly Designed Events) was truly a godsend. If you have the means to hire one, do it! I would also encourage couples to hire a professional live-streamer for the ceremony, if they are forced to have a smaller wedding than they originally wanted, due to COVID. We were able to share our livestream link with all our extended family and friends (who could not attend), and it was very well-received. This also lessens some of the guilt and stress about not being able to invite everyone you wanted.”

SPECIAL THANKS TO…

From the English-inspired gardens filled with colourful blooms to the arch bridge spanning the lake and highland cattle roaming the property, it’s easy to understand Gerrie and Michael’s attraction to the historic Mona Farm for their wedding venue. Located in Braidwood in rural NSW, the couple created a whimsical garden party, with romantic floral dreamscapes, jazz music, Negroni cocktails and dancing under the stars to round off the day.

With golden hair, blue eyes and red lips, Gerrie’s beauty was further elevated with her unique wedding-day styling. Her dress featured sheer, voluminous sleeves and delicate floral lace embellishments. Tania Maras worked with Gerrie to create a bespoke veil to complement her ethereal dress, along with a golden hair comb to adorn her low-set bun.

A weekend-long Celebration

Gerrie and Michael decided to have a long weekend destination wedding, with plenty of time to enjoy the picturesque surroundings with their guests.

“We fell in love with the stunning grounds and English-inspired gardens, as well as the luxury accommodation, artwork and sculptures,” Gerrie enthuses. “Mona Farm does away with some of the hassles of a fully DIY wedding, but still allows a very bespoke experience, and the events management team there are first class.”

The ceremony was filled with memorable and personal elements, with one of Gerrie’s oldest friends, Nicci, as celebrant, a reading of a favourite poem by Gerrie’s brother and a rendition of The Lark Ascending by the Brioso String Quartet in memory of Michael’s Dad.

Gerrie’s wedding-day look

Instagram, The Lane and Wedshed were Gerrie’s go-to sources for wedding dress inspiration, before deciding on the Cecilia dress from Liz Martinez.

“I fell in love with the voluminous sleeve trend early on but wanted to find something that was still elegant and timeless,” she says. “The intricate and delicate floral lace appliqué on Liz Martinez designs is just breathtaking, and I chose a nude lining for the dress to accentuate the white lace detail.”

Gerrie chose the AUDREY veil, for its light and modern design, which wouldn’t distract from the intricacy and volume of her bridal gown.

“I wanted the back of the dress to be visible and the delicate nature of AUDREY means it streams out narrowly behind you and also catches the wind beautifully,” she says.

Instead of a metal comb, the Tania Maras team attached metal loops, to allow Gerrie’s veil to sit seamlessly under her low-set bun.

“I wanted to wear the veil attaching underneath my hair bun rather than over the top,” explains Gerrie. “Tania and the team came up with a different attachment to a comb so it was easier for my hair stylist to secure the veil. They were also incredibly helpful with explaining the difference between all the veil styles and helping me to achieve the look I was after.”

The abundance of shimmering crystals, pearls and floral elements in the MARION headpiece beautifully complemented the embellishments on Gerrie’s dress.

Shop this look: MARA birdcage veil | ADELINE pearl headpiece | ATTICUS pearl earrings

Best Advice

“Do away with any traditions that don’t resonate with you and your partner, and invest in those aspects of the day that are most important to you,” advises Gerrie. “Think about your guests’ comfort throughout the day when planning – is there enough seating, heating, food, bathrooms, etc. We would also really recommend investing in a photographer, videographer and photo-booth – it’s not something we initially planned, having all three, but we’ve really enjoyed seeing different aspects of the day captured for us to remember and revisit.”

SPECIAL THANKS TO…

From the moment Alicia and partner Victor drove up to the gates of Milton Park Country House they immediately fell in love with this fairy tale venue. Located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Milton Park boasts beautiful, rambling gardens, ornate water features and sculptures and the oldest Weeping Beeches in Australia. These giant, dome-like trees make for the most magical photos (see above and below).

Once the wedding venue was decided on, Alicia needed equally special accessories to match the beautiful location. Her pick of the bunch were our rose AURORA earrings and floral lace RIVIERA veil, to tie in with the magical, garden theme.

Embellished Veils

An embellished veil captures the mood of a springtime wedding like no other accessory. Adorned in florals, lace, pearls, crystals, or all of the above, an embellished veil will instantly elevate the simplest wedding gown and perfectly frame a dramatic gown. Our exquisite veils are designed and handcrafted in-house so we can design and create a wedding veil to suit your wedding gown without drawing attention away from the beautiful details on your dress.

The dream bridal look

To help find her dream dress and accessories and narrow down her ideas, Alicia took to Pinterest and Instagram. However, it was conversations with other brides and her mum that proved to be the greatest help. The best wedding dress advice she received was from her mum, who said to “pick something you feel like you in.” Alicia knew she wanted a backless dress, and a style that was timeless.

“I had gone to Karen Willis Holmes to look at a completely different dress. By chance, I picked out this one and tried it on. I had tried so many different styles and this was the first time that I felt like a bride but also like myself. I knew it was the dress for me because I couldn’t wait to show my now husband.”

Before she decided on her dress, Alicia had been admiring the Tania Maras veil collection. When she picked her dress she knew the embellished RIVIERA veil, featuring hand-beaded organza flowers, floral lace and a scattering of pearls, would match perfectly. We customised the veil for her, to incorporate blusher layer.

“I loved how beautiful and intricate the RIVIERA veil was but loved the idea of a blusher as well. There’s so something so classic yet dramatic about blushers,” Alicia enthuses.

She finished off the look with the AURORA earrings, a feminine design with statement roses and cascading pearls.

“My dress was quite simple so it gave me room to play with elaborate accessories which is my usual style. I picked the RIVIERA veil and AURORA earrings in particular as I feel like they matched our garden theme beautifully.”

Special touches

From the ceremony to the reception, the couple personalised their wedding with many special touches.

“The priest that married us was the chaplain at my husband’s work so it was an honour that he was able to marry us in the gardens. We both wrote our own vows and that would have to be one of my favourite parts of the entire day,” says Alicia. “My husband and I are both South American so we had cultural dances during the reception from each of our home countries which was really special.”

As Alicia and Victor’s wedding was affected by the pandemic, they came up with a novel (and practical) favor idea for their guests.

“We thought it would cute to offer personalised hand sanitisers with our wedding date, as wedding gifts,” says Alicia.

Best advice

“It’s okay to have a plan but in today’s day and age accept if things change,” says Alicia. “It’s the most magical day and if things aren’t exactly what you thought they would be, that’s okay. The fact that you’ve married your ‘person’ is all that matters,” says Alicia.

SPECIAL THANKS TO…

When Angelica first watched the wedding scene from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, she immediately knew that she had found her wedding day inspiration. From the garden paths, to the hanging Wisteria and lush greenery, Angelica and Norman’s nuptials had all the romance and magic of the famous Twilight wedding, sans the vampires and werewolves!

Angelica was adorned in our CATALINA cathedral veil, featuring fabric flowers, intricate lace and beaded details, which was right on theme for her special garden wedding.

Handcrafted details

With careful planning, time and a big dose of creativity, Angelica and Norman achieved their wedding day vision. Nature was an important factor when it came to the décor and events during the day.

“I wanted the wedding to feel whimsical and like we’re immersed in nature but elegant at the same time,” says Angelica. “I loved the look of green moss on wooden tables and knew that had to be a key element in bringing that earthy feel. I wanted to see the space fill with greenery but pop with white flowers just like you see in the movie! Of course it’s quite expensive to do all that so I simplified it a bit and searched all over Central Florida for a venue where I could add these details, where it wouldn’t get too expensive, and it would all complement the space.”

During the ceremony they had a Tree Unity ceremony where Angelica and Norman’s mothers added the soil (representing their foundation) in the couple’s new pot (home) and then the couple planted their tree (their new family) and then they watered it, which represents new beginnings.

Other special elements were the wisteria decorations that were hung in the dining pavilion to add to the Twilight wedding vibe and the backdrop at the sweetheart table which Angelica’s Maid of Honour/sister DIY-ed.

The “wow, I feel like a bride” dress

Angelica had a specific off-the-shoulder, A-line lace dress in mind, however it was in a travelling trunk show and she was unable to try it on. So she began trying on similar styles in bridal shops.

“I had tried about 20 dresses already and I remember not thinking much about my dress when I first picked it up to try on. But once I had it on and saw myself in the mirror, my first thought was ‘wow, I feel like a bride’. I walked out to show my mum and sister. They thought I wasn’t going to like it but once I told them I felt like a bride they started crying, and so did I! It was off-the-shoulder like I wanted, it wasn’t A-line, which I actually loved, and the lace cut-outs were the perfect touch of unique and sexy that I was hoping for! It was a simpler dress so I knew my veil had to stand out somehow.”

A garden–themed veil

With beaded lace and handcrafted flowers, the CATALINA veil caught Angelica’s attention and admiration.

“I loved the CATALINA veil because it has these beautiful fabric flowers that pop out and cascade down the top portion of the veil,” says Angelica. “It was the perfect amount of detail for my dress and my hair since I wanted to style it up. In every picture with the veil you can see the flowers stand out perfectly.”

Best advice

“Talk specifics about the visions you have for your special day and give yourself enough time to make it happen,” suggests Angelica. “Don’t rush your timeline for anyone else and keep what you two want at the forefront. It’s good to keep others in mind but this is your day so do what feels right to you. A wedding is no small task and sometimes it’s nice when people want to help but it gets overwhelming real fast so try to keep things between the two of you and your vendors, that way you prevent unwanted input and headaches. Don’t lose focus on the fact that this is about you and your significant other. And remember to enjoy the process. It can be hard sometimes but take a step back, breathe and enjoy the fact that you are planning your wedding!

Special thanks to...

Sophie is a much-loved bridal stylist in the wedding industry and we’ve called upon her talents on many occasions for photoshoots and creative campaigns. Sophie is our trusted stylist for pulling together beautiful bridal looks to showcase our unique accessories.

It’s not often that someone in the Tania Maras Bridal family ties the knot, and when they do, we celebrate by creating a beautiful veil for them!

We were honoured to contribute to Sophie and her partner David’s special day. We made a Morning Mist crystal veil for Sophie, to add a touch of sparkle to her classic ballgown by Australian designer, Georgia Young Couture.

“Tania is not only an incredible designer but has now turned into a beautiful friend,” says Sophie. “She captured the look I was going for straight away and knew that the Morning Mist in a cathedral length would complement the vision I was trying to achieve.”

Expert wedding planning from a bridal stylist

Bridal stylist Sophie is currently the Co-Founder and Style Director of two businesses – wedding dress directory service, Love Find Co and creative marketing studio, Engaged Creative.

Engaged Creative takes up 99% of my working week and I love it as no day is different – between having strategy sessions with our clients, being on set for editorials or rebranding up and coming wedding vendors, I absolutely love everything to do with Engaged Creative and what it has evolved into,” enthuses Sophie. 

Having worked in the fashion and bridal industry for close to 10 years, Sophie was well prepared when it came time to plan her own dream wedding, which took place at the scenic Ooralba Estate in Kangaroo Valley, NSW.

“I really wanted my wedding to be a reflection of Dave and myself! Our biggest point throughout planning our wedding was that we wanted everyone to just have the best time. The inspiration and key design elements that I tried to incorporate was modern, attainable and chic. I would spend hours in Pinterest researching different design elements and pinning different parts of the wedding.”

Supporting Australian designers

With the wealth of talent here in Australia, Sophie was determined to support local bridal designers.

“We have so much talent here in Australia and it’s an incredible experience being able to see your gown from start to finish with a designer who designs and produces here,” says Sophie.

She worked with two designers for her two looks, wearing a classic ballgown for the ceremony and a sparkly dress to dance the night away in!

“Originally I wanted a gown that was quiet heavily embellished however after trying on a number of different looks something more classic with no beading felt way more me! I wanted a gown that I could look back in 30 years time and it would still be a classic,”  says Sophie. “I was lucky enough to work with Georgia Young Couture for my first gown who created a one shoulder ballgown and then the incredible Karen Willis Holmes who’s gown allowed me to have a bit more fun with sparkles and allowing me to dance up a storm!”

As Sophie’s first gown had no embellishments, she wore our Morning Mist veil, featuring a scattering of crystal details which sparkled as she walked down the aisle. Her hair was styled in a low bun that was heavily curled, so she was able to undo the bun and release tousled waves for her second look.

Special moments

One of Sophie’s favourite moments from the wedding was when she was given a very romantic and thoughtful gift from her husband David. He gave her an album at the end of the night filled with special moments they shared over the last ten years together. From little love notes to menus from special dinners and holiday snaps, David selected mementoes to represent the beautiful times they’ve shared together so far.

“At the end it said that it was an overview of the past 10 years we’ve been together and he cannot wait to fill the rest of the blank pages with me in our life as a married couple.”

Best advice

“My biggest advice would be to remember that everyone is there to celebrate you and your love story together,” says Sophie. “Very rarely in your lifetime will you have everyone in a room that you love celebrating you so just remember that.”

Special thanks:

As the sun slowly sets, a warm glow is cast on the rugged landscape, and photographer Michael Schultz captures the most breathtaking photos of newlyweds Stacey and Lee at the New Zealand wedding.

Stacey and Lee could be described as ‘modern romantics’, their wedding was special, intimate and unique. The couple were less concerned about the formal traditions of weddings, and more interested in creating a day that was in harmony with their personalities and values, as well as being a relaxed and enjoyable time for their guests.

Modern styling

Stacey and Lee both gravitate towards a clean, simple and modern approach to styling. One of the best ways they kept things simple was having a short engagement.

“We just didn’t have time to overthink things and go overboard,” explains Stacey. “We loved the simplicity of the dreamy bright white reception space and the natural greenery in the courtyard where the ceremony was held, so we only brought in a few black and white elements, some wood tones and lots of clear acrylic.”

The ceremony and reception were held at a small restaurant in Hawke’s Bay. Their New Zealand wedding ceremony took place in the vine-covered courtyard and reception was in a room upstairs. Everyone sat together at one long table, as Stacey and Lee wanted the night to feel more like a big dinner party and less like a formal wedding. This is just one of many ways the couple stayed true themselves when planning their wedding.

“Don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable doing just because it’s your wedding day. We didn’t have a bridal party, we didn’t do speeches, we said our vows in private the morning of the wedding. We were comfortable and at ease and able to enjoy the day with our friends and family.”

The dream dress

From the off-shoulder, A-line silhouette, to the dramatic skirt and pockets (!), Stacey’s wedding gown featured all the details she feels comfortable wearing.

“I stopped looking for dresses as soon as I saw it. It truly was my dream dress. I never thought I would wear such a big, dramatic dress, but I just felt so good in it.”

From there, Stacey set up a Pinterest account and began creating mood boards for hair and veil inspiration. This is how she came across our much-loved Riviera veil.

The statement veil

Although she endeavoured to keep the styling simple, from the moment Stacey saw our embellished Riviera veil, with its abundance of floral laces, 3D hand-beaded flowers and crystal pearls, it filled her thoughts.

“I showed it to my mum and that was it, we placed the order then and there,” says Stacey. “I always feel my best with my hair down and curled, and the veil just fit in with that styling perfectly.”

We especially love how Stacey styled the veil up high on the crown of her head, allowing the lace and floral details to gently cascade down her hair and shoulders.

Stacey’s advice is to trust your instincts when pulling together your bridal look.

“Stay true to yourself, your personal style and what you know you feel good in, and it will all fall into place,” says Stacey.

Special thanks to:

Arna’s admiration of the ocean can be traced back to her childhood, growing up in a seaside town in the far south of Tasmania. Her father is an Abalone diver and he would bring home shells with mesmerising mother-of-pearl patterns in blue, green and pink tones. Her husband shares similar childhood memories. Jed is from the eastern suburbs of Sydney, close to the beautiful Clovelly and Coogee beaches.

To honour this shared love, Arna and Jed’s wedding took place on the coast of Tasmania, overlooking the tranquil waters of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island. Arna walked down the aisle in a pearl wedding veil, our exquisite pearl drenched Dewberry.

Setting the Scene

Both the ceremony and reception were held at Peppermint Grove, in Woodbridge, Tasmania. Arna and Jed wanted to create an elegant and warm atmosphere, and styled the venue with lots of candles, greenery and white roses.

“We both are very much family orientated and wanted to bring everyone together in a relaxed environment, which was made naturally easy with our gorgeous water-side venue nestled in a calm cove overlooking Bruny Island,” says Arna.

Arna’s Beautiful Bow Gown

Wedding dress shopping was both an enjoyable and eye-opening experience for Arna. Once they found her perfect dress, Arna and her mum were sad the experience was over!

“I had a style in mind and after trying so many dresses in that style, I realised they just didn’t suit me at all,” says Arna. “That’s when I started to wonder if maybe a simple, classic style would suit me better. After some research around the local bridal boutiques, Timeless Elegance said that they had just received some new designs that they thought might interest me and sent me a photo of ‘Lily’. At first I wasn’t sure as it was very figure hugging. I tried it on and it was an instant… “mm, yes!” It’s gorgeous bow fell perfectly over my shoulder without it being too ‘ bow-ie’ and gave the dress some simple interest, it just felt right.”

Arna’s advice to brides-to-be is to start dress shopping early (from when Arna ordered her dress to when it arrived, it was about 8 and a half months) and to not be afraid to try a dress on that isn’t your style – as you might be pleasantly surprised!

A pearl wedding veil

A testament to her love of the water, Arna styled her dress with our pearl Dewberry veil – a single tier veil in chapel length, featuring a beautiful sprinkling of crystal pearls.

“I originally wasn’t going to wear a veil… I personally thought it was too old fashioned and unnecessary. However, once I had decided on my dress, I thought maybe I’ll just try a veil on to see what it would look like… I fell in love again!” says Arna. “But I didn’t want just a plain tulle. I didn’t even research veils, I kept thinking about them for weeks until I thought – a pearl veil! I love pearls and so I started googling pearl veils and came across Tania Maras and absolutely fell in love with Dewberry.”

To complement her veil, Arna’s hair was styled side swept with a pearl hair clip and vintage waves.

Best Advice

“Have the wedding you want. It’s great to get other people’s opinions and ideas, but at the end of the day, it’s yours and it truly is one of the best times of your lives,” says Arna. “Take it all in and enjoy the process, it’s a lot of fun!”

Best Advice

“Have the wedding you want. It’s great to get other people’s opinions and ideas, but at the end of the day, it’s yours and it truly is one of the best times of your lives,” says Arna. “Take it all in and enjoy the process, it’s a lot of fun!”

SPECIAL THANKS TO…

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.

Special thanks to:

Growing up, Viviane always loved her parents’ wedding photo, especially the statement headpiece her mum wore on the day. Her parents married in 1981 in their hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Almost 40 years later in Southern California, USA, bride Viviane wore her own version of the headpiece she has admired for years and honoured her love and gratitude for her mum.

When this bespoke headpiece enquiry arrived in Tania’s inbox, she was also honoured to be a part of such a special tribute. Viviane’s mum posted the original headpiece to our studio and Tania worked to recreate it, replicating the shape and style of the original piece, but also modernising the design with her signature floral, crystal and pearl details.

Bringing the past into the present

When Viviane and her partner Brian began planning their wedding, she expressed her interest in wearing her mum’s headpiece. Viviane and her mum looked into restoring the original headpiece, however over the years it had yellowed and lost some of the decorative stones. They were told that restoration was risky and possibly impossible.

“My mum discovered Tania Maras who said she could recreate the headpiece. We weren’t sure how it was going to turn out, but we were excited to try out this approach after looking at Tania’s other designs. They were all so pretty and delicate. My mum shipped the original headpiece from California to Australia (for reference), and Tania started on her project!” says Viviane.  

Tania recreated the shape using a wire base and layered the design with a variety of clay flowers and pearl and crystal elements. Tania works closely with brides when creating bespoke pieces, sending them mock-ups and ideas, to help achieve their vision and complement their style.

“Everyday we feel honoured to work with so many incredibly kind women who put their trust in us on their wedding day,” says Tania. “Anyone who has organised or is organising a wedding will know that a wedding day is one of the most significant, emotional, daunting and exhilarating days of your life.”

The finished headpiece was even better than Viviane imagined. Both mother and daughter have the same dazzling smiles, bright eyes and dark hair. The striking headpiece design looked just as beautiful on Viviane as it did on her mum.

“The piece was absolutely amazing! I adored it. The headpiece obviously drew inspiration from my mum’s piece, but it was unique in its own way too. It was my favourite part of my bridal look and I wore it all night long. Truly a stunning work of art. I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better,” says Viviane.

The finished headpiece was even better than Viviane imagined. Both mother and daughter have the same dazzling smiles, bright eyes and dark hair. The striking headpiece design looked just as beautiful on Viviane as it did on her mum.

“The piece was absolutely amazing! I adored it. The headpiece obviously drew inspiration from my mum’s piece, but it was unique in its own way too. It was my favourite part of my bridal look and I wore it all night long. Truly a stunning work of art. I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better,” says Viviane.

After trying on about 20 dresses, Viviane chose a Martina Liana dress, featuring a lace bodice and long train. She completed her look with her mum’s original lace veil, natural make-up a and a hairstyle of soft curls.

Special moments

Viviane and Brian held their ceremony and reception at Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, California. From start to finish, they filled the day with special moments and surprises.

“Our outdoor ceremony featured both a Jewish Rabbi and a Catholic Deacon. Brian is Catholic and I am Jewish. We wanted our wedding ceremony to represent both of our belief systems and traditions in an honest and sincere way,” says Viviane.

“One of the fun things we did for the reception was our personalised cake-topper. Brian and I met through beach volleyball, and it is still one of our favourite things to do together. I had our cake-topper created especially for us, featuring a bride and groom holding volleyballs.”

“Our wedding had family and friends travelling from all over the country and the world (Brazil, Argentina, Kuwait, Germany) – so it was incredibly special to have all our loved ones in one place to celebrate with us. We wanted to throw a great party so we hired an amazing 10-piece band for the reception. I found them online and booked them without ever researching any other bands. We danced all night and had the time of our lives!”

The headpiece tribute was meaningful to Viviane for many reasons.

“The most simple meaning was that I grew up admiring that photograph of my mum wearing the headpiece on her wedding day. As far as I am concerned, she has always been the most beautiful bride ever. On a deeper level, the tribute was an acknowledgement to the tremendous example of marriage that my parents have demonstrated over the course of 39 years. And, of course, it was a tribute to our relationship, my admiration of her, and an expression of gratitude for all her love, wisdom, sacrifice, and support.”

Best advice for engaged couples

The headpiece tribute was meaningful to Viviane for many reasons.

“The most simple meaning was that I grew up admiring that photograph of my mum wearing the headpiece on her wedding day. As far as I am concerned, she has always been the most beautiful bride ever. On a deeper level, the tribute was an acknowledgement to the tremendous example of marriage that my parents have demonstrated over the course of 39 years. And, of course, it was a tribute to our relationship, my admiration of her, and an expression of gratitude for all her love, wisdom, sacrifice, and support.”

“Enjoy your engagement and try not to get too stressed. Brian and I would sometimes joke that as long as we ended the night married, then the wedding was a success. If you have someone in your life who is willing to help with the planning, let them. Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. Relish the day – have fun, laugh, dance, and most of all – enjoy each other.”

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Shaylee and Mitchell’s wedding day was a fun and colourful celebration of love, topped off with a scoop of nostalgia. Along with the charming chapel ceremony and reception held in a barn, there were also lawn games, live music and a gelato cart as part of the wedding day festivities. Surrounded by family and friends and the beautiful Gold Coast hinterland, Shaylee sparkled wearing her crystal and pearl FLEUR crown and an elegant, off the shoulder lace gown.

Above: A bespoke runway-worthy wedding veil for bride Monica

Goin' to the chapel

The ceremony, reception and all those fun activities took place at Summergrove Estate, a picturesque wedding venue on the NSW Tweed Coast.

“We chose Summergrove Estate as our venue because it is stunning yet simplistic, which is exactly our style. It is set on this incredible hillside and the view speaks for itself really! It’s actually the only venue we looked at and we couldn’t go past the beautiful, white chapel and barn. It was just perfect!” says Shaylee.

Love at first Sight

Shaylee always knew she was going to wear the FLEUR crown, even before she decided on her dress or hairstyle!

“Before I went dress shopping, I found the Tania Maras Instagram page while searching for inspiration for my look and instantly fell in love with the FLEUR crown when I saw it! I knew I wanted to wear this crown and make it the sparkly, special ‘something new’ for my day and based my hairstyle and all of my other accessories around this piece.”

For hair styling, Shaylee decided on a low ponytail with effortless curls and a single layer, cathedral length, tulle veil.

“I felt so beautiful while wearing FLEUR and now she is a heirloom and keepsake to wear on special occasions or milestones. So much love obviously goes into designing such delicate, handcrafted accessories.”

Special Moments

One of the most memorable and emotional moments for Shaylee was when she was wedding dress shopping with one of her bridesmaids and mum. She tried on a beautiful off the shoulder gown with a champagne undertone and intricate, ivory lace.

“My bridesmaid told me to try a dress on that she picked off the rack. I wasn’t really a fan of it but tried it on for fun anyway. As the attendant buttoned me up, I realised that it was seriously beautiful and ‘so me!’ I walked out of the changeroom and for the first time that day, my mum got a tear in her eye and I think I knew then that it was the one”.

The ceremony was held in the white chapel which has a glass window offering dramatic ocean and valley views. During the ceremony, the celebrant asked them to turn around and take in the scenery while making a wish for the future.

“That moment really allowed us to be present and the photo of that will forever remind us of our vows, our wish and our special ceremony.”

The couple organised to have a gelato cart for them and their guests to enjoy. There were three different flavours on the menu: lemon custard and strawberry (Shaylee’s favourite), watermelon (Mitchell’s favourite) and crowd pleaser, Ferrero Rocher.

“This was a must-have for our day as Mitchell and I both love ice cream! It was a massive hit with our guests and added to the fun, easy going, colourful vibe we wanted”.

Best Advice

“My biggest piece of advice for a couple planning their wedding would be to not sweat the small stuff. You are planning a day to celebrate your love for one another and that’s the most important thing. Have fun, compromise, don’t spend outside of your means and keep some sort of spreadsheet of what you have booked, paid for and when your bills are due (this is seriously a lifesaver). Just have fun and I promise you that your wedding day will feel perfect, whatever happens, and you truly will have the best day of your life.”

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