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An Evening in Florence

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:

I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t have a hair trial before my wedding. It was something that was important to me so I could visualise the overall look and to ensure I would feel comfortable on my big day.

But hair trials aren’t for everyone – many brides are unable to book a hair trial for a number of reasons. Lack of time, budget restrictions and logistics – think destination weddings in another country or on an exotic island. And other brides just might not feel the need to. It’s a personal decision and will depend on your circumstances and what you feel comfortable with.

If you are planning a local wedding and you will be using your regular hairdresser or hairstylist, you may not feel its necessary to book a trial.  If so, have confidence knowing that your regular stylist will have a good understanding of you, your vision, your hair type and face shape.

If you are planning a destination wedding, your wedding day hairstyle is really important – perhaps consider choosing a less complex hairstyle for peace of mind. Perhaps a beautiful blow wave, loose curls or even a simple bun to suit the venue and location of your wedding.

However, if you are seeking a more elaborate hairstyle, or one that’s different to what you’re used to, the following 5 tips may help ease your wedding day hair fears.

1. Do some research

Find inspiration images of hairstyles you love. Browse our Pinterest account or wedding magazines and gather hairstyles that you think will suit you, your hair type and bridal look.  It’s best to find a few different styles to choose from in case your favourite style doesn’t work with your hair type, length or face shape.

2. Chat to your wedding hair stylist

Either via email or over the phone well before your wedding day.

Send through your inspiration images and also information about your hair length, texture, thickness and face shape. This will help your hairstylist get a better understanding of who you are, your vision and what they will be working with on the day.
Browse your hairstylist’s portfolio to see if they have created similar styles for past brides. Otherwise, ask your hairstylist whether they have had much experience with this style and whether they think it will work with your hair type/length.

3. Be realistic

If you have thin medium length hair, a Kim K hairstyle will just disappoint you.  If you have naturally straight hair that won’t hold a curl, opt for hairstyles that won’t require lots of tight curls. Factor in additional time on the day so your hairstylist will have time to make adjustments.

4. Think practically

Is your venue in the middle of summer with the potential for high humidity? Or beachside? Or do you normally wear your hair up because you hate your hair getting in the way? Then updos might be more practical. The aim is for you to look your best but also to feel as comfortable as possible so pick a hairstyle that reflects you and will bring out your best. A happy and comfortable bride is a beautiful bride!

5. Plan your accessories

If you are planning to wear accessories in your hair, be sure to tell your hairstylist so they can plan for it.

Chat to your accessories designer to ensure the headpiece and fastener is suitable for your chosen hairstyle. They should be able to recommend a comb, clip or another attachment that will best suit your hairstyle and hair type.

Ensure your chosen hairstyle will support the weight of your headpiece. Most headpieces are lightweight however elaborate bridal hair pieces or extra long veils will need to be well supported.

If you are planning to wear long veil, practice wearing it around the house. It’s a bit like wearing in your new wedding shoes!

Photo credits: Sophie Thomspon

Featuring a backdrop of sweeping snow-capped mountains scattered with historic redwood trees, Lauren and Dain’s wedding ceremony was simply breathtaking. The couple always knew they wanted to get married on top of a mountain, and Glacier Point, in California’s Yosemite National Park, was the ultimate spot.

With such a majestic wedding location, Lauren’s bridal look needed to be both beautiful and practical. Her flowy lace gown was lightweight and featured godets, so she could easily climb mountains and bush walk on the day. As for accessories, Lauren wore our GABRIEL crown, which beautifully echoed the surrounding wildlife, with its clusters of clay flowers, crystal foliage and bohemian vibe. Comfortable footwear was also a must. She finished off her bridal look with very practical, brown lace-up boots!

Wedding day adventures

Lauren and Dain wanted their wedding to be romantic, adventurous, outdoorsy and intimate. The stunning vistas of waterfalls, giant sequoia trees, wildlife and cliffs at Yosemite National Park fulfilled this wedding-day vision, and gave their guests a truly unique experience.

“When I first met Dain, I was not adventurous or an ‘outdoorsy’ person,” says Lauren. “Two years after dating he took me to Yosemite, CA and I fell in love! I hadn’t been since I was about four or five years old and was in awe of Yosemite’s beauty as soon as we entered the park. We had dinner at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel and I saw a couple getting married there, and I joked that we should get married there someday. Who knew that seven years later, we would?”

Coordinating your bridal look

Time, consideration and an open mind went into creating Lauren’s gorgeous bridal look. Every detail, from the dress, to the accessories and hairstyle, was well thought through, to accentuate Lauren’s natural beauty. Her lace dress was flowy and elegant and featured chiffon godets at the bottom and buttons down the back.

“My husband always tells me my backside is one of the reasons he fell in love with me, so I knew I had to have a mermaid silhouette to show off my curves,” says Lauren. “The lace in my dress is actually flowers if you look close enough. I loved how the GABRIEL crown had gorgeous white flowers that matched my dress so perfectly. My dress also had no beading whatsoever, so I wanted something with a little bling. The crown was a modern yet timeless approach to the trendy flower crown. The pearls in the crown added an extra vintage look, which I loved. I wanted a boho feel to my hair. So, I went on Pinterest a lot!”

She decided on a half up hair style, with a modern braid and curls, topped with the GABRIEL crown.

“Tania Maras is amazing. She really does makes a little something for everyone. An extra special piece of jewellery or a headpiece to have on your wedding day makes the look. Also, I love the idea of having something to pass down to my daughter one day and this headpiece will be one of those things.”

Best wedding advice

“My advice is, don’t worry so much about pleasing other people. I feel like weddings have really gotten out of hand. There is a reason smaller weddings are the new trend. We wanted our wedding to be about us! We hand selected the people that shaped our relationship and made us the people we are today and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My second piece of advice is getting an amazing photographer. There are some things on a wedding I would say skimp on, a photographer is not one of those. For my husband and I, our pictures were the most important thing, so finding a great photographer was at the top of our list. Lastly, relax… remember you are doing this because you love each other. Have fun with it!”

Special thanks to…