Anita - A Real Bride Story

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Anita’s Story

Bride & Groom: Anita & Robert
Gown: Elie Saab Bridal
Veil: Helen Rodrigues
Earrings: Keren Wolf from Helen Rodrigues Bridal
Venue: Ottimo House, Denham Court

The first time Anita stepped into the Helen Rodrigues boutique was to help her sister (another Helen Rodrigues bride) choose her gown, a whole year before she was to come back to find her own dream gown. Having ‘very fond’ memories of coming to Helen Rodrigues Bridal with her sister, she knew this should be her first stop.

Although Anita had originally envisioned herself on her special day in ‘a plain, silk number’, when she saw the intricate lace Elie Saab gown on the Helen Rodrigues Bridal website, she knew she had to try it on.

Anita had gone into her first appointment with Helen thinking she’d be going to lots of other boutiques to find her dream gown. This was until she put on her guipure lace winged sleeved gown and she just ‘knew it was the one’. It was hard for Anita to even consider any other gown for her wedding day.

Anita’s relaxed attitude in the lead up to the wedding really shone through on the big day itself, with both bride and groom enjoying every minute of the laid back and fun day.

It was a beautiful mid-June winter’s day and Anita felt so blessed to be surrounded by her friends and family to celebrate the newlyweds love for each other. She ‘loved absolutely everything’ about the wedding.

Anita admits, it didn’t hurt that on the morning of the wedding that she got to put on a stunningly designed gown by Elie Saab to spend the whole day in, something she never imagined possible.

Being open minded is the biggest piece of advice Anita could give other brides going into planning their special days. So many aspects of the day ended up being ‘the exact opposite’ of what she had originally thought – her gown, bridesmaid dresses and the flow girl outfits too. Keeping an open mind definitely means that you do not close yourself off to anything and perhaps missing ‘the one’.

In her own words Anita advises to ‘have fun and remember your wedding is the start of a lifelong commitment and journey’.

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Mia - A Real Bride Story

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Mia’s Story

Who: Mia & Phillip
Gown: Monique Lhuillier ‘Portia’
Veil: Peter Langner ‘Rossini’ from Helen Rodrigues
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Venue: Sergents Mess, Chowder Bay
Flowers: Kindred Floral

Staying true to their personal style and staying away from the current wedding trends, while incorporating some beautiful and fun modern details, made for a truly gorgeous, elegant and classic wedding for Mia and Phillip.

Mia came to Helen Rodrigues with a clear vision of what she wanted for her dream gown. She had loved the look of Monqiue Lhuillier’s classic yet modern ‘Portia’ gown since she began the search for ‘the one’.

Upon arriving at the boutique for her first appointment, Mia felt so special and loved the personal one-on-one session without having to share the space with any other brides. Mia felt a mix of excitement to try on the gorgeous Portia gown, as well as some nerves in case she didn’t love the gown as much as she thought.

However it “was obvious it was perfect” and she “did not need to look anymore”. Portia was everything she “had ever dreamed of” for her wedding gown – “elegant, classic and timeless with a touch of modern”. Teamed with a stunning Italian trimmed double veil by Peter Langner, Mia’s look was complete!

Monique was the clear designer for Mia and she loved the way Monique manages to portray, in such an elegant way, the feminine form and her timeless designs, especially for a petite bride like Mia. Monique Lhuillier really does design with the petite bride in mind – ensuring they feel gorgeous and womanly on their special day, without being overwhelmed by fabric.

On the special day itself, Mia and Phillip both exuded calm and this fed through to the day running very smoothly and both bride and groom enjoying themselves. They were both “surrounded by love and happiness” all day.

Mia was blown away by the stunning diamond drop earring her parents gifted her on the morning of the wedding and she was so excited to wear them and what a stunning addition to her already flawless wedding day attire.

As Mia walked down the isle at her family’s church, Saint Gerasimos, towards Phillip she was, once again, “blown away” by how stylish and handsome Phillip looked. She adored his Christian Louboutin loafers he chose after finding out Mia had a pair of her own red soles for the day. Phillip wanted them to be “sole mates”.

As the newlyweds entered the reception at Sergents Mess, Mia’s breath was taken away at how “stunning” the flowers were, styled by Kindred Floral.

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As the formalities began to wind down, the dance floor started to heat up with all the guests joining in the traditional Greek dancing, enjoyed by all.

What topped off the already incredibly special day for Mia was that her Grandfather was able to attend and stayed all night. This was a “miracle” and a memory both Mia and Phillip will cherish for the rest of their lives.

On planning their special day, Mia and Phillip were determined to stay true to their personal styles and incorporated their classic tastes through the day. This was a huge consideration for Mia when choosing her dream gown and felt that it encapsulated the vision for the day. One thing Mia was very sure on is that she wanted her husband-to-be to recognise her when she walked down the isle towards him, as well as being comfortable on the day so she could enjoy all the dancing at the reception!

In Mia’s own words about her Helen Rodrigues experience

“Helen and her team were kind, patient, and very honest with their advice during my dress selection and fitting process. My family and I appreciate this immensely. I never felt rushed or pressured to make a decisions and nothing was too much of an effort for them. It was the most outstanding experience I could have ever asked for.”

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Tiarne - A Real Bride Story

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Tiarne’s Story

Who: Tiarne & Daniel
When: 13 May, 2018
Where: Villa San Giacomo in Positano, Italy.
Dress: Inbal Dror from Helen Rodrigues Bridal
Accessories: Keren Wolf from Helen Rodrigues Bridal
Photography: Kreativ Weddings

Some weddings absolutely take your breath away and our beautiful HR Bride Tiarne’s wedding in Positano, Italy certainly did that. Tiarne wore a beautiful, custom fitted Inbal Dror gown from Helen Rodrigues.

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Tiarne explains on The Lane, ‘Traditional, with a touch of glamour were my key points finding my look. I think everyone expected me to wear a fitted gown with an open back, so again I wanted to do something different. I also ended up changing into a fun second outfit which was a feather skirt & embellished top both by Aje. I left my accessories on and ballet flats as they worked well with the white outfit, then danced the night away!’

When it came to Tiarne’s choice of accessories, the beautiful bride selected earrings and a custom-made head band both by Keren Wolf, who Inbal Dror used for her accessories on the runway and are available here.

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Read the full feature on The Lane here.

Peta - A Real Bride Story

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Peta's Story

Who: Peta & Charlie
When: 7 April, 2018
Where: Anambah House, Anambah (Doltone House, Anambah)
Dress: Livne White from Helen Rodrigues Bridal
Accessories: Keren Wolf from Helen Rodrigues Bridal

Feeling like a movie star, a Pinterest vision come to life and a gown fit for a princess by a dream designer. 

From the moment Peta and her maid of honour walked into the Helen Rodrigues showroom, she knew her gown was waiting for her. She knew ‘the one’ was in here.

It was a dream come true for Peta to have her wedding gown designed by the extremely talented Alon Livne. It was love at first sight when she put on ‘the one’, stepping out of the fitting room feeling like a princess.

“It was very surreal. Excited and nervous at the same time! I remember it like it was yesterday, I walked out of the dressing room and Bec (my Maid of Honour) started tearing up. We knew I’d found the one!”

Peta’s wedding was everything she could have dreamed and more in April at her parent’s property in a purpose built, incredibly glam barn at Anambah House, Hunter Valley. All of her dream gown wishes had come true with her fully beaded Alon Livne ‘Kate’ gown and now her Pinterest vision had come to life on the wedding day.
 
The wedding was certainly not your average barn wedding with shimmering chandeliers, flowers artfully placed as far as the eye could see, beautifully draped fabric across the ceiling beams and the orchid-adored four tier wedding cake.

On the day itself, Peta was surprised by her fiancé, Charlie, with a gorgeous love note and pair of diamond earrings which was the most wonderful way to start her magical day.  
Peta took in every moment of the day from getting ready with the girls, sharing a very special moment with her Father tying is bow tie to seeing Charlie’s face as she walked down the isle and, of course, their first kiss as husband and wife!

Peta was so excited to walk into the reception in front of their families and friends as husband and wife and dancing the night away on the lawn under the glistening lights. 
Peta’s advice to brides who are starting out to find their dream gown is to not be afraid to try on shapes and styles you may not have thought of as “you will be surprised what looks amazing on you!”.

In Peta’s own words about her Helen Rodrigues experience; 
“Helen and her team were absolutely fantastic in the year leading up to my wedding. It always felt like they were part of my wedding team. Always happy to help - from my shoes to my undergarments, no question was too much. Helen went above and beyond and treated me as I were her only customer throughout the entire experience. The team are lovely, and the seamstress is a magician!! Not to mention, the best selection of high end gowns in Australia! A HUGE thank you - Could not have done it without you. Every bride must visit!!!”  

Photography by Mint Photography, Flowers by Susan Avery and Nicholas Haywood Jewellery

 

Sami - A Real Bride Story

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Sami’s story

Who: Sami & Stephen
When: 3 March, 2017
Where: Centennial Vineyards, Bowral
Dress: Inbal Dror from Helen Rodrigues Bridal

Many brides have the idea of getting their wedding dress designed especially for them in a desire to have something unique, personal and very special. But like our real bride Sami found when she walked into Helen Rodrigues, the reality is that the incredible gown of your dreams is probably already out there and just waiting for you to try it on.

“Initially I wanted to get something made, so I met with a designer and the first piece of advice she gave me was, go try some dresses on and come back to me!” says Sami. “So I made an appointment at Helen Rodrigues, which was the first and last bridal shop I went to! I instantly fell in love with all of their gowns and knew I would find my dream dress in there.”

She ended up selecting a divine gown from Israeli designer, Inbal Dror, after discovering her at Helen Rodrigues and becoming besotted with all her designs.

“There is something just a little bit different about her gowns, they aren’t your conventional ‘wedding dresses’ which is what I loved,” says the newlywed.

The style of gown Sami chose however was not something she would have picked herself had it not been for one of her friends.

“Like most brides, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to suit my shape, but surprisingly one of my bridesmaids actually picked the gown off the rack,” she says. “I was sure it wasn’t me, but as soon as I tried it on... I knew it was the one. I felt excited, emotional and a little relieved.”

After finding her dream gown, Sami then also found the process of having fittings and other dress preparations extremely enjoyable.

“The experience at Helen Rodrigues was seamless from start to finish and the team have a way of making you feel super special,” she says. “Nothing was too hard for them. I must say I do miss popping into the shop to see them.”

When the big day arrived Sami’s magical vineyard wedding was everything her and husband Stephen had dreamed of, with not even a little bit of rain dampening their spirits. Her favourite memories from the day include getting ready with the girls and her mum, putting her dress on, walking down the aisle, seeing Stephen for the first time and dancing the night away.

And when it comes to sharing tips for other brides-to-be looking to make their day perfect, Sami has two pieces of wisdom: 

“The first piece of advice is to make sure you try dresses on even if you think they might not necessarily suit you. The last is to make sure you have spent some time walking in your wedding shoes!”

All photography by Lara Hotz Photography

Louise - A Real Bride Story

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Louise’s story

Who: Louise & Zach
When: 6 October, 2016
Where: The Grounds of Alexandria, Sydney
Dress: Monique Lhuillier from Helen Rodrigues Bridal

The search for the perfect wedding gown can be long and tricky, but sometimes you can also get lucky – just like our gorgeous real bride Louise who ended up selecting the first gown she tried on at Helen Rodrigues.

“When I first stepped into the boutique I was excited! All the ladies were lovely and made me feel very comfortable,” says Louise, who then began her appointment by trying on a stunning Monique Lhuillier gown.

“I felt amazing...even though I had no idea what style of dress I wanted I knew straight away that it was perfect. Feminine, romantic and so elegant; and the lace detail, open back and silhouette was what I fell in love with,” she adds.

Louise then also found the experience of fittings with Helen Rodrigues a breeze in the lead up to the actual wedding.

“Any questions I had were answered. Appointments were made in advance which made the whole process seamless and stress free,” she says. “Staff were helpful and honest, and also helped with jewellery and veil ideas as I wasn’t sure what I wanted.”

And when preparations for a wedding come off without a hitch, it really does help to make the big day go smoothly as well.

“My favourite memory is the first time Zach and I saw each other,” says Louise. “The overall atmosphere of the day was magical.”

And even though Louise found her bridal gown straight away, her advice to other brides who are not sure what they want is to try on a few different styles, because you may be surprised once you have it on.

We’re so happy we could help Louise find her dream dress and hope her and Zach have a wonderful life together. 

All photography by: Lara Hotz Photography

Deanna - A Real Bride Story

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Deanna's Story

Who: Deanna & Alex
When: 26 November, 2016
Where: St Patrick’s Cathedral, East Melbourne; Australian-Croation Association, Footscray
Dress: Zuhair Murad from Helen Rodrigues Bridal

From watching her favourite designer, Zuhair Murad, on Fashion TV as a young girl; to wearing one of his beautiful gowns on her wedding day – for our real bride Deanna it was a dream come true.

“I love the transparent and ‘tattoo lace’ looks which are popular right now, but was amazed at how intricately detailed his gowns were when I finally saw them in real life,” says Deanna, who initially visited a few bridal stores in Melbourne before coming to the Helen Rodrigues boutique in Sydney.

“I had never seen so many so many designer gowns in one place and wished I had gone there first!” she says.

Deanna found her experience at Helen Rodrigues very different to other larger boutiques where there were multiple appointments at the same time and other brides looking at her. Helen Rodrigues only offers exclusive appointments and therefore she was the only bride in the boutique, so felt extremely comfortable and well looked after with the undivided attention of the staff.

“My mum was unable to accompany me dress shopping so I really appreciated Helen's guidance and trusted her as she is clearly experienced and excellent at what she does!” says Deanna. 
She knew she had found ‘the one’ when she tried it on and felt beautiful, confident and could visualise herself wearing it on her wedding day. Interestingly however, her gown was not the style she had originally set out to buy.

“I had my heart set on a long-sleeved gown, but when I tried them on they didn’t suit my arms,” she says. “The style you want is not necessarily the style which suits your body shape.  I'm glad I listened to Helen's advice and also my husband who also attended the appointment with me.”

Deanna’s other advice for other brides-to-be? “I would also recommend ensuring you are able to sit down in your dress (if it is a fitted style) at your fittings.”  

All photography by: Mark Dayman Photography

Emma - A Real Bride Story

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Emma's Story

Who: Emma & Jonathon
When: 25 February, 2017
Where: Dunbar House, Watsons Bay (Sydney)
Dress: Alon Livne from Helen Rodrigues Bridal

Planning a wedding can sometimes be stressful, which is why it was such a relief for our real bride Emma when she found organising her gown such a pleasant and comforting experience amidst her other wedding preparations.

“The ladies at Helen Rodrigues are all so lovely and so helpful. I really valued their honest opinion when I was trying dresses on,” says Emma, who admits she was very excited but also a little overwhelmed initially by all the beautiful dresses in the boutique and having to make a decision on just one.

The designer she ended up choosing was Alon Livne. “I had done research online to see which labels Helen had in store and Alon's dresses stood out for me,” she says. “The style of his dresses were perfect for my figure and I loved all the intricate details.”

Emma says she knew she’d found her dress when she tried it on. “It was just beautiful and unique to all the others that I'd tried on previously. I think it was the back of the dress that really sold me - it's just gorgeous,” she says.

And after selecting her perfect gown, Emma found the personal service and support from Helen’s team continued right up until the wedding.  

“When I had chosen my dress, the time the girls spent with me on alternations to make sure I was happy, was just amazing. They even helped me choose my wedding jewellery,” says Emma. “I also had a minor breakdown at one fitting from the stress of organising the wedding day and Helen was so calm and caring and helped cheer me up – time was never an issue,” she adds. 

Once the big day arrived however, it was of course the dream wedding that Emma and her husband had envisioned; with their first wedding dance and the happiness in the room at the ceremony and reception being among her favourite memories. 

“It was such a happy day,” says Emma, whose advice to other brides is not to get too stressed out. “The right dress is out there!”

All photography by: Sarah from GM Photographics