Bride and Groom: Dusanka and Sandro
Gown Designer: Lee Petra Grebenau
Planning & Styling: Kailey Kirk Events and Weddings
Venue: The Lagoon Seafood Restaurant
Photography: Image Haus Weddings
Floral: Pepes Garden
How would you describe your wedding vision?
We both wanted everything to be very traditional, elegant, simple and to reflect our easygoing personalities as well as our Mediterranean roots.
What was the highlight of your day?
The highlight of the day was probably the ceremony. I’ve never felt so much excitement, happiness and peace all at once. I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time and every time I looked at Sandro I felt happy tears coming on. It was also the only part of the day which didn’t fly by even though for us, it only felt like the hour long ceremony went for only 10 minutes.
The highlight of the night was our first dance. I felt like we were the only ones in the room, so I let all the happy tears out and once again time stood still.
When did you know your Lee Grebenau gown was 'the one’?
My gown was actually very similar to what I first envisioned myself wearing on my wedding day, but after trying on similar styles at other boutiques I became very disheartened and worried that strapless would not suit me... so I started looking for dresses with straps.
I saw a dress on Lee’s Instagram that I thought could work for me and tracked it down only to find out Helen had it in store for her upcoming Lee Grebenau Trunk Show.
As soon as I stepped into the boutique and had a little look around my eyes were instantly drawn to a stunning leaf embroidered gown. It stood out amongst the rest, but it wasn’t the one I came in for. And it was strapless. I quickly overlooked it, thinking that would never look good on me. Helen persuaded me to try it on alongside one other Lee gown with arm cuffs.
They were both stunning and very similar in shape but the embroidery of my chosen dress was just mesmerising.
I actually wasn’t very happy with the way I looked on the day of my appointment... I was a little bit heavier than normal and I felt very bloated, yet despite everything I still felt amazing in the Lee Grebenau gown. I remember thinking “if I feel this good, in this dress, when I feel like I’m at my worst, I can’t wait to see how I’ll feel on the best day of my life”.
Helen was absolutely amazing during the entire process and helped so much in keeping me sane ( especially because I lost a little bit of weight for a gown made to my old measurements).
The fittings were always such a great experience and Helen was always very accommodating, even though I was almost always running late to appointments.
I loved the arm cuffs so I had some custom made and we also added a few extra details which made my dress completely unique to me and complete with all the features that I originally wanted but thought I couldn’t have. It was better than what I hoped for. I constantly had happy tears. Even though the dress was well over my budget, I felt such a huge relief after locking it in. And as soon as I found my dress everything just fell into place.
The dress actually ended up inspiring the design of all our stationery as well as the venue decor. Our stylist used a lot of olive beaches and eucalyptus leaves to match the pattern of the dress as well as pay homage to our Mediterranean and Australian ties.
Your photography is stunning. How did you go about selecting your wedding suppliers?
The photographer I originally wanted to book in was already booked, so I was completely lost and I couldn’t find someone that compared because I really wanted something with an editorial yet candid feel. I went to expos, bought countless magazines, googled, searched Instagram, but I didn’t have much luck.
Henryk (our photographer) actually found me. He messaged me via Instagram and as soon as I saw his work I fell in love. After we met with him in person (and hung out for a few hours) we knew we didn’t need to look any further.
All the ‘big’ suppliers were easy to find because we knew what kind of wedding we were going to have. A local Traditional Orthodox wedding with live ex-Yugoslavian rock music.
I really struggled finding vendors within our budget because I’m a sucker for good marketing so I ended up hiring Kailey Kirk to help out and coordinate... three months before the wedding. She literally saved the day, a few times over.
What advise would you give future brides to be?
Forget the budget when it comes to the dress. Once you find a dress and you’re confident in it, everything else will fall into place. Remain optimistic, try your best to be easygoing and trust your designer, but also be very clear about what you want and what is most important to you.
When it came to finding your wedding gown where did you start?
I was about 17 when I first came across Helen’s boutique. I became obsessed with Israeli designers thanks to Pinterest and Helen’s was the only store that stocked them. I contacted Helen as soon as I got engaged but the Inbal Dror dress I was interested wasn’t in store. I then went to one other trunk show which was really disappointing and decided I might be better off getting my dress made. I even made an appointment to see a designer, and in the meanwhile I accidentally discovered that Helen had Lee Grebenau dresses in for a trunk show. I actually came in with no intention of buying a dress because I was so disappointed the last time. I was just hoping to find a neckline and silhouette that worked for me.