Monique Lhuillier

Julia - A Real Bride Story

0053LukeandJulia.jpg

Julia’s Story

Bride & Groom: Julia & Luke
Planning: Bride & Groom
Styling: Megan Morton
Gown: Monique Lhuillier
Venue: Public Dining Room, Balmoral, Sydney
Photography: Danelle Bohane
Florals: Saskia Havekes, Grandiflora

What was your vision for your wedding day?

When Luke and I talked about our future wedding we always knew we would get married on the anniversary of the day we met, so we were destined to have a winter wedding. We had spent 11 years celebrating that day rugged up in knitted blankets by open fires, champagne in hand, dining over long lunches or degustation dinners, surrounded by candles, tea-stained florals and moody palettes. Our vision was an extension of these ‘Wooly’ moments – we wanted to host a warm, intimate, relaxing, long Sunday lunch surrounded by our very nearest and dearest.

For your wedding day what drew you to your gown from Helen Rodrigues Bridal?

My only grandmother Betty owned a bridal boutique and made wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses with lots of hand-beading and lace appliqué. As a little girl I was obsessed with the hundreds of teardrop pearls, beads and jars of silk-covered buttons in her store. She made my mother’s wedding gown, my high school formal dress and all of my childhood pyjamas with beautiful hand-smocking details – all from hand-cut patterns she pinned on me with such care. Sadly, severe rheumatoid arthritis robbed her of her craft and passion far too young and sadder still, we lost her 5 years before our wedding. Needless to say, my dress was always going to be a special tribute to her and I was very touched when my father gifted this to me – such a treasured gesture of understanding and love.

My everyday style is feminine but with a touch of edginess, so I was after a timeless, classic look with a modern twist. In keeping with our intimate Sunday lunch reception, I wanted a dress that wasn’t too structured or formal, but still made me feel like a bride. My husband Luke has always loved my legs so when I laid eyes on Monique Lhuillier’s ‘Hartley’ Lace Dress and removable ‘Lana’ Ball Skirt complete with pockets and a split just for him, I instantly knew that was the one! It was romantic and pretty yet playful and simple. As luck would have it, Helen Rodrigues is Australia’s official stockist of ML and with Helen’s boutique in my neighbourhood I had walked past her stunning window displays many times during my relationship knowing that one day it would be my turn to step over that threshold!

0320 Luke and Julia.jpg

What was the highlight of your wedding day for you?

The absolute highlight was the indescribable feeling of love!

From the minute I opened my eyes and hotel room door that morning to be greeted by the warmest of hugs from my mama, to holding on to my dad’s arm for support as he walked with me down the jetty in my rose gold Sophia Webster ‘Chiara’ heels (another subtle tribute to my grandmother as she was obsessed with butterflies). From the look in Luke’s eyes when he saw me in my dress for the first time, to gazing into every single one of our guests’ souls during our ceremony. From speaking our rawest truth during our vows without fear or judgement, to hearing our talented friend play live the songs my now-husband had composed for me during our early years together. From dancing the night away on our floating dance floor with all of our favourite humans to all of our favourite songs, the love was all-enveloping, palpable, uplifting and existential. As our stylist Megan Morton said of the day, ‘Some Sundays are better than others’ and we couldn’t agree more.

Also, I couldn’t possibly not mention Mother Nature, who blessed us with the most perfect winter day. There has not been a blue sky I have lived under since where I am not reminded of and grateful for that memory!

Is there any advice you would give other #HRBride’s?

Be clear on what is most important to you and your partner and stay as true to that and yourselves as possible.  

Without prejudice, don’t be afraid to be selfish as this is your wedding day and your declaration of love as you wish to show and share it.

Make decisions together and share the journey – every high and every low – your day and memories of it will be richer for it.

Embrace your vulnerabilities. It’s empowering to be and show your true self.

And last but not least, finish writing your speech before the night before! I was still finding the ‘right’ words after midnight and with less than five hours sleep was not an ideal way to begin the biggest day of my life . ..

0251 Luke and Julia.jpg

‘With my mama based in Brisbane and breaking with tradition by not having a bridal party, Helen became my stand-in mum, bonus bridesmaid and fairy gownmother all in one!

Helen is so welcoming, warm, charming and generous and calmly took on the challenge with perfect ease and grace. I felt completely at ease, never alone and supported at every fitting. It was one of the least stressful parts of the whole wedding, it seemed too easy to be true, but it was!’ Julia #HRBride

16.07.17_4.jpg

Morana - A Real Bride Story

MoranaandNicholasWedding-378.jpg

Morana’s Story

Bride & Groom: Morana & Nicholas
Planning & Styling: I Heart Flowers (Zoe Webb)
Gown: Monique Lhuillier
Venue: Stones of Yarra Valley, Victoria
Photography: Chloe May
Floral: I Heart Flowers
Letter pressed invitations and stationery: I Heart Flowers
Video: Apertura
Music: TobiTobi
Rings: Cerrone

‘After arriving at Helen’s with preconceived ideas, Helen’s guidance resulted in an elegant combination of a Monique Lhuillier dress and Oscar de La Renta veil. Helen Rodrigues and her team were a breath of fresh air in what can be a whirlwind process. I found the team grounded, considered and patient, and am grateful for the memory I will cherish for a very long time’. Morana #HRBride

How did he propose? 

Atop a mountain in Queenstown, while heliskiing. It was just picturesque. I said yes!

 What was your vision for your wedding day?

The vision for the day was an intimate celebration with family and friends. Zoe Webb did a spectacular job at creating a lavish, yet natural and effortless, vibe. And there was something so warm and familial about dining at a single long table with our 35 guests. 

We had very few formalities (no MC, no first dance and only 2 speeches, which were given by Nicholas and I). Instead we kicked the night off with a champagne tower, enjoyed a delicious four-course dinner followed by four-courses of dessert, and danced the night away to Tobi Tobi and the very lively Opa! Serbian brass brand.

We also chose to marry interstate to allow for a getaway wedding that wasn’t a destination too far from home; and on a Thursday too, which gave us a long weekend with family and friends. Stones of the Yarra Valley, surrounded by vineyards and oak trees, provided a charming chapel, restaurant, and accommodation on the one property, all with a Tuscan-feel. It was the perfect destination.

Where did you look for your wedding inspiration?

Mostly Instagram.

For your wedding day what drew you to your gown from Helen Rodrigues Bridal?

I went to Helen to see a completely different dress, which wound up not feeling right when I tried it on. We tried on a few gowns before I noticed the one. My advice is to be open-minded and buy the dress that you feel fabulous in.

When did you know that your Monique Lhuillier gown was ‘the one’?

As soon as I put it on. As cliché as it sounds, it just felt right. I felt comfortable and beautiful. I loved every stitch on that dress.

What was your wedding planning journey like for you? How far out did you start planning?

We had a short – 3 month - engagement, which meant we had be very productive (and there was no time to stress). Zoe Webb (quite seriously, the wedding fairy of all wedding fairies!) was just amazing at making it all happen and quickly too – letter pressed invitations, stationery, styling and hiring, and flowers!

What was the biggest decision you had to make?

Containing a guest list to 35 people!

What was the highlight of your wedding day for you?

The ceremony, which was held in the charming chapel on the property. The moment I saw Nicholas and our closest family and friends, while Tobi Tobi played Can’t Help Falling in Love with you, was definitely my highlight.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Definitely not. It was in every way the most perfect day.

Is there any advice you would give other #HRBride’s?

Relax and enjoy your engagement. Planning the best day of your life should not be stressful.

MoranaandNicholasWedding-342.jpg





Mia - A Real Bride Story

Mia Ilias 18.jpg

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.

Mia Ilias 20.jpg

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.”

Mia Ilias 7.jpeg

Monique Lhuillier Trunk Show - 1st & 2nd July 2016

monique-lhuillier-blossom.jpg

Announcing the Monique Lhuillier Trunk Show on 1st & 2nd July 2016 in Sydney.

The trunk show includes gowns from Monique's latest collection. This stunning collection will be in Sydney only for 2 days!

Book your appointment to be part of this exclusive event and buy your dream Monique Lhuillier wedding gown. There is a $50 booking fee that includes personal advise from Helen and a glass of bubbles! Call Helen Rodrigues on 02 99045700 to make your appointment.

By appointment only
Date: 1st & 2nd July 2016
Where: Helen Rodrigues
Tel: 02 99045700