Real Wedding – Katarina & Karl, Dromana VIC
Kat and Karl took wedding planning in their stride, effortlessly engineering a glamorously relaxed, chic celebration. Choosing to focus on the elements most important to them made for a soiree full of fun and packed with style.
Top of Kat’s list was a custom gown that ticked all her boxes, and we can’t help but applaud her choice in Luci de Bella. Luci designed a beautifully striking creation, blending sleek style with wisps of romance in a luminous look that had all jaws dropping as Kat stepped down the aisle.
Inspired by Kat’s love of autumn tones, the theme incorporated bouquets of dried natives in hues of dusky peach and soft sage with accents of burnt lemon, contrasting perfectly against the deep rust gowns worn by Kat’s girl gang.
Stillwater at Crittenden Estate provided a lush green backdrop for their guests to dance the night away, while Kat and Karl snuck away into the sunset to create some truly incredible images by Tribe talent Vanessa Norris.
We met in April 2015, at a Hoo Haa Bar on Chapel Street, Melbourne. We were both at the bar ordering a drink, and we started chatting. We talked a bit during the night and exchanged numbers from there.
Neither of us really have a defining moment when we knew this, but there was a strong connection from the beginning, and we moved in together after six months. It was kind of all in from there!
We organised a trip to Mackay, Queensland, to visit Karl’s brother and his wife, who just had their first baby. We thought we would visit them and then spend a few days in Hamilton Island.
When we were planning what to do while in Hamilton Island, we both said we wanted to do a day trip to Whitehaven beach. Karl said he would organise the tickets for the day tour by boat.
The morning we were going to Whitehaven Beach we were waiting out the front of the hotel for the shuttle bus to take us to the ferry, and a little van pulls up with Hamilton Island Air on the side. Karl turns to me and says “oh, did I say we were going on a boat? Because we are actually going on a helicopter.”
So, we drove to the Hamilton Island airport and got on a private helicopter to Whitehaven Beach. When we arrived, we were given a picnic blanket and some food and champagne by the pilot, and we set ourselves up.
We decided to go for a swim, then came back and sat down to enjoy some food. The next thing we know it starts pouring with rain, it was full-on sideways rain, we couldn’t even open our eyes it was raining so hard. We just sat there laughing and waited for it to pass, lucky it passed quickly.
Next thing I know Karl is on one knee asking me to marry him. I said YES before he even had a chance to open the box!
I’m a very organised person and have worked in events before, so I wasn’t really stressed about planning.
We started by figuring out the vibe we wanted for our wedding, which was relaxed & fun. We then worked on a budget and guest list, and then I just wrote lists of everything else we needed/wanted and went from there. We pulled out the three or four things that we thought were most important for the day; food, alcohol, music & my dress.
Once we locked in the venue, everything moved quickly because I am a pretty decisive person.
I have always loved autumn colours; burnt orange and rust, so I knew I wanted to incorporate these. Also, the grounds at Stillwater are really green and lush, so I thought the rust and peach colours would contrast nicely.
I loved the dried flowers style and wanted to keep everything else simple and relaxed.
I went to lots of different bridal shops and tried on heaps of dresses, but nothing really stood out to me. I always liked the square neckline and had this in my head, but there weren’t many options for this neckline available.
When I met with Luci, I told her what I was looking for; square neckline, simple style of dress, shows my shape but allows me to be relaxed and enjoy my night. She sketched my dress out, and I knew that was it!
The best thing about custom gowns is you can add and change things throughout the process. Originally my dress was going to be completely plain, but then I decided at one of my fittings that I wanted to add a bit of beading on the back. We incorporated this in, and I’m so glad we did.
I also never saw myself wearing a veil, so I opted for really delicate wings which I loved!
It was really special to have one of our good friends officiate our wedding; it just made it all the more meaningful to have someone who knows us very well play that role.
The entire day was so amazing for us because we had all the people we loved in one room, people who travelled from all over the world to be with us on our big day.
Meaning of marriage.
For us, it’s about being a team. We love each other and get on each other’s nerves sometimes, but we are committed and excited about sharing our lives and what’s to come.
Aisle: Beyond by Leon Bridges
Reception entry: When a Fire Starts to Burn by Disclosure
First Dance: I’ll Name the Dogs by Blake Shelton
Funny stories or near disasters.
Not really, the only thing was the week leading up to the wedding we had planned to just relax and spend time with some of our guests that had travelled. But, it turned out to be the week our apartment renovations were finishing, so we spent the week moving everything back into our place and cleaning!
Words of wisdom.
Firstly, focus on what is important to you guys as a couple; it’s easy to get caught up and overwhelmed with all the options out there.
Second, enjoy the planning process, it’s half the fun! The day goes by so quickly, so be sure to cherish the moments of planning along the way.
Love Kat’s stunning Luci Di Bella gown? We sat down with Luci to explore her design ethos and process, as well as sneak a peak at her captivating creations! We’ve captured it all for you on the blog.
KAT & KARL’S VENDORS
Ceremony and reception venue: Stillwater at Crittenden Estate
Celebrant/Officiant: We actually got legally married a few weeks before our wedding day by Danielle Binaisse, just at her house with only our parents. We did this because we have a very close friend of ours, Rick, who lives in America who we wanted to officiate the wedding. He is legally allowed to marry people in the United States, but it doesn’t transfer to Australia, so we needed to have someone to help with the legalities. It made the day all the more special having one of our closest friends officiate our wedding.
Photography: Vanessa Norris was amazing. She made us feel so easy and comfortable the whole day while capturing the most beautiful photos.
Videography: Cyan Wolves – Scott Barker.
Florist: Hello Blossoms
Hair: Hair by Karla
Make-up: Isabella Quinn Makeup
The dress and veil: Luci Di Bella. I never thought I would have had a custom wedding dress, but it was the best experience, and I can’t imagine doing it any other way. The team at Luci di Bella are amazing, so easy going and accommodating, and they created the most amazing dress for me! I highly recommend them for any bride wanting a custom gown!
Shoes: Naked Vice
Rings: Simon West Fine Jewellery. Karl designed my ring with Simon West, and it is absolutely stunning. He is an amazing jeweller and thinks about every little detail; how the ring will look on its own as well as with a wedding band.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Born to be Chic
Groomsmen’s suits: MJ Bale
Catering: Stillwater at Crittenden Estate did all the food, which was just amazing. The chefs there are incredible!
Bar: Stillwater at Crittenden Estate offered their incredible wines plus we had two cocktails: Mojitos and Aperol Spritz.
Cake: I did a cheese tower instead of cake, which was done by Cornelius Cheese.
Stationery / Signage: I did all the stationery and signage myself, including invitations, name cards, menus, welcome signs, thank you cards etc.
Entertainment: Johnny Wonderpants Band
Transport: My husband drove himself and the boys to the wedding in his Jeep. I was already there as I stayed in the Lakeside Villa’s the night before and we stayed there the night of the wedding as well.
Honeymoon: We actually did our Honeymoon pre-wedding in October 2019, we went to Israel and Egypt for three weeks!