Monday, September 30, 2013

Couture Collective #8 Helena Karkovic of Helena Couture Designs

Meet Helena Karkovic, Queensland wedding gown designer ...

Helena Karkovic
Label: Helena Couture Designs

The primary school playground was a hotbed of fashion inspiration for budding young designer Helena Karkovic.“I always had an eye for fashion, what I wanted to wear, and analysed people’s wardrobes - what they were wearing, how they were wearing it, whether it suited them” she reveals. “That hasn’t changed, it’s only intensified with time and experience.” Pictured here in her studio and also on location at a sumptuous Helena Couture photo shoot, this Gold Coast-based designer is always looking for a fresh challenge, and in her element when surrounded by beautiful fabrics, sparkling crystals and fine feathers.

Your label in three words?
Timeless, Elegance, Individual

Are there any key trends which have come through in your latest collection?
Texture, Layers, Recycling (using the bride’s mother or grandmothers lace on the bride’s gown), Use of more lace and lace sleeves, Revitalising the fashions from the 1920’s-1960’s.

As a designer are you meticulously organised, a chaotic creative or free-thinking?
I am meticulous in all aspects from design, detail, customer satisfaction, making sure the design is flattering, the fit perfect, the look , detail, everything.

You are inspired by ...
Many things inspire me, but they usually always involve the environment around me at the time. I find life inspiring ... movies, music, fabric/materials, people, places, events.

Your best advice to girls looking for their dream gown?
This is going to be one of the most important days of your life – don’t ruin it with cheap imitations purchased over the internet – too many girls have wasted their money doing this, only to have to throw the gown away and still purchase something in Australia, or spend many hours and money trying to fix it.There are designers and bridal shops/boutiques catering for all price tags from budget to high end. Let us spoil you, while also giving you the wedding gown you deserve.

Fabric, embellishment and structure - if you could only choose two, what would they be?
I need three – lace, sparkle and feathers.

In your workroom we would always find ...
Music – can’t live or work as effectively without it.

What is your vision for your label in the future?
To continue to push myself to create elegant, innovative, feminine bridal gowns that will evoke beautiful emotions in not only the bride, but everyone who sees her in her gown, that will be remembered forever.

Get to know Helena Couture Designs
In Person
Phone 07 5529 4203

Over the web

Check out Queensland Brides at and Twitter. Get the latest issue here.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Queensland Brides Top Pin!

Cakes by Judy C; Image courtesy of TWK Studios
This cake looks beyond delicious. It's no wonder that this image is one of our most pinned images on Pinterest. This cake, a simple three-tier confection, is topped off by delicious chocolate covered strawberries - with adorable references to the bride and groom. Head over to Cakes by Judy C to get your own wedding cake of deliciousness ... oh dear, now we're craving chocolate.

Find this image on Pinterest
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Real Life Weddings Galore!

Every week we receive real life wedding submissions. QB loves reading all of the stories and anecdotes, and of course checking out the beautiful pictures we are give.

Here's a little snippet of this week's couples ...

Milque Photography & Films
James & Sarah
What Made the Wedding Uniquely 'Ours'
"The reception was stunning: we overlooked the Story Bridge and Brisbane River. We had a beautiful crystal tree and an amazing glowing bar. We also had a unique desert which was honeycomb cooked in nitrogen which brought lots of laughter to our guests." 

Photography by Toby Kroner
"We had headed to Airlie Beach for a weekend, and I had booked us dinner at a lovely restaurant. I was ready and waiting on the balcony for Jay, just staring out over the water. I noticed he was taking along time, and the taxi would be there soon to pick us up, so I was getting quite annoyed. I turned around to go and tell him to hurry up, and he was behind me on one knee, with my ring." 

Cassandra Ladru Photography
Steve & Aleisha
"We incorporated a lot of burlap into our wedding. We made our place cards which were burlap shaped into love hearts. Was so excited planning the wedding as it meant I had a good excuse to spend all of my free time on Etsy!!" 

Dreamlife Photos and Video
How Jamie and Hayley Met
"We met at an indoor sports centre where I played netball and Jamie played cricket. He then joined a netball team. One week his team versed mine, and Jamie 'accidentally' ran (literally) into me. It continued from there."

Steven & Candice
Special Memory
"While we ladies were being pampered there was a knock on the door. We opened it to find the biggest and most beautiful bouquet of white lilies I have ever seen from Steven, with a card that read, 'I cant wait to see you this afternoon xx.'"

Check out Queensland Brides at, Facebook and Twitter. Get the latest issue here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Your Proposals

From the wedding of Brenton & Rachael - Focus Films

Who says guys aren't romantic (or organised)? We love the creativity and forethought of these perfect proposals. See more real life wedding stories here.

Focus Films

Mark & Michelle
Mark surprised me with a six-week holiday to America for my birthday. We travelled the east and west coast of the USA and on our very last night in New York, Mark proposed. We went out for dinner and on return to our 40th floor apartment overlooking the spectacular view of New York City, Mark asked me to be his wife.

Michelle & Mark, wedding at Ebb Waterfront Restaurant, Maroochydore.


Studio Impressions Photography

Chloe & Jonathan
Jonathan picked me up from work, handed me a red rose, drove me home and told me to get ready because we were going to our favourite restaurant, Fratellinis. We got to Sunshine Beach and he drove straight past the restaurant, heading towards the beach!

We arrived at the beach around 6pm. Jonathan led me down the long path, and halfway down lit a small lantern. As we rounded the corner they continued all the way down, and when we arrived at the beach I looked to the left and there was a path of about 200 lanterns!They all led up to a giant love heart which was on a gentle slope facing us – it looked amazing.We walked into the middle of the love heart, where he asked me to marry him and presented me with my dream engagement ring – which I couldn’t even see at the time because it was so dark!

We then really did go out to dinner to Fratellinis where a bottle of vintage Champagne was waiting, before heading to my parents where both our families were waiting to congratulate us. It was a perfect, thoughtful and romantic proposal.

Chloe & Jonathan, wedding at Moda Events PortsideBrisbane


Andrea Thompson Photography

Heidi & Stuart
We were living in London and just a week away from our ten-year anniversary. Stu managed to get us a reservation (he refuses to tell me how) for the member’s only restaurant at the top of 30 St Mary Axe, the building famously known as ‘The Gherkin’.

He got down on bended knee and proposed over dinner.The view of London from the restaurant was simply magic, but I’m pretty sure I spent more time admiring my new ring.

Heidi & Stuart, wedding at Clovelly Estate, Maleny.


Andrew Rankin Photography

Danielle & Rohan
Rohan and I share a passion for fine food and wine, so he organised a break for us both in the Margaret River region at a secluded retreat ... Rohan had pre-arranged for us both to be pampered in front of the fireplace and then told me to get dressed for a special evening. I said – I haven’t got anything warm enough to wear that looks good!! He told me not to worry and picked out a dress from my suitcase. So I curled my hair, put on a touch of red lippy and walked out into the dining room when I was met in our kitchen by a private chef! I couldn’t believe it. I really felt famous.

Our chef cooked us a divine three-course meal and we drank wine we had collected at our earlier wine tastings.We just couldn’t stop smiling at each other and I remember thinking, this has been the most perfect day of my life – if he doesn’t propose now, I am doomed! No, there was no ring hidden in my pavlova (believe me, I checked). But, after we said goodbye to our chef, Rohan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes and we both had tears of happiness.

Danielle & Rohan, wedding at Cluden Park Racecourse, Townsville.


Calli B Photography

Natalie & Ryan
Ryan proposed under the Eiffel Tower during a holiday in Paris. It was one of the best days of my life. It was during the light show and we went to the Moulin Rouge afterwards. What an amazing day/night.

Natalie & Ryan, married at Ocean View Estates, Mt Mee.


Studio Impressions Photography

Alex and Edward
Edward and I went away to New Zealand skiing.We were coming down a remote trail, there was no-one else around, and Ed asked to stop near a sign to take a picture.We took our skis off and as I sat in the snow he pulled a mini bottle of Champagne and cups from his jacket. Once he had poured our drinks he took out a ring and asked me to marry him.

Alex and Edward, wedding at qualia, Whitsundays.


Studio Impressions Photography

Wai Leong & Hayley
It was following a 12-course degustation meal at French restaurant Caprice in Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Hotel, overlooking the harbour. We were walking home and Leo asked me to stop so he could take a photo and pulled the ring (my dream ring!) out of his camera case. He got down on one knee and asked me ...

Wai Leong & Hayley, wedding at Restaurant II, Brisbane.


Studio Impressions Photography

Karina & Iman
(From the groom) I had a gourmet picnic organised at O’Reilly’s, where we found a cosy spot by the creek to put down a rug and enjoy a lovely meal. I disappeared into the guest house to get our dessert, and returned with an antique 1940s Colclough China tea cup trio filled with spray roses (roses being the bride’s favourite flower) on a tray, and the ring. I then went down on one knee, with the bride-to-be already shaking, and asked the question – to which she readily said YES. Our daughter Grace (two at the time), giggling in the background, was our witness on the day.

Karina & Iman, wedding at Maleny Manor.


Yoori Rose Photography

Erin & Adam
Lunch at Versace, followed by a gondola ride, helicopter ride, then a limo ride to Q1 where a gentleman took us up to the 70th floor and opened a sub penthouse door where all my friends and family were standing. He then walked me down a red carpet while our song (Finally Found Someone) was playing, got on one knee and asked me to marry him.We then celebrated all night.

Check out Queensland Brides at, Facebook and Twitter. Get the latest issue here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Couture Collective #7 Jack Sullivan of Jack Sullivan Bridal

Meet Jack Sullivan, Queensland wedding gown designer ...

Jack Sullivan
Label: Jack Sullivan Bridal

With his eponymous label turning out several collections of gorgeous, wearable gowns and growing “quicker than I could have imagined” Jack Sullivan certainly has been one to watch. With his signature good humour, keen sense of adventure and a natural sense of style, Jack says he was never going to end up with “a normal job”.With overseas markets beckoning, Jack’s vision for the future is to see the label grow even further in the UK as well as in Europe, New Zealand and of course, Australia. So we don’t see this young gun settling down behind a desk anytime soon!

You label in three words?
Fun. Elegant. Unique.

What are the key trends in your latest collection?
I have used the 50s Glamour as inspiration for this collection.Trends that seem to be popular are ‘waisted’ gowns and slightly rising neck lines. Lace is still very popular and in great demand.

As a designer are you meticulously organised, a chaotic creative or free-thinking?
As a designer and as a person, I am VERY chaotic, which was probably why I wasn’t the best student at school. Whether it is a conversation or an email or working on gowns, I am often going off on tangents and don’t stay on the same task for more than 15- 20 minutes. Often when I am working on a new collection I will have two mannequins with two different gowns next to each other and change from one to the other. 

Choose your muse (either real or fictional) ...
I couldn’t really choose just one ... probably Audrey Hepburn, Miranda Kerr or Megan Gale.

Your favourite designer?
I have a lot of designers I love, but if I had to pick one I would say Mugatu – I loved his Derelicte Collection.

Your best advice to girls looking for their dream gown? I have two pieces of advice ...
Go in with an open mind, whilst you might not like strapless or a full skirt or lace for instance. At Least try one on, so you can confirm that you don’t like it once on.

Don’t buy your gown online from websites!! Every week I talk to brides (often in tears) who thought they were buying a designer wedding gown for $80 when they are normally $2000. If it seems too good to be true – it is! Most of these sites have just stolen images from legitimate companies.

Fabric, structure & embellishment. If you could only choose two, what would they be? 
Fabric and structure.

A lot of my earlier gowns that were popular had very little embellishment or none at all. Without good structure or fabric you are fighting a losing battle. I compare it to chefs that aren’t cooking with fresh ingredients, the results can only be so good if you are using poor materials.

In your workroom we will always find ...
I will pretty much always have music in my workroom, I suppose it comes back to what I was saying before about having a chaotic personality, I will always have distractions and something else going on. Most importantly in my workroom there is always a vodka, lime and soda. 

Get to know Jack Sullivan Bridal
In person
Queensland Stockist: Brides Desire
31 Vulture St (Cnr Paris & Vulture St)
West End, QLD, 4101
Phone 07 3846 7077

On the web

Check out Queensland Brides at and Twitter. Get the latest issue here.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Real Life Wedding in the City : Megan & Carl

This week is all about city weddings, so of course we would share a stunning city-based real life wedding with you. 

Meet Carl Marshall and Megan McGarry who were married earlier this year in Brisbane's CBD. Their classically elegant wedding has us swooning! 

The Couple
Carl Marshall and Megan McGarry 

Saturday, 6 April, 2013 
No. of Guests: 
First Dance Song: 
Adele - One and Only 
Classically Elegant & Modern Traditionalist 
Hen's & Buck's: 
Weekend at Q1, Gold Coast and Bridal Shower at Alfred and Constance 
Phuket, Thailand

How Carl and Megan Met 
We met while both working at Brisbane Grammar School. Carl noticed me on my first day, however took a few weeks to figure out how to be introduced to me. I was immediately impressed by his humour as I love people who make me laugh. We struck up a friendship immediately and after several emails and flirty looks as we passed by each other, Carl asked me out. Our first date was not your typical date as it was held in the school gym. Carl set up three stations and laid out the rules that the loser had to buy dinner. Having taken the lead in the rugby throwing game I was confident I was going to get a free dinner. Unfortunately, I was taken out in the badminton and basketball game and ended up paying for our first meal. 

On our first night together in New York City, we celebrated by going to a fancy restaurant followed by the Observation deck at the Rockefeller Centre. While admiring the amazing view of the city that never sleeps, I turned around to find Carl on one knee holding out a ring. He asked me to marry me and I screamed and jumped up and down with excitement. We then spent the next three weeks travelling through Europe and Asia on an engagement-moon. 

What Made the Wedding Uniquely 'Ours' 
A unique combination of class and elegance which was provided by the venue along with the candy buffet which bought out the inner-child in everyone. 

With the help of the wonderful women at work, we made all the stationary ourselves. Having realised how quickly costs were adding up, we wanted to do as many things as we could to bring costs down. We also ordered green apple candles from America which we pinned with our guests names that served as the place cards. 

Don't compare your wedding to someone else's. Do what makes you both happy and make time for each other during the ceremony. 

Special Thanks 
The staff at Customs House, our parents, friends and family.


// Ceremony: Cathedral of St Stephen's // Reception: Customs House // Wedding Gown: Pronovias, White Lily // Bridemaid's Dresses: Truese gowns, Eve Boutique // Groom's Suit: Bespoke tailored suit from John Harris Menswear // Groomsmen's Suits: Tailored suits from John Harris Menswear // Coordinator: Melanie Leach // Makeup: The Makeup Room // Cake: Allmixedup Cakes // Transport: Royale Limosuines // Music & Entertainment: BrisCity DJ's // Photographer: Chris Hall, Wanderkin Photography // Videographer: One Day In Mind // Celebrant: Father Anthony Mellor // Wedding Rings: Stones // Engagement Ring: Stones //
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