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Sun Studios Australia Wedding

Whimsical Weddings

Photos by:

Lara Hotz

If you’re anything like us, you fell madly in love with the dotted Valentino wedding dress that made the blog rounds a couple of years ago. Electra, the bride in today’s wedding, was lucky enough to have her mother volunteer to sew her dream dress, and the result is even better than we could have imagined. Captured by Lara Hotz, who will be in the U.S in June/July 2015 for anyone interested in booking her!

Sun Studios Australia wedding - photo by Lara Hotz

From the bride, Electra: We wanted it to feel like a mid-summer night’s BBQ at our place, surrounded by friends and family. We were going for a day that was colourful, vibrant, summer, relaxed.

bright wedding flowers - photo by Lara Hotz

wedding day fashion - photo by Lara Hotz

bride getting ready - photo by Lara Hotz

first looks - photo by Lara Hotz

first looks - photo by Lara Hotz

coral peony bouquet - photo by Lara Hotz
Flower recipe: Peonies, hydrangeas, pom-pom flowers, daisies, Arab eyes, and roses.

ceremony processional - photo by Lara Hotz

wedding ceremony - photo by Lara Hotz

wedding ceremony - photo by Lara Hotz

ceremony kiss - photo by Lara Hotz

We had lots of DIY projects: My mother made my dress; we went out to the flower markets and did all the flower arrangements including the table decorations, bride/bridesmaid’s bouquets and groom/groomsmen’s boutonnieres; James’ aunty made the wedding cake; we made our own bonbonnieres from my grandmother’s homemade jam and chutney recipes; I designed and printed the invitations; and we made the pom-poms for decorations.

Sun Studios Australia wedding - photo by Lara Hotz

dotted wedding dress - photo by Lara Hotz

Sun Studios Australia wedding - photo by Lara Hotz

wedding portrait ideas - photo by Lara Hotz

colorful centerpiece ideas - photo by Lara Hotz

modern wedding receptions - photo by Lara Hotz

modern wedding receptions - photo by Lara Hotz

When James asked me to marry him I spent the next two nights stressing about the dress as I am not one to ever wear white or put on an elegant gown (I’m a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl.) My mother who is not a seamstress by trade but has always made beautiful clothes (she made her own dress too) offered to make me a dress which I was very excited about but I had to find her a picture. One night at James’ mother’s house his sister-in-law suggested I look at a blog on colourful wedding dresses. It was seriously the first day I started looking and the first dress I saw was this amazing Valentino gown on a beautiful Italian bride. I loved how it was basically a very long t-shirt dress with a simple tie. I also loved how it looked like polka dots from a distance but it had hundreds of embroidered flowers sewn into the fabric. It took my Mum about 6 months to complete and it involved a lot of trial and error and hand sewing. I still can’t believe she made it for me and she has already cut it short so I can wear it again.

stylish wedding receptions - photo by Lara Hotz

wedding day portraits - photo by Lara Hotz

colorful centerpiece ideas - photo by Lara Hotz

Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Always listen to your Mothers (this goes for life as much as it does for weddings) and try to keep both mums happy. This usually means a lot of compromising but saves a LOT of hassle! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We had so much help from all our family members and friends from the decorations, the wedding cake and schlepping things across the city and we couldn’t have done it without them. If your mother is going to make your dress and she’s not a professional seamstress allow at least 6 months

modern reception ideas - photo by Lara Hotz

wedding centerpiece flowers - photo by Lara Hotz

reception inspiration - photo by Lara Hotz

indoor receptions - photo by Lara Hotz

elegant receptions - photo by Lara Hotz

cake cutting - photo by Lara Hotz

unique wedding cakes - photo by Lara Hotz

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Music:
Processional: “These Arms of Mine,” Otis Redding

Wedding Location: Alexandria, NSW, Australia / Photographer: Lara Hotz / Venue: Sun Studios Alexandria / Wedding Dress: Bride’s mother / Groom’s Suit: P Johnson Tailors / Caterer: The Cook and Baker / Wedding Cake: Groom’s aunt / Music: Glitch Jukebox / Celebrant: Nicky Solomon / Wedding Invitations: Bride

Art Gallery Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Design

Photos by:

We love a wedding in an unexpected venue, and we were delighted to hear that Lisa Marie of Sweet Tea Photography feels the same way! Drawn to the beauty of Old Town Alexandria’s Athenaeum art gallery, she recruited the talents of Emilie from Weddings and Events by Bliss to style a feminine wedding shoot for the romantic in all of us.

art gallery weddings

From Lisa Marie of Sweet Tea Photography: When envisioning the perfect southern wedding, I’m always brought back to Old Town Alexandria. From the cobble stone streets to the historic row homes, how can you not fall in love with this city? I’ve fortunately spent a couple years myself living in this quaint town and make a trip back at least once a week. I just can’t get enough of it. As the hometown to George Washington and the Civil War General Robert E. Lee, Alexandria attracts visitors from near and far to enjoy the historic views.

peach wedding invitations

bride pink columnsgroom pink columns

pink green wedding centerpieces

hanging escort cardsflower girl twirling

At the corner of Prince and Lee Street stands The Athenaeum with its classical revival architecture and it’s beautiful peach colored Doric columns lining the front entrance. I’ve walked by this lovely art gallery hundreds of times, every time thinking that it would be the perfect place for a southern wedding. Its neoclassical Greek Revival architecture really got my wheels turning. Of course my imagination went wild while thinking of the possibilities. The Athenaeum hosts art exhibits, lectures, performances, ceremonies, and receptions! After building up the ideas for this shoot, I pulled Emilie of Bliss Weddings and Events to help in bringing all the details and décor together.

white reception tables

silver bridal headbandpeach dessert tarts

alexandria virginia weddings

pink wedding cakespink wedding flowers

pink china calligraphy

From Emilie of Weddings and Events by Bliss: We wanted to achieve a balance between the soft whimsical and vintage elements of our décor with the linear modern structure of the gallery. What is captured is a very romantic, intimate, and beautiful scene for a wedding, the dainty floral arrangements displayed in vintage goblets, vintage place settings with rustic accents all beautifully displayed against a back drop of exquisite modern artwork. We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day which provided a great deal of natural light that streamed in through the very large paned glass windows of the gallery.

pink wedding drinksbride orange cardigan

white receptions art galleries

peach pink bouquetspeach display desserts

cake serving silver

View all images from this shoot in the gallery

Wedding Vendors (Alexandria, VA):

Wedding Venue: The Athenaeum / Wedding Photographer: Sweet Tea Photography / Event Design: Weddings and Events by Bliss / Wedding Flowers: Wisteria / Dress: Love Couture Bridal Boutique / Hair Stylist: Belle Soeur Styles / Wedding Caterer: Main Event Caterers / Equipment Rentals: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom / Linens: Party Rental Ltd / Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy / Videographer: Pelligrino Media Group

Virginia Backyard Wedding

Vintage Weddings

Photos by:

After saving up to buy a house, Melissa and Chris decided to skip the traditional venue route to have their wedding reception in the backyard of their newly purchased 1950s home. Hence the inspiration for a retro backyard fete. Captured by Amy Otto Photography who kindly shared these images with us!

tea length wedding dress backyard wedding ideas
tea length wedding dress backyard wedding ideas

tea length wedding dress backyard wedding ideas
tea length wedding dress backyard wedding ideas

From Amy: We started out with bridal preparations at the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, where the couple would spend their wedding night. After a first look in the hotel, we took a little time to get some images in Old Town Alexandria of the couple and their bridal party. Melissa and Chris are big fans of film and plastic toy cameras so, I was happy to shoot a bit of film and do some Holga panos. After Old Town, we were off to the couple’s house for the ceremony and reception, all hosted in their backyard. The ceremony featured readings from The Jerk & sharing of lemonade, which was so sweet. There were so many DIY elements to this wedding: The cake topper and ring pillow were knitted by the bride. She also made the paper chain decorations while Chris made their very own photo booth, complete with the ability to instantly upload the images to Facebook. Chris’s brother in law painted their guestbook, and Melissa’s family worked on the ceremony chair decorations and the getaway car. The couple designed and screen printed the invitations themselves, and Melissa and her bridesmaids put all the flowers together after ordering them from a wholesaler.

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Vendors + Venue (Old Town Alexandria, Virginia):

Reception Venue: Private Residence / Getting ready location: Hotel Monaco / Wedding Photographer: Amy Otto Photography / Caterer: Eat & Smile Catering / Dress Designer: Dolly Couture / Heirlooms and extras: Beach House Living / Calligrapher: Angelique, Ink / Jewelry: Macy’s / Bakery: Silva’s Patisserie