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“Hey babe, it’s time to wake-up…you’re getting married today!”
The day had finally arrived – the day I would marry my best friend!

I Married My Best Friend Twice | From Shelley With Love

These were the first words that I heard on Sunday, October 6th, 2013.  It was Marnie, my gorgeous maid of honour, best friend and mentor (I miss her so much!).

Marnie and I had stayed together overnight at the Hilton Hotel, Brisbane and were about to have a crazy, fun day.

The Hilton Hotel | From Shelley With Love

Room 1614 at the Hilton Brisbane, where we stayed.

The wedding venue was set and the decorations, seating chart and flowers were all done…it was time to get ready (I’ll be posting about my DIY wedding decor later).

The preparation

Our quiet room, overlooking a sunny and sparkling downtown Brisbane, was about to become a hive of activity.

My talented hairstylists and great friends, Olivia and Cherie, were the first to arrive.  Armed with blowdryers, straightening irons, bobby pins, and a truck load of hairspray, they got to work immediately.

Wedding hair preparation | Marrying My Best Friend

Cherie & Liv applying finishing touches to Marnie’s and my hair.

It wasn’t long before Marcia, mother-of-the-groom (and my new mother-in-law) popped in with a coffee in hand (her room was right next door) and my beautiful, super excited bridesmaids, Jos and Steph arrived, along with Jasmine, my cute little sister and flower girl.

Bridemaid Hair | From Shelley With Love

Marnie, Jos & Steph with their hair finished.
Silk taupe coloured kimonos from Victoria’s Secret.

Once my Mum arrived, I got straight to work on her makeup and then finished my own.

Bride does makeup

Here I am sitting in front of a window doing my makeup – the bathroom lighting was terrible!

Meanwhile, the guys seemed to be having a much more casual time!

Little Creatures Pale Ale

Shaun and the guys enjoyed a Little Creatures Pale Ale (Shaun’s favourite beer).

The details

These are the little details that added to the experience of our day – some items were were very sentimental or symbolic to us.

From Shelley With Love
My shoes were from Pulp  | Shaun’s cuff were from Tiffany & Co.

I bought these cufflinks for Shaun from Tiffany & Co – I chose these because the design was the same as the very first piece of jewellery he gave me (a necklace, which I also wore that day).

Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede
The beautifully, intoxicating Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Cologne

I had searched high and low for my perfect wedding day fragrance – Shaun loves fruity scents whereas I love more sultry, slightly floral scents.

I finally settled on Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede – I love, love, loved it but I wasn’t sure if Shaun was going to like my choice.  Turns out that he really loves it too (you can read about this fragrance in my November Beauty Favourites)!

Bridesmaid Accessories

The bridesmaids blush-nude colour clutch from Adorne, necklace from JCrew and gorgeous shoes from Vince Camuto.  The groomsmen and groom wore ties from Jos. A. Bank.

The dress

I was so lucky when it came to finding my dress.  It was the fifth dress that I tried on.  I was at Karen Willis Holmes, a beautiful boutique in Paddington by the very talented Australian designer.  The ladies at the store were so lovely and fabulous – they really made my dress shopping experience something very special.  I felt like Mary was a girlfriend that I had known forever!

When I tried ‘the dress’ on, I thought it was going to be just for fun!  It was much pouffier than I had anticipated…but the moment I put it on and stood in front of the mirror, the tears involuntarily started rolling down my face (both Marnie and my Aunty were also in tears).  It was beautiful!

May I introduce you to Matilda – my gorgeous semi-couture wedding dress!

Karen Willis Holmes - Matilda Wedding Dress

‘Maddie’ hanging in the window at the Hilton | the beautiful lace bodice | velvet belt with diamante overlay.

The girls

Before we knew it, it was time to get serious and frock-up, ready to party.

Mother-in-law

Saying goodbye to my lovely, new Mother-in-Law, Marcia.

From Shelley With Love | Wedding

With Matilda on and DIY flower bouquet in hand.

From Shelley With Love | Wedding

A little perfume and nerve-settling champagne.

My gorgeous bridesmaids – all have such beautiful souls and I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive bunch of gals!

Bridesmaids

 Marnie, Jos and Steph, thank you all for being amazing friends!

My beautiful Mum!

I was super worried about how my Mum was going to cope with the day – it wasn’t just the wedding that she was dealing with, but also the fact that she knew this would be our last hurrah before moving to the United State.

She looked beautiful in her navy blue dress from Macy’s and did an amazing job keeping it together!  Love you Mum xx

Flower girl

It was so special to have my little sister Jasmine be part of our day – she loved her custom made baby pink bespoke tutu and grey leotard from Venice & Me. Jas was in her element hanging out with the big girls and playing with makeup.

Before we left the hotel, we had time for some quick pics, the bridal party girls, my Mum and Dad.

From Shelley With Love

Along with my bridesmaids, my Dad kept me calm all day by cracking his usual ‘Dad jokes’ – I’ve always had a special bond with my Dad.  This experience made me feel closer to him than ever before.  Love him so much!

Leaving the Hilton with my Dad.

There was just enough time for some quick snaps in the hotel lobby before heading to Victoria Park Golf Club for the ceremony.

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From Shelley With Love

The guys

The guys arrived at the stunning garden marquee at Victoria Park Golf club with plenty of time to spare – it was a beautiful, hot, sunny day – perfect for a wedding!

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Shaun greeting his Mum – she looked absolutely lovely.

The guys were dressed in grey suits that I found at Roger David – Shaun’s groovy pink and grey socks were a gift from his Dad!  I loved them…a little cheeky!

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Shaun showing his new Tiffany cufflinks and groovy socks!

The gorgeous rings that Shaun chose from Cornell’s Jewelers were ready…

Wedding Rings | From Shelley With Love

Below, Shaun with his Dad.

Guys 8

I know that Shaun had an awesome day with his groomsmen – but he missed his US mates that were unable to make it.  I know that Shaun gave up a lot to have the wedding in my home country – I’m so grateful to him for that!

The Groomsmen

Here is Matt, my youngest brother – or ‘the Biebs’ as he was fondly called for the day (he looked so cute!).  It was so special to have him in the bridal party.  I know he had an awesome day hangin’ with the big kids!

Junior Groomsmen

Matt loving his time with the guys!  He looked so cute in his bow-tie!

There was just enough time for a couple more shots….

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All the guys | Shaun with his Dad, Mum, Brother – Aaron and Kayla – she looked beautiful.

From Shelley With Love

The ceremony

The flowers were arranged, chuppah decorated with softly draped white chiffon and the gorgeous chandelier centrepiece was glistening.

From Shelley With Love

The Garden Marque, Victoria Park Golf Club – all setup ready for our wedding!

There was babys breath flowers in glass mason jars hanging from the Tiffany chairs down the isle, and flowers in mason jar suspended along the glass windows.  It was beautiful and just as I had imagined!

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The guys were waiting….

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It was time for Shaun to walk his Mum in……

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….and then we arrived!

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My Dad cracking jokes at me…I was about to lose it and was desperately fighting the tears back.  |  Shaun looks back as we arrive.

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I spotted a dear friend and an Aunty that I hadn’t seen in a very long time…and lost it!  hahah

We exchanged our personal vows – Shaun totally surprised me with what he wrote – it was the sweetest thing!

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Saying our vows and exchanging rings….Shaun squeezed my hands tight to stop them from shaking!

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Placing the ring on Shaun’s finger…and totally messing up the ‘repeat after me’ bit!  Hahah never thought I would be that person – I was so nervous!

…and then we were pronounced husband and wife…again!!

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The kiss!!  These are my favourite shots…so happy…and a little relieved! hahaha

Next, it was time to sign our certificate (we already signed the registry earlier in the year – read about it here if you missed it!)

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Signing the registry

We’re officially official – in front of those we care so much about…our family and friends!

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Our celebrant Denise presented us with our certificate before Shaun broke the glass!

We incorporated a few modern Jewish traditions in our service, to acknowledge Shaun’s family heritage – we celebrated with ‘the stomping of the glass’.

Finally, we were really, really married!  It was both an overwhelming and exhilarating feeling!

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Being congratulated by our guests!

Time to celebrate

Off we went to have a few snaps taken around ‘our city’!

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Love these cute pics taken in front of the Story Bridge, Brisbane.

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The picture above with Shaun and his brother, Aaron always cracks me up!  Those Cohen boys!  |  The Brisbane City skyline…and my old office building.

The reception

The reception was held back in the garden marquee ….everything came together beautifully and was almost, just as I imagined.  The staff were all very lovely and so attentive.

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It was time to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening….

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Cutting the cake from Cake Chic – I heard it was delicious….we chose chocolate mud and cherry ripe.

The table decorations were all pieces from my tea set collection – I came up with the styling concept and had the help of the staff from Victoria Park to put my vision into reality!

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Finally, I changed into my neon pink hightop Converse sneakers before we left the party through a sparkler guard of honour.

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Instagram pictures are courtesy of our lovely guest.

We had an absolutely amazing day and were so grateful to share it with so many special people.

A massive thank you to Will Gordon from Chris Hall Photography for taking this beautiful pictures – he was more than just a photographer (he helped the guys out with my homemade buttonholes!).

You know, so many people warned me that my wedding day would fly…and boy, they weren’t wrong.  It felt like the day was on fast forward…before we knew it, it was over and we were back at the Hilton Hotel…eating a piece of Vegemite toast…well I was….I was starving (I’d hardly eaten all day…not from lack of trying!).

It still feels like a dream…it was a perfect day.  Thank you to all my family, friends and bridesmaids for being such an amazing support to me.  Planning a wedding with a groom on the other side of the world has its challenges and you were all there to step in as I needed help.  I love you all!

Well that is our wedding story – it’s one that I will cherish forever.

Thank you so much for joining me on this wedding series!

With love,

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