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When Bethany, one of our brides from our annual Real Wedding Special, took off with Blair on a trip around Europe, she had no idea he was planning to propose. “After a beautiful day exploring Capri followed by a magical dinner in Sorrento we went for a walk where Blair proposed looking over the Amalfi Coast. Very well planned”, says Bethany who soon began collecting inspiration for her wedding dress.

Of her beautifully unique, custom-made gown she tells us, “I went to wedding dress designer Mary Ioannidis in Balmain East with a sketch of a Dior inspired dress. When it comes to fashion I love vintage Dior and that 1940’s glamour. Mary loved the design and came up with a dress that was more than I could have hoped for. It was topped off with my favourite pair of Christian Lacroix heels from Paris.”

Following on in similar fashion, Bethany organised a team of her nearest and dearest to help her and Blair plan a day that was stylish, playful and infused with loads of elements they love (including most importantly, legendary photographer John Benavente).

“Music is important to Blair and I, it took us months working on the playlist. We had a great mix with Bob Dylan, The Strokes, Beatles, Sufjan Stevens, the Rolling Stones and many more. The flowers and boutonnières were put together the day before by our family and some talented friends after collecting the flowers from Sydney Markets. I wanted the flowers to look almost like they were picked from a field in the country, slightly messy and wild.”

For the ceremony however, they kept it simple. “We didn’t make any additions to our church. We could have added more flowers but felt that the elegance of the country church was enough and I don’t think we missed out by not decorating it further.” Their main concern anyway was the food – and having lots of it.

Held at Summerlees Estate in Sutton Forest, New South Wales, Sassy Catering served Bethany and Blair’s guests a celebrity-style, country feast featuring all their favourite things, including Bethany’s famous family fruit cake. “My mum made the fruit cake layer from an old family recipe”, says Bethany – a woman with serious style and some very worthy advice. “On the day make sure you take the time to step back and take it all in, people say the day goes fast and you have no idea how true it is.”

Our Real Wedding Special is completely sold out, however to view more real weddings by John Benavente simply click here, here and here. You can also check out his full portfolio here via the Hello May online directory. Don’t forget too that issue ten is currently on sale and available at selected newsagents nationally as well as online via Mag Nation.

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CREDITS Photos John Benavente // Bridal gown Mary Ioannidis // Hair piece The Village Florist // Shoes Christian Lacroix // Rings George Jensen and Diamond Emporium  // Bridesmaids dresses Hoss // Grooms suit Rundle Tailoring // Ceremony St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, NSW // Reception Summerlees Estate, NSW // Catering Sassy Catering // Cake Townsend Cakes  // Stationery Fine Invitations.