Karina & George: RACV City Club, Melbourne
Names: Karina Skourletos & George Klonis
Wedding date: 26 May 2018
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Presentation of Our Lady Greek Orthodox Church, North Balwyn & Level 17 at RACV City Club, Melbourne
How we met and the marriage proposal:
George and I met while still studying at university, around 8 years ago. A mutual friend introduced us at an after exams party, and we soon realised that we had many friends in common but had miraculously never met. At the risk of sounding completely romantic, when I met him, I had the funniest feeling and I knew he would be in my life in some way forever. We spent a year getting to know each other as friends before we started going out. Fast forward 5 years, George was planning a beautifully romantic proposal, collecting mementos and photos which captured milestones in our relationship, including our travels and buying a house. However, that idea was scrapped when he decided to propose to me over lunch at his parents’ house on Boxing Day! To say that I was shocked is an understatement, even more so when he showed me the beautiful ring he had designed for me.
About our wedding day:
Our wedding day was 18 months in the making. From getting ready in the morning with my Mum, bridesmaids and flower girls, through to our pre-service party for our close family, it was a very magical day. For me, a highlight was walking up the aisle with my Dad, and seeing George waiting for me, with all our family and friends there celebrating with us. The feeling of love and connectedness at that moment was unbelievable. Our reception was a big party, which was exactly what we were hoping for! Both mine and George’s families are Greek, so Greek dancing was a big part of the night. Our 300 guests had come from far and wide to celebrate our wedding, and they were on the dancefloor all night! It was very special for me to have my grandparents at our wedding as well, as they had been such an important part of my upbringing.
Our wedding style:
While my wedding was a traditional church wedding, I wanted beautiful, seasonal flowers in abundance. I worked closely with Grace at Dandelion Flowers, who understood my vision perfectly - warm, autumnal colours throughout my bouquet and the bridesmaids' bouquets, and tying that in with the flowers at our reception and on our beautiful wedding cake. I wanted my bridesmaids’ dresses to be the canvas for the flowers, which absolutely stole the show! The flora theme was also carried through to our wedding favours; our Best Man, Michael, gifted all our guests’ beautiful succulents.
Finding my wedding gown and couture experience at Suzanne Harward:
I had been to a few boutiques already with my Mum, sister and grandmother, when we were referred to Suzanne Harward by my cousin, who had recently worn her SH gown at her wedding. When I first tried on the couture bridal gowns, I was absolutely taken aback by how beautiful I felt - the dress was like nothing I had pictured myself in, and yet it was perfect for me. I was in love with the intricate beading, the classic, feminine lacework and full skirt. It was all I dreamt about for a few weeks!
First dance song:
George and I found this to be especially difficult, as we wanted a song to capture how we felt about each other, whilst being one that our guests could relate to. We chose 'Symphony' by Clean Bandit feat. Zara Larsson - the lyrics spoke to us in so many ways, and Zara Larsson's voice is just divine, plus we also knew that this song would be a great segue into a night of fun and dancing ahead!
Advice for future couples:
- Plan ahead! We thought that an 18-month engagement would give us ample time to book suppliers and (most importantly!) for me to find my gown. We were so lucky we were able to book our suppliers in, but they were already booking out a few years in advance.
- Work with suppliers who share your vision - I spent so much time in person or on the phone with our key suppliers. They were an endless source of inspiration, and their suggestions definitely shaped a lot of how I approached the wedding day and elements we added to it.
- Enjoy the planning process! While planning a wedding can be stressful, I really enjoyed the satisfaction in watching it all come together.
- Start gown shopping early. My stunning gown took 11 months to make, so it's important to start the process as early as you can.
Suzanne Harward testimonial:
Working with Carly and Marnee at Suzanne Harward was absolutely wonderful. They understood my vision for my wedding day and were so helpful when it came to any ideas I had for the dress. The 1:1 consultation at the SH studio allowed me to immerse myself in the gown design and process, and to work with them on any thoughts I had on the dress and veil. This was a truly personal experience which made my wedding so special – thank you ladies!
Photographer; Theo Halacas at Loco Photography
Videographer; Annette Burgess at Burgess Video
Wedding Gown; Suzanne Harward Divinity Gown
Bridal party attire; Dresses from Cmeo Collective, Shoes from Mimco, Monogrammed clutches and personalised bracelets from Etsy, and earrings from Lovisa & Godwin Charli tuxedos, shirts from TM Lewin, Oroton cufflinks and shoes from Aquila
Brides shoes; Sophia Webster Lilico Glitter Sandal and Lilico Mid Sandal (for dancing!)
Bride’s accessories; My own diamond earrings (an engagement present from my parents) and my engagement ring
Florist; Dandelion Floral and Foliage Design, Kew
Venue & Catering; RACV City Club, Melbourne
Cake; Vanilla Cakes, Oakleigh
Stationary; Inspired Design
Entertainment; DJ Kosta Nico