Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sweet Tooth...

Satisfying the sweet tooth can be a difficult decision! With so many options of flavours, colours, heights and decorations, it can be very overwhelming to choose your wedding cake. The cake is one of the sweet finishing touches to your wedding and can act as a final compliment of the day that everyone can enjoy. Researching for the perfect cake can be a lot of fun (not to mention delicious!) as taste testing is necessary!

Here at Karen Willis Holmes one of our favourites are the scrumptious and very sweet wedding cakes at ‘Sweet Art’ in Paddington.

Bride and groom figurines on the top of cakes have definitely come a long way in recent times and can be a realistic interpretation of the actual bride and groom. Figurines can add a personal touch to your wedding cake.

A popular option that has been favoured by many of our real brides is to use lots of individual cupcakes to create a wedding cake work of art. The plus side of these cupcake creations is that you can cater for specific numbers easily as well as there being no mess or fuss at the cutting.

Not only logistically practical, the cupcakes look super scrumptious as individual mini artworks.

This chocolate number is far from traditional as the abstract angles of the tiers and funky contrasting colours create a very unique work of art! 

These cakes provide a unique twist on traditional styles. This artwork could easily be personalised to represent the bride and groom.

Last but not least on our cake voyage is some more traditional, but equally stunning cakes from some of our real brides’ weddings.

So many spectacular and no doubt delicious options! Hope these beauties have been inspiring; we have no hesitation that you will have fun choosing your own wedding cake. 

Karen xx

Monday, August 29, 2011

Celebrity Wedding…

Filmmaker Sofia Coppola went back to her roots for her wedding on Saturday, marrying rocker Thomas Mars in the remote, southern Italian town where her great-grandfather was born.

Sofia looked beautiful in a custom lavender gown by Azzedine Alaïa and father Francis Ford Coppola escorted the 40-year-old Sofia down the aisle to Mars, lead singer of the French band Phoenix and the father of their two young daughters.
The ceremony took place in the garden of the palazzo that the elder Coppola renovated in the historic center of Bernalda. Guests included Johnny Depp and George Lucas.

“Everything went well,” said Mayor Leonardo Chiruzzi, who performed the ceremony. “It was simple, calm, in the garden.”
Her 2003 film “Lost in Translation” (great film!!!) won Coppola an Academy Award for original screenplay and made her the third woman ever nominated for a directing Oscar. Coppola’s 2010 film “Somewhere,” about an actor, who sees the emptiness of his existence through the eyes of his child, won the top Golden Lion prize at the Venice film festival last year.

Karen xx

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Pictures Are In...Celebrity Wedding (Pt 2)...

And the pictures have arrived! Thanks to images from Fashionista  has passed on the first photos of what is being named America’s ‘Royal Wedding’ from People for us to goggle and gawk over!
We can now have a good look in detail at the three Vera Wang gowns that Kim wore throughout the evening and into the night.
Kim’s first gown that was worn for the ceremony was a strapless ball gown with full tulle skirt and basque waist with hand-pieced Chantilly lace applique on the bodice and train. Along with her lengthy veil with lace applique at the bottom, the bride was nothing short of breathtaking.

See our very own Estelle gown which holds similarities in the strapless fitted bodice with lace detail overlay. If the full skirt is what inspires you, check out our Sophia gown, with emphasis on the waist and full tulle skirt.

Dress number two was worn for the first dance and named as Kim’s favorite. The form fitting georgette mermaid gown had hand-pieced Chantilly lace applique on the bodice and featured multiple layers of volumous ruffles tumbling down around Kim’s legs which made for a spectacular sight.

This one reminds me of our Gabriella gown from our couture collection, also in the stunning mermaid style with a full layered organza tiered circle skirt to add fullness.
Lucky last gown number three was a crepe satin gown with a gorgeous circle skirt and V-neck. The bias-cut gown emphasized Kim’s curves and boasts Old Hollywood glamour. The final gown was worn to the reception.

With glittering jeweled feature pieces at the shoulders and bust the glamorous Greta gown in satin from our own ready-to-wear collection is a perfect match if you are also looking to channel glamour and elegance.

The jewelry was a feat in itself, featuring an Audrey Hepburn-inspired 65-carat diamond headpiece worth $2.5 million. The $5 million dollar 28-carat drop earrings were by Lorraine Schwartz who is quoted to have said that “through the night she (Kim) wore close to $15 million in diamonds.”  These sparklers are nothing to laugh at!

Wedding headpieces can be a beautiful and unique addition to any brides look.

Sisters in ivory! Bridesmaids (from left) Kendall and Kylie Jenner and co-maids-honour Kourtney and Khloe wore strapless Vera Wang silk organza fishtail gowns in ivory, complimenting the brides look beautifully.

All in all a divine Vera Wang filled day..Hope you enjoyed the scoop on the dresses as much as we did! Wishing Kim and Kris every happiness for their future ahead.
Karen xx

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Celebrity Wedding...

Keeping up with Kim Kardashian and NBA player Kris Humphries wedding is not that easy! Of course, what we are most interested in is her gown and there are not too many photographs to share with you, so we are going to seize any comments until we see it in detail!

What we do know, courtesy of E! Online, is that they exchanged vows on a private estate in Montecito infront of 450 guests in a supposedly $10 million ceremony!
The ten-tier black and white, chocolate and vanilla wedding cake is put in place inside the enormous marquee - courtesy of

The beautiful bride wore a strapless Vera Wang dress and walked down the aisle on the arm of her stepfather Bruce Jenner. The groom wore an Ermenegildo Zegna tuxedo with a white jacket and tie. The bridesmaids wore ivory dresses as did her mother Kris Jenner in her own Vera Wang design.

Following the ceremony, the action moved to a separate tent with the bride changing into a second Vera Wang mermaid gown with more Chantilly lace on the bodice and hand-cut organza petals on the skirt, with the reality star expected to change into a third creation!!! 

Guests were greeted by lavish decor and cocktails on arrival - courtesy of

Check out E! report on Kims big day.

**Photos via Eonline

Karen xx

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Real Bride...

Jen & Tristan

Jen and Tristan shared a beautiful wedding day on 4 December 2010 at a private property, just outside of Bungendore NSW. We would love to share some their photos with you!

“We went for a French, provincial feel.  We wanted it to be a combination of elegance, relaxation and fun with good food and wine!”

Gorgeous! Molly Simpson, Chloe and Sophie Wight

“We were secretly engaged for a while.  One night while we were preparing dinner I said I would make a great wife one day and then got very embarrassed. Later that evening, Tristan reminded me of my comment and said that he thought it was a great idea and we should do it and asked me to marry him.  We then chose the ring together that we liked, Tristan had it made and a few months later he asked for my Dad’s approval to marry me.”

 It was torrential rain all week and on the day we had a small shower in the early afternoon but it cleared for the ceremony, it was like magic.  My mum passed away a few years ago and the whole wedding thought that she was looking after us. It was just great.

My close friend Phoebe Cuthbertson bought the Penelope gown a few years ago. Her dress was amazing and the service she had from the staff was wonderful. I also like the fact that Karen offers such a range of gowns for all shapes and the quality and designs are amazing. They are also made to a real size 10-12 that actually fit when you try them on. I went to some other places and my own size is a 10-12 and yet half of their dresses could not do up. It was rather unfortunate for the designers as they really limit their market as it doesn’t make you feel too good!

“My stepmother Lynda and her friend Christine were incredible. They did SO much to help us with all of the decorations and we couldn’t have done it without them. Also my Dad, Christine’s husband, Deb and Steve who own the property worked tirelessly to get the garden and place just right for our day. It was just incredible. When people ask to help – take them up on the offer!”

It was just wonderful. A day of happiness, lots of laughter and beautiful moments. We want to do it all over again! 10 year renewal of vows here we come…maybe Paris..

All images by Dan O’Day (

We wish Jen and Tristan the best of luck with their future together and bring on Paris!

Karen xx

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dressing the reception…

Once the bride is looking sophisticated and glamorous, how to we get the reception venue to look just as striking?

Wedding centrepieces, whilst being only a part of the overall wedding decoration, are a key element that will be right in front of your guests for quite a large part of the day. As such you want to spend a little bit of thought on getting them just right. We thought from the hundreds of lovely photos we receive from our Real Brides from their wedding day (and we are very grateful!), we’d love share the decoration element with you!

Karen xx

Friday, August 12, 2011

To veil or not to veil...

Maybe not exactly like this...

Veils seem to be a bit of a conundrum with most brides and rightly so as the modern bride does not just follow on with tradition without having a good think about it! And we are glad we’ve broken some traditions and kept some as well. It’s great to see brides giving speeches at their weddings now and it’s also lovely that sometimes mothers walk their daughters down the aisle. I guess nowadays, people are making their own traditions but still respecting 
a lot of the wedding traditions which have purpose. Now back to the veil question?

Karen Willis Holmes – Veils 

We have consistently found evidence of veils being worn as early on in Europe as the time of the Crusades. At a time of arranged marriages, the groom would often be seeing his bride for the first time when he lifted her veil. They were used as a symbol of virginity and purity for brides given to their mates. Through the years the veil styles have changed somewhat dramatically.

Karen Willis Holmes – Veil 

As for the present times, veils can be a touchy subject, mostly because parents and grandparents associate a bride with a flowing white veil and may sometimes feel that their daughter is missing feeling like a true bride. I guess then it is up to the bride who has to juggle pleasing family and still being able to look and feel comfortable with what they are wearing.

 Our lovely Real Bride Elizabeth Soomin

In saying that, veils are mostly worn for the ceremony only, and taken off afterwards – then put back on for photos! And they do take gorgeous photos!

Karen Willis Holmes – Real Bride

We find that brides who do not want to wear a veil or walk down the aisle with it covering their face, they opt for other compromising styles, which actually look brilliant! Fascinators, headpieces , flowers and beautiful combs look just as gorgeous and do not necessarily compromise with the bride-ey feel. Although, to be honest, at KWH, we’re a big fan of them!!!

Karen Willis Holmes – Veils 

Karen xx

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

As seen in...

Bride To Be Spring 2011

Yay to spring being just around the corner! And yay to Bride To Be for giving us much to look forward too, once the sun comes out permanently and the wedding season reaches its zenith!
Apart from being packed with fabulous gowns, including our very own Paige gown – which is made with a gorgeous sequinned bodice and a fun organza full skirt, this issue focuses on classic silhouettes, pretty pinks and vintage glamour. And may I say, we are a big fan of vintage glamour!

The trend section is a great read with hints on how to make the most out of your gown and introduces our online E-boutique and the new Karen Willis Homes Brisbane store.

Handy hints...

One of our favourite sections is YOUR DAY. It’s nice for brides to learn and get inspired by their predecessors. Just like Julia Cotic, who was one of our couture brides and wore “a darling strapless, ivory, silk satin couture gown with intricately ruched bodice, front skirt detail and silk satin belt”.
Julia felt “very sophisticated and glamorous” and so she should, as I had a lovely time making her wedding dress!

Julia Cotic, one of our beautiful Real Brides

Section from YOUR DAY

Karen xx