SHONA + DOUG

From humble beginnings working at KFC while teenagers to falling in love in their 20’s, Shona and Doug have truly had a beautiful journey which they celebrated with loved ones at a magical wedding ceremony in Fiji.

#RCREALBRIDE Shona wore the very romantic Carmen gown from Muse by Berta. A stunning A-line bridal gown with a plunging  V- neckline and sheer beaded bodice. The gown is finished with layers of soft tulle, side slit and an open back.

Photography by Perla Photography

THE FIRST SIGHT

In our teenage years we worked together at KFC, which for both of us was our first job. However it was not until our early 20’s that we started to mingle in mutual friendship groups.

We first kissed at this Irish pub called ‘Bridie O’Reilly’s’ whilst on a pub crawl for our friend Rian’s 21stBirthday and from then on we would often have a dance and share a cheeky kiss on nights out with our friends. After waiting a long time for something to happen, I ended up in another relationship. At my my 21st birthday party, as told to me by our friends, Doug got very drunk and emotional as he thought he had missed out on his chance to be with me. A couple of weeks later my relationship ended and a couple of weeks after that at Doug’s best friend’s 21st, he wasted no time and finally asked me to be his girlfriend!

THE PROPOSAL

Doug took me to the Pennisula hot springs down in Mornington. This is one of our favourite places to go and we often go there to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays. We spent the day soaking in the pools, Doug was unusually irritated by the increasing number of tourists crowding the pools (little did I know that he was trying to pick a quiet moment in a quiet pool- which proved quite the challenge).

Towards the end of the day we were bathing in one of our favourite pools, he was kneeling in front of me on one knee but I couldn’t tell because of the water. He started talking about all the challenges we had overcome, the adventures we had been on and the achievements we had accomplished. I just assumed it was a general conversation about life, so I was caught completely by surprise when he asked me to marry him. After repeatedly asking “are you serious?!?” and being reassured that yes this was in fact a proposal, I managed to say YES!

THE VENUE

Getting married in Fiji has always been a dream of ours and shortly after getting engaged we decided to make it a reality.

Fiji is where we went for our first overseas holiday together and where we fell in love with the Fijian culture, hospitality and way of life.

I attended a wedding expo in Melbourne that featured a number of destination wedding options. From here we choose to have our wedding at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort. We choose this venue as they limited their wedding bookings to one per day, provided a number of ceremony location options and offered great wedding packages that simplified the wedding planning process.

FAVOURITE MOMENTS

One of our favourite parts of the wedding was seeing all our close family and friends enjoy themselves at the reception, mingle with one another and having fun on the dance floor.

THE DRESS

It was pure coincidence that the Muse by Berta trunk show was on, the same week I decided to go wedding dress shopping at RC. I initially had no intention of trying on this particular range of dresses, however after some encouragement from my mother and best friend, I decided to go ahead. Before l knew it, I had tried on nearly the entire range.

I was faced with so many beautiful dresses that I was unable to make a decision on the spot. I took a couple of days to assess my options but eventually decided on the Muse by Berta Carmen dress. I had my heart set on a plunging neck line, which is the feature of this dress that I fell in love with, along with the stunning detail on the bodice.

This dress in one of a kind, it was so comfortable and light to wear and it flowed perfectly with my windy beach wedding.

FINDING THE ONE

RC was the first store I visited to try on wedding dresses, I had done my research and read countless positive reviews about them and I knew they had a good reputation.

The service in store was fantastic and second to none. The staff are highly experienced and genuinely welcoming and friendly. Teresa was my stylist and she looked after me from start to finish.  She was incredibly patient and accommodating, whilst also being knowledgeable and honest. She made me feel completely at ease and I never once felt pressured or rushed into making a decision.

I was honestly dreading the whole wedding dress shopping experience, however the staff at RC from the Brunswick Bridal Emporium to the alternations department were amazing and helped make my experience a positive and memorable one.

ADVICE FOR OTHER BRIDES

If people are keen to be involved and offer to help, let them. Getting married is an exciting and special time for your family and friends as well.

Do your research and invest in a good photographer and videographer, having experienced professional’s plays a large part in your wedding day running smoothly. Having high quality photos and video footage is also essential as your wedding day goes by so quickly you will forget all the little details.

Take at least a week off before your wedding, no matter how organised you are, things will still pop up last minute and it is nice to have the time and flexibility to attend to these things instead of being pre-occupied at work

Compromise, be a good listener and never go to bed angry!

VENDORS

Dress: Raffaele Ciuca Bridal

Photographer: Perla Photography

Videographer: Tango films

Venue: Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

Church/Celebrant:Supplied by the Outrigger

Flowers: Grace Creations

Cake: Supplied by the Outrigger

Hair: Hair & Makeup Perfectionists

Makeup: Hair & Makeup Perfectionists

Shoes: Novo Shoes

Invites: Fabled Papery

Suits: Connor

Band/DJ: Supplied by the Outrigger

Bridesmaid Dresses: Esther & Co

Table Centrepieces: Grace Creations

Rings: JK collections & Kavalri