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Cosmopolitan Bride – Tale of an Elopement

Cosmopolitan Bride – Tale of an Elopement

Don’t forget to pick up this month’s copy of Cosmopolitan Bride to catch Tale of an Elopement, featuring yours truly! Hubby and I were truly honoured to be featured in this issue – jam packed as usual with amazing inspo and ideas for your big day. For more info, pick up a copy at your local newsagent and watch this space for a full wedding album run-down to come!



Friday Five: the Bling Ring

Friday Five: the Bling Ring

















As you may know, I recently said ‘I do’ overseas at our elopement, which you can read all about here. While we never set out to be ‘non-traditional’, when we said our vows, we hadn’t actually even bought our rings. Truth was, I hadn’t found it yet. And by IT, I mean the one. And I didn’t mean my husband in this instance. I’d rather go without than go with something I wasn’t in love with. A good rule for both husbands and jewellery, I might add. Although I was a massive fan of chunky vintage cocktails rings, I’d actually never owned a diamond – so it’s with trepidation I ventured into the world of fine jewellery. To get my head around this ‘4 C’s business, my friend pointed me in the direction of this great (short) video on how a diamond’s value is ascertained. You do kinda need to know all this stuff to arm yourself with answers to the inevitable ‘why is that one more expensive that that one,‘ question or even the ‘seriously, who would know if it’s cubic zirconia anyway.’ Only funny once, buddy.

When we decided to elope, I started the hunt for a ring. EARNESTLY. I mean, I was trawling the internet for days, eating dinner in bed* and glued to anything from estate auctions in Russia to my local jeweller in a bid to get my head around it all and y’know TRYING TO FIND THE ONE. For someone that had never really displayed an interest in diamonds or jewellery, this was an all-consuming (and time-consuming) obsession…and those goddamn google cookies embed jewellery ads WHEREVER I WENT. I felt like a woman possessed, but in the end, I sure knew what the hell made a good diamond from a shonky one and also, what style I kept on coming back to. I figured the more I looked at, the more I knew I’d know when I saw IT. I also wasn’t set on a diamond. And I wasn’t wed to having a newly made ring. But I was set on finding the right one. Try as I might – I just couldn’t find what I wanted locally without it costing the GDP of Botswana to get it made. And I wasn’t confident I could articulate what it was I wanted anyway.

As I went through the process, vintage and estate jewellery was what I kept coming back to without fail. Like Vegemite or crunchy Peanut Butter vs smooth, you’re either a vintage jewellery person or you’re not. Some people understandably aren’t big on wearing dead people diamonds. Even as I write that, it sounds kind gross, but for me dear reader; I LOVED stories that ring might tell me, but mostly – it all came down to the style. Vintage jewellery possesses a style you just can’t make up in a new ring off the shelf. There’s an enigma and a beauty to them. It’s almost mythical – like unicorns and a man that doesn’t leave towels on the floor, estate jewellery has a quality that is hard to define. And as we jetted off to the US, this was the vintage jewellery shortlist where I just knew I was going to find THE ONE:

Doyle & Doyle 412 West 13th Street, New York 10014

Bell & Bird – 1206 West 38th St. # 1102 Austin, Texas 78705

Erstwhile – by appointment only, midtown Manhattan

As history will tell you, I found THE ONE at Doyle & Doyle on our last day in NYC. Quietly tucked away in the Meatpacking district, their selection is edited – but mind bogglingly gorgeous. The Australian dollar was still holding strong against the US (hurrah!) and the next day I flew out as a wife and bona-fide diamond wearer. The other 2 places I wanted to visit weren’t vintage specialists, but places I’d admired from afar and full of untold amazingness. One was Anna Sheffield – an amazing jeweller that crafts timeless, yet alternative pieces. The Hazeline still gives me goosebumps, but felt too delicate for my ahem, sizeable hand span. Catbird NYC in Brooklyn is a treasure trove of delicate, fun and whimsy – even if you only have a $500 budget for a wedding band, there are so many beauties here that it’s worth shipping back to Australia, even with the Australian dollar falling faster than Madonna at the Brits.

So if you’re thinking of buying from the states, here are a few to think about:

  • Remember the Americans don’t add their tax until checkout. This is super annoying and you will forget!
  • If you’re going to ship it back to Australia, make sure you have proper insurance. Obvs.
  • Depending on the Aussie dollar, supply & demand means that diamonds do tend to be a little cheaper than back home at face value, but you will need to consider taxes and insurance and it won’t always work out cheaper. If you’re lucky to be in the US and think you don’t have to pay US sales tax if you get them to ship it home, you’ll have to pay GST on customs when it arrives. Once you factor in the US Sales Tax at checkout (10%), plus shipping & insurance, it puts you almost at the 17% GST range anyway.
  • Make sure you buy from a reputable buyer as you would back home, and that your ring comes with a GIA certificate.

So that’s my ring journey. I adore it and so glad I chewed up all my data months on end searching around and visiting my top 5 in the US. It’s perfect and I’ve never seen anything like it. Just like the Credit Card bill once the conversion fees came through…don’t forget to factor that in one in too!

*I wish.


Miss Bunting elopes in New York

Miss Bunting elopes in New York

So Miss Bunting has been on a little hiatus of late – just a small matter of a MARRIAGE! Yes, that’s right – while on holiday in the US last month, my husband and I decided to elope while in NYC. So yes, you could say Miss Bunting is now Mrs Bunting – but that whole name-changing saga is a post for another time….

While eloping is not for everyone, it really was for us. We both have wonderful families – I am especially close with my brothers and parents, so its not to say there wasn’t a little disappointment (mainly at missing out), but for us, eloping was very much the formality. What we’re looking forward to now is a party with our nearest and dearest! For anyone thinking about eloping in New York, I’ve compiled a little cheat sheet on the ‘how to’ side of things. More details about our actual elopement to be shared with you all soon!


Eloping in New York City is surprisingly simple – which explains why so many people from so many different countries to do it! My experience is relevant only to Australian citizens getting married in New York state – always, always do your own research as processes and laws are forever changing. Plus, not only do all the different American states have different rules, different countries have different rules about the validity of marriage in foreign countries – so be sure to check yours will be legal in yours!

  1. The first step is to obtain a Marriage License. This is in effect, the piece of paper that approves you to be married. You can start the process online back home, by filling out the form to apply for a marriage license. Once you have filled out the form, you have 20 days to go into the City Clerks office to complete the process, otherwise you need to resubmit the form. It’s no dramas if you need to do this, and you can just do this at the City Clerk’s office. We did it online just before we left, meaning we were in the system and were only required to line up at the City Clerk’s office to finish off the application by showing our proof of identity (our Australian passport) and sign the forms.
  2. Once you have applied, submitted and are successful in obtaining your marriage license, you are able to get married anywhere in New York state for the next 60 days. HOWEVER, you have to wait exactly 24 hours before you can do this. Did I say EXACTLY? Make sure you check things like public holidays – lets just say Columbus Day nearly threw a Columbus sized spanner in the works for us! Also beware, lines and wait times are notorious to predict – so if you go down at 11am thinking you can get married at midday the next day – you might be in for a rude shock if you end up having to wait 4 hours to get your license approved. This is a problem if you have photographers, hairdressers or anything booked. Leave yourself a few days grace. Also, you need $35 – they take card, thankfully.
  3. 24 hours later (exactly, in case I wasn’t clear), you can be married. Which involves going back down to the City Clerk’s office, getting your number, waiting in one line to be seen by an office who will then check your paperwork , approve it’s been 24 hours, and re-check your proof of id. You will also need a witness. If you have no-one, you can even ask your photographer – or anyone that has an accepted form of i.d.  and is willing to watch you get married. Heck, it could be your hotel bellboy if he has i.d. Then you get another number that puts you in the queue to be married in one of the 4 chapels.
  4. Eventually you will be ferried into a holding area of sorts until the chapel becomes free – you can even have an audience of family and friends – the chapels look like they fit 10-15 comfortably, but any bigger than this, I would consider a different location. (Hire a chaplain and go to Central Park!) Remember, your license allows you to get married anywhere in New York State.
  5. Guess what – you just got married. You can read your own vows or simply follow their lead – they’ll have a brief chat with you prior and ask things like if you’ve got wedding rings to exchange (err, not yet) and so on. For the record, we loved our ceremony. Just the 2 of you there in a complete bubble committing to each other for the rest of you days – it was an incredible, honest, moving, and very teary experience. Waterproof mascara highly recommended. Once you are done, pop over to an officer again to get your second certificate of marriage registration and have it certified and stamped by the City Clerk.
  6. But wait – YOU’RE NOT DONE YET. And so begins the next leg, which is a little like an Amazing Race challenge. To make sure all your paperwork is rubber-stamped as official with an apostille (you’ll need this especially if you plan on changing your name, as you will need to take this form in to change your name by deed poll – more on this later), you need a few spare hours, some snacks, a magazine, patience, endurance – oh, and a money order for $10.00. Yep.
  7. Choose to do this process the next day, as you essentially need to go over the road to the US District Court (500 Pearl St), go to the basement, stand in one line where they stamp your paper and give it to a lady standing RIGHT NEXT TO HER then go stand in another line, and then give that lady $3 cash (no cards!) and then you FINALLY have to go to one more office, the Department of State to get all these docs put together and stamped with an Apostille. Two things – they won’t tell you at the District Court, but you will need a $10 Money Order. They don’t take card or cash, so find a Western Union along the way – you really need to plan this journey out. It costs about $3 to get a money order by the way – it’s all ludicrous, but stick at it, you are nearly there. Secondly, you may wait a little while at the Department of State – and they have no wi-fi. By this point you will be looking at your new husband wondering if this was in fact the best idea, but then BINGO, your name is called, you collect your certificate and you my friends, have won survival of the fittest. YOU ARE MARRIED, it’s legitimate and then all you need to do is figure out if it’s all legal back in Australia!
  8. The good news is, it is. After countless hours sifting through nonsensical jargon on many government departmental websites (okay, at least one hour), essentially, your overseas marriage is valid in Australia if: it was valid in the country you got married in; and, under the same set of circumstances, the marriage would be valid if it had taken place in Australia (ie, you’re not 16 year old cousins.) If you’re not 16 year old cousins, this is great news. BUT, if you plan on changing your name, most government departments (ie Foreign Affairs to get your passport changed) won’t actually accept your survival-of-the-fittest set of rubber stamped Marriage Certificates. What they will do, however, is accept a Change of Name Application, and this is where you’ll need the survival-of-the-fittest set of rubber stamped Marriage Certificates. And at a hefty $218, this is where I leave you my dear friends – I am part-way through this application. Once my name is legally changed, from then I can get my passport updated with my new details and a new drivers license which will then enable me to get all the utilities and what not changed. So do your research and be prepared before you go – if you do all this, you will have the most amazing experience you won’t regret. One final piece of advice? Book a photographer – it’s the one way you’ll be able to share your experience, so invest in this. We chose the incredibly talented Samm Blake who snapped on of our fave pics of the day shown here. xx Mrs Bunting






Engagement shoots: what’s the deal with them?

Engagement shoots: what’s the deal with them?

Recently we found ourselves admiring some seriously beautiful engagement shots and it got us thinking: this used to be something only American brides did – has this trend taken off in a big way in Australia now too? And what’s the deal with them – was this simply another thing to add to the wedding-go-round of things to have and do? We got chatting to the gorgeous Teneil Kable – an extraordinarily talented Perth-based photographer and got the lowdown on engagement sessions.

Not only will her portfolio single-handedly demonstrate that an engagement session is a good idea, we came away convinced that those American’s were onto something. If you’re planning on getting hitched, it’s not such a crazy idea to have a practice run with your photographer. It gets you familiar with how your photographer works, you become comfortable with being in front of the lens, and when you have your big moment – you’ve already worked out your best angle!


MB: Are more people booking engagement shoots here in Australia? 

TK: I think so, I’ve also experienced some go that one step further and have their engagement session before their engagement party so extending their coverage to cover off on the celebration with friends and capturing all the efforts that go into it. It’s exciting and fun!


MB: From a photographers perspective, do you recommend having an engagement session and why?

TK: Absolutely, its a celebration of your engagement and an opportunity to have some beautiful images of the two for you to display on the wedding day or use as your invitations or save the dates, but mostly the feedback I receive from couples is that it makes them feel so much more comfortable on their big day that for the photographer and for the couple – is invaluable.


MB: I think people might expect that in an engagement session you’re simply replicating the same shots that they’ll do for the wedding day – in what way is it more than ‘just’ a practice session for the big day?

TK: I don’t imagine there would be too many opportunities to create an image like this amazing shot (above) of RJ & Grace on a wedding day!

Couples feel more spontaneous, there’s an intimacy of a different kind that seems to appear in the quietness of an engagement session.

I think knowing that there is nowhere that they have to be! As Tom Ford says “silence and time are the most luxurious things today” and it couldn’t be truer that we feel more like ourselves in these moments of luxury.


MB: Should a couple come armed with a few ideas such as props, moodboards, sample images etc, or do you prefer to guide them in what will work best?

TK: I love collaborating with clients. I don’t think props have to look forced, they can be used naturally and effectively but must make sense and be true to the couple and not just something they have seen somewhere and adopted for themselves.

Working closely with couples give me a feel for who they are and what they like, some like to be gently guided and others have ideas itching to share. My part is really just making sure ideas are genuine or working with them to find a way to make it work so the images created are genuine too.


MB: What kind of things should couples thing about before their engagement session in relation to clothing or location?

TK: Its important for people to wear what makes them feel good! I love having my hair done and getting dressed up but I always feel slightly awkward and well just not me. So if wearing something that makes you feel good is a pair of ripped jeans and your fiance’s t-shirt then thats what you should wear. Be true to you!

Consider locations like a music festival you might be going to or your bedroom with fresh white sheets and beautiful window light. Think outside the box and be brave, some of the greatest locations are right in front of us!


MB: Do you like to encourage clients to let their personality show – such as with themed shoots – or do you prefer a more classic, candid approach?

TK: They say beauty attracts the eye but personality captures the heart I think a good photograph does both. Couples personalities can shine through with both themed shoots or a more candid approach, it really comes down to who they are. Choosing what feels right for them and not just because they have seen it done somewhere else is the most important thing. I think if you feel comfortable, only then will your personality show.


MB: How important is it to ‘click’ with a client – does this show in the images or does it just it simply make for a more pleasant experience?

TK: Its important to create an environment in which the couple can connect with each other and not with me, when that happens the images have more feeling and depth to them. That being said if you don’t click with your photographer that environment is difficult to create.

I think our role as a photographer is so much more important then taking pictures its a connection and an opportunity to get to know the people who’s picture we are taking which allows them to feel more comfortable. I guess it depends on the look your going for…but for me I like the people I’m photographing to look at ease!

Image of RJ & Grace courtesy of Teneil Kable.


Social media etiquette and how to be a good guest

Social media etiquette and how to be a good guest

We went to a wedding recently where there was a strict ‘no social media’ policy – the celebrant specifically asked before the wedding that guests put their phone down and be in the moment. Which got us thinking – what if the bride and groom don’t specify what their policy is, and is now having a policy a ‘thing’?

If you want to control what and when gets put out to the wide world, it’s most definitely a wise idea to outline somewhere what your expectations are. Whether announced via the celebrant, in the order of service, or on a sign guests will easily see are your safest bets. And be clear – if reception pics are fine, perhaps even give your guests a hashtag, making it easier for you to crowd source your favourite candid snaps of your big day. Be succinct but clear – this is your day so you get to run it how you see fit!

Think of the bride and groom – they don’t want to turn around after the BIG KISS to see a wall of iPhones up in their grill. And also – they’re actually paying someone to capture their big day, so guess what Annie Leibovtiz, put that camera down! Here’s a few pointers to consider, so you don’t get blacklisted.

  • Don’t post anything on social media until you’re certain what the deal is. Who can blame the newlyweds from wanting being the first to share their official photos with world. Don’t be that person who posts a pic of the bride before the groom has even seen her – a wedding isn’t an opportunity to show everyone how popular you are for being at yet another wedding.
  • If social media is allowed, it doesn’t mean you’re providing the world with an ongoing commentary. Use tact and common sense for how often and when you post. Also, bathroom selfies are never a good idea – especially at a wedding.
  • Don’t get all papparazzo, or you’ll annoy everyone and get into fisticuffs faster than you can say LARA BINGLE. You’re there to witness and experience the marriage, not capture every moment.
  • And you guys, it’s way also more enjoyable seeing it for real than through a screen. That also means – stay out of the photographers way. Everyone’s been to one wedding where they’ve had to re-do the kiss for the photographer because Uncle Arthur got a new Canon EOS 6D for Christmas and decided this was his moment to test his skills. Just don’t.

Image via South Bound Bride. 


A classic wedding masterclass: Jodie & Scott

A classic wedding masterclass: Jodie & Scott

When we get our Martha Stewart on, the whole house usually suffers as we’re consumed by one DIY project after another. This time it was salt dough shapes, inspired by Jodie – a friend as gorgeous as she is hilarious and her classically styled wedding in Mosman Bay, Western Australia.

Being a self-confessed control freak – totally necessary in her job as marketing manager for a major newspaper, Jodie’s wedding to Scotty was planned with military precision right down to every last detail. Surrounded by her gang of trusty bride-slaves, Jodie was walked down the aisle by her father who’d stopped cracking jokes for long enough to beam with pride at his beautiful daughter who was dressed in a stunning ivory lace gown and finger curls. She also wins top marks for dressing her bridesmaids Oscar-worthy gowns from Sana Boutique.

A classic wedding packed with vintage touches and a nod to Great Gatsby deco styling, pretty touches were evident everywhere here. A tree adorned with long ribbons that fluttered in the breeze, birdcages and galvanized buckets loaded with baby’s breath set the scene for a simply sweet ceremony. Inside, the place settings were simple and stylish – yours truly dug out the calligraphy pen from years ago and wrote the name cards, which were then placed in gorgeous frames the bride’s mum had painstakingly painted gold. The Miss Bunting Flash Card Table Numbers were used for the table settings and my favourite detail of all – the salt dough tags were handmade by the bride’s mother-in-law and tied with twine around the napkins. It’s these small touches that really add to the personality of an event – you can really see the love involved when friends and family all pitch in to help.

You can see Jodie & Scott’s wedding here, photographed by Teneil Kable.


Dress from Brides by Design

Styling & Flowers by WED on Beaufort

Hair by Chilli Couture

Makeup by Yvette Grey



Here’s how you can make your own Salt Dough Tags.

1 cup of salt

2 cups of flour

1 cup of warm water

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper and cut into shapes using a cookie cutter if needed. If you want to get fancy, use lace or foliage to create an impression in the dough like we’ve done here. If you intend on tying it to something, be sure to create a hole with a skewer for your twine. Bake in a preheated oven at 120 for 2 ½ hours or until dry and firm.


Goodbye Summer: Harvest Fresh

Goodbye Summer: Harvest Fresh

We can hardly believe the Australian summer will all be over shortly – the trees around us are turning a brilliant hue of orange, and the streets will soon be lined in a crisp blanket of autumn leaves. Take your colour cue with corals and dusty oranges, but keep it fresh with a shot of mint – here are some delicious finds from around the net. We’re also loving the idea of bouquets with succulents – something a little different, modern and utterly inspiring.


Grace under pressure: Emma & Chris’s wedding

Everyone’s got one. The friend that is always so glamorous, stylish and put together – y’know, without even trying. Actually, I’ve got a few, and if I didn’t have such solid self-esteem, I’d be in a perpetual state of anxiety. One of them is Emma from Scanlan PR – my firecracker friend and resident crazy lady, Em is as close to my heart as family and one of Miss Bunting’s biggest supporters. Fiercely loyal, feisty and funny, Em is always cheering me on from the sidelines while she juggles a successful career with motherhood to beautiful baby Leo. Blessed with model looks, an innate sense of style and a finely tuned radar for what’s new and chic before anyone else does; it goes without saying she’s my soundboard for all of Miss Bunting’s product ideas.

Dressed in a stunningly simple Vera Wang gown, Emma married her dashing hubby Chris in 2010, against the picturesque background of Clairault winery in Dunsborough, near Margaret River, Western Australia. Unflappable under pressure, Em demonstrated anything but bridezilla qualities when faced with a delivery of wilted flowers from her appointed florist. Instead of carrying out what I would consider to be a well-warranted diva tantrum, Em delegated her most trusted hit squad to scour the entire southwest. Their brief? To find an eclectic array of flowers in varying colours and buy up what was in stock. Roadside, service station, florist and supermarket were duly emptied of flora, and while this sounds excessive – that was pretty much the entire roll call of retail outlets in the rural southwest. The groom’s father stopped off at a rose farm en route (and also provided a gorgeous cane-cut viognier from their vineyard for guests to take home), and family picked flowers from their own gardens in Perth and packed them carefully for the 3 hour drive down south. And while this deviated from the planned colour palette, what she ended up with was a dreamy collection of flowers in a celebration of colours, and a romantic, relaxed, effortlessly chic vibe to which most were none the wiser to what had just happened a mere 12 hours ago. The lesson? No pressure, no diamonds – and this diamond day proved some disasters can turn into happy accidents; it just depends on how you approach them. See more pictures from Emma’s wedding here.



Wedding perfection: Justine Cullen’s wedding

Wedding perfection: Justine Cullen’s wedding

Readers of Paula Joye’s fabulous blog, Lifestyled may be familiar with her post on Justine Cullen’s wedding, but for those that haven’t, it’s definitely worth a recap. I read about it half way through planning Miss Bunting last year, and it’s every bit as perfect as you’d expect a fashion magazine’s editors wedding to be.

And then some. If ever there was a vision – or an essence of what a Miss Bunting wedding might look like, then surely this is it.

Editor of Shop Til You Drop, Justine’s wedding to Greg on Sydney’s South Coast was festival meets intimate family & friends gathering. What makes this wedding so special is not about how much money was spent on the celebration – though the bride is decked out in a divine Jenny Packham number and looks utterly spectacular – it’s the fact this wedding is positively heaving at the seams with individuality and unique handmade touches. Literally a family affair, it seems the entire family was called upon to make elements of the wedding decoration all under the watchful eye and delegation of self-confessed control freak, Justine. The effect is truly special – you can literally feel the love and care that’s gone into the preparation of making this event extraordinary. This wedding was surely mood-boarded down to the last detail, and it shows. The vision that she bought too life is as special as the day itself and perfectly illustrates that the devil is in the detail. Read all about it here. And get inspired here at Miss Bunting.