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Getting married? Steven Khalil reveals his top tips for buying a wedding dress

12th May, 2015

A bridal look from Khalil’s couture show at MBFWA

I know when I was trying to choose my wedding dress I tried on more than you can possibly imagine trying to find the perfect one. I ended up going with my first choice in the end but it was certainly a time-consuming process! To help make things easier, I asked designer Steven Khalil to impart his best tips for finding the perfect gown…

What are the key things brides should look out for when buying a wedding dress?
It’s very important for brides to be clear on their preferences. That and to be aware of their body shape, no matter what size and what styles, and silhouettes will flatter them. Fit is so important- it’s one of the biggest moments in your life so the gown should reflect that.

What are the top 3 things brides you wish more brides would do when it comes to picking a dress?
To choose a gown that they love, not what they think everyone else will love. To go for something a little unconventional or different and to listen to their heart and work with the designer on something special to surprise everyone on their big day…

What’s one look that’s flattering on most brides?
Simplicity works for every bride. A beautiful form flattering shape that skims their body and isn’t too tight.

What’s the biggest no-no when it comes to buying a wedding dress?
I think a big mistake is to copy another bride just because you like that gown. A wedding gown is so personal and I love it when I can work with a bride to design the perfect gown for HER – and only her.

What are the big trends brides should look out for?
A simpler silhouette is making a comeback- no long trains or huge skirts- simple silhouettes that are more form-fitting and less over the top and embellished. Textural fabrics are also coming through in bridal looks- more about the fabric details than loads of embellishment.

What’s the key to a timeless wedding dress?
To me a timeless gown has an element of simplicity to it. A beautiful classic shape that fits well and is tailored will last the test of time.

What have been your fave celebrity bridal looks of all time?
Grace Kelly when she married Prince Rainier
Kate Middleton
Princess Diana- my inspiration to start my business
Jennifer Lopez in lace Valentino
Peaches Geldof
Caroline Bissett Kennedy


Fashion, Lifestyle

My wedding day and what I learned as a bride

17th February, 2015


Luke and I got married on the 28th June, 2012 in Taormina in Sicily and it was truly one of the best days of my life. I always dreamt of getting married in Taormina as I’ve been going there with my family since I was a little girl, not to mention the fact I’ve holidayed there a few times with Luke over the years so it holds a special place in my heart.

We invited 80 of our close family and friends and everyone flew out a few days beforehand for pre-wedding festivities. This gave everyone the opportunity to get to know one another plus it meant that we had the chance to spend time with people before our wedding day.

The highlight of the day was definitely exchanging vows with Luke in front of our family and friends. It’s a lifelong promise and saying it in front of your loved ones is just a really special moment.

Planning a wedding (especially one in another country!) had its ups and downs and I definitely picked up a lesson or two along the way. Here are a few tips I’ve passed on to friends who are walking down the aisle plus some of my favourite snaps from my wedding album…





The ceremony

We wanted quite a traditional wedding so we decided to get married in a church. There are so many beautiful churches in Taormina, and we looked at all the ones in town and decided on San Giuseppe church. It was just gorgeous plus it was the place where my brother and his wife got married so we wanted to keep up the tradition. During the ceremony we had a harp playing in the church and a singer called Alfio who sang Ave Maria. He was amazing and really added to the atmosphere.




The reception

The Grand Hotel Timeo is one of my favourite hotels in the world. It’s got a beautiful outdoor area (which also looks out onto a volcano!) and it provided the perfect picturesque location for our reception.

We made up our own dinner menu by mixing and matching different things from the restaurant menu and also going with local Italian wines. We wanted it to be a really traditional Italian menu.







My dress and shoes

I knew I wanted something really simple and classic that would last the test of time. I didn’t really know whether I was going to buy something or get it made but I was over in New York and I started shopping with my mum and dad and I went into Vera Wang just for the whole experience of trying on a dress. I knew it was going to be very hot when we were getting married so I wanted something really light so I tried on a slinky silk and tulle dress which I loved. I kept on shopping for five more days but ended up going with the first dress I tried on. Funny how that happens!

I was searching high and low for shoes until I saw a pair of Alexander McQueen heels on Net-a-Porter. My dress was simple so I wanted a bit of sparkle on my shoes and the nude bejewelled McQueen heels were perfect.



The flowers

I kept it simple and opted for a white colour palette and all my favourite flowers. We had a mixture of orchids, white roses, peonies and calla lilies for my bouquet, the bridesmaid’s bouquets and the centrepieces at the reception.


My top wedding tips

Have visual references for everything (especially for a destination wedding)

I had a wedding planner in Italy who was amazing at organising everything but there was a language barrier so I tried to make everything really simple to execute by having visual references.

For example I figured out what flowers I wanted on the table setting so I had them made up by a local florist and did a mock-up of how I wanted them arranged on the table runner for the reception, took a photo and just had it copied. Same with my bouquet and the bridesmaid’s bouquets.

I had a Kikki-K wedding book that I stuck in every picture that I liked so it was great because my wedding planner could see exactly what I wanted.

Pick a spot that’s used to hosting weddings

Getting married overseas has its logistical difficulties so we wanted to keep it quite simple. Getting married in a church and having a reception at a hotel just eliminated having to organise things like caterers and all those logistical details. Unless you’re going there on multiple trips the easiest thing to do is get married in a venue that has done many weddings before.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

I told myself that people have different aesthetics so if I saw something on the day that wasn’t quite what I’d asked for, to not worry about it. For example my wedding planner and I had slightly different interpretations of the “smallest wedding cake possible”! There’s no point stressing out about it; you just gotta go with it.

Make sure your bridesmaids are comfortable

I had some bridesmaids who wanted to wear towering high heels and others that can’t even walk in high heels so I had them all in the same peep toe heels for the photos but I gave them some fold-up nude ballet flats that they could choose to change into after walking down the aisle. If your bridesmaids are comfortable then they’re going to have a really great time.

Have a list of photos you want taken

Make a checklist of all the photos you want on the day and meet up with your photographer beforehand to talk through it. They don’t necessarily know what particular pics you want so talking through the photos you need is a good way to ensure you’re not missing anything when you get your albums back.

Find the comfiest wedding shoes possible

You’ll be in your shoes the entire day so make sure you go for something that’s comfy and make sure you’ve worn them in beforehand. There’s nothing worse than hobbling around in pain on your wedding day when you’re supposed to be mingling, dancing and having fun.

Get a wedding video if you can

I nearly didn’t get a wedding video and I’m so glad I did because I probably look at it more than my album of photos. We have an edited video of about 15 minutes and it was really nice to see what people were doing on the day. If the budget allows, definitely try and get some video on your day to remember it all. For me it’s even more special than my photos.

Have a special outfit for when you’re getting ready

I wish someone had told me this! I regret not having something nice to wear when I was getting my hair and makeup done. I look back on the photos and think why am I not wearing a nice gown or a dress? I was literally in an American Apparel shorts and singlet and thongs because that’s what I would normally wear getting ready for the races or something!

Take a moment with your partner

After the ceremony we took a moment just to take in the day. It’s such a big milestone in your life so it’s important to have some time together because the day does go so quickly.





















44Photography: Morlotti Studio



Celeb look of the week: Solange Knowles

21st November, 2014


Everyone’s been talking about Solange Knowles’ wedding gown. The fashion forward creation by Humberto Leon for Kenzo was very modern, understated and sleek.

Photography: Vogue

Fashion, Lifestyle

David Jones Bridal Showcase

22nd October, 2014

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I love weddings! (Especially mine) but I also love attending friends weddings and seeing all the gorgeous details. From the table setting to the floral decoration but nothing compares to that moment that you get to see THE DRESS!! Bridal fashion is so gorgeous as there are so many styles to suit so many brides. That’s why I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to host the Bridal Showcase at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel recently.

David Jones, presented bridal collections from some of the biggest and best names in the bridal business, including Monique Lhuillier, Oscar De La Renta, Carolina Herrera, Temperley London, Steven Khalil, Rachel Gilbert, Karen Willis Holmes, Mariana Hardwick and Lisa Gowing.

I hosted the event with the lovely Terry Biviano over an intimate lunch held within the hotel’s Hamptons-inspired Sunset Room. Here are some of my favourite dress designs and some other images from the day. Also make sure you catch the behind the scenes from the event on Fashion Bloggers at 8:30pm tonight!

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No wedding dress is complete without the perfect pair of heels. Shop the look…