The experts who make ‘I do’ a dream come true

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In this sponsored post “CityNews” speaks to the wedding experts who make “I do” a dream come true.

AFTER showing off the ring and popping the champagne, it can be overwhelming to plan for the perfect wedding, but “CityNews” has it covered.

This week “CityNews” has spoken to businesses that can take the stress out of finding the most stunning venue, a jaw-dropping dress and the make-up and smile to ensure a dazzling day.

And, for even more inspiration, the upcoming CBR Fair, previously Canberra Wedding Fair, will host a number of wedding experts on March 1, ready to help brides-to-be.


Fair relaunches with something fun for everyone

A Lucy Laurita design modelled by Lorna Munro, with a Viktoria Novak crown. Make-up by Divine Makeup Artistry and hair by 121 Hair. Photo: Eye of Court.

THE Canberra Wedding Fair will relaunch with a new look as CBR Fair at Thoroughbred Park on March 1, says event organiser Danielle Cleary, of Danielle Cleary Events.

Danielle says CBR Fair will present a collaboration of new ideas and concepts featuring local leaders in the wedding, events, travel and lifestyle industry.

“It makes sense that these complementary services be showcased together for our guests’ exploration, enjoyment and convenience,” she says.

Drawing on the 10th annual fair’s “experienced premier partners” of designers, stylists, creatives and promoters, Danielle says CBR Fair will be an exclusive showcase of more than 100 trustworthy exhibitors.

“Designed to help guests create their perfect occasion, we’ll showcase culinary delights, pop-up cart treats, photographic galleries, venues, fashion and beauty trends, entertainment, travel and lifestyle,” she says.

“The fair is about creating an immersive, holistic and experiential journey for Canberra and the surrounding region.”

With several special guests, including international celebrity make-up artist Liz Bomben, along with several of her Global hair and make-up team; “milliner to the stars” Viktoria Novak; and fashion and lifestyle blogger at “A Stylish Moment”, Jemma Mrdak, Danielle promises two runway presentations that will thrill brides-to-be.

“Viktoria will adorn the models in both bridal and race designs – perfect for guests to be inspired for any upcoming event or the Canberra Racing Carnival,” says Danielle.

The parades will feature bridal, event, travel and lifestyle wear from national and local designers and boutiques including Momento Dezigns, Blades Menswear, Simone Perele and Christine Waring Millinery.

Another highlight will be the free Foodie Fair, with live music by the Rich Pitcher Band, balloon twister magic and a big white jumping castle in the park, Danielle says.

Whether someone is newly engaged, preparing for an event, looking for a getaway, has a love of food and live music or a passion for fashion, Danielle invites everyone to come along for all the fun of the CBR Fair.

CBR Fair, Thoroughbred Park, 1 Randwick Road, Lyneham, 10am-3pm, Sunday, March 1. Call Danielle Cleary Events on 0427 666584, email or visit

Brassey Gardens.

Precinct has everything for the perfect day

PACKED with facilities to see brides and grooms through from engagement to anniversary, the Realm Precinct has weddings covered, says Doma Hotels weddings executive Michelle Cooper.

“It’s a versatile, one-stop-shop with a range of restaurants, bars, day spas and gyms, perfect for the lead up to your wedding day and beyond,” she says.

Michelle says couples can celebrate their engagement party at Ostani Bar, create a next-level bridal shower with a decadent high tea on the Burbury Terrace, pamper themselves pre-wedding at Hale Spa or get into shape with Hale Gym’s 12-week method.

When it comes to the big day itself, Michelle says Doma Hotels offers an array of unique wedding venues, from intimate ceremonies to large receptions of up to 460 people.

“Garden ceremonies are perfect in the Brassey Gardens, and we can host small indoor ceremonies in the High Courtyards, intimate ceremonies on the Burbury Terrace and larger weddings in the Hotel Realm National Ballroom,” she says.

A 15 per cent discount is available to all wedding guests when booked directly with the hotel.

“Myself and our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure your wedding day is as perfect as you imagined it,” says Michelle.

Doma Hotels, 1/18 National Circuit, Barton. Call 6163 4711, email or visit


Passionate Carey loves planning dream weddings

TUCKED away from the bustle of busy roads, the Royal Canberra Golf Club offers a tranquil and sophisticated venue for weddings, says events and functions co-ordinator Carey Lander.

“There is no traffic noise, just the afternoon calls of native birdlife and the breeze as it rustles through the leaves,” she says.

“[But] the Royal Canberra Golf Club is more than just a destination of ambience, professionalism and sumptuous cuisine.

“It’s everything you need for an unforgettable day.”

With more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, 20 of those at the Royal Canberra Golf Club, Carey says she is passionate about ensuring brides have their dream weddings, a passion that saw her win the title of No. 1 wedding planner at an ACT venue at the Brides’ Choice Awards in 2018. She was highly commended in the 2019 Brides’ Choice Awards, and the Royal Canberra Golf Club was in the Top 10 venues in 2019.

“I ensure that each and every bride experiences the perfect day while I fulfil above and beyond their initial expectations,” she says.

“And most importantly, I make it fun [because that’s a] simple element that many brides often forget, particularly as stress levels start to rise.”

Then, on the big day, Carey says the wedding lawn will be the perfect backdrop for the ceremony.

“The lawn leads up to the glass doors of the intimate Westbourne Room and into the experienced hands of myself and the entire food and beverage team,” she says.

Royal Canberra Golf Club, 71 Bentham Street, Yarralumla. Call 6240 2206, email or visit


Iconic venue takes the stress out of weddings

AS one of Australia’s most iconic venues, the National Press Club has an outstanding reputation for its wedding receptions, according to function sales coordinator Angelique Carter.

As well as being nationally recognised she says the National Press Club is flexible and affordable.

“Our wedding specialist and dedicated bridal staff will accompany you along the journey and ensure every minor detail is given the appropriate attention,” she says.

“We remove the stress of planning your wedding at every step along the way and can assist with ceremony locations as well as contacts for florists, music, cake, cars and more.”

The venue, which fits about 230 guests, has a parquetry dance floor, chandeliers throughout the site and a sheer backdrop with choices of coloured lighting.

“We look after your guests in our refurbished lounge area for the pre-dinner beverages and canapés while the bridal party enjoys quiet time in their own private retreat,” she says.

Angelique says all weddings include complimentary canapés and couples can choose a one to five-course dinner.

“Our executive chef will work with the bride and groom to tailor a menu to suit their needs including fitting within their budget,” she says.

Interested couples can enquire over the phone, through the website or in person, which will be followed up by a site visit.

National Press Club, 16 National Circuit, Barton. Email, call 6121 2199 or visit


The Royal Suite.

Naomi reveals the region’s best-kept venue secret

THE Royal Hotel Queanbeyan is a contemporary, cool and historic wedding venue, says Naomi Chen, the hotel’s functions and events manager.

“We’re one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to weddings,” says Naomi.

“In addition to the beautiful function area, we also have the Royal Suite, pictured, a chic, gorgeous space that includes double vanities and a luxurious claw-foot bath where brides and bridesmaids can get ready. The wedding party will have access all day, and then the couple can stay there overnight.”

The entire Upper House venue can be booked for the day and night, which includes the outdoor bar, courtyard and atrium area. The space has been recently renovated and combines the original architecture with raw materials, steel, old timber, luxe velvet and leather furnishings.

Naomi, who’s the dedicated events manager for weddings, says she assists with everything from the planning stages straight through to the wedding.

“We offer a checklist to help organise the day, with details from bridal [food] tastings to whether the couple will be keeping the top layer of the cake on the day,” she says.

“There’s an extensive range of affordable menu packages, or we can work with you to tailor a menu that reflects your personal taste and style.

“Our professional events team is dedicated to deliver an amazing experience and our executive chef can also cater to dietary requirements including gluten free, diabetic, allergies, religious and lifestyle choices.”

Royal Hotel Queanbeyan, 85 Monaro Street, Queanbeyan. Call 6297 1444, email or visit


Rosa Clará trunk show… March 14-21.

Showcase unveils ‘exquisite’ bridal gowns

SPANISH designer Rosa Clará is showcasing her latest “exquisite” wedding dress designs in Canberra with a trunk show at luxury bridal boutique Annabel’s Bridal Studio in March, says owner Misty Annabel.

Available from March 14-21, Misty says the Rosa Clará trunk show offers a preview of next season’s elegant gowns, featuring classic styling and quality.

“Rosa Clará is celebrating 25 years in the industry and is an extremely popular designer in Europe, having made a wedding dress for Rafael Nadal’s wife Xisca Perello,” she says.

“Future brides can come in and try the gowns, which will then be made to order.”

But, Misty says, in order for the qualified consultants and the in-house tailor to help brides create their dream look, appointments to the studio are essential.

“I make sure the process from choosing the gown to the collection of the gown is as organised and as enjoyable as possible,” she says.

With a view to creating a calm and relaxed, client-focused environment, Misty says Annabel’s Bridal Studio offers an intimate retail setting with chandeliers and soft furnishings.

“My team and I are passionate about what we do and we go to great lengths to make sure our brides are happy,” Misty says.

She says that for wedding gowns, sleeves are still popular, as are V-neck styles.

“The look is a natural, relaxed glamour, [which gives] an effortless sophistication,” she says.

Annabel’s Bridal Studio, at “The Kennedy”, suite 2, 28 Eyre Street, Kingston. Call 6295 3984, email or visit


CC Beauty founder and manager Teresa Teixeira, centre, with staff at the Canberra Region Local Business Awards.

Wedding make-up brides are sure to love

WITH make-up packages available for brides, mother-of-the-bride and bridesmaids, the wedding party can get ready for the big day as a group at CC Beauty Centre, says founder and manager Teresa Teixeira.

To be sure brides love their look and feel amazing on the day, Teresa suggests coming in for a consultation with the make-up artist and having a trial before the wedding.

“We encourage brides to book well in advance and always offer a discount if it’s a package booking,” she says.

As well as make-up, CC Beauty Centre offers spray tanning, manicures and pedicures, waxing, tinting and other treatments including microdermabrasion.

“If brides would like microdermabrasion or more intensive treatments, we recommend at least three weeks before the wedding to allow the skin time to heal,” she says.

CC Beauty Centre won the Canberra Region Local Business Awards for Outstanding Beauty Services in 2019. The beauty centre also offers gift vouchers and VIP membership.

CC Beauty Centre, Shop 54, upper level, Cooleman Court, Brierly Street, Weston. Call 6288 5522 or visit or


Dr Edward Davies.

Dentist gets brides smiling with confidence

A WEDDING is a day full of smiles, with none more radiant than the bride on her big day, says Dr Edward Davies of Canberra City Dentistry.

“A healthy smile affects our self confidence and can help us feel our best, which is why maintaining oral health is so important,” he says.

Canberra-born and raised, Dr Davies joined the practice in late 2019, having previously worked in Orange, Dubbo and Sydney. His main interest is in the area of oral surgery but he also provides general dental services.

“Our focus here at the practice is on preventative oral health,” he says.

For more than nine years, Canberra City Dentistry, on University Avenue, has built a reputation for providing caring and gentle dentistry, according to the practice, saying it strives to offer its patients painless, quality and affordable dentistry in a relaxed and caring environment.

Practice owner Dr Vicky Pusnjak says providing good-quality work is hugely important for her and she’s received incredible feedback about this through repeat business and referrals.

Canberra City Dentistry offers quality and affordable dental services including general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, implants, crowns and bridges, dentures, clear correct, teeth whitening and emergency appointments are always available, as well as Dr Kam Sinn for orthodontic work and oral therapist Koco Clarke on site three days a week, says Dr Pusnjak.

Canberra City Dentistry, Level 4, 28 University Avenue, Civic. Call 6162 0880 or visit


Wedding venue with authentic Italian food

AGOSTINIS Italian restaurant and East Hotel is the perfect venue for couples looking for something a little different for their wedding, says the hotel’s director of relationships, Despina Cramer.

She says Agostinis provides an upmarket yet relaxed atmosphere where people can enjoy top-quality food that’s made on site and appeals to all taste buds.

Certified by the Italian Government for the food’s authenticity, Despina says everything is made fresh, including the pizza dough and pasta but there’s other options, too, which the hotel calls “Italian flair”.

“We have a very experienced event team that loves working with our guests and makes sure every detail is looked after,” she says.

“The couples work closely with the operations team and executive chef to ensure that everything runs very well on the day so the bride and groom can focus on enjoying their event.”

Despina says couples are welcome to come in to discuss options with the events team.

“The long-shaped restaurant fits up to 120 people inside and can be set up in a number of ways, from individual tables or a couple of long tables to make it feel more family-friendly to encourage people to mingle and share the day,” she says.

Agostinis, East Hotel, 69 Canberra Avenue, Kingston. Call 6295 6925, email or visit


Dale’s Ballroom Dancing offers a one-off lesson, or classes for several weeks in the lead-up to the event.

Dale helps get the dance right

TO get that wedding dance just right, Dale’s Ballroom Dancing offers a one-off lesson, or classes for several weeks in the lead-up to the event for the couple or the entire wedding party, says its principal Dale Harris.

“All you need to do is bring your music, and depending on the amount of lessons we can choreograph a routine for your special day,” she says.

Since 1997, Dale’s Ballroom Dancing has offered a range of beginner and experienced classes from social classes, competition training, wedding groups and private lessons.

For weddings, Dale says couples can learn a unique style of dance, choreographed to any chosen song.

The most exciting dance Dale has choreographed for a wedding was a “wild boppy” one, where the bride and groom came down the aisle kicking and skipping to a Guy Sebastian song.

The studio specialises in a range of dance styles: Australian new vogue ballroom (sequence dancing); standard modern, which includes waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, foxtrot and quickstep; and Latin American, which includes samba, cha cha, paso doble, rumba and jive.

“You don’t realise how much exercise you’re doing or how much fun it is,” Dale says.

“It’s a great way to meet people in a friendly, comfortable environment.”

Visit or call 6296 4009.

Wedding help from start to finish

WITH a spectacular sandstone courtyard and garden that caters for ceremonies and receptions, Gold Creek Tourist Resort has room for everything in the one venue, says functions manager Roz Sanders.

Roz says the experienced staff focus on everything from start to finish in the lead up to a wedding, and on the day.

The Gold Creek Tourist Resort has a professional functions coordinator and a team of workers who also help with accommodation and can recommend celebrants, DJs, live music, MC hire, hairdressers, cakes, stationery, balloons, photographer, car hire and wedding gowns, Roz says.

“Our focus is on the bride and groom on their day and we do our best to make sure they’re taken care of,” Roz says.

Gold Creek Tourist Resort, O’Hanlon Place, Nicholls. Call 6241 3000, email


Popular church in the centre of Canberra

A WEDDING is one of life’s great moments, and St John’s Anglican Church in Reid has been celebrating weddings since its foundation in 1841, according to Canon Paul Black.

“I call St John’s the English village church and literally through a course of history they put the national capital around us,” says Canon Black.

“It’s a popular destination for many couples, especially those requiring a more intimate space. The church is open daily and we invite people to come and experience its ambience and grounds.”

Paul says the church’s wedding team will liaise with couples regarding availability, legal and church requirements and assist them in administrative matters, while the celebrant will assist in the planning of the ceremony.

“We’re very flexible when it comes to music,” he says.

“We have a pipe organ built by Ronald Sharp, who built an organ for the Sydney Opera House.”

Paul says as well as the pipe organ, there is space for a soloist, string quartet and the church has a good sound system for recorded music.

“We strongly recommend you book your wedding at St John’s before making any other arrangements, such as reception venues,” says Paul.

“We’re confident you can be married on the day you choose.”

St John’s Anglican Church, 45 Constitution Avenue, Reid. Email, call 6248 8399, or visit


Historic church does traditional weddings well

MARRIAGES at All Saints Anglican Church in Ainslie are celebrated in the breathtaking beauty of one of Canberra’s most prestigious and historic churches, says rector of All Saints, reverend Lynda McMinn.

“You and your family and friends will be surrounded by a sense of beauty, awe, tradition, and history, as you exchange your vows,” Lynda says.

Lynda says the weddings are typically traditional, using an Anglican ceremony.

“Couples come to us a few months before, we show them a framework and have a chat about what they want, including the style of music,” she says.

“The aim is to make the ceremony as beautiful and meaningful as possible.”

With its Victorian, gothic architecture, Lynda says the church is a curious blend of the old and the modern, sensitively restored with a long aisle and beautiful windows.

“Some people say that church weddings aren’t as popular as they used to be, but people still love a traditional church wedding if it is done well,” she says.

All Saints Anglican Church, 9-15 Cowper Street, Ainslie. Call 6248 7420, email or

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