Browsing Category


Wedding Post No. 6 – The Outfits & Accessories

January 22, 2016
Fashion and makeup, Halloween, My Life, Parties and Fun, Wedding

Welcome to my final wedding post! To read the other five posts, please go here.

Now you know about how the biggest day of my life went, I thought I’d wrap things up by sharing the details of what we all wore. I’ll provide links wherever possible in case you need recommendations for your wedding!

First of all: MY DRESS! Mum and I briefly entertained the idea of making my dress because we didn’t believe there was any chance of finding the right dress on a rack anywhere (without paying dearly for it, anyway). But then we looked into buying fabric and almost fainted at the projected cost and decided to see what was out there that we could customise. I’d initially wanted a grey or light purple dress to go with the theme, and I was obsessed with this dress by Japanese designer Stella de Libero which I was hoping to replicate in some way, but we had no idea how to do it exactly. But then we stopped in at a dress shop near my home and found the most perfect dress ever!

I had no intention whatsoever to wear white, it just seemed so unlike me, so it was pretty surprising when I saw this dress and immediately though “yes, this is it”. It’s actually a Disney dress, specifically Belle from Beauty and the Beast so it also came in a pale gold colour (like from the movie) but white was where it was at. I put it on and it fit like a dream and mum could immediately see how she could adjust it to make it look like the Stella de Libero (SdL) dress and that was that, we had the toughest part of my dress sorted!

To customise it and capture the look of the SdL dress, we took the original white satin flowers off and replaced them with colourful fake roses and flowers we collected. One of the things that endeared mum and I to this dress was the fact it already had pick-up’s (that is, parts of the skirt were tacked up to create puffy sections) which we filled with more flowers which were wrapped in sparkly tulle to mute the colours and add some sparkle! We’d had plans to add some Halloweeny stuff into the skirt but we really just didn’t have time to track the right items down, though in retrospect I think the flowers were perfect on their own. The top of the dress was absolutely perfect as it was so we didn’t have to adjust it (the bodice had a flattering dropped waist that was encrusted with gems, sequins and silver thread). Mum added a white satin bow to the back of the bodice which was meant to allow the train to be tucked up for dancing, though we didn’t actually remember to do that on the night!

Details: Original dress is Belle’s Disney Princess Bridal Gown in white/metallic by Alfred Angelo, bought at Hills in Hollywood in Brisbane.

When it came to my accessories, I wanted to continue with the look in the photo of the SdL dress, so we made a flower crown using more of the flowers and roses we used in my dress which we attached to a long fascinator base. I designed the tassels using beads and fringing mum already had which were sewn onto the base before glueing the flowers on. I was determined for the headpiece to have spooky elements, so I commissioned Ella Mobbs from Creep Heart to design and make clear ghosts and black bats to have “floating” above the flowers. Just to clarify, I absolutely was not going for a “Day of the Dead” or Dia de los Muertos theme as a few people have assumed. I just loved the styling of the the dresses by Stella de Libero and with it being a Halloween wedding, I can see why people came to that conclusion, even though it was definitely not the case.

Figuring out what jewellery to wear was really tough! I searched the internet relentlessly for classy, silver Halloween jewellery but nothing really existed that was going to go well with my dress (that wasn’t cheap and nasty or very expensive, anyway). Mum eventually came up with the idea of using a piece of lace encrusted with pretty items as a statement piece. She had the lace and the bits and bobs which I pieced together like a pretty game of tetris. If you look closely there’s a pewter jack-o-lantern, a fairy riding a unicorn and a pink cameo which I’ve had for years, which made the necklace totally “me”. My good friend Danella made the pearl chain for it as we didn’t have the right pearls on hand and she’s a pro at beading!

My shoes were by Easy Steps which is just about the daggiest brand of shoes I can think of BUT they’re made to be super comfy which was the only reason why I was able to wear heels for more than an hour (remember how I broke my foot in March 2014?).

My bridesmaids dresses were one of the first things mum started making for my wedding and were also the last thing to be finished! In fact they were still being finished on the day of the wedding! I really wanted to go with a deep purple for the dresses and I wanted to make sure the girls could wear them again later down the track, which is why we made the skirt and the bodice separate to be worn apart. Mum and I found this beautiful silk dupion which was shot with black at Fabric Collection which specialises in fine fabrics and just happens to be 5 minutes from my house. It was pretty exxy at $50 per metre but it was exactly what I envisioned. Mum made these dresses from scratch, using at last two patterns which were of almost no help to her. The skirts were pretty straightforward, the trickiest bit being the tulle overlay, but those frikken bodices! Erin and I initially tried to help mum by cutting all of the pieces out while mum gave us some sewing lessons but by the end of it mum took charge and did it all because it got too complicated.

There were two potential hurdles that could have ruined these dresses but we managed to work through. The first one was when I attempted to iron the tulle on one skirt, I was holding the iron, which had a protective cover on it,  a good 15cm above the tulle and yet somehow burned two holes in it! Unless mum just gave up on sleep, there was no time to replace the tulle but luckily the holes didn’t really show as the gathering kind of hid them. Phew! Then there was the fact Sarah lives a good hour out of Brisbane which means we only managed a couple of fittings and after the last one mum took her bodice in a little too far and it almost didn’t fit on the day! Fortunately we got through that by getting the girls to ditch their bras and removing the panels behind the laces. Yay!

Sarah and Erin’s accessories were similar to mine but in darker hues. Erin made both of their necklaces, including all of the beading! I made their headpieces as well, which were smaller and simpler versions of mine with only three big flowers each (mine had five) and one tassel versus my three. They also only had either the bat or the ghost on theirs, each a bit smaller than mine (what can I say, I’m an attention hog).

The girls wore black shoes of their choices because they weren’t really going to be seen anyway, and I wanted them to be comfortable. Especially Sarah who badly hurt her foot a month or so earlier and technically should have been wearing a moon boot! God we’re all so clumsy!

Ahh the bouquets! How bloody great do these look? Mum made these all by herself using a combination of brooches we already owned and others we bought especially. She created the base using fake hydrangea bunches with the brooches being attached to long pieces of wire which she thread through to form the handle which she then covered in fabric (white satin for me, leftover silk dupion from the bridesmaid dresses for the girls). As a result they were pretty darn heavy, mine in particular as it was the biggest and had way more brooches attached, but they were so unique and exquisite that it didn’t matter. Each bouquet had brooches that suited us personally, for example some of the ones on mine were of Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty, a poodle, the Eiffel Tower, a skull, a spider, a cameo (I love cameos) and right in the middle was a glorious, glittering bat! Oh and a C and B for mine and Ben’s names, of course!

As mentioned in the first wedding post, our hair and makeup were done by Sue McLaurin. I was determined to have long hair for my wedding, but I had no interest in growing it out. I briefly considered getting proper extensions put in but was put off by the expense and the fact I knew I’d never be bothered with the maintenance. I ended up getting 16″ clip in extensions in platinum blonde from Zala, after a friends recommendation which I dyed with Brite Organix hair dye in purple and pink.

Ben and Kieran were styled by Billie, our celebrant, as she is a vintage style queen! Their suits and ties were vintage 60s suits from Retro Metro in Paddington (just two shops down from where I now work!) with spider brooches for some subtle creepiness. They wore bright socks from The Happy Cabin and their shoes were from Zu.

And finally, our wedding rings. It took me ages to find the right ring, I fell in love with a beautiful ring I found in a shop in the City but it was almost $3000 and I felt guilty about spending so much on one piece of jewellery. But then I discovered Julie deVille and her gorgeous jewellery, particularly her range of skull rings. I always used to say that if I ever got married I’d want a diamond-encrusted skull ring, and as it turns out there was an Australian designer doing just that! I ended up going with this one, which was pretty subtle for me but it was within our price range and the thought of a tiny skull with diamond eyes really appealed to me. We got it through e.g.etal.

Ben’s ring was a family heirloom, it was originally his great grandfathers wedding ring which is engraved with his initials CN. Ben is not a jewellery wearer so we had no idea what to do about his ring so when his parents offered him this ring, we were stoked! Luckily it also happened to fit him perfectly, so it was clearly meant to be!

I’d like to thank the following people for their help with out outfits:

  • First and foremost, my mum for all of her amazing, hard work to help bring my vision to life. Our wedding wouldn’t have been half as great without her tireless efforts!
  • My sister Erin for her help with cutting patterns for the bridesmaid dresses and making the necklaces
  • Billie Bossanova for styling Ben and Kieran so perfectly
  • Erin at Retro Metro for providing the wonderful suits
  • Ella Mobbs from Creep Heart for designing and making the ghosts and bats for our headpieces, including making some extras last minute after breaking one and needing some smaller ones just days before the wedding
  • Sue McLaurin for her makeup and hair skills (and Verity for recommending her)


Wedding Post No. 5 – The Reception

January 12, 2016
Halloween, My Life, Parties and Fun, Wedding

This is post number five in the series. To read the previous four posts, click here.

We returned from taking the location photos, a little bit later (and sweatier) than planned thanks to the excitement of the big animal party we’d just had as it was getting dark. We quickly got some drinks, told mum about the photos and went into the hall, ready to start speeches.

Kieran was up first and gave a lovely speech about how damn great everyone there was. You always hear about weddings being stressful with there being drama between relatives or strained friendships, but I’m proud to say everyone there was just awesome. There were people from such varied friendship circles and they all got on like they’d been pals for years. I saw friends of mine who had never met hanging out and laughing like they went way back and even now I see they’re friends on facebook and it makes me heart swell with joy! So Kieran articulated something very special and important and I am so glad it happened at our wedding.

Sarah was up next and was as hilarious as expected. It did get pretty bittersweet when she said she knew we were meant to be because she kind of lost her best friend when we got together. The fact is, Sarah was a rock for me when I was going through a hellish relationship with my abusive ex, she provided endless support and reprieve for me when I needed to get away from him and got me through the nightmare that was the breakup, which I can never thank her enough for. She then let everyone know just how much work my mum out into he wedding, detailing all of the things she handmade to pointing out just how much of her own furniture filled the hall. Of course, mum cried, and found herself inundated after the speeches by people congratulating her on all her amazing work.

Ben was the last to give a speech (I’m not a particularly good public speaker and knew Ben would do an excellent job, also speeches get boring so three people was more than enough) where he thanked everyone for coming, embarrassed me by reminding everyone my new business was kicking off the following Saturday and letting everyone know dinner was up!

One of the things that worried me the most about organising was the food. We know a lot of vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs who we absolutely wanted to cater for, but there weren’t many catering companies who specialised in specific dietary requirements, plus the hall didn’t have a kitchen so everything would have to be prepared offsite. I looked into a few places for buffet-style food as I was keen to have a semi-sit down meal to go with the Haunted Mansion theme but the quotes I got were completely out of our budget. After some thought we remembered how our friends Ben and Anna had a food truck at their wedding which was such an easy, fun and affordable option. Luckily Ben’s bar shares a warehouse with the guys from Juan More Taco who were more than happy to serve their delicious tacos which catered to all of our friends perfectly! It wasn’t quite on-theme but it worked perfectly for us and everyone loved it so it was a win, win!


After people had stuffed themselves with tacos and were starting to move to the dance floor, we did the cutting of the cake and then our first dance. I absolutely loved how someone passed Ben the fake axe someone brought along as a prop so we got some excellent photos of us brandishing weapons at one another (though I realise in retrospect if it’d been anything but a Halloween themed wedding this would have been out of place, kind of tacky and bordering on joking about domestic violence which is not ok). Once the cake was cut and moved away, we had our first dance to “I Put A Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins which we kind of shuffled around to for a minute before we invited everyone up to dance with us. Both Ben and I love a good dance but we didn’t have any time to practice, in fact we only decided on the song about a week or two before the wedding!


I think it goes without saying that our dance floor was pretty hectic, but in the most wonderful way possible! We had our mate Nick (aka El Norto) DJ for us and he was freaking amazing! He only plays with vinyl and his collection is just amazing and he knows how to make everyone get up and dance! One f the best memories I have was talking to some friends and stopping mid-way through a sentence and saying “I’m sorry, but my mum appears to be carving up the dance floor, I need to go”. My mum was having the BEST time, dancing with anyone and everyone!

After a bunch of dancing I was getting sore feet since I’m not used to high heels any more, plus the train of my dress was getting stepped on and wasn’t particularly breathable, so I snuck off to the toilets to change into a more comfortable outfit including my favourite converse to keep dancing all night!


After a bunch more socialising with our friends, things started getting pretty crazy on the dance floor…


So back when we were in New Zealand earlier in the year, Ben heard someone playing “Dream On” by Aerosmith which became the song of the trip, culminating in him doing a very drunken dance to it for us all, which was really just him stumbling around. It was hilarious and no one who was there has let him forget it. So much so one of the beers made for the wedding was called the Jungles Stumble Dance and the decal included a clear space so that a phone playing a gif of Ben “dancing” could play on loop. So obviously this song was played for Ben to dance to, he was lifted up on shoulders to be seen by everyone, but somehow it was decided I should be lifted up too!


The dancing only got more intense from there, with a mosh pit, more unexpected lifting and then a big group hug for another of Ben’s favourite party songs by Aerosmith, “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing“, inbetween everyone dancing up an absolute storm. All I can say is thank goodness we didn’t have a repeat of the previous October where temperatures got up to 40°C because that would have severely impacted everyone’s exuberance!

The last song of the night was “Feels Good” by Tony! Toni! Toné! for a few different reasons. Firstly, it is one of my all time favourite new jack swing songs, in fact it’s probably in my top 10 favourite songs of all times. It’s boppy and fun and about love and wanting to get married  and I could dance to it forever! But the main reason we played it is because it featured in an episode of our current favourite TV show Rick & Morty (note: this clip is gorey). So yeah, we got to include one extra little bit of nerdy obnoxiousness into our wedding, which thankfully was a massive hit with everyone. Ben and I danced on the stage above everyone, before leaping off to join everyone for the last half of the song. It was absolutely the best and most perfect way for my wedding to end and I get kind of teary thinking about it still!

My last memory of the evening was stuffing my face with leftover baba ghanoush while being convinced that I was probably better off not going out to keep partying and should probably get to bed. It was the most amazing night which I will never, ever forget and I am really glad I got to share it with you all!

I would like to thank the following people for all their help:

Kristina, once again, for her amazing photos and for partying with us until late to get the most ridiculous photos of us dancing our butts off

Marjana and Jodie for getting to the hall early to finish setting up and staying on to party with us all until late

Gav, Vanessa and Ash for looking after the bar and helping us keep things orderly while also have a great time with us

Nick, for being a fan-fucking-tastic DJ and knowing all the right songs to play (and being cool with us playing a couple of our own songs that weren’t in your collection)

Juan More Taco and Alphabet cafe for providing delicious eats to sustain everyone for the dance floor

Out brewer friends who made special batches of beer for us just for the wedding, and to Georgie, Em and Matt for designing the decals

All of our friends for coming and having the best flipping time, so that all of the stress and anxiety leading up to the wedding was 110% worthwhile

The friends and family who pushed through their hangovers to help us empty and clean the hall and return all of the furniture to their rightful owners


Wedding Post No. 4 – Group Photos and the Decorations

January 9, 2016
Halloween, My Life, Parties and Fun, Wedding

This is post fourth post in the series. Read the first post here, the second here and the third here.

I was almost going to do separate posts the group photos and the decorations but then I figured that was getting a tad bit ridiculous since I’m probably going to wind up doing six wedding posts and not four as I originally planned. Plus I don’t need to say a lot about the group shots per say (click on the pic if you’d like to see more info about who’s in the photo).

We had approximately 130 people at our wedding which we were able to accommodate because of the size of Brookfield Hall and because we found a cheap way to feed everyone aaand Ben works in the booze industry so we were able to sort the alcohol side of things up cheaper than most people can for weddings. If I have just one tip for organising a wedding, utilise any and all of the resources available to you!

This is the best group shot ever! Kristina asked us to put on undead, zombie faces and this was the result. Hilarious! This is definitely one photo I recommend zooming in on!

Ben’s extended family including his pop Frank on the far right dressed as a vampire. We actually requested people not dress up in costume (well, at least not in cheesy costumes) and gave some guidelines in how to dress, but Frank is his own man and looked wonderful so no one minded at all :D

Ben’s immediate family.

My immediate family! I’m not close with my extended family and my dad didn’t get an invite for personal reasons so it was just the three of us representing the Westworth’s!


Hahaha classic Cara and Erin :D

With everyone from The Scratch!

With Ben’s nan Rae, the only person who guessed I’d be in white because black would be too obvious and no one would expect me to wear white. She’s a sharp lady!


Now on to the decorations! We had a soft Haunted Mansion theme to coincide with the fact it was Halloween and because it’s our favourite Disney attraction. We could have gone full theme but we didn’t want to alienate the guests who haven’t been to as Disney park and therefore don’t know what it is (and as Australians, that’d be the majority of our guests). So we chose our favourite elements and generally made the hall we hired to look like a grand old haunted house with some (mostly) tasteful Halloween decorations thrown in for good measure.

The front of the hall was kept fairly simple, we had a giant spider over the doorway with webs, plant boxes and jack-o-lanterns. At night the tops of the two towers also lit up green and purple! After the groups photos were all done, we ushered people to the font door which had been firmly closed and had Kieran and Ash knock loudly to get everyone’s attention and then dramatically throw the doors open so that smoke billowed out. It was perfect! We really wanted this to be dramatic and it came together better than we could have hoped!

Now, remember the hall was completely empty when we hired it, so we had to find as much appropriate furniture as possible to fill it and make it look like a beautiful mansion. Luckily we already owned or were able to borrow pretty much everything for no cost. The chandeliers were probably the only thing we hired and they were dirt cheap and belonged to the hall anyway!

We covered all of the windows with dark fabric to block out the sunlight, which would have potentially ruined the effect as the guests entered the hall as it was still light when we opened it up. The curtains were made from cheesecloth we bought in bulk, cut into size then slashed and stained to look like rotting net curtains.

Fun fact: That baby grand piano is actually mine. I saved it from the 2011 Brisbane floods and have been keeping it at mum’s as I don’t have any space for it. Super glad I did because it was such a great addition to the decor!


In the middle of the hall we had a massive dining table. The original intention was to have a long one like the one in the ballroom of the Haunted Mansion but we only had trestle tables and we couldn’t get them to look any good as a long table. Plus we needed lots of table space for all of the snacks we had! We got the girls from Alphabet Cafe to make some wonderfully spooky treats for us, including bloody eyeball cake balls, meringue bones, mini pumpkin pies, caramel apple poptarts, pumpkin spice whoopie pies and cupcakes featuring gravestones and vampire bites.

Our wedding cake was actually gifted to us by a bunch of our friends because it was something we kept kind of forgetting about and actually forgot to budget for! I was planning to get a plain cake made up and have mum help me decorate it but I am soooo thankful our friends got this cake for us instead because there was absolutely no way we would have had time to decorate a freaking wedding cake on top of everything else! The cake was made by Contemporary Cakes and was cemetery themed with gravestones, pumpkins, roses, flying bats, ghosts and Ben and I in a Doom Buggy!

We decorated the raised stage area to look like an old attic, another reference to the Haunted Mansion. We used a combination of empty boxes and tables we didn’t need draped in white sheets to give the illusion of large pieces of furniture covered by drop sheets, as well as a range of cool objects one might expect to see store in an attic, including an old pram, gramophone, suitcases and even a dress form with an old wedding dress. We’d planned to make our own “bride” like from the Haunted Mansion but unfortunately ran out of time to set it all up so this was our subtle nod to her.


We set up a few areas for guest entertainment, such as the oddities table which was kindly provided to us by our friend Luke. Ben built a Tunnel of Love Terror which was a mini-maze filled with creepy stuff and all of the photos of Ben and I from when we first started dating til now.  He even built our photobooth wall! We were hoping to make it Haunted mansion themed too with the famous purple wallpaper but time escaped us yet again so we went with some lovely embossed black wallpaper instead.


Some other details included a Halloween guestbook handmade by mum’s friend Jodie, themed beer decals to go with the craft beers and cider we had on tap (some of which were brewed especially for the wedding), a candy buffet full of American candy and a caramel apple station complete with caramel my sister made from scratch, including a most delicious vegan option. There were probably a thousand other little details that added to the whole effect but I won’t bore you, but it was pretty epic (for lack of a better word) and thankfully was worth all of the effort!

I’d like to thank the following people for their help:

  • Kristina, for capturing the most wonderful group photo at a wedding, ever
  • Sarah P again, for minding Shiro and Midwich for us, and taking them home and feeding them so we didn’t have to worry
  • For all of our friends and family who spent a long, exhausting day with us on the Friday (and Saturday morning), setting up Brookfield Hall to look like a haunted old mansion which meant trekking all over Brisbane and beyond to collect furniture, for supplying and setting up decorations, lighting and sound equipment and feeding us pizza because we were all too frazzled to remember to eat
  • Jodie for the beautiful guestbook, Bev for all of the furniture, Luke for the oddities display and our friends who pitched in to get us a super awesome wedding cake


Wedding Post No. 3 – The Location Shots

January 7, 2016
Animals, Halloween, My Life, Parties and Fun, Wedding

This is the third post in the series, you can read the first post here and the second one here.

After taking the group and family photos (next post!) we rushed off to get the location shots done. We only had a certain amount of time as it was late afternoon and the sun was already getting low. Our first stop was just across the road for some shots with the Chevy and in the nearby cemetery which s my favourite one in Brisbane. To avoid causing any offence we opted to only have a few photos taken by the oldest graves which were from the late 1800s.



The next location was in Upper Brookfield, at someone’s property. There’s a long story behind why  wanted photos here which help give context as to why the next lot of photos exist and why it ended up being one the best times I’ve ever had in my life.

Back when I was a teenager (I think I was maybe 16 or 17) mum took me to visit a customer of ours to see his animals. Derek collected interesting animals which might have been a bit iffy except he clearly loved them dearly and looked after them wonderfully. To this day one of my fondest memories growing up was of him calling his camels over and having them bound over to us and nudge me for pats and cuddles. A couple of months before the wedding, mum and I were driving around Upper Brookfield scouting locations for wedding photos and we inadvertently came across Derek’s place again because I spotted a giant stag in a paddock and climbed through stinging nettle and rocky terrain to see it more closely. As it turns out he was one of approx 80 deer and Derek saw me scrambling around and came out to say hello. We chatted for a bit and as we were leaving he offered to let us come take some of our wedding photos on his property with his deer.


Cut to my wedding day with us all climbing a steep, rocky hill (in heels, might I add) to get photos near the deer, only to be greeted by his last remaining camel (who’s 1.5 tonnes and named Mitchell) who was quite happy to pose for photos with us. We were soon joined by two fat pigs who wanted in on the action, as well as a tiny black horse who cantered up to us with gusto!


And then, without us doing a thing to persuade them, they all lined up perfectly for this amazing photo which I will absolutely treasure forever:

Kristina screeched at us to quickly pose so she could get the shot and it turned out like absolute magic. But the fun wasn’t quite over yet because Mitchell the camel took quite a liking to Kieran and kept nudging him and nibbling his hair until all of a sudden he opened his mouth and gently bit most of Kieran’s head! It’s apparently a sign of affection and Kieran insists it didn’t hurt, but it was the most shocking and hilarious thing any of us have ever seen.

We ended up running well over time because of our adventures and because walking down a super steep, rocky hill in heels with sweaty feet is very hard, slow work. But it was so much fun and absolutely exceeded my expectations beyond anything I could have possibly hoped for. Our main reason for going there was to get some creepy shots with the deer and dead trees in the background, but instead we got some ridiculous, unique photos with a range of awesome animals. Sure, they weren’t particularly on theme but they were 110% perfect to me!

I’d like to thank the following people for helping us out during this part of the day:

  • Kristina, again, for being awesome at her job and getting such magnificent shots with her impeccable timing and sense of direction
  • Kieran, for being a proper animal whisperer by keeping the dog Rudi from escaping and being totally nonchalant about being bitten by a camel
  • Erin and Sarah for preventing me from falling on my arse, holding my enormous skirt up and protecting our precious bouquets
  • Derek, profusely, for letting us take advantage of his beautiful property and fabulous animals


Wedding Post No. 2: The Ceremony

January 5, 2016
Halloween, My Life, Parties and Fun, Wedding

This is a continuation of my previous post which you can read here.

We were taken to Brookfield Hall in a beautiful 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air that mum arranged for us, which I actually only just fit into because my dress had so much tulle! We made our leisurely way to the hall, giving Ben text updates on our progress along the way. We were having a laugh and enjoying ourselves up until the hall came into view and we saw all those people! It seemed like there were a thousand people waiting for us and Erin and I immediately started to panic! Not in a bad way, it was just overwhelming to see so many people in one place waiting for us!


I tumbled out of the car and the girls straightened my dress while mum made sure everything was sitting OK and then we heard the song we’d chosen for me to walk up the aisle (Grim Grinning Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion) and we knew it was time! Erin and I couldn’t stop muttering “holy shit, oh fuck” as we saw everyone staring down at us… so many eager faces! Erin set off first, followed by Sarah, with mum and I holding hands at the back. It was a bit of a walk over uneven ground while we were all wearing heels but we made it up without any twisted ankles. I actually don’t recall all of the details of this part but I’m told people gasped when they saw what I was wearing (no one was expecting me to wear white, mwahaha) and when Ben finally saw me he said “holy shit” which was about the reaction I was hoping for!


Our ceremony was short and very personalised. There’s a lot about marriage that makes me uneasy, so we took out all the bits we hated and made it fun and unique to suit us. Which means yes, we weren’t legally married that day but we covered that by getting legally married two days beforehand so we could do our wedding our way on Halloween. We swapped “I do” with “Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needly in my eye” and our wonderful friend and “celebrant” Billie said many lovely words about us. We both had our own vows which were just us talking about why we love each other, which I’m pleased to say made everyone laugh and cry a lot, then we kissed and we were done! To complete the effect we signed a special marriage certificate Billie created for us which I’ll forever treasure over the boring legal one :)

If you were wondering, no I didn’t cry. But I’m a bit of an emotional wasteland, so unless I’m watching a movie where an animal dies, I rarely cry. I think it’s a coping mechanism I developed to avoid wrecking my makeup, haha. I was still pretty damn nervous though, I won’t lie. Not because I’m scared of commitment or was apprehensive about marrying Ben, but because I had to speak in front of so many people! the fact I knew almost everyone there only made it scarier too. But once I got going and made people laugh with my feminist remarks about the patriarchy, I felt pretty calm. Also, seeing Ben tear up made me swell with so much love!


It was exactly the kind of ceremony I wanted. Over the top but not in a typical wedding way. Unique to Ben and I with it’s combination of creepy and pretty decorations. It was short and sweet and quite casual, plus our guests got to unwind with a beer or cider which is something Ben and I were passionate about providing. I also LOVED how many people got into the spirit with their outfits! Everyone looked classy and a bit creepy and there weren’t any tacky costumes at all (well except for Ben’s pop who came as Dracula, but he pulled it off perfectly).


I’d like to thank the following people for their help in this part of the day:

  • Ben and Kieran for busting their arses to get everything finished at the hall, racing off to get ready and then finishing up before the guests arrived. Total champs!
  • Jodie and Marjana for helping decorate and set up and just being a great help
  • Billie for being the best damn celebrant we could have ever hoped for
  • Leif for looking after the music and audio for the ceremony


Time for a Wedding post: Getting Ready.

January 4, 2016
Fashion and makeup, Halloween, My Life, Parties and Fun, Wedding

I have been trying to write a post about our wedding for ages, but it’s been hard to dedicate the time because I started a small business a week after and then it was the silly season and I am exhausted! I was also trying to do one big post because I am notoriously hopeless at doing multiple posts about the one subject, but it just wasn’t working out. So I am going to attempt four blog posts about our big day: getting ready, the ceremony, the location photos and the reception. I’m also going to cut way back on the word count because that’s where I tend to struggle. So without further ado, here’s the Getting Ready post!

While our wedding wasn’t going to be anything close to “traditional”, I still wanted to get ready with my mum and bridesmaids (my sister Erin and best friend Sarah) while Ben got ready elsewhere with his best man/friend Kieran. Mum and I had gone to great lengths to make my dress a well as every other details (bridesmaid dresses, bouquet’s, headwear etc) as unique and amazing as possible and I wanted Ben to get the full blast of it with the of the guests at the ceremony. We both stayed together at home the night before, thoroughly exhausted from setting up the hall all day and continuing preparations until late, and went our separate ways mid-morning.

I went to a friends house in Taringa to take advantage of their lovely big, bright home that was relatively close to where the wedding was going to be. We still had a bunch of stuff to do including finishing touches on dresses, making caramel for the caramel apple station, having our nails done etc so we got to work right away. I got my good friend Mel from Excuse My French to do our nails as I figured we’d have wrecked them in the days leading up to the day with preparations or while setting up the day before. Plus I’d barely had the time to do our acrylic refills so I was very glad Mel could help us out!

Our hair and makeup were done by Sue McLaurin who a friend recommended to me. She was absolutely awesome and made us look fantastic. I especially admired her patience with curling my many hair extension pieces which stained her hands dark purple! I went for some dark, almost gothic makeup with lots of purples while my bridesmaids went a bit more natural and just had their natural hair styled.

The bridesmaid dresses were made painstakingly by mum using shot silk dupion and a variety of patterns and a whole lotta winging it because American patterns are very different to Australian ones and my bridesmaids have very different body shapes. We had a slight hiccup where Sarah’s top wasn’t fitting properly as we hadn’t had time to do a final fitting and mum had taken it in a bit too much. But we worked out a way to fix it before the panic completely set in! I’ll go into more detail in a later post about the other details of our outfits, such as the magnificent headpieces we wore!


Getting me into my dress was scary as we’d already attached the headpiece and I could only put the dress on over my head! Luckily a quick thinking Kristina (our magnificent photographer) suggested we drape my dressing gown over my head so that the dress could easily slip down! I can’t get over how a store-bought dress, particularly one that was both Disney-inspired and reasonably priced, fitted me so perfectly. I’ll go into more detail about the dress in another post.

Once we were all dressed, we only had a few minutes to spare for photos as we were running behind so Kristina snapped a few lovely photos of us in the library and the hallway before dashing off to the ceremony. We’d hoped to get some photos out in the beautiful gardens but we are Westworth’s after all which means we are forever running late. Fortunately we were able to leave the house right on the planned time, as I was dreading being super late (as is my usual style) and running out of time after the ceremony for photos! Go team!


We had Shiro and Midwich with us as they were going to be present for the ceremony. I reckon they helped keep me calm as the day went on, I’m not a particularly stressy person but tight deadlines can make me kind of angry and panicky so it was nice having my fur children around to distract me a bit. I wish I’d had time to get Shiro a little outfit to wear, though he probably would have hated it. At least Midwich looked cute in her little jack-o-lantern dress!


BONUS PICS! Ben and Kieran got to muck around a bit with some beers while getting ready which I’m sure was a welcome reprieve from the stress of trying to get everything done at the hall before guests started to arrive. Such a handsome husband-to-be!

I would like to thank the following people for helping us out while we were getting ready. Without you we would have been up shit creek for sure:

  • Kristina Childs for not only being a fantastic photographer, but a big help in keeping us stick to a schedule
  • Sue McLaurin for dealing with what Ben likes to call a “gaggle of Westworth’s” with some Sarah thrown into the mix
  • Mel, who came interstate for the wedding, and found the time to still do a fab job of my nails
  • Lara, for racing over before she had to get ready herself to do an emergency shop run for us and collect some rogue pumpkins
  • Sarah P for collecting and puppysitting Shiro and Midwich for us, something we couldn’t have managed without her
  • Ben’s mum Fiona for collecting all of the caramel and other bits and pieces we were still working on as we were getting ready
  • Mark for letting us utilise his beautiful home while overseas and Luke for letting us in and not judging the aftermath too harshly


Why I’ve Been Away – The Wedding Edition

November 8, 2015
My Life, Parties and Fun, Wedding


Hi guys, I just wanted to post a little update as I have just not had the time to post on my blog lately even though I have much to say! So this is what has been keeping me away:

  • I quit my day job for good as of the 21st October
  • I married the love of my life Benjamin on Halloween
  • I officially started doing nails full time in a shop called Pastel Palace in Paddington (Brisbane) as of yesterday the 7th of November.

Today has been my first proper day off in weeks, and I am exhausted. I should be doing a big, proper post about the wedding and finishing off my 31 Day of Halloween posts and maybe even a post about my awesome Hen’s Night from a few weeks ago but I need to veg out and watch Netflix and stop doing stuff for today!

Our wedding photos were taken by Kristina Childs who was AMAZING! I have a bunch added on my facebook which you can check out here: #benandcaragetspooky

I promise to do a bunch of posts ASAP. My life has become a whole lot less stressful now so I think I’ll be able to commit to blogging a bit more. I mean, I do need to drum up lots of new business for Kawaii Klaws but now I’m not working a day job, doing nails every evening and on weekends and the wedding is over, I reckon I might have time to do shit again! Yay!


What I Wore: Super Bright for Wedding Shopping

October 1, 2015
Fashion and makeup, My Life, Wedding, What I Wore

Last Saturday my mum and I spent the day shopping for wedding supplies! We ended up visiting Costco which is the worst on a Saturday for decorations/lollies, DFO for wedding shoes and Paddington to look for jewelry and other bits and pieces. As I love on the south-west of Brisbane and Costco and DFO are waaaay up north there was a lor of driving and hurrying around but it was really fun!

I was determined to wear my dolls head necklace that I got in Harajuku and still hadn’t worn properly! SoI came up with a very bright, loud and fun outfit to compliment it! The people of the northside pf Brisbane obviously don’t see to much kawaii fashion as some people were quite taken aback! But hearing little kids get excited and compliment my outfit made it all worthwhile :)


Skirt: Little Lovers Cheerleader skirt from Black Milk Clothing
Top/s: From Valley Girl/Supre
Stockings: Plus Sized Solid Color Tights in Sky Blue from We Love Colors
Headband: Made by my sister for Ruby Kawaii
Necklaces: Dolls head necklace and heart choker from Romantic Standard

While leaving Costco it started pouring with rain. Mum and I were far too impatient to I grabbed a box to protect my hair and ran to my car. Of course it stopped as soon as I was about to get in the car, so mum snapped this pic :D


Why should I lose weight for my wedding anyway?

July 24, 2015
Body and Soul, Feminism, Wedding


In case you missed it, Ben and I are getting married on Halloween this year. As far as weddings go, we didn’t leave ourselves much time to get organising, particularly since we skipped off to Japan for almost a month shortly after deciding we wanted a Halloween wedding! I’m better at planning stuff last-minute anyway, or so I like to keep telling myself.

Weddings, even unconventional ones like ours, are a big deal to plan. Honestly if we weren’t having a themed wedding with a very specific idea in mind, I’d be more than happy to just have a chilled out backyard wedding with minimal cost or planning needed! But obviously, because I am who I am, it’s gonna be a bit of an extravagant affair. We’ve only got just over three months til the big day and soooo much left to do, OMG the stress! But I reckon we’ll get it all sorted and it’ll be the best party ever.

There are a couple of things bugging me pretty badly though, one in particular I have been internalising but then read this awesome article by Lindy West about how perfect her wedding was despite being fat. It was a wonderful read and made me really think about my desire to shed some weight before my wedding. I am determined to tone up my upper body as I noticed some fatty bit when I tried my dress on. But why? Why am I so determined to change a part of my body that’s going to be incredibly difficult to target (seriously, how do you even target your fatty armpit/side boob area? Push ups?)  just so I can look back at my wedding photos years down the track and think “ahhh not having arm fat that day made the whole experience that little extra bit special”. I mean, I’m wearing a dress that has so much damn tulle that you could kick my shin and it’d take five minutes for you to connect with me, so losing weight on my lower half would be kind of pointless if I’m specifically trying to lose weight for the wedding.  So I’m literally worrying myself over a fine layer of fat on my back and around/on my arms which most people have unless they’re body builders or dramatically underweight.

I’m trying to make my wedding as pro-feminist as possible but I can’t help but still worry about the trivial, patriarchal bullshit that women are told they’re supposed to worry about. Ben couldn’t give a shit if I lost/gained some weight before we get married and yet I am worried about being a fat wife, of guests thinking “geez she could have at last toned up a bit” or seeing the photos and only being able to see my chubby arms and not how wonderful a day it was. What a goddamn waste! I’m ever so slowly getting to a point where my weight isn’t the source of most of my misery, but I still panic at the thought of not looking slim and”perfect” on my wedding day. I never even believed in weddings until recently!

Weddings are such silly, sexist, heteronormative things. There are so many silly, expensive things women are convinced they have to do to look “perfect” while the man just chucks a suit on, shaves and turns up on time. I am very excited about turning up and blowing everyone’s minds with my awesome dress, but I mostly just want to have an awesome time with my friends and family. Who actually gives a shit if I don’t lose 15kg anyway? Not anyone who’ll be attending my wedding, that’s for damn sure!



Guess who’s engaged?!

March 23, 2015
Feminism, My Life, Parties and Fun, Wedding


Well I guess it’s time to spill the beans… Ben and I are engaged! It actually happened last Monday but we didn’t tell anyone except family and close friends as it was very much out of the blue and not exactly a traditional marriage proposal. But Ben was too dang excited about it and posted about it on facebook while at work last night and well, now the world knows!

So I’m not a traditional kinda girl at all, in fact I’ve never been that into marriage and have only come around to the idea of it since meeting Ben (not because he talked me into it, but it was the first time I felt like I actually wanted to marry someone). I was actually kind of steering towards a commitment ceremony instead of a wedding since I wasn’t going to be taking his name and mostly just wanted a cool party with my friends and family and to wear an awesome dress. But last Monday evening we somehow got on the topic of engagements and I told Ben that I didn’t believe in them and thought it was preposterous that women felt like they had to wait until their partner proposed to them when it’s something they really, dearly wanted. In some cases having to wait years and years! Nope, that’s not for me. Ben was a bit surprised, apparently I hadn’t really mentioned this to him before, just that I would say no if he ever did one of those big, public proposals. So he asked what I wanted to do about marriage then and I admitted I thought it made much better sense that we as a couple who both want to marry each other should discuss it together and just mutually decide on a wedding date and skip the engagement nonsense altogether! We kept discussing it and at the end of the conversation we agreed that it made perfect sense for us to get married on Halloween since it falls on a Saturday this year anyway (and admittedly I’d been entertaining the thought of a Halloween wedding since talking to a friend who’s having her wedding in October this year).

So that’s it! It’s not particularly romantic but it’s exactly how I wanted it. I love Ben to death and want to marry him and only him, but I am also a proud feminist and I wanted it to be done in a way that made me happy and not just the way it’s traditionally done which I find is often oppressive and/or redundant these days. The wedding will be Halloween/Haunted Mansion themed so it won’t be super kitsch Halloween, but a bit more classy and gothic horror (without going full goth because… nah, that’s not for me). There’s so much to plan but we’re also keen to make this a very chilled out affair and just a great big fun day for everyone who attends!

In case you haven’t been to any of the Disney parks, here’s a walk-through of the attraction which gives you a pretty good idea of the look we’ll be going for :D