News & Media

17 March 2020

Jamie-Lee and Tim: First Loves to Forever Valentines

Bursaria Real Wedding Profile

There is nothing better for us here at Bursaria Fine Foods, than learning about our wedding couples and working with them to create one of the most special days of their lives. 

We feel it’s an honour to have been selected as your chosen venue, and we take getting to know our couples seriously. Every couple is unique, and has their own love story to share. It is important that their wedding day reflects their personalities, beliefs, culture and personal style. It’s this keen attention to detail that sets Bursaria apart – we listen, we care, and we aim for extraordinary – Every. Single. Wedding.

We obviously see all the ‘behind the scenes’ workings of the wedding day – we are the team setting up the venue; creating menus and presenting the catering; managing service; pouring the drinks; looking after the bride, groom and all the guests; cleaning up after you’ve gone home in a state of just-married bliss… (we really do have the most rewarding job!) but we are always curious how you – the newlyweds, experienced your own wedding…

Jamie-Lee and Tim were one of our favourite most recent couples, and they so kindly agreed to give us a little snippet of their love story, and their perspective of their big day!

Bride and Groom

Jamie-Lee & Tim

Wedding Date 

15th November 2019

What location did you choose for your wedding ceremony? 

The Oratory, at The Abbotsford Convent

Where was your wedding reception held?

Rosina Function Space at The Abbotsford Convent

How many guests attended?

We had 130 guests

How did you meet? 

As young teenagers, we were both briefly in the Air Force Cadets and we met there. However, we didn’t start dating until years later.

How did you know, you had each found ‘The One’? 

We are both each other’s first loves, and we have both always known we were ‘it’ for each other. We have always been so comfortable around each other and nothing was ever forced.

Tell us your proposal story… 

It was Valentine’s Day and Tim took us to the lookout along the Mount Dandenong Fire Trail, overlooking Melbourne; and then we had dinner at Sky High – which is cheesily where we went 8 years ago for our first 6 month anniversary dinner.

What were your ‘must haves’ when looking for a wedding venue? 

We were searching for the right feel and vibe. A place I knew would look beautiful in photos and the video..

Why did you choose Bursaria to look after your wedding? 

We chose The Abbotsford Convent, and we were aware of Bursaria Fine Foods’ excellent reputation for their catering, so we knew we were in good hands.

What was your favourite menu item: 

The Calamari melted in your mouth! And all the guests raved about the vegan option!

What was your favourite moment or memory of the day? 

Entering the Oratory at Abbotsford Convent, hearing my beautiful ‘walk down the aisle’ song being played; seeing a sea of familiar faces, and being able to focus in on Tim – like we were the only two in the room.

Advice for other couples currently searching for a venue, or just recently engaged? 

Yes, it can be stressful; but don’t let it get between you – everything will be worth it on the day. Be present in every moment.

If you could change one thing about your wedding day, what would it be? 

That we didn’t have our pup, Bug, involved; or in any of the photos.

If you could only use 3 words to describe your wedding, what would they be? 

Romantic, Emotional, Unforgettable

We love that Jamie-Lee and Tim chose The Abbotsford Convent for both their wedding ceremony and reception. It’s a great idea, as it takes away the travel time between venues; and allows your guests to relax, mingle and enjoy post ceremony cocktails and finger food before the main dinner – while you duck off for your wedding photos around the grounds.

Abbotsford Convent provides the most stunning backdrop for photography, and the party really gets started once you enter our Rosina Function Space for your wedding reception. 

The Rosina Function Space offers heritage elegance with original lead-light windows, polished floorboards, atmospheric high ceilings and exposed wooden trusses. Paired with Bursaria’s award winning catering, it truly is a gorgeous venue for your own wedding. And with the recommendation from Jamie-Lee and Tim, that a wedding with us would be ‘unforgettable’ – what are you waiting for?

Get in touch with our team today to find out more information, and book a tour of the venue! 

7 March 2020

Who inspires Bursaria? | #IWD2020

With International Women’s Day right around the corner, there is no better time to lift up amazing females, celebrate their greatness and be happy and proud to stand amongst them. As a female-led company, we here at Bursaria recognise the hard work, dedication and talent it takes to be successful and stand out from the competition, but the saying ‘empowered women empower women’ really is true… the more women stand together and raise each other up, the more we can all succeed together.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the ‘social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women’ – whilst also raising awareness for gender equality. The theme for this 2020 International Women’s Day is ‘Generation Equality’ – a call to join forces across generations, to create a world where ‘every girl and woman has equal opportunities to fulfil their full potential’. Equal access to education and income are central to levelling the playing field for women around the world, and this means all women speaking out against inequality, demonstrating fairness in our own businesses and becoming a universal force for impactful change.

In honour of this monumental day, we asked some of our very own inspirational women from within our business, to compile a short but sweet list of other women they admire from within the hospitality industry, and why:

Alice Waters

An American chef, restaurateur, activist and author, Alice is the owner of Chez Panisse, a Californian restaurant famous for its organic, locally grown ingredients. Sara O’Callaghan, our esteemed Director, says Alice has been a long term role model. Sara was fortunate enough to have visited her restaurant in California to experience her ‘farm gate to plate’ ethos.

Maggie Beer

Maggie Beer is an Australian cook, food author, restaurant owner, and is one of the judges on The Great Australian Bake Off, and a regular guest on MasterChef Australia. Sara admires her use of flavours and style of cooking which always make the produce the hero of her cooking. Vanessa, our Sales Manager, agrees and loves her simple and unpretentious approach to food.

Jo Barrett 

Our Event Coordinator Bonnie has always loved the Yarra Valley, and kicked off her wine education with her parents at the various vineyards – learning to polish glasses when she was 8 years old, while her parents hosted a wine club! Oakridge was a standout, and Bonnie remembers it feeling so special. Since working in hospitality, Bonnie has come to admire the work Jo and the Oakridge team are doing with zero waste and low food miles.

Nigella Lawson

Nigella’s beautifully styled, yet authentic and down to earth cooking, along with her ‘backbone of steel’ and sharp wit, makes her one of Bonnie’s role models. Seeing her speak in Melbourne last year cemented Bonnie’s love for her as an advocate, intelligent and empathetic speaker and dinner party host extraordinaire!

Kirsten MacKelden

Vanessa admires the way Kirsten has built her incredible ‘Real Weddings’ business and really paved the way for wedding directories. After so many years in the industry, Kirsten remains passionately hands-on with her business and clients on a day to day basis… a real inspiration for anyone involved in the events and weddings sector.

 Jo Betz

A gorgeous woman with the most infectious smile, Jo is an amazing celebrant who brings so much joy to an already happy occasion – someone’s wedding day! Jo suffered an immense personal loss in 2017 but has not let this stop her. She has since continued to pursue her career as celebrant, running her own business and inspiring others who have suffered loss and mental health issues through her writing and public speaking.

There are so many more fabulous women in hospitality and other industries, all over the world – too many to mention! Gender equality is an international issue, however, to do our part on a micro level, we must remember to continuously acknowledge and praise other women’s achievements, see them as mentors and role models, appreciate the healthy competition, support and stand together in an effort to bridge the gender inequality gap, and be valued for all the wonderful value females bring to the table. And at the same time – don’t be shy to shout your own achievements from the rooftops too!

For us, a gender equal world can be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious, with a fair playing field for all – who wouldn’t want that?! The goal is a gender equal boardroom, gender equal government, equal media coverage, equal workplaces and businesses, equal sports coverage, equal pay, more gender equality in health and wealth … so let’s make it happen. Go and celebrate the fierce females in your life, not just today, but every day, and let’s be #EachForEqual… 

Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at Bursaria!

7 March 2020

Bursaria Wedding Planning Guide Series #3

You are on the home stretch – only 6 short months to go until your wedding day! The countdown is well and truly on, and before you know it, you will be waking up on the morning of the most special day of your life!

If you have been following our helpful wedding planning guide so far, you will be super organised and most, if not all, of the big tasks have already been ticked off your list – however don’t relax yet, as you do have a little way still to go!

These final months are crucial to check, double check, and triple check all you have planned and organised thus far, to ensure every detail has been thought of, and you don’t forget or miss anything.

So, with 6 months remaining, this is your next and final planning guide:

15. Buy Wedding Rings

An important symbol of marriage, be sure to purchase your wedding rings a few months before your nuptials. Your wedding ring should feel comfortable (you’ll be wearing it all the time!) and suit your personal style.

Remember to hand these over to your ring bearer or best man, for safe keeping until the exchanging of the rings in your ceremony.

16. Create a Seating Chart

Work with your wedding venue to determine how many tables your wedding space can accommodate. Then, use an online tool, or an old-fashioned marker and paper, to figure out who sits where.

Bursaria provides floor plans for each of their venues – Abbotsford Convent and The Refectory at Werribee Park; which makes figuring out how many tables you can fit, and where your guests will be seated, a breeze!

Ensure to keep your relationships and family dynamics in mind. Once you’ve finalised your seating chart (usually a week or so before your wedding), be sure to send this to your venue so they can set up your plan correctly, and know where people with dietary requirements will be seated.

17. Meet with your Celebrant

Your chosen celebrant will take you through the planning of the ceremony, explain how it will run, and ask you which personal stories and snippets of your lives as a couple, you would like to include.

They will also assist with the lodgement of the forms needed to arrange your marriage license and certificate – you will need to follow their instructions as to what paperwork to complete, and when it needs to be submitted.

@love_drunk_weddings Photography

18. Confirm Final Details with Your Suppliers

Wedding suppliers work best when given all the necessary information they need to allow them to perform their services. You’ve most likely been in close contact with your suppliers leading up to your wedding, and by now they should be across your needs and have scheduled in your booking.

During the final stage of your planning, you will need to pass along critical info to your vendors – final guest numbers for catering, table numbers for how many centerpieces you’ll need, playlists handed to your DJ or band, list of preferred shots and locations to your photographer etc.

Use the last few months and weeks to make sure that you’ve tied up any loose ends, your suppliers have all the information they need; and they have been properly paid up to date.

Anything that won’t be delivered or installed on the day, and needs to be collected by you prior to your wedding – such as your dress and suits – should be picked up and stored safely. 

As a premium venue, we highly recommend informing your venue which suppliers will be attending on the day, and what they are bringing / setting up – to ensure there is adequate access and set up time.

For extra peace of mind, call or email each supplier a fortnight out from the wedding to confirm every detail, make sure they understand your expectations, and are on schedule.

19. Finalise Wedding Schedule

Your wedding schedule will highlight the timing of the day – when the food will be served, what time the speeches will take place, at what stage you will perform your first dance, or cut the cake… your wedding venue will most likely help you the most with this.

Bursaria’s in house wedding coordinators will create this for you, and you can tweak it along the planning stages – once finalised, our team distributes the same info to all relevant parties for you.

It is super important for you, your MC, your venue, planner and caterers to have this document – as it means every single person who has an interest in running your day, is on the same page, and everything flows effortlessly.

20. Plan for Wet Weather

We don’t want to jinx you, but putting in a little forethought and having a plan in place in case of forecast rain on your wedding day will ease any anxiety you feel as the clouds roll in…

If you have any part of your ceremony or reception that is booked to be outdoors, ensure you have a Plan B! Hopefully you won’t need to enact it, but if you do, just remember – rain shouldn’t dampen your spirits on your wedding, a little drizzle can mean some gorgeous photography, and it is meant to be good luck!

Luckily for Bursaria couples, we have indoor spaces to quickly move your ceremony to, in the event of wet weather. In the days leading up to your wedding, if the forecast is rain; you will be asked what your preference is – to remain outdoors or to be set up inside instead. It’s so good to have an in-house team that is on the ball and proactive!

21. Write your vows

If you are writing your own vows, all we can say is – don’t wait until the last minute to put pen to paper. Vows should be given the proper respect and time to be written properly, and from the heart.

22. Hair and Makeup trial

If you would like a trial of your hair and makeup beforehand, book this in roughly a month before your wedding date. This will give you time to discuss any changes or tweaks you may want, and have a second trial if you need it.

23. Pre Wedding Celebratory Events

You may have planned and be hosting bachelorette and bachelor parties, or another traditional or cultural celebration event before your actual wedding day – the weeks right beforehand would be the best time for these, as it really kicks off the lead up, and builds up the momentum and excitement for the big day.

A rehearsal dinner is usually booked to be held a night or two before the actual wedding day.

24. Self Care and Pampering

The planning is done, everything is booked and confirmed, NOW is your time to relax and indulge in a little pampering!

In the days immediately before your wedding, make some time to slot in your final personal preparations – such as a manicure, pedicure, spray tan, facial… break in your wedding shoes, steam press your dress and suits, pack your bags for your wedding night or honeymoon if you are jetting off straight after your wedding…

Get lots of sleep and drink lots of water so your skin looks extra fresh and glowy!

25. Get Married!

The big day is finally here!!

You, your partner, your families, your venue and your suppliers have worked hard to follow all the steps to planning your wedding, and now is the time for you to enjoy every minute of your special day!

Our final piece of advice, would be to take a few moments when you can throughout the day – just to catch your breath, and look out over your friends and family eating, drinking, laughing, dancing – they are all there to celebrate you and your love. Let that feeling of joy and appreciation wash over you, as these few precious moments of calm within the busy day, will be treasured memories for the rest of your life.If you need any further assistance planning your wedding – especially if you need to find the perfect wedding venue or caterer for your special day, please get in touch with our friendly staff at Bursaria – we would love to help make your wedding dreams come true! Get in touch via

7 March 2020

Bursaria Wedding Planning Guide | Series #2

By now, you are now well and truly in the midst of your wedding planning, and you should be feeling super accomplished and organised – you have set a date, found your wedding venue (extra special congrats if you chose one of our Bursaria Fine Foods venues! You’re in for a treat!), settled on a theme and you have a rough idea of who will be celebrating with you – your special day is taking shape!

Picking up from the previous guide which helped you get cracking on the initial steps to start your wedding planning, this next guide will focus on what tasks you need to tick off the list, from 12 months – 6 months prior to your wedding:

8. Book Your Suppliers

Booking your suppliers – celebrant, wedding cake, photographers and videographers, florist, cars, hair and makeup, DJs or band, decorators and all the finer details you want to bring your theme together; will be one of the biggest tasks you will undertake.

It is important to hire the right people to ensure your big day runs smoothly, so take your time with research – read reviews, be clear with your expectations and make sure you feel comfortable with the person or company you are hiring.

You need to give these vendors as much time as possible to lock in their services on your set wedding date, and you can also use this time to negotiate pricing and find the best value for money.

Keep a clear list of what you have already booked, and deposits paid / costs involved – stick to your theme and budget as closely as you can. And be sure to put in reminders closer to the date to confirm all bookings and check all is progressing on schedule – but we will touch more on that in the next guide.

Bursaria run venues – Abbotsford Convent and The Refectory at Werribee Park, maintain a list of preferred suppliers, whom are trusted to provide exceptional service and offer the best value for money. You are of course, welcome to choose any supplier you like, but it’s always a great idea to check with your venue first if they have recommendations for you. It will be a huge time saver!

9. Finalise Your Guest List and Send Out Invitations

If you haven’t already, it’s time to create your final wedding guest list, and get ready to send out your invitations. Some couples like to send out ‘Save The Date’ cards before the invitations, and if you wish to do this, make sure the Save The Date cards go out quite soon after you have set your date.

For the official invitations, give your guests at least 6 months’ notice, so they can plan to attend (longer if you are having a destination wedding involving travel), and set a clear RSVP date several weeks before your big day – you will need to keep track of all the attendees and those who decline, and this final number of guests will be given to your venue for the catering.

*Top Tip – include space on your invitations for your guests to add in any dietary requirements they might have – our team suggests providing these specific food preferences as early as possible to allow time to order, and prep.

A cute idea is to also add a section for your guests to add in a song of choice – this information can be crucial in creating your playlist for your DJ or band, and will get your guests up on the dancefloor!

When finalising your guest list, be sure to keep your venue’s capacity in mind as well, and don’t invite more people than the space can handle.

10. Get Your Glam On!

Gents will need to be fitted for suits, and ladies – it’s time to start shopping for your wedding gown!

Like everything else you have organised so far, do your research first and narrow down a few bridal stores you would like to visit in person. Make appointments, get your special bridal squad together, pop the champers and make a day of it!

Depending on whether you are custom designing or buying off the rack – wedding dresses and suits can take months from the time you purchase, until it’s properly fitted and tailored, so don’t wait until the last minute to select your outfits.

Once you have selected your dress and suits, also organise your accessories – shoes, veil, jewellery and other finishing touches

11. Plan Your Honeymoon

You may be thinking a lot about how to plan your wedding step by step, but don’t forget about the honeymoon! If you’re planning on jetting off on your honeymoon shortly after your wedding, it’s time to choose a location, book your travel and accommodations, and start planning an itinerary.

While you are planning your honeymoon, also take some time to think about accommodation on your actual wedding night, and be sure to book this in now also.

Optional extras at this time, would be:

12. Menu Tasting

Check with your wedding venue if they offer a menu tasting – this is a great way to get an idea of the taste and presentation of their catering, each individual dish, and from this you can select your wedding menu.

Some venues offer this for ‘free’ (the cost is built into your package), and other venues – like us here at Bursaria, offer a menu tasting at a reasonable cost per person.

This is a nice dinner to invite both sets of parents to, and provides an opportunity to get together and discuss your wedding plans to date, and hear feedback and opinions from a trusted source about your menu.

13. Schedule / Plan Other Celebrations

If you are having bachelor and bachelorette parties, a kitchen tea event, or a rehearsal dinner – now is when you need to start planning for these celebrations also. Generally, your bridal party members will organise these for you, but you need to be across the dates so you can schedule them in, and organise outfits and details for each event.

14. Gift Registry

If you are wanting a traditional style gift registry, use these months to get that organised. You will need to include details of your gift registry within your official invitations, or update this on your wedding website.

Once you have ticked all the above off your ‘To Do’ list, congratulations! – you are more than halfway through your planning, and you now should be very clear and excited about how your day will look, feel and run. You should be feeling like a planning machine at this stage! Go, you!

Have a wine, relax, reward yourself with a facial or massage, and get ready to tackle the final homestretch run to your big day!

The next planning checklist in the series – coming next week, will explore the next, and final, phase of planning – what you need to organise in the 6 months prior to your big day! Stay tuned…

In the meantime, if you require specific advice or wish to chat with us about viewing our venues – Abbotsford Convent; or The Refectory at Werribee Park, please jump over to our website –  for more information and contact details

3 February 2020

Wedding Planning Guide | Bursaria Series #1

Our step-by-step guide to make your wedding planning a breeze!

Just got engaged? Congratulations! This is such an exciting and momentous time in your life. You’ve found your ‘forever’, and you want to make your wedding the most perfect day to celebrate your love and commitment to each other.

Planning your wedding should be an enjoyable experience that both you and your partner collaborate on together. However, a lot of stress and anxiety can come along with that shiny new sparkler on your ring finger; so we’ve created our handy dandy lil’ wedding planning checklist series to help you sail through each wedding planning phase with ease… you can thank us later in your wedding speech 😉

The first planning checklist in the series will get through the post engagement bubble of excitement, to the beginnings of an actual wedding plan taking shape… this is what you should be thinking of, directly after your engagement:

  1. Inspiration
    You need to think about how you want your wedding to look and feel… traditional or casual, rustic or modern? Indoors, outdoors, season, colour palettes… how do you envision your big day? What are your must-haves?

    Pinterest, Instagram, wedding websites and magazines are great places to start collating your inspo, and gathering the ideas that you love. From this, you should hopefully start seeing a theme emerge. Once you have a clear vision of style, theme and décor, this will help you choose a venue and suppliers down the track.
  2. Set a Budget
    Not the most exciting part of the planning process, but definitely one of the most important. Think about parents or family that may wish to contribute financially, and your own input; and work out a budget you are comfortable with, and do what you can to work within it. Your wedding shouldn’t break the bank! But you do also want it to be the most special day, within your means. Setting a budget will help stop you going overboard, and will assist making those tough decisions later between ‘want’ and ‘need’ (like, do you reeeally need the full brass marching band?!)
  3. Narrow down 2-3 Potential Wedding Dates
    Look at your calendar and consider work schedules, holidays, the season, weather, family schedules etc. and narrow it down to a few preferred dates.

    It’s always best to have a few options – you could grab yourself a bargain getting married midweek, rather than a Saturday night, for example. And keep in mind when you fall in love with a venue, they may already have a booking on your preferred date.

    Stay open minded and flexible and you will have more options available to you. If you have only specific date you must be married on, try to book your venue as much in advance as possible to secure the date you want.
  4. Choose your Guest List and Wedding Party
    You need to know how many people you would like in attendance. This will narrow down your search of venue to only those that have the capacity for your wedding size. While you don’t need an exact final head count at this stage, writing down your approximate guest list will give you an idea of how small / large your wedding will be.
    This will also determine if you have budgeted correctly, and if you need to make cuts now, before any invitations are sent.

    This is also when you think about your favourite people, and what role you would like them to play in your wedding. Choose your wedding party! You can also arrange a celebration or special way of asking them to stand beside you on your big day.
  5. Research potential Wedding Venues
    Now that you have a budget, a style and theme, an estimated guest count, and a few potential wedding dates in mind, you have all the information you need to start looking for a wedding venue.

    Take into consideration their menus, packages, cost, service, availability, reviews, can they deliver what they are promising? Are they attentive and responsive to your needs and requests?

    Once you have narrowed the list down to a few, book appointments to visit in person, and have a list of questions ready with you. Walk around the space and really feel the vibe and see if you can imagine yourself celebrating your big day there. Just like finding your partner, you’ll know when you’ve found the right one!

Optional extras at this time, would be:

  1. Plan and Host your Engagement Party
    Your celebrations don’t have to wait until the actual wedding day! The fun of getting married means you have many excuses to get your family and friends around to toast to your love!

    Remember – the engagement party comes out of your wedding budget, so plan accordingly. Some couples choose to skip the engagement party altogether – whatever works for you. But if you are going to celebrate your engagement, this is generally done within 3 – 4 months of the proposal.
  2. Create a Wedding Website / Wedding Hashtag
    Although not necessary, modern couples are loving the ease of a wedding website to keep guests updated on all the wedding news and important information. It’s the one place all your guests can visit to get correct and relevant messages as you make decisions and bookings – venue, date, transport, accommodation options etc… You just must commit to updating it regularly.

    Also super popular these days are wedding hashtags – usually a play on words about your names as a couple, or a clever joke or pun. Be creative! This hashtag will be used by your guests on their social media when posting photos and it’s a great way for you to find all the candid pics later after your wedding day – just search the tag and they’ll all pop up! Use an online generator for some inspirations like this free one at

So! The above is more than enough to get the ball rolling for you… breaking it down into little, easily achieved sections and tasks should hopefully ease any bridezilla nerves and start you on the right track to creating your dream day. Create a file or notes on your computer dedicated to your wedding, to keep track of all your ideas and planning… being organised is a must! You’ve still got a long way still to go, so breathe, drink wine, talk to your partner, and most importantly – enjoy the process!

The next planning checklist in the series – coming next week, will explore the next phase of planning – what you need to organise 12 to 6 months prior to your big day!

20 January 2020

SPOTLIGHT : Silvana Tedesco Couture

Due to the wealth of knowledge and experience our team has accrued over the years Bursaria have been leaders in the wedding industry; we get asked for recommendations of great suppliers all the time – florists, cake makers, jewellers for wedding bands, even honeymoon locations! From our award-winning catering served in our gorgeous venues, to the exceptional event management we offer to our couples throughout the entire planning stages leading up to their special day, we pride ourselves on giving the absolute best of the best to our clients…

So! If we were ever going to offer a suggestion on a supplier, they would have to offer the highest calibre of service and the finest quality finished product, all whilst offering value for money. Then sprinkle in passion, sass, understanding, efficiency, experience, expertise, and a personality that adds excitement to your wedding planning – and that’s just at a bare minimum! One of our favourites that ticks all of these boxes, is esteemed Melbourne couture wedding designer, Silvana Tedesco. 

Silvana boasts a formidable reputation, having been immersed in the wedding industry for over 10 years, and brings a wealth of experience to any bride searching for a stunningly gorgeous, designer wedding dress. Firmly focused on empowering women to look and feel their best inside and out; Silvana is a positive and uplifting influence, gifting each bride with her love, passion, extensive knowledge and expertise whilst working alongside you to find, design and create the wedding dress of your dreams.

We sat down with Silvana to get her insights and advice to help you say ‘yes to the dress’, with confidence;

What would your advice be for a bride starting her wedding dress journey?

Breathe. Be open minded and don’t take 15 people to your appointments. It’s so overwhelming when you have a lot of different opinions thrown at you. Take your closest friend or a parent, and then make a shortlist of stores where you loved certain gowns and take your larger group of friends back to those specific ones to narrow it down. 

What wedding dress trends will we be seeing in 2020?

I think a lot of women are really paring back and going quite slick and modern. Clean cuts and white fabrics are definitely still on trend.

How far in advance should a bride start shopping for her gown?

For a custom/couture process, I would recommend looking around from 12 months in advance. A year gives you plenty of time to research and see what you do and don’t like. You want to find someone to work with that you get along with, and trust, so that can take time too. You should allow 6-8 months for manufacture but it will depend on the fabric and design of your dress – some dresses need months to bead etc.

What is the difference between a ready to wear dress vs a custom made?

A Ready To Wear dress is normally purchased from an existing design collection where no changes can be made. Some places offer alterations as part of their service. The collection is normally available in a set of sizes and colourand cannot be changed.

Made to Order – There would also be a set collection but there is no stock, therefore they are made as the client orders them, which should allow for small changes and colour/fabrics changes etc.

Couture – Is made from scratch. Design, fabric, style, adornments, can all be chosen personally. We take measurements, make a toile/calico fitting which is a rough design of the dress and is fitted to your body to get the pattern. Then from there, you would have another 3 or 4 fittings to ensure the fit and design is correct. It is a long process but the design is 100% unique to you, and often never repeated so you are getting a dress no one will ever have. But, because of this, it comes at a much higher cost compared to ready-to-wear, or made to order.

What is it like, getting a custom gown designed by Silvana Tedesco?

With ST, it’s fun, exciting and stress free! I am here to guide my clients from start to finish to ensure they are happy and most of all, feel amazing in their gowns. 

I really do hold their hand through the entire process. I go shopping with my couture clients to look for fabulous fabrics and I love doing that so that they can really be involved in the special piece that I am creating for them. It’s really just the best experience ever!

Tell us about your new signature ready to wear collection…

Its clean cut and fresh. It offers the fashion-conscious bride something sexy and affordable to wear on her wedding day. You can learn more about me, and my collections at

18 December 2019

The brilliance behind Bursaria | Owner Sara O’Callaghan

Running a successful business for 14 years is no easy task, but Sara O’Callaghan of Bursaria Fine Foods has accomplished this with seemingly effortless style and grace, navigating through all the challenges and changes in the hospitality and event industry with proficient agility – cementing her status as an entrepreneur at the top of her game.

From a young age, Sara loved good food and dreamt of travel; and quickly learned that through the hospitality industry, she could successfully pursue her two loves. Starting work within luxury hotels and restaurants, Sara began to travel the world – fulfilling her passion of combining travel and cooking. The following 10 years provided challenges and opportunities which Sara leapt at with her renowned enthusiasm and vigor – providing her with a holistic overview of the catering industry, and the confidence to develop her business skills. Working full time and studying at night, Sara started to write a business plan and in 2005, the hard work, passion and commitment paid off, and her company Bursaria Fine Foods was launched.

Sara started Bursaria Fine Foods with the vision of creating a boutique catering company with a simple philosophy: use the freshest seasonal produce to make unique, delicious food concepts with love and care.

Commencing operations within Como House in Melbourne, Sara fell in love with heritage style venues, and her business has since expanded to add a few more gorgeous historic buildings to its portfolio – taking over the unique and dreamy Rosina Function Space and Courtyard at The Abbotsford Convent in 2011; and in 2015 launching The Refectory, Werribee Park. The Refectory is a beautiful light-filled event space with classic architectural features, spectacular high ceilings, designer lighting and luxury contemporary furnishings; and just like Abbotsford Convent, every wedding and event there is lovingly catered by Bursaria where Sara and her team create unforgettable culinary experiences and deliver exceptional service. Aside from these two venues, Bursaria also offers offsite catering for any event or celebration you can think of!

Appreciating the importance of quality food and truly understanding how it brings people together and creates a shared experience, is one of Sara’s natural talents. She encourages her team to be authentic and creative; focusing on wholesome, flavour packed, fuss free dishes. She wants to take guests on a food journey throughout the event and enable them to gather and interact in a relaxed environment – her love and passion for her craft is evident on every plate.

Far from her humble beginnings back in 2005, Sara is kept super busy these days with her role of Director – meaning she is responsible for managing each of the six departments within the company. The role is varied – from setting budgets for the Sales Department; collaborating with the Head Chef on seasonal menus; to working with the Marketing Team for major events; and overseeing all day to day operations with the intention of driving Bursaria in the right direction. Sara is a true visionary and welcomes new and exciting business opportunities – paving the way for further success and growth.

On top of all this, Sara manages to balance out her work life with an even busier household. With a loving husband and happy children at home, nothing makes her more content than gathering her family together with good food and laughter at the end of the day, or escaping for a weekend getaway to create new memories with her tribe. She really is a woman who has it all!

Sara believes one of her greatest attributes is the ability to tell a great story and create a ‘vision’ that is infectious – leaving clients, staff and friends wanting to know, and experience more. Communication is key within hospitality and Sara has the knack of being able to engage, excite, motivate and inspire; with simply her imagination, creativity and strong voice.

It’s evident that Sara loves what she does, and is truly living out her passion – combining her skill and love for catering; hosting hundreds of weddings a year and establishing an award-winning service that provides a beginning to end experience and wows guests at every event. Her hard work and dedication has ensured her company boasts a sterling reputation, and her brand continues to grow and be successful. It’s so refreshing to see such a humble, passionate female conquering her chosen industry, and being a mentor and role model to other young women in hospitality.

There will always be something that people need to celebrate with family, friends and food; and this is the bottom line of why Sara does what she does – at the end of the day she simply thrives on making amazing experiences – diligently working behind the scenes to create memories for each and every one of her clients and guests.  Her undeniable passion, love and joy for fabulous food, means your next event is in no safer hands, than with Sara O’Callaghan and her team at Bursaria Fine Foods.

5 December 2019

Wedding Trends 2020

What was old is new again, but with a contemporary twist…

At the time of writing this, we are less than 1 month away from entering a new year, and more importantly, a brand new decade…. Exciting, full of promise and fresh starts, the approach of 2020 gives us the opportunity to look toward the future but also reminisce about years past. Casting our minds over the last 100 years, all the way back to the ‘Roaring Twenties’, we can see how far wedding styles and trends have come, but there is something to be said for that golden era of glamourous, decadent opulence; wild and carefree abandon; heritage style, clinking flutes of champagne, dancing the night away at a lavish soiree… the 1920’s were definitely onto something, and what was old is new again with the some of the current trends of 2020 showing similarities to those epic parties.

2020 weddings are all about individuality and creating a day solely focused on love and relaxed fun. We can expect a decrease in the standard ‘church ceremony followed by a venue reception, run to a strict schedule’ type event, and instead, couples are showcasing their personalities by choosing to combine the ceremony and reception at one location to keep the flow of the party going. Celebrations will include intricate personal details displayed in a nostalgic, romantic style; more natural environments will be utilised, enhancing garden or lawn spaces with wildflowers and lush greenery. You’ll see guests draped in neutral colours or blush tones; and wedding receptions feeling like one big Gatsby party.

Lucky inner city couples have the amazing Abbotsford Convent on their doorstep and within this stunning venue, all your bespoke big day dreams can come true in the Rosina Function Space. Abbotsford Convent itself is a hub of creative spaces and studios, galleries and market stalls. The Rosina Function Space is a unique venue in its own right – offering heritage elegance with original lead-light windows, polished floorboards, atmospheric high ceilings and exposed wooden trusses.

Situated on a bend on the Yarra River, the Rosina Function Space is only 4kms from the city, and boasts 3 gorgeous ceremony locations, an open air courtyard (dancing under the stars, anyone?) and the stunning function space. In keeping with the concept of relaxed momentum, the party will seamlessly flow from ceremony location; to drinks and canapés in the Courtyard; and then into the Rosina Function Space to dine on your wedding menu designed and catered by Bursaria Fine Foods. This venue already holds so much depth and character, it’s just waiting for you to add your own personal touches, and it transforms into your own decadent dream wedding space, perfect for up to 250 guests seated or 500 guests for a cocktail style event.

For those couples wanting to get away from the city, then we suggest The Refectory At Werribee Park. 

A perfect mix of old world charm and modern style, The Refectory is a classic wedding venue that looks like a grand country estate, nestled within the grounds of Werribee Mansion. It’s proving to be the perfect choice for couples looking for a chic wedding ceremony and reception, with the convenience of everything all in one location. There are eight gorgeous ceremony spots dotted amongst the expansive lawns and lush gardens, with stunning flowers, a lake, and the actual reception to take place in the historic ballroom.

The Ballroom has a fabulous combination of classical architectural features, designer chandeliers, high ceilings and gorgeous contemporary furnishings. With the capacity to seat up to 150 guests, Bursaria the caterers shine here also – skillfully delivering your menu using the freshest ingredients, with an exceptional eye for detail and taste. The Refectory is a luxury wedding and events space oozing sophistication, glamour and an all over decadently cool vibe. Again, the focus here is on flow – from ceremony to pre dinner drinks and snacks, through to the reception and dancing, every detail is thought of and taken care of, leaving couples to just immerse themselves in their special day and enjoy every moment, surrounded by beautiful decor and nature. 

Another option of course, and a trend which is becoming more popular for the budget savvy bride – is to host your wedding in your own home! It’s where you are most comfortable, where the majority of your memories are made and your daily life and love story takes place, so why not consider holding your special day there too? Bursaria can deliver creative, great tasting catering for weddings and all types of events, tailoring a menu or package to your style and taste. This means you don’t have a major component of your big day to worry about. The professional staff will handle it all -from the design and development of your catering, through to the impeccable service on the day – all with an intent focus on fresh, seasonal, wholesome and delicious dishes that are sure to make your guests rave about the food, long after the party is over (we all know a wedding is judged mainly by the food!)

At the end of the day, trends come and go, but 2020 is shaping up to bring the glamour back, which we all know, never goes out of style. No matter what your choice – a special venue, or in your own home; the inner city or out West, Bursaria has an option for you that will ensure your big day is timeless, classic and as warm, fun, personable and individual as you and your partner are.

26 November 2019

THI & RAPH on Ivory Tribe

Ivory Tribe is Victoria’s online haven for all things wedding. This beautifully curated corner of the internet celebrates the work of talented suppliers by showcasing local weddings and creations and tells the love story of our very own clients and couples.

Bride and Groom at Abbotsford Convent Wedding Ceremony
Photography: Georgia Verrells

We were thrilled to have the sweetest couple Thi & Raph who tied the knot with us at Bursaria Abbotsford Convent early in the year featured as one of Ivory Tribe’s real wedding editorials.

Here is a snippet of their breathtaking day and you can read more at

In Thi’s words…

The ‘one’.

He is patient, loving and forgiving!

Bride and Groom at Abbotsford Convent Just Married
Photography: Georgia Verrells

The proposal.

Re-lived our first date. Dinner at South Wharf, gelato at St Kilda pier, and then he proposed!

Style inspiration.

Relaxed, rustic, fun.

Abbotsford Convent Wedding Reception Melbourne
Photography: Georgia Verrells

The gown.

Simple yet elegant, fitted. I did not intend to wear gold on the day although when I saw the dress, I knew it was ‘the one’. Purchased it online via BHLDN.

Bride Wedding Dress at Abbotsford Convent Wedding Ceremony
Photography: Georgia Verrells

Favourite moments.

The ceremony – personalised, funny and we officially got married!

Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Fallin’ by Jessica Mauboy

Reception entry: Angels by Chance the Rapper

First dance: If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys

THI & RAPH’S Creative Team

Ceremony venue / location: Abbotsford Convent

Celebrant/Officiant: Julianne Bambacas

Photography: Georgia Verrells

Videography: Burgess Video

Florist: Serenity Flowers

Hair and make-up: Bride

The Dress(es): BHLDN

Shoes: ASOS

Rings: Michael Parker Diamonds

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Gave the girls a budget – they chose their own dress. ASOS, Keepsake the LabelLulu and RoseForever New.

Groomsmen’s suits: ASOS

Catering and Bar: Bursaria

Favours: Designer Candy

Cake / Cake topper: Krispy Kreme

Entertainment: Memory box DJ and photobooths

Transport: Uber

Hire: oneclick photobooth

13 November 2019

The Refectory at Werribee Park. Hidden gem? More like sparkling jewel…

With so many fleeting trends sweeping through the wedding industry at any given time, it’s so refreshing to discover the timeless and elegant wedding venue that is The Refectory at Werribee Park. Nestled within the enchanting gardens of the historic Werribee Mansion and Werribee Park, The Refectory is a luxury wedding and events space oozing sophistication, country glamour and an all over decadently cool vibe.

Photography @katie_harmsworth

A perfect mix of old world charm and contemporary style, The Refectory is a classic wedding venue, proving to be the perfect choice for couples looking for a chic wedding ceremony and reception, with the convenience of everything all in the one location. 

The Werribee Mansion and the surrounding Werribee Park gardens that The Refectory sits amongst, is like a magical time machine – step foot on this property and you and your guests are whisked away to another time and place – think grandiose, romantic 19th century Italian country estate, rolling green lawns, stunning clear lake, lush foliage, sprawling grassland and secret shady nooks – all perfect locations for stolen kisses, private moments and whimsical photography setups. 

There are several ceremony locations scattered around the grounds to choose from – (actually eight in total!)– imagine saying your vows standing underneath a stunning oak tree; or in the middle of the colourful flower beds on the main lawn; within the formal gardens surrounded by roses; amongst gum trees; around the lake; or on the expansive front lawn directly in front of The Refectory… The choice is completely yours, to suit whatever style of wedding ceremony you are dreaming of – although our tip would be to draw inspiration from the environment around you – less is more here – the beauty of nature provides more than enough decoration for your ceremony without needing to add too much extra (budget saver!)

The range of locations can also double as fantastic spots for your wedding photography. Each backdrop varies from the next, offering a great range of scenery, mood and style… and while you are off capturing your ‘just married’ bliss, your guests can enjoy scrumptious canapés and cocktails on the front lawn before your reception party kicks off.

Entering the ballroom where your reception will be held, you discover the classical architectural features, designer chandeliers, high ceilings and gorgeous contemporary furnishings that would make any bride and groom feel both completely spoilt and comfortably at home at the same time – that’s no easy task for a wedding venue to achieve, but somehow The Refectory at Werribee Park pulls this off seamlessly.

With the capacity to seat up to 180 guests, your wedding reception will be the party of the year where you can eat, drink and dance the night away. Go a little Gatsby on the dancefloor, lap up the attentive and personal service, and indulge in the food – created and executed by award-winning catering company Bursaria. With over 14 years’ experience delivering fresh, creative and delicious menus specifically for upscale weddings and events, Bursaria are the kings of catering. You will not have to worry if your guests had enough to eat, or liked the food – it’s an absolute certainty. 

luxury classic wedding werribee park the refectory white tables black chair floral chic

Melbourne is so lucky to have this stunning venue, right in their own backyard! It’s hard to believe this hidden gem is only a quick 35 minute drive west of Melbourne CBD, over the West Gate Bridge along the M1 freeway – which is super convenient for your guests, especially if they are flying in from interstate, as they have the option of both Tullamarine and Avalon airports to arrive into. Although it is so close to the hustle and bustle of Melbourne city, when you arrive on this property you immediately feel like you are a world away, so you can completely relax, immerse yourself in the celebrations and there’s no need to rush off at midnight either – Werribee Mansion offers boutique accommodation to stay the night, and a day spa to recover the next day!

Wandering around the property gives you giddy goosebumps; and your mind starts to run away with styling inspiration and décor ideas… The property is so classic and clean, it’s basically a big blank canvas for you to bring your fairytale wedding vision to life. Whatever your wedding style – vintage, classic, glam, modern, garden, earthy, natural – it’s the perfect space to create the wedding of your dreams. There is seriously so much to love about The Refectory, you need to see it for yourself. Book an appointment to view the property, and then you will understand that your happily ever after starts here…

Photography @thewhitetree