Add a Comment Comments | Posted in SW Blog Fashion + Style By Samantha Wills



 When your best friend of 20 years, gets married to a British gent in London in the summer time, asks you to be her maid of honor, and announces she is keen to celebrate her hens / bachelorette in Mykonos, Greece…. The excitement is real!

 If you follow me on Insta, you would have seen some of my Mykonos snaps already, but as this was my first time actively organizing a hen’s (for our USA readers, in Australia & the UK we call Bachelorette a ‘hens’) – I wanted to share of what I learnt, should you be throwing your BFF a hens do!

So – grab your bikini & your flower crown – We’re going to Mykonos!



Melanie (the bride & my BFF) has lived in London for seven years, after heading across the pond from Australia. Her & her friend Natalie, have frequented Mykonos every summer together for the past 5 years, so it was a no brainer for her to choose there to celebrate, get a pre wedding tan, and as guests where already flying in internationally, give them the option to see some more of Europe given the hens was only a week before the wedding.

 Luckily for me, the amazing Natalie knows the island well, and therefore she took on the duties of the dinner, bar & beach club bookings for our group of 11.

  I was in charge of  other hens duties…. So what does fall under the ‘other banner’?.... Here is my version. 



It could be the Creative Director in me speaking (ok, it definitely is) but as most will create a hashtag for such a celebration (ours was #MykonosMel) I like the concept of also creating a logo or insignia for the event.  This doesn’t have to be professionally done – it could be as simple as something you create in a word.doc with an image you have cut & pasted in & added the Brides name beneath. Mel’s wedding theme is tropical, and as we were going to an Island for the hens, I went with a series of green palm frons (I sourced these from Shutter stock).

I used this across all printed material; Itinerary, welcome notes & tags.




Penis straws, flashing veils & bride-to-be sashes where not going to make an appearance on my watch. So instead of a veil, I contacted the incredible Keahny at MINT + MELON  to create a luxe flower crown for the bride to be & slightly smaller ones for all the bridesmaids & hens guests. I am not throwing shade on the traditional hens props, but my suggestion is know your bride-to-be’s taste, I know Mel would not have been comfortable rocking around Mykonos with a flashing Bride-To-Be sash & veil – So tailor to your brides style. 



A destination hen’s celebration is the ultimate, but often not always achievable…so whether you are organizing a destination escape, or simply a weekend away (anything that requires travel or over night stay) I think the touch of a Welcome Gift is a nice thankyou to everyone who took the time & cost to travel… So what was in our welcome gifts…



I created little Hangover Kits that were ‘For the morning after the night before’ – a cute little drawstring bag containing Advil (Panadol), EmergenC (Berocca), Altoids (TicTacs) & Band aids.  There was a gold ‘flash tattoo’ for each guest that said ‘Brides Tribe’, some travel hair products from Original Mineral, a tiny Apple flavored Smirnoff Vodka with a tag attached that said ‘Let’s Get This Party Started!’, some SW Jewels (obvi), a print out of the itinerary from Nat’s bookings, and welcome note, all packaged in an SW wooden box lined with black tissue papar. The flower crowns where added to the top of the box, with a name card attached, that I doubled up to use as place settings on our first night there.


The Bride’s Welcome Gifts where the same as above, but with a few additional luxe items… a White & Lace over swim kaftan, a customized ‘Mrs Rama’ white silk sleep mask + some For Love & Lemons lace side panties, all wrapped in white tissue paper.

While these gifts are a bit of an investment, you might want to plan it out is far advance, and start collecting samples at makeup counters, asking friends or families who work at brands if they have any promo items you could include, or get crafty & make some gifts that will be special (and useful!) to the occasion.


As the gifts were differentiated for the bride & guests with Black & white tissue, I made sure to let all guests know, that one a certain day, they were only allowed to wear black. That went from breakfast, to beach, to beach club, to dinner…. And on that Day, Mel could ONLY wear white…. This not only made for lots of photos, but got Melanie SO many well wishes for other island goers, it was really special! I highly recommend this, and its super easy to do. As we were in a tropical destination, it also included Bikinis – so be sure to be really clear with all guests how far it extends, no guest wants to be the one who thought it would be OK to wear her white cossie that day!

black and white



I sourced a criminal lineup backdrop (available on ETSY) and after a big night out, made everyone stand infront of it, with a pre printed arrest identification card – Sunglasses allowed. The result is below! 



I am an avid iphone photographer. I love to capture & archive most things in my life like one would write a diary, I do so with pictures. Capturing the bride at her most glowing & glamorous provides great lasting memories for her forever. Does she look like a luxe goddess on her sunbed sipping her mojito? Capture that for her! Did you all have a great group dinner with a beautiful toast? Don’t interrupt the toast to take a pic, but after the toast DO have everyone re-raise their glasses & capture a photo of the clicking glasses.  Try to capture as much natural (un-posed) moments as possible – guests chatting or laughing together, one of the best ways to capture is, if you are taking a pic of the bride & a few guests just standing smiling at the camera, after you have captured that, tell everyone to look at the bride & laugh (I know, seems ridiculous, but it makes for a probably what was happening before everyone knew a photo was being taken). I’m sure a beautiful edit of these photos will find their way onto a Facebook album for archive, but you might also want to do the archaic practice of sending the photos to print, and putting them in a album for the bride… A beautiful way to relieve all the fun a few weeks after the celebration.






Obviously as a bridesmaid, your job to ensure the brides experiences as little stress as possible on her special day. The same goes for the hens celebrations. Especially when you are celebrating as a big group, going for dinners / lunches etc, no ones wants to talk about money, its especially not cool to do it in front of the bride. My suggestion is to advise everyone to bring cash (as to not have to bother re splitting amounts on credit cards), and possibly give everyone a heads up as the approx. cost of each organized meal… have them give you the cash pre meal, and if it goes over, start a kitty for after dinner cocktails.


So that’s my hens take-aways! We’re off to London now for the wedding – Can’t wait to show you pics from what I know will be one of the most spectacular weddings!


Congratulations to my beautiful Best Friend! I cannot wait to stand beside you on Sunday! - SWx


Add a Comment 0 Comments | Posted in The Wedding Journal By Samantha Wills



Every chapter of this story was timeless, romantic and intimate. From its beginning, when Anthony fell in love with Jamee (the girl next door), to the proposal at her parent’s 30th wedding anniversary at sunrise in Fingle Bay. The couple had envisioned their special day to be an escape. So along with their 18 nearest and dearest, Jamee and Anthony jetted across the ocean to the stunning Italian town of Tuscany for a celebration of good food, good wine and good company. 

The ceremony was simply stunning, overlooking the rolling green hills of the Tuscan countryside, with guests seated on rustic wooden chairs and benches. The beautiful scene was framed perfectly with wine barrels and wooden carriage wheels, a small token of the heritage of the beautiful wine region. 

The bride made her entrance wearing an exquisitely beaded, fitted, Fara Sposa gown that was only overshadowed by the smile on the bride herself. Jamee’s bridesmaid was dressed in a soft Grecian inspired gown, with the pair wearing Samantha Wills jewels. She was met at the outside altar by Anthony, beaming in his navy MJ Bale suit, and from that moment, the couple were not without a smile on their faces.

The celebration carried on into the night, with Jamee swapping her bridal gown for a floaty Carla Zampatti number so she and Anthony could have their first dance to an Ed Sheeran song, lovingly performed by a friend of the couple. The party enjoyed a formal 4 course dinner (with plenty of Prosecco) nestled around a banquet table that was set up in front of the altar and the incredible view and adorned with local flowers and foliage.

From the handmade wedding cake, and invitations, down to the timber and wildflower archway that Anthony had built himself on the morning of the wedding, the day was absolutely exquisite, yet intimate and filled with personal touches from the couple. 






Add a Comment Comments | Posted in The Wedding Journal Real Brides By Samantha Wills



Perched atop the sun-drenched cliffs of Palos Verdes, California; Patrick Burke, along with the 175 guests, stood waiting to marry his stunning bride Andrea Marron.

The couple met at school in Dartmouth, and after a surprise trip to Bermuda the couple chose the Catalona View Gardens as their venue to be close to Andrea’s parents.

Both the bride and bridesmaids wore blush. Andrea; a vision in lace Monique Lhuillier, and her bridesmaids in floor-length beaded gowns. This simple chic theme was carried through to the decorations, with floral arrangements of romantic blooms paired with architectual succulents and wildflower accents. The table flowers were beautifully displayed in vintage blue glass; a beautiful tribute to Andrea’s late Grandmother. There was even a lace teepee assembled, much to the delight of the adorable flower girls.

The bridal party was an intimate affair, with the couple’s siblings as their bridesmaids and groomsmen. After the gorgeous dusk ceremony, and the local Californian food and wine, the guests joined in the fun at sun-down. Draped in brightly coloured Kenyan shawls, they joined Patrick and Andrea for dancing beneath a canopy of fairly lights.

The wedding was simple and romantic, and could not have been more fitting of the beautiful couple.









Add a Comment Comments | Posted in The Wedding Journal By Samantha Wills



Beauty Editor and founder of Gritty Pretty magazine, Eleanor Pendleton recently let us into her office space to show us how she styles her favourite SW jewels. While we were there, she also ran us through the background of her website & magazine, Gritty Pretty, and let us snap a few shots of her amazing space.

ELEANOR PENDLETON | @eleanorpendleton

You’re known for being a woman who is confident and assertive in your own style. How would you describe your personal style?

The best way I can describe my style is one part monochromatic, androgynous-style editor, one part hopeless romantic with a penchant for mid-length skirts and very high heels, and a one hundred percent mix of both high and low labels. I’m a sucker for mid-length skirts with strong silhouette or a pair of black leather power pants paired with a men’s style shirt. But, on the other hand, I also really enjoy wearing a beautiful dress that is elegant and sophisticated.

Multiple personality disorder in the absolute best way right! Does that reflect your take on beauty trends as well? You must showcase this in your new digital magazine, Gritty Pretty (which is stunning by the way – congratulations!) How did you kick start this baby?

Thank you! After high school, I studied journalism whilst interning at Cosmopolitan magazine with then-beauty director, Zoë Foster Blake. After graduating, I was offered the role of Editorial Coordinator/Beauty Writer at Cosmopolitan Hair & Beauty, Cosmopolitan Bride and Cosmopolitan Pregnancy magazines. After a few years there, I worked as beauty editor at FAMOUS magazine and InStyle magazine. After 7 years in publishing, I decided to take a leap of faith and embark on a freelance beauty writing career during which I was published in titles such as Harper’s BAZAAR, Refinery29, Men’s Health and more. Last year, I relaunched my beauty website Gritty Pretty as well as launched Gritty Pretty Magazine – the first online magazine dedicated solely to beauty. It’s been a wild but an amazing ride!

I guess you could say it was a leap worth taking! So where did you get the idea for Gritty Pretty?

I originally launched Gritty Pretty in early 2010, designing the website from scratch with my web developer (back then, templates like Square Space didn’t exist!). During the time, I was Beauty Editor at FAMOUS magazine and I was going into work every morning, drinking a coffee and looking to fashion blogs like Style by Kling and Columbine Smille for inspiration before starting the day’s work. I noticed I couldn’t find a single beauty blog that I could draw inspiration from or more importantly that I could trust. So, I decided to launch my own and thus Gritty Pretty was born. In 2011, Gritty Pretty went on hiatus while I focused on my magazine career at InStyle magazine but when I decided to go freelance in 2013, I decided to relaunch it and focus on it full-time. I don’t think there is any other beauty website out there like it and its online magazine component is what I truly believe sets Gritty Pretty apart. It’s an authoritative website or beauty blog, which women can truly trust.

Definitely a stand out in the beauty industry, and it is amazing that it reflects your passion, how does this change in your lifestyle come through in your wardrobe?

I’m going through a stripes phase at the moment. Maybe I’m attracted to lines because I’ve just moved Gritty Pretty into a new office space and subconsciously want everything to be neat and streamlined [laughs]. Generally, though, my style is a reflection of my current mood, the weather and whatever occasion I might have on whether it be a meeting, a media event, a photo shoot or an evening launch.

And how does this connect with how you accessorise? What jewellery do you incorporate to complete a look?

I prefer to wear delicate, fine jewellery pieces, which is why I love SAMANTHA WILLS fine jewellery collection. It allows me to incorporate jewellery as an accessory into my look without being too over the top. It's the subtly of them that makes them beautiful. And, being naturally dark-skinned, I also prefer to wear gold and rose gold metals rather than silver.

Share your top picks with us!?

Band Of Outsiders Drop Earrings in Rose Quartz

Lion's Drop Earrings in Rose Gold

La Luna Drop Earrings in Rose Gold

This Time Double Ring Set in Gold

On Film Ring in Rose Gold

With a wide following on Gritty Pretty, what advice would you give to aspiring bloggers that are looking to start up their own beauty and fashion blog?

Find a point of difference first. Now, with the rise of digital and the Internet, there are so many beauty and fashion blogs out there. It makes it more competitive to break through. Look to your favourite blogs and see what is lacking then try to organically fill that space. Create original content and imagery when you can – no one likes a rehashed press release, a HI-RES image or worse, an image that isn’t your own – and be patient. It takes time and diligence. A blog can ultimately become its own brand so be true to your brand and don’t worry too much about what other bloggers are doing. Just focus on you and your readers.



Add a Comment Comments | Posted in SW Blog By Samantha Wills



Following on from our last blogger session featuring statement ready-to-wear jewels, our latest installment showcases our recently restocked FINE jewels. The ultimate free-spirited babe, Olive Cooke, and style, health & travel blogger Ally Carey, run us through their style as well as their must have pieces from our FINE collection, 'Primrose & Moss'.

OLIVE COOKE  | @olivecooke

Your style is incredibly aspirational – not everyone could pull it off! How would you describe it and where do you get you get inspiration from? 

I get asked a lot of the time if half my wardrobe is dress ups, everyday is pretty different but ultimately I would say relaxed and easy. I am inspired by a lot of creative hilarious people and experiences in my life, which I think helps to not take it all too seriously.

Sounds totally organic and effortless! How do you incorporate jewellery into that look?

I mix match colours, textures, stones and metals - I'm not a strict jewellery wearer, I’m more than happy to break the rules.

We can certainly relate to that, but when did this style ethos become ingrained in you? Who influenced your style the most? 

Iris Apfel - All I wish to be if I reach 93.

She is amazing! What a great icon! Layering is totally her thing and she doesn’t stray far from jewels. Channeling that, what are your top picks from the SAMANTHA WILLS Fine Collection?

The rose quartz is phenomenal – the Horses and Hummingbirds story is perfection, I am in love with that ear cuff!



ALLY CAREY | @substance_blog

Your style comes across as intrinsically effortless, is this reflected in your lifestyle?

My style is a mix between comfort, sporty, tomboy-esque and tailored. I work from home so I like to be comfortable yet stylish for when I have to run out to meeting / see clients. The sporty influence is because I live an active lifestyle and it just carries through! 

So many elements of your lifestyle that bring it together, it might be tricky but do you have 3 staple items you absolutely can’t live without?

Leather Jacket, a good pair of jeans and fine jewellery - it gives any outfit personality!

A little big of edge never hurt anyone! This obviously transcends into your style genetics. Can you give us an insight into how you were able to incorporate this into your wedding day – which was absolutely stunning by the way!

I think our wedding was a true reflection of our personalities and aesthetic.

We DIY’d a lot of our decorations. My husband is a designer so he did all, the graphic - invites, posters, decorations, signage etc. Our tables were filled with a mixture of flowers, wooden blocks, collectable figurines and we asked three of our artist friends (including Kelly Smith) to help design our bonbonnière to fit inside our little booklet of treasures.

Wow that sounds phenomenal – such personal touches create a huge impact! And what about your take on healthy living, did this sneak into the wedding plans or do you save that for the blog? How do you incorporate style into your work outs? 

(laughs) I think working out in clothes you feel comfortable and beautiful in is a big part of working out. If you feel like you look good, you’ll be more motivated to hit the gym.

Sounds like a no brainer! We’ll definitely have to test your theory. You know it’s best to get advice from someone with expertise in the industry – do you have any tips or tricks for an aspiring blogger?

Put in the hours, don’t be afraid to make contacts and stay true to your style!


Add a Comment Comments | Posted in SW Blog By Samantha Wills



As a luxe bohemian brand designed for the SW woman, we love to see how our favourite bloggers and influential women are styling our pieces. Mixing back statement jewels with FINE pieces, make-up artist and beauty blogger Rachael Brook, and fashion blogger Charlotte Bridgeman, let us into their lives and show us how they style their picks from our newest collection, 'Only In Dreams'. 

RACHAEL BROOK |  @rachael_brook 

Traveling across the country sharing your skills with women nationally must be so rewarding! How does your wardrobe reflect your current jet set lifestyle? 

The most noteworthy part of my lifestyle right now is that I'm constantly going to events where I'm photographed which means I need to be switching up my outfit every time so that it doesn't look like I only have a couple of outfits on rotation.  So in saying that, I like to invest in staple pieces that I know I can switch up and wear in different ways - such as my light blue Michael Lo Sordo trench coat.  I can wear it over an outfit or I can tie it up and wear it as a dress.  I also love to own pieces that have something a little bit different about them such as my Dion Lee skivvies.  From the front they just look like a comfy long sleeved top, and from the back they're incredibly sexy and backless - they look amazing with a necklace placed down your back.

You absolutely can’t go past the essentials – does this apply with your make up as well? What is your go-to look to make a statement and how do you balance this with your jewellery?

My go-to make up look is dewy, highlighted skin, with bronzed (& slightly contoured) cheeks, a black winged eyeliner and smoked out warm brown eyeshadow.  I team this with wavy hair, and I pull one side behind my ear or flick it over, and balance it out with a statement ear cuff.  I'm completely obsessed with ear cuffs.  This look works really well with the highlighting and the wing and it shows off your cheekbones reallywell too.

You must be a pro at winged eyeliner then – struggle town for us! How would you create this look on the go? Winged eyeliner in a cab musn’t be an easy feat!

If you love wearing a winged liner, but don't leave yourself enough time to do it (story of my life) - before leaving the house, apply moisturiser and lip balm and do your winged eyeliner before applying any other make up.  That way, the trickiest part is done and the rest of your face can be completed on the run if it's necessary.   Your skin and lips will be absorbing all the moisturising goodness in the meantime and you can finish your make up on the train to work, or in the car before getting out (not while driving!)

Keeping a few key products in your bag at all times makes for an easy day to night make up transition.  For example an eyeliner, a highlighter and a bold lipstick are quick to apply but make a huge difference to your look. 

So that’s how you nail it! Will need to lock that one away in the memory bank! So you’ve got 3 minutes to complete your look what is your game plan?

I can't leave the house without my rings on.  I have about 6 that I stack on every day and I feel naked without them.  I have a ring that was given to me by my Grandmother and it never get's taken off - the rest are stacked around it.  I love pinky rings and rings that sit mid way up my finger.  I've also started wearing a watch more recently, although it's really just there to look pretty because I seem to still only use my iPhone to find out what time it is.  





CHARLOTTE BRIDGEMAN |  @winstonandwillow

Style speaks to different people in different ways, how would you describe your take on fashion – is there a style icon you can relate to?

I think my style is definitely quite classic with a modern twist. I love keeping up with current trends but I'm always very cautious of not taking them too far. As for a style icon, I love the elegance in how Miranda Kerr dresses, her style is something I definitely relate to. 

Let’s be honest, we love Miranda everything! We can definitely see how you resonate with her as a style icon. Naturally embodying this mantra must mean you have three staple items that you can’t live without?

A pair of black high heel pumps, a black leather jacket and my black monogrammed leather tote bag - it fits everything and is very sturdy. 

Black leather jacket would be on our list as well! Fashion staples should form the base of your wardrobe, which is vital when you travel as often as you do! I’m sure travelling must influence your style, where else do you get your inspiration from?

I follow a lot of blogs, both personal style and street style, so I draw most of my inspiration from them, but when I travel to different places such as New York, I'm constantly inspired by what people are wearing! Everyone just seems to look so good in New York.

And where does jewellery come into your day to day looks?

For day to day I mostly wear finer jewellery, particularly rings and always a necklace. However when I go out I love to add some more elaborate pieces - it really completes an outfit. 

As a professional within the industry you must notice that trends ebb and flow, how does this relate to your style and how has working within the industry changed the way you see fashion?

I don't think my role has changed my style that much, however living in Sydney definitely has. As I walk almost everywhere now I find myself dressing for comfort a little more than I used to and incorporating flats into my looks more than I did when I was living in Melbourne. 





Add a Comment Comments | Posted in SW Blog By Samantha Wills



Hannah & Ryan’s wedding followed the theme of his proposal, and indeed their meeting moment; beautiful and off-beat, and filled with fun & laughter. 

The couple wanted to move away from the traditional, and opted instead for a weekend celebration, with the emphasis on good times and shared memories with their beloved family and friends. 

Hannah wore a breathtaking backless, fitted lace gown from Katie May and with the roses in her hair, was a vision of beauty with a bohemian twist. In keeping with the relaxed chic vibe, Hannah’s 3 bridesmaids wore cream Zara maxi dresses, with their hair in soft waves and braids. They each wore their bridesmaid gift from Hannah; the gold 'Partners In Crime' necklaces from the SAMANTHA WILLS FINE collection. Both parties put their individual marks on their outfits, with the bridesmaids wearing different coloured SAMANTHA WILLS 'Bohemian Bardot' rings, and the Groomsmen donning various style Happy Socks.

Set on the beautiful NSW south coast at Terara’s Driftwood Shed, the rustic backdrop was the perfect setting for their special day. The couple exhanged their vows in front of 98 of their friends and relatives who had made the journey, and when the heartfelt ceremony was done, the party moved to the marquee. Long wooden banquet tables, decorated simply, yet beautifully with hessian table runners and white dahlias, that would later be covered in food for the guests to share. 

Down to the peanut butter and chocolate cake, their rustic wedding was beautiful, with a quirky flair and was truly reflective of the individual taste of the gorgeous couple.








Add a Comment Comments | Posted in Real Brides By Samantha Wills
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