Angel By Helena Couture Designs, Scarborough Estate, Gold Coast Bridal

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Scarborough Estate Is A Private Residence, Nestled In The Undulating Hills Of Maudsland, Northern End Of The Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. This Shoot Evolved Over A Period Of Four Months And Even Now After The Shoot Had Finished, It Has Still Been Evolving Behind The Scenes.

The Story Behind This Shoot.

I Have Wanted To Do A Shoot Which Involved Horses For Quite A While But It Was Only Now That The Opportunity Arose And We Were Extremely Fortunate To Be Immersed In The Life Style Of This Boutique Equine Estate.  There Is A Back Story To The Origins Of This House Too, But That Is Later.

Imagine growing up in country Australia. Your family estate is on the outskirts of a large city, you aren’t too far away from city life and what it has to offer, so you have the best of both worlds. You love all animals, but your love of horses is the essence of who you are. For as long as you can remember you have been around horses, sitting on their backs, before you could walk, safe in your father’s arms. Learning to ride a horse, before learning to ride a bike. Down to the stables for the horses’ early morning feeds all year round, no matter how dark is still was or cold it might get, you were always there. You dreamed that when you grew up and knew you found your soul mate, you wanted to share that special day in the environment you hold so dear to your heart and when that time came, you married at your childhood home, Scarborough Estate.

Even though your wedding day is one of several milestones in your life, being married on your boutique equine estate, does not mean the daily chores for your beloved animals can be overlooked.  They are after all, your first love.  We wanted to start the shoot off, with our female model looking after her horses, which she has done nearly every day of her life.

The story then progresses to the couple on their wedding day, where the viewer can watch the day unfold, to the end, where they share an intimate moment in the spa, sipping on champagne.

Where It All Started…

The Shoot

The coordination of this shoot took place at the beginning of February 2020, Pre COVID-19.  Everything was set for the beginning of April, but as we all know now, we were then in COVID-19 lock down, so unfortunately the styled shoot was put on hold.  Several new dates were thrown around, but it was not until the regulations regarding COVID-19 friendly hair and makeup and small gatherings and availability of vendors were confirmed, that we set the new date for Wednesday 22nd July.

I always aim to look at any situation with a positive frame of mind and have solutions in place if required.  When the new date was confirmed there were many changes to the shoot, but all the vendors were excited, and the changes were an evolution of the shoot, much like my designs.


The original models were changed from three couples to only Eli and Mimi.  This was a blessing, as it gave all the vendors and models time to relax and shoot with no pressure, which ultimately give the best results. I always include spare time on the running sheet, and without fail, it is always required. For this shoot, the bride, Mimi was running a little late. She was immersing herself into the role of the bride being traditionally a little late. Therefore Eli, our groom got a few extra shots, along with this beautiful home and divine food. Many of my shoots are outside, so the spare time is often required for the weather – chasing good lighting, getting out of an overly windy/rainy area or trekking to our next location, which can be on the edge of a cliff or even under a waterfall. Lately the shoots have involved animals and kids and they definitely need a little extra time but always well worth the end results!


The blood red jacket of the tux that Eli modeled, was a new design and had only arrived at Black Jacket Suiting a few weeks before the shoot. Having to postpone the shoot was a blessing, because the blood red jacket looked awesome on Eli and complimented the theme perfectly.


A late arrival to the styled shoot was Geoff from Motion Art .  I always wanted a videographer but had not gotten around to sourcing one for the date of the shoot, before we went into COVID-19 lock down.  Geoff and Ben have worked along side each other before, so it made sense to have Geoff on board for this shoot.  They also have a similar style of work and I knew they would complement each other.



Another late arrival was Emma from Petal Street in Brisbane.  I met Emma a few years back at QLD Brides Wedding and Honeymoon Expo and loved her forward-thinking floral art.  She jumped at the chance to showcase her work, as she, like most of us, were missing our creative outlet.  Emma knew the colour theme, venue and style, so all I had to do was wait in anticipation to see what her creative mind and hands created.


Craig and Nick from In Season Catering was one of the originals for this shoot and they were just as excited to showcase their skills and we were all lucky enough to be able to sample the food on the day – YUM. Look how well the colour pallet of the food kept with the theme of white to ivories, golds, reds through to burgundy and charcoal/black; and even what the food was presented on was a perfect match to the style of our shoot.

Hair And Makeup

You probably know that Amanda, from Amanda Higl Hair and Makeup and I have worked alongside each other on many styled shoots.  She and I often talk through ideas, sometimes even before other vendors have been asked to join.  Her and Mimi have also worked on shoots prior to this one, so Amanda always aims for a different look, when using the same model and between the two of them they went for the hair in a pony tail, influenced by the horses.

Angel, The Dress

There were many influences, while creating her.  I was influenced by a client call Angel, who I was creating a dress for at the time; the handkerchief skirts, in layers of lace, net, silk organza, satin and the detachable tulle skirt overlay, reminded me of angels and their wings, so I thought is was appropriate to call her Angel.  The boned bodice had embroidered and corded pieces of the lace, individually cut out, then strategically place on the bodice, before lovingly hand sewn into place.

Angel was the second dress, in a series of dresses designed and created during COVID-19 Isolation, and I felt Angel was a small ray of light at the end of the tunnel, a tunnel called COVID-19.

Venue And Styling

The shoot was always going to be at Scarborough Estate, but as it was four months later, the owners had many new additions.  This was another reason everyone was happy with just one couple, as we were able to make the most of the private venue.  The hardest thing I found, was limiting where we would shoot, due to the vast options, but with the guidance from our photographer, he made that choice easier. If you look closely, you will see the glassware and place mats even have Scarborough etched into them.

This venue is seriously a boutique retreat. As soon as you enter the main gates, you are transported to a place of indulgence, peace and relaxation, absorbing everything mother nature had to offer and more. Nobody from my team wanted to leave.

Being around animals and nature is more relaxing than anyone can expect to find and there has been studies showing this too. Seriously after the shoot was finished, some of us sat back on the back veranda with the owners, with what looked like no intention of wanting to leave. The everlasting impression Scarborough Estate has left on all the team is profound, to the point where one vendor could see his family living here too.

I have to say a big THANK YOU to the owners Ken and Suzie Muldoon, who not only opened their home to us, but gave the team free reign over their entire estate and horses.  That was a lot of trust and the whole team is truly grateful for that trust you placed in us. You truly are such generous and beautiful people on the inside, as well as the outside.

Suzie, you and I had an awesome journey creating your wedding dress in Brisbane and I feel so blessed to still have you in my life now. Thank you also to Phoebe and Riley for cleaning the horses and having them relaxed and ready for us.

As you may already knew, I have shot several styled shoots with Ben and Hope Photography, so they knew I had a jam-packed shoot with loads of inspiration. Ben and I always go around the venue before the shoot, where he will advise me on what will work, what will not and what we all want to achieve, to give all involved the best result.

The House

The house in Scarborough Street, Southport, Queensland, prior to relocation (having previously been moved from front to back of block). The second image, the house was cut in half, getting ready for the move to Maudsland.

Relocated to Maudsland, Northern Gold Coast, Queensland, where it still resides at today.


Ken And Suzie Muldoon, Current Owners, Purchased The 7.5 Acre Property From Leanne And Eric Carruthers On 23 September 2017.

The Carruthers informed the Muldoons that the house had been relocated from 6 Scarborough Street, Southport about thirty years earlier, and had originally been built by the first Town Clerk of Southport, Mr Lather.

Based on that advice we estimate that the original house is around one hundred and thirty years old.

The Carruthers stated, “When we bought it in 1985 we were told it was about eighty to one hundred years old. Gold Coast House Removers took the roof off and cut it in half before moving it on two trucks and was transported in the dark with a police escort. They had previously moved it from the front of the block at 6 Scarborough to the back of the block twenty five years before we moved it.”

After the Muldoons purchased the property they decided to undertake some minor renovations to update the kitchen; open up the verandahs that had been enclosed, then expand and add to the verandah.

The Muldoons employed an architect to provide plans and what was initially planned to be a minor renovation, became quite a major renovation.  Where possible, they tried to retain original timber/doors/windows/architraves/walls etc.  Unfortunately, when the carpet was lifted, a majority of the flooring needed replacing. Some of the old boards were saved to make timber features in the new ensuite and under the recently renovated breakfast bench.

The renovations of the house were completed in around six months, with significant resources applied from a range of trades.

After the house had been completed, upgrading to the front half of the property, became a priority. This included significant reshaping of the land; building of a barn, which has it’s own kitchenette, bathroom, outdoor horse wash area, back verandah, horse food storage room and a tack room; a separate outdoor shelter; replacement of the original garage which now includes a wine cellar; dredging and extending the dam plus a new causeway; fencing and seeding of four main paddocks; building a twenty by forty metre dressage arena; extension and concreting of the driveway; installation of a bocce court and fire pit area with parking for caravans.

In the end, there was not much of the front half of the property that has not been modified in some way. They describe the change as going from a quaint rural property, to what is now, a boutique horse property.

Research conducted into the original house indicates that it may have been called “Newholm”.  Given the current age of the original house, they did not feel that was appropriate, and adopted the name ‘Scarborough’ in reference to its initial site.

Thank you, to my team of creative industry professionals, who helped turn my dream, Scarborough Estate Shoot, into a reality…

Venue & Styling:
Scarborough Estate

Dress/Accessories/Shoot Coordinator:
Helena Couture Designs

Ben and Hope Photography

Motion Art

Black Jacket Suiting

Amanda Higl Hair and Makeup

Petal Street

In Season Catering

Mimi Hutchinson
Eli Ho

As seen in Queensland Brides

Mr And Mrs Muldoon Were Married On The Property In March 2019.

Dress: Helena Couture Designs | Wedding Images: Ivy Road Photography | Suit: Joe Black

William Lather, Original Owner

William Lather (1859-1933) was a resident of Southport for 56 years and the son of John Conrad and Louisa Lather, who were among the first European settlers to purchase land in Southport.

Extract from South Coast Bulletin 23 June 1933

The wood used to build the original homestead, came from the saw mill, where William first worked as a clerk and owned by his family.

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