With four weeks until her wedding day, Canberra woman Sandra Sweeney took her couture wedding gown to Paris - to model it on the Fashion Week catwalk.
The gown, designed and made at Maison De Challie in Griffith, was one of a number of pieces on show by Canberra dressmaker Hajar Gala.
Despite not having modelled for years - as a teenager she chose sport over the catwalk - Ms Sweeney said she "wheeled out what I remembered from those days, got on the catwalk and off we went".
The process to create the piece began after Ms Sweeney had a knee operation and found it tough getting around to dress shops in Canberra and further afar.
"I went to a couple of shops and I didn't enjoy the experience, so I decided to get one made by someone," Ms Sweeney said.
She enquired with Ms Gala, and said the two connected straight away.
Ms Gala said couture isn't for everyone, but it was perfect for Ms Sweeney.
"Couture is, if somebody wants to be unique and wants something that will flatter you and be the right silhouette, the right combination, the right colour, [that's why] people go couture," Ms Gala said.
Ms Sweeney said the dressmaker understood what she was looking for.
Ms Gala had been preparing for Paris for two years, and at the last minute she invited Ms Sweeney along for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Ms Gala showed 25 of her gowns in Paris, one of which was Ms Sweeney's wedding dress.
"I just loved the way she carried the dress, she really felt the gown," Ms Gala said.
After a whirlwind Parisian trip, the wedding plans came crashing down when Ms Sweeney's dream venue burnt down just a week after her return.
While the venue was still happy to host the couple and their wedding in an alternative space, it wasn't what the bride-to-be had planned.
So with just eight days to go until the big day, Ms Sweeney and her husband-to-be Angelo Paonne approached another venue.
"I had my hens at Poachers Pantry, and the waiter was having a joke that they had availability. It stuck in my mind, he'd said to me, 'We can do something that day if you get stuck'."
So, in 24 hours from lunchtime on Friday, the couple reorganised their wedding at the new venue.
"They just pulled out all the stops for us," Ms Sweeney said.
The couple was married on Sunday, November 5, surrounded by 100 guests, a year on from when Mr Paonne proposed.
As for how it compared to when she first wore her wedding dress on the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week?
"Being on the catwalk with it was just amazing. Amazing is probably an understatement.
"But Paris was just a bonus. This is the day we actually created it for."