A Diva Wedding...
My Wedding day was such a happy, magical (and freezing cold) day. I'd love to share some tips, and also mention the wonderful suppliers that made it happen.
If you'd like more insight, or simply want some more info on any of these businesses, please drop me an email or text, I LOVE talking about weddings, and am more than happy to help!
Planning the whole schebang!
Omg, I have never had to make more decisions in my life! I can totally see why wedding planners are in demand and are worth their weight in gold. I had 10 months to plan, and I started looking at venues from day 1 after becoming engaged! I did enlist the help from the wonderful Zepporah Rushworth of "Before, During & After", as my on the day coordinator, and she sourced many of my styling elements, set up my reception, ran errands, and made sure everything was moved where it needed to be between ceremony and reception. I do highly recommend you have a person dedicated to looking after the random stuff on the day!
My tip: discuss your guest list as step 1. You need to know how many people before you can know what size venue you'll need to look for.
My mind wandered between hosting a massive under marquee/tent style DIY wedding, to a "surprise" wedding disguised as an engagement party, to eventually land on what we did. Turns out DIY was going to involve so many more details of planning, property was not cheap to hire (and some places had 3-4 minimum nights to book there) and the costs were adding up quickly. If I had over a year to plan, and a bigger budget I may have continued down that track.
I used the App Easy Weddings as a basic checklist and guideline to what I should be booking/organsing, when, and to keep a track of what still needed to be done. They have a free wedding website you can set up as well, which we sent a link to all of our guests to keep them updated along the way. Details of the venue, ceremony, reception, accommodation, transport options, engagement party, dress code, important contacts etc were all communicated through this site, and really saved me a headache with answering questions.
Even a month prior there were still the "little" things to do. Organise onsite accommodation rooms for the bridal party and print out a cheat sheet for them. gifts for the parents, get the seating chart printed (which I had to edit last minute with a print at home name cut and stick when some guests pulled out), make beauty appointments, practice my first dance and father-daughter dance, neither of which I was comfortable with yet. I also made a list of who was to take home which flowers; allocated parents and in-laws to collect signage, leftover favours, lost property, cards/gifts at the end of the night as we had a strict ending and get out time! I had my Mum pack a laundry basket to help collect things in to make it easy.
I had visited my venue about 6 days prior, the sun was shining, it was 26 degrees in the last week of May. The place looked stunning! The day....... 99% chance of rain, overcast and about 12 degrees freezing! My bridal party and family had stayed in the onsite accommodation the night before, the boys went to their house, and us girls had ours.
By the time we'd all showered and organised our things for the following day, we didn't get to sit and watch a movie as I had hoped. We did get to bed early, we were well rested for our early start for hair and makeup.
Zepporah had organised a breakfast grazing box to be delivered to each house so we all had food to nibble on. Champagne mimosas made an appearance to help calm the nerves.
My brother and I drove 15 mins to get GOOD coffee for everyone, (did not regret that for a second), the other bridesmaid's hair and makeup had to start before me so it was safe for me to disappear for a while.
It was a typical get-ready morning, exchanging of some gifts, I went for a sneaky peek to the reception and helped hang some fairy lights. The place looked great!
Whatever the day was to throw at us, I was determined to go with the flow and enjoy it. I didn't care about the small details or placement of signage or what time things happened. I just let it be!
The day was brilliant! Freezing cold, but the rain held out, the overcast sky looked great in pictures, and we could dance up a storm to keep warm.
The food was delicious, the band was killing it, the photo booth was a hit with young and old!
Some cool things we did....
1. At the commencement of the ceremony Hubby led our guests in a little interaction (which helped warm them up for just a minute!). We played "500 Miles" and on the "dah da da daaa" we had guests on the Right side hands up in the air, followed by the guests on the Left side hands up in the air, and back and forth. I had a very long walk (not quite 500 miles) down a long path to get to the ceremony rotunda, we'd found a beautiful version of 500 miles which turned acoustic halfway through, and brought everyone to tears as I entered.
2. Hubby organised a surprise group dance with all the guests following the ceremony! There's a video of the surprise dance on the Courier Mail's website!
3. The first dance and father-daughter dance were definitely highlights (and high-pressure moments) of the day. We really didn't want to stress about it all night or wait until after dinner. So we opted to do both dances straight after our Reception Entrance. All the guests stood surrounding the dance floor to watch our dance, they were fully immersed in the emotion!
4. We really cringe when it comes to after-dinner speeches, so we opted for a nice thank you speech and did not invite any guests to speak. ......... we invited all of our guests to the dance floor for a few "line dance" style dances. Similar to nut bush and macarena where everyone can follow! This got the dance floor started! songs were: Cupid Shuffle, The Wobble, Cha Cha Slide.
5. We provided slip-on spa slippers for our guests to kick off their shoes and keep dancing the night away!
6. We did an early Sparkler send-off whilst we still had our videographer, and we knew some of our older guests were leaving early, so they could still be involved.
7. At about 9:30 pm we provided cheese toasties to the guests to keep their hunger at bay (and soak up some alcohol!), these went down a treat!! We DID do the "shoe game" which was funny for everyone, the guests loved this. We DIDN"T do a bouquet toss or garter remove, those traditions weren't for us.
8. At the end of the night we invited all remaining guests to the dance floor for a final dance to Horses, we stood in a big circle and made up some simple horse-riding moves that everyone could follow! It was a great way to end the night on a high.
9. The following morning we hosted a breakfast for everyone who stayed locally. This was a great debriefing to relive the moment and a chance to catch up with some guests that we hadn't gotten around to last night.
10. FLOWERS!! We had so many beautiful flower arrangements on the tables. We repurposed the Arbour flowers and had them moved to the Bridal Table for the reception. We had asked the important women in our lives to take home a bunch of flowers from their table at the end of the night. My bouquet was dried and turned into some amazing items including a ring pyramid, 4 coasters, a chopping/grazing board, and a display block by Botanicals by Kate. They look amazing! For less than $300!
Links to all the sites and suppliers that we used:
Easy Weddings - Help with planning and setting up your own wedding website
Before, During & After - Planning and styling assistance, on the day coordination. ALSO! Room Decorating for your wedding night! Zepporah had great suggestions for styling, I really had no idea what would look good. She took care of so many small details for me. We walked into an Oasis of a room fully decorated sooooo romantically and fridge fully stocked with grazing platter, champagne, and beer!
Dress Angelic Bridal - Essence of Australia Brought off the shelf and had it altered down 2 sizes (The Fitting Room on Edward did a superb job on alterations). Dry cleaning and boxed up by Angelic too, and they fixed a hole in the train! Service from these ladies is wonderful, I could not fault them.
Hair & Makeup - Bella Brides I had a trial done, and decided on a different style for the wedding day. I loved my hair and makeup, and honestly felt so beautiful. My bridesmaids and mum's loved their looks too!
Flowers - Jacqui M Design Floral Stylist I Gave Jacqui a colour palatte to work with, I didn't care what flowers were used, I just wanted colour! She absolutely delivered! I had no idea what I was going to get, and I couldn't have been happier!
Suit - Politix
Band - Manu Music I was dead set against having a band. I thought "there are just some songs that the original sounds better", but then I heard Jade & Lima at my brother's wedding and they blew me away! We hired Manu Music as a trio, with a drummer and they absolutely smashed it!
Photographer - Jeps Weddings Jep also shot my brother's wedding and I loved his style. He has a beautiful calm nature and makes you laugh. Our photos are beautiful!
Videographer - Boutique Wedding Films Daniel was working with Jep on the day of my brother's wedding (yep I stole his suppliers!) His videos made me cry even watching complete strangers. Our videos are absolutely stunning, I would recommend getting video to everyone!
Celebrant - Lisa Laker Marriage Maker Talking to Lisa was like hanging out with an old friend that you've known for ages. She's so easygoing, funny, expressive, calm and professional. We loved the ceremony she wrote for us, and she assisted us with every step of the way.
Venue - Ocean View Estates To be honest, I did my research based on facilities, inclusions, and price. This was the first venue we went to and we immediately felt right at home with the owner Kate, being so lovely. It had accommodation onsite, an undercover ceremony area, a great dance floor, and lovely vineyards surrounding it. We wanted somewhere central to where our guests would all be traveling from, somewhere we could do everything in the one location, and stay onsite. Alison took care of the planning and Andrew looked after us on the night, the team here are fantastic!
Cake - Confetti Cake Co We had done a cake tasting with another business and couldn't tell the difference between 3 flavours. Zoe was recommended and had great pricing. We ordered a sample box and WOW! these flavours did not disappoint. The hardest part was choosing which flavours we wanted!
We loved our Cake!
Photobooth - Booth Chic Brisbane Saw this setup at a friends wedding and decided last minute we would do this primarily for our guests as something to do. SOOO glad we did! We printed the pics and included them in our thank you letters!
Flower preservation - Botanicals by Kate Such a great way to have a keepsake with my flowers! It looks like she's adjusting her items to more sustainable options such as shadow boxes.
Courier Mail Article
Brisbane Brides Article on our Wedding - https://issuu.com/ontrendbridal.com.au/docs/brisbane_weddings_magazine_spring_2021_edition/46
Wedding Video Clip:s
1 Min trailor https://vimeo.com/573288696
Choosing our MUSIC!
Gosh this was hard!
Spotify and searching for covers is your friend when it comes to finding less 'overdone' music.
Bridesmaids Entrance: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), Cast of Zoey's Extraordinary playlist
My Entrance: Stand by Me, Boyce Avenue
Signing: Could I have this Dance, Anne Murray & Unchained Melody, Righteous Brothers (we played these in honour of our Mother's, these were songs from their wedding days, we had them both sign as the witnesses to give them a special part in the day)
Recessional: Hold My Hand, Jess Glynn & Beautiful Day, U2
Reception Bridal Party and Bride/Groom entrance : Crazy in Love, Beyonce
First Dance: Signed Sealed Delievered, Stevie Wonder
Father Daughter Dance: Mix of Dance with my Daughter / Suddenly I see / Shut up and Dance / This Dance
Cake song / NA the band were playing
Final Song of the night: Horses, Daryl Braithwaite