Welcome back to Our Wedding Story! In part two I’m running though the final getting ready process, the ceremony, congratulations and our epic photos. I’ve decided to leave my top tips in bold for you in case you’d like to reference back…Enjoy!
As I said in my last wedding post, it took a village. I think it was a mixture of needing a couple of pairs of hands, and everyone wanting to be involved in getting the bride in her dress. Either way we got there in the end! I had to wear a hooped skirt under my dress to stop all the layers from getting wrapped around my legs when walking, which meant that the dress itself had to go on over my head; bear this in mind when it comes to any headpieces etc. Because the bodice of my dress was heavily beaded my sister in law did have to stitch a couple of loose threads back in, so make sure you have a needle and thread in your emergency kit.
Once dressed, we had our last few photos before my Dad came down to collect me to walk up to the ceremony. Please, please, please make sure you make time for this moment. It is one you will never forget for as long as you live. Be prepared with tissues – you’ll cry, Dad will cry, Mum will cry, your one bridesmaid that won’t stop crying all day will start here, and it’s such a beautiful part of the day.
Don’t forget to make sure you have all your jewellery on that you planned to, your shoes are fastened comfortably, and you’ve had that last spritz of perfume. Give yourself a moment on your own to check yourself in the mirror and take a deep breath before you set off.
We chose to keep our ceremony to no more than thirty minutes, starting at 3:30pm. That meant putting 3:15pm on the invitations to avoid any guests sprinting down the aisle in front of me.
I was lucky enough to have a down right angel around me on my wedding day. Kylie from Eight Willows Retreat has been praised my myself and my entire bridal party as the glue that held the entire day together. I will go into detail on selecting your venue in another post, but for now let me just say, Kylie was my godsend. At any given moment she appeared with a tissue, my lipstick, a glass of water… everything.
Kylie walked my bridesmaids up to the ceremony location with my Dad and I following. I was so torn over what song to walk down the aisle to. I left Mitch out of that decision making process completely as I really do think that the music is a huge part of curating that ‘Wow’ moment in which he sees you in your dress for the first time. I ummed and ahhhd for the entire year whether to use the first song that came into my head (because it’s so relevant to us as a couple and we both love it), or whether to go with something more romantic. The night before, I realised it was a no brainer and my original idea was definitely the way to go. I created a short playlist of the three songs to be played and asked a very organised friend to press play and pause at the right moments.
I walked down the aisle to ‘Space Oddity’ by David Bowie! We timed it so that my girls walked down to the intro and the count down in the first verse, and I entered the ceremony at the start of the first chorus. Yep, it was very choreographed, but damn it was worth it. I got the moment I was after and Mitch had the biggest smile on his face. #GoodChoice. I also had ‘From Now On’ by The Features play as we kissed, and ‘Ours’ by The Bravery for the recessional. Every song meant a lot to us as they all represent various times in our relationship.
I researched for months and months for a ceremony structure that we liked, but I found them all either boring or impersonal. So, over a few weeks I designed and wrote our ceremony from scratch, including the template for our own vows. I’m not going to go into masses of detail on all that in this post as I honestly think it deserves a post of its own – stay tuned!
One thing I must mention – I really wanted to create a confetti bar. It looked gorgeous laid out at the entry to the Bush Chapel, with three or four different colours of natural confetti products in all different bowls with wooden scoops. A lovely idea…in theory. Unless you plan on providing a ‘How to throw confetti’ leaflet for your guests, don’t do it. I cannot explain to you how many people threw the damn stuff directly in my face from point blank range haha! I then also had to try and shake dried rose petals out of my hair and my skirt before the photos… not my best laid plan!
Post I do’s
We walked through the resort with a glass of bubbles in hand, heading down to the lawn by the waterside. I asked the team at the venue if they could make sure there was a drink ready for the whole bridal party as soon as we left the ceremony – we definitely needed it to settle those nerves again haha!
I wasn’t planning on having a receiving line, but before we knew it we were stood on the lawn with all our guests in a big long line waiting to congratulate us. It did feel a bit strange and I would have loved for it to be more relaxed, but I don’t think it can be avoided since everyone will naturally wait their turn. During our photos, I organised for the guests to have drinks on the lawn. I also hired lawn games and my Mum brought things like riddles and brain teasers to leave on the outdoor tables. This was definitely a great idea as I couldn’t bear to leave guests with nothing to do but stand around for an hour and a half. The beauty of our venue was that most were staying on site, so if anyone did want to go and freshen up or relax in their chalet, they could. I did also provide a table of snacks – which most venues will require if you are serving alcohol for that period of time, and quite right too as I don’t recommend leaving your guests hungry! Our fantastic caterers, did offer to serve the entrée of the meal ‘canapé style’ during the lawn drinks, however I chose to keep it as a part of the seated meal. All the snacks were dry goods which I ordered online in the couple of weeks before the wedding – soy crisps, trail mix, pretzels, popcorn etc. I purchased various pretty containers and scoops which the venue staff laid out for me. This is the best advice I can give you if you want to keep costs down in some places.
Transport to Photo Location
We chose to head to Moses Rock for our beach photos, about 15 minutes drive away. I was adamant that I wasn’t going to spend money on a wedding car when we were only heading down the road, I was more than happy to delegate the job to two groomsmen and all of us pile into two Land cruisers (since just about everyone in Mitch’s family has one). However, my Mum insisted we hire at least one for ourselves as it would likely be the only fifteen minutes we got together all day – she wasn’t wrong! I’m so glad we hired a car because that short amount of time together to process that we’d just become husband and wife was incredibly special. I had hired a vintage cream Thunderbird car originally, however I attended a wedding a few months before ours at which the same company was being used, and they really messed the bridal party around causing the bride to be quite late. The following week I decided I didn’t want the worry of whether everything was going to go to plan or not so I cancelled the booking. I ended up using a company I already had a great relationship with through work – Margaret River Chauffeurs. Mel and Jarred are beyond professional and their stunning white Range Rover had plenty of room for my dress! The team can organise bubbles and snacks for you too so make sure to take advantage – My darling mum did organise for a bottle of Bollinger to be waiting in the car for us, which was of course empty by the time we returned!
I have no words. I had no plan, no ideas, I just trusted Hannah from Keeper Creative with everything. Best to let the photos speak for themselves…
Much love guys,