15 January 2022
The day I married my husband, Kurtis.
In 2016 I shot my first wedding and almost 6 years later it was my turn. You might think that being around so many weddings I had an idea as to what I wanted the day to look/ be like and in some instances you are right, I knew what I didn’t want our wedding to be like but I was also overwhelmed by choice, loving too many things I had seen I didn’t know where to start.
I tell my couples all the time, do what makes you happy, make the day a reflection of yourselves and now it was time to put my money where my mouth was. We opted for a casual cocktail wedding, an outdoor ceremony, lawn games and pizza trucks, a marquee filled with fairy lights, a destination wedding at the beautiful Rosewood Estate on the Gold Coast. We got engaged in a random break in between lockdowns and did all of our planning online without being able to leave our 5km radius let alone fly interstate for viewings. So how did we have the perfect day?
Here are my biggest tips...
How do you choose vendors when you don’t know who they are and can’t go and meet them?
1. Check out their work on social media as well as their websites
2. Read through their google reviews
2. Get in touch via email, if you love the work you have seen, the reviews are good, they are efficient at getting back to you, give you a good vibe and are nice to deal with they’re the ones!
Fun fact: We actually didn’t actually get to see our venue until we drove up to stay there the night before the wedding. We got taken around on FaceTime and they were amazing at answering any of our questions and keeping us in the loop via email. We were blown away by how incredible it was when we got up there!
Know that things aren’t going to go to plan, so just plan to enjoy the day.
This also goes hand in hand with choose people in your wedding party who are absolute troopers, they’re your support crew – My bridesmaid Sarah was literally attacked by bull ants when we all accidentally stood on a bull ants nest during our portraits pre-ceremony. Kurtis and I also got bitten trying to get them off her. Her toe was swollen for days after it and it would have hurt like hell but she went and grabbed some ice and kept going because she wanted the day to be perfect. That moment could have been make or break. What a legend.
Another thing that didn’t go to plan… our first dance. I have never seen this happen to anyone before but I got up and started out dance and then blanked haha. We had practised a routine at home (we literally copied it from Gilmore Girls, Lorelai and Chris’ the way you look tonight hehe) and then I got up and forgot it all. I hate being the centre of attention. Kurtis noticed and saved the day, we started waltzing and he called our wedding party up to join us but I wasn’t going to have end like that so while they were all up I signalled to our DJ to start the song again (legend!). So we did our dance with our wedding party around us, it ended up being way better! Despite laughing it off the thought of it did make me anxious after but when I said it to people later they didn’t even notice!
Don’t get hung up on the little things!
Do what makes you happy – really!
We didn’t have a wedding cake, we just aren’t cake people. I remember telling my Mum this and she said what should we do for dessert then? “Well think about it, when was the last time you actually ate the dessert at a wedding?” I asked her- when she said she couldn’t remember the cake at any of the last weddings we had been to I felt pretty sold on not having one. Instead we allocated this money to having a cocktail hour instead, way more us, Mum included ahaha!
In following on from do it your way, one thing I must say that I found super stressful was choosing our wedding party. We decided to go with four each, 2 friends we made together and 2 of our oldest friends to have standing beside us. We wanted to include as many of our close friends and family as possible though so we decided to incorporate them in other ways, one friend sung me down the aisle, another had our rings and our siblings signed our certificate, you get the drift. Who says the best man has to have the ring… we didn’t even have a maid of honour or best man felt too choosey for us.
Only one person got up and gave a speech from our wedding party too, our friend Elise who was there when we met and lived with us in London. It kept speeches short and she nailed it!
How we Incorporated Our Dogs
If you know us or you follow me online you know how obsessed we are with our fur babies. We felt that our doggos would be overwhelmed and honestly we didn’t want to worry about having someone look after them up despite how much as we wanted them to be there. Seeing as we had a cocktail wedding with plenty of beers including our favourite Greek beer Mythos (One of the ways we incorporated my Greek heritage 😂). We got stubby coolers made as our favours, a fun token of thanks but also a practical souvenir to be used on the day and from what we’ve heard and seen our guests have been loving using them since!
Thanks to @ohbarney who did the design our babies were everywhere we looked! All dressed up, wedding themed with a cute bow tie and veil 🥰
You don’t need to spend big money on everything.
Choose the things that are important to you. We decided we wanted a videographer pretty early. Kurt not really knowing how much things cost said we should just find someone cheap as it was an extra we have the photos. I rolled my eyes hard at this but didn’t say anything and went and found the videographer that would be perfect for us instead, it was an investment after all. I came back and showed Kurtis a few regular wedding videos – snooze, then I showed him Tom and he agreed straight away that he was worth the money and that we had to have him (we would always make more money anyway). I have to say it was the best thing we did, he made us feel so comfortable and it is fun and a bit quirky like us. So many of our friends have said how much they loved it and laughed and cried through. I have watched it an embarrassing amount of times because it allows me to relive the best day ever. Money well spent!
Same goes for our photos but we always knew that this was a priority for us, me being a photographer an all 😉 I got an album made the minute our photos were back and love showing our family and friends when they come over or just kicking back with a cup of tea and having a flick.
Where we spent big on video and photo we were smart in other areas. I got my veil off Facebook market place, my boots from wish.com – yep you read that right haha, and my reception dress vintage from a second hand store. We didn’t need cars and we went semi basic in terms of styling, I mean have you seen the view we left that as the feature, it didn’t need distractions haha. We also repurposed our ceremony flowers to liven up the reception area.
A moment for my boots….
And also my socks haha
Timeline/ First look
I made sure we had plenty of time so that we didn’t feel rushed or stressed throughout the day and instead we got to enjoy extra time with our family and friends. We did a first look and then hung back at the house together before the ceremony. This meant we were able to enjoy all the festivities instead of planning them and then leaving for photos, we had it all. We even managed a quick drink and some quality time with my grand parents and our siblings who met us at the house* pre-ceremony.
*The house we stayed at was onsite
Looking back my favourite things about the day
- I married Kurtis – obviously
2. We had quality time to talk to the most important guests before things got crazy – its pretty hard to talk to everyone when you have 90 guests. Honestly when was the last time you spoke to that many people in one day? So having our day structured as we did meant we got to make the most of it. I loved that we had a cocktail wedding for this reason, so that everyone could mingle.
3. Our dance floor started at 5pm – Our family and friends know how to have a good time haha
And our DJ nailed the breif – he kept everyone dancing the entire night
4. The confetti exit was elite – The Whole Bride confetti is where its at!
5. There was heaps of food, even though I didn’t eat much haha.
TIP: Have food or snacks prepared for after, it is a huge day and you will thank me later for this! Our caterers left us extra boxes of pizza for after they left.
6. We chose the best people for photo and video and Im so glad that we did. Although the day is gone we can relive it all through their work and we had the best time with them as well – double wins.
I could literally talk about this day forever it makes me so happy. If you have any questions about our day or if I can help you with yours please get in touch!
Our incredible team of vendors:
|Venue + Marquee
|Hitched by Heather
|Joel- White Rabbit Productions
|Tom- Tom Oheir Films (No longer shooting)
|Bunch It Up
|The Italian Job
|Fern Vintage Van
|Little J Designs (One of our besties!)
|Gold Coast DJs
|The Richards Sign
|Beer Stubby Coolers
|The Whole Bride
|Grace Loves Lace
|Two Sisters the Label
|Millie Mc Hair Design
|Deb – Seams Impossible
|Jasmine Lei (No longer offering bridal makeup)