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How to Plan a Downsouth Wedding

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Let me share with you the Essential 13 Tips that Wedding Planners think about while planning a client’s Downsouth wedding.

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How to Plan a Downsouth Wedding

Our latest Videos

HayleyRobWeddingInjidupBeachCoastToCountryWeddingsHaylee & Rob's Injidup Beach Wedding

Date: 20th February 2016
Wedding Photographer: Imajica Photography
Wedding Ceremony & Reception: Injidup Beach and Wavehouse Studio & Amphitheatre

Interview with the Bride

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We took about 18 months to plan our wedding, as we wanted to take our time and enjoy the planning.

Our original budget was 25k but once we realised all the things we wanted to include (like a live band) and the number of special people we wanted to invite, we realised this was not enough. In the end we spent 42k which included a few last minute lighting adjustments. It was worth every penny!

We had 140 guests in the end. We didn’t allow children to attend as we wanted our guests to be relaxed and enjoy themselves and neither venue is very child friendly.

Both the bridesmaids and groomsmen got a little kit which a bunch of things in it. The groomsmen got a turkish towel, a little thong bottle opener (to keep with the beach theme), and a flask with their initials. The bridemaids had a turkish towel, a champaigne flute, some bits from Lush, and some jewellery (both for the day and not). Oh, and their dressing robes.

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About a year or so before the wedding, I started looking for my dress. I kept my beach venue and theme in mind. The thing I loved most about my final choice, was that it I felt like ‘me’, and I was comfortable and able to dance.

For my bouquet I actually don’t remember what flowers I had, as I took the florist’s advice. I do remember that we had babysbreath, easter daisies, verona (I think that’s what it was called, it kind of looks like lavender), and my bouquet had white roses. We wanted simple white with green foliage for the ceremony then bright colours for the reception so we let the florist guide us.

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We love the beach and had always planned a beach ceremony, Injidup Beach is so beautiful and yet so quiet - so it was perfect.

Our overall theme was ‘Beach’, so my dress and groom's suit were both summer styles . . . . and it was a barefoot ceremony :) We told guests to wear shorts if they wished but left it up to them to decide. In the end we had guests in full suits and bow ties as well as shorts.

We wanted to keep the ceremony decorations simple, so the natural beauty of the setting could be the main event. We kept the colours fairly neutral with some soft blue touches. I made directional signs and a few little decorations.

With the help of our brilliant celebrant Belinda we wrote all the wording for the ceremony so it was personal to us. We wrote our vows together which we loved doing. Two of our best friends did great readings and our mums signed the register with us. What we couldn’t plan to incorporate was the perfect weather, that was just luck.

They had a couple of drinks on the beach and then went straight to the reception venue where there were yard games, food and the band playing. It was only about an hour before we arrived so not a big gap.

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We explained to Charmaine at Ferguson Valley Events the simple yet beautiful look we wanted and she provided the chairs, arbour and aisle runner which she set off the vibe perfectly.

We were keen not to have a gap between ceremony and reception and wanted to spend us much time celebrating with our guests as possible, so we didn’t have out ceremony until 4.30pm.

After the ceremony our guests had a few drinks on the beach while we had family and wedding party photos. The reception venue is only 5 minutes away so we had shuttles running people to the reception starting at 5.30 (we had our photos while this was happening). The band and cocktail food started at 6 and we arrived with the wedding party at 6.45.

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When looking for a reception venue we viewed so many gorgeous places in and around Yallingup, but we felt each of them had a very rigid structure around food, music, alcohol and finish time.

Because live, loud music and a party/festival atmosphere was so important to us, we thought Wave House Ampitheatre was the perfect venue for us given that is also a recording studio and in a remote setting. It gave us freedom to do whatever we wanted and is a stunning setting.

Although we had to work hard to decorate the venue, it was truly unique and the houses on the property were the perfect accommodation for the whole family to enjoy a week in the SouthWest before and after the wedding.

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The food was served until about 9pm and that included desert. We did the speeches around 8pm. The band played until midnight, then our friend DJ'd until about 3am. The party finished about 4am, although there were a few that carried on all morning. We had shuttle buses and taxis running between 12pm-3am to take guests back to their accommodation.

We decided we wanted a more casual style wedding so were looking for a more food truck/cocktail style. Again, we searched long and hard to find a caterer who served the kind of food we wanted as well as the right price, we eventually found a caterer - called Mezcal - that is a food truck that serves delicious Mexican food.

Mac, the owner and operator of the business, invited us over for a tasting of her tapas-style wedding menu that included different starters and main courses (e.g. zuchinni fritters and fish tacos) and it was exactly what we were after. The dessert was a Mexican ice cream sandwich which went down a treat with the guests as well the other half dozen menu items that were served.

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Again with the reception the natural setting of the amphitheatre is spectacular so we didn’t want to try do too much with decorations. I made a lot of signs and was shopping for about a year online constantly buying little pieces to include and use. We wanted a fun party feel, so we picked bright coloured flowers, made bright coloured signs but didn’t go over the top. The venue is huge so we didn’t try and fill it with decorations. In the end the lighting was the main event.

Although I made most of the decorations we hired the big stuff like chairs, tables, a bar, etc from Ferguson Valley Events. Thankfully I have a very talented friend who is an artist, she helped draw some of the signs. The bridal party and my mum made the favours - that was a fun day.

Setting up was a pretty labour intensive couple of days, especially for Rob and I, our parents and the wedding party. On the day Charmaine did the final little touches and set up the ceremony. Although it was hard work, it was worth it and such a great feeling walking into the reception finally seeing it all complete full of family and friends.

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As mentioned one of my bridemaids was the makeup artist and a friend did a DJ set once the band finished but there were so many people helping in so many different ways it would be impossible to mention them all. To highlight a couple: my nanna and granddad drove me and my dad to the ceremony (and decorated the car nicely); friends from iSQ (iString Quartet) played at the ceremony; our great friends that did readings at the ceremony and MC for the reception; lots of moving drinks and ice around: and thankfully some friends took over the tangled mess of more than 1km of fairy lights and finished setting them up for us.

Apart from making the decorations which I did, everything else was done together. Although if I'm being completely honest, Rob found the venue, band and caterer!

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Our reception definitely had a party theme and atmosphere. A lot of people said it felt like a festival with the venue and band. There was a lot of dancing, which had already started before we even arrived. We had to clear the dancefloor for our first dance. We kept speeches and toasts to a minimum so it was father of the bride, groom and best man.

I guess if I have to give advice it would be to just relax and enjoy the process and remember if you and your husband are having a great day, all your guests will too. They don’t actually really notice all the things we spend months worrying about. Also we found it useful to imagine the day in our guests ‘shoes’ (point of view) as well as our own, and this helped to get the right flow to the day and night.

Nothing, it was better than we could have planned. I guess maybe paid someone to do the clean up but this was only because we were on a private property, its not relevant for most venues.

We are on it at the moment! We are travelling for about 12 months through Europe, Africa and the Americas.

We used Coast To Country weddings to find vendors and venues. It was really useful!

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There were somany funny stories from the evening, but I have to share one . . . .  the bouquet toss.

The bridemaids had been wearing stick on bras (their dresses were backless) and they decided it was time to get rid of them, so I threw flowers and at the same time they threw their bras. I'm pretty sure one of the bras ended up on the saxophonists head for a while. As for the fight over the bouquet, I don’t think I've ever seen anything quite like it! There were about 5 girls on the ground rugby tackling and wresting over the bouquet for a solid 5 mins (in their lovely dresses), most people were crying with laughter watching.


CTCW Wedding Suppliers:

Ceremony Venue: Injidup Beach
Reception Venue: Wavehouse Studio & Amphitheatre
Photographer: Imajica Photography
Accommodation : Groom - Wavehouse Studio & Bride - Wyadup Brook Cottages
Brides Dress & Accessories: Dress - Aubrey Rose Bridal, Veil - Aubrey Rose Bridal, Jewellery - various ETSY stpres and Tiffany & Co, Floral Headpiece - Sorella Flowers
Bridesmaid Dresses & Accessories: Dresses from Bojena King from Coco Lola store, Accessories from ETSY
Makeup: Kim Lumsdon
Hair Stylist: Mobile Hair by Madi
Shoes: Girls - Hobbs, Guys - Mere
Rings: ETSY
Groom & Groomsman Attire: David Jones
Florist: Sorella Flower Merchant
Celebrant: Belinda Robinson
Transport: Wedding Party - friends & family, Guests - The Chauffeur Bus & Dunsborough Taxi's 's 
Catering: Mezcal Food Truck
Favours: Succulent plants in jars made by the bride, MOB & bridesmaids
Stylist: Ferguson Valley Events, DIY by Bride . . . Setup and styling tandom effort between Charmaine (FVE) and wedding party
Entertainment: iSQ String Quartet - Ceremony, Baker Boys Band - Reception, DJ Tom Paine (from UK) - Dance Floor (end of evening)

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