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How to Plan a Downsouth Wedding

Our latest Videos

hannahjamesweddingstoryHannah and James Homestyle DIY Wedding

Date: 8th April 2017
Wedding Photographer: Shannon Stent Photography
Wedding Ceremony & Reception: At James Parent's House

Interview with the Bride

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When it came to my dress. If I’m honest I’ve had a pin board on Pinterest dedicated to wedding dresses, for a long time (and still do). So, I was in the shops as soon as I was engaged. I had a rough idea, it was just a matter of confirming it and then drawing up a design.

My Nan made my dress. I love the way my dress is unique to me, no one else will ever wear my design. My Nanna put a lot of hours into making my dress, which I appreciated greatly. It was a nice way for her to be involved in the day and the lead up to the event.

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It was a morning wedding with 6 bridesmaids and myself and my mother to get ready, so it was pretty busy. I had made up a schedule, but things always come up and you just have to work around that. Ideally, I would have loved a little longer but I wanted my sleep more!

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 We made our own bouquets the night before, so the flowers just happened to be what we could find in the bush. I had a few ideas and I was limited with what was in season. Eucalyptus leaves, kangaroo paws that we had picked and dried, fox tale grasses and some roses out of my mum’s garden.

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The property belongs to James Aunty and Uncle and they built the chapel structure themselves. The ceremony was held at 11.30 and it run for half an hour.

I couldn’t really think while I was walking down the aisle, and I honestly can’t remember. Probably something along the lines of ‘holy crap this is happening! He looks amazing, look at his hair, where’s my mum.  When I asked James what he thought as I walked towards him he said "He was trying not to think anything and most things disappeared. He wanted me to hurry up".

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My sister and best friend, sang two worship songs that James and I picked out at different points during the ceremony.

Our celebrant was James Uncle, so it was a bit more personal to us. He made the whole thing light hearted and enjoyable for everyone there, while still maintaining the importance of it all.

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Our day ran differently so there was no break between ceremony and the lunch reception. We went straight to the picnic and then we had the photos after that was finished.

We had two receptions on the one day. We both have big families and wanted to include everyone but we really just wanted an intimate day with a few close people. So we held two receptions.

The first one was a picnic lunch held out on the lawn area on the same property where the ceremony was held. Then our bridal party photos followed the lunch taking us through till our second reception held back in town at James parents house. This was where we got to have a more intimate dinner with our immediate families, grandparents and bridal party.

Ceremony 11.30am -12.00pm
Greetings 12.00noon -12.30pm
Picnic lunch reception 12.30pm - 4.00pm
Bridal party photos 4.00pm - 6.00pm
Intimate dinner reception 7.00pm - 11.00pm

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We were engaged for 9 months and then started seriously planning in the last 5 or so months. We spent $5,000 for our wedding. As said we had two receptions. The first had about 120 guests (children included). It was a lunch relaxed boho picnic style reception on a farm property.

The second reception was immediate family and bridal party in the evening, no kids, about 20 people.

The property we were married on is beautiful in its own right and needed little decorating. We did set up tee-pees out of old sheets and some branches we had collected and placed, blankets and cushions around the place for comfort.

Basically, our whole wedding was DIY, from the food to the decorations. The clothes, the planning, the transport. We had a friend to film the ceremony and lots of people helped out to serve and cook.

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After the picnic lunch had been eaten and settled, some speeches and the bouquet toss. We then announced that we would head off for 2 hours of bridal party photos (around 4pm), via the longest human archway ever!

Our intimate dinner of 20 people was back at James’ parents house starting at 7.30pm. I really wanted to have this dinner in the forest under trees but logistically things were tricky with power and what not. James parents lives on a half-acre property that has a nice section of trees and a small clearing.

We saved the Best Man and Maid of Honour speech till the dinner reception. Lunch time was more about mingling with our guests then anything else. We had a brother duo play guitar and sing at the lunch to keep people entertained. The father daughter dance, and bride and groom dance were saved for the dinner as well.

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Hannah's Wedding Day Advice - Take peoples advice and help, but at the end of the day, its your wedding day and you have to be happy with how it turns out. Don’t make it all about wedding! Remember to just hang out with your fiancé, set aside no-wedding-talk time. Also keep it simple. Weddings can be so over the top and sometimes you just need to go back to basics and remember that the whole point of the event is that you’re marrying the person you love, not to put on the biggest, grandest wedding yet.

CTCW Wedding Suppliers:

Ceremony Location: The Wynyard Grove (private Property)
Reception Venue: At James parents’ house
Photographer: Shannon Stent Images
Brides Dress & Accessories: Made by my Nanna
Rings: Fusion Jewelers Busselton
Groom & Groomsman Attire: Mensland Bunbury
Makeup: DIY
Florist: DIY
Celebrant: Phil Ashton (James Cousin)
Transport: DIY
Caterer: DIY
Favours: DIY
Stylist/Decorator: DIY

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