Amy and Bill's Bunbury Bayside Wedding
Interview with the Bride
I grew up on a dairy farm near Bunbury but Bill and I live in the Northern Territory (as that's where he's from). South West of WA was the obvious choice. We wanted a holiday and his family had never been there and said they would love to go, also my closest family who are still dairy farmers would then be able to attend. As for the Koombana Bay Sailing Club... well Bunbury had options of easy accommodation for interstate and long distance travellers and we wanted to get hitched then party straight away.
My make-up, caterer, celebrant, and photographer were so amazing and I want to share them with other brides. I must say, starting the big day with a smiling Gemma Collins (the make-up artist) who put everyone at ease was great. She did an amazing job, it was relaxing to know she was confident and we were all very very pleased with our fresh look.
I had bought a $60 white dress from Forever New two years earlier as we had originally planned to elope. I fully intended to wear it on the day however the ''white bride' concept was a bother as I already had two children, it was also above the knee and had a lipstick stain. I went browsing two weeks before the wedding in Bunbury Bridal with my cousin and we accidentaly found "the one''!
It was an oyster-coloured Sophia Tolli dress. My mum found a seamstress who could take it in in time and she went and bought it for me. I was surprised as I never wanted a strapless dress but I guess when you find the right one there is no choice. I loved the lace and the colour and the tulle and ..... well the whole thing except the train. We cut the train off, I thought it was too much.The price was so surprising too! It was under $1000 but I'm sure it was worth much more.
I could never picture myself with a bouquet but I looked funny without anything. I saw a photo of a bride with a red rose on Google and thought that's perfect! I used a bouquet I caught at my cousins wedding a couple of years ago (it was artificial) as the throwing bouquet. I just prettied it up a bit and it was good to go.
The invitations said to be at the Koombana Bay Sailing Club by 5pm but everything changed like two days before the wedding. Originally, Bill and I were going to greet guests as they arrived and the bar would be open then everyone would be asked to gather round and we would say our vows. A couple of days before the wedding, Bill said ''well that's not very traditional.'' So we changed it. I arrived at 5.30pm (good timing I thought) until everyone realised that Bill wasn't there yet! It all worked out in the end though. For the ceremony I didn't have a bridal party or flower girls or boys, no red carpet or confetti. It was simple and sweet and focused on us saying our vows and becoming man and wife.
I had some great friends and family help me on the day. My best friend Teresa was invaluable she kept me sane, my celebrant was a close friend and organised everything formal, my Aunt Donna booked my make-up artist and found my hair dresser, my cousin was the MC and my sister flew all the way from Canada to be there and also managed to arrange a lady's afternoon tea. And the groom - he got himself to WA in time and designed my wedding band.
Sarsha Wetherell was our beautiful well spoken, funny, quick thinking celebrant, all we did was hand her our birth certificates and sign our wedding certificate and she did the rest. We announced our witness on the day as a surprise to them. I chose my Aunt Donna, she is my godmother and my friend. Because I know she loves me, it was the perfect opportunity to show her how much she means to me. Bill chose his long-time friend Jeff from Queensland.
Because we did not have a bridal party I bought my two friends and my sister beautiful clutches, miniature perfume and a beautiful bracelet each, just to say I love them. My sister and Bill's sisters got engraved champagne glasses and our mothers got engraved wine glasses.
We only had about 15 minutes of photos taken straight after the ceremony, about 20 metres from where we wed. While we were doing that, the venue was open, the food came out and the bar was flowing... I think everyone was happy.
I saw my wedding band for the first time the moment Bill put it on my finger, it has diamonds in it!! I was very overwhelmed. Bill and I decided he wouldn't receive a ring but I surprised him with a pocket watch with a photo of myself in it... I think he liked it.
Only the children of immediate family were invited as I was concerned about the water situation. Mum and I made goody bags with toys and my dad handed out bubble guns to keep the kids entertained. They all seemed very happy, they did get dirty and my son Vic actually went swimming. But it was great.
I organised canapes to come around plus some heartier food that could be eaten with or without plates so you had the option of grazing or getting a plate and taking a seat at one of the tables. However, the day of the wedding there was a room full of tables and a full-on buffet (thanks to Mum and Dad!).
I had no decorations just a cake topper and simple centrepiececes for the tables. With such a big guest list the food was more important than the décor. There was no theme/colour scheme - I bought two six-packs of mirror tiles from Kmart along with some candles, ornaments and some 3D diamanties. I gave them to my Aunty and her and her family decorated the tables. They made it look amazing. There was no other decorations at all and I spent $150-$200.
I set the date, booked the venue and the celebrant and sent out invitations when I was nearly 9 months pregnant... so 10 months before the wedding. Our budget was ridiculously low so I focused on the formalities. My parents think I don't know but I do... they added to the caterers menue, organised a mountain of cupcakes, paid for the celebrant and bought me a dress, and Bill's family paid for the bar and entertainment. I spent $90 on flowers, $500 on accommodation, $200 on invitations (postage is expensive)...I don't know the grand total because everyone interfered but I would have to guess $10,000. I don't know exactly how many guests we had, our 50 persons each turned into probably a 150+ strong crowd.
I did enjoy it! But I wouldn't do it again, I think we would have been much more suited to elopement. It was too big - although we have so many amazing people in our lives - it was too much. I hated the entry (the walk down the aisle) I felt it was silly. My advice to other brides - choose a friend you trust to be the only one to fill your glass with what you want! Don't use a venue that will also be open to the public it does not work. If it feels wrong... breathe, ask yourself if you're over-reacting, if your answer is no then don't stop until it's fixed (I let three things slide and I regret that now).
The day went fast and even though I was cool and calm and really chilled out and relaxed, upon reflection there were so many things that just weren't what I wanted them to be. I guess I must have thought if I didn't care and just did the easiest or cheapest thing, then cross my fingers, it would all work out. I don't feel I was there on my own terms. I just wanted to be Mrs Bill Skewes! Now I am though, I am thankful and we are very happy.
CTCW Wedding Suppliers:
Ceremony Location and Reception Venue - Koombana Bay Sailing Club
Photographer - Lloyd Smith Photography
Accommodation - Quest Bunbury Serviced Apartments from Bunbury
Brides Dress & Accessories - dress and head piece were from Bunbury Bridal (Dress - Sophia Tolli), shoes from Forever New, earrings were from an online store.
Bridesmaid’s Dresses & Accessories - there was no bridal party!
Rings - Kimberley Fine Diamonds made the engagement and wedding band from Bill's designs. I gave Bill a gold pocket watch from Prouds Jewellers.
Groom & Groomsman attire - we bought Bill a shirt, trousers, and belt from a shop in Bunbury Centrepoint on the afternoon of the day before the wedding and he wore his brown RM Williams boots he's had for like 15 years.
Celebrant - Sarsha Wetherell from Boyanup
Transport - Family car and driver
Bonbonnieres - bought online - engraved glasses
Wedding Decorator - other than the centrepieces for the tables there was no decorations