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laura jason mainLaura and Jason's Bunbury City Wedding

Date: 23rd March 2014
Wedding Ceremony: Marlston Hill Lookout Tower Gardens, Bunbury
Wedding Reception: A restaurant in Bunbury

Interview with the Bride

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We got engaged 3.5 years ago so I had a lot of time to research and get lots of ideas. We actually set a date and got serious about planning 9 months before the wedding. Our budget was $10,000, and we spent about $12,000.

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It took us a long time to select a ceremony venue. We wanted something meaningful to us. The tower was both beautiful and sentimental to us. Jason and I went to our school ball together as friends and had pictures at the lookout tower. That night, we decided to become more than just friends. It seemed right to get married where it all had started!

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I would have loved Jason to do more. He is so easy going that whenever I asked his opinion, he would just shrug and say it was up to me! I even had to choose the suits for him!! He did help the decorator set up on the day and made sure everything was as I had specified. I guess he helped me calm down when I got stressed with the planning.

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We invited 60 guests, about 50 came to the reception.  Our ceremony began at 2pm and the reception started at 5pm and went till about 10.30pm. In between the ceremony and reception, the family that lived locally went home for a while and the out of town guest went back to their hotel to put their feet up... I pretty sure a few went to the pub too ;)

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Jason's Grandma read a William Shakespeare sonnet at the ceremony. It was very beautiful and made the ceremony feel very personal. Even though it wasn't in our control, there was dragonflies everywhere and it looked amazing! My Mum loves taking photos, so I had her take the getting ready photos for me. It was great to have her do that, because it felt very intimate and special. It also saved us a bit of money... bonus!

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We gave our bridesmaids red champagne flutes with their names and title on them. We also wrote a little thank you message on the back. The boys received beer steins with the same engravings. We also had small glasses for the flower girl and page boy.
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I actually found my dress really easily. In the start of our serious planning, I went to Elysia, the dress shop that I always get my dresses from for special occasions. I initially went in looking for bridesmaids dress ideas. Jo, the owner then told me about a new designer that they were about to carry that just so happened to have a bridal line. She showed me a catalogue and I was hooked! The dresses were gorgeous and very affordable. ! It took a good few months to decide, but I went with the first dress I had set my eyes on. the only problem was that I couldn't try it on. The dress had to be sent from Sydney. Being so small, it took a while to find the one I wanted in a size 6! I loved the style and the simplicity. It was what I had pictured my dress to be when I was a little girl. The lace detailing was beautiful and it suited my petite frame. The price helped seal the deal. $500 for that dress was just incredible!
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I do feel a little sad that, I never got to try on dresses with my family and bridesmaids. I never really got to have that wow moment when I found the one. I did enjoy making my decorations, but it did get stressful doing most of it myself...if I really had to think idealistically, maybe I would have hired some things...but I do like looking back on the day and feeling that sense of accomplishment.

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I had champagne and white roses, baby's breath, white lisianthus and hypericum with green foliage in my bouquet. This was all wrapped in hessian and some of the lace from my dress. I really wanted champagne roses. Other than that, I told the florists what the style of the wedding was and then told them to surprise me. They did a fantastic job!
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We used so many different outlets to plan the wedding. We did a lot of last minute and initial planning on the Coast to Country Weddings website. I also purchased millions of bridal magazines and dragged Jason to sooooo many bridal expos. We found Michelle at a friend's wedding... I always had my wedding brain on!

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Our reception venue is actually both Jason and my work place. Being in the hospitality industry, it was hard to invite all of our friends to the wedding. We thought if we had it there, they could still play a big part in our day. Also, I knew what to expect of the food, drink and service. It was the perfect size venue for an intimate and stylish wedding. Working there also helped because it was easy for us to go in and set it up ourselves. It saved us money and it meant I wasn't stressed about the room not being the way I had envisioned. I had a specific set up in mind and I wanted to make sure it was right.

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We really didn't want a sit down meal. As much as we are self confessed 'foodies' we really wanted the day to feel relaxed to fit our personalities. I know for me, I really wanted to spent my wedding with my guests and talk to them. I didn't want to be stuck sat at a table all night. We really wanted everyone to just kick off their shoes and mingle. We had a wide selection of canapés moving around the room and it encouraged all of our friends and family to get to know each other. I think it really took the pressure off.

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I guess our style was classic vintage. Maybe a bit of 1940's Hollywood? With a French rustic twist?? The colour pallet was soft pinks, creams and champagnes with a pop of red to brighten the pallete. We kept everything fairly simple. I used a lot of hessian and lace, twine and jars to give it a real rustic, home made feel. I used baby's breath throughout the day to give it a simple, feminine feel.

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We had a wishing tree instead of a guest book to make things a bit more fun and to encourage people to write something. I created a talking point. I used a decorative bird cage instead of a traditional wishing well to suit the theme and just to be a little different. We didn't have tables so I couldn't have centrepieces. Instead I used a long wooden table and put on a hessian and lace runner. I put a big candle in the middle with some vintage looking jars that I found at a cheap shop either side to hold the bouquets. It was my way of making it still feel like a wedding. I got some different sized lanterns and hung them off a branch that was already hanging from the roof, just to give the room some dynamic.

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We invited some children - we made sure there was kid friendly food such as pizzas and sausage rolls that came out early in the night. There was just the two children that ended up attending, but there was no shortage of "big kids" to keep them entertained.
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We had some very funny and meaningful speeches. The father of the bride even wrote a "telegram" from my childhood teddy, Peter Rabbit, complaining that I don't love him anymore and that he wasn't invited to the wedding. After the speeches, we played a slide show that I had made. The slideshow included baby photos of each of us and then photos and video footage of our 7 years together. We finished this off with some dancing and even a conga line of sorts.
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My biggest advice is... take your time. Find out what you really like. Don't let anyone push you into a decision you may regret. Do your research. Make sure that you know the work of the photographer, decorator, etc. These people are there to help you with your day, so choose people that are on the same page as you. Meet up and email with them and get to know them before booking them for certain.The worst thing you could do is spend your day with someone that you don't gel with. You spend most of your day with your photographer and celebrant, so you want to get along with them and feel comfortable with them.

CTCW Wedding Suppliers:

Ceremony Location - Marlston Hill Lookout Tower Gardens, Bunbury
Wedding Reception Venue – Mojo's Restaurant, Bunbury
Photographer - Michelle Dean Photography
Accommodation - We spent our wedding night at the Mantra Hotel even though we live locally, we wanted it to be special.
Brides Dress & Accessories – The dress was by Jadore Bridal but purchased from Elysia Boutique in Bunbury. My shoes were from Shoebedoo in Bunbury. My stunning pearl earrings were a wedding present from the groom and came from Nina's in Bunbury. My Bluebird necklace was actually my something old, borrowed and blue. It belongs to my grandmother and she wore it on her wedding day. It was was so special to me that she let me wear it.
Bridesmaid’s Dresses & Accessories – The bridesmaid's dresses were also Jadore dresses from Elysia Boutique and the lace matched my dress. Their shoes were from Betts in Bunbury
Rings - Michael Hill Jewellers Bunbury
Groom & Groomsman attire - The suits were hired from Bon Marché Mensland. Jason's shoes were from Betts in Bunbury. His brother's feet were too big to find them dress shoes, so they wore their own.
Entertainment – We had a string trio play classical covers of pop songs at the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to their version of Chasing Cars By Snow Patrol which is Jason and my song.
Cake - Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and a small top cake made by Kurumi Hoshi, one of the Pastry chefs at Mojos is a good friend and work mate of Jason and I. She and I made it together the day before the wedding at her house. She made the cakes and taught me how to pipe on the cream cheese roses. It felt so special to have helped to make the cake myself.
Bonbonnieres – Personalised candies from Roc Candy in preserve jars with home made labels
Wedding decorator and hire items - I decorated the venue the night before and hand made most of my decorations (hanging jars etc). Ferguson Valley Events provided the chairs, arch and parasols and set up and decorated the ceremony for me.

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