Kate and Paul's Collie Country Wedding
Interview with the Bride
Paul and I got engaged in August 2013 and quickly picked our wedding day for the October of the following year, so we had about 12 months to plan. We set our budget to be $25,000 all up, I think we came close to it, and only slightly overspending, as something's were a little harder to find than we first thought. We had 130 adults and 30 kids.
The Collie venue was chosen because Kate grew up in Collie; also horses are a big part of our lives, so it seemed the ideal location. The Turf Club is also a very quiet secluded location just on the outskirts of the town. We also wanted it to be personal and unique which we achieved as this was the first time a wedding has been held at the Collie Race Track.
We made our own rustic chapel for the ceremony, with a tin wall with windows in for us to stand in front of for the wedding ceremony, and the aisle was lined with Shepherds Crooks with glass jars filled with baby's breath hanging from them. There were also old doors for us to walk through. We also had a set of stairs given to us that helped the bridesmaids and Kate get off the back of the truck.
We tried to use as many family ornaments as we could in the ceremony, such as the table we signed the papers and the chair was from Kate's grandparents' house. We tried to make the ceremony as relaxed and informal as we could with the kids of the bridal party standing with them. Kate also arrived on her horse Ellie. Also our ring bearers were our dogs with the rings attached to their collars. Our niece Tahlia had the task of bringing the dogs up to us. And Callum our nephew carried a sign in front of Kate saying "it's your last chance to run Uncle Wilbur".
We did have kids invited as they are a vital part of our lives. We sent the kids there own invite asking them to wear something yellow, and when the kids arrived we handed them a little bag of goodies full of things for them to play with and we had a table set up colouring books, masks, and other things to entertain them. The kid's parents found this nice and relaxing day/night for them as well.
The groomsmen got a hero themed t-shirt with matching cuff links, we also bought their ties all given in a little tool box. The bridesmaids got all their jewellery in a little tin box with a saying on it. Plus the whole bridal party got glasses with their nicknames on them.
As you walked into the reception area we had a rustic signpost, with a trunk full of games for the guests to play. As you walked towards to the bar area there was a sign telling guests that two families become one, so pick a seat not a side. We had glass jars and fairy lights hanging from fishing wire with everyone sitting in a calico and hessian curtained grass area. On our tables we had Calico table clothes, with hessian runners, wood pickets and glass jars with candles in them. To add a bit of a twist to it as Paul is from England we had a corner with a few UK things.
Our food was a hot buffet, with no seating plan as we wanted everyone to intermingle and our guests could go get food whenever they wanted.We had an amazing master of ceremonies Charles Nix, a friend who kept the night flowing along. We did a mock horse race for the garter, where the blokes had to be horses and jockeys. It was a real laugh, especially when Kate threw a bouquet and one of the bridesmaids took out 2 of the other guests. Kate's cousin Ashlee did a great poem as her speech. Also watching the kids have fun on and off the dance floor, they put a smile on everyone's faces.
The guests stayed back at the Turf Club, as we had games for them to play, and they could just relax. We had a telephone box / signing booth containing cards with funny quotes to finish filling out.
Our day wouldn't have been amazing without our friends and family, as both families helped us the week out setting up the chapel, lights and curtains. Also on the day our wonderful friends helped put the finishing touches to our perfect day.
Advice for others:
Make sure you do as much of the planning together so you can share the wonderful experience together, and write everything down, so you know what you have and what's left to do. We also feel that it's not how much money you spend on the wedding, its more about the meaning behind the items you have and use on the day. Also on the day don't stress if something doesn't go to plan don't worry because it's something to look back and laugh about.
DIY wedding tips:
We tried to keep our wedding as personal as possible, from using family ornaments, and by making as many things for the day ourselves. We had great friends who helped us; they also kept us as relaxed as possible. Paul and I made our own invites with fun questionnaires for everyone to send back, and the rsvp were fun to fill out as well. They were sent away in a little hessian bag we made ourselves. We wanted to have as much stuff which the guests had filled in that we could keep for the future; we had stuff for the well wishes which was fun as everyone got right into filling the gaps.
We went to a lot garage sales and second hand shops all around the south west trying to find the right thing to go with our wedding. However Bunning and Spotlight were the shops of choice as they made things really easy find stuff.
We also wanted our guess to walk away and say it was a fun day for them and more a party than a wedding.
CTCW Wedding Suppliers:
Ceremony and Reception Location: Collie Turf Club, McVee Road
Photographer: In Sight Photography
Accommodatios: The majority of our guests where local people, but most from outer town stayed at Collie Ridge Motel or Collie Heights Motel & Apartments. There were a few of the guests stayed out at the Collie Turf Club overnight and keep the party going.
Brides Dress & Accessories: Collezione and they were amazingly helpful, and I walked out with dress fitting perfectly. I got my accessories from Glitter Co, where they kindly changed a pair of pierced earrings to clip on ones for me.
Bridesmaid's Dresses & Accessories: We ordered all the dress online from a company call For Her and For Him. I was a little worried about ordering online but this company was great to deal with and made the dresses exactly the way we wanted them and to the measurements we had given them, all the dresses were all the same shade yellow but different styles so the girls would be as comfortable as possible. I got the bridesmaids accessories from Lovisa,
Groom & Groomsman Attire: Paul got his suit and the groomsmen's ties from Gary Anthony at The Carousel in Cannington. The groomsman got their suit from where ever they wanted, they only had to make sure it was black or charcoal and their shirts were to be white and able to have cuff links.
Makeup: Misty Roney, who works for a local business in Collie called Re-Define Skin & Spa, she did an amazing job, and met my requirements
Hair Stylist: Elle Lincoln and Verity Clazie
Florist: We got our flowers from the Farmers Market in Bunbury; we used Baby's breath, which my mum arranged them into little lanterns.
Cake/Sweets: We had a three tiered chocolate cake from a small business in Collie called Brooke's Cakes
Transport: The bridesmaids arrived at the ceremony on the back of my 1980 Ford F100 truck, which my dad drove and I followed them on my horse Ellie. After the ceremony was finished and we went off for more photos in a hired bus, which was kindly driven by a friend Cristafa Meyers.
Favors: We made up our own bomineries with lemons sherbets from an online company called Chocolate Fish, in little glass jars; put our own little stickers with our names on which we ordered from an online company Wedding star. We had these placed in old wooden boxes that we found at a garage sale.
Stylist: Kate came up with most of the ideas and our wonderful family and friends spent the week leading up to the wedding setting up the venue. Because it was a DIY wedding we had a few special things made by our Dads, Mums, Sister (Bec) and Brother in law (Syd). We really made our wedding personal and had friends around helping from the start of the week right to the clean up the day after.