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megan shaneMegan & Shane's Summer Day Wedding

Date: 14th March 2015
Wedding Photographer: Real Image Photography
Wedding Ceremony & Reception: Old Broadwater Farm, Busselton

Interview with the Bride

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Shane and I had an 18 month engagement so we had a bit of time to organize our big day, although 6 months of that was spent on the road traveling Australia so the wedding planning was put on hold during that time. The plan of attack that we followed was booking all of our major vendors (Ceremony/Reception Venue, Photographer, Caterer, Hair and Make-up) before we hit the road and then sorting out the finer details when we returned home.

We planned special gifts for all our attendents, the Bridesmaids received robes to wear when getting ready which turned out really nice in photos and was also a great energy boost after a 7.00am start (with our sleepy faces) and the groomsmen received Bear Grylls utility knives, personalized for them.
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Like many new brides to be I had no idea of what weddings cost or what was a 'realistic' budget for a wedding, so figuring out a budget was a process in itself. In the end we settled on a budget of about 30k which we thought was realistic for the number of guests (we had 100 guests) that we were inviting and the type of reception that we had in mind. The wedding itself did come in a little over the amount that we had set, however every cent we spent was worth it. We didn't have any blow out items. We did our research and knew average prices for the region and services, and only paid above that if we thought that we would be getting something more than what the other vendors could give us. As for items that came well under budget, there were so many! Shane and I are blessed to be surrounded by talented and generous people and therefore my dress, the cake, the styling and the entertainment were all gifted to us as wedding presents.
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Shane and I first met on a friend's farm and we wanted to recognize and celebrate our journey together so it was only fitting to have a down south wedding that captured that atmosphere and environment. Initially the picture that I had in my head was an inside barn wedding, however the moment that we walked onto the grounds at Old Broadwater Farm, we both knew that we had found the perfect place.

Whilst the grounds and set up were exactly what we were looking for, it was actually the flexibility and enthusiasm that Old Broadwater Farm's Anna and Bree showed, that sealed the deal for us. Their enthusiasm towards our wedding and suggestions on how we could use the property, really brought our vision to light . The convenience of having the ceremony and reception both on the same property was also an aspect that we had not thought of before and that we were really happy with.
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The wedding dress was the first thing that I started planning! Until our engagement I had never really thought about the type of wedding dress that I would wear, but seeing as my brother designs and makes wedding dresses as a living it was high on my priority list... and his!

Nothing beats the feeling of walking down the aisle in a dress that has been made out of love and made especially for you. There is not one particular thing I loved most about the dress because it was custom designed to exactly how I wanted it to be. I loved that it was a shorter dress because it worked perfectly with the relaxed theme of the wedding and also ended up being highly practical as the grass was wet from all the rain that we had in the morning, it also showed off my jelly flat shoes that complemented the dress and me as a person perfectly – I don't wear heels on any other day so I absolutely was not going to wear them on my wedding day!

We had a 3.30pm Ceremony so with five bridesmaids and the Mother of the Bride/Groom to organize for the girls, it was a 7.00am start to get down the aisle in time. For the boys it was a leisurely round of golf in the morning, lunch and then they started to get ready for the rest of the day's proceedings. The ceremony was followed by a two hour cocktail hour and canapés for guests, whilst the bridal party went off for photos around the grounds of the Farm and then a 6.30 start for reception.
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My Bouquet was an arrangement of one large King Protea, surrounded by baby's breathe and an assortment of dusky pink hues of roses and carnations. I chose this option because I liked that it still made a statement with the King Protea but was also beautiful in its simplicity.

Our reception was a sit-down reception with a couple of tweaks made by us to capture the feel that we wanted for our wedding. Shane and I wanted our wedding to be not only about us and the start of our marriage together, but also about celebrating love in general and the fact that we had our closest family and friends with us on such an important day. So to create this atmosphere we decided that rather than having one long bridal table, Shane and I would have our own table and we had one table for our groomsmen and their partners and one table for our bridesmaids and their partners so that they could enjoy the night, with their significant other, just like Shane and I. Supper Road catering also helped us to create a more relaxed and casual atmosphere by suggesting a "Beggars Banquet" style service where all food was placed in the middle of the tables and guests shared among themselves. This meant that there were less service staff walking around and we all got to eat at the same time.
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Being a farm wedding, we wanted to go for a more relaxed and rustic style. To achieve this we went with a mismatched bridesmaid and groomsmen look. The girls were given a paint colour swatch to match their dresses to, with the only limitations obeing that the dresses had to be knee length or above, and not too 'night wear' dressy. This turned out a lot better than I anticipated with so much room for interpretation but also worked really well because they were all comfortable in what they were wearing (since they picked it) and showed their personality and style. The groomsmen we decided to keep all in the same vests and suit pants with variations in their ties so that there was still some consistency in photos but a differing point of focus for each of them. We also opted for more DIY styled decorations and less traditional flowers and cake.

Apart from some items that we hired from Ferguson Valley Events to create the final touches and atmosphere, all of our decorations, from our seating plan to the flower centerpieces on the tables, were DIYed by Shane and I, family and friends or handmade through small local businesses that we had sourced. My favorite touch was our bonbonnieres which doubled as place tags for our guests. Each guests received a candle jar (different fragrances for males and females) which had been made by a local girl and her mum as a small business they had set up to give her a part time job whilst she was still finishing high school. It was great because I had a lot of input in style and fragrances rather than purchasing whatever was available, and I also knew that the money was going directly to those that but in all of the hard work. So a win-win outcome.

We decided on an outside wedding underneath a large tree on the property which almost didn't go to plan due to the weather, but we are so happy that Mother Nature provided us with a break in the weather just long enough to say "I do". Our ceremony was quite short and sweet, with one reading from Shane's sister and our own written vows, but what made it special to us was the people present and that it signified the start of our life as Mr. and Mrs Roberts.
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For Shane and I, what made our day so perfect and special to us was the amount of time and effort our friends and family gave up and put in to help create our wedding. The contributions of our friends and family helped us not only to reduce the overall price of our wedding but more importantly captured our personalities, and that's what made our wedding unique to us. Ways in which family and friends contributed to our day included
* My dress being designed and made by my brother
* Our Wedding Cake was made and gifted to us by my maid of honor and her small business that she has set up
* Music by Shane's friend Nate Lansdell who gifted us an acoustic session for our guests during our cocktail hour

I was very fortunate to have a hands on Groom who with a bit of coaxing got involved with a lot of the DIY work required. Shane also took the lead in organizing the catering and beverage aspect of the wedding which has been the highlight of a lot of feedback from friends and family.

We decided to limit children at the reception to our two nephews, which worked well for us. As one was only 10 months old at the time the fact that there was on site accommodation straight across from the marquee meant that he could be watched via baby monitor and checked on easily. Our other nephew (5 years old) was quite appreciative of the natural surrounds and brought inside two frogs that he had collected during the cocktail hour and who became his dinner guests for the evening.

Guests were invited to stay on the property during the two hours that the bridal party was off getting photos taken. To ensure that the celebrations continued we hired the Busselton Mobile Gelato Cart and also had Nate Lansdell perform an acoustic set for entertainment. The Old Broadwater Farm also provided lawn games such as badminton and croquet which helped guests to pass the time. Canapés were also served during this time, so there was a lot to keep everyone busy.

Do you have any advice for other brides planning their wedding?

My advice for other brides planning their wedding is to just enjoy the whole experience, when the day finally arrives it goes by in the blink of an eye, so just make sure you take the time on the day to stop with your partner soak everything in and reflect on the amazing journey.

I know its cliché, but honestly I would not change a thing. There is always some element that you can say "I wish I had thought of that" or "I wish I had done that this way" but at the end of the day nothing would have made a drastic difference to how the day went and at the end of the day we accomplished the main thing we set out to do... we got married?

After the chaos of the wedding we spent another three nights down south, at the Yallingup Luxury Retreat, just to relax and get life back to a normal pace. We are planning on a trip overseas this year as a belated honeymoon.

CTCW Wedding Suppliers:

Ceremony and Venue: Old Broadwater Farm, Busselton
Photographer: Pete Battye – Real Image Photography
Bridal Dress: custom BADEN
Groom and Groomsman attire: Mandurah Formal Wear
Caterers: Supper Road Catering
Bonbonnieres: Arnet Tolofua
Stylist: Styling items supplied by Ferguson Valley Events
Unique Services: The Mobile Gelato Cart

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