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samlukeweddingSamantha & Luke's Silverspring Cottages Wedding

Date: 21st February 2015
Wedding Ceremony: St Joseph's Church - Busselton
Wedding Reception:Silversprings Eco Tent & Cottages, Metricup

Interview with the Bride

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We booked the crucial elements such as the venue, photographer and catering 10 months in advance, as after a few enquiries I came to realise that there are some very organised brides out there booking a year or so in advance. You have to get in early to get what you want. The rest of the wedding planning started 3 months before the big day and consisted of many craft nights since we opted to DIY everything! Our budget was $30k and yes spot on! We had a wishing well so we obtained a third of the cost back in gifts with our 100 guests which was a huge bonus.

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I purchased my flowers from a wholesale flower shop called Everblooms in Leederville. This gave me the flexibility to have whatever I liked and for 1/6th of the price of quotes I got from florists. I chose flowers based on my bush/country theme and to match the bridesmaid's dresses which were a dusty floral print of reds, pinks and some blue. I chose dusty pink lissianthus, ming fern to bulk up the bouquets, white roses and proteas. I wanted proteas to feature in my bouquet but was previously told by a florist they would be out of season for my wedding day . . . so it pays to research.

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Luke and I wanted to get married in a Church. St Joseph's in Busselton is a beautifully built church with a traditional look so we were easily won over. Then we met Father Nic! He was such a fun, friendly charismatic priest that we knew he would make our ceremony into a highlight. We had friends and close families do church readings and also had our mother's light family candles to represent the joining of our two families. Luke and I were able to select all our reading and songs to create an unique ceremony.

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Mum and Dad's backyard was turned into a workshop months before the wedding and the sewing machines found a permanent place on the kitchen table. Our families also got to the venue with us days before and helped to set up all that was required. Having guests camping onsite meant they could treat the weekend as a holiday, but it also meant there was plenty of assistance from guests to help with the cooking of our Sunday brunch as well as deconstruct our venue once the event was over. We had friends and family contribute during our ceremony through sharing readings and contributing to speeches.

Luke and I made equal contribution towards our wedding. There were some aspects which I naturally took on to plan, such as catering, photography and decorations and Luke flocked towards the timeline, outdoor venue construction and filling the bar.

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I didn't intentionally go looking for a dress, I went to an expo to scout for locations and called Luke on my way home explaining how I ended up with a wedding dress in my car which I now had to hide from him for a year. it was the first one I tried on! I wanted something that didn't look to over the top, but with a classic almost vintage feel. I found an A-line strapless dress, which was handmade at Anastasia in Leederville that flattered my shape. It was champagne in colour and this was by far my favourite feature. With my pale skin a white dress was too stark,  however champagne was perfect for my skin tone - and it matched our outdoor theme and offered a vintage look. I got my dress fof the rack, which required no alterations for $2.5k off the original price!

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I searched from Albany up to Geraldton for a wedding venue. We wanted something to suit our outdoor relaxed personalities but we still wanted our fair share of traditional formalities such as a sit down meal and great photo locations. Our main deciding factor was that we didn't want to be bogged down by rules and regulations that you see from so many venues such as limitations on drink & food packages and most of all cut-off times. Who wants to shut up a dance floor at 11pm when you have spent so much on your special day & the guests are just having the time of their lives? Silversprings Cottages allowed us to make our own wedding and nothing was out of the question. We had access to the venue days before to allow for set up, constructed our own dance floor, lighting structures & outdoor entertaining areas & car parks. We had no time limit so danced until 2am and guests were allowed to reside in the bush cottages or camp onsite (please note this curfew at Silversprings Eco Tent Venue has new terms and conditions, please apply to the venue management for these) . We set up for a huge banquet breakfast the next morning, where all the food was cooked by us on site using the outdoor kitchen.

The venue was exactly what we were looking for, set in WA's beautiful southwest in Metricup it was a great tourist area for our interstate guests. We created an outdoor area just off the veranda of the tent where we had canapés & champagne, before moving inside the luxurious Eco tent for a sit down dinner and speeches. The Eco tent gives a marquee feel with the flexibility that it can have the sides zipped up or down depending on the weather. Marg and Andy were stand out hosts, always allowing us to pop in for a visit when we were planning, helping out when ever needed & their communication was outstanding. They provided a completely stress free environment even if your an uptight bride. With cottages onsite, the bridal party was able to prepare on site and Marg and Andy prepared another cottages for us to stay in the night of the wedding.

Our wedding preparations started from Wednesday, to set up the venue and construct 4 bouquets. Conveniently we were staying on site at the Silversprings cottages and some guests set up for camping from the Friday, allowing us to be able to enjoy a few relaxing wines the night before. We had a group dinner to round up all of our travelling guests at the Ship Inn in Busselton on the Friday night, the eve before the big day. The wedding day kicked off with hair & make up by Gemma and Tegan at 8am on the Saturday morning and we convoyed to Busselton for the ceremony at St Joseph's Church for 2.30 pm. The boys had their preparations at a friend's private residence and I am pretty sure they slept in until around midday! Once the ceremony concluded at 3.30 pm, our photographer Paris and her sidekick Caitlin, willingly trekked far and wide with us to allow for photographs in some stellar locations, starting with Busselton Jetty, Minchin road and then the State Forrest. At this time the guests headed back to the Ship Inn in Busselton where they knew the beers were cold & Robin the manager would be looking after each of her guests like royalty.

The reception started at 5.30pm with outdoor canapés and champagne at Silversprings, nestled between vineyards and a bush setting. Guests took their seats within the Eco tent at 6.45 pm for cake cutting, speeches and a sit down dinner. As always seems to happen the speeches went on for a little longer than anticipated, so thankfully they were very entertaining, and the party moved outside under the glow of the fairy lights over the outdoor dance floor and under the stars for the first dance. Our DJ timed the Father Daughter dance and bouquet toss based on the vibe of the night and played until 1am. Once our DJ had closed up we had a pre-planned music set up where we could keep playing music until the guests stopped dancing. At 2am Luke and I thought it best to call it a night & headed back to our beautifully cleaned and presented cottage a short 2 minute walk away. Far enough to not hear the noise from some of the party animals who were still dancing at 4am!

We wanted to utilise the stunning outdoor scenery so served canapés as an entrée outdoors prior to the formalities. As a past caterer, my standards were high and we were not disspointed by the quality, taste and quantity of the food provided. Our main meal was served to the table in what was called a Beggars Banquet. An idea offered to us by our caterer Supper Rd (formerly The Goose) and of the best ideas that I have come across. A choice of 3 quality mains, Harvey beef fillet, sage & lemon marinated chicken breast & grilled Kimberly barramundi were plated up and served to each table with a series of sides. This allowed each guest to choose any all or of the main options and not have their choices dictated by an alternative drop or single option menu. Guests could also pick and choose as much food as they wanted. The food was so good we even saw one of our vegetarians tucking into a serve of the Harvey MSA Beef!! Desert was a selection of tarts and wedding cake served on a dessert buffet so guests could again help themselves and most important of all we had a truck load of blue cow cheese to match our wine selection.

We created a bar area on the veranda, overlooking the outdoors. We provided all the alcohol, which allowed us a selection of wines, champagnes, ciders & beers and enabled us to turn it into a self service spirit bar once the caterers went home.

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Silversprings provided us accommodation, the Eco Tent which is permanently constructed in one of their paddocks, toilets (& showers for campers), plus electricity and we were free to decorate everything else ourselves. Over the planning phase we researched on websites such as Coast To Country Weddings, of course Pinterest and constructed our own ideas to allow for a DIY wedding. We sourced table, chairs and all the food and bar service essentials from local hire companies, Bling Events and Margaret River Hire Company. We obtained hay stacks from Vic, a local farmer & borrowed a few chalk boards from Silversprings. Luke and I created everything else that was on site. We scrounged rubbish collections and gumtree for wood and pallets to construct a unique seating plan which featured a personal photo of each guest to match with their place, centre pieces which were branded with our own self designed wedding logo, bespoke signs and an entrance archway which acted as a showpiece. Many a craftanoon was spent (with the help of the Mum's) making my own candles, wrapping wine bottles in rope (it was no effort to obtain empty wine bottles), cutting out hundreds of cardboard hearts to make a pathway, sewing hay bale covers and sourcing wholesale flowers to allow me to create my own bouquets. Our DIY approach matched our personality as a hands on resourceful couple, but also allowed us to incorporate our own ideas into every aspect of our day.

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Our wedding was a barrel of laughs from the start before I even got down the aisle. My dad (not the best with dancing and co-ordination) struggled and failed miserably trying to walk the bridal walk down the aisle. There was not a dry eye in the crowd as everyone was crying with laughter. Dad redeemed himself during his heartfelt speech were he produced a letter that he had been hiding for 25 years that I had written when I was 6 years old, which stated in bold crayon "I'm never going to get married. Signed Samantha". Needless to say I must have changed my mind sometime over the years. I was blown away by the Groom's speech. He had constructed two short videos which he displayed on a projector. One to the tune of 500 miles and titled " Why I would walk 500 miles for you" and another encapsulating our lives together including highlights from our recent 1 year trip around the world. Being a basketballer, Luke also presented me with my own team "Callier" basketball uniform, which matches one he had made for himself.samlukewedding 17samlukewedding 18samlukewedding 19
Our night was run by our brother's Ian and Pete, two hilarious MC's and Pete also entertained us with a guitar solo throughout the night. We had speeches from the best man, my father and brother, mother of the groom and both Luke and myself. The first dance was a mega mix which didn't go exactly to plan on the night but I don't think anyone noticed! We started out with a slow romantic song called "I see love" and got the crowd going when we broke into dance to Sia, daft punk and Grease!

Do you have any advice for other Brides planning their wedding?
Be organised so that you have time to plan and create your perfect day. Stick with your original thoughts, if you don't want to spend money on wedding cars for example don't start researching them and get swept away by what other brides are planning. Plan your wedding to reflect yourselves as a couple. DIY isn't for everyone, it is a lot of hard work and time consuming but our guests were blown away with the effort we put in and all our personal touches. We saved a lot of money constructing things ourselves which allowed us to be able to include more features.

If we had our wedding again I would:
Our day was perfect. If anything I would have like to take a few more photo combinations but at the same time you don't want to leave your guests for too long.

CTCW Wedding Suppliers:

Ceremony Location: St Joseph's Church - Busselton
Reception Venue: Silversprings Cottages - Metricup
Accommodation: Silversprings Cottages Metricup
Brides Dress & Accessories: Anastasia
Bridesmaid Dresses & Accessories: Asos
Rings: The Diamond Club
Groom & Groomsman Attire: Tailored in Indonesia
Catering: Supper Road
Favours: Self made candles using Aussie Candle supplies & cactus from Busselton markets
Stylist: Bride

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