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alishasimonAlisha & Simon's Alverstoke Love Story

Date: 31st October 2015
Wedding Photographer: Real Image Photography
Wedding Ceremony & Reception: Alverstoke Barn, Brunswick

Interview with the Bride

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We were in engaged in March 2014 and married October 2015, so we had about 17 months to plan our perfect wedding. We found this was a good amount of time as we just chipped away at the tasks, little bits at a time. It was so much less stressful doing it this way. It was all planned, booked and sorted months well before the month of October.

Surprisingly we came within our budget. We had hoped to spend no more than $25,000, and we came in close to that at about $23,000. The biggest costs was the catering and marquee hire/party hire. We had set our attendance limit at 80 people, and in the end we had 78 including the Bridal Party. It was quite a difficult job to keep our numbers limited - but we had to do it.

As the Bride, I did most of the organising but with a lot of nagging and guidance the Groom managed to organize the limo, suits, bar and alcohol. I have to say that he did do a good job. I paid for the Bridesmaids' hair and makeup, jewellery, a robe and a champagne glass. We also paid for the Groomsmen's suits and a stein glass each.

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I started looking for my wedding dress around February 2015. We went to Perth for the day and I was determined that I wasn't going home with out one that same day. And that I did. My dress was ready to be picked up 5 months later.

There was nothing I didn’t like about my dress. I LOVED everything about it. The color was called ‘café’ but it was more like an ivory. It had a low back, wide shoulder straps and a v-line neck encrusted with beading which followed over to the low back. Semi fitted to mid-thigh, button up and come as 2 pieces, a satin slip and then the lace/tulle overlay.

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The flowers I had in my bouquet were peonies, white roses, pale pink roses, white chrysanthemums, freesias and eucalyptus foliage. I choose these flowers mainly because I love these type of flowers and the colours and tones matched perfectly to my dress and our rustic theme.

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We wanted all our friends and family to have a fun and child-free night, so we didn't invite/allow any children.

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We choose Alverstoke because we LOVED the old, historic buildings, gardens, artifacts and the overall feel of the venue. We loved the idea that we could turn it into anything we wanted and could do as much DIY as possible, although it didn’t need too much decoration because of it's natural beauty .

We thought our timing and structure for the day was great, and couldn’t have gone better. My main concern was that the band plays for 4 hours regardless and we didn’t want to waste the time just sitting around, so we wanted all the formalities all over and done by 8pm.

Our Ceremony was at 2pm so it was a 7.00am rise (even though I didn’t sleep a wink that night) to get the prep done. The photographer and videographer arrived at 10am. The boys were picked up at 1.30pm and taken to Alverstoke. The limo came to pick us girls up at 1.45pm and arrived at Alverstoke just after 2pm. The ceremony went for about half an hour, had photos then left the venue for the bridal shoot at 3.30pm, returning at 5pm for some photos at Alverstoke. Reception began at 6pm, bridal entrance at 6.15pm. Entrée was served at 6.30pm then few speeches happened between entrée and main meal at 7pm. Then again more speeches after main meal at 7.30pm. Cake cutting at 7.50pm that flowed straight into the 1st dance at 8pm which opened up the dance floor until 12am when it was closed.

The marquee was so great, set up on the grass. It held 8 round guest tables and 3 rectangle tables for our bridal table. It had a nice and cosy feel to it, everyone wasn’t too spread out. It was beautiful, with the silk drapes and the clear sides really brought the outside in. We had a 3 course traditional sit down meal as well. There was no real wait between tables to be served and everyone seemed to enjoy their meals.

Our theme was a rustic/vintage/simple feel to match the venue, which I think we achieved well. The colours we had we were soft pinks, mint greens, browns and whites.

We had very minimal decorations and used what was already there such as there is an old bicycle there you know the ones with the big wheel at the front and the little wheel at the back....I used that for our seating chart and the wooden carts to hold the drink station etc. We had white table cloths with brown hessian runners and had different sized and style jars as centerpieces. Each table had one medium sized jar decorated with twine which had baby’s breath and 1 mint green milk bottle and bud vase that had either a single pink rose, a white carnation or a bunch of pink spray roses. I also had made lace candles holders from cotton doilies and fabric stiffener that held a LED tea light, as we were allowed any open flames. The menus, name placing, invitations and stationery was brown and mint green to match. I also had fairy lights and bunting strung up inside the barn and festoon lights around the verandah of the barn. It was so magical.

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Our family and friends were a great help for the day and leading up to the day as well. My mum set the cake up inside the barn for us. Our family handed around the platters after the ceremony. Kortney, one of our good friends, did the MC for us and organized the music and PA system. And our awesome bridal party were great and made sure our day was the best it could be and ran smoothly as possible. No doubt I have forgotten someone but thanks to everyone for helping and sharing our day.

I incorporated photo charms of our puppies; one that passed recently and one that wasn’t allowed to attend the wedding. They hung from my bouquet. We also brought 2 wine barrels and a jarrah slab to make a bar. Simon dressed the barrels and slab, took it out to Alverstoke and set it up on the verandah of the barn. We wanted a ‘something different to the ordinary guestbook’ so with a sharpie we got everyone to sign the bar top/slab. It was the best idea, it turned out just the way we hoped. Everyone reads when they sit and have a beer around it time and time again. Another personal touch that we loved was that Mat one of the groomsmen made a sign for us that hung under the bar from an old bit of steel checker plate ‘Mr & Mrs Gary’s Bar’ (inside joke), it was the perfect compliment.

We had organized lawn games that were scattered on the lawns, which was a great idea and were well used. I had put together a playlist of 80’s-recent music that played. Guests enjoyed the drinks station set up and roamed the venue looking at the artifacts and buildings, especially though the historic school and stables.

My dad, Simon's mum and Andrew the Best Man all made awesome speeches. The night was a thrill with everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves. Not one person avoided the dance floor -  it was great to see and remember.

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My advice to other brides would be probably the same as everyone else's . . .
Take the time to sit and take all in because honestly the next day after it just feels like dream. Do what you want to do, invite who you want to invite because in the end it’s your big day nobody else’s do what feels right to you and stick to it. One thing the we did have that we are so thankful for is that we grabbed a bottle of champagne when leaving the reception, sat on the couch in our suit and dress and popped the cork and just talked about that day that had just happened. It was the best thing we ever did. Oh and also get it on video even if you get a friend to do it. The day goes unbelievably fast and it will feel like blurr. At least this way you can sit down with a glass of wine/beer and relive your day and all those feels again and see bits you may not have seen or remembered.

If I had time to go back and do it again, I would definitely take more time to sit and take it all in and try to remember the little details. It all just felt like a dream. I would also not to try to stress if things are running on time or the way it’s supposed to be. But most of all had a bit more time to go around and talk to my guests.

We haven’t gone on a honeymoon yet. We did stay at Abby Beach Resort for 3 days after the wedding. It was great just to sit back, relax and not wedding plan! We are planning on going somewhere that involves a beach mid-year.

Did you use Coast to Country Weddings to help plan your day?
Absolutely I did. It was I huge help, especially with finding suppliers within the south west. It was a life saver!! It saved hours and hours searching for ideas and for the right suppliers.

Our wedding photographer Pete Battye from Real Image Photography was amazing no words can explain the amount of hard work and effort he puts into that camera to gets the most amazing shots. Pete went to extra effort for us with our cake cutting photos, as we had a bit of a mishap with the cake. He knew how devastated we were about it, so he photoshopped them and they turned out beyond amazing. He is relaxed, easy going and is open to any suggestions that you any have. I would recommend him to anyone and his pricing is incredible.

Actually all the suppliers we used were all fantastic and wonderful. They are all incredible at what they do, they all know that picture that’s inside your head just though an email. They are so nice, easy to get along with and made sure the day was stress free. I would recommend them to anyone as well.

CTCW Wedding Suppliers:

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Alverstoke Barn, Brunswick
Photographer: Real Image Photography
Brides Dress & Accessories: Dress – Tuscany Bridal Perth, Hair piece - Fletcher and Grace, Veil – Blanca Veils
Bridesmaid Dresses & Accessories: Dresses were mint green from For her & For Him online. Accessories – Lovisa
Michael Hill
Groom & Groomsman Attire: Boulters Menswear Bunbury – charcoal suits with white shirts and mint green ties.
Florist: Scentiment Flowers
Stylist and Lawn Games: Ferguson Valley Events
Transport: Chevrolet Limousines Southwest
Catering: Drummond Catering
Cake: Made by the Bride

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