Joannee & Kyle's Aravina Estate Ceremony
Interview with the Bride
We have ourselves 8 months to plan our wedding. It was plenty of time once the main items were booked – reception venue, ceremony venue, photographer and DJ. The only thing brides have to be mindful of is ordering their wedding gown. Some gowns take 6 months, plus extra time for alterations.
Both sets of parents paid half – we are so fortunate! Yes we stuck to it, as it meant more of our savings went on a special honeymoon and buying our first house together. We ended up inviting 113 people to the wedding.
Both of us are Catholic, so we definitely wanted to get married in the Church. Kyle’s family holidays, have always been Downsouth in Dunsborough – he surfs there often and I have holidayed frequently in Dunsborough - from when I was little. Since we have been together we have always ventured to Dunsborough every year. Another big reason was we wanted our wedding photos at Smith’s Beach. Kyle’s Mum suggested Aravina Estate for the reception. Both of us loved the venue when we first saw it – it was stunning and large enough to fit all of our guests.
My favourite thing incorporated into the wedding was how I used part of my Mum’s wedding veil to make the ring cushion – it was something old and something blue!
Another truly wonderful element of our wedding, was that Kyle and I had all our siblings in the bridal party. Kyle comes from a family of six – His sisters and Jo have become best friends over the 5 years so she wanted them as her bridesmaids. Kyle had his brother as his groomsmen and asked Jo’s brother (who he also considers a close mate) as a groomsmen as well. That was really special!
The proposal was enough! Just joking – Kyle helped me with every decision - suggestions from Church readings to flowers to the DJ. Both of us didn’t want to put any financial burden on our bridal party so we paid for everything – that was their gift in the end. The bridesmaids got to keep everything from Jewellery to dresses to shoes. The groomsmen received cuff links as a special add on to the hired suits.
We only had infants at the wedding as most of our guests didn’t have young children. We were more than happy for the couples to set up portable cots in the bridal room at Aravina (which was amazing!). It gave the new mums a quiet place throughout the evening.
I started looking for my wedding gown, after we had decided on the ceremony and reception venue; about 4 weeks after the proposal. However, I had actually been looking at numerous wedding dress sites for the past year...as I really wanted to marry Kyle before the proposal!
I wanted a gown with straps, as I love dancing and knew I would be on the dance floor most of the night. I also wanted a backless dress. I tried on lots of styles, and its true when they say “you know when you’ve found the right dress”. It looked amazing and I felt comfortable in it.
For my bouquet, I just had pink gerberas. The bridesmaids dresses were patterned, so I just wanted to keep the bouquets simple. The bridesmaids had soft pink gerberas, and I had a mixture of hot pink and soft pink. A bonus of choosing one flower was that it made the bouquets less expensive.
For our theme we took into account that my favourite colour is pink, and Kyle’s is blue. So we went with a baby pink and baby blue theme. This matched the bridesmaid dresses as well. Of course we added a coastal touch to the table decorations as well.
We did simple pew bows and floral arrangements for the church to match the blue and pink theme. Aravina is already beautiful with soft whites and creams in the interior. We just added pink and blue bunting, plus some floral arrangements and tea light candles. Aisle Style were amazing, as they coordinated all of decorations with their own lanterns, blackboard etc.
The timing worked well. The ceremony was at 2pm –plenty of time to get ready from 8:30am onwards. Then the guests had 2 hours in between the ceremony and reception (we heard lots of them just headed to the pub for a drink). 2 hours was the right amount of time for family and bridal party photos. We went to 3 locations – Shelly Beach (Bunker Bay), Smith’s Beach and the vineyards at Aravina.
We had a traditional ceremony for the sacrament of marriage. Kyle and I wrote the prayers of the faithful ourselves – and added our guest names in. Friends and family who were preparing for marriage, and those who had recently had children got special mentions. We also knew what it is like to be a guest at the wedding, so we made sure the ceremony was on the shorter side...and the bride wasn’t late.
Our friends and families did readings at the ceremony. Both mums were amazing with finalizing and making sure everything ran smoothly behind the scenes. We gave odd jobs to Uncles and Aunties e.g. making sure guests got on the hired buses etc.
Most of them went into Dunsborough Town Centre for a drink at the pub. We had guest buses picking them up from the tourist bureau, so most went in for a drink before the buses arrived. Also I need to mention that my bridesmaids made quiches and cookies (bite size food), and had lollies for the limousine during the photos. They were a life saver – as the whole bridal party was hungry and it is 4 hours between the ceremony and dinner! They also packed water, champagne and stubbies! So organized!
We had a traditional sit-down reception, as we wanted our guests to be comfortable throughout the evening and enjoy a hearty meal.
A special part of the reception was the guests being able to get there at 5pm and enjoy drinks on the deck over looking the vineyards. The formalities started at 6:30pm. We had both Dad’s give a speech, the maid of honour, the best man and Kyle did the thanks at the end. We made sure the guests got served entrée’ before the first speech – we didn’t want anyone to be hungry. We had both Dads speak between entrée and mains, then the maid of honour, best man and Kyle spoke between dinner and dessert. Each speech was no longer than 5 minutes, which was lovely. My maid of honour did an amazing thing and wrote her speech as a poem to us – it was unbelievable! Kyle also did an impromptu speech (just dot points), which captivated the audience as he was speaking to them the whole time (it is also fortunate that he is a good public speaker and funny!)
The dance floor started after our wedding dance. Kyle and I took a private lesson for our wedding dance – which I highly recommend. Kyle had a knee reconstruction 2 months before the wedding ( I honestly thought we wouldn’t get to do a dance). However, our teacher at the private lesson was able to choreograph simple moves for Kyle to dance. She also suggested for us to dance for only half a song to keep the guests engaged – which was great advice as the guests wanted to be on the dance floor dancing with us! I also wanted the DJ to play more songs from the 80’s and 90’s as we found all guests love and know old school music (we did have the odd Taylor Swift song in the mix). Paul Malone was a fantastic DJ and kept everyone on the dance floor all night!
My favourite part of the day . . . . was the ceremony.
Always remember the point of your wedding - marrying your true love and wanting to spend the rest of your lives together! So many things could go wrong not matter how much is planned. On the day if the bride and groom are happy, the guests are happy! If both of you are having a great time, so will everyone else! The most important thing is that both of you enjoy your day – Kyle and I had the best day of our lives, and will remember it forever! At the very end of the evening, Kyle’s Mum surprised us with 2 nights accommodation at Bunker Bay Resort. Otherwise, we have our honeymoon booked for Phuket, Thailand in December - Jo is a teacher and had holidays then.
Nothing – we would do it exactly the same! However, my one hiccup was I forgot to put my garter on when getting ready! Oops! Ah well one day I might be able to pass it onto a daughter as something old but brand new and never been used.
Jeff Henderson was amazing! Not only was he professional and organized, but a genuine and lovely guy who enjoys his job. His photos were unbelievable – he is so clever at photography! He listened to us and gave us some great ideas for the bridal party photos. Kyle and I were blown away with the final photos and treasure our wedding album!
CTCW Wedding Suppliers:
Ceremony Location: Our Lady of Southern Cross, Catholic Church, Dunsborough
Reception Venue: Aravina Estate
Photographer: Jeff Henderson, Henderson’s Photography
Brides dress & Accessories: Raffinato Bridal (Dress, Veil & Hair Clip), Shoes of Prey (Bride designed them herself)
Bridesmaid's Dresses & Accessories dresses: Forever New Dresses and Clutches, Betts shoes
Rings: Sinclairs Jewellers, Risley Street, Applecross
Groom & Groomsman Attire: Britton’s Formal Wear
Caterer: Aravina Estate
Cake: Sarah Nofal (Friend)
Unique Services: Ganaways Bus Service – to take guests to and from the reception as the roads aren’t the best at night on Yallingup Hill area.