Smokin HawtAs it happens Green wedding Shoes was my biggest inspiration in organising our wedding. It was like a virtual candy shop full of wonderful creative and inspirational ideas and I was hooked. I took bits and pieces of inspiration from the site and made them my own.

Our wedding was in Kurrajong at a venue called The Turpentine Tree which has sadly closed now. We stayed onsite for the weekend as the property had a permanent marquee and cottage. Though only a couple of hours out of Sydney, it was a nice opportunity for our friends and family to have a weekend away, so we set up a wedding website with a list of accommodation options for our guests.

Apart from each other, Simon and I love nothing more than our friends and family. We love the simple things in life, good food & wine, music, laughter, friendship and love. That is all we wanted from our Wedding Day; to celebrate our love with everyone else we love. Our wedding certainly was a labour of love and being an event planner I did everything myself, with the help of hubby and some amazing friends. Some of the fabulous people involved include:

Photographer Duo extraordinaire Ceri Foster & Anton Rehrl aka ArtOf2 Photography – Luckily for us Ceri & Anton are great friends, they know us and our style like it was their own. They are super creative, have a keen eye for detail, love to have fun and that really shows in their work. See for yourself at: http://www.artof2weddings.com/
ADVICE: Communication – make sure you are all on the same page. Fill out any questionnaire they may give you thoroughly and then talk through it with them to fine tune. Know what you want from your photographers. Who you want photos with, where and when. Also give them an idea of the kind of shots you want. E.g. pictures of guests, styling shots, formal shots etc.

Hair & make up Guru Lucy Topp from Lucy Topp Make up http://www.lucytoppmakeup.com.au/
I have also known Lucy for years and her style is exactly the type of look I was going for. 1950s Glamour. She is very intuitive, knows how to make less look like more and most importantly make you feel wonderfully beautiful.
ADVICE: Always have a trial run first to make sure you know exactly what works and what doesn’t

Dress Santorini by Maggie Sottero http://www.maggiesottero.com/. I knew the moment I saw the Santorini dress that it was the right dress for me. The fact that it was called Santorini was an added bonus as Simon proposed to me in Santorini.
ADVICE: Don’t be bullied by the women in bridal shops! Take your time.. there may be plenty of dresses to try but you’ll know ‘the one’ as soon as you put it on!

Hair piece Santorini Rose by Cindy Lim. I wanted a birdcage hairpiece that would complement my dress. Cindy was able to handcraft a few pieces after our initial consultation, which enabled me to have a selection to choose from. Cindy specifically created the one piece to have a larger flower when she saw the flowers on my dress & named it Santorini Rose when she heard about our engagement.
ADVICE: This really comes down to personal taste, i knew i wanted a birdcage hairpiece and as soon as Cindy saw my dress she started sending me some gorgeous ideas. She has a real eye for detail.

Celebrant : Jo Elise Thomson – goscote@bigpond.net.au
ADVICE: We met with 3 different celebrants until we found the right person for us. They were all nice people but when we finally did meet ours like everything else we knew she was the one. She understood our values and what we wanted from our ceremony straight away.

Catering: Icon Catering – Roger – http://www.iconeventcatering.com.au 1300 481 998
ADVICE: We are not an alternate drop kind of couple and we really wanted our guests to have choice. So we opted for a spit roast that we could smell cooking onsite all afternoon. The caterers (Icon catering) dished all the meats and veges / salad up on platters and served them on the tables. They were great caterers, they were so professional that I didn’t even notice them there and everything ran flawlessly!
Dessert Table – I had 8 of my wonderful close friends make a mixture of cupcakes, Pavlova, an apricot cheesecakes, cookies,caramel slices and a wonderful Croquembouche. One of my girlfriends commissioned her friend Alicia Bassa to make our 2 tiered chocolate hazelnut wedding cake. It was one of the most delicious cakes I have ever eaten! You can find Alicia’s work here – http://www.thedenimapron.com/
Having all our friends involved in this process was not only a weight off our shoulders (and our bank account) but also so lovely to have people we love involved and pitching in – they loved it too!
ADVICE: Again, we loved the idea of a dessert buffet and didn’t want to waste money on a huge cake that to be honest not many people would eat. Just make sure when your friends put their hands up to bake that they are committed. Also shower them with thanks and love in return!

Party Favours / Place Cards – Chatterboxes… homemade. Inside we had a mix of quotes we loved and silly facts about our relationship. When you opened it completely there was a thank you message to our guests. To avoid them being blown away by the wind they were held down with a heart shaped chocolate!

Paddle Fans / Order or Ceremony – I made these off a template I found online, some green paper and giant paddle pop sticks. It took me a good 4 months on this art and craft mission but was well worth it as the day was quite warm and being in the country there were also a few flies around so it worked as a fan and fly deterrent! On it we had the order of ceremony and on the back we had written who was in our wedding party.

We got all our flowers from the Flower Markets in Flemington and from the garden of the venue. The whole lot including the bouquets came in under $400 – Bargain! You have to get up early but it’s totally worth it. I should point out that I got a friend to get the flowers for me, so that I didn’t have to get up at 4am on my Wedding day!

We had a Garden picnic before the reception and after the ceremony. It’s always a tricky time when the formal pictures are being done the guests don’t know what to do. We had a wonderful grassy venue so we had a picnic set up and ready to go straight after the ceremony with games (Boule, badminton etc), a photo booth, cocktails and antipasto platters for the guests to enjoy while we had our photos done. We came back and enjoyed a couple of hours with our guests before the reception dinner (a tasty spit roast that was cooking all afternoon!)

I had so many favourite moments of the day but I have to say the whole ceremony was just beautiful. I thought I would cry the whole time but as it turns out I was excited as a school girl and couldn’t stop the massive grin on my face, especially when I saw Simon and realised that there was nothing to be nervous about. I was marrying the most important person in the world to me.
We had quite an unconventional wedding party, I had a Bridesman and 2 bridesmaids and Simon had 6 groomsmen (It was all of them or none at all). We also had 2 fabulous grown men as our flower “gurl” and ring bearer. They opened the wedding with a dramatic throw of flower petals followed by a roar of applause, although I couldn’t see it, I could feel the fun had begun!
We had a lovely celebrant and though we didn’t have any readings we did ask all our guests to take a vow themselves which they repeated after her – so much fun!
“We the family and friends of Natalie and Simon, promise to offer love and support to strengthen your marriage. To always stand beside you, never between you. We promise to have as much fun today as we possibly can and to meet and talk to someone we don’t know. We promise to take our shoes off and feel the grass under our feet. These are our solemn vows.”

Our Music choices were very important to us as we are both musical people, Simon is a DJ and I sing. Choosing our first dance song was one of the hardest parts of the planning process and we couldn’t settle with just 1 so we had 3!!
Processional – Plump DJs – Morning Sun
Recessional – Paul McCartney – Maybe I’m Amazed / Bill Withers – Lovely Day
First Dances –
For your precious love – Otis Redding
Frontin – Jamie Callum
Dust – Recloose ft Joe Dukie

I also sang to my new husband after all the speeches – a risky move but it turned out to be a great moment. The nerves I anticipated weren’t there at all! I sang Lovesong by The Cure but Adele’s version with the help of a friend on guitar. It was another one of my favourite moments and felt like we were the only ones in the room.

ADVICE for brides – The last thing I wanted to become was a bridezilla! I didn’t want this process to be stressful for myself or anyone around me. Plan plan plan – be organised!! Have a run sheet! – Simon and I took our time planning, we had a good year to plan and it was worth it. We worked through a budget together and stuck to it, trying to do as much as possible to reduce our costs.

My advice on the day is to try and relinquish all organising duties to someone you trust outside of the wedding party. Give them a run sheet and go through exactly what you need with them.
Then on the day try and be as present as possible! Enjoy every moment. Understand that things won’t go as you planned or envisioned and that’s OK. If you are mentally prepared for that then it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day you need to remember why you are there in the first place… To marry your best friend! Breathe, Be present, Be happy.