South Coast Weddings

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Sarah and Simon

WhoSarah and Simon East
Our StorySimon and I met through a mutual friend on a night out and we quickly became inseparable. In our first year together we soon worked out that we both share a love of the snow and travelling. Our first holiday together in Queenstown New Zealand was quickly followed by the first of Simon's surprises, a trip to Japan for a snowboarding holiday. I didn't realize at the time but he had found a way to combine his two favourite things in life - snowboarding and me!! We have snow hopped from Australia, New Zealand and Japan and spent an amazing year in Banff Canada before finally returning home to settle on the South Coast of NSW. On our 6 year anniversary Simon once again, surprised me by chartering a helicopter and organized a joyride down the coast near our home. Little did I know that he organized for my sister and brother and their partners to write in the sand on our local beach "Will you marry me Sarah" as we flew over and it was there, up in the sky that asked he asked me to be his wife. I was so shocked and so excited that my cheeks literally ached from smiling so much.
When9 March 2013
WhereRiversdale, Bundanon
ThemeStunning natural environment combined with the bold architecture of the Education Centre and vintage styling. We definitely were not afraid of colour and wanted the space to be filled with bright and complimenting features. Also opting for a gourmet barbeque made the whole day and night feel very relaxed.
DressI had the most amazing experience shopping for my wedding dress, not many people I know can say they were personally looked after by the designer themselves! The dress I wore on the day was definitely not what I thought I would get married in, however I was browsing in Johanna Johnson's Paddington store (and was actually looking for a short dress to change into later in the night to make it easier to dance) when Johanna Johnson came over to help me and introduced herself as "Jo". By then my sister was a little star struck and couldn't even speak and on the other hand my mum had no idea and was running around the shop with her new friend Jo picking out beautiful gowns for me to try on. They picked the "Caroline" out for me to try and I was a little hesitant at first but it slipped right on and felt amazing! Johanna Johnson styled it with a jewelled belt and I was sold. My sister had already purchased the "Lola" cuff for her wedding, which I wore on the day as my something "borrowed".
Bridesmaids' DressesDavid Lawrence, Honey & Beau and Bardot.
HairAbsolute Hair by Tia - Tia Nevil
MakeupLaura Lumsden, a friend
ShoesI steered away from tradition and wore teal green shoes; I loved the pop of colour poking from under my dress.
SuitsHugh Palmer Men's Wear
Wedding BandsPolished Diamonds and Bouton Rouge (Etsy).
PhotographerRed Berry Photography and Photography by Sarah Moore
FlowersShady Fig
The DayThe day started off pretty early with hair and make-up arriving at 8am. My bridesmaids surprised me with matching vintage floral dressing gowns which really got me excited for the day ahead. After a few preparations photos, we headed to Riversdale at Bundanon to get our first look photos and a few locations photos in before the ceremony. Then I went off to hide in the cottage while Simon entertained the guests as they arrived. We opted for a short and sweet ceremony as the day was very hot; we didn't want to leave our guests for too long in the sun. Kristie did a wonderful job with the ceremony and really helped with bringing out the best of both of us when it came to reading our vows, which she insisted on writing our own. Straight after the ceremony it was family photos time, then off to mingle with our guests. We organized our speeches to be separated during the night in between entrees, main and desserts so our guests wouldn't get restless sitting for lengthy periods of time. We danced our first dance to the XX, Islands and then danced the night away with all of our guests.
DecorationsI love the vintage look with lots of flowers and candles. Michelle at Shady Fig is so talented and a dream to work with. I could pop in at any time for some creative suggestions and the latest update on what flowers would be in season. I also worked with Mason and Soy, sourcing recycled, vintage mason jars and milk bottles to amass almost 100 candles scenting the venue with French pear teamed with coconut and lime. I also raided my Great Grandmother's tea sets for the vintage teacup candles. Michelle introduced me to Sheree from She Designs, who delivered the fabulous vintage furniture which really brought my vision of the day together.
CakeThe Cake Store, Nowra
FavoursDessert table
FoodAnother aspect of our wedding we decided to make more "us" was to have a gourmet barbeque instead of a formal seat down meal. Duck Duck Goose served up an amazing spread sourced from locally grown ingredients, which made the evening feel very relaxed.
MusicOne of the first bands that Simon and I went to see together was Rise Against, which made it an obvious choice to include one of their songs into our day. We organised for our friend Tim to play our favourite song "Swing Life Away" acoustically for the "walking down" the aisle song. As soon as I heard the song start my eyes started to well up and I knew it was the perfect choice for the moment.
Best memory of the dayOur first look - we decided to break tradition and have our location photos before the ceremony. Our photographer Chris devised a cunning plan of getting us as close as possible before the big 'reveal' so that he could capture that intense moment of first seeing each other as bride and groom. The suspense and delight is obvious in our first look photos and will be a lasting memory shared with our closest friends. The opportunity to share this intimate time before the ceremony was so special and reinforced our love for each other. It also relieved some of the pressure and gave us more time with our guests.
Wedding wisdomIn our photography package we included an engagement shoot, which took place about a month before the wedding. It was really great way to get used to being in front of the camera before our wedding day. Our photographer then made the photos into a beautiful guest book. Having the engagement shoot helped with any awkward moments on the day as I didn't realise how much you had to kiss each other to get the photos! My biggest management tip is to pay off as much as possible upfront and before the wedding day. It was the last thing on my mind on the day whether I had paid everyone which made one less thing to worry about on the day.
What you loved about the areaBundanon is on a whole other level, the second you drive through the gates you realise there is something special about this place. Spectacular views of the Shoalhaven River and gorgeous foliage surrounds the striking building. One of the best things I found about the area when planning our wedding is the quality of suppliers the Shoalhaven has to offer: Shady Fig, Mason & Soy Handmade Candles, Red Berry Photography and Duck Duck Goose to name a few. We couldn't have been more delighted with how our day went, and it is mostly thanks to the amazing vendors and suppliers.
CostApprox $24,000