Darren and Narelle
Darren and I had a native Australian theme which was perfect for us because we really wanted a casual, laid back wedding that reflected our style. I was lucky enough to work for a company that actually built The Aqua Resort and it officially opened the weekend of our wedding. It’s an amazing location right on the beach in beautifully landscaped native gardens. Because it was a resort we made the wedding into a big family holiday, with both sides our family staying there for a week, before going on our honeymoon.
A lot of the wedding was DIY. From the decorations, to the dessert buffet, invitations, makeup and flowers. I actually borrowed the designs for my stationery from another Polka Dot Bride (Yolanda and Ben). I bought all the paper and stamps from Stamp-It. I then used my colour printer to print them and cut them up. I also made Save the Dates, Accommodation Suggestion Cards, Map of the Area, Invitations and RSVP’s. I didn’t have wedding favors, however when my guests RSVP’d I asked them to nominate a song they liked. I then had the DJ play those songs during the night so everyone would be happy. As a thank you I then made a CD compilation of all these songs, plus our first dance song. I put one of our photos on the CD and cover of the CD and posted them out with thank you notes. That way everyone could play the CD and think of our wedding.
I loved getting to use my arty side which I hadn’t used since high school. I purchased native flowers and fillers from the local IGA. I bought the flowers a few days prior – natives have a long life expectancy so were ideal for carting down south. I arranged them to make the bridal bouquet, the flowers at the reception and I also used them to decorate bamboo tee-pee poles at the ceremony.
We all did our make up ourselves. I went to my favourite make up supplier, prior and they showed me how to put my makeup on and I purchased what we needed. Our hair was done by Fiona at “I Do” Hair. My dress was by Aurelio Costarella. Bridesmaids gowns were from Morrison and Picnic.
Darren and the groomsmen wore suits from Country Road.
My husband and his mates are big cricket fans, so the photo shoot we did playing cricket was great. We forgot the photographer was there and managed to play around for about half an hour. It was really good to get that time with our best friends on such an important day.
We held the ceremony at Shelley Cove, Bunker Bay (South West WA). The boys set the decorations up on the day with bamboo poles from Bunnings, held together with twine and flowers draped down them (I made these up day before and the boys put these out on the day). We also bought some hessian from Bunnings which we used as a natural aisle runner on the sand. The location was absolutely gorgeous and even though I didn’t get to see it, the guests were entertained by whales while they were waiting for me to arrive. A lucky sign apparently. Our celebrant was Lynne Lawson (0419 939 010) who came down from Perth to perform the ceremony. We kept it short and sweet and used a Killers song for our vows (music is very important to me). I did put my husbands ring on the wrong hand which everyone found amusing. I eventually got it right though.
The reception was at the resort and was set up the day before. I organized furniture etc with Margaret River Party Hire (08 97573477), Cape Marquees and Cocomama (0428 268 623) a few months prior and they delivered the day before the wedding. I bought lanterns from Ikea and Ebay to decorate the marquee. They were strung up with natural twine. I bought LED candles off ebay and hung them inside the lantern with fishing wire to light them up. I also collected jars for months leading up to the wedding … (found them all for free on Gumtree). We also bought fairy lights from Bunnings and strung them up in the trees around the marquee.
Bought blackboard pieces from Bunnings and one of my very talented bridesmaids did the writing for the sign boards.
Our caterer, Saul Atkinson (0409 888 600), made the cake, pavlovas and lemon tarts. I made mousse shots, rum balls and cheese platters the night before and I purchased drink stirrers and cake flags from Etsy to decorate the desserts. I also bought lollies and biscuits to fill up the dessert buffet. I bought doilies and lace table cloths from The Good Sammy’s and borrowed some from the Darren’s Nanna. These were used to decorate the wine barrels which we used as coffee and bar tables and the side tables (which I bought on Gumtree from a previous Bride who had used them at her wedding).
I bought a glass drink dispenser from the US and pre-made a Pimms Cocktail for everyone to help themselves too. We also bought metal drink containers from Bunnings and filled them with beer, wine and soft drink for the night, so guests could help themselves. We set up a cocktail bar and we provided the wait person with cocktail recipes to make for everyone. I selected all the music for the reception and gave the list to the DJ.
You definitely need to have a plan, be organised and have vision (think outside the box). And most of all you need great family and friends to help setup. While I did all the work leading up to the day by myself, our family and bridal party all helped to pull it together on the day. Without them I wouldn’t have gotten it all done. We did a dry run the day before and I took photos so when we went to set it all up on the morning of the wedding everyone knew where things needed to go.
Everything was perfect, and our guests are still raving about it. We didn’t have any formalities (except for cutting the cake just to keep my Dad happy). Basically it was just one big party.
Photography by Yoram Conradt
Ms Gingham says: What a lovely affair! This wedding is full of fun and happiness. Thanks to Narelle for sharing it with us and to Yoram Conradt for the lovely images.
Narelle says: “I really enjoyed all the DIY aspects of the wedding planning itself as I had forgotten how much fun being creative is. My husband would probably disagree, given the amount of ideas I had and the fact that I wanted to do everything myself. I found that by choosing to do a lot myself the day truly reflected our casual, no fuss, yet sometimes quirky, style”.