When I jokingly told my brother and his girlfriend that I wanted a husband for Christmas I did not expect to be walking down the aisle 18 months later! I will admit that I was slightly cynical about online dating but when I unwrapped a subscription to e-Harmony on Christmas morning I thought what have I got to lose! I signed up on Boxing Day and within a couple of hours Nat had sent me our first message!
After 10 months together, Nat popped the question in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains. I thought I was in for a day of cleaning and preparing for my boyfriend’s 30th birthday party which was only a few short weeks away. He had suggested we go out to one of our favourite cafes for brekky before we start and we both love our coffee so I thought that was a great idea. We received a call from his mum to say that his dad wasn’t feeling 100% and for us to not bother about coming to help, just enjoy our day.. little did I know, it was all just a set up.
Nat suggested we head up to Maleny because we do love Sunshine Coast Hinterland and I had mentioned that I would like to explore it. We headed up there and walked through the little boutiques and shops, making a pitstop for an awesome smoothie. Nat said that he had heard the Botanic Gardens up there were picturesque and asked if I wanted to suss it out. Nat had also “conveniently” left his camera in the car. We began walking around the gardens and as we walked down the path, I was distracted by the beautiful view. Nat handed me his camera to keep filming and as I turned around he bent down on one knee and asked me to marry him!
I was in so much shock the first words that came out of my mouth were “Are you serious?!?” to which he replied “Is that a Yes?”. Of course, the answer that followed was a big fat “YES!” A passerby which we refer to as ‘Old Mate’ started clapping and congratulated us from the other side of the bushes. So I unknowingly filmed my own proposal! Nat has since made it into a video which we showed at our engagement party. There were a few happy tears shed by family and friends as they witnessed our moment.
I had been warned how long dresses could take and so I was keen to start the hunt straight away! Within two weeks of getting engaged I had ordered ‘the’ dress. The girls at Serenity Bridal and Formal were super helpful and super affordable! I ended up choosing details from five different dresses and customising it into my dream gown. The dress arrived within 12 weeks and I couldn’t have been happier. My maid of honour aptly named it the “Mumbo No. 5” as one of the dresses was even called ‘Monica’.
My parents own Mountain Sanctuary B&B at Mount Tamborine. I really enjoyed staying there with my bridesmaids and out-of-town family prior to the big day. There was certainly a buzz on the morning of the wedding.
Both Nat and I were offered our wedding bands from our families which was very special to us; mine was from my great-grandmother and Nat’s was from his grandfather. I also wore my mother’s veil from her wedding back in 1983 and my nana’s necklace who I was extremely close with and she passed away the year before our wedding. It was wonderful to have something from the three generations of women who had gone before me.
With both of us being brought up in Christian families it was important to us that we incorporated that in our wedding. Our Pastor officiated the ceremony which made it quite personal for us, having known him since I was about 12 years old.
Our bridal party was made up of siblings, cousins and life-long friends. We felt truly honoured to have them play a special part in our day. We ordered our bridesmaids’ dresses from Review in a champagne lace to tie in with our theme.
Our venue, EcoStudio Fellini, was incredible! It was the first venue we visited and it was love at first sight! We had done a bit of research but this was exactly what we wanted and they had Saturday the 18th of July available which also happened to be our 18 month dating anniversary.
Growing up, I always thought I would get married in a chapel of some sort and somehow that all went out the window when I found our venue which was a 100 year old school house that had been turned into a wedding venue. We had our ceremony in their outdoor amphitheatre which ended being perfect for our theme. It was a great location and venue with wonderful food and staff! We also hired their pianist Simon who played during our reception.
Pinterest was definitely our friend (sometimes our enemy but mostly our friend) in the lead up to our big day. With Nat being a graphic designer / illustrator we decided to DIY a lot of things. We hand-wrote chalkboard signs for the welcome, hashtag, seating chart and guestbook. We enlisted the help of Nat’s dad for some of the craftsmanship. Nat did the design work for our signs, invitations, menus and order of services.
My maid of honour and I made the floral decorations for the aisle and some of the centrepieces with a combination of flowers from my parent’s garden and a local florist. I also created the place cards and table centrepieces. My bouquet consisted of roses, carnations and daisies. We also displayed the wedding photos of our parents and grandparents at the reception to honour them and their example. It also tied in well with our vintage rustic theme.
The weather forecast was all over the place on the week of our wedding. On the Friday morning I woke up and it was two degrees at 8:30am. I went to take the decorations to the venue and the wind was blowing so strong while we were packing the car that I had to hold on to the boot. My leather jacket was not enough.. so my mum gave me my old ski jacket to wear. I woke up on the morning of the wedding and it was perfect. Massive sigh of relief.
We chose to have a naked Cake with a wooden cake topper which we bought on Etsy.
We were beyond happy with our choice in vendors for photography and videography. Sophie and Brooke from Sophie Baker Photography were easy going and an absolute pleasure to deal with.. and had amazing ninja camera skills too which is a plus!
Something I would definitely recommend, if your budget allows, would be to invest in a videographer. I will admit that I don’t particularly like seeing myself on video and was a little sceptical at first but it was important to my husband and hiring The Smile Factory Film was one of the best decisions we made. The first time I watched our highlights reel I started crying tears of joy as it took me right back to our special day.
Apart from the obvious highlight of marrying my best friend, one of my favourite memories of the day was my maid of honour’s speech. Kimberly started off with a traditional sounding speech and then proceeded to a table with a plastic cup where she serenaded us with the cup song that she had re-written to tell our story from the lead up to our first date through to the big day. It was very on point and the room was in stitches!
Another special thing was that I searched high and low for a father and daughter dance song.. I had (for years) loved the lyrics to a particular song but really was not a fan of the country and western vibe of the song. My maid of honour asked me if she could have a go at redoing it for me.. she learnt to play it on the piano and recorded vocals for it.. it was a really special touch because the words very accurately portrayed my relationship with my father.
Nat and I had our first dance under the festoon lights at the bottom of the stairs to our reception venue. We danced to “Tenerife Sea” by Ed Sheeran.
A piece of advice that was given to us by our parents was that it is “our day” and we should have it the way we want it. I think it’s important that you don’t regret not doing things the way you wanted – no need to go Bridezilla-mode on everyone.
One thing that we can’t say enough is to enjoy the day.. there is truth in the age-old saying “it will go so fast”. Take time to soak it all in and enjoy the reward of all the effort that went into creating your big day.
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Bethany and Nathanael – such a wonderfully happy wedding day for you both; your little sentimental touches added to the vintage rustic theme!
About Bethany: I am a coffee lover, life appreciator, travel enthusiast and recent wifey to my wonderful husband Nat!
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