Real Weddings

Clare & Nathan's Country Chic Wedding

Location: Byron Bay, NSW
Ceremony: St Kevin's Church, Bangalow
Reception: Coorabella, Byron Bay

 

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Describe the circumstances in which you first met?

We met in a nightclub in Airlie Beach, Queensland. We were backpacking in different directions, we swapped emails met up a few months later when we were both in Sydney and the rest is history. 

 

What are the things that you both love or that characterise your relationship?

We always have a laugh with each other, we’re both at our happiest hanging out together whether that’s out and about or at home. Making sure we always support each other and approach life as a team is also a big part of our relationship.

 

Define the theme of your wedding and how did you incorporate your personalities into it?

We didn’t define a theme for our wedding it basically came about as a result of the venue we chose. Coorabella is a beautiful old Queensland house set in the Byron Bay hinterland. It is surrounded by rolling hills and the grounds are amazing with a sort of ‘old world’ feel to them. So our theme was sort of old world glamour with some contemporary features of our own.
In terms of incorporating our own personalities into the day we made it all about the food, the booze and the music…….basically the things we think are essential for a successful party where our guests would want for nothing. The food was in the form of feasting so lots of sharing so everyone gets to try everything, we picked some lovely wines and bubbly and did cocktails after dinner. For our music during the day we put together a great play list which suited the ambience for around the pool on a sunny afternoon and for the music after dinner we had Lisa Hunt and her band who were amazing.

 

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Why did you choose that location and/or venue?
We’d been to Byron Bay for a mini holiday and for Splendour in the Grass and loved it. We were keen for everyone to feel like they were on holiday so Byron seemed like the best choice for us. We looked at a few venues in Byron but Coorabella was our favourite, the house is stunning and having the house meant we weren’t restricted to the usual five or six hours for the reception. We loved the fact that our guests could start with drinks and nibbles under the huge fig tree then move to the pool in the later afternoon and then to the house for dinner and dancing. 

 
What was the most challenging aspect of planning your wedding?

Probably sticking to our budget which kept getting moved as we found options we were keen to include. Also the fact that we live in Sydney and our venue and wedding planner were in Byron Bay. Planning the travel and other logistics for our family coming from overseas was also pretty challenging and took lots of research.
 

 

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What did you particularly enjoy about your wedding planning journey?

We enjoyed most of the planning, going to Byron to check out the venues was great as it meant a mini holiday for us and it was really interesting going to each venue as most of them were really gorgeous. I also have to say that a part of the journey I loved was shopping for my dress ……. trying on the dresses was so much fun and to have my sister come with me gave me some lovely memories.

 

What assistance did you have with planning your wedding ?

Initially I had a quick look on the internet at some wedding  websites and I inherited a lot of wedding magazines from my friends. I also went to a wedding fair. We researched wedding planners based in Byron and then engaged one to plan the wedding and coordinate on the day.  Our wedding planner suggested some of the ideas for the day and we came up with some of our own.
 

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Which features that you incorporated into your wedding were you particularly proud of on the day?

Our choice of band was a winner, we were so glad we chose them as we deliberated over that decision for a while but they were such a success. They got everyone up dancing and really got the party going.
We were proud of our place settings and table plan, we asked everyone for a funny photo of themselves and we put these into a Polaroid program and these became the place settings and table plan.
Also we went against the usual running order for speeches and had Nathan’s brother who was the MC and my Dad do their speeches by the pool before dinner. This worked really well for us on the day.

 

What is your one stand-out memory of the day?

Clare: My dads speech. I was a little worried about my dad making his speech, I think most brides are but it was fantastic. He got some really good feedback from a few of our guests, which was lovely. Oh and the dancing after dinner.
Nathan: Seeing Clare coming through the doors of the church, my best man leaned over to me and said ‘she scrubs up well’ !

 

 

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What one piece of advice would you offer to anyone reading this and planning their own wedding?

Clare: Try to establish what you want from the start, chopping and changing your mind doesn’t make for smooth running on the day and makes the build up more stressful. Try to have a clear picture so you don’t make decisions you regret and then have to redo. Also get a good nights sleep the night before your big day, do whatever you need to do to relax. I had a great sleep and I was relaxed but excited on the day and it was just so enjoyable. It also meant that the little things that can go wrong didn’t send me into a flap.
Nathan: Don’t leave your speech to the last minute.

 

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