Real Weddings

Sarah & J's Red Destination Wedding

Location: Bateman's Bay, NSW

Ceremony: Beach

Reception: Private Villa Garden

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Describe the circumstances in which you first met?

J: We met on the high seas off the coast of Darling Harbour on a boat party, it was back in both of our party days. I wasn't going to go to this party but a mate of mine rang me up and told me he had a ticket for me. It was january 10th, I remember it clearly because I’d partied from Christmas Eve right through New Year’s and I was just partied out. I was queuing up to get on this boat party and these two girls walked passed dressed as sailorettes in incredibly short skirts. One was blonde and one was brunette and I got pretty excited about them. They walked passed us and my mate and I were following them with our eyes, then low and behold they joined the end of the queue and got on the same boat that we did!

 

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

Sarah: A good sense of humour, we both have high energy & love the outdoors. We love nature and getting amongst it. We are both very social, we like entertaining and being with good friends and family.

J: On a fundamental level we both have similar values around family and stuff, we are both from similar backgrounds & upbringing so that has really helped us have a similar outlook on life.

 

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

Sarah: The theme was red, it was all based around me having a red dress. J is from a scottish background so his family had the tartan and the red and  I really wanted to wear red because it is my favourite colour. We worked around that and had a very clean, modern look with slightly oriental elements that went well with the red. We had parasols on the beach and all the bridesmaids wore a very pale champagne pink to compliment the dark color of the red. Everything else, like the flowers, was all based around that.

J:  Everyone talks about a white wedding, ours was a red wedding in many ways. It was passionate, energetic, fun, there was humour and of course the party.

Sarah:  And there was lots of love!

J: The other theme was that it was a destination wedding. We didn’t want people to  just have a normal day in their life, turn up to the reception then at 12 o’clock just leave so we specifically chose a location that meant people would need to stay ideally the night before and the night of the wedding. It was a weekend away for them rather than just a one day event.

 

Why did you choose that location and/or venue?

Sarah: The location was chosen not because it was close to our hearts in any way but because it ticked all the boxes for us. It was more about the venue than it was about the location so if we had found that venue somewhere else, we would have got married there.

J: Our must haves were that it needed to be near a beach and be able to house two different families. My family flew in from the uk, Sarah’s from interstate and we wanted to stay with them for 3 or 4 days beforehand. We were looking for a venue that could do that and we could have the wedding at which was quite hard to find. Then we found these two villa’s back to back, my family stayed in one and Sarah’s in the other. The reception was in the garden and the beach was just a walk down so it ticked all the boxes. Our wedding was very much about our families and bringing them together because they had never met before.

 

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning your wedding?

The distance! Selecting a band, a caterer and people for critical elements of a wedding when they are a 4 hour drive away meant that it was really hard. You couldn’t just go and meet 5 caters so the distance was the most challenging aspect.
 

What did you particularly enjoy about your wedding planning journey?

Sarah: We found out that we had very similar interests and we agreed on most of the stuff which was really cool as it brought us even closer in our relationship. I loved all of it, picking all of the colours and the details and everything.

J:  I enjoyed the decision making, the discussions and the fact that it was a blank canvas so we could do what we wanted to do. I enjoyed the whole journey from concept to design through to executing it  because it brought us closer together than we had been.

 

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What assistance did you have with planning your wedding?

We had a lot of help which really made it enjoyable although we did do lots of footwork ourselves, visiting people and checking out bands. Some really bad bands! We had one bridesmaid in particular who was really helpful especially because our families were interstate or overseas so we didn’t really have them around. Bridemaids and friends really helped us out in regards to finding a good photographer, music and caterer. Sarah’s sister made the cake.

 

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

Our cocktail slushy machine, that was great fun because it was interactive. The chocolate fountain was great too. The catering was a real stand out for us because it was a cocktail wedding rather than a sit down but we definitely wanted everyone walking away with a full stomach. We wanted substantial cocktail food so we were very particular about the catering. We found an amazing company that really did that for us, and then some!

 

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

Sarah: Walking  over the sand dunes and down the aisle, my handsome groom with the sea behind him and all our families there. Him with a little tear in his eye, it was beautiful, everything that I hoped for and more.

J: Seeing Sarah coming over the rise. I knew the dress would be red but I had no idea what it looked like and of course she looked gorgeous so that was the stand-out moment for me.

 

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

Sarah: If someone offers to help, take it. Definitely.

J: I was given this piece of advice about the wedding day itself: Every hour, on the hour, just stop for 60 seconds and look around - take it all in. Over the course of 8 hours, that will be only 8 minutes but they are the 8 minutes that you will really remember. Everything else will be a blur but those snapshots will stay with you forever.
 

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