When a bride-to-be says their wedding is going to be different… a lot different form the usual, it’s difficult not to get excited at the thought of getting creative, doing something different and capturing something special. It’s also pretty easy to think… yeah, sure, I’ve heard a lot of couples say their wedding is going to be different and that “different” could mean they’re having their speeches before the entrée or their ceremony is going to be a morning ceremony… not really that different.
It’s different though when the wedding coordinator at Crowne Plaza Terrigal, one of the Central Coasts most exclusive wedding venues, says she is doing something out of the ordinary for her wedding.
Shocked is probably the correct adjective when I first heard the plans Berenice described for her and Greg’s wedding.
From memory the first thing she told me was they’d be camping – in a TENT! before and after the wedding. Greg would ferry me, the guests and Berenice in his fishing boat to a beach cottage across the river where the ceremony and reception will happen.
I was still stuck on… camping!
Seriously, I asked, you and Greg will be sleeping in a tent, in the nights leading up to your wedding, the night of your wedding and for your honeymoon?
Berenice just grinned and said, Yep!
I’m in, I said and I can’t wait.
The rest of this post is in Berenice’s words in answer to some questions I put to her about her fantastic wedding:
What’s the story behind the two of you?
Greg and I met many, many years ago – I was the receptionist and he was the very handsome courier driver!!
He asked me out on a date and as they say, the rest is history!
Can you tell me about the proposal?
I knew Greg had the ring (we picked it together) but he was holding on to it until he decided to propose at a time and location that he chose.
As it turns out, we were on holidays for 2 weeks and we climbed Mount Warning in Northern NSW after watching a beautiful sunrise and had a picnic lunch at the top. After taking photos at the viewing platforms, we walked around to an empty platform and I was setting my camera up for a photo and turned around and Greg was there with the ring!
Such an amazing location and awesome memories from that day to treasure for ever and we then travelled to our friends house that night and straight away got to celebrate!!!
Where was your wedding ceremony and why there?
Sandon River NSW, right on the waters edge – this is very sentimental place for us as we holiday there all the time and it just a very spiritual place where we feel very at ease and relaxed.
Also, we have very special friendships formed from many years of holidays at this location too, so it was without a doubt an easy decision that we would ask our friends and family to gather there with us.
Where was your wedding reception and why there?
At the same spot – why move !!!
Were you going for a certain theme or style with your wedding?
Definitely relaxed and keeping with our love of nature and the beach location.
Can you tell me about your wedding dress and any advice you have for other brides looking for their perfect gown?
I had two dresses. My more formal dress for the ceremony and photographs was from Lily Grace bridal. I was lucky enough to get a great off the rack dress and save a lot of money instead of having to order in a custom. I loved the lace work on this dress.
My second dress was an online purchase from MissyDress but I had no troubles as I ordered well in advance to avoid any delayed shipping dramas and it again was a perfect match for our more casual evening component to our day.
Advice for other brides – go with your instincts, wear a dress you love and you will feel a million dollars on your wedding day.
Additional advice if ordering online – get your measurements taken professionally and always use their own websites size guides before placing your order eg. I am normally a size 8 but ordered a size 12 based on their size guides and it was a perfect fit.
Where did you find your wedding shoes and do you have any advice for brides looking for their bridal shoes?
Shoes of Prey – great online design options to get your very own unique wedding shoes and fantastic customer service for refunds/remakes to make sure you get the right size shoe and a perfect fit!
Again, just do this well in advance so you’re not under pressure for online deliveries or returns if needed. Advice, go for a bit of colour in your shoes to mix things up a little !!
Where did you find your jewellery and accessories?
My jewellery was minimal – just a set of pearl earrings to match my pearl Thomas Sabo bracelet and charm that was a gift from Greg.
Who did your hair and what led you to the style you chose?
My niece did my hair and makeup on the day as this was a remote location destination wedding there was no option to have a professional come to me.
So, instead we went to Jo Sharpe Makeup Artist here on the Central Coast in the months leading up to the wedding and had lessons with her to ensure we got the looks right. Jo was amazing and also made custom lipstick colours just for me!
Who was your makeup artist and what were your instructions when booking – what were you after?
As above, my neice did my hair. I wanted a sleek but stylish look that was not going to be a troublesome style since we were outdoors if it got windy. As it turns out, this was not a problem on the day anyway with no wind but i’m still super happy with how I had my hair.
Where did you find the guys suits? Were they purchased or hired and why?
Greg wanted a casual outfit but still stylish. We found a beautiful linen shirt and pants suit at Sargant Peppers at Terrigal and they arranged the alternations in-store too. Everyone commented on his stylish shirt too!
Can you tell me about your flowers/bouquets?
We had to use a florist from Yamba as this was the closest place to our remote destination – Wildflower Wanderings and Melinda was amazing, even offering to deliver to our remote location for a very reasonable fee.
We love native flowers and so that was our brief to the florist – flannel flowers and paper daisies are native to the area where we were married. I also love Flannel flowers so after finding a picture on google, I sent it to the florist and she created the most amazing bouquet for me. The rest I left up to the florist and her artistic touch which turned out brilliantly – she made my bridesmaids bouquet of flannel flowers and paper daisies.
We also had the men’s button holes made from yellow paper daisies as they are the native colour for that area and they looked superb and are still going strong – they last forever!!
The jars we used for table centre pieces I sent to the florist prior to the day so she could make the bunches the right height and again, the flower combinations where just what we wanted and looked beautiful on the tables an also made a great take home for guests at the end of the night as we didn’t need to keep the jars!!
What led you to choose the wedding cake you did?
I have a sentimental attachment to my family’s traditional fruit cake, so my lovely friends at Cake and Plate agreed to decorate a cake that I made and I couldn’t have wished for a better job. They decorated it with chocolate ganache, then white royal icing and a beautiful lace border to match my dress. Then to top it off, they ensured it was packed securely as it was going to travel for 10 hours in a car to get to our destination. It arrived without moving a centimetre in it’s box!!
What did you have for your Bombonniere?
We made small jars of sand which we collected from the beach where we had our ceremony and put some shells in and sealed with a cork. That way people have a piece of our beach paradise to take home with them as a memory of our day!
We also made individual cutlery holders to go on the tables with place cards so that was another keepsake if people chose to take them home. We also let our guests take home the jars of flowers on the tables as we had no need to keep them.
Can you describe the photography part of the day?
Wow, the photography just seemed to happen, it all felt so relaxed and easy. Andrew was onsite with me from about 11am in the morning and was snapping away documenting the location and family as the day unfolded.
We definitely gave Andrew the brief that this was not a “normal” wedding. We had no fixed agenda for the day other than the ceremony time (and even that was a little flexible!) so we just let Andrew photograph whatever he wanted to and took our direction from him if he wanted to shoot something in particular.
After the ceremony we waited for the beautiful sunset light and just slipped away for 1/2 hour of photos and this has resulted in some of the most beautiful portraits that we simply can’t choose which one is our favourite!!
What led you to choose Impact Images for your photography?
We had both known Andrew for many years – myself through many events over the years in my line of work as a wedding planner and Greg had known Andrew outside of work so we both felt very comfortable around him and his professionalism and of course his photography is just amazing.
I think that is one of the most important things to consider for your photography – you must feel relaxed and comfortable around your photographer, otherwise it will show in your photos. We have so many photos of us laughing and smiling all afternoon together and with our guests. Andrew really did just capture our day perfectly and we are so pleased he agreed to travel for our destination wedding.
Can you tell me about your most memorable moment from the day?
Oh, sooo many to choose from – Hmmm, I think after we had dinner, I was sitting next to Greg at our table in the evening looking around at our candle lit reception by the beach with all of our guests lit up by the candles on the tables an Greg and I commented almost at the same time to each other “What an amazing day”.
We really had just a most magical day and having a quiet moment to reflect on that with each other was beautiful.
Can you tell me a little about your honeymoon?
After we said farewell to our friends and relatives who travelled to stay with us, we stayed on and camped for another week in this amazing location and enjoyed some quality time together by the beach, fishing and swimming and plenty of evening campfires.
What is the most important piece of advice you could share with brides to be?
Plan, plan, plan then relax. Planning is very important and whilst it may be overwhelming at the start it is important to cover all bases BEFORE the big day. Then on your wedding day – trust in all of your planning and everything will fall into place, just relax and enjoy being the bride.
For me this is what made my wedding day feel like it lasted forever. There was no stress of times and jobs to be done, as it had all been covered in the planning.
Of course if you’re at a reception venue – having an onsite wedding planner is a big help as they will take most of this on board and plan for you!!
If you had the chance to redo the whole thing again, what changes would you make?
Genuinely, we would not change a thing. We still say to each other – this was the most perfect day, everything just fell into place after all the planning and we had such fun with everyone.
It really was our dream wedding day in every way.
If you’re looking for more hints, tips and ideas about having your perfect wedding, check out Vanessa and Adam’s rustic beach themed Central Coast wedding or if you’d like more information about our wedding photography pricing and collections, click here.