I am a self proclaimed wedding queen.
I’ve got two under my own belt, had the absolute pleasure of being a bridesmaid 7 times, have been to over 20 weddings as a guest and have planned and/or styled countless weddings for clients over the years.
As I said, self proclaimed queen.
My favourite moment is when I meet my bride at her car, she is always smiling nervously, overcome with the enormity of emotions. Some chatter, some are quiet, all are breathtaking in their glow of anticipation.
It never fails to amaze me on the day, when I see it all come together, that it all starts with my couples idea of their perfect day and my illegible scribble on a notepad.
I have been employed to completely plan every tiny detail of a wedding, I’ve been hired to style only, where I am sometimes allowed full creative license and I have coordinated days planned by the bride herself. The weddings where I am completely involved mean I become my brides confidant, her go to lady, these are often the ones where I find myself overcome with emotion at some point on the day. I travel a road that is often 18 to 24 months long with these beauties, there is a lot of life that happens in this period and a lot of emotion, there are many who I myself have fallen in love with by the end of our journey.
There was one couple in particular, whom were and are still some of the most divine humans I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and working for. Our wedding journey together involved a complete shift in regional venues due to a fairly opinionated priests comments. We essentially had to start from scratch with a fair whack of this wedding due to the distance between the first location and second. As this wedding was outside of Perth, we all stayed overnight. The next morning my bride came out to see me, glowing in her jimmies, we hugged for a long time and she said ‘I don’t want to let you go’. I felt the same way and this epitomises how I feel about all my beautiful clients, you are entwined in their lives in a time that is one of the biggest moments many people will have, many become very special to me, and me, to them.
This is not to say wedding planning is all peachy and I can assure you that at the end of a 14 hour day, I look about as different to Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner as you could imagine. It is a business that the clock runs 24/7 and the physical requirements are gruelling. Styling and planning weddings sounds glamorous but the truth of it is hundreds of emails, hours upon hours on your feet, sweaty, pelted with rain, blown to bits by the wind, burnt by random rays of sun, balancing on ladders and of course, furniture moving .. there is a lot of that.
As with all businesses, I have had clients who are trying at best, weddings that have not brought me joy and many times where I am a stressed mess juggling between 20 to 25 weddings at one time, with my children and other work commitments pulling me in the other direction.
Although this is the reality, the satisfaction of standing back and seeing your vision for a ceremony or reception come to life makes you forget your sun burnt shoulders, sweaty clothes and the hundreds of emails to get to this point. Think glorious blooms, stunning pieces of furniture and oh so pretty styling props. Think working with suppliers who become your friends, or having day assistants who you can laugh, cry, sing and dance with whilst setting up and tearing down. Pinning the boutonniere onto your groom and feeling his excited anticipation, holding your brides hands and feeling the magic swirling around her. And, of course, the love that fills the room when a treasured family member or friend shares written words and brings the whole venue to tears.
This is why I have loved weddings.
The best weddings have not been about how much money was spent, it has been about the thought. Too often I have seen this component forgotten, and in all fairness, it is easy to lose sight in the fog and hype of planning a wedding. Anyone with the money can make a venue gorgeous, provide beautiful food and buy a lovely gown. The key is finding what is important to you both and adding those touches. Make it quirky, make it fun and make it personal, I promise you, I’ve seen many and these are the best.
One of my all time favourite venues for a wedding is Alverstoke Barn in Brunswick. It is a gorgeous, heritage listed farm just outside of Bunbury, Western Australia. It is owned and run by the loveliest family, who have kept the farm in the family since its conception nearly 175 years ago. The grounds are nothing short of breathtaking, with heritage listed buildings, vintage farm machinery, livestock, little school house, barn and a heritage rose garden. It is a stylist and photographers dream venue.
Another favourite, tried and trusted outdoor venue favourite is Matilda Bay Foreshore. I love the river views, huge trees and that is it a hop, skip and jump from Perth City but you feel as if you are in a remote location. It also has fabulously easy access, if I can drive on site I am ridiculously happy.
Photo credit below to Bianca Kate Photography
Photo credit below to Bianca Kate Photography
Of course, the best weddings for me have been those I have been a maid of honour or bridesmaid for. It is such an honour to be asked to be part of the wedding day of someone you love.
Photo credit to Love Her Photography
I have morphed between ‘New York’ chic style weddings like this stunning Linton & Kaye wedding below..
To rustic, graffiti goodness at Perth City Farm.
Small intimate winter winery weddings..
Mismatched rustic goodness..
Bribing a boat owner to jump on his pirate ship for photos..
Or throwing this reception together for a turquoise loving bride at Indianna Tea House in Cottesloe.
Do I have favourites? Goodness, not really. I love the variance in the work, I love vintage as much as I love glitz, I love colour as much as I love all white. I guess my favourites would be when I am allowed full creative license and then the look on my brides face when she sees her dream come to life.
There was of course the time I was allowed to play Alice in Wonderland for a super lovely client who wanted a shiny, vintage Mad Hatter High Tea reception. I jumped at this .. and who wouldn’t?!
To be honest, as much as I am this self proclaimed wedding queen, I am also a praise junkie. I love making people happy, I love to make life easier for someone and I love to help make dreams come true. When I receive emails, cards and letters after the wedding day that speak of all these things, I am filled with immense happiness. As cliched as this sounds, after all is said and done, love and joy multiplies when shared.
As I write this, I know that I have made a long thought about decision to take a break from the business that I have nurtured and loved. The older I grow, the more I know that time is precious and my children are young. I no longer want to drive 3 hours home at midnight, from the South West, after a 16 hour day, so I can be home to manage my sons football game in the morning. I want to work normal hours that aren’t evening meetings and all weekend. I want to be present in my life, for my family, for now.
If I can give any thoughts to those of you walking through the wedding planning journey, spend the money on what is important to you and create a day that is about you as a couple, trust me, if you follow this simple truth, your day will be magical.
For always, the retired Queen of Weddings.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post! There’s a nifty little comment field below! Much love xK