Every girl dreams of it, I remember I used to walk down my hallway, in one of my Nan’s white nighties pretending to get married.
I remember I used to talk about it with my best friend, ‘I wonder what it will be like’ ‘I wonder who I will marry?’
When Adam and I first started going out, sure you think of it, I was 100% sure this was the man of my dreams, he was kind, considerate, he just got me, and we just clicked.
When Adam proposed, I was so ready for it; I had looked at ideas, created a ‘pintrest folder’ started come collages, you know… that kind of thing…
This was easy right? Not really… I already knew who my bridesmaids were going to be, I knew colour schemes…. But which combination to choose was the question, along with 20,000 other questions…
The hardest part is that you’ve got a million and one things going through your head at once… when to set ‘the date’ what celebrant to choose (and not realising how much everything costs!)… My mind was on our wedding 24 hours of the day.
Pretty much put wedding in a sentence and the price skyrockets…
We had looked around online for venues, but nothing jumped out at me, I was starting to freak out a little, (ok so you’ve got as much time as you need to organise a wedding, just depending on when you set your date) but I’m kind of one of those people that just wants to get straight in and start organising, (organise is my middle name).
I wanted something local, something near the beach, I didn’t want it on the beach, (too much sand) and I wanted a back up plan encase it rained on my day, you don’t wish it to happen, but you need to be realistic, hiring a marquee last minute on the ‘big’ day was not in my budget…
We had been to this club at least twice a month for dinner, it was a nice club, which backed onto the lake, very pretty, I looked up prices and packages and decided to book an appointment, (this was the first of many to come)…
Of course I’d seen the club before, but when I had walked into that reception area upstairs, and looked out onto the lake, I thought, this is it, its affordable, its just us, I’m easily pleased, it wasn’t the crown plaza, but that wasn’t us anyway, this suited us.
The date we wanted wasn’t available, so we took the next one, it was official it was booked, and we scraped a deposit together, (goodbye savings)…
So then it was onto the next item on the agenda, a celebrant, we booked two meetings in one day, to shop around… you know… and they were both so different from each other it wasn’t funny, one was so organised, so professional, and the other forgot my name 3 times throughout the 45 minute consultation, advised us it was better to make our ceremony funny, with lots of jokes in it… (That’s the modern thing to do now days)… We didn’t want to do that, call me old fashioned but a wedding still needs some formalities, (each to their own though).
It was decided, we went with celebrant option one, in our consultation, we obviously spoke about prices, as he is mentioning how much it would be, I’m sitting in my chair nodding, ah, yep, sure, not a problem, and initally I was shocked that it would cost a little bit more then expected, and I had no expectation, but it was just the little things, that you don’t realise cost so much until you start to organise a wedding! – And you can’t really get married without a celebrant.
So he was kind of a must…
I then went dress shopping, and I have to be brutally honest, in my experience this was the worst part of wedding planning, I went with my mum – in law to be, and my bestie and if it wasn’t for them encouraging me along, I would have bailed after the first shop, they were so supportive and made the experience bearable.
I had a vision of what I wanted, or what I thought I wanted, and in fact it was pretty spot on to the dress that I first tried on, and it looked horrible, hideous, and ridiculous! I wanted lace, and I wanted sleeves – to hide my flabby arms, well this just drew all the attention to them, and I was almost in tears, I looked like a puffed cream buffoon! And then there’s the shop attendant trying their best to get a sale as well as trying to be helpful…
If it wasn’t for my mum in-law to be, sensing that this certainly wasn’t the dress and giving me that look of ‘I know what your thinking lets get this thing off you’ I’m positively sure I would have burst into tears!
So after then, I had no idea! I didn’t know what I wanted or if I was even going to find anything, I found it to be the most intrusive experience, shop attendants undressing you, squeezing you into dresses, or little comments like “we will just clip you up no worries darl, we will get it made in your size” lets not beat around the bush, I’m no skinny minnie, and when your self confidence is not that great, wedding dress shopping just takes the cake… (Mmm cake)…
I think the moment I was in the dressing room trying on my 3rd or 4th dress, by then I was starting to find my own style, I was on the right track… I came out and showed them the dress, it was good, but not the one, when I went back into the dressing room, I heard Lauren (my best friend) say to Karen (mum- in law to be) “aw its hard not to tear up isn’t it?” Or something along those words, and I smiled, and thought to myself ‘yes this is suppose to be a happy occasion Danya, snap out of it, I’m getting married, wether or not I find a wedding dress today, there’s always tomorrow’.
It was in fact my last dress shop of the day, where I found ‘the one’ the dress that fell beautifully, made me look good, was simple but elegant, the lady didn’t think to check the price tag of the dress before I tried it on, and when I was standing there, looking in the mirror, at my dress, ‘the one’ I was already emotional, I had an emotionally exhausting day, my feet were sore, I was over it, and this dress that was ‘the one’ was a little out of my price range… I was eternally grateful when my mum in-law to be said “don’t worry we will sort it”
Needless to say when I finished that day of dress shopping I didn’t want to talk about weddings for a week!!…
So everything was coming along, very nicely, I just basically had a list of things that needed to be organised/sorted, and just ticked them off one by one…
This one day, I was looking through my Facebook news feed, and the shop I bought my wedding dress from popped up, I opened the page and read all this comments from all these brides saying “I want my money back” “why aren’t you answering your phone?” “I want my dress” – I couldn’t believe my eyes, I thought, oh this is a joke right? – No it wasn’t.
The company went into liquidation, when I put a deposit on my dress, they made me pay half, I thought at the time, couldn’t I just leave 10% or something… no they wanted half, knowing fully that they were ripping me, along with thousands of others off.
That day I paid my deposit, I didn’t have that kind of money on me, so I paid with my credit card, and thank god I did because I was able to get it all back through a dispute with my bank… it was a gruelling couple of weeks, waiting for that money back.
I felt angry that someone just stole my money like that, this is suppose to be a happy time for me, plus to make matters worse I was back to square one for what to wear on my big day… but I thought at least I’m not one of those poor girls that are getting married soon, that don’t have a dress, at least I still could find one…
Back to the shops I went, but it wasn’t very long until I found a better dress, that was 10 times more amazing then the first one, and more affordable as well, things happen for a reason right?
Needless to say I checked every payment, asked for two receipts and was extra vigilant for the rest of my ‘wedding experience’…
Lets fast forward, to two months before the wedding… my maid of honour comes home (finally) from her amazing American student exchange – YES she was gone for half the wedding preparation, but to be honest she was only a Facebook message away, and it was good to have someone to ‘write to’ even though I would secretly hyperventilate if she didn’t reply within… at least 4 days? – Lets be honest, my best friend and I are two peas in a pod, except we are so different in so many ways, it was honestly refreshing to have someone write to me, saying “oh I’m sure its not that bad” or “that looks amazing your doing such a great job” or saying exactly what I needed to read.
I knew at the start of my wedding journey ahead that I knew I wanted to organise it, it wasn’t a case of ‘being a bridezilla’ it was a case of knowing what I wanted, I delegated along the way, and in fact I let Adam choose the table decorations, (I didn’t even need to be at that meeting!) the type of car, what kind of suit, along with pretty much everything I consulted him first.
We were pretty lucky, we have an amazing family, both my side and his, who were nothing but supportive along the way and pretty much just went with the flow.
Fast forward to 24 hours before my wedding; I had my girls with me, we had just gotten our nails done, I was trying to imagine what it would be like? How would the day go… yes I was constantly checking my weather app on my phone, and yes there was a chance it would rain, but I was slowly coming to the realisation that, it would be all ok if it was raining, because who cares! I’m marrying the love of my life!
I said goodbye to Adam, and there was a million and one things I needed to tell him, just little jobs for the day, and I completely forgot! – Sometimes you can be the most organised person, and miss something, but thats ok – NO one is perfect!
It was time to leave for the wedding, my pop looked at me, and he was like “are you alright?” – I think every bride goes through this, that minute or two when you think, ‘wow this is really happening’…
Our wedding ended up inside, it was too windy and rained on and off all day but ‘it’s suppose to be good luck if it rains on your wedding day’ right?
Leading up to the wedding I had heaps of people say this to me, and in my head I was like ‘grrr yup…’ because of course you want the best of the best, of course I wanted it to be a perfect autumn day, lets be honest here…
At the end of the day, you can’t help Mother Nature and it is what it is, and when your walking down that isle, all thoughts about absolutely anything goes straight out the window…
On our way back to the reception from the photos I said to Adam “lets just skip the reception” the driver of the car laughed, I wonder how many times he’s heard that before? – But its true, your in love with your husband to be before the wedding, of course, but that day your love for them just gets a little stronger…
I couldn’t stop looking at my perfect husband; I couldn’t believe that we were actually married, that I was actually Mrs Doran…
Its hard to describe, your in your husbands arms, and your looking at him, you cant believe you’ve done it, after months of organising, stressing, all done all dusted, your in the middle of the dance floor, you can vaguely hear the music, your just staring into each others eyes, this is the start of your lives together.
Was it stressful? At times yes.
Were there little dramas? – Of course! No one is perfect; I don’t think there is a bride out there that had a wedding go completely drama free.
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Yes its one day.
One big special day.
Months of preparation.
Your reward is walking down that isle, seeing the man of your ultimate dreams, the one you want to grow old with, have a family with, you couldn’t imagine it any different.
I want to be able to tell my kids all about it, it’s a day that is suppose to be told, a memory that needs to be shared, just like my Grandparents who have been together for over 50 years of marriage, and my Mum and Dad In-law, who have been together for over 25 years of marriage, that’s what its all about,
and now I have the same memory of our own to share.
My wedding tips:
1. Make lists, lots of lists, Be organised!
From everything that needs to be organised, to the timeline of the day,
Budget, to everyones jobs that they are in charge of etc; its good to get everyone on the same page as you, no one is a mind reader.
2. Get your DIY on!!!:
If your not that creative, get your bridesmaids involved, make some fun out of it, Pintrest is your best friend, and has thousands of ideas, that anyone can manage! I found that was my best money saver, I made my invitations, bonbonieres, flower girl crown, mums & grandmas corsages, wedding photo booth guest book, Adam’s Grandma Monica made my beautiful flowers (which I will mention in number 3), table decorations for gift table and name tags, among many other things.
I also didn’t necessarily buy my craft items from Spotlight, I bought some from cheap shops as well, it all depends on what you need, and what they have, but shop around! – I also had help along the way, I got my mum to help out with the invitations, and Adam to help out with bits and pieces, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel like your sinking in wedding planning!!
Photograph number 1 & 2 Natural Lights Photography
Photographer: Danielle Minett
3. Be realistic, trust your gut;
I say this because you have a lot of people telling you what you should do, (and thats totally fine) but if you like a style, or know what you want, go for it!
I compared prices of real flowers to fake, and the price difference was astronomical (any one can choose what they like) but for me I decided fake flowers were for me, for my flowers, bridesmaids, throw away and boutonnieres , it cost $230 compared to $800 + for real flowers.
The good thing was you got to keep them in the end
(I’m a bit sentimental)… Luckily for me,
I had Adam’s Grandma make them for me, it was a case of wiring all the flowers together, tricky but doable.
When it came to shoe shopping, I felt pressured to buy these strappy sandal high heels, and that just wasn’t me,
I can’t walk in high heels at the best of times, I felt pressured mainly because thats all that were in the shops, I have broad feet, and my foot doesn’t fit in
every type of shoe, not many actually…
So this one day I was wearing my normal blue wedges, which fit comfortably, and I thought to myself, why don’t I just get a white pair of them!! – and thats what I did, I added some mint green bows to tie in with the theme, honestly I didn’t take them off once all day/night – one of the best purchases I made!! – My feet didn’t even feel sorry and sore for themselves the next day, plus very affordable.
Photography by: Natural Lights Photography: Photographer: Danielle Minett.
4. Have Make Up & Hair Trials:
Because you can look at as many ideas on pintrest as you like, but they might not suit you, everyone is different, so its good to just throw some ideas out there and have a look and see what they look like.
It’s important to feel amazing on your day, so its important to know what that person is going to be like on your day, and know what you want!
5. Last tip; Enjoy.
This was the best experience of my life so far, sure there were some highs and lows, it was fun, it was exciting, it was the best personal experience, because everything I had made, had come together on the day and it was beautiful, not only the satisfaction of marrying my hubby, but satisfaction that it all came together amazingly!
– Because lets face it, we all dream of a perfect wedding!
Photograph by: Natural Lights Photography: Photographer Danielle Minett.