Joeleen & Luke's Wedding

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Our Wedding Day - Appreciate the Day!

As any bride will attest, planning a wedding is a big job, and one that is full of many decisions! During the planning process I was constantly doubting that everything would come together. We were both so excited about the day and wanted it to be perfect.

After a year of planning, the day finally arrived and we could not have asked for a better day! It was the most amazing day of our lives, shared in an intimate setting with 50 of our closest family and friends who travelled from near and far to celebrate with us.

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My maids were two of my closest friends. They looked stunning in pale yellow Alfred Angelo dresses. The boys complemented them in grey suits and bright yellow ties. Elements from my Mori Lee organza gown over beaded Chantilly lace were used to inspire the finer details such a theme and decor.

Both our ceremony and reception were held at the Whitfield House in Cairns. The venue is located in the botanical gardens and provided us with a beautiful backdrop for the ceremony, and allowed our guests to enjoy the day without needing to relocate. While we were out having photos taken, our guests enjoyed live music, canapιs and drinks in the garden. That set the tone for the amazing evening ahead.

The reception was full of many laughs, wonderful speeches, tears of joy, and of course dancing!

It will be a day that we will always remember.

If we could offer any advice, it would be enjoy every moment of planning, and on the day, take a moment to sit back and watch all the love that is be shared — and appreciate the day! Try not to stress, as the day will always be perfect because it's your day!

Our Honeymoon

We had our honeymoon at the Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island.

I can't even begin to describe the beauty of Fraser Island. We could not have asked for a better week away. The weather was fabulous and the Kingfisher Bay Resort was the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the company of each other. Waking up to a view of the ocean each morning was pure bliss!

Written By: Joeleen Poggioli, Townsville, Queensland

Tina and Shayne's Wedding

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A Beach House was our Wedding Venue

The cost was the absolute best bit, with the whole wedding costing us less than $5000. That is very good considering that also included our honeymoon.

My husband Shayne and I were married at Sunshine Beach House, Swan Ave, Noosa. This being our second time around we wanted to keep things very simple and make sure we included our three wonderful children in our day. We didn't have a lot of money to spend either so we were looking for an affordable option.

We started by emailing about 10 different Beach Houses on the Sunshine Coast, asking if we were able to hold a small wedding for about 30 guests at their locations. We had several turn us down, but the lovely people at put us in touch with the owners of 9 Swan Ave, Sunshine Beach, Noosa. They were happy for us to hold our wedding there, so we booked the place for 7 days.

We arrived on the Friday, married on the Saturday, kicked the guests out on the Sunday after a big BBQ breakfast, and we stayed on for the week for our honeymoon.

The house is 3 stories high, has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, with a fully equipped kitchen. Downstairs there is a large tiled kitchen/lounge/dining area that opens right up onto the quaint luscious green front yard with a divine inground swimming pool.

We set up the ceremony in the front yard with the pool as the backdrop. I hired tables and chairs from Perry's Hire Sunshine Coast. We set up for the reception in the downstairs area inside.

Things I have learnt…

I am a perfectionist, I took on a lot of the work myself. Would have been a lot easier and probably just as affordable to have a caterer come in to do the food. I should have allowed more time to set up as I was running around all day. Lucky the ceremony wasn't until 4pm.

Overall though, the day was perfect. We had just our closest friends and family making it a really intimate setting. Each of our daughters were involved in our ceremony, which I wrote myself. My husbands daughter Kirra-lee, aged 10 years, was a flower girl and sang a Micheal Jackson Song. My eldest daughter Tyhla, aged 13 years, was a bridesmaid and read a beautiful poem, and my youngest daughter Jade, aged 10 years, was also a flower girl and also read a lovely poem.

The cost was the absolute best bit, with the whole wedding costing us less than $5,000. That is very good considering that also included our honeymoon.
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Wedding Suppliers and Tips:

  • Catering – I catered myself, and had some friends put the food out for us when it was time to serve; cold nibbles, platters of cold chicken, ham, prawns, salads, and Wedding Cake for dessert.
  • Celebrant – Linda Scholes (Noosa Celebrant), A truly lovely lady, nothing was too much trouble.
  • Flowers – Toowoomba local 5 star fruit dept for $55. I arranged them myself.
  • Hair & Make-up – Makeup 4 Brides Sunshine Coast. The ladies were brilliant, airbrushed make-up just looks amazing.
  • Hire Companies – I hired tables and chairs from Perry's Hire Sunshine Coast.
  • Music – Our own selection on a stereo.
  • Photography – Abducted Light Photography, Brisbane.
  • Wedding Attire – My Dress – $150 ebay, Bridesmaids – $35 Temt, Flower Girls – $30 Best and Less, Boys Shirts $20 each Rivers (who could tell).

Written by: Tina Donnelly, Toowoomba, Queensland

Lee Anne and Andrew's Wedding

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Planning our Wedding

I brought one of each magazine, ripped out everything I liked and took each example together with my colour ideas etc to the suppliers. The Wedding Scene was a great source to find suppliers in my area. The best magazines I found were Gold Coast Weddings and QLD Brides.

Rehearsals really aren't that important, don't stress over them. Send out your invites in plenty of time, and make the RSVP 3-4 weeks before the wedding as people never RSVP on time.

Selecting a dress is easy if you have an idea on what you want. Look through the magazines and get an idea before you go. I found Abbey Brides in Brisbane the best. You can get a whole package including your dress, veil, tiara and two bridesmaid dresses. Plus if you pay for your dress upfront you get a discount. Just what every bride needs (believe me).

Our Best Decisions and what we'd do Differently
It is great if you get your photographer to do your thank you cards, as then the guests have a lovely picture of the event to keep. Our cards were fabulous, we had so many comments. Otherwise, have them made by your wedding stationers so they match your invites – they will be just as lovely.

The best decision I made was of course to marry my lovely husband, but apart from that was to have fireworks at our wedding – it was the most memorable thing. Everyone talks about it for a long time after, and of course my red dress, I still get comments to this day.

The big day!
At 8am we arrived at The Villa. We had our own retreat upstairs where we could get ready. Full length mirrors, food, drinks and a fabulous view. The boys arrived about 10:30am and they had their own retreat downstairs for their preparation.

We started by having our Makeup and Hair done by Impressions by Melissa (they were fabulous). The Villa served us some morning tea and champagne, then lunch time came around, food and drinks again!

Then our photographers came. That is when it all gets exciting. We got dressed and had the fun photos. Then at about 1:30 we got ready to start. We waited inside till all the guests had arrived. Then we walked down to the side of the house ready to go. They had laid out a red carpet which went down the pathway to were Andrew was waiting.

The music started and off we went. The page boy and flower girl first, my three bridesmaids and I. The song we walked to was (Jennifer Lopez – Dear Ben).

Dad and I walked down the red carpet, it was so exciting. The ceremony was preformed by Helen Murray a Marriage celebrant, it was down in front of the lake at The Villa (perfect spot and perfect day). We had Andrews sister and one of our friends do a read at the ceremony which was great. We also had two Butterfly Releases which were great. The butterflies hung around for ages and one even stayed on my bouquet for 15 minutes.

After the ceremony we greeted everyone and than went for photos down near the lake with family, etc. The Villa also lent us their golf buggies and we went for a drive around the golf course (boys in one, girls in one and photographers in the other). That was great fun. The Villa supplied us with food and drinks. Than we had Classique Limousines pick us up and take us to the beach for photos and Video. While we had the photographs taken, which was a lot of fun, the guests enjoyed themselves with a Magician and singer provided by The Villa.

We arrived back at about 5:45pm as everyone was seated in the reception room which was set up fabulously with our lovely bomboniere from Personal Vintage (Mini wine bottles with one of our engagement pictures on it for each guest) and our place cards from Creative Invites who did all our invites.

The Villa organised the tables to have crystal candelabras and chairs with gold sashes. It was beautiful. We than were announced and the reception started. The food was fabulous, everyone commented that the food (buffet) was the best Wedding food they had ever had. We had the speeches, then the fireworks – they were magnificent. We cut the cake some where in between as well. Then we danced.

We had balloons hanging from the roof. One was a large balloon that the DJ popped and all little balloons fell out. It was all so lovely. Than we did the throwing of the bouquet and the garter and the goodbye circle. We were than picked up by the Limousine at about 11:30 and headed off to the Palazzo Versace. It was the most fabulous day. Everything went fantastic.

Our Choice of Music, Poems, Prayers, Speeches and Entertainment Music was easy, just go through your CD collection and find at least 10 songs you really both like and then just sort them out – where you want each song to be played, eg. ceremony, signing registry, exit song, entrance into reception, waltz.

The speeches are always funny, make sure the video person stays till at least the end of the speeches.

We had a great DJ who played great music and he was lots of fun.

My wedding cake was lovely but it was the wrong colour (purple instead of red) but it was no big deal and not worth worrying about it.

The Honeymoon
We had a 25 day honeymoon – recommended if you can get the time off. Make sure you save your money though before you go as you'll spend a lot. As a suggestion, have a wishing well instead of presents and this will give you a great honeymoon, you will be amazed at what you may get.

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We started our honeymoon in Singapore for three nights, then off to Venice for four nights (this was the best place we have ever been to).

In Venice we hopped on a Cruise for twelve nights through the Mediterranean – this is highly recommended if you go to this part of the world. You get to go to some great ports and you get well feed all day long, and the food is lovely.

We had stop offs at Greece (Santorini & Athens) Italy (Venice, Rome & Naples) Croatia, France (Monte Carlo & Monaco) & Spain. It was so relaxing and they had everything you needed on the ship. It was great.

We then headed to Dubai. This is another fantastic place. It is hot but there is so much to see and do and the shopping is great. There was also a Dune Safari, a group of 15-20 cars all go Dune bashing, it is great fun.

There was a lot of sitting in airports and on planes but it was well worth it. We only get married once, so make the trip worthwhile.

Sharon and John's Wedding

Our Marriage Ceremony

We all know Coolangatta one of the main holiday destinations on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, but not many of us know an even older Coolangatta in New South Wales. We were married in Coolangatta, south of Sydney, where lies just a few houses and at least one historic vineyard, its chapel and servant quarters used in the 1800's. We believe both these towns were named after the “Coolangatta” ship that sailed along the eastern coast about two centuries ago.

We chose this location for its rustic appearance, and we chose a local celebrant for her excellent knowledge of the area. When one considers that celebrants probably attend to 50 odd weddings a year, they naturally tend to accumulate a lot of knowledge in the process. Knowledge that will help us city-folk out in the long run.

If stuck for ideas, celebrants are an excellent place to start. Find a celebrant that has a wealth of knowledge and the rest should fall into place, at least as far as the marriage ceremony is concerned anyway.

Marriage Celebrants can also be useful to provide details on what works and what doesn't. For example, our celebrant suggested filling the small chapel with 100's of candles and they did indeed set the right ambiance, especially in such a medieval place. This was only known because she had conducted several weddings in this exact chapel before – the sort of helping hand you need when you're trying the plan the perfect wedding.

The celebrant also shared with us her past manuscripts. Needless to say, ours (the one below) is probably an entry in her collection today being looked over many more newbies. These manuscripts were extremely helpful. We considered most ideas from these to form our own template then wrote our own components to personalize our own ceremony, with such changes as our own introduction to suit the chapel and vineyard, our feelings towards each other, writing our own poem and selecting our own versus'.

What we also found useful, was to set a theme for our wedding and build upon this. Our theme was “to stand the test of time” and the historic surroundings was quite symbolic to this theme. Of course setting themes is not mandatory, but it does help in setting ideas up as you plan and also makes it clearer for others to understand your message. Why not have a message apart from just getting married? Ceremonies these days are much more flexible than what has been performed in the past so may be worthwhile considering it if you hadn't planned to.

This is how we set out our marriage ceremony.

Please feel free to use any part of our marriage ceremony vows, however if you decide to print and distribute any part at your wedding, I can't give you any advice on copyright. We have taken out names etc. to help you construct your own template.

Overview of our Marriage Ceremony

Marriage of (Bride) And (Groom) on (date)
Handel, La Rejouissance
Giving of the (Bride)
Our Love Story
Candle Ceremony
Reading No. 1
Traditional Irish Blessing
Reading No. 2
Once In a Lifetime - By Nancy Brilliant
Hands of the Bride and Groom
Declaration of Marriage
Signing of the Register
Final Blessing
Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 3

Full Details of our Marriage Ceremony Vows
Marriage of (Bride) And (Groom) on (Date)
[Celebrant] Welcome.
Thank you for coming here today to share in (Bride) and (Groom)'s special moment. We are on a picturesque estate, overlooking the ocean and are surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards. What a beautiful and unique setting we are in. This quaint little Chapel warms our souls from its burning hearth. Look around, this Chapel is truly a place of harmony and peace – its vintage demonstrates its ability to stand the test of time.

(Bride) and (Groom) have chosen this place for special reasons. This Chapel symbolizes their wishes for harmony and peace in their life, their warmth of love and the desire for their relationship to stand the test of time. In this place, (Bride) and (Groom) will express their love and devotion to one another and formally declare their love and commitment in the deepest sense, with the desire, hope and firm intention, for it to last a lifetime.

It is their admiration for you as family and friends that they have invited you here today to not only witness their marriage but also to share in their first treasured moments as friends, husband and wife.

Giving of the (Bride) [Celebrant]
Who gives this (Bride) away?
(Bride's Father): I do [Sits down]

Our Love Story
[Celebrant] – Introduction about their love story – these are (Groom)'s feelings. (Bride) is indeed a special person. A warm and loving soul mate, a sincere and loyal partner. (Groom) respects and admires her true values and honesty. Without (Bride), (Groom) feels incomplete and his decision to be here today is based on his desire for commitment, not just a relationship, but also a meaningful and loving life together.

[Celebrant] These are (Bride)'s feelings. (Bride) feels that in (Groom), she has found a trusted lover, a partner for life and a kindred soul. (Groom) is (Bride)'s best friend and confidant. (Groom) is very caring, romantic and loyal, he has a great sense of humour, and is very supportive and family oriented — these are qualities (Bride) most admires in (Groom). (Bride) feels that marriage is more than being in love –- it is a continuance of their devotion and commitment to one another, of sharing of their goals, hopes and dreams. (Bride) loves (Groom) with all her heart and soul.

Corinthians 13:4-7 Reading

[Celebrant]. Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs; does not gloat over other's sins, but delights in the truth. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance.

Unity Candle Ceremony
[Celebrant] – Bride and Groom instructed to light main (middle) candle with peripheral candles. The two lighted candles symbolise your lives. I ask that you each take one candle and together light the centre candle. Lighting the centre candle represents your lives joining as one from today.

Joining as one
[Celebrant] This is a poem written by (Groom).
Both candles flicker, each starts to dance,
Inter-twining in rhythm, a sense of romance.
Flickering their flame, full of fire,
Symbolizing their life, their bond, their desire.
Joining as one, in unison so bright,
Finding each other, embracing their light.
They radiate warmth, breath the same air,
just to discover, a new future to share.

Reading No. 1
[Celebrant] – (Groom) has Irish descendants, please announce that it was (Groom)'s wish to have this Irish Blessing read at their Wedding by (Person 1).

Traditional Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness,
From this day forward.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home,
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

Reading No. 2
[Celebrant] Ask (Bride's Mother) to read Once in a lifetime, by Nancy Brilliant
Once in a lifetime,
You find someone who touches,
Not only your heart,
But also your soul.
Once in a lifetime,
You discover someone who stands,
Beside you, not over you.
You find someone who loves you,
For who you are,
And not for who you could be.
Once in a lifetime,
If you are lucky, you find someone,
As you have now found each other.

Hands of the (Bride) and (Groom)
[Celebrant] Has (Bride) and (Groom) face and hold hands. These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love. Both holding each other on their wedding day, as each will promise to love the other for the rest of their life. These are the hands that will open their hearts and love and cherish each other through life. These are the hands that will wipe the tears from their eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will comfort through illness, and share in the delights of life. These are the hands that will hold their children in tender love. These are the hands that will work together, to build their future, as they laugh and cry together, as they share their innermost secrets and dreams. And it is these hands that will carry them to their destiny.

Declaration of Marriage
[Celebrant] Ensures (Best Man) has rings ready.
[Celebrant] Do you take (Bride) to be your wedded wife and to live together in marriage?
[Groom] I do
[Celebrant] Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honour and keep her. For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health?
[Groom] I do
[Celebrant] And forsaking all others, be faithful only to her? So long as you both shall live?
[Groom] I do
[Place Ring on Finger]
[Celebrant] Do you take (Groom) to be your wedded husband and to live together in marriage?
[Bride] I do
[Celebrant] Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him. For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health?
[Bride] I do
[Celebrant] And forsaking all others, be faithful only to him? So long as you both shall live?
[Bride] I do
[Place Ring on Finger]

Announced Married
[Celebrant] Ladies and Gentlemen, (Bride) and (Groom) have declared before us their lifelong commitment. They have symbolized this by the joining of their hands, taking their vows and exchanging their rings. I now pronounce them as husband and wife. (Groom), You may now kiss your (Bride)!

Signing of the Register and Certificates

Final Blessing
May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring.
May you always need one another but not to fill an emptiness.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you have happiness, and find it with one another.

Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.

Marriage is the blending of hearts and the union of two lives as one. Your marriage must stand, not by the authority of the state nor by my words, but by the strength of your shared love and the power to make it stand the test of time. It is love that brought you here today and it is only love which will make it a glorious union.

On behalf of all your families and friends here today, I pass on our blessing and best wishes for you both – forevermore.

(Groom) with (Bride)
Following, (Best Man) with (Bridesmaid)

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