How did you meet?
We went to high school together but the first time we ever really talked was when Melissa gave Jeremy a Christmas card at the end of year 8.
He was so stoked! From there, we spent the next 18 months flirting in class, chatting each other up via emails (and MSN messenger…), and talking on the phone until our parents kicked us off. Finally, Jeremy built up enough courage to awkwardly blurt out “I think I might like you.” We have been together ever since.
How did he/she propose?’
Melissa had been in Tanzania on a University Elective for 4 weeks. Jeremy came over to meet her with the ring in his backpack.
He proposed on the second night he was there. We were in Zanzibar and had spent an amazing day on a Spice farm and then wandering around Stone Town.
We were watching the sunset over the ocean at a roof top bar when Jeremy popped the question.
Tell us about the wedding dress?
My dress was a Roz La Kelin gown from Penrith Bridal house.It was light gold satin with an ivory lace overlay and it had a keyhole back with cap sleeves.
I wasn’t sure I wanted a traditional bridal gown with a train and a veil, but when I tried it on it was love at first sight.
Tell us about the ceremony?
The ceremony was held between the urns at The Sebel Kirkton Park overlooking the beautiful Brokenback Ranges.
The weather was gorgeous and we were surrounded by a closest family and friends. We wrote our own vows and chose songs that we both love (even though they may not be typical wedding songs). Our celebrant, Kate Muller, did a fantastic job of writing our ceremony to reflect who we are as a couple and our sense of humour.
It was a very personal ceremony filled with love, joy and lots of happy tears.
Thankfully, Melissa’s Mum had crocheted lots of pretty handkerchiefs that we had hanging on a stand. Guests were able to take one as a keepsake if they wished.
Tell us about the reception?
The reception was held in the Hunter Rothbury room at The Sebel Kirkton Park.
We had a three course sit down meal followed by a lot of dancing! We couldn’t be happier with our two piece band (Keystring Entertainment), they promised us a packed dance floor and they certainly delivered.
We had quite a few children at our wedding, which was really great. They were on the dance floor before the sun set and the adults weren’t far behind…
We were also so happy that we organised a photo-booth. Everyone had a lot of fun with it! A highlight for us was looking through our guest book on the day after the wedding and laughing uncontrollably at the photos and messages our guests have left us.
We still chuckle when we look at it nearly a year later.
What was the most memorable moment?
Our most memorable moment was seeing each other from the end of the aisle.
Melissa: I remember walking down the aisle with my Dad and seeing Jeremy at the other end. I was smiling, crying, hyperventilating and bursting with excitement all at the same time. I couldn’t get to the end of the aisle quick enough.
We definitely kissed before our cue!
Jeremy: I hate to say the same moment but it is really hard to go past seeing Melissa in her dress for the first time. I couldn’t have been happier seeing her come around the corner and walk down the aisle. I still maintain that I didn’t cry but apparently that is up for debate.
Music was a big part of our wedding as we are both heavily into our music. We wanted to make sure that we picked songs we both really enjoy. This led to a good mix of unconventional wedding songs that still fitted the occasion. Artists that made the cut include Black Sabbath, classical versions of Metallica, David Gilmour, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the Ramones at key moments.
The main ones however were:
Walking down the aisle- Stretchmarker by Baroness
Signing the Register- Over the hills and far away- Led Zeppelin
Leaving the ceremony- Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
First Dance- Just a Boy by Angus and Julia Stone
What was your colour theme and colour palette if applicable?
Red, Ivory and black. We tried to create a vintage feel to our day.
Our bridesmaids wore red lace vintage style dresses from Newcastle Bridal House.
They reminded Melissa of Betty Draper from Mad Men.
The groomsmen wore classic black suits, white shirts with black ties. So that Jeremy stood out, he wore a black polka dot tie.
The flower girls wore ivory dresses with little red shoes and red and ivory flower crowns.
Did you use a wedding planner for all or part of planning your wedding?
We planned it ourselves but Shae, the wedding coordinator from the Sebel Kirkton Park, did an amazing job of making sure everything ran according to plan on the day.
We had so much fun planning our wedding and made a lot of the decorations ourselves.
We polished silver plates from op shops for centerpieces and made vases from tin cans and sticks which we collected with our page boy.
We also made gift bags for each of the children. We had a collection of photos from our parent’s, grandparent’s and great grand parent’s weddings.
We also had a few photos of us when we were younger and certainly less fashionable. Think terrible mullets and dressing up as a bride in a curtain.
We displayed these in the foyer outside of reception room in mismatched frames from op shops.
Melissa and both of our Mum’s had a production line to make over 100m of bunting which was draped from the ceiling. This was really special as it was made from material, lace, handkerchiefs and doilies from that were collected from our mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers and great aunts. Jeremy’s mum is in the process of turning it into a quilt for us to keep. She is very clever!
Did you have a budget and were you able to stick to it?
We had a budget that we largely stuck too. We weren’t super strict with things so did go slightly over but not by a significant amount.
What did you do for your Hens & Bucks Parties?
Jeremy and his mates had a day of Paintball in the Hunter, followed by dinner at Chook and Brewsky and drinks out in Newcastle.
Melissa had a girls weekend in Brisbane. Three of my bridesmaids live in QLD and we needed to get together for them to try on their dresses and to get their shoes. What better excuse did we need? There was 10 of us in total and my maid of honour planned an 80’s jazz dance class followed by dinner, drinks and more dancing. We all dressed up in horrific 80’s dresses and teased and crimped our hair to match. I wore a short 80’s wedding dress with an enormous bow and huge veil. In our dance class we learned a choreographed dance which we busted out at the wedding reception. It was the best night out!
Where did/will you go on your Honeymoon & which travel agent did you book your honeymoon through:
We went to Malaysian Borneo for 4 weeks. We had a week of relaxing at The Shangri La Rasa Ria resort followed by three weeks of adventure: wildlife watching , hiking and backpacking through Sabah and Sarawak.
We booked the trip ourselves.
Thierry is an amazing photographer and we were so thrilled when we received our photos and our album.
We first saw his photos in the hunter valley wedding planner and then we looked at his website. We knew he would do a great job as his photos speak for themselves. What we didn’t know when we booked with him was that he is a really nice guy and a total wedding expert.
If you are going to spend a large proportion of your wedding day with someone other than your husband/wife, you want them to be a top bloke like Thierry.
Thierry made us feel comfortable, he made us laugh and we had a lot of fun driving around paddocks in his 4WD in search of the perfect photo opportunity. He arranged the usually painful group photos with expert precision. Not only that, but when the hook and eye on my dress kept coming undone, Thierry had a needle and thread and stitched it up.
When I got bitten by a green ant during our group photos, who had some stingose? Thierry.
We could not recommend him highly enough.
Tell us about your planning process?
We found most of our suppliers in the Hunter Valley Wedding Planner magazine. The others we found through google and their websites/ facebook pages.
Did you or your guests have to travel to the Hunter Region for the wedding?
Almost all of our guests had to travel to the Hunter region, including ourselves as we live on the Central Coast. Our guests came from a range of places including Lithgow and Central NSW, Sydney, Port Macquarie, Melbourne and North QLD. A few were from Newcastle and the Hunter as well. The majority of our guests stayed at The Sebel Kirkton Park.
Where possible, could you also provide details of any ‘tourist’ style activities you and/or your guests were able to fit in whilst visiting the area (e.g. wine tasting, tours, shopping, dining, exploring, etc).
With all the planning and getting ready we didn’t get to do too many ‘touristy’ things prior to the wedding. However, we did have a dinner the night before which a lot of people attended at Harrigan’s Irish Pub. It was a great night and a good opportunity for everyone to get together and see each other before the wedding. There was a live band that night and a jumping castle which worked really well for our guests with young kids. A few guests were able to fit in a visit to some of the wineries on the day of the wedding prior to kick off.
Despite Jeremy telling people for months that the wedding was “His big day” and “all about him”, he really went out of his way to make me feel special on the day.
After he proposed in Tanzania he bought 2 small Tanzanite stones and brought them back to Australia. He asked his very talented cousin Cheree (a Jewellery designer ) to make them into earrings for me to wear on the wedding day as my “something blue”. Cheree delivered them to me on the night before the wedding! They are so special to me. I hope that one day I have a daughter/daughter in law to hand them down to as their “something old”. Cheree also made Jeremy special red cufflinks as a gift to wear his big day.
WEDDING SUPPLIER DETAILS
The Sebel Kirkton Park
The Sebel Kirkton Park
The Sebel Kirkton Park
Kate Muller from Spark Ceremonies
Theming and Event Hire
Affections Wedding and Event Hire
Angel Blooms Wedding Floristry
Stationary and bonbonniere
Penrith Bridal Centre
Newcastle Bridal House
Wedding & Engagement Rings
Michael Hill Jewelers
A Piece of Work – by Cheree Edwards
Hair and Make up
Belinda Vangelov – Hair Stylest, Courtney Slaven – Makeup
Entertainment and Music Ceremony
Entertainment and Music Reception
Wedding Night Accomodation
The Sebel Kirkton Park
Wedding Event Planner
Any Other Suppliers Used
Booth Pro by Thierry Boudan photography