When Adam proposed in Colorado on June 5th, he wanted to get married on 11/11/11 for no better reason that it’s a cool date. Sounded great to me. We’d been together 6 years, why wait? And 11/11/11 is surely going to be a hard date to forget. As it turned out, it was an excellent idea because Parkinson’s Law applies equally to weddings as any other activity: planning and executing one will take as long as the time you allow for it. In our case, it took very little of our time because we basically delegated the whole thing to my mother, Fran (thanks Mum!)
And of course, we didn’t have just ONE big event. Why have a wedding day when you could have a wedding month? Being bi-coastal has it’s advantages, such as a legitimate reason to have two parties to celebrate a wedding. We also wanted to separate the ceremony from the parties – at most weddings we’ve been to, the bride and/or groom look exhausted by 10pm. So, that made it THREE events – the wedding (11 Nov), the Brisbane party (19 Nov) and the Perth party (26 Nov) – a wedding extravaganza!
Since only three people were at all three events (us and my Mum), we’ve put together this post with the whole story…
We opted to make the ceremony and reception a very small event: immediate family only, just fourteen people in all, including us. I’m sure this was a great relief to my mother, who had to plan the whole thing. It certainly helped us get organised too – turns out 11/11/11 was the most popular date to get married in 2011! Because the group was so small, everyone was able to stay in the same hotel as the reception, we could all use the one limo, no one got lost, no one was late (except the celebrant – no biggie) and, best of all, Adam and I could totally relax. The photographer told me I was ‘the most chilled out bride’ he’s ever seen – I take that as a compliment.
We left from Q1 in two batches – Filipich clan first, Whites/Stenhouse/Saunders clan second. Adam and I picked the location the week prior, electing to stand under the sheoaks in the dunes of Phillip Park (or ‘The Spit’ as it is known to the locals) and the setting was perfect – cool, calm, and intimate. We loved it.
I think the ceremony was lovely. I say ‘I think’ because it was a bit of a blur – I was preoccupied for part of it, alternating between trying not to cry (with joy of course!) and trying not to laugh at the celebrant’s incorrect pronunciation of my soon-to-be surname (I am now Mrs Filipeesh apparently). Fortunately I received some excellent advice from the incredible Amber Dotts Salisbury to get the ceremony taped, so I’ll verify it was lovely when I watch it again next week.
I do remember some parts vividly:
- Adam looked gorgeous, and I felt certain this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with
- Having to actively stop myself from singing along as I was walking down the aisle to ‘Sweet Thing’
- Fran and Jeneen’s readings (Kahlil Gibran’s ‘On Marriage’ and Apache Blessing respectively), which they each chose, and were incredibly thoughtful and moving
- Tom and Ben were brilliant ring bearers (thanks boys!) and looked incredibly cute
- Everyone had valiantly stuck to my request to wear pastel colours (thanks team!)
- Falling over when I bent down to hug Tom – my darned wedges sunk into the sand when I put my weight on the heels. I just hope they got it on video!
Following the ceremony, we did the official photos (again, super-easy with a small group), sent the family off to hang out at Q1 then joined them around 6pm for a catered dinner in the sub-penthouse.
Since pretty much everyone had to travel to the wedding, we decided to make a weekend of it: seafood buffet at Jupiters, a day trip to Dreamworld and a lot of lolling about in the sub-penthouse. Bliss…
In case anyone reading this is planning a wedding on the Gold Coast, I can happily make some recommendations:
- Jeff at A Digital Production did our video and was an absolute stand-out. He was professional, thorough and make the whole experience fun. Everyone commented on how lovely it was to have such a happy person involved in the day. And the DVD he produced is nothing short of stunning – thanks Jeff!
- Suzi Dent and her team for hair and make-up. It was impossible to be stressed with Suzi around (she’s hilarious) and she did such a great job.
- Charli at Vogue Limousines for transport. Another bubbly, professional person, she really made an effort to look after us and the limo was awesome!
- Jessica at Circle of Love Weddings to coordinate the set-up. Again, very professional and helpful, and the set-up was perfect – would not have changed a thing.
- Stuart at Wild By Nature Photography for photos – another relaxed, thoughtful person to have involved. The proofs on the website look fantastic, and I’m sure they’ll be even better when we get our copies of them (all the photos on this post are by our family and friends as we haven’t got Stuart’s ones yet).
- Clancy and Des at Catering by Clancy – no website, because he doesn’t have one (my hero!) The food was beautifully presented, absolutely delicious and everyone was very well looked after. Thanks for the recommendation, Robo!
For anyone planning a wedding anywhere, I can recommend ordering a dress from Peri Dress in China. Mine arrived 3 weeks after I ordered it, fit perfectly (I didn’t have any alternations – seriously!) and was beautifully made. They answered my email questions promptly and specifically. I was very impressed.
This was quite a small event – 25 people in all – but heaps of fun! We hired a room at the Chalk Hotel near the Gabba where Rebecca (the Functions Coordinator) looked after us brilliantly. We ended up kicking on there till after 3am! It was pretty much as you’d expect a party to be, so I’ll head straight to photos after a few specific thank yous to the people whose attendance necessitated a flight and/or long drive: Bec and Chris, Al and Lil, Becky, Peter and Gail, and Shasta – thanks guys, it was AWESOME to have you there! And an extra special thank you to Roy and Jackie, who flew all the way from Adelaide only to miss the big event due to a health issue.
With Adam’s extensive family, this was always going to be a bigger affair than the BrisVegas bash. We hired a room in Floreat, got a fantastic band re[TRIO]fit – the whole nine yards. It was brilliant! This time I think the furthest anyone had to travel was from Cowaramup, so it was slightly less taxing on our guests 🙂 Even though it was our third time cutting a cake and making speeches, we were still enjoying it, and had a fantastic time catching up with everyone. By the way, you all looked very spiffy!
And they lived happily ever after…
Well, it’s a work in progress. We’re in Busselton these days, eagerly awaiting a flood of visitors (hint, hint) and planning a honeymoon in June – coz we clearly haven’t had enough holiday/relaxation time.