M e r c e d e s & P a t r i c k
P a r t T w o
F r o m T h e B r i d e
Photographer & Photography...
Our photographers were Todd and Alyda from Todd Hunter McGaw. We were lucky, we had been exposed to a great network of wedding photographers through the weddings of family and friends.... So once we started looking we came across Todd and Alyda and we knew we wanted them. We didn't plan to have a videographer, so we really wanted to find a photographer that could capture the spirit of the day candidly and be part of the action. An email, skype chat later and they were secured. They were actually the first thing we organised.
They captured the day perfectly and without being forced. Not only were they super awesome to hang out with on the day, but the photos just captured us so well in the moment. Even though it was unseasonably freezing on the day of our wedding and at one point Alyda had to ward away angry pregnant cows... when I look back at our photos we are transported back to our wonderful day. The photos capture every little detail of our day, gorgeous, candid photos of our family and loved ones and every photo just shows how much love, laughs and smiles happened during our day and as soon as you look at the photos you see that.
The country ballroom was just stunning. As soon as we walked in we knew it only needed some small added elements. We filled the room with guests on long tables, but not too long so the guests could still talk to each other. The tables and chairs were simple white, friends of ours had hessian table runners they cut together for their wedding so we were lucky enough to get those. We put thin flower boxes along the tables, surrounded by candles.
The room was very full, so I wanted to bring most of the theming up. We spoke with Michelle from Affair with George about how to bring the flowers up into the roof. The result was gorgeous ivy and flowers with hanging candles in glasses. It was stunning. Patty the owner placed simple flowers around the room with candles, and with the roaring flame of the fire place, on a cold spring night, it was amazing.
We had planned to take the dancing outside under this big beautiful tree... but it was just too cold so we simply pulled a table out and danced in the ballroom.
I (Mercedes) run an Incentive Marketing and Events company, so I had a pretty clear concept of how I wanted to decorate the room with minimum fuss and cost. I know what decorations can cost... so as the flowers did a lot of the work... the rest we sourced from various Etsy stores, we then brought all the elements together and sat on the couch to hand make the place names etc.
Our caterer had all the contacts for the furniture we needed to bring in and we set out a really structured guide and layout of how we wanted the room laid out and the tables. To the point where we laid it out on our table at home and took photos. Patty who owns the property helped us set it up the day before.... We were so lucky our suppliers were so helpful, it took a lot off pressure of us.
On the Menu...
We wanted to create a really relaxed sit-down dinner like we would serve at home (but obviously chef standard) with locally sourced food. I (Mercedes) also has quite hard dietary requirements, dairy and gluten free, and I wanted to make sure I could eat everything on the menu without feeling like I missed out... the fun of being the bride. Plus a lot of my family mirror my dietary requirements.
Because we had the opportunity to bring everything we want into the venue, we were able to find a caterer who fit all our wants. We found our caterer Leonie, of Sassy Catering, whom could put up with my fussy dietary requirements, but was really happy to do our dinner a little different.
All of the food was sourced locally and we removed alternate served mains and had big platters of food for everyone to share off. Dessert was a side table with a selection of cakes, cheese and sorbet in cones.... When it was time for dessert, we also had to take one table out to have room for dancing.. so it was perfect that people could just go and grab what they wanted. One of our favourite things was seeing everyone on the dance floor enjoying homemade sorbet in ice-cream cones!
Each guest/ couple received local mini jam jars from Montrose Berry Farm down the road from our venue. We had little tags printed with a simple 'Thank you'.
All of it was memorable.
The thing that has really stayed with us, is that when planning your big day you don't really get to stop and realise how much fun you will have as a couple... we found that we planned our perfect day surrounded by all of our favourite people, in a beautiful setting with amazing food and music - all while making the biggest commitment to each other and marrying the love of our lives. It was our most perfect day.
We picked a real mix of music. We had The White Tree Band who made our day come alive with our choice of music.
I walked down the aisle to Can't Help Falling in love With You, sung with guitar. We had a mix of quite chilled music during canapés while the guests were waiting outside... some of our requests were bands like Angus and Julia Stone, Kings of Convenience, XX and some more classic romantic tunes. (We didn't hear this as we were off getting photos taken!) Our friend Matt made a mix CD of chilled out romantic songs and then the band was AMAZING with every party hit you could want.. and lots of classics so everyone could dance. We even had a bit of Greek music for some Greek dancing for Mercedes' side of the family.
After the Wedding..
Summerlees has a gorgeous little house on the property where we stayed from the Friday night and we left on Monday. At the end of the night we were able to say goodbye to our last guests and just walk back together hand in hand. Patty had setup a warm fire for us, cleaned up the chaos of wedding prep... so we could just sit down and talk about everything that had happened that day.
We had two honeymoons. The week after the wedding we drove to Byron Bay and had a lovely break at a gorgeous small property up in the hinterlands. It was a great way to unwind and to just take in everything from the wedding... and call each other Husband and Wife whenever we had the opportunity.
Then in February 2013, we took three weeks and went to New York, skiing in Whistler and Seattle.
To be as in love and more than we were on our wedding day. Really, that's it. We have so many plans like start a family, buy our dream house, continue our careers and build our life together. But the key is to be together, be bestfriends and very much in love.
Photographer Todd Hunter McGaw Ceremony + Reception Venue Summerlees Estate Bride's Dress Anaessia Bridesmaid Dresses Grandma Takes a Trip Hair + Makeup Andriana Demetrius with assistant Mandy Nichols
Represented by Ferrari Creative Groom + Groomsmen Suits The Cloakroom Flowers Affair With George Catering Sassy Catering Entertainment The White Tree Band Wedding Favours Montrose Berry Farm
Did you see part I of Patrick and Mercedes Southern Highlands Wedding? Check it out here.