11/12/2004 – The lawn by Wategoes Beach, Byron Bay, Australia Private house in the New South Wales Hinterland
How and when did you meet?
Scott and I met in Sydney (we are both Australian) while working for the same company. We knew each other for about two years but both had respective partners so we never went further than a little office flirtation. He resigned to move overseas and asked me out two weeks before he left. I went to lunch with him, left my boyfriend of four years, quit my job, sold my car and came overseas too! That was six years ago.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
We go back to Sydney every year to see family and friends. We went back for Easter 2003 and he proposed then (on Good Friday which I now call Very Good Friday).
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
We did. He went to Latvia with 30 mates. My girlfriend threw the best hen night ever for me (it was all a surprise). On Saturday morning she picked me up and we went for lunch in Notting Hill where we met about 16 others. We all had itinerary tags to wear around our necks. From lunch we went to a gorgeous serviced apartment in town to change clothes. We then went onto pole dancing lessons, then a private Thai dining room for dinner, then karaoke, then a club then back to the apartment. On Sunday morning she had booked the private screening room at One Aldwych just for eight of us. We watched Dirty Dancing and ate popcorn. Then we had lunch in Covent Garden and a trip to the Australia shop, then home where I slept for almost 20 hours solid.
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
He was fantastic. He proposed in Sydney the day before we flew back to London so we spent 24 hours on a plane side by side organising the whole thing. By the time we landed at Heathrow, we had the guest list written, venues narrowed down, theme chosen, wedding party selected, jobs for other family members – everything! He was very involved.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
Not to plan the wedding. We had a wedding planner based in Australia (because we were here in London 12,000 miles away) but confetti provided lots of creative inspiration!
Do you have a confetti web page?
No. We had our own website www.rachaelandscottswedding.com
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Absolutely. I visited the store and bought cameras, umbrellas, party poppers…loads of stuff! Then I sent it in a huge box back to Australia.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
I tried on six dresses and it was the sixth one I tried on! The dress was made so perfectly from my measurements, that I didn’t need any fittings. Not one. I carried my dress all the way back to Australia and when I got there it was still in perfect condition. I pulled it out of the bag on the day and put it on. So easy.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I did. I had two and they wore musty pink coloured dresses from Monsoon that matched mine. We got them in the sale – reduced from £160 to less than £40 each. They were gorgeous, fit perfectly and travelled to Australia beautifully.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
The groom and groomsmen wore white trousers from Zara and pink, watermelon and white shirts from Ted Baker. We got married on the beach near Byron Bay so the outfits were all very summery. It was almost 40 degrees on the day.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a civil ceremony.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
On the lawn by Wategoes Beach near Byron Bay under a beautiful white umbrella with shells and frangipani flowers hanging from the trees.
Where did you hold your reception?
The reception was held in a private house in the NSW Hinterland. The house was designed by a Sydney interior designer in antique balinese furniture. The house was situated on 26 acres amidst the Australian bush and a frangipani farm. It was incredibly unique and very special.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We hired two air-conditioned coaches for the guests. Our wedding party travelled on the coaches with the guests which was lots of fun for them. The groom and I travelled in my dad’s car. He has a nice Mercedes 4WD and, living in Australia, I don’t get to travel in it that often!
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 120 people at the wedding. In Australia we don’t separate the wedding into day and evening. Everyone came to everything.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The reception was themed summery and colourful. We had coloured Moroccan lanterns hanging in the trees and tea light candles in the garden of the house everywhere. I didn’t want tables numbered, so each table was a colour (pink, red, yellow, green, aqua etc). Everyone felt special that way (ie, there was no one on table 16!) and it was all very colourful!
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
Each table had its own coloured ribbons wrapped around a white napkin and their own coloured place cards. I incorporated the beach by having fishbowls as the centre pieces filled with sand, frangipanis, shells, starfish and candles.
Did you give your guests favours?
Yes. Each lady received a scented frangipani candle.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
As above. My bouquet had white frangipanis and gardenias (very scented) and the bridesmaids carried pink frangipanis. We had a frangipani lai for the groom and Singapore orchid buttonholes for the mums and grannies.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We had fantastic caterers who met our every need. We had canapes initially – very fresh, seafood and Australian such as freshly chucked pacific oysters with native finger lime and sweet ginger; sesame salmon and caramalised leek riceless nori tempura with a sweet wasabi oil; spinach, mustard, feta and pinenut pastries served with a basil and lime yoghurt. For the main course, each guest chose from a menu. The choice was either char-grilled free range chicken breast encrusted with crushed macadamia nuts and pepperberries; black and white sesame encrusted snapper served; or organic eye fillet in white wine and fresh herbs with roasted pumpkin and walnut salad. Puddings were shared platters of scrumptious sweet treats.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
We had 120 cup cakes arranged on a four-tier cake stand, decorated with white icing, fresh flowers and silver sugar balls.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a sting quartet play at the beach. At the reception we had a sax, singer, double bass and keyboard. One of our groomsmen wrote a song about how we met and about our life together which he performed. For the party we had a DJ.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We did, it was with an Australian department store.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent our first night in the reception house (called Coorabella) and we honeymooned in a tiny island off the Malaysian coast called Pangkor Laut. We had a villa built on stilts over the ocean.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Seeing all of our friends and my future husband standing in the beautiful sunshine with the ocean in the background waiting for me. After four days of unprecedented, torrential rain, the sunshine was an absolute blessing.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
We followed a wedding guide (purchased from a book store) which was a great idea. I’d recommend brides to think outside the box. Make it unique and ‘yours’. Don’t be pressured into doing anything you don’t want to do, or inviting anyone you don’t want to invite. We had ten family members there and 110 friends. It was perfect.