Early this year I was asked by a very special young lady if I could quote on her Wedding Flowers, I had been lucky enough to do her Sisters Wedding flowers, which rates as one of the highlights of my career and therefore I did not hesitate. Rae was studying in Chicago so it was emails and telephone calls, not meeting face to face until 5 weeks out from the Wedding, however it was the first phone call that made my heart skip a beat and I knew that I wanted to be part of this very special weekend, it was the love I could hear in her voice, the fact that they were wanting to spend so much time with their guests and that it was so different to anything else I had been part of or seen in Perth.
So after months of planning, Rae & Shane's wedding weekend had arrived. Last minute checks and confirmation phone calls were made, stock arrived in all shapes and colours and the excitement reached fever pitch.
Early Friday Steph, Jel & I packed up our gorgeous new van and the 4WD to the brim and we headed off on our 3 day adventure. After a quick stop at The Donnybrook family bakery to pick up 40 freshly baked loaves and 3.5 hours of driving south-east amongst some of the most beautiful scenery, we arrived at Donnely River. And what a place….simply breathtaking. Donnely River is an old closed Timber Mill that has been left in its original state, our home for the next 3 days.... a rustic little cottage set amongst the bush, we were so excited.
Stunning Apple Blossom on the roadside, we just couldn't help ourselves...
Our first stop was to where the reception was being held, an old workers hall, to put together the welcome packs for each of the 31 cottages which would house most of the 187 guests for the weekend. Each house received a pack full of goodness, wine, cheeses, crackers, freshly baked bread and fresh flowers oh and not to mention bags of roo, bird and emu feed for the very friendly wildlife. After delivering the packs and having a quick catch up with the bride and groom it was back to our cottage to unload, light the fire and prep for the next day’s activities.
Workers cottage - taken from the woodheap, yes we had to chop wood too!
We were delighted to see this stunning Camelia tree outside our kitchen window.
Saturday morning we started making the bouquets and organising flowers for the wine and food tasting, it was then in to the Emporium Bistro in Bridgetown to set up for dinner for all the guests.
We loved the hand stamped details
Local produce tasting at the old school.
Many guests had travelled from overseas and Rae and Shane wanted a very relaxed evening and a chance to talk to all their guests knowing how hard that can be on the Wedding Day, so Saturday night was a fun night of local cider, pies and pizza along with some great music. I think this was a great idea, especially when it is a large Wedding and people have come so far.
I had ran an idea by Rae for this dinner and she had loved the concept, for once I felt I could truly express myself as a florist and more importantly a stylist as there was little florals in this one and I got to style the whole room with no interruption we even decorated the window box. We created a very long feature table of herbs, ferns, succulents and gorgeous wood and hundreds of tea lights. Everyone loved it!!!
A sneak peak of the table, the photo doesnt do it justice, but for now it will do.
After only a few hours sleep we were all up and ready for the big day. It was freezing cold, so we threw on our warmest clothes, tied our hair up and off we went (our new Hunter boots served us well). Janelle headed off to do the make up while the two of us snuck into the reception venue to decorate. The Bride had spent months collecting vintage white glass vases and collectables to create a unique and truly vintage atmosphere. Then it was flower time, we finished all the rooms off, flowers in vases, hanging in the windows, flowers on ladders.....there were just pretty flowers everywhere, our dream job!
Loved this....the reception was a gourmet barbeque, smelt divine....
Finishing touches were made to the bouquets and we set off on foot down the road with arms full of bouquets to the Bride’s cottage. It isn’t often that you find yourself walking down the road, amongst the bush and wildlife to hand deliver the bridal bouquets! The girls were so excited to see us and were wrapped with their flowers, but the best and biggest reaction came from the gorgeous Bride who couldn’t see us at first because she was getting her hair done, (incredible braids, so lovely) when I stepped into view holding her stunning bouquet she was literally shaking with happiness. Her words were "it’s so much fun!" It was one of many true ‘goose bumps’ moments! I had nailed the brief, fun, vintage and complimentary to their styling, she was just glowing and I felt incredibly happy.
We raced off to set up the hot chocolate station at the ceremony, then showered, changed and raced back to start handing out hot chocolate as the guests started arriving. It was a huge hit especially because it was so cold. Guests seated themselves in a circle on hay bales while the bush band kept everyone entertained. Bunting made by the brides Mother was strung between the trees, and an old chandelier was suspended from the towering eucalypts over where the ceremony would take place. Rae wore an antique dress from 1900, she was absolutely breathtaking, the bridemaids were mismatched vintage dresses in different colours and well the Groom and Groomsmen, lets just say, it was pretty cute, I am not showing you as I am waiting for the professional images as our hurried shots just don’t do it justice. I know it’s a tease, but really it will be worth the wait, the amazing Leah Kua from Sydney was present for the three days and we just know her images are going to be outstanding.
Bouquets lined up in our cottage before delivery and the ceremony setup....
I will sign off by saying this was one of the most heartfelt weddings I have been part of, every little detail was done to perfection and with so much thought and love. The bride worked so hard to put this all together, she described it as more work than her four years of college and it truly showed, it wasn’t about being extravagant or spending a lot of money, it was about reflecting Rae and Shane's love and for everyone to have a wonderful time and that they did. I feel blessed I was able to be a part of such a special Wedding.
Nat & my amazing Team