Real Wedding; Laura and Mitch @ Seacliff House
About You Two;
Now, How did you two meet?
We met through mutual friends 8 years ago. I (Laura) was living with two of Mitch’s friends and Mitch suddenly became a very frequent visitor to those friends when I met him after moving in…Mitch then went travelling overseas for 6 months and happened to slide into my DMs whilst he was on his travels. I also went to Greece and our attempt to catch up overseas was a fail and had to wait until Mitch returned. On his return he walked into my then workplace with a scruffy traveller’s beard and opened his sentence with “hey…wanna catch up on Friday?”, to my response was a nervous, “sure…but can you shave your beard off?”. I thought this would be the ultimate test to see if he is serious. Our first date rolled around, and I was soooo nervous. He picked me up, we went to dinner and towards then end of the amazing date he said…you didn’t even notice my beards gone. I totally didn’t. He could have kept his beloved beard. But we’re married now so I guess he was serious ?
Who popped the Question and how did it happen?
Our proposal took place in the Daintree National Park at Mossman Gorge. We were away for a much needed holiday, it was our last day in Port Douglas and we decided to do the Mossman Gorge walk, along the track we wondered off to a secluded area looking over the rapids getting some insta-worthy pics and little did I know as I was looking out at the view I turned around to see Mitch on his knee not with a camera in hand but with a ring asking me to be his forever. So to forever I said YES with a few tears in between.
Why did you choose your venue and how was the venue choosing process?
This was most definitely a process. Seacliff House was my dream wedding venue and it was the very first venue I enquired about. When I received the quote, I thought oooft, that might be a bit pricey, so I began the tumultuous task of emailing a MILLION different venues, to eventually realise that it not only was that the standard price for most similar venues, but it was actually better value for what was included. It was a no-brainer.
Experiencing the days leading up to and the day of our wedding amongst the rolling green hills of Gerringong was a scene I will never forget. Every sunrise and sunset was picturesque.
Ultimately the reasons we chose this venue was practicality – having ceremony, reception and bridal accommodation all at the same place; flexibility – We could DIY as much as we wanted; Location- close to Wollongong, Kiama, Gerroa; Vendors – endless options to select vendors. One suggestion I’d give is book an extra night following the wedding to wind down and not rush to leave the next day.
Quick Fire Questions;
How many wedding guests did you have?
Sit down or Cocktail Style?
Planning The Wedding;
Was planning the wedding stressful or did you enjoy the journey?
I am yet to meet these magical unicorns who say wedding planning is enjoying haha!
I found planning quite stressful. I think from the start I made the mistake of taking on too much by myself. I had the mentality of – it’ll just be double handling if I get someone to help because they will end up asking me what to do or what we want any way so I may as well just do it. When in reality even if someone shoots some emails off for you it is super helpful. If I had my time over again, I would make a strategic plan and allocate jobs to people and give them a brief concept of what I was hoping for and hand the reigns over.
All the stressful moments I had with planning absolutely flew out the window on the day because it all worked the way we planned. My suggestion – book and wedding coordinator early (absolute life saver).
How involved were you both in the wedding planning, did one of you take more of the lead on certain aspects then others or were you both equally involved?
I (Laura) took the lead on the planning. Whenever I was stumped for ideas or finding certain vendors, I knew it was time to get help. I would find I’d get caught in a rabbit hole of looking for things for instance musicians. I would say I listened and looked up countless musicians and just couldn’t narrow it down, so I got my partner on board and we ended up getting the first one he found!! – Same thing happened with the cake. Sometimes you need fresh eyes and ruthlessness to make a decision. I also found writing a visual list of things to do it would prompt my partner to chip in on the planning.
What was the top couple of non-negotiables or important must-have’s at the wedding for you both?
Non-negotiables for our wedding were:
– No formal seating. Canape style. I wanted it to be a party. Not a ridged formal event, though still have that touch of elegance. We had a mix of bar tables, lounges, ottomans, wine barrels and some regular dining tables for the oldies.
-Cocktails!! – We wanted espresso martinis with dessert and passion fruit caprioskas for appetisers.
– Champagne tower – I always wanted to do one, so one of our friends set one up for us! Legend!
– Relaxed photography and videography – Matt Ashton and Ben Rainford absolutely nailed the brief.
Tell us about your dress and that dress-finding process?
As the bride, the hunt for ‘the’ dress was at first fun, exciting, hilarious, which evolved into daunting, stressy, worrying and finally ending with an unexpected find and so happy! The journey spontaneously started with my bridesmaids a day after a wine tour… we thought …why not and booked into some stores last minute. The first was an absolute disaster and hilarious to say the least, we had no idea what we were looking for so we tried what felt like everything. The next store was slightly better but still unsuccessful *insert hangover kicking in*, we went to one last store where I thought I actually found the “one”….though it was not to be, I just knew it was quite right. Then our mate Covid hit. There was one store I followed on Instagram I thought I will just try it and see how I go. Covid had all my bridesmaids locked away from me *insert sad face*, I decided I would go by myself. An experience I surprisingly enjoyed (love my bridesmaids and mum but ya girls independent ? – sometimes ?). This store was Love Marie Bridal in Camden. The store owner was Amy. She actually suggested the dress to try and I thought it was going to be too plain. I was going for a more princess dress style. When I tried it on, I was so surprised, and I truly tried to convince myself that it wasn’t the type I wanted but I kept being drawn back to it. I returned with my Mum and maid of honour and not long after and made the decision I was so excited I bought the dress and left the shop and forgot my bra. I came running into the next bride’s appointment and yelled sorry I forgot my bra!! – as I waved it in the air running back out. Champagne was had, I got my dress and I LOVED IT!
What sort of theme, vibe or style did you go for?
We went for a relaxed canapé vibe. Think soft pinks, whitewashes, toffee roses and elegant boho décor. I had an image in my head and a rather extensive Pinterest board to guide me hah! It was hard to picture it all together when your hiring items online and only having visit the venue once but with the canvas that is Seacliff House you really just compliment the place with anything you add. Wedding Event Creators were additionally very familiar with SCH so bouncing ideas off them and getting suggestions was so helpful.
On the Day;
How did you both feel wedding morning?
Laura – I felt complete calm the morning of the wedding. Everything had come to fruition and the ball was rolling beautifully, all I had to do was go with the flow. It was weird to not see my partner the morning of. When big things happen in your life you usually have your partner by you, and it felt weird not having him there, but it made it that much more special when I saw him at the end of the isle. Plus, I had the most supportive bridal party and mum experiencing the morning getting ready together.
Mitch – I had a very early wake up, I was kicked out of the ‘girls house’ so I didn’t see my bride to be yet. I was so nervous. I am not one that likes the spotlight, and introvert if you will, so the thought of the upcoming day was overwhelming. The boys took me out and we went for a swim at the beach, played some footy and the nerves subsided. Getting ready was pretty cruisy, I had the groomsmen and my family with me, a perfect start to the best day of my life.
What was the best part or moment of your day?
Laura – CAN I SAY THE WHOLE DAY. Seriously it was all my favourite (que happy tears). Walking down to marry my man, seeing his eyes when he said, “I do”, getting our photos on the beach, laughing at the best speeches, dancing the night away and just, well, everything!!
Mitch- The whole day went so quick, its over in a flash when you look back on it. What I remember most about the day was when my gorgeous wife was walking down the aisle. That’s my fondest memory, it was like time stood still as I was watching her every step getting closer and closer. I couldn’t wait to just hold her hands and tell her how beautiful she was in that moment.
Anything you would change about your wedding or anything that didn’t go to plan?
Absolutely nothing! We are so very lucky!
Are there any rituals, sentiments or traditions you incorporated into the day?
I had a couple of heirlooms included. I had a pendant my grandfather gave my grandmother when she was 17, my grandmother then gifted that to me on my 17th. It was around my bouquet. My grandmother also lent me the wedding cake knife that cut her mother’s wedding cake, over 100 years ago.
Another element was my veil. My Yaiyai, my mother’s late mother, always wished to buy my veil. My mum told me this the day I went to get my veil, before my Yaiyai passed she gave mum money to buy it for me. I stitched a ‘Y’ on the veil in blue to resemble her on the day. I miss her dearly.
After the Wedding;
Describe newlywed life in a couple of words?
Not a whole lot is different just this generally overall feeling of being a whole unit. More of a team!
Best investment or money well spent on the wedding that you made?
Wedding Coordinator FOR SURE. I would have paid double for Vanessa, Jade and the set-up boys from wed event. They made everything seamless. The prep leading up to the wedding, getting all of the hire furniture, décor, practical items, run sheets, set up maps etc was the base for a successful wedding. Vanessa was so damn efficient and had the patience of an angel. Jade was the magic fairy who made the day perfect. As soon as I met Jade the day before a sense of relief overcame me, if something went wrong or there was a slip up with anything I had no idea and that’s because Jade covered it all. We were so thankful!
Budget-over, under or what you estimated?
Hmmm how do I put this. We had a preferable budget, the expected budget and the over budget, budgets. We came in at expected budget. We would have liked to spend less than we did but we wouldn’t have changed a thing, so the expenses were necessary, and we have no regrets.