Real Wedding; Samantha and Matthew @ Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat
About You Two;
Now, How did you two meet?
Matt and I met in Nelson Bay during primary school, in Year 3. We were friends back then, but then I relocated to QLD for many years. We reconnected in our early twenties back in Nelson Bay.
Who popped the question and how did it happen?
We were just finishing up on a little family holiday with our 1 year old at the time. Matt popped the question at his family holiday spot that he had been going to for many years.
Why did you choose your venue and how was the venue choosing process?
The venue choosing process was quite easy for us. Firstly we worked out approximately how many guests we would be having at our wedding and went searching for venues that could cater for that number. Another prerequisite that we had for our venue as that we didn’t want a curfew. We didn’t want us or our guests to be kicked out of the venue at a particular time, as we wanted the celebrations to continue into the early hours of the morning. We found Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat which had everything we could have wanted. It was the first, and only venue we inspected – we booked it that day.
Quick Fire Questions;
How many wedding guests did you have?
We had 87 guests.
Sit down or cocktail style?
Sit down banquet feast by Rabbit and Co Caterers – they were amazing. Not only the food, but the bar and waitstaff were wonderful.
Planning The Wedding;
Was planning the wedding stressful or did you enjoy the journey?
We really enjoyed most of the wedding planning process. We were very organised (well I – Sam was very organised) and kept on top of everything that I could. It wasn’t until the last month that things were getting a little stressful. As organised as we had been, last minute changes to RSVPs, table changes and going to and fro with emails made it a lot to keep up with. I really enjoyed planning components of the wedding and seeing it all come together, however I was worried that everything I had selected colour scheme wise etc wouldn’t come together and look good. As you don’t really see everything come together until that day. I had no need to worry though, everything was beautiful!
How involved were you both in the wedding planning, did one of you take more of the lead on certain aspects than others or were you both equally involved?
I (Sam) definitely took the lead in searching and finding aspects that I would liked for the wedding and took these to Matt. Then we would make the decisions together. I think Matt was pretty happy for me to take the lead and was blown away by what had been put together.
What was the top couple of non-negotiables or important must-have’s at the wedding for you both?
As I mentioned before, we wanted a venue without a curfew so we didn’t get kicked out as the celebrations were just starting. We also really wanted a venue were most of our guests could stay on site. All of our guests had to travel to Kangaroo Valley for our wedding, so we wanted to make a bit of a trip of it for everyone so everyone could soak up the celebrations with is. Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat hit both of these non negotiables for us.
Tell us about your dress and that dress-finding process?
I went to a Fashionably Yours Bridal in Sydney and had a number of dresses picked out. I started looking quite early as I was anxious that I wouldn’t find something that I loved. The first dress I tried on was the dress that I purchased. I was shocked when I walked out of the change room at how much I loved it. I tried on a few more dresses in the same shop, different styles just to make sure and I kept going back to that one. So I only went to one bridal store and ordered the first dress I tried on. It is a beautiful long sleeve, lace fit and flare, with a train.
What sort of theme, vibe or style did you go for?
I feel like it didn’t really hit a specific, definitive style (thanks to Vanessa for always helping me with taking my vision to reality with her styling advice). It was probably a combination of rustic and boho. Overall I just wanted a really earthy coloured wedding – and that is exactly what we got!
On the Day;
How did you both feel wedding morning?
Sam – I felt really good on the wedding morning. I didn’t really feel nervous at all. I was just so excited to get the day started and celebrate with all of our loved ones. The only few things that kept playing on my mind were our two little kids. It was a big, overwhelming couple of days and they were definitely feeling it. It was hard to juggle meeting their needs and taking in all the parts of the wedding.
Matt – I also felt very excited. I couldn’t wait to watch Sam walk down the aisle through the Rock Cathedral and see the wedding all come together.
What was the best part or moment of your day?
Sam – I loved everything, but really loved the ceremony. As windy as it was, there was just so much planning and time leading up to that moment that it was such a beautiful thing to finally experience. To hear Matt share his vows, was beautiful. I wish I could have bottled that moment up!
Matt – I loved literally every part of it!
Anything you would change about your wedding or anything that didn’t go to plan?
The main thing that didn’t go to plan was the weather – but who can plan that right? We had an exceptionally windy day! To the point where our videographer was not able to use their drone and we had to move our canapes to a different area to get some reprieve from the wind.
I also wished that I had organise some content creation for the day. Prior to our wedding I didn’t even know this was a thing! I am a super sentimental person and have tried to get every image and video that our guests took – but everyone was having too much fun to be on their phones. Which is great! But I wish had have known about, and organised some content creation. Just to get that raw, behind the scenes images and video that can be transferred pretty much straight away.
Our photography and videography will be well worth the wait! But in hindsight I wish I had organised some content creation as well!
After the Wedding;
Describe newlywed life in a couple of words?
With two little kids (2y and 4y) newlywed life is just as chaotic as it was before. There is no rest for the newly married, already parents. So not much has changed in our day to day life and we weren’t able to spend time away from the kids for a honeymoon. But this is definitely the season of our lives that we are in at the moment, and trying to soak it all up – as crazy as it can be.
Best investment or money well spent on the wedding that you made?
Our venue Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat was everything that we could have wanted. I could not have imagined myself getting married anywhere else so I feel like that investment was so worth it.
Budget-over, under or what you estimated?
We definitely went over budget from the initial plan, but it was all still money that we were happy to have spent and were ok with going over. I think we because we spent so much time planning our wedding all of the little things over those couple of years really added up and I kind of lost and accurate count.