Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The change for Coast to Country Weddings

April this year I changed the direction and look of CTCW to reflect our new direction. We now soley focus on sharing wedding news from the Southwest region of WA, from Bunbury to Margaret River and down to Albany.
The new website has all the great ideas you have come to expect with local real life wedding stories, wedding articles on how to plan a fantastic wedding, inspiration boards and details about the Southwest Wedding Fair. But we have changed our wedding service regions to include:
Albany to Denmark
Southwest - Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, Margaret River to Augusta
Bunbury & Ferguson Valley including surrounds
Southern Forests and surrounds.


On the new Coast to Country Weddings we have also created a new blog with heaps of new articles. We will no longer be updating this blog, so head over to see our latest ideas, comments and featured Southwest wedding suppliers and join me on my new adventure.
I look forward to speaking with you.
Nicole xx

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Destination: Southern Forests by Victoria Baker

The beautiful South West is the ultimate venue for a destination wedding; with an endless variety of picturesque gardens, native forest, rural farmland, beaches and boutique wineries the South West really is the best place to say “I do”. With something for everyone, your guests will not only be thrilled to share in your day but will be rejuvenated by a joyful and relaxing weekend. With a temperate climate and green rolling hills the South West makes an excellent choice for spring/autumn weddings.

When planning your destination wedding it pays to choose a location equipped to accommodate a large group. One such location is the historic Donnelly Village. Situated between Nannup and Bridgetown in the heart of the forest, Donnelly Mill has recently been converted into holiday village. Boasting a large function hall and cottages for all your guests, it is the ideal bush wedding venue. Towering Karri trees and a derelict timber mill make for wonderful photographic backdrops, and the simple unassuming charm of the location creates a wonderfully intimate and simple event. Rugged and vintage, the Mill is the perfect DIY location, the helpful staff give you the freedom to make the place your own and high-end outside catering is available locally though The Emporium of Bridgetown or Pips Pottery.

If an idyllic garden wedding is more your style, Toni and Roger (owners of The Emporium in Bridgetown) are happy to accommodate weddings on the stunning grounds of their own property, Trott’s Cottage. Trott’s is just 3kms north of Bridgetown on the South West highway and is currently undergoing refurbishment to add a restaurant. The gardens are full of wisteria and weeping willows, the perfect spot for a marquee. Bridgetown has a wide variety of accommodation from cheap and cheerful home stays to luxury cabins and bed and breakfasts. With the Blackwood River at its doorstep and a host of bustling shops, pubs and restaurants your guests will be delighted with Bridgetown

A little closer to Perth is the orchard town of Donnybrook. With stunning farm locations and manicured gardens such as those at the Berry Delightful Tearooms your wedding day can take place in an oasis. Local farmers in the area are accustomed to requests for farm weddings and will lease land at reasonable rates giving you the freedom to have your event your way.

With countryside that gets greener the more south you go, the hardest part will be narrowing down all the amazing options. With choices such as the century old bathing pool in Manjimup known as Fonty’s Pool, the culinary excellence of Foragers in Pemberton, the majestic rapids of Beedalup Falls, the Cascades or the stark but awe inspiring Big Brook Dam you may find your self overwhelmed by the options. To assist in your preparations and to give yourself a well earned break from wedding planning why not attend one of the South West’s many food and wine festivals, The Truffle Kerfuffle in Manjimup or ‘The Taste of Blackwood’ in Bridgetown will give you a great idea of the local produce and catering options as well as a chance to find that perfect spot to tie the knot. 

A seaside wedding is always a popular choice but can be overcrowded and over booked in wedding season. For a magical and quiet beach wedding look no further than Denmark. The town itself is small and friendly with breathtaking rock formations just out of town. A great choice for a reception there is Salt & Pepper at Forest Hill Vineyard, offering contemporary menu options in conjunction with fine wines or if you would prefer to keep it more down to earth, a host of breweries are available just a stones throw away.

A wedding day is one day you remember for a lifetime, so why not make it a holiday no one will ever forget! Article and all photos by Victoria Baker. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The moment I well up during the ceremony

I'm a big softy, I can't help but when two close friends say their vows to one another I have to focus on something other then the two people.  Church wedding's I tend to look at the roof ( I do this at funeral's as well) to take my full attention away from the words and emotion being expressed otherwise I will burst into tears. 
Picture source: Rob Holley Blog
It's at that moment I truly realise the promise these two people have made to one another and my emotion is rocked with pride and joy for them. 
I wonder do other people feel like this at weddings or am I an over sensitive person.

DIY Sweet Favours - Spring Flower Lollipops

We love this idea for DIY wedding favours – lollipops made with edible flowers. Easy-to-find and delicious edible flowers include basil, chamomile, hibiscus, lavender, marigolds, pansies, roses, violas, and violets.

Use organic, pesticide-free plants from nurseries and herb shops that offer organically grown flowers; pick them from a trusted friend's organic garden or your own. Then all you need is a lollipop mould and some basic ingredients!

Head to the Sprinkle Bakes blog to find out how to Do It Yourself.

DIY Book Planter with Succulents

Vintage and succulents are a really on-trend combo right now, and these easy DIY centerpieces would look amazing on some crisp white linen.

They are super easy to make and last long after the wedding! For detailed instructions, head to the Green Wedding Shoes blog.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Long standing love for wedding cars

Amanda and Brad from Chevrolet Limousines South West and Down South Luxury Wedding Limos have been driving wedding cars in the south west for NINE YEARS! Of course, we had to interview Amanda to find out what it’s like working with your husband every day in the high-pressure wedding industry, what to look for when booking a car, and most importantly, find out why they do what they do!

“We have both had a long standing passion for cars since childhood” says Amanda. “Cars, of course, are how we met and classic cars aren't just a hobby to us but our lifestyle. Our love of classic cars saw us buy our first '56 Chevy sedan Peggy Sue as a family cruiser in 2001 and we have travelled all over Australia in her with our kids.  After being constantly asked to use her for weddings we decided to register her legally to do so and thus started our company.”  Brad and Amanda are still growing their fleet with some exciting new additions coming soon, in addition to Peggy Sue there is also their 8 passenger '57 Chevy stretch limousine Marilyn and they’ve been joined by their friend Colin with his '57 Chevy sedan.

Amanda reckons the best part about the job is getting  to drive their pride and joys regularly, the amazing places they get to see and the people they get to meet. “We have met so many wonderful people from so many different walks of life and many are now good friends.” And the worst part?  “There is no worst part......well, OK, I admit I hate washing cars - just as well Brad doesn't mind it!!” says Amanda.

Well that all sounds peachy, but what about the stresses associated with working in such a high pressure situation as a wedding. We asked Amanda if she had any Bridezilla stories, which after 9 years it’s a miracle that there were none to share. But they have had a Mumzilla. She says “Things had reached such a level that the bride didn't even want to attend the reception but thankfully a beautiful supporting bridal party and husband were there for her and got her through the night.  We did lots of driving around before we got there though!”

And what about working with your husband every day? Amanda says “It's easy!  Brad does exactly what he's told otherwise the limos are big enough for him to sleep in (joke). We've been together for 22 years and married for nearly 16 of those so we've learnt the art of compromise (or sleeping in limos!). Getting to work with your best friend every day certainly has it's moments but is mostly pretty cool.”

So down to the nitty-gritty that brides and grooms want to know. What do you need to know when you’re looking for a wedding car? Amanda gives us six amazing tips.
  1. Ask other suppliers such as photographers for recommendations is often a good start. Photographers especially are the people get to know all the companies and their vehicles well.
  2. If possible check out the vehicle for yourself. A quality company with quality vehicles has nothing to hide.  Unfortunately photos on websites can hide a lot of things like rust, torn or flaking upholstery and uncomfortable seating arrangements. You don't wanted to be disappointed with what pulls up in the driveway on your wedding day.
  3. Make sure the vehicle is correctly registered for use. Vehicles without SCV, PT or TC on their number plates have not passed strict annual road worthiness tests and you are not covered under third party insurance if you are in an accident while travelling in them! Have a look at photos of the vehicles and the number plates will show you whether or not they are correctly registered and you are safe in them. 
  4. Air-conditioning is a must especially between October-March. A lot of older vehicles are not airconditioned. 
  5. Consider all your venues from accommodation to photo locations for access. A lot of vehicles will not put a tyre off bitumen roads and you certainly don't want to be walking around everywhere in your beautiful dress and high heels.
  6. Local knowledge is a huge plus when getting around on your wedding day. Perth companies with limited knowledge of the country roads and the locations you are using on the day can cause massive time delays.
  7. Have fun! Laugh lots and soak up all the love from your family and friends surrounding you. It is such a magical day that ends too quickly and is way to precious to sweat over the small things.
Some pretty great tips there, thanks Amanda. And what can we expect from you on a wedding day? “From the moment you first contact us we are there to help you 100%. Whether it be with recommendations or guidance with time lines for the big day, if there is anything we can do to help we are only a phonecall or email away. We have been working in the south west wedding industry for over 9 years and are more than happy to share our knowledge with our couples. To us there is no such thing as a silly question.”

“We have beautiful, immaculately detailed vehicles with fun loving, uniformed chauffuers to help make your wedding day the best day of your life. We arrive at your pick-up location early to ensure you are ready to leave on time and our drivers assist you at all times throughout the day.  We are fun, relaxed, laid back people with no rules except HAVE FUN! All this is why we are the winners of several wedding transport awards including the 2012 ABIA WA Wedding Transport category voted by brides and grooms.”

Finally, we asked Amanda for her verdict on the south west wedding industry. She says “The number of amazing venues and wonderful, talented suppliers in this region has grown so much over the past 9 years.  Couples have truly become spoilt for choice in both venues and local suppliers.  We have definitely noticed how much smoother and more relaxed weddings have become with more and more couples using local reputable suppliers for everything in their wedding.”

For more info and contact details for Amanda and Brad, head to our website.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why I am not married after 17 years in my relationship?

I'm not sure if you are aware but as the owner of coasttocountryweddings.com.au I have been with my partner Paul for 17 years and we are not married and we have a child together.
When I'm asked as to why I'm not married my general excuse is " I am so busy helping everyone else plan their wedding, I don't have time to plan my own".

As I am writing this I am thinking to myself now that is a load of hog wash. If I want to do something I make it happen, I am not the kind of person to not do things.
So lets get to the bottom of what it is that stops's me from getting married (and yes I have been asked several times, just in case you were thinking I hadn't been asked). I can't believe I am going to confess this stuff to you:

1. After having my child 6 years ago I have gained a lot of weight, actually an extra 25 kilos I have hit 105 kilos. Even when I was at the final stage of my pregnancy I was skinner at 99kg. And you know what its not because I sit eating food all day long, I don't take drugs, drink alcoholic beverages, nor smoke and I don't head off to McDonald's and eat burgers for each meal.
I just love sweet food, I would rather eat a biscuit or a chocolate cake then anything else in the world. Then cause I sit on my bottom in front of a computer  all day I just don't get enough exercise to burn off what is going in my mouth.
I have just purchased a treadmill and use this at night time when watching TV late in the night once everyone has gone to bed so I am hoping this will help work off a few kilo's.
2. I think because my mum isn't married as well, even though mum has been with the same person for as long as I can remember it's never been one of topic's mum said I needed to do.
3. I am not influenced by peer pressure in regards to getting married, friends at times have said "When are you going to get married Nick "
"When I'm ready I answer". "
"But you run a wedding website telling other's to get married"
 "No I don't, I show people that want to get married how to, I don't preach to people that they should get married".
4. I am worried I will offend some of the businesses that advertise with me if I don't pick them to be chosen as my supplier.

When I look at the dictionary for the meaning of marriage "the formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife"
I think marriage is so much more that that, this quote below sums up some of it.
“In any relationship, there will be frightening spells in which your feelings of love dry up. And when that happens you must remember that the essence of marriage is that it is a covenant, a commitment, a promise of future love. So what do you do? You do the acts of love, despite your lack of feeling. You may not feel tender, sympathetic, and eager to please, but in your actions you must BE tender, understanding, forgiving and helpful. And, if you do that,
as time goes on you will not only get through the dry spells, but they will become less frequent and deep, and you will become more constant in your feelings.
This is what can happen if you decide to love.”
― Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
I will say that over our 17 years together there have been times when our relationship has been sweet and hard. But through our commitment to one another we have always come out the other side, we have had the ability to get over the hurdle and unite as one again. We are a team.

Don't get me wrong I also see the benefits of the formality of marriage, and it will happen in the near future. I actually feel better now that I have confessed why.
For me when I have my wedding it will be a little more private and only close family, at home because that's the way we want it.