Home' Wedding Guide : Wedding Guide 2012-2013 Contents WEDDINGS ON THE SOUTH COAST
Writen by Liz Stevens
OK... our BIG day was really more like
a HUGE week of setting up!
Our chosen venue was Narooma, 5
hour s drive south of Sydney, on our
family-owned farm "Wodonga".
The reason Narooma is so special
to us is because it's the place where
we fir st fell in love.That's why we
wanted to get married there. It's a
family place. My mother's family first
holidayed down there in the 1920s. I
also have family living at Moruya, My
great Uncle Bill Welch is a cattle farmer
- he supplied us with the honey for
our thank you gifts.
On my father's side, his family has
been also holidaying down there since
the 1950s. Growing up we had our
annual family holiday at Narooma,
where I spent many a summer in this
amazing little town - family prawning
nights, open log fires on the beach, fish-
ing trips - I come from a really large
family which is really close.
Our wedding day preparations
started with waking at 6am each day
so I could set up the marquee.
The marquee was put up on the
Monday before the ceremony on the
farm in the pouring rain. I was there
helping - getting coffee - helping with
things where I could. I brushed all the
cut grass (which was mowed the day
before) off each marquee wall panel -
this was a labour of love!
"Tuesday - Friday was spent setting-
up tables, un-packing boxes - really the
"I closed my antique store for the
week - my staff helped me set this all
up.A usual par t of my business is prop
hire and styling, so this was by far our
We had to truck ever ything down
from Sydney, where it was stored in
my aunty's and uncles' barn until the
I worked long days setting it all up. It
took myself and three staff this long,
plus helpers, family and friends who
popped in and out to try to assist
where they could. It really was a team
effort. My parents and in-laws were
So by Friday, when the flower s
arrived at 4pm, we were all ready to
go.They took my amazing florist 8
hour s to style, except for my bouquet
which I did in Sydney in the months
leading up to the wedding.
The best part of THE day, was see-
ing the look on people's faces when
they arrived to the tent - they were
speechless. People didn't know where
to look at first as there were four areas
set up.The space was designed so all
180 of our guests could move around.
We had a main marquee, a wine
tasting bar, a desser t bar, and a sepa-
rate lounge tent for people to sit pri-
vately and talk around the fire pits. We
casually placed chair s around so peo-
ple could sit by the open fire and catch
up while roasting marshmellows - like
you would have when you were kids.
People went crazy when they saw the
lolly bar, they filled-up bags and bags to
take home with them!
My advice to other couples is don't
do it yourself! I was exhausted. Saying
that, I loved every minute of it and
would do it all over again in a hear t
beat. If you choose to, maybe hire a
handyman to help you set it all up and
cleaner s to clean it up the next day.
I had to be the only bride running
around in gum boots in the rain 30
minutes before she got married filling-
up lolly jars for the dessert bar!
Our tent took a week to set up and
four days to clean and re-pack all the
decorations. We paid Rotary a dona-
tion to help clean up and run a BBQ
the next day.
Also, don't sweat the small stuff - on
THE day I didn't care. I just went from
crazy set up mode, to what will be will
be. I didn't care if something small was
left undone, even though I had 20
pages of lists with jobs on them.
Inspiration behind the day... I'm an
antique dealer and really it was just my
per sonal style and flair for good design.
My wedding was really just a refection
of what my house looks like. I hate glitz
and glamour - I find that really unnatu-
ral. I like French raw materials, rustic
country looks. I wanted people to feel
at home so they not only felt that the
long trip (5 hours drive) from Sydney
was really wor th it, they were attend-
ing something that was really special -
and they probably won't experience
that again in their lifetime.
That was the feedback - the band,
who we flew down from Sydney espe-
cially for the event, said they have done
over 200 weddings and ours was by
fair the best, most original they had
ever played at.
The special touches that made this
wedding extra lovely were a desser t
bar filled with chocolates and cookies
as a surprise - it was three trestle
tables long! Filled with antique cookie
jars, stands, antique silver trays. Our
thank you gifts were jars of fresh farm
honey - which were from my Uncle
The sources where some of the
great details were found were really
from my imagination.This sounds
strange, but I knew from the star t
what this was going to be like. Really
everything just fell into place as I went
along. I've spent alot of time buying
overseas and travelling through
France, the UK and Italy, so really I
wanted to capture the warm, inviting
rustic feeling of those places.
Two years ago my in-laws decided
on a sea change and actually moved
to Italy so James and I visited them
when we could. A lot of the ideas
flowed from what we'd seen and our
experiences. I think people thought I'd
spent year s dreaming of this moment -
i'd never really given it a second
thought, but once we set the venue
the rest just flowed.
A lot of the 'stuff ' I sourced myself as
I'm in the rare business of owning an
antique store - so the collection took
me around 12 months to put together.
All the fabric was from Spotlight,
the paper was from various ar t shops. I
printed copies of antique maps off
Google Images for the name tags and
tied them on with old string.
The table bows - which were actu-
ally hessian (I bought rolls of this from
Bunnings) and was told the RTA use
this for their road stakes.They thought
I was crazy when I told them it was for
The furniture all came from, rubbish
clean ups we had in our area. Id drive
around in my ute picking odd things
up.Then I'd paint them and give them
a rustic feel.That's were we got the
honey hutch, old flower pots, lounge
etc... some of the tables and chairs.
We made bunting flags, tissue paper
pom poms, our own succulent bowls
with stag horn moss and candles.
I made the dolls house - which was
"Honeymoon Fund" for the wedding
cards - which was painted and deco-
rated with a hole cut in the roof for
Ceremony All Saints Anglican
Reception Liz's aunt's proper ty at
Nor th Narooma
My shop where I now have a
weddings prop hire company.
Photography Nora Devai
Wedding Cake was made by my
Aunty, who actually is a doctor but a
Dress was by Clarissa Grace
Catering Michael on the Murray,
using all farm fresh local produce
Entertainment 'The Usual Suspects'
Flowers were by Coby Miller
Hair was by my girlfriend Larissa
Makeup was by Stephanie Flood
Bridal Shoes Manola Blahnik
Bridesmaid's Dresses Paris Bridal -
handmade to look like 1920s cocktail
Menswear Double Bay Peppers
Rings Chiltons antiques
Transport Family borrowed cars
Elizabeth Stevens & James Barkell
October 29, 2011
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