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Real Bride |

Inside a modern farm wedding

Alena 

& Josh

What advice would you give to other couples leading up to their big day?

Try make as many decisions as you can as far out from the date as possible, and then back yourself. I found as it got closer anxiety and emotion kicked in and I begun second guessing myself and decisions were more difficult to make. 

Most importantly, prioritise each other. It’s so easy to get swept up in all of the planning, appointments and everyone else’s opinions and at the end of the day it’s about you and your partner. So have date nights, even if it’s just a Netflix date, and try to enjoy the process together. There are moments that are stressful like any big event, but it shouldn’t be a negative experience.

What was the most expensive thing other than the venue that you had to pay for? 

Our food & beverage….and then the gown. 

 

How’d you go about sticking to a budget? 

Josh is an accountant and I’m in PR, so we have very different takes on what sticking to a budget means! Together we set an overall budget and then as we received quotes from vendors, we would evaluate what was really important to us, and where we could save or go mid-tier. I think we balanced that really well together. However, if you included the cost of our recovery, then we did blow that budget just a little!! We had a two-stage recovery the day after the wedding – a relaxed BBQ lunch held at Calais Estate, then the party people moved onto this incredible property we had hired for the groomsmen, where we really let our hair down. I wouldn’t take that back for the world – it was SO much fun!

You’re engaged! Now what? How did you go about planning the big day? Budget? First steps to take…  I was pretty quick to start planning after we got engaged. I think we had locked in a wedding date and venue just two weeks from the proposal!! Which sounds crazy on reflection, but I had watched so many of my friends get engaged and then wait a couple of months before finding a venue, only to be disappointed that they had to push their weddings out by months due to lack of availability. 

Josh and I already knew we wanted to get married in the Hunter Valley, so after deciding on a shortlist of venues in the region and agreeing on a rough budget, we headed to the Hunter for site visits the weekend after Josh had proposed. We had also established a few non-negotiables on the venue early on; we wanted our ceremony, reception and accommodation within walking distance, and didn’t want to be dealing with a heap of external vendors. It also helped that it was love at first site when we arrived at our venue Circa1876, so the decision was very easy. 

What was your beauty and fitness prep leading up to the wedding?

I started using Rationale products about 2 years ago and it completely changed my skin. I stuck to my Rationale product regime, and 4 months out from the wedding introduced regular facial treatments at Clear Complexions which included a regime of Laser Genesis, Omnilux and Rationale Facials. 

For the bod, it was reformer Pilates at KX Mosman 3-4 times a week, cardio sessions at the gym or runs 1-2 times a week, and lots of walking every day. I have always been very active, but I really noticed a change in my body after sticking to consistent reformer over the last year. I also had an allergy test coincidentally just after getting engaged, and found out I am intolerant to yeast and dairy – so being conscious of that really helped me manage bloating and diet in general. 

‘I was pretty quick to start planning after we got engaged. I think we had locked in a wedding date and venue just two weeks from the proposal.’

Ceremony song? I’m With You, Vance Joy (sung by Duan and Only)

First dance song? Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder

Regrets? No regrets!! If anything, I would have taken more time off just before the wedding to really get in the right zone. 

If you could tell me the following:

Ceremony: Grounds of Circa1876

Reception: Circa1876 restaurant 

Wedding Planner (if any): I planned the wedding with the assistance of my wedding coordinator, Cassie from Circa1876 

Cake: 3 tiers with 3 different flavors, chocolate, mud and vanilla, from the chefs at Circa1876

Photographer / Videographer: Ben Adams (Photographer), Brad Smith from GMTMT Films  (Videographer)

Flowers: Blooms on Darby 

Celebrant: Jessica Farahar from Married By Jess (@marriedbyjess) Who was also one of my bridesmaids!

Cater: The food was by Circa1876, an award-winning restaurant in the Hunter Valley

Dress: Inbal Dror, from Helen Rodrigues 

Shoes: Sophia Webster

Bridesmaids: All wore different Australian designers in shades of deep green including Albus Lumen, Camilla and Marc, Bec & Bridge and Shona Joy. 

Groom/groomsmen: Joe Black 

Accessories: Jennifer Behr hair pin, Tiffany & Co pearl studs, a delicate diamond necklace from my mum and dad, and my mother in law’s vintage two-string pearl bracelet as my “something borrowed”

Rings: Cerrone

Hair: Mia Hawkswell (@miamakeup) 

Makeup: Michael Brown (@mbrown_beauty) 

Music: Duan and Only – such an incredible acoustic act!