It’s finally done and dusted. We’ve tied the knot. Exchanged the rings, cut the cake and said ‘I do’. And now it’s time for the recap.
After a rather intense 18 months of planning, I thought once our wedding was over I could finally stop talking about it and resume normal life. In fact I joked to my friends that they would finally be able to escape my regular phone calls where I’d start off with general chit chat, but within two minutes be banging on about flowers, cake flavours and seating charts for the hundredth time.
For the past two weeks, however, all I’ve been doing is talking about every aspect of our wedding – how lucky we were with the weather, how fantastic the band was, how stunning the photos are and how we’re still on a high from it all.
The scary reality is as much as I want to capture every tiny detail and permanently store them in my memory bank forever, some of those memories are already beginning to fade. So I thought it was time to sit down with a cup of tea and blog about it all.
Warning – this is a loooong post. So maybe make your own cuppa and settle down for the next half an hour or so. Or just skip the boring bits – I don’t mind!
Our morning began with a private yoga class with the wonderful Amber from The Beauty of Yoga and 11 of my nearest and dearest ladies. Kicking off at 7.30am, there wasn’t any time to be nervous and it completely took my mind off everything wedding for a good hour. Not only did it give me the chance stretch out my tight muscles from a big week of wedding prep, but reminded me that at any moment I was feeling nervous or overwhelmed, to just breathe, and I’m pleased to say that reminder stayed with me the entire day.
You know what they say about women taking hours to get ready? It’s totally true. We spent four hours at the hairdressers, but to be honest, it was an absolute blessing – a safe space to sit, relax, gossip, and fill our stomachs on Pimms, Prosecco, ham and cheese toasties and fruit platters (thanks Mum and Heidi!). Our fantastic videographer, Justin from Justin Moon Productions, arrived at midday to capture some footage and cringe at our incredibly awkward girl talk. I couldn’t tell you how many times we ooh’d and ahh’d over each others’ hair and make-up, but we walked out around 1.30pm truly transformed thanks to the amazing Nat and Tash – and, believe it or not, running half an hour earlier than we’d planned.
Walking out of the salon was a little terrifying. I’d gotten way too comfortable in the black swivel chairs and stepping out into the sunny afternoon was like a big dose of reality smacking me right in the forehead. Despite having known it for the past 18 months, it was at this moment I realised I was actually getting married. And in only two hours time.
We arrived at the Hood family home just before 2pm and the next hour involved more champagne, cheese and fruit platters, people reminding me to eat something (I couldn’t – the butterflies had started a conga line in my stomach), and me constantly hassling people for the time because I’d promised Wesley I wouldn’t be late.
I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to take a second to have a big ol’ brag about our wedding venue. It was by far one of the most beautiful places two people could ever wish to get married. Ok, so I’m a tad biased, but our dear friends, the Hood family, went above and beyond to ensure we had our dream wedding on their property, which also happens to be one of our favourite places in the world. (We’re still trying to convince them to sell us their house. So far it hasn’t worked.)
I’ll wait until we get the professional photos back to really show you how incredible it is, because I know our wonderful photographer, Bec from The Bower Co., couldn’t stop snapping all of the beautiful details in amongst the wedding shots, but our venue couldn’t have been more ‘Wes and Simone’ if we’d tried. I’m not sure what we’ve done in a past life to have friends like the Hoods, but it must have been impressive!
Ok – back to getting ready. One of my favourite memories of that afternoon is seeing my bridesmaids open their cards and gifts. If you couldn’t tell from this blog, I’m big on words. When I have trouble saying something out loud, I write it down, so being able to express to four of my closest friends just how much I love and appreciate them was really important to me. I think I even made most of them cry, including Charlton. Which doesn’t happen ever. So basically – mission accomplished!
Finally, it was go time. Dresses were put on, my bridesmaids looked freaking amazing and I surprised them by walking out in a second wedding dress for the reception that I’d made a last minute decision to buy the week beforehand without telling two of them, or my Mum. I’m not great at keeping secrets, but I managed to keep that one under wraps! The looks of confusion, amazement and ‘Where the *bleep* is your other dress?’ was a classic moment. After a few photos, it was time to get into my actual wedding dress, chuck in the veil and hit that aisle!
Speaking of wedding dresses – a big shout out to Maria from Maria’s Bridal Studio who helped me find not one, but both of my dream dresses (as well as all four bridesmaid dresses)! She was an absolute darling the entire year and a bit I hassled her with random visits and fittings. There is definitely something to say for small town service and whoever thought you need to visit big cities to find the perfect wedding dress obviously never met someone like Maria before. I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else!
Aaand back to the wedding day! Our ceremony was only a few hundred metres from the house and although I was nervous when I hopped into the car, the moment I saw the boys waiting for us to arrive, my nerves completely dissolved. Our celebrant, Ken from It’s Your Day Ceremonies, met us at the top of the hill, told me I looked beautiful, gave me a Fisherman’s Friend (so my mouth wasn’t dry!) and asked us to wait about five minutes.
Getting out of the car and waiting for the signal to start walking, I genuinely hadn’t been that relaxed all week. It was kind of magical – instead of stressing I was going to go arse up half way down the aisle, I spent the short walk chatting to my dad and having a bit of a laugh. I think, deep down, I knew I was marrying the love of my life and my best friends – so there really wasn’t anything to worry about at all.
The ceremony was perfect (and if you’re looking for a celebrant, Ken is an absolute champ!). I really expected to be a lot more emotional – I’ve witnessed many of my friends in tears as they’ve come down the aisle and thought I’d be exactly the same! But there weren’t any tears (well from Wes and I – I can’t say the same for some of our guests!). Just the right amount of laughs, love and smiles. We were so incredibly happy and it was such a relief to finally be at the right end of that aisle. (I’m not going to lie, I also got a little bit excited when our Best Man, Nick, stepped forward with the wedding rings because I had been waiting to wear that sparkler for months!)
Unfortunately, my darling Nan didn’t fare so well in all of the excitement and afternoon sun, and required a visit to the emergency room not long after the ceremony ended. It was really upsetting for my entire family, and we were so incredibly blessed two of our friends in attendance are nurses and were able to look after her until the ambulance arrived. Thankfully, she is now perfectly healthy! (But she was pretty annoyed she missed out on an awesome roast dinner, and I don’t blame her!)
That incident did have a bit of an impact on the next hour or so. I’d imagined in my head exactly what going and taking photos would be like with our bridal party, but our schedule was thrown out a little, I was trying to enjoy the evening whilst still really worried about Nan and just somewhat overwhelmed by the entire afternoon. As a result, we changed up our plans a little, (and after grabbing a cosmopolitan icy pole of course – you’re the best Emma!) had photos with our bridal party in one absolutely stunning location, and then headed up into the bush with Bec, Justin and our dear friend and MC, Will, to take some more photos and, more importantly, have a bit of quiet time.
Both Bec and Justin were such a great help in calming me down and reassuring me everything would be fine – I mean, I’m sure they deal with panicked brides on a regular basis, but I am so thankful they were there to keep things running smoothly and keep me laughing. I couldn’t stress enough how important it is to have that great ‘connection’ with the people working with you on your wedding day, because Bec and Justin both felt like instant friends and I’m so lucky they were there.
Having that quiet time with Wes was exactly what I needed to clear my head before we rejoined the reception. It involved incredible views of my hometown, hitching my dress up around my hips to climb over barbed wire fences, dancing in the long grass and stopping for ‘ just one more photo!’ when we came across the perfect spot of sunlight. We also snuck away for some sunset photos later on in the evening, which as you can see below, was absolutely magical.
We headed back to the house and although I’d planned on wearing my wedding dress until much later in the night, I was pretty much at the end of my tether by this point. Sick of dragging the train of my dress through all of the long grass and realising it was probably a little tight for the amount of roast and champagne I was about to consume, I decided to changing into my second dress a little earlier.
I have to say, it was one of the best decisions I’d made all day! My first dress was actually pretty comfortable, lightweight and easy to move around in, so to all the brides who go for the tight mermaid or massive ball gown dresses and wear them all night – I bow down to you! But all I wanted to do that night was dance, dance and dance some more, and considering my second dress had been altered to suit flats (or golden sneakers to be more specific) AND was made from stretchy material, it was a no brainer. My second dress was also a gift from a very dear friend of ours, so to Garry – thank you for making my night so much more comfortable and still totally stylish!
I feel like half of this post is shout outs to all of the talented and amazing people that helped make our wedding day possible, but in all honesty, they deserve. Walking into that marquee and finally being able to take in all of the little details of our reception was like flicking through the pages of a Hello May magazine (which I read religiously in the lead up to our wedding). Kate from Hooray Event Co. is an absolute queen of styling. Despite feeling like I could never accurately describe the theme we were going for, she absolute nailed it. Our wedding was country glam at it’s damn best and I’m still in awe of how she managed to take the exact images from my imagination and make them a reality.
Everything – and I mean everything – was perfect. The food, the music, the sunset, the speeches (the speeches were an absolute highlight! I’m so glad we decided to hire a videographer so I can listen to them as many times as I’d like!), the whole entire vibe – what a dream! We’d always said all we wanted on our wedding night was for people to enjoy themselves and still be dancing late into the night. When I’ve told some of our guests that I can’t quite remember where I was later on in the evening, they’ve all reassured me I was tearing up the dance floor which is exactly where I wanted to be! Our band, Liam Blunts Funky Rhythm Train, were freaking brilliant and so friendly! They played all of those great pub songs that everyone knows the words to no matter their age, and I heard so many people saying “I’ll leave after this song”, and then staying for the next hour because each song to follow was just so good!
Around 11.30pm, the dance floor began chanting ‘Horses! Horses!’ and coincidentally, that’s exactly what we’d asked the band to finish the night on. It was definitely one of the highlights – I’d try to describe it, but you’re perhaps best to check out the video here to see what it was like. (It makes me grin like a fool every-single-time I watch it.) And whilst that was the end of the band’s night, it wasn’t for a select group of guests. According to my iTunes recently played list, the rest of the night consisted of the Grease Megamix, Bohemian Rhapsody, Gold Digger and MMMBop to name a few, and finally finished around 2.30am with me falling asleep on the dance floor whilst belting out Drops of Jupiter by Train. Yes, there is a video, and no, I won’t be sharing it here. #sorrynotsorry
To every single human being who was there with us on the day – in both person and spirit – we love you, appreciate you and thank our lucky stars you’re in our lives every single day.
I could go on for another thousand words, but that would only be for my own entertainment because if you managed to read this far – good on you! To tie it all up in one neat little package – our wedding was definitely dream status. I’d spent so much time trying to picture what it would look like, but it absolutely exceeded both Wes and my expectations.
There is so much more I want to talk about. Like the fact that despite people telling me I’d be really sad afterwards, how relieved I was when it was all over, as well as all of the things I learnt from planning our wedding, what to consider when dress shopping, and what married life is actually like! So whilst the actual wedding day may be long gone, there’ll still be plenty of wedding-related stuff to read right here on the blog!
If you’d like to see some more photos from our day, check out #wesandsimsayido on Instagram and keep an eye out for an upcoming post with our wedding photos and video (that I am so patiently waiting for. Ok, that’s a lie – we all know I have zero patience!).
Now for the comments! If you were a guest at our wedding and have a particular memory or two from the day that stands our in your mind, please share it in the comments below! I want to collect as many memories as possible!
And if you’re getting married and have any questions, I’d love to help out any other brides planning their day! So please, ask away!