This wedding is out of control. Stunning detail, gorgeous bride and impeccable planning. We can all learn a thing or two from Andrew & Jamie's wedding! Here's their story.
Couple: Jamie & Andrew Hottes
Wedding Location: Hunter Valley, NSW
Date: 19th April 2013
How Did Your Husband Propose?
He had booked months prior to ensure we had a window seat looking out at the beautiful beachside at Summersalt Cronulla on Valentines Day. Andrew had pre organised with the band that once our dessert came out that they would start to play our song “Best of My Love” by The Eagles. He the proceeded to get down on one knee and tell me everything that is great in our life and our journey to where we are now. I could hear other guests saying shhhh he’s proposing.
With all 300 valentines guests now with their eyes on us I was speechless as he then followed to ask the BIG question, “Will You Marry Me?” Of course I said, “Yes” with tears rolling down my cheeks, then the fellow valentiners started clapping. Absolutely Magical.
Did he have a ring?
Yes. He picked it all by himself and I was so surprised that he picked better than I could ever pick. I was soooo impressed.
Did you have a special way to ask your friends/family to be in your bridal party?
No, I just asked my 2 sisters once we told the family the news and then immediately called my best friend to be Maid Of Honour.
Did you have an engagement party? If so, what did you do?
Yes. We had our engagement at The Hospitality Establishment. We just had canapés, drinks and cake at the venue with all of our friends and family. We had about 100 people.
Tell us about your ceremony (e.g. speeches, styling, location, music)
We had a small chapel in the Hunter Valley that had bi-fold doors down either wall so you could view out to the vineyards. For styling we had a large bouquet of baby’s breath (Gyp) at the end of the aisle and also baby’s breath on every 2nd pew.
How did you select your celebrant, minister...?
It was very important that we had a catholic deacon marry us. We were recommended by our priest in Helensburgh to use him. We were so glad as he showed up on a motorbike and was a more relaxed version of a catholic priest. He really made the ceremony easy, relaxed and fun.
Venue & Destination
Which reception venue did you select and why?
Peppers Creek Chapel and Barrel Room at Hunter Valley, NSW. We chose this place because it was all on the same property that made it easier for guests and we loved the location of course. The chapel is small but intimate and it had the beautiful vineyard look we were going for with the wedding. We used a string quartet at the chapel, which was beautiful to walk down the aisle to. Peppers also have a few houses on the property that if you book earlier enough you could secure them for your family. Most of our guests stayed at Harrigans (next door to Peppers).
How involved was your venue in the planning process?
The venue was great as they had a lot of styling choices. We used them for the main set up of tables chairs coverings, fairy lights, chandelier, and mirrors in the fireplace. They were really accommodating and made great suggestions of local suppliers. For the design and styling of the tables and overall theme we used Peonies Floral Designer who was absolutely amazing and highly recommend to anyone that has a specific vision on what they want to achieve. Peonies will deliver that dream.
Tell us about your dress, shoes and accessories and how you found them?
I found my dress, sash, veil and headpiece in Dress Sense in Miranda and I really wanted a second sash in a different colour to have something different between the chapel and the reception.
How did you coordinate and choose your Bridal Party outfits? What were the challenges?
I just wanted to ensure they all felt comfortable so we went shopping and found a chiffon strapless taupe coloured maxi dress at Sheike Miranda.
What challenges did you face with coordinating your invitations and guest list?
I used a lady from Etsy online who created our invitations, menus and chapel service and she proved to be a great decision as she was quick at responding and help guide me though the order process and anything different that we wanted she was more than willing to try different options and to send samples. Ours had a tear off section which were already addressed and stamped for them to send back with their answers/dietary requirements and if they wanted to join the bus tour.
We’d love to know which suppliers you used to plan your big day and a bit about your experiences working with each them (e.g. hair, makeup, interior styling, cars, flowers, accommodation, entertainment, invites, photographer, videographer...)
Our Photographer, Michal Kriesch, was amazing and thought we would only have a few good pictures but there were so many that we fell in love with. He sourced all the locations for us, which was so nice to just be in the moment and not have to think of where to next.
The girls from Chic Artistry really made the morning seamless and easy. I don’t think I even checked the timing because they were so efficient. All the girls and myself were so impressed on the level of their skills and fun loving personalities.
Some of our other suppliers were:
What were your biggest challenges during the planning process? Did anything go wrong on the night?
I was waiting for something to go wrong but nothing did, it literally was one of those perfect days.
Was there anything you wished you had done differently?
Get more family pictures. We had large family pictures with everyone but I wish we had of gone around to all the family members and had more pictures done with them individually.
Any tips for brides?
Plan, Plan, Plan! But when the day comes just say to yourself “Whatever will be will be” you have planned as well as you possibly can and let it begin.
Themes, Colours & Inspiration
Tell us about your theme and wedding style? Where did you find your inspiration?
The theme was Soft Glamour. Beige, tea lights, mirrors, all flowers white. I just really wanted a timeless look and after looking through thousands of wedding magazines you find the things you do and don’t like. All I knew was that I wanted an abundance of flowers. Peonies really helped piece together my vision.
What were the must haves in your wedding?
What did you love most about your reception styling?
The bridal table for me was the most impressive as it had a real romantic feeling to it with lots of candlelight, crystal and flowers. I loved the mood that the styling set for the whole night.
Did you make any of the decorations yourself?
I handmade the wedding favours, which were chocolate bars that were wrapped in a thick pearl paper with a beige ribbon and jewel attached.
The bridesmaids singlets I handmade with vintage flowers and jewels. With the same vintage flowers I handmade their hair clips for the wedding day.
Also I handmade the gifts we gave to our parents & Maid Of Honour. They were frames with cut out hearts, which had lyrics of songs. Our parents received our first dance lyrics and their initials and ours and the date in a different coloured heart. My Maid Of Honor and I had a personal song which I used those lyrics for us with her initials and mine with the date in a different coloured heart. The best man received a good bottle of scotch, which had sentimental value to the boys.
What were some of the unique elements to your wedding (e.g. activities, games, food stands)?
We used Confetti & Crumbs who customise in cake buffets which was a hit and visually looked amazing. For something a bit different we had a caricaturist draw up a large fun pic of us in a boxing ring and it was our guest register for everyone to sign around the outside for us to keep.
Did you have anything special coordinated for guests over the wedding period?
Two nights prior to the wedding we put on a private family dinner which because it was a Wednesday night they only opened to us. It was the most amazing food and atmosphere. It was in a small cottage with vintage chandeliers, antique furniture and vineyards. This was a great way for both families to get to know each other before our other guests arrive.
On the invite we gave our guests the option to join us for a wine tour the day prior which was a hit because it gave everyone a chance to meet before the wedding and making the night that much more fun for all. Out of the 110 guests coming to the wedding 92 guests said yes to the wine tour. We ended this day with a casual dinner at Harrigans so people could come and go as they please.
Health & Wellbeing
Did you undertake any special health routines in the lead up to your wedding?
Yes, Lite n Easy was a big one for us and proved to be great for both Andrew and myself.
Where did you have your honeymoon?
We went to Boracay in the Phillipines. It was AMAZING!
Did you plan it yourself or use a travel agent?
We planned it ourselves.
Where is your dress now?
After the wedding my mum had it dry-cleaned and boxed ready to store away. But I was thinking it would be fun to have a wedding night with friends were we have dinner and wear our wedding dress or bridesmaid dresses again
Would you do it all over again? If so, is there anything you’d do differently to make the process easier?
In a heartbeat. I wouldn't change a thing!
Congratulations again Jamie & Andrew on a spectacular day and a lifetime of happiness.