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Q & A WITH THE BRIDE

Who

Ashley New, 26, Interior Designer, and Neal Caruana, 27, Electrical Wholesaler.

Location

The Green Cathedral at Tiona (mid-north coast of NSW)/Tiona Conference Centre.

Guests

105

Theme

Simple elegance - a classic look with a touch of vintage.

The Wedding dress

"It was a Mori Lee gown that I purchased from White Lily Couture in Brisbane. An ivory lace fishtail with a low cut back and a strapless sweetheart neckline. I also ended up having a full tulle skirt made to go over the top of my dress for the ceremony - I was so indecisive when it came to picking “the dress” that this gave me the opportunity to have 2 dresses in one. My hair was done by MH Hair in Forster & it was simply amazing. I have never known anyone who is able to do such beautiful upstyles – it included a large crystal headpieces which went beautifully with the Tahitian pearl earring & bracelet that I wore. Neal & I both wore blue shoes as a bit of a quirk – mine were Badgley Mischka."

Bridesmaids' dresses

"My bridesmaids each wore a champagne coloured gown with a strappy bronze heel (followed by pearly flats in the evening). We purchased the gowns from Bridesmaids Only in full length & then had them taken up to just below the knee on each of the girls. This allowed us to have more options in tying the neck pieces as they remained long. The bridesmaids looked gorgeous. Bridesmaids Only was recommended to me by a dear friend - I made a quick trip to Sydney from the Gold Coast & it was the only place we visited for the girls' dresses. It was so easy to make a decision. Wendy & Talia were fabulous, I didn’t give it a second thought. Their accessories included pearl & silver bracelets with simple silver knot earrings by nano and the girls carried bouquets of open pink peonies."

Invitations

"I purchased our save the dates, invitations, RSVPs & inclusion cards all online with 'Wedding Paper Divas' – they have such a huge range to choose from, all printed on beautiful paper and easy to order. With everything about our wedding being so neutral, we chose a lovely embossed green leafy design on a crisp white card and it suited our wedding location perfectly. I also used some craft paper & twine to tie them all together before we sent them."

Flowers

"I had a stunning bouquet full of white peonies, it was exactly what I had always wanted & was one of the easiest decisions when planning the wedding. We used a fabulous florist out of Newcastle 'Flowers by Lorey' - Lorey did such a wonderful job with all of our wedding flowers including the bouquets, buttonholes, table centrepieces & flower sprays for the bridal backdrop. She also supplied rose petal cones for our ceremony, along with delivering & installing the lot on location. "

Ceremony

"We both grew up in the local area & I had always dreamt of getting married at the Green Cathedral as it was also where my parents married 26 years ago. Apart from the sentiment of the location, our dog attended the ceremony and we also had a knot tying ceremony as Neal is a keen fisherman & I grew up on the water so we thought it was appropriate & a bit unusual – I am having the knot framed with our vows as a keepsake."

Reception

"We had arranged for our guests to move down by the lake near our reception for afternoon drinks directly after our ceremony while the bridal party had photographs but as we were signing the register the first drops of rain fell and after that came a torrential downpour, wind & hail… Thankfully it didn’t dampen the celebrations & we danced the night away to Newcastle band “Uptown” – our first dance was to Bella Ferraro’s 'Set me on fire'."

Decorations

"I chose large low stone bowls for our centrepieces which we filled with sand & candles then scattered with peony heads & dodda vine. My dad & I also made the table numbers using old fence palings. Mason jars with candles, peonies & more dodda vine lined the bridal table which was backed with old rustic doors that had flower sprays hanging over them. We also used about 60 pom poms that we strung into a false ceiling over the dance floor for a bit of fun. Photos of the two of us were scattered around the reception venue along with candles & flowers."

Favours

"I started off with tea towels, moved on to sml succulents & ended up going with personalised soy candles in two fragrances of our choice (one for the men, one for the women) from a Gold Coast supplier that I discovered through my work. There are so many jobs that you put on yourself in the lead up to the wedding day that I decided to give myself a break & Kokomo candles was willing to print all of the labels & attach the guest names for me – they fitted in so well with our décor & everyone loved them."

Wedding cake

"We had a tall cylindrical red velvet cake with cream frosting. We didn’t want a big fancy 3 tier monstrosity & I loved the rustic look of the cream frosting with fresh flowers on the top. A family friend owns the local bakery & they did a wonderful job, it looked exactly how we wanted & tasted devine! We also used an old friend, the talented Kyrie from 'Glistening Occasions' to make us a gorgeous cake topper & cake stand. "

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