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Real Wedding: Natalie & Orren in Cotton Tree

4th April 2014

Natalie and Orren broke tradition in so many ways for their Cotton Tree wedding. They had a very non-traditional, yet ever-growing in popularity “first look”, whereby the bride and groom have a very private and intimate meeting prior to their ceremony. 

They also took their bridal party photos before the ceremony, forewent a theme, invited children, and provided a picnic for the guests upon arrival. I love the way this couple took every measure to ensure their guests had an amazing day with very thoughtful considerations. 

Chloe from White Images caught the entire beautiful affair on camera. Take a peek! 

Pre-ceremony Photos

The enjoyment of our guests was top priority. Followed by music and food.  We had our photos taken before hand because we didn’t like the idea of our guests having to wait around without us.

A Long Engagement

We foster children with additional needs and have an 18 month old daughter of our own. We were engaged two years – we found out we were pregnant with our daughter, just after our engagement so the wedding had to wait!

Altogether Now

My brother and sister (sister was one of my bridesmaids) read the words to the song “Grow Old with You’ by Adam Sandler from the movie ‘The Wedding Singer.’ Bridal party were involving in the majority of the planning, we brainstormed ideas – this mainly took place at the pub with lots of wine! 

Children Welcome

We decided to invite children – we really thought hard about how we could make sure they also had a good time; magician, sparklers, a big box with balloons, bubbles, colouring books etc.. Having kids there, hearing them laugh and having them dancing with us was awesome!

No Theme Day

My best friend, who was in bridal party, spent the first six months of my engagement stressing that I needed to have a theme. I’m still not sure what our theme was!


We had a fabulous guitarist named Rob McMullen who played multi-genres: flamenco guitar, covers with singing and then later in the night he DJ’d for us. He was great and well worth the money.

The Food

When guests first arrived we had picnic baskets with ploughman’s platters (breads, cheese etc), we then had canapés and for dinner The Boat Shed ran a menu for us with a choice of three entree’s, mains and desserts – it was a modern Australian menu. 

Wedding Day Secrets 

Biggest splurge: Our magician – I booked him without telling Orren! And then said I’d  have crepe paper flowers instead of real flowers for my bouquet in order to save cash! Then the bridesmaids and I attempted  to make the crepe paper flowers without any luck, so I ended up with both a magician and flowers. 

Best bargain: Four Anna Campbell blue dresses for my bridesmaids – we bought them band new online from a girl who had got them from an Anna Campbell sale (after she had decided on a different dress for her bridesmaids). We got them for $250 each and they retail for $600.

Bridal gown: Anna Campbell Gown with a Babushka Ballerina tule skirt over the top (which was later removed for the reception). Cost Approximately $2500 including alterations. Purchased at Babushka Ballerina.

Accessories: Pearl earrings and bracelet – cheapies from Target and Lovisa

Shoes: Very light tan coloured pointy heels with ankle strap by Nine West.

Bridesmaid dresses: Anna Campbell rrp $600, although we got them on ebay for $250.

Bridesmaids’ accessories: Lovisa

Groom’s suit and shoes: Shirt Jeff Banks from Myer, pants from Rodger David, shoes from David Jones

Groomsmens’ suits and shoes: Industry Shirts from David Jones and own shoes.

Rings: both rings from Angus and Coote 

DIY: The bridesmaids and myself made the invitations, name place cards and our table seating chart. 

Guests: 100

Wedding budget: $30,000


A-list Vendors

Photography: White Images

Celebrant: Lynette Maguire

Makeup Artist: Make Up 4 Brides

Venue: The Boat Shed / Florist: Flowers from Etsy shop  / Cake: Sugar Dreams / Bombonnieres: In lieu of bombonnieres, we are donating money to an orphanage in Penang /Hair Stylist: Rebecca Whittington, Adam and Eva Salon / Entertainment: Rob McMullen, Magician Glen Rhodes / Gift registry: Myer

View Natalie and Orren’s Full Wedding Album