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Real Wedding: Kate and Phil in Port Stephens

Posted in Port Stephens Weddings by HUNTER BRIDE

Kate and Phil in Port Stephens.

Real Wedding: Kate and Phil in Port Stephens

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be maid-of-honour at my best friend’s wedding. It was a gorgeous day from start to finish, full of the things weddings are about such as love and laughter.

Kate and Phil were married on February 5th, 2011 in Port Stephens. As it turned out, their wedding date will go down in history as the hottest night on record. But that didn’t stop the guests from having a great time and it sure didn’t wipe the grins from Kate and Phil’s faces.

The ceremony was held in a romantic setting on the grounds of Pepper’s Anchorage, overlooking the glittering water of Port Stephens. Guests were transported to the site by shuttle bus and had pre-ceremony drinks while enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.

At 4pm it was time for the bride to walk down the aisle. Kate and her father Eric entered the grounds through an opening in the hedges to the happy Jason Mraz tune “I’m Yours”.

When Kate reached her proud fiancé, both her parents and Phil’s stood to give their children away to each other.

The bride’s mother, Sue, had the foresight that an outdoor wedding in February could indeed be a steamy one, so she set to work creating gorgeous parasols for the guests. Standing at the front of the ceremony, it was a real delight to look back on the crowd holding their umbrellas in various colours.

Before the photos the bridesmaids were also given an umbrella each, they were white with a blue ribbon to match the powder blue gowns.

Port Stephens Wedding

Kate and Phil married in Port Stephens

After the ceremony the bridal party headed down to Corlette Beach for some photos, much to the delight of local swimmers.

The reception was held at Shoal Bay Resort and most guests were staying on the grounds for the whole weekend. This meant the celebrations could start the moment everyone arrived on Friday afternoon and continue through to check out on Sunday morning. It was Kate and Phil’s plan to have the whole wedding weekend in one place so they could spend some quality time with all their family and friends who had travelled to be there.

The reception restaurant, Catch, and the adjoining large balcony both have extensive views of the beach. The tables were decorated with calla lilies, the same flowers used in the bridal bouquets.

The entrées and main courses were generous in size and the wait-staff were quick and helpful in catering to the guests. Speeches were made through both laughter and tears and then it was time to dance.

Kate and Phil made their way to the dance floor to Bryan Adam’s “Heaven”. Before long, true to Kate and Phil’s style, the song turned into “Summer of ‘69” and the guests didn’t need much encouragement to join the happy couple on the floor.

The dancing continued well into the night and guests eventually left to go back to their rooms hot and happy. The new Mr. and Mrs. Hansell set off a few days later to enjoy a honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand.

Wedding Proposal Ideas on Valentine’s Day

Posted in Weddings General by HUNTER BRIDE

Wedding Proposal Ideas

Wedding Proposal Ideas on Valentine’s Day

Here at Hunter Bride we don’t only speak to the bride but also to her groom! If you’re meaning to be one in the near future, you are so lucky that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!  What better date than Feb 14 to pop that life-changing question. Despite all the ‘over-rated’ things this day is made of, most women still look forward to something special on Valentine’s day.

Here are some wedding proposal ideas that are truly heart-warming, where she just can’t say no!

Take her on an out-of-town trip.

If she likes a particular place or destination (like the Hunter region!), visit this ahead of time. Why? Well, we suggest you place photos of you both as a couple along the trail of your trip, as you recall old special moments you spent together. As you reach your final destination, she will be looking for that last picture. This is the time to present the engagement ring, rather than a photo. She’ll be definitely surprised!

Do it with wine.

You and your girlfriend can enjoy a sip of special Hunter Valley wine while you prepare to ask the all-important question. Whether you are staying at your accommodation watching a good movie, taking a stroll in the vineyard, or having dinner at a fancy restaurant – there is nothing more romantic than having two wine glasses and her favourite drink with you. Pour some of it into her glass, while carefully concealing the “Will You Marry Me?” question on sticker paper placed at the back of the wine bottle (get the idea?).

As she tastes the wine, gently hold her hand and place the engagement ring inside her palms. As soon as she takes notice of this, bring the bottle close to you both and show her what’s at the back!

The 14-Day Countdown

Make the fourteen days leading to the red-letter day special by giving sweet gifts or mementos each day before the date. The gifts don’t need to be grand. It could be a favourite photo of you as a couple, a collection of your first movie date tickets, or her most adored brand of chocolate. Then on the final day (Feb 14), she will probably be expecting a gift. On this day, let it be that ring!

Make it as Sweet as Candy!

Give your loved one a special box of candies and sweets. The box could be those decorated ones you buy, or if you are doing the creative route, have it DIY! It makes it more special. Now inside the box are candies, each with a special love note. You can write all the reasons why you love her or how she makes you feel as a person. Let her read it one by one, until she chances on that ring with the note attached – Marry Me!

Create a Treasure Hunt Date

On Valentine’s Day, tell her there is something exciting you’d love to do – go on a treasure hunt! This is best done outdoors. Tell her you want to remember all your special moments together. Each memory comes with a gift. Make it appear fun and casual so she won’t have a clue. The gifts are placed randomly in the area. At the end of the hunt, the prized possession has to be that ring. This is the time you drop on one knee.

May the love fairy grant your wedding proposal dreams on Valentine’s Day!

Bridal Shower Themes

Posted in Bridal Shower by HUNTER BRIDE

Bridal Shower Ideas

Bridal Shower Themes

So you’ve been put in charge of your friend’s bridal shower! Whether the bridal shower you are organising is a small gathering of family and close friends, or a larger affair read on for some ideas on how to theme the day.

Bridal showers are not necessarily a tradition that women stick to these days as they are often replaced by a hen’s night instead. But bridal showers don’t have to be a boring afternoon of looking at kitchen utensils – there are many different themes that can bring a little excitement back into the day such as the ones listed below.

Lingerie Shower: Spice things up a bit by organising a lingerie party. It works in much the same way as a Tupperware party – a party organiser will turn up and take the guests through a showing of lingerie, which will then be available for purchase. The more lingerie purchased, the more the bride-to-be receives gifts from the party organiser and all the guests get to go home with something new.

Cellar Party: This is a good theme for the couple that has everything. Help the bride-to-be stock the cellar by asking guests to bring along a bottle of their favourite wine as a gift. Alternatively they can bring wine-related gifts such as glasses, glass charms or bottle openers. A fitting game to play at this type of party is ‘guess the wine’. Cover the labels on various types of wines and pour them into small plastic glasses. Give each guest a piece of paper with the description of each type of wine listed on it. As the guests try the wine – in a jumbled up order – they have to see if they can guess which one it is from the descriptions.

High Tea: For that extra touch of class why not make the bridal shower a high tea. You could either book into an actual high tea restaurant, or you could create the high tea at home. Buy a selection of pastries, pretty cupcakes and sweet slices. Make some finger sandwiches such as curried eggs, chicken mayonnaise, and ham and cheese. As gifts, guests can bring along different types of tea, teapots or even tea towels for the bride-to-be.

Pamper Shower: Organising a wedding can be a very stressful time for the bride, so a bit of pampering is always appreciated. Best suited to the smaller groups, try booking into a day spa in your area for the bride-to-be and her closest friends. Pedicures, manicures, facials and massages can often be done in groups while enjoying a glass of bubbly. Tell guests not to bring gifts as they can just pay for their pampering session instead. It is a good idea to hold this type of bridal shower over a weekend or two before the wedding so the bride is relaxed, pampered and ready for the big day.

If none of these themes feel suitable for your friend, trying dreaming up an idea that suits either her or her husband-to-be. For example it could be themed around the honeymoon destination with thongs, cocktails and beach umbrellas. Whatever you chose, I’m sure the bride-to-be will love it and you will all have a great time.

Planning a Lakeside Wedding

Posted in Lake Macquarie Weddings, Wedding Decorations & Event Hire by HUNTER BRIDE

Lake Macquarie Weddings

Planning a Lakeside Wedding

A lakeside wedding is a romantic setting for a marriage celebration. The ambiance is perfect – cool, laid-back, and refreshing. There are a number of ways to plan for a lakeside wedding. Here are some tips on decorations, wedding bomboniere, and other wedding ideas for a lake side celebration.

1. Use a nature inspired theme or go with tropical colours.

Having the outdoors as your backdrop, you want a wedding theme that blends with nature. Most brides go with the “rustic-vintage-chic” route in planning an outdoor wedding. However, tropical, bright coloured decors and details may also be a great alternative.

2. Pick a ceremony time right at sunset. Then adorn the lake side venue with warm lights for the evening.

The lake will surely make a grand canvass for that golden sunset. Its waters will reflect all the bright colours, leaving you and your guests breathless! A ceremony in the mid afternoon is just perfect for this. Match this with some warm lights placed on the lake docks, chairs, or the path where the bride will walk on.

3. Give water or nature-inspired tokens as wedding bomboniere.

How about some DIY wedding favours? Cute little boats in your chosen colour is one idea to match your lakeside wedding. Search wedding favour suppliers and see what they have to offer you.

4. Have fireworks at the end of the wedding reception or right after the ceremony.

Why not spruce the skies above the body of lake water with majestic fireworks? Everyone will be delighted to see lights do their magic on your most special day. This can be the highlight of the wedding executed at the end of the celebration. Real romantic, I must say!

Lakeside Weddings

Photo by MMG Photo + Cinema

5. Create a light, less formal mood for the guests.

In order for everyone to enjoy your lake side wedding, you can tell your guests in advance that they can expect a less formal and a more relaxed kind of celebration. Let them enjoy the view of the lake. You can even help them plan for an extended holiday at your chosen lake side wedding destination.

Last Tip: Offer activity options to your guests in Lake Macquarie.

Lake Macquarie is a top choice when it comes to lake side destination weddings. Blame it on its long stretch of shoreline – the biggest saltwater lake in Australia, and its variety of natural sceneries. Lake Macquarie is also known for its long sandy beaches plus a treat of beautiful mountains in its western portion. Guests and honeymooners can spend their time swimming, snorkeling, hiking, horseback riding, and even wine-tasting! Truly, it’s a place for memorable, romantic lakeside weddings.

Hunter Bride features a complete directory of wedding suppliers and services in Lake Macquarie.  See them here.