Real Bride Advice: for the record, we would not recommend doing this!

Thank you for the gorgoues photos Shayla Thayer (Images with Love)

You asked, I delivered – former brides telling it like it is. Today the lovely We Heart Events bride Andrea reflects on her Sunshine Coast DIY wedding that was all about ginger love…

Couple: Andrea + Stewart

Gorgeous Photos: Shayla Thayer (Images with Love)

Tell us a little about the proposal:

Stew and I were staying at my parent’s house who live in Maleny (where I grew up) as they had left to go overseas a couple of days earlier. Little did I know that Stew had called them before they left to ask my father’s permission. We had a lovely breakfast in town then we went for a walk through Mary Cairncross Park as I had visited this park regularly growing up. We got down to one section of boardwalk and as we enjoy a spot of bird watching I had found a Rainforest Dove up in the canopy. I had walked away from Stew as I was trying to get a better view of the bird in the tree, totally oblivious to what was about to happen. Stew tried very hard to convince me to come over where he was standing, telling me that he could see the bird much clearer from where he was – sneaky! He then got my attention, held my hands before getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him. Then I realised why my parents had been calling and messaging me with random questions asking if anything was happening back at home.

Any funny stories from the lead up to your wedding?

No real funny stories but we did buy a second house a few months before the wedding. It seemed to become a running joke that planning a DIY wedding wasn’t keeping us busy enough so we decided to buy a house as well! For the record, we would not recommend doing this!

How was the wedding planning experience for you?

We were very lucky that our planning experience went pretty smoothly. We didn’t put too much pressure on ourselves and tried to focus on a few key points that we wanted to include/have. This was of course after the initial creating of lots and lots of Pintrest Boards with even more Pins! Since Stew was working 2 jobs (full-time day job and night shifts finishing at midnight) and I am a manager of a centre for children with autism, we needed to stay focused and not get too carried away with what we wanted as we were doing it all by ourselves. The important thing we believe while planning was not to get bogged down with the little details, focus on the key vendors being organised and to remember the day is about us.

Any stand out suppliers?

  • Amanda from We Heart Events!!!!!!!

  • Alana- Weddings by Popular Demand

  • Stacey- Poppy Lane Flowers by Design

  • Bay Fusion – Caterers

  • The Ballerina Bride

The Obi Obi Hall association was also great to deal with in hiring the Hall.

What was well worth the money?

Our wonderful on-the day wedding coordinator!! OMG I can not say enough how much you helped us Amanda, not only in the month leading up to the wedding, but setting up, packing up and on the day!!!! Other things that were well worth the money included all the flowers, the accommodation we booked for the bridal party (so everyone could stay together), Stew’s tie (not super expensive but a little more extravagant than we would normally spend on a tie!), the Band and the Hall.

If you did it again, what would you not stress about and/or spend money on?

We were fairly budget conscious through out the planning. We made sure we got multiple quotes where we could (and having Amanda chase up the final few things in the month leading up to the day was a huge help!) We were fortunate that there wasn’t any major drama’s in the planning stages but as we have never planned an event like this we didn’t really know how it was all going to come together. We knew the individual items and aspects that we wanted to include but having someone experienced coordinate these things left us to enjoy ourselves.

Favourite moment / memory of the day?

My Uncle’s speech (who is from Canada) who gave us some Maple Syrup, a box of my favourite Canadian chocolate bars “Oh Henry’s” and gave Stew a Canadian Flag Pin and said something along the lines of “you’re Official now”; When our flower girl Alice walked up to Alana during the ceremony after her mother Rosie had finished the reading and wanted her turn to speak (so cute!!)- she said hello and told everyone her name!; and finally (well not finally as there were so many moments!) standing back at the ceremony and seeing everyone having a good time and thinking “Wow we pulled this off!”

Any other advice for real brides like you?

1. Don’t stress the small stuff – no-one will notice.

2. Pick what is most important to you and your Fiance and sacrifice other things if need be. eg. For me (for most important) it was flowers and accommodation so the bridal party and partners could spend time together.

3. Focus on what you want out of the day. For us it was to celebrate with our family and close friends. We also didn’t want our guests to go hungry or thirsty so over catered to ensure this didn’t happen. Our motto was good food, drinks and company.

4. Start planning early and give yourself lots of time to deal with vendors.

SUPPLIER CREDITSPhotography Images with Love • Venue Obi Obi Hall •  On the Day Coordination & Styling Ste Up We Heart Events • Celebrant Alana Salm Weddings by Popular Demand • Makeup The Ballerina Bride • Flowers Poppy Lane Flowers by Design • Wedding Dress Casar Elegance • Grooms Suit The Hut • Bridesmaids Dresses Dessy • Catering Bay Fusion Food Design • Entertainment RedTie Entertainment

Would you like to share your wedding experience? Contact me here.

Because I believe weddings are a unique time for intense love, optimism and hope. And if you are better informed and better prepared you will have a better chance to tap in to this joy.

And more joy in the world is a good thing.

Happy Planning,

P.S. Found this helpful? Feel free to share via the social link below to spread the wedding joy to other couples like you.


Hi, I’m Amanda Vodic, principal planner at We Heart Events and founder of Wedding Planning Masterclass. I work with couples that are CRAZY EXCITED about creating beautiful, meaningful, all-kinds of wonderful weddings. I help you get more joy from the wedding planning experience - while making it feel like it’s so easy you could become one of the pros yourselves.

Member Login
Welcome, (First Name)!

Forgot? Show
Log In
Enter Member Area
My Profile Not a member? Sign up. Log Out