This year’s unfortunate events have impacted greatly on many industries, in particular our beloved weddings and events. For so many Northern Beaches wedding venues and suppliers, it has been extremely hard to watch couples be forced to postpone or completely change their dream wedding concept to comply with necessary restrictions. Not to mention the financial strain due to loss of business throughout the industry. Nevertheless, as true believers of love and weddings, the passion for creating memories to last forever has not faded and we still and always will love doing what we do.
Whilst Northern Beaches Weddings & Events and our network of wedding suppliers are in somewhat of a holding pattern, the experience and downtime has taught us to look at what we do, and how we can keep creating and inspiring couples so that when the day comes to celebrate your love, you will have nothing but the best wedding specialists making your wedding a truly memorable one.
Did you know that when you select a wedding supplier, whether it be a stylist, photographer or cake maker – they can often recommend and provide you with a team of suppliers across all categories? All of a sudden your overwhelming “to do” list is getting smaller and you are building fabulous relationships with reputable businesses and people working together for your big day!
So how do our wedding suppliers work so well together? They get inspired and create!
Recently, a team of local Northern Beaches suppliers and those that service the beaches, got together for a collaborative wedding shoot at the quaint Elouera at Cottage Point. A venue like no other situated alongside Cole and Candle Creek and with National Park surrounds. This hidden gem is a blank canvas venue nestled amongst the Australian bush but with water views and was the perfect setting for the shoot headed up by the extremely talented Amy Vandenhurk from Cloud 9 Events & Styling.
As suppliers arrived throughout the day to add their magic to the occasion (many seeing the venue for the first time) you couldn’t help but feel the buzz in the air… You could sense how inspired they were by the beautiful backdrop this venue offers, but also the opportunity to work together and create a wedding as close and authentic to the real thing. We even thought our model couple may actually say ‘I Do!’ (It certainly felt real).
We asked Amy a few questions to share details on all the fabulous moments and work that went into making this incredible collaborative shoot come to life:
What was the concept and theme you were creating for the shoot?
The concept was earthy, natural elegance with a pop of fun and for it to be set-up and staged as though it was a real wedding. The colour scheme was natural tones, terracotta and white. Textures play a big part in creating an inspired and well thought out space and I captured that through my selection of stationery, linen, furniture and glassware.
I like to design my weddings around the venue and consider the space, the number of guests and the flow of the day. So the positioning of each component was planned to ensure maximum impact of the view. I wanted to showcase the natural beauty of the space and complement what was existing. For the lawn it was a relaxed, garden vibe with music, cocktail furniture and festoon lighting. The pop of fun coming in with the jumping castle, neon sign and gelato… can you just imagine enjoying the afternoon in this private space being served canapes on the lawn and feeling as though you are a million miles from care (a secluded private oasis). Inside the “natural” came though in the flowers with Australian native gum included, the linen tablecloth was textured for an earthy feel, the terracotta colour napkins also adding depth to the design, we knotted them over folding them to keep with the relaxed vibe of the cottage. The paper chosen for the menu cards was also textured and tied in beautifully to this. Elegance was brought in with a canopy of fairy lights and sheer draping as well as a beaded chandelier, white taper candles and gold cutlery.
Are there any new wedding trends you have included in the styling and want to share with couples?
I try not to follow the trends too much, at Cloud 9 it’s about creating experiences that are fun with people who are passionate about what they do. So fun was added with a jumping castle and gelato cart; I think experiences that evoke childhood memories spark joy and create for a truly memorable day. One trend would be towards eco weddings and for this shoot there were a number of ways we did that including 1. eco confetti (from Blue Mountains Eco Confetti), mini cut heart shaped cut-out leaves (biodegradable) 2. The table numbers and reserved signs were made on off-cuts of stone and can be reused (Invites by Vesna Chea).
What makes Eleroua at Cottage Point so special to you and for couples to consider for a wedding or event?
Elouera at Cottage Point is stunning, surrounded by national park, lush green lawns and unmatched water views.
What do you look for in another wedding supplier when considering collaborating on a shoot or a wedding?
Good question, a few things really. 1. people who I know are just brilliant, I have either worked with them before, know and love their work and those who I share similar values and quality/ standards (that is super important) 2. I consider anyone who has approached me about wanting to be involved and work though if they could work and be the right fit. However, their expression of interest often means that they are ready to commit and keen to be involved. (reliability for a shoot is just as important as a real wedding and can tell you a lot about a supplier). 3. People I have not worked with before but are willing to give them a go and experience their product, service and quality first hand. This provides valuable insight as to whether the experience working with them in the lead-up to and on the day of the shoot makes me super excited to have met someone new and then be able to recommend to clients, or similarity to understand whose standards are not quite there. This helps ensure we are only recommending and working with the people who are professional, reliable, have attention to detail and who not only deliver but go over and above.
What kind of budget would couples need to recreate something like this?
To recreate this wedding – 80 guests. Ceremony, Hair, Make-up, Gown, Suit, Rings, Photography, Videography, Make-up, Hair, Flowers, Styling, Furniture, Linen, Glassware, Catering – canapes and main course with wedding cake as dessert, Service Staff, Accommodation for the bride and groom; 2 nights, Boat transfer/ charter, Kombi Transport, Signage, On the Day Stationery, Celebrant, Alcohol, Ceremony Styling, Gelato Bike, Jumping Castle, Wedding Cake, Lighting, Harpist, Musician/DJ. You would be looking at between $50,000 – $70,000.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with couples planning their big day?
Take the time to talk together about what matters most to each of you when it comes to your wedding day. Grab a wine, order take-out and start writing your own list then share it with each other. From there you will be able to start to see which elements are “must haves” and which may be “nice to have” if the budget allows and even which ones you will compromise on. I have a wedding checklist that I send to everyone who inquires with Cloud 9 Events & Styling and this can be a good starting point. Budget ties in closely with this list and can assist in your decision making process and the suppliers you work with.
One thing’s for sure that there is no substitute for experience and this is super important when it comes to choosing the suppliers/ people that you will involve in your Wedding Day.
Did you get to bounce on the jumping castle?
Oh, I wish I had!! but no, I was too busy coordinating all the moving parts of the day, I packed a lot into the shoot and wanted to keep the day flowing. I have seen a few fun stories on instagram of some of our vendors who did though. So I hope one of our couples will book one so that I can have a go next time :).