WA Weddings
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Vince & Anne-Marie’s backyard marquee wedding in Gnangara

Anne-Marie and Vince got married in early June, and fortunately found themselves exchanging vows on a sunny winter’s day (not that rain has to mean wedding disaster). They certainly got the most out of the day—an outside ceremony against the limestone backdrop of the Brookleigh Equestrian Centre in the Swan Valley, photography sessions on the Brookleigh grounds (Anne loves horses!), at the wooden bridge over Bells Rapid, and at Gnangara Pines, followed by a reception at Anne’s father’s property just nearby.

The couple was looking for a relaxed, fun and rustic style-wedding. Anne had always wanted to have the reception at her dad’s so they could make the most of the venue with a marquee on the grass, and dance floor beneath the outdoor patio.

For the ceremony at Brookleigh, Anne says that it was fantastic:

“They set it up in such a lovely way, and it was one of only a few places that held ceremony-only packages. There was a number of ceremony locations to choose from and lots of different photo locations and back-up options for rainy days.”

The dress was from Tuscanny Bridal, and the experience was a bit of a shock to Anne. She says that she did not expect alterations to cost as much as they did considering how expensive the dress itself was, and she warns other brides to take alterations and dry cleaning into consideration when purchasing for themselves.

Anne’s father’s property is located next to a busy main road, and so they used large sheets of hessian to block the road from view. It was a good idea and it didn’t look out of place since the tables had been decorated with white cloth using lace and hessian runners.

We made it a point that at our reception we would hire people for everything possible so that on the day our family and ourselves could have fun without worrying about setting up, cleaning, or preparing anything. We had a food van from Comida do Sul with waitresses serving throughout the night and cleaning up any mess. Two cocktail waitresses also served drinks, cleaned away glasses and got everything prepared.

Images above supplied by bride

There were two fire pits stationed just outside the marquee in front for the food truck so most people could stand out there getting served tapas in front of the fires. Anne’s father had an old yellow tractor and guests were able to jump onto that for photos.

“At the entrance of the marquee we had a handmade wooden arch draped in greenery and loose hanging fabrics tied to the sides, this was made by a family friend. Next to the archway at the entrance we had a table with the wishing-well for cards and a guest book.”

All of the decoration was DIY, including lighting, table centrepieces, wood slabs with candles, lolly buffet. Anne says that she bought jars and wrapped them in hessian and lace and decorated them with artificial flowers. Her mother made blankets for the couches (which sat in the corner of the marquee in case it got cold) and also sewed the lace on the table runners.

A grazing table with cheeses, crackers, cold meats, olives etc was set up on a table with wooden slabs over the table creating different heights. About half-way through the evening this was turned into a dessert table with Italian pastries.

The couple was going to hire fairy lighting, but it turned out to be cheaper to buy it in bulk—so they purchased 400m of fairy lights which we ran through the grape vines, around patio and under the marquee. They also decorated the patio with festoon lights.

Behind the marquee was a row of grape vines and an old gum tree. The father of the bride brought along a spotlight and light the tree up. The white bark just looked spectacular!

The favours were ‘rustic keys’ that are bottle openers they were on the same table as the lolly buffet (it was a cocktail type event rather than a formal dinner), but they found that “not many people took the favours or went to the lolly buffet since it wasn’t well placed. I wish we had made everything a bit more accessible and in the open”.

“In hindsight, I wish we had packed some lunch and snacks—we didn’t really eat anything all day for the whole day. We also wish we had planned some more time for speeches and cut the cake more accurately.”

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By Sandie Bertrand Photography

Sandie Bertrand is a wedding photographer Perth, the Swan Valley, Fremantle and the South-West. Thinking outside the square and pushing boundaries has been the focus of her work with wedding photography