Catching the last rays of sun.
Catching the last rays of sun. Adam Hourigan Photography

TOP TIPS: How to create your right royal wedding day at home

Christine Preston - Marriage Celebrant

TO CREATE the perfect wedding in the Clarence Valley is easy. With beautiful locations, venues and great professionals in the industry you can't go wrong.

As a celebrant, the advice I would give is to make sure you have the ceremony that you want, with some fun and meaningful moments too.

Try and not worry about the small stuff and leave it to your providers to look after you.

We are very fortunate in the Clarence Valley to have some of the best professionals in the wedding industry to make sure you have the best day.

Having had the experience of officiating ceremonies in other states, we definitely have it all here in the Clarence Valley.

And not to worry if it's raining, as your photographer will get great pics and you will still have the best day.


Celebrant Christine Preston on a rainy wedding day.
Celebrant Christine Preston on a rainy wedding day. Denis Banks

Leah Wallace - On Occasions Event Coordination

NO MATTER the size or budget of your big day, I always tell my clients the 3 following bits of advice:

Quote, Quote, Quote

Never just get the one quote. In the Clarence Valley we are blessed with a great range of venues, photographers, celebrants and florists. So always get quotes from a range of supplies and compare. And never be afraid to ask if your preferred supplier can price match. The worse they can do is say no.

Get it in writing

To save any heartache always get your services in writing. A booking or service agreement, an email or letter. Anything that you can refer to later if there are any questions at all. If anything is ever discussed over the phone or in person, it doesn't hurt to send an email after, outlining what you discussed.

Know your priorities

Weddings can be expensive. Sure the swan ice sculpture would look amazing but is it a priority? Maybe the priority is that five-tier, delicately-lace iced cake but you could care less about embossed wedding invitations. Sit down with your partner and each pick your top five must-have wedding items and plan a budget breakdown around those.


Find a photographer who you are comfortable and don't forget to relax and enjoy your day.
Find a photographer who you are comfortable and don't forget to relax and enjoy your day. Stephanie Flay Photography

Stephanie Flay - Photographer

MY TOP tip is to speak with your photographer early in the wedding planning process. An experienced photographer can offer such valuable advice about different venues, photo locations, choosing an appropriate ceremony time for your season and organising a realistic timeline that will help your wedding day run smoothly.

Another good tip is to keep your photo time fun and relaxed by packing snacks and drinks for you and your bridal party and only choosing one or two great photo locations. Maximise your time there and keep your photo time to 1.5 hours at the most. You want to get back to the reception and party with friends and family, not keep them waiting too long.

With so many wedding trends out there don't lose yourselves in the planning process. Include ideas that suit your individuality as a couple and really make your wedding day a unique and personal experience.


Timeless elegance and romance.
Timeless elegance and romance. Stephanie Flay Photography

Bonnie McGowan - Flowers By Bonnie

WHEN talking wedding florals, when collecting initial floral quotes to avoid disappointment on your wedding day take into account your florist's style, years of experience, ability to source all the blooms required and the passion to deliver your vision.

It's important you are on the same page as when your blooms arrive you want to be thrilled, I love hearing "they are everything I dreamed of and more. Thank you."

Within the Clarence Valley and surroundings there are some beautiful natural settings. My advice for your wedding florals would be to consider the environment when you are creating your style and flower type, the florals will complement and flow beautifully with taking this into consideration.


Flowers by Bonnie wedding flowers
Flowers by Bonnie wedding flowers

Monique Turner - Yamba Wedding & Events

YAMBA is now one of the most popular 'Destination Wedding' spots on the NSW North Coast. Having many choices in venues from private riverside properties to premium beach locations. Yamba is now considered the next Byron Bay.

As Yamba is becoming more and more popular it is now even more important to secure the wedding professionals of your choice early, especially for the very popular spring and autumn months.

Just remember if everything is not as perfect as you planned for your special day, you will still marry the one you love.


Taking advantage of our beaches.
Taking advantage of our beaches. Stephanie Flay Photography

Leah Stevenson - Lasting Impressions Bridal and Formal Wear

WE ALL want to look stunning when we go out and a good spot to start is with a good fit. Fiddling with an ill-fitting gown all night might turn heads... but not for the right reason. There are a few things to consider to achieve a great fit.

For complete peace of mind try on the style you like as well as at least one other. What looks good on the 6' tall size 8 model in the magazine or on the computer may not look good on you. When trying on, listen to people whose fashion advice you trust. Try on the gown in your size or a size that is close to your size.

Buying a gown straight off the rack means you get to try on the actual dress and you know immediately whether it will need minor alterations to fit or if it is a major job.

To avoid stress make sure you book in early for alterations. Make sure you have your alterations done by a reputable seamstress or tailor. Ask to see some of their alterations. Make sure you have your actual shoes and any undergarments you are going to wear on the night at your dress fitting.

Adam Hourigan - Photographer

I TELL people my rules on a wedding days are simple. If I want you to look at me, I'll ask. The rest of the time, ignore me completely. Secondly, there is no such think as too many family photos. I'd rather you get to the end of the day with way too many, than not enough.

On choosing a photographer, obviously finding one with photos you like is imperative, but take a look at their full work. Is every wedding the same?

All shot in similar poses/similar light? Don't fall for trends. Wedding photos are forever and will be around long after the sun flared or vintage look has gone out of fashion. Find someone who is capable of photographing well in all situations, and doesn't rely on the same "bag of tricks" every time.


Make sure your photographer has the skills to capture all the moments.
Make sure your photographer has the skills to capture all the moments. Adam Hourigan Photography

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