Perfect Places

Expert Q&A – Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club

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QB chats with Wedding planner/Coordinator Nicola Bentley of Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club, who shares her expert advice every bride-to-be should know.

What made you become a wedding planner?

I love people and I’m a good organiser.

What’s the most common thing brides under-budget for?

Their bar tab.

What’s your number one way to make a big impact on a small budget?

Bargain hunt and don’t be afraid to use pre-loved items!

Have you noticed any trends cropping up lately?

Shabby chic and retro.

What’s your favourite decorating/colour scheme of the moment?

Coastal glamour with pale blues, pearly whites, creams and dove grey.

What aspects of the wedding do you cover? Do you have different coverage options for different budgets?

We cater for ceremony, pre-reception and reception. We can tailor our services to suit most budgets and offer DIY décor.

Wedding ceremony setup

Photo: Lou O’Brien

What is the most popular question you’re asked?

Can I bring my own DJ, lolly buffet and photographer? The answer is yes!

What should couples expect in an initial meeting with you?

To feel comfortable with me and understand what Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club offers.

What do you love most about your job?

Happy couples – of course!

How do you help stressful brides and grooms?

I tell them it’s a party – a celebration and to trust that I am good at my job. “All you two need to do is turn up and enjoy the day.”

What’s the difference between a wedding planner and wedding coordinator?

Planners plan from day one – it’s a more involved process with more input in to more aspects of the wedding – cars, flowers, cake etc. A coordinator would oversee the venue.

Wedding reception at Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club

What would be in your bridal ‘survival’ kit?

I always have pins – needle and cotton, scissors and tissues.

Walk us through your process from meeting the bride and groom, up to the big day.

Couples make an appointment to meet me and look through the venue. I walk them through the whole process of what will happen on the big day – from arrival at the venue, ceremony, photos, pre-dinner canapés and then the reception – including how the bridal party will enter the room on the night.

Once booked, they choose menus and they go to see the wedding decorator. We then build a schedule for the day. I usually meet with the client up to five times; pre-wedding plus we have numerous phone calls and emails. All my brides have my personal mobile number in case of middle of the night questions! The day before the wedding, we meet and go through the completed running sheet and menu so that couples are happy that everything will be okay. On the wedding day I am here to welcome and look after them and their guests all day – until the cake is cut and the dancing starts!  Before I leave I usually go and see my bride – give her a hug and wish her all the best in her new married life.

Do you have a top wedding tip you’ d like to share with couples?

Keep it simple and don’t involve too many other people in on the planning process! Everyone has an opinion, but it’s your day – so go with what you want.

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