Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Amber and Garry

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When Amber and Garry chose their wedding date, they chose a very significant date – the date they had started dating, plus the date they had gotten engaged seven years later. The downside? South Australia in June can be rather frosty indeed. But the pair came out on top with a gorgeous destination wedding on the date they’d always wanted. The Whitsundays played host to the couple’s friends and family, boasting balmy weather and coastal glamour. We’d say ‘I do’ to this wedding, too!

Date: 02 June 2015

The Couple: Amber Baker + Garry Halleday

Location: Whitsunday Sailing Club, Airlie Beach

No. of Guests: 74

Theme: Coastal Elegance

First Dance Song: XO, John Mayer

Photography: Amy Agnew Photography

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QB: How did you meet?

We met through mutual friends, and played netball and football at the same local club. We just happened to be invited to some of the same functions in a short space of time and our relationship grew from there.

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QB: Tell us about the proposal…

Garry proposed on June 2 2015, which was our seven year anniversary. He popped the question while we were holidaying in Darwin, overlooking the ocean at sunset. It was a complete surprise to me – I had absolutely no idea! There were lots of happy tears.

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QB: Why did you choose Airlie Beach for your wedding?

We decided we wanted to keep our anniversary date and get married exactly 12 months later on our eight year anniversary. In 2015, this happened to fall on a Tuesday. We also live in South Australia, so it was the middle of winter. We thought that if we took all our guests up to the Whitsundays on a holiday, then it wouldn’t matter what day of the week it was. In June, the weather at Airlie Beac is just perfect!

The Sailing Club is an amazing venue. We wanted a relaxed indoor/outdoor venue so we could take advantage of the beautiful weather and they ticked all our boxes. Our reception was absolutely breathtaking.

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QB: What did you do for your hens and bucks?

Garry and about 12 of his friends went up to celebrate at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. They went for two nights. The boys had his legs professionally waxed and dressed him in a lycra dress so he looked like a grid girl for the day.

My hens was a little classier. My bridesmaids surprised me with a day out in Adelaide at the Morphettville Races, then we went out for dinner, cocktails and dancing in Glenelg. It was lots of fun!

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QB: Did you opt to DIY anything for your wedding? 

I had made all our wedding invitations, which were a pocket fold enclosure in Tiffany Blue with a real starfish attached to the front. I left most of the ceremony and reception styling to The Event Company Whitsundays – they did an incredible job. Garry made our seating plan which looked amazing, and used the letters to spell ‘I Love You’ instead of table numbers. One of my bridesmaids created little blackboards which had our wedding hashtag and a reminder to sign our guestbook, which was really cute. I also made three jars, marked for one, five and 10 years, for the guests to leave little notes in which we could open on the corresponding anniversary.

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QB: What was your key styling inspiration?

I wanted the reception to have a coastal, tropical feel, without looking typically ‘beach’. We used masses of fairy lights and white paper lanterns on the ceiling, with strings continuing outside over the dance floor and outdoor furniture. On the tables, we used burlap table runners with glass voice candles, white glass lanterns, and blue mason jars holding white peonies and hydrangeas. I wanted the whole feel to be elegant and simple, concentrating on white, silver and mint, with the whole area bathed in a soft glow from the lanterns and candles.

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QB: Where did you splurge and where did you save on your wedding?

We definitely splurged on our photographer and videographer. Having a destination wedding meant our guest list was a bit smaller, and I wanted to be able to show our photos and video to all those friends who couldn’t make it so they still felt as though they were part of it. I flew a photographer up with us who is absolutely amazing at what she does, and used a local videographer to capture all of the emotion and laughter in the day.

I saved money on our flowers by having beautiful artificial calla lilies arranged by a local florist from home, and transported to Airlie by my parents. They were amazing quality and received so many compliments on the day – people couldn’t believe they were fake! It just the cost of our flowers by more than 75% as fresh flowers can be expensive in the Whitsundays. The best bit is, I get to keep my beautiful bouquet. It now sits proudly in our home.

QB: What gifts did you give your guests?

We had stubby holders designed with our names, wedding date and photo of the ceremony location, along with a plastic pillow box filled with beautiful mint and white coloured chocolates to complement the colour scheme.

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QB: What was the funniest moment of the day?

Definitely my dad’s speech. It was totally impromptu and makes me laugh every time I watch it back on the video. He had our guests in hysterics – it was brilliant.

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QB: What was the most special memory from the day?

The most special part of the day was definitely our decision to have a first look prior to the ceremony. It was just the two of us with our photographer and videographer (who were incredibly discreet). We met down on the beach. Seeing his face light up when he first saw me was so amazing. It was beautiful to simply spend an hour of the day by ourselves to soak in all the craziness of the day. By the time I walked down the aisle, my nerves were gone and we both enjoyed our ceremony so much more!

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QB: What did you do for your honeymoon?

We stayed for a further two nights in Airlie Beach after the wedding, spending quality time with our guests who had travelled so far. After most people had left, we drove up to Magnetic Island where we spent another two nights, then onto Port Douglas where we spent the next eight nights. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t as kind to us as it was on our wedding day. We had a bit of rain but we still enjoyed ourselves. It’s a beautiful part of the country up there.

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QB: What advice would you give other brides-to-be?

Make sure you get all of the little things (such as speeches, music and family photo combinations) out of the way as early as possible. We planned most of these things at the last minute and it simply created unnecessary stress.

If you splurge on anything, make it a good photographer and videographer. Do your research and make sure their style reflects yours. At the end of the day, it’s what you have to remember the day by, and it’s such a special memento to have.


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Credits
Ceremony: Whitsunday Wedding Pavilion, Airlie Beach
Reception: Whitsunday Sailing Club, Airlie Beach
Gown: Pronovias gown from Jenny & Gerry’s Bridal Centre, Adelaide
Bridesmaid Attire: Forever New
Groom's Suit: County Grey, Mt Gambier
Groomsmen Attire: County Grey, Mt Gambier
Coordinator: Total Weddings
Decorator: The Event Company Whitsundays
Flowers: The Flower Shop, Mt Gambier
Hair: Toni Scott, Kabuki Haircutters NT (Bride) + Whitsunday Hair & Makeup (Bridesmaids)
Makeup: Jessie Creek, Mt Gambier (Bride) + Whitsunday Hair & Makeup (Bridesmaids)
Cake: Whitsunday Baked Creations
Transport: Whitsundays Wedding Cars
Music: LA Entertainment
Photographer: Amy Agnew Photography
Videographer: Emotive Media
Celebrant: Ceremonies Out of the Blue
Engagement Ring: Leskes Jewellers, Port Fairy
Bride's Wedding Ring: Leskes Jewellers, Port Fairy
Groom's Wedding Ring: Faith Jewellers, Mt Gambier
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