This is my story of Janice & Richard's wedding experience. I was their full wedding planner, and met them just as they were settling on the location and the date of their wedding. Their wedding planning journey definitely was some feat, to carry on through all that COVID threw at us in 2020... to finally meet the wedding day head first on Saturday 20 March 2021. And nothing, not even the threat of being flooded out, was going to stop us!
Enjoy this heart melting read. It proves to you that love is truly all that matters at the end of the day! During these times of COVID, you may have to change plans last minute, or your day may end up a little different to what you first envisioned... Remember, as long as you are marrying your true love, that's all that matters - and your day will be magical no matter what!
Planning a wedding during COVID times still didn't stop them from booking their dream vendors to create their ultimate wedding!
Planning a wedding during COVID times still didn’t stop them from booking their dream vendors to create their ultimate wedding! We made sure we booked in a marquee with elevated timber flooring, large enough to hold both ceremony (for wet weather back up) and the reception in. We made sure it was still located close to the property's house, and that the marquee was large enough to hold 100 guests, ensuring we still adhered to the COVID venue square metre rules we were to follow.
The new year of 2021 arrived, Yay! And was filled with hope that Australia was getting back on track and wedding restrictions were lifting. The year started off with a mix of emotions. We were allowed 2 square metre distancing indoors, which meant ALL our invited guests were still able to attend - and we were allowed guests back on a dance floor! Woo!
Finally we reached the week of the wedding!
We thought we'd gotten through the hardest part...
The most difficult part was having had to make the ultimate decision that Janice’s mother and father were unable to travel Australia from Malaysia, and her sister Denise was unable to travel from Singapore for the wedding, due to international borders being closed. Janice has two sisters Cherise and Maris who live in Australia who thankfully had no issues travelling to Sydney for the wedding. Phew! So it was decided that one of Janice's best friends Eleni would step in as the third bridesmaid, and both sisters would walk Janice down the aisle for her ceremony entrance, arm in arm. It was a superb plan indeed!
We’d kicked all our wedding planning goals, combatted some emotional COVID hurdles, created our dream wedding, and FINALLY we reached the week of the wedding! We thought we’d gotten through the hardest part...
The weather forecast in the final days was looking grim for the whole of NSW. Rain was forecasted every single day, and floods were reported along the coastline – but no floods in the Blue Mountains! With the sun making an appearance in the Megalong Valley each day, we had hopes the weather would make a change and we may still be able to have our outdoor ceremony up on the property’s hill overlooking the spectacular nearby rolling mountains.
Janice’s two sisters Cherise and Marise had arrived in Sydney, and we were hanging on to every ounce of hope everything would go ahead as planned.
We woke up on wedding day morning... on the TV and the radio, all of NSW was advised not to drive anywhere, and to stay home...
We had a lot of guests phone through last minute, wanting to take the guest buses to the wedding. Many guests felt the guest bus would be a safer option compared to driving their own cars themselves to and from the wedding. And completely understandable too! Rod our bus driver took on all the changes happily and easily and adapted to these last minute changes without any fuss.
There were talks with the family of rescheduling the wedding... but luckily someone brought the tequila and a shot of tequila was shared by all in the property’s house! And so it was quickly decided to keep calm and CARRY ON! What troopers!!
We are so incredibly thankful for all the dedicated vendors we booked !
Hyre Events floralled up and styled our entire clear marquee so beautifully, and quickly adapted to our wet weather backup plan with plenty of space for our ceremony too! Britt the styling director, ran the set up in true boss style and had the marquee in pristine condition in no time at all!
With nerves in full swing at this stage, we could see guests arriving safely in their cars, however we were very eagerly awaiting the arrival of our 50 guests travelling on the Near or Far Bus & Coach guest mini buses. The 50 guests is half of the guest numbers, so you can understand the excitement when we saw the guest buses pull up beside our marquee with 15 minutes to go before the ceremony start time! PERFECT! There were big cheers and high fives in the property's house!! We were in so much relief all guests arrived safe and sound, and the heavy buses didn’t get bogged!!!
The buses needed to be parked in the safest spot on the property which was just in the front of the marquee, but we didn’t mind as safety comes first!
The ceremony was perfect, and was created and run by Janice and Richard's close friend Joshua. Joshua put together a fun and quirky bespoke ceremony, with loads of personality and personal touches. All the guests were brimming with the biggest smiles and were totally into every minute of each story he told. We actually forgot all about the rain during the ceremony!
Richard's face was priceless, full of so much love - always my favourite moment at a wedding!
Watching Janice walk down the aisle arm and arm with her sisters had everyone reaching out for the Kleenex. Richard's face was priceless, full of so much love and emotion - always my favourite moment at a wedding! I just love that even though a couple may have a first look photo session, this moment of seeing each other at the aisle still gets them right smack bang in the heart every time!
The ceremony was full of so much joy and love underneath a lush floral installation with a hanging custom 'Weiss Tan Clan' neon sign.
We just loved the processional, when guests showered Janice and Richard with eco love heart gum nut leaf confetti. It's such a fun moment and we love supporting local, and that this confetti is made locally in the Blue Mountains!
When the champagne and home made margaritas came out for guests, the rain finally stopped and the sun came out - so Janice and Richard quickly disappeared for a portrait photo session up on the nearby hills. Fiona & Bobby and CloudHerd Films captured some of the most incredible footage of the couple.
One guest at this stage reported their car being bogged. This definitely put me on guard for what may be to come of the floods!
Janice and Richard's reception entrance was so much fun! We loved that the entrance rolled straight onto the first dance ‘At the Beginning’ (from Anastasia) performed live by their best friends Brendan and Tracey. Such a special touch!
The wedding cake was cut with a samurai sword! Yes you read correctly! Janice and Richard had loads of fun cutting their two tier semi naked meringue cake by the Half Baked Moose. The cake formed part of the deelish dessert station which was filled with macarons, profiteroles and cheese cake!
Everyone celebrated, danced and partied hard right until 11pm, when booties couldn't shake any more! It was an unforgettable night full of celebrations and drinks a-flowing!
Rod reported that a couple of the cross roads along the path were already beginning to flood with fast flowing water...
A few vendors got together and car pooled or followed each other in their cars along the muddy unsealed road. Richard's father Gordon assisted guests on their journey along the mud roads in the darkness of night and ensured everyone made it to the tar road safely.
Our caterers and DJ had their vehicles bogged in the mud pit during their departure. Thankfully Rod (our official saviour of the evening!) who is the owner of Near or Far Bus & Coach - was monitoring their travels at the time and he pulled them out from being bogged to safety. Rod reported that a couple of the cross roads along the path were already beginning to flood with fast flowing water.
By 1.30am Janice and Richard had 30 friends and family (with some who were meant to be camping!) staying in the house at the property, and all the vendors had left the property safely. Janice and Richard stayed up with their loved ones drinking, laughing and sharing stories into the wee hours of night. With everyone safe and sound, it's fair to say we all slept very well that night!
The following morning the water had risen on the cross roads so high that there was no chance of them being able to leave...
The following morning Hyre Events, our stylists, arrived to collect their décor and bump out. However on their departure the water had risen on the cross roads so high that the current was too strong and there was no chance of them being able to leave safely. They ended up staying on the property with the family over night that night and luckily were able to leave in their truck (being a powerful heavy vehicle) the following morning.
Everyone was so relieved the flooding didn’t happen on the wedding day! And Janice and Richard love that the mini buses are in view in their ceremony photos – it reminds them of Rod’s bravery and how he and his team kept our guests safe – it’s a part of their story!
Check out Janice and Richard's Kickass trailer film!
They wanted something fun - boy did CloudHerd nail the fun in this clip!
I am beyond over the moon that we chose the vendors we did. They all stood up on the day, the true pros that they all are, and went over and above their usual jobs. They all adapted to the changes and challenges, and ensured Janice and Richard had a wonderful wedding day.
This wedding has certainly gone down in history for me as a planner! Reflecting on the days following the wedding and learning what the devastating floods did to so many towns and people's livelihoods all around NSW, I'm just in awe that we survived it and were able to keep the wedding afloat.
If you would like help with your weddings plans, no matter how big or how small, don't hesitate to email me at email@example.com. I'd love to take away the stress of wedding planning from your shoulders, and assist you with all that may come your way in your journey of wedding planning!
Our Real Photos
The Vendor Team
Alison Hughes Weddings www.alisonhughesweddings.com
Fiona & Bobby Photography www.fionaandbobby.com
CloudHerd Film Co www.cloudherdfilmco.com
Marquee & flooring
Walkers Party Hire www.walkershire.com.au
Décor Styling, Florals, Signage
Hyre Events www.hyreevents.com.au
Catering, Waiters & Bartenders
The Wilderness Chef www.thewildernesschef.com
Red Soda Band www.redsoda.com.au
The Half Baked Moose www.thehalfbakedmoose.com
Hair & Make Up
Kelly T Beauty www.instagram.com/kellytbeauty/?hl=en
Near or Far Bus & Coach www.nearorfarbusandcoach.com.au
Eco Ceremony Confetti
Blue Mountains Eco Confetti www.bluemountainsecoconfetti.bigcartel.com
Luxe Porta Loos
Lavish Loos www.lavishloos.com.au
Bride Wedding Ceremony Gown
It's a Vow by Show Po www.showpo.com
Bride Wedding Reception Gown
Made by hand couture Bell Street Bridal www.bell-street.com
MJ Bale www.mjbale.com
Show Po www.showpo.com
Groom's Party Outfits
MJ Bale www2.hm.com
Electrical Equipment, Cool Room, Porta Loos Hire
Kennards Hire Penrith www.kennards.com.au
The couple's wonderful friend Joshua Shuvalov