Gorgeous Charlotte and Phil are currently based in New York and had the huge challenge of organising their wedding remotely but with the assistance of family based in Orange they pulled off one hell of New Year’s wedding. We were lucky to work with them on many levels including having their gift registry with us, hiring items for their wedding day and also engaging Jess to design and organise their wedding printing and stationary. Here is Charlotte's advice on organising a wedding when you live on the other side of the world….
How long have you and Phil been together for?
Phil and I have been together for about seven years. We got engaged in Lombok, Indonesia on Christmas Eve in 2017. We were on holidays with my family at the time so we got to spend the next week or so celebrating with everyone before heading back to reality in New York. We decided to have our wedding a year later in December 2018.
How many people did you have at your wedding? Where was it?
We got married on December 30th on Mum and Dad's property, "Fairview" about 20 minutes outside of Orange. Our ceremony was in Millthorpe at the St. Mark's Anglican Church and then guests made their way to "Fairview" for the reception. We had around 140 guests.
You guys are living in New York so how was it planning and organising a wedding remotely?
Planning our wedding from New York was thankfully made infinitely easier by having my gorgeous sister, Rach, on the ground at home. I think she's still recovering after doing all of the running around for us last year! Challenges included trying to chat with suppliers while in different timezones, organising site visits, taste tests, bridesmaid dress shopping and the insane amount of preparation and stress that comes with planning a wedding at home - all of which we were lucky enough to have my family on hand to help out with.
Our advice would be to have someone on the ground who knows you both incredibly well, and who you trust to help make big decisions when you're both stuck between a rock and a hard place. Phil and I discovered during the wedding process that we are particularly hopeless at making final decisions together. Lucky we had Rach to the rescue every time!
Tell us where you drew inspiration for your wedding?
We knew that getting married on a farm in the middle of summer in the Central West would present its own challenges, but country weddings are also some of the most memorable we've been to over the years. We wanted to highlight the natural country charm of the property, including Mum's gorgeous garden, and really show off the beauty of Orange and Millthorpe to all of our family and friends visiting from out of town.
What were the most important components/things that you and Phil wanted to achieve?
We knew that, if we were going to try to stick to our budget, we couldn't have the bee's knees of absolutely everything. So we decided what we wanted to prioritise and really focused on those elements. Details such as the music (we had a killer band), the atmosphere at "Fairview", photography and videographer and a great local selection of food and alcohol were some of the features that were important to us.
What were the highlights from the day?
I could list so many highlights from our wedding day, it really was a cracking weekend from beginning to end. We got so lucky with the weather, 28 degrees and barely a cloud in the sky, which set the mood for the entire day. The speeches were all equally memorable, particularly from both fathers, who absolutely shone in the spotlight. The heaving dance floor, surrounded by all of our family and friends, really capped off an incredible celebration.
What vendors were a standout for you and why?
The White Tree Band, who travelled from Sydney, were absolutely superb on the day. They were a breeze to work with in the lead-up, made sure to play all off our favourite bangers throughout the reception and had everyone out of their seats and on the dance floor for the majority of the night.
Jess, the brilliantly creative founder of Oh Dear Design, was a delight to work with. Even from the other side of the world, our communication regarding invitation designs, menus, the seating chart and signage was always a breeze. Jess completely understood what look we were going for and she made it happen. We received so many compliments from guests regarding our wedding invitations and 'on the day' stationery.
I was totally clueless when it came to the floral arrangements but Teagan and her team at Midco took the stress out of it all for us and worked their magic (even in the middle of a drought) with some stunning bouquets, church pew decorations, table arrangements and boutonnieres. The ladies even arranged a site visit in the lead-up to the wedding to familiarise themselves with the reception space so that they were able to really hit the ground running when they arrived on the day.
We also loved working with Alex and the entire team at The White Place, which is not only where we had our registry, but also where we hired some of the table arrangements, such as their crystal stemware and linen napkins. Alex was even kind enough to FaceTime with me while I was in New York to walk me through the store and help me select our registry items.
Any other advice for future couples planning their wedding?
You can never have too many lists on the go. My mum, sister and I all turned into crazy list ladies in the months leading up to the wedding, but there's definitely something incredibly rewarding about crossing an item off a whopping To Do list.
Also, try not to get too stressed if a supplier doesn't get back to you as quickly as you would like. While your wedding might be the most important thing in your life at that moment, they're likely dealing with a dozen requests very similar to yours at the same time.
One more thing - try not to get too deep in Pinterest, Instagram and the endless array of wedding blogs. Make sure you unfollow accounts such as dress designers and florists once you've got yours all locked in. It will only confuse you and make you doubt your fabulous choices, which equals unnecessary anxiety - especially if the deposit has already been paid!
- Charlotte's dress: NY-based designer Sarah Seven
- Bridesmaids: Bec & Bridge
- Phil's suit and groomsmen: Sydney-based suit makers Brent Wilson
- Band: The White Tree Band
- Singer: Sophie Kate Music
- Caterer: Eat Your Greens, based in Eugowra
- Cake: Made by Stacey Ewin
- Marquee and tables: Bathurst-based JD Events
- Wedding design + event stationary: Jess Murphy (Oh Dear Design)
- Makeup: Emily Doyle Makeup
- Hair: Jackie Browne hair stylist
- Florist: Teagan Middleton (Midco Vintage)
- Celebrant: Frank Hetherington
- Photographer: Matty Teague (Feather & Birch)
- Videographer: David Brodie (Studio Windmill)
- Gift registry: The White Place, Jumbled Orange