A huge shout out to Mira and Matt for taking the time to share their wedding story, you guys are gold!
Tell us about the proposal…where was it, how did it happen, did it all go as planned?
Matt: We had just relocated interstate for work and had spent the day doing unromantic but necessary errands (e.g. buying a vacuum cleaner). Then I surprised Mira by taking her to a fancy dinner. Amongst all the moving boxes, I set up some flowers and candles, and proposed in our new place where we’d be for this new and exciting stage in our lives. Mira was completely unaware of my plans to propose and was completely taken by surprise when I asked her that night, so I was really happy I managed to surprise her.
Mira: We had been together since we were teenagers, so even though we had talked about getting married for quite a long time, I was still completely floored when Matt proposed, so much so that my brain didn’t quite compute what was happening. I had to ask him to do it again because I wasn’t quite sure that it had actually happened. I was so happy and excited that I literally couldn’t sleep at all that night.
How did you choose the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove as the venue for your wedding? What was important to you?
At first, we were unsure about where we wanted to get married. We had recently relocated interstate and spent quite some time deliberating which city to have our wedding in. However, we knew the kind of feel we wanted for our wedding – somewhere that felt classic, elegant but also fairly relaxed. It was also very important to us to have the wedding ceremony location close to the reception venue and accommodation for our guests.
The Intercontinental Hotel at Sanctuary Cove was the first venue we looked at. We fell in love with the chapel immediately – the interior of the chapel was really spectacular but the chapel was also quite intimate. As soon as we saw the reception venue (The Grange), we were sold. We both remember feeling like the place was “right” for us and exactly what we had pictured without even having seen it before, as cliche as it sounds. The wedding coordinators were also lovely and incredibly helpful.
Having the ceremony, reception, and accommodation where all in the one location made everything quite easy on the day. It gave us more time during the day to get ready, take photos and allow everyone to have a chance to relax, have fun and take in the moment without feeling rushed or stressed. It also meant we could save costs on transportation, which was a bonus.
You planned an interstate wedding, how long did you spend planning your wedding? What was your wedding planing experience like, can you recommend some helpful tips for other couples planning their wedding?
There was about 18 months between our engagement and wedding day, but we didn’t really start seriously planning anything until 6 months after our engagement. Planning our wedding remotely was harder than we expected. We were lucky that we shared a clear view of what we wanted for our day and we were both quite hands-on when it came to planning. However, it was really difficult not actually being in the same town to meet with suppliers, buy decorations, plan with our friends and family in person etc. We racked up a lot of frequent flyer points in the lead up to our wedding!
Our tips for other couples would be to do your research up front before making enquires so you have multiple options for suppliers/vendors. When one supplier or service seem uninterested or are unresponsive, move on to the next option. It’s important to know that you can rely on the people assisting you on the wedding day. Also, if you have friends and family who are enthusiastic and willing to help out, take them up on their offers to help and delegate tasks when you can, particularly if you’re not physically there to do things in the lead up to the wedding day.
Did anything on the day not go to plan and if so, how did you cope and did it really matter?
Matt: We were very lucky on our wedding day and everything turned out almost perfectly. We did have a tiny little mishap just before the wedding ceremony, as we couldn’t find the CD with our wedding music. We had a stressful fifteen minutes frantically trying to download the right songs before Mira’s friend found it after running around hotel complex. She saved the day with just minutes to spare (thanks Amy!).
Mira: Thankfully I was oblivious to the music drama! My only worry was the weather, which became extremely overcast and incredibly windy as soon as our ceremony concluded. We were worried that we might not be able to take photos outside, but John used the crazy weather to his advantage and was able to capture some really special moments and create spectacular photos. My hair was a total mess from the wind but I really didn’t care at the time as I was having too much fun to really notice.
Matt, is there a moment that stands out as “the moment” on your wedding day?
The moment we walked into the reception as husband and wife was our first chance to let our hair down and take in the whole day. It was an amazing feeling walking into the venue with everyone important to us celebrating our day.
Mira, is there a moment that stands out as “the moment” on your wedding day?
Walking out of the chapel, hand in hand, as married couple was just surreal. I remember we walked out, looked at each other with the biggest smiles on our faces and saying “wow, we did it!” Also walking into our reception, because it was just such a fun, happy moment and we felt like we could relax and completely enjoy ourselves with everyone.
I also have very happy memories getting ready in the morning with my mum and grandma. I am so grateful that I was able to share those special moments with them.
Describe what it was like to be surrounded by your most special friends and family on your wedding day.
We both look back and genuinely feel that it was one of the happiest day of our lives, and a big part of that was having our family and friends together as it is such a rarity! It truly was such a joyous and special day for us, one we both wish we could repeat again. It was also very important that our wedding wasn’t just about us – we really wanted to make sure that our loved ones had a wonderful, fun time celebrating the day together. We also loved seeing all the kids running around at the reception, dancing along with everyone and having a ball.
Mira, what was it like seeing Matt for the first time on your wedding day?
I was in the golf buggy being driven up to the chapel when I suddenly had a clear view of Matt waiting at the altar. I don’t think he could see me yet but I could see him. I became really emotional and teary, which completely took me by surprise. I will never forget that feeling of anticipation, nervousness and excitement.
Matt, what were you thinking as Mira walked down the aisle?
Right up until Mira walked down the aisle I had been busy getting ready and hadn’t reflected on the day. When I first saw Mira walk down the aisle I felt like time stopped. Seeing her in the wedding dress walking towards me took my breath away. The feeling was indescribable and I’ll never forget it.
Your wedding reception looked spectacular with beautiful styling as everyone arrived, what were you hoping for for your wedding reception?
Thank you, we were so pleased with how the reception looked. We wanted something that was simple, classic and pretty, nothing too over-the-top or trendy. We both spent a lot of time online looking at different details, sourced various decorations locally or online ourselves and we decorated the venue with the help of friends and our wedding coordinator. Mira especially wanted fairy lights inside to create a soft and romantic atmosphere, and wanted flowers to be the main decorative feature. We were also really lucky to have creative friends to help us with the design and decorating, such as the menu boards, seating chart and lolly buffet.
What was on the menu at the reception? What comments did your guests make about the meal?
The meals were really delicious and we had really great feedback about the menu, which we were so happy about.
Our entrees were pork belly, with honey-glazed carrot puree and sweet apples or goat cheese tortellini, lavender beurre blanc, parmesan & pine nuts. Our mains were just as tasty: BBQ grilled chicken breast potato & goat cheese gratin, crispy cauliflower, snake beans in jus or grass-fed beef striploin in red wine jus with garlic mashed potato, french beans and red onion marmalade. All served with lots of wine!
Our wedding cake (orange and almond and chocolate mud tiers) was our dessert and absolutely divine.
The Intercontinental staff were very accommodating about our guests’ dietary requirements, which made things a lot easier when it came to choosing the menu.
Tell us about your wedding photography experience and your wedding album. What were you looking for and what was it like being photographed by John Reyment?
Mira: Photography was very important to us, especially Matt. I found John’s photos online when researching wedding venues only a few weeks after we were engaged. I bookmarked the photo and then didn’t look at it again until after we booked our venue six months later. We looked online at other photographers but kept coming back to John. We didn’t want people in our photos, us included, to look too posed, unnatural or photoshopped. We met with John via Skype and immediately clicked with him. Being photographed by John on the day was so much fun – he put us at ease and made sure we were having a good time with it.
Matt: John’s vision for photography really seemed to match what we wanted for our photos. We knew he was very experienced and we very much trusted his judgement on many aspects of the photography. We had a great time working with him on the day, and we are so happy with how our photos turned out.
Yes, there was lots of dancing… tell us about the traditional dancing at your reception.
We both love music and dancing it out. Our band was fantastic, playing jazz standards and classic pop songs which got people dancing. Mira’s family is Croatian and Croatian weddings are big, festive celebrations with lots of dancing involved! We loved that so many of our guests wanted to get up and dance, especially the Croatian Kolo (based on traditional folk dancing) which requires a lot of energy! It just made for a really fun and happy atmosphere. It was also really fun seeing different groups of people mingle and get to know each other on the dancefloor.
Our first dance was lovely too, as Matt’s grandpa (who is musician) arranged the music and sang the song with the band. It was a really special moment.
Where did you go for your honeymoon? What was it like?
Mira: We had our honeymoon in Paris and London, which was amazing. We were especially excited to return to Paris, as it held a special place in our hearts. I studied abroad in Paris during university a few years before, and Matt had spent some time there visiting me. We both completely fell in love with the city and couldn’t wait to go back. London was a lot of fun – we arrived at the tail-end of the summer and made the most of the warm(ish) weather.
Finally, If a close friend was planning their wedding, what advice would you give them?
Create a budget, do lots of research, work with people who you really trust and try not to get to caught up in the stress of planning. Have fun with it and soak up the happiness and excitement.
We like to share the details of the wedding suppliers our couples have chose for their wedding. Mira and Matt chose these wedding professionals for their wedding day:
Venue function co-ordinator: The Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove
Celebrant: Father Nik Zlatunic, Brisbane
Hair and makeup:
(hair) – Champions Sanctuary Cove
(makeup) – The Powder Room
Bridal gown: The Bridal Centre, Brisbane (now closed); Veil- Brides of Brisbane
Bridesmaids dresses: Forever New
Mens suits: Hugo Boss; Myer
Engagement ring: Stones
Wedding bands: Stones
Shoes: Miu Miu; Hugo Boss
Flowers: Lotus Bud Ashmore
Fairy Lights: Elyssium Lighting
Calligraphy: Louise at Floralovely
Photo Booth: In the Booth Gold Coast
Band: Radio Club Band
Cake: Wedding cake Deliberately Delicious
Extra cakes/macarons: The Little Cupcake Shop
Wedding Photography: John Reyment, Reyment Photographics