Skip to content

Feature Wedding: Tara and Jeff

March 4, 2011

We are introducing and exciting new feature to our blog. Each month we will select one wedding from the previous month to feature on our blog. By telling the gorgeous stories of just some of our brides and grooms we hope to inspire others on their journey to planning their wedding.  We trust that you will enjoy reading the stories of our brides and grooms.

We gave Tara a few questions to answer, Thanks Tara for telling us Jeff and your special story.

How did you both meet?

Jeff was a chef, and I was a waitress at a boutique functions centre in Brisbane. Jeff always worked in a particular section of the kitchen, and I used to always try and do all the jobs that involved being the section of the kitchen were jeff was stationed. I would have an excuse to have to talk to (and look at) Jeff. I worked there with my cousin who had become friends with Jeff. Jeff finally asked my cousin for my phone number and asked me on our first date.

Where did you go for your first date?

Our 1st date was at a restaurant on top of the famous Brisbane lookout, Mount Cootha. We hit it off straight away. From this day on, we were just ‘together’

When and How did Jeff propose?

Jeff proposed after 8 years of being together. He proposed on the beach in the Noosa National Park. We have lived in Noosa for 7 years and this was a beach we both loved. I had returned from spending 2 weeks with my family in Bellingen. Many of my friends in Bellingen had gotten married and had children. The morning Jeff proposed, he asked if I had wanted to go for a walk in the park. This was unusual because he is a keen surfer and religiously has a surf in the morning. We hopped in the car, and drove the 5 mins to the beach. On the way, Beyonce’s song ‘All the single ladies’ came on the radio, where she sings about ‘If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it.’ The lyrics say that you can’t expect a girl to wait around for the guy forever. Jeff innocently asked me “What is she even singing about in this song”. Well, after 8 years of waiting for Jeff to propose, I proceeded to release fury on Jeff and give him a 5 minute lecture somewhere along the lines of ‘most women don’t wait forever, AND that he had best get his act together!’ Little did I know, that he was driving me to the beach to propose! When he asked me to marry him on bended knee, I broke down in tears of joy. The first thing I said was ‘yes’ and the second thing I did was apologise profusely for ‘being so mean when the song came on in the car!’  When Beyonce’s song comes on the radio now, we ALWAYS have a laugh together. At the wedding, I performed a fun dance to this song with three of my girlfriends who I danced with for 15 years. It was a great party starter!

How long before the wedding did you start to plan? It took a year of planning and preparing.

Planning a wedding involves so much…. where did you start? I started by browsing lots of wedding blogs which offered inspiration.Once we had decided on the location (my parents garden in Bellingen) I was able to decide on a theme. I chose a vintage inspired theme which gave me a great excuse to HAVE to go op shopping. I found many gorgeous little vases, candelabras and garden decorations in op shops which was a real adventure. I started designing the Save the Date cards as soon as we had chosen a date.  I really wanted Jeff to have a say in the wedding, although I knew he wouldn’t be interested in deciding what colour tables runners to choose etc, so we decided that he would plan and prepare the menu for the wedding dinner. He started this about 6 months before the wedding. I’m so glad he took on this role, because in this way we were both involved in the planning. It also meant that on the day, he could walk into the wedding knowing he had played a vital part to the occasion.

Did you wedding day run perfectly? – If not what happened and how did you deal with this?

Along the way there were many little things that didn’t go according to plan, though I was prepared for this. I knew everything WOULDN’T run smoothly and I think that’s what helped us get through the times when things went wrong. The major thing that went wrong was that we lost my  wedding band. It was my mums wedding band given to her by dad 35 years ago on their wedding day. At about 4.15 pm,  just before the ceremony, I got a call on my mobile from Jeff asking me where the wedding ring was. This was a huge surprise to me. There was nothing I could do because I was still at the accommodation where I was getting dressed. After a couple of minutes of stressing, I called him back and explained to him that it didn’t matter about a ring, that I just wanted to marry him, and we would worry about a ring later! For the ceremony we used a ring that was my great grandmothers. We still haven’t found the ring, but we are sure it will turn up in a corner somewhere when we are all least expecting it! I am a notorious sleepwalker and was doing a lot of strange sleepwalking before the wedding. Maybe I’ve even put it somewhere for safe keeping in my sleep!

What was a highlight of your wedding day?

Seeing all our friends and family there in one place with smiles on their faces. Hearing laughter and joy while they were eating dinner (made by my gorgeous husband). Dancing a crazy funny dance to Beyonce that nobody had any idea that I was going to do. Dancing this dance with my gals who I had danced with for 15 years. This was also a huge personal accomplishment after having hip surgery 4 years ago and consequently being on crutched for 5 months and years of physiotherapy. Getting dressed at cassa belle with my mum, my sister and her 2 week old baby ‘Pearl’. Seeing Jeff in a suit and tie, when normally he’s a boardies, thongs and old t-shirt kinda guy. Seeing a year of planning and preparing, and shopping for this one event all come together and (I think) look spectacular. Seeing my mum and dad’s faces when Jeff and I were prounounced ‘married’. My father walking me down the aisle, which was a beautiful path in the garden (that he built himself). Having both the ceremony and the reception in my parents garden where I grew up was so special. Listening to Jeffs speech at the reception ( I had secretly been catching him practicing for months before the wedding at all hours of the night!)

Was there any DIY parts of the wedding that reduced the cost of your wedding and made it more special to you both?

The whole wedding was DIY. This turned out to be a huge job, bigger than we imagined, but it was worth it in the end. The setup of the wedding was all done by us, family and friends. Without these special people, there wouldn’t have been a wedding so we are so grateful to them all. It also gave us time to spend together as a group, and there was lots of laughter and fun times along the way. Every single person involved in the wedding was someone that I had grown up with in Bellingen. This made the wedding extra special.

All the invitations, save the date cards, menu cards, programs, and place cards were designed and made by me. I worked away at them all year, and this is where we definitely saved a lot of money.

Finding a lot  of the catering equipment and decorations in op shops was useful and felt great knowing the money was going to charity. All of the tableware for the reception (plates, cutlery etc) was hired from the Bellingen Red Cross who were so helpful and again, the money was going to a good cause.

The wedding cake was made by my mum’s good friend who was a baker/cake decorator. Jeff provided the recipe, after making the cake many years beforehand for my 21st birthday party. My family have raved about it for the past 7 years so we decided to go with his special recipe Chocolate Fudge cake. I made all the sugar flowers that decorated the cake, which I really loved doing. I had always wanted an excuse to make them, and now I had one! A friend of ours decorated the cake and put it all together for us the morning of the wedding.

On each table setting was a ‘love is’ picture. These used to get printed each day in the Sydney Morning Herald in the 70’s. I have always remembered as a child seeing them stuck to the fridge, as my dad used to cut them out for my mum every morning!

The night before the wedding, my mum, myself and mums friend made all the bouquets, buttonholes and corsages. It was a fun evening where we escaped from the house and sat for hours surrounded by roses.

The mini Tiramisu’s we served for dessert were made by Jeff and I at 2am one morning. We were so tired and bleary eyed after days of wedding prep, but it gave us a rare opportunity to have a chat and a giggle together whilst doing what we love most….cooking!

I bought an old chandelier and pulled it apart to get the crystals off. My friend threaded these onto apricot ribbon, and we hung them from the trees around the garden. They looked gorgeous on the day, with sunlight shining through them.

The majority of the food was made by Jeff which made the occasion so much more special. It was so nice to be able to share Jeff’s food with the people we love. Jeff’s family also appreciated it as he rarely cooks for them!

Jeff collected many wine and spirit bottles from the restaurant where he works, which we washed and removed all the labels from. We used these around the garden as vases with gorgeous long stem roses displayed in them.

Do you have any advice for brides?

If you are going to do a DiY wedding, make sure you ask for help. People WANT to be involved and want to help and it is a great way for friendships and relationships to grow.

Be prepared that things won’t go exactly according to plan, but that’s ok. If you’re prepared for this, then you won’t flip out on the day when everything isn’t perfect.

Realistically, to get married all you need is yourself, a groom, a celebrant and 2 witnesses. Anything more than this, is extras…a gift…a bonus. If you spend your whole time stressing about all the little extra things (car, cake flowers, tan, makeup, nails), it takes the pleasure out of the big thing…which is you marrying the man you love! Don’t waste your energy, mind space or emotions on the small stuff!

We would love to share with you the suppliers Tara used for her wedding:

Flowers: From Bennefields Rose Farm, Grafton. We did all the arrangements and used these for bouquets, button holes, corsages and table vases.

Oysters: Lindsays Oyster Barn, Urunga

Meat: : Ken Thorn Quality Meats, Bellingen.

Jewellery: Myer

Bridesmaid Dress: Jane Potter…something something. It’s in coffs at the top of the escalators in the palms centre.

Grooms Suit, tie, shirt, shoes: Jack Simmons mensland, Coffs Harbour.

Hair: Hanna Lynch of Kaboodle Outpost, Bellingen and Sawtell

Accommodation: Cassa Belle, Bellingen.

Dinnerware: The Red Cross, Bellingen. (they have quite a lot of stuff for hire, and all the proceeds obviously get donated to charity!)



3 Comments leave one →
  1. brendon and narelle jones [the brides parents] permalink
    March 5, 2011 3:25 am

    Dear Mike and Amy,firstly let me congratulate your work and success of Tara and Jeffs wedding,they and ourselves are all thrilled with the results,and also at Tara and Jeffs wedding being selected as wedding of the month.My wife Narelle and myself wish you both great success in your rapidly expanding business and hope the gift you both have behind the lens carrys you to many great opportunities.We would also like you to pass on our phone number to any potential customer so we can recommend you both, in the highest regard.
    regards and keep on with the great work.
    Brendon and Narelle Jones {the brides proud parents}
    Bellingen. 0266551263


    • March 6, 2011 7:58 pm

      Thanks Brendon and Narelle, it was a great pleasure to be part of Tara and Jeff’s wedding. Thanks for your kind wishes. I have left your number on the comment so that brides can call you both. Thanks again for your kind comments 🙂


  2. thenutritionguruandthechef permalink
    August 22, 2012 11:38 am

    Reblogged this on The Nutrition Guru and the Chef and commented:
    We were married last year. What a wonderful day. The wedding was a total DIY wedding, with Jeff even cooking the food! You can read our story here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: