The Perfect Wedding Reception Venue on Sydney's Harbour

We get some quick-fire planning advice from Steven Cesarano, Doltone House group wedding manager and specialist. What advice do you have for couples planning a wedding? There seems to be a lot of “dos” and a lot of lists, but I have some “don’ts” when it comes to planning a wedding. Many couples pre-plan the wedding by setting a date before they make enquiries. But what if by setting the date first, they are ruling out the top options — not just for venues but for stationery, flowers, photographers? Or they might have found a good deal for a honeymoon, but you can go on a holiday any time. You will only get married once. It is a very unique experience and it’s best to approach it with a more open and flexible mind. I also really recommend that you make sure you align yourself with the right people. What trends have you noticed in weddings recently? The biggest trend at the moment is just how aware modern couples are of the market and what is available. People are full of ideas now. Trends come down to your taste and how adventurous you are. Should the theme or venue come first? In my opinion, selecting the venue is top of the list. From there, you are going to get a sense of the natural features available for theming and you can form partnerships to create whatever magical ideas you have in mind. Every couple wants to tell their story so before you look at what’s out there in the market, look within yourself. You are the most unique aspect of the wedding. Draw from who you are.

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A Real Wedding at a Stylish Beach-side Wedding Venue

This low-key couple met at a fancy-dress party and married by the sea Couple: Angie & Luke Location: Seacliffe Functions & Private Dining, North Wollongong Angie met Luke at a mutual friend’s birthday party. It was an ’80s aerobic fancy-dress party and Luke showed up in a bright-orange mankini! The couple dated for 12 months and Luke proposed after taking Angie horse riding. Halfway through their picnic on a clifftop, Luke got down on one knee and presented Angie with a ring. The couple wed at a clifftop park at the seaside village of Clifton. Angie wore a stunning backless gown by Pallas Couture with a French lace train. “We knew we wanted to get married near the ocean as we both grew up on the coast and my husband is a keen surfer and just loves the ocean,” says Angie. The couple used a wedding stylist to create the champagne, white and soft-pink wedding. The couple joined their 167 guests in dining and partying at Seacliff Functions and Private Dining in North Wollongong. There were antipasto platters at each table and a menu of fresh prawn salad, slow-roasted pork belly, veal with mushroom sauce and an apple crumble with ice cream. “Our day was just perfect, just how we imagined. It was like one big relaxed summer party with all our nearest and dearest,” says Angie. Bride's Advice: “The best advice I could give is get organised early! The wedding can be stressful but if you are well organised, the lead-up close to the wedding can be enjoyable, not stressful.”