When I had just got engaged my girlfriend had told me about True Bride. She had only discovered this wedding site after it was too late for her to enter the Bride of the Year competition. She thought it would be great for me to enter. We all thought the competition was a fantastic idea, especially since so much time and effort goes into planning your wedding – many people said that it was a great way to reward your efforts and keep the spirit of the day alive for that little bit longer.
I am a medical student who enjoys the odd hour or two surfng and shopping on the internet. I enjoyed using True Bride's wedding tools and planner as well as picking up some great honeymoon ideas. Once I was in the finals I sent an email pleading to everyone I knew to vote for me and asked if they could pass it onto their friends and families also!
I had extensive support from my own family and in-laws plus their friends and family, medical student buddies, work crew and their friends and family plus my own friends! I was also a registered user of weddingswa and many of the girls from the forum there said they would vote for me, they were all keen to get a WA winner! Some fellow students even joked that I should run for politics as they thought I ran a great campaign!
I cant lie though, the prize money was also a huge incentive and the chance to promote my fabulous wedding suppliers, without who, I couldn't have won!
Both Matt and I were into salsa dancing and first met there through mutual friends. One of my bridesmaids (Robyn) was probably the one to thank for getting us together. Matt had no idea I liked him and Robyn kind of pushed him along the road to realisation a little. After going out for a while we discovered we were meant for each other, there had been many times in our past that we have crossed paths yet not actually met and as fate had it we shared identical birthdates, 13th May 1976.
On our 3rd anniversary, Matt had arranged for a limousine to take us to a romantic dinner at Oceanus Restaurant, where we’d had our first date. After dinner Matt said he had a “small” present for me and I proceeded to “tell him off” for buying a gift since we had both agreed we weren’t going to buy gifts for each other. He replied, “don’t worry its nothing huge just open it”. He handed me a small box wrapped in newspaper and I just started paying him out on the wrapping.
Once the box was unwrapped I saw something glittering on the top of it, a princess cut diamond, then all of a sudden Matt got down on bended knee in the middle of the restaurant and said “Natalie Campman will you allow me the honour of asking you to be my wife, will you marry me?” This was the last thing I had expected, I was speechless and then started sobbing uncontrollably (and I never do that). Poor Matt, who was still on one knee, then said “Shall I take that as a yes?” I grabbed him and gave him and big kiss and hug and said yes! The people near us in the restaurant all started congratulating us! We called and told our families and then celebrated with an expensive bottle of champagne.
Matt was definitely the one for me! Many of our friends have asked me "'How did I know Matt was the one?". I think you just know when someone is “the one”. It is not any one thing that they do or say – you just know.
Originally we had planned to get married two years from our engagement date but then we brought it forward a year so essentially we had about 10 - 11 months to plan our wedding. This isn’t long when you have to arrange an engagement party as well. Plus when you consider other parts of your life that need attention also such as study, work, moving house, exams and a massive yet unexpected heart operation happening to your mother, the time to arrange a wedding becomes shorter and shorter.
I loved planning our wedding. It took my mind off studying and allowed me to explore my creative side. I had heaps of help from my mum, sister and one of my bridesmaids with the invitations and other assorted stationery. Shopping for everything was fun and included help from my bridesmaids and mum.
We decided on a formal wedding with a classic but modern theme. The colours I chose for the groomsmen, bridesmaids and the reception were black, apple green and fuchsia.
One of the simplest things to organise was my dress. I had previously met Denise Wright whilst being a bridesmaid for my girlfriend. I knew how great she was and how much time and effort she spends into making each and every dress perfect for her brides. I was very comfortable in Denise’s capable hands, and describing what I wanted was never an issue for Denise.
One of the most challening parts of planning our wedding was coordinating the bridesmaids for fittings . My mother made the bridesmaids dresses and after her heart operation she also received some help from her friend Judy. The hard part was organising fittings for the two of my four bridesmaids, as Robyn lived in Melbourne and my sister in Mandurah. Mel and Kerry were in Perth so this was not an issue. As for the guys vests and ties, Denise was making those. Chris was in Canberra and Martin was in Tasmania, John and Michael were not an issue as they were in Perth. So really it was just the logistics of trying to get the appropriate sizing etc done but in the end they all worked out perfect.
Our Wedding Day
The ceremony was a formal garden wedding with a celebrant. Both the wedding and reception were held at Caversham House. The ceremony on the Rotunda above the waterfall and the reception in the Marquee.
It had been raining in Perth all week (unusual for the start of December) and by Friday (the day of the wedding) I couldn’t believe it when I woke up and there was not a cloud in the sky – I felt so lucky!
The day began with all my bridesmaids coming over by 9am to begin hair and makeup. Lisa Chester my hair and makeup saviour started on the girls first. I was extremely laid back and relaxed (which is very unusual for me) and the girls were all very excited. My sister was probably the reason for my calm attitude as she just looked after me so well. She was absolutely fabulous! As were all my bridesmaids, everyone was in high spirits.
My parents and my photographer (Jon Chisholm) arrived around the same time at about 12noon.
I called Matt to see how his morning had been. He and the groomsmen had stayed the night at The Vines Resort in the Swan Valley and had already been up and played a round of golf (Matt’s second love). We were both very calm and looking forward to seeing each other.
Kerry helped me to dress when it was time and we all went downstairs for photos and champagne. The limo (Alana Torrent and Finesse Limousines) arrived at 3pm and we all got in and started on our way to the ceremony.
It wasn’t until we turned the final corner towards Caversham House that I started to get tears in my eyes. I was so overwhelmed all of a sudden! Dad kept me calm and my sister started telling jokes to stop me from crying. I couldn’t imagine what Matt was thinking!
The ceremony was a formal garden wedding with a celebrant on the Rotunda above the waterfall at Caversham House. The ceremony went sooo fast (I thought!) and then the photo session began after all congratulations by friends and family. The photography session was a great highlight! We all shared some drinks and lots of laughs and just got into the spirit of the day, whilst our guests were invited to stay and purchase drinks at the bar.
At approx 6.30pm guests were given pre dinner and hors d’oeuvres, then seated at 7pm for our entrance. We cut the cake on entry and our MC, Lisa (a friend on mine) introduced us all.
The night was filled with plenty of food (buffet style) and wine and (of course) dancing!! Our wedding dance was a huge highlight for us, we were taught and choreographed by two friends Boaz Kogon and Trudy Nullmeyers who both did a fabulous job. It was a waltz which then led into a salsa, very entertaining for our guests! I couldn’t believe how many people cheered when we finished!! (Many of our friends are from a salsa background too).
As many have said before us, the day went way too fast! There are always people you don’t get a chance to thank for coming or even have a decent length chat with. We are looking forward to the DVD so that we might be able to see what we missed on the day!
For our honeymoon we went to Langkawi Malaysia. We stayed at The Datai in Langkawi for 7 nights and 1 night also in Kuala Lumpur. The first and second last day of the honeymoon in terms of weather was fantastic but for the rest of the time unfortunately we had torrential rain. However we were staying in a villa bungalow in the rainforest and so we made appropriate use of our room – which is what you are supposed to do on honeymoon anyway! ? It was very relaxing and the service at The Datai was unbelievably amazing! I would highly recommend it!
Bride of the Year 2005 - Wedding Suppliers
What our Bride
had to say
|Gowns & Dresses
Denise, of Denise
Wright Bridal, is a very easy going and down to earth
dressmaker, she works from her home and does a FANTASTIC
job! I had a bridesmaid gown made by her 3 years ago
for my girlfriends wedding and was sooo happy with her
work I got her to make my wedding gown and referred
many of my other friends also. Denise took the time
to make my dress exactly how I wanted it and also made
fitted vests and ties for the groom and his 4 groomsmen.
I could not speak more highly of Denise and her services
- she is truly a godsend when it comes to wedding gowns.
|Hair & Make
Chester Hair & Make Up
was fantastic at hair and make up - she met with me
a couple of times and we spoke via phone and email on
several occasions. She is very creative which was great
as I had no idea about what I wanted for the big day!
I entrusted her and she did a fantastic job!
I was referred to
Jon through one of my bridesmaids who had previously
utilised Jon’s services for her wedding. Jon met
with myself and Matt firstly at his house and then secondly
at Caversham House closer to the BIG day. Jon was very
friendly and outgoing but not over the top and cheesy!
Although he has his own inspiration for the photos,
he also listened to what we wanted which I thought was
very important since many photographers have the attitude
of "I know best therefore you will have this"
Jon made the photo shoot lots of fun for the entire
bridal party! He was great.
|21st Century Video
first met John Davies at a friends wedding in Bali.
As guests at their wedding we found John to be quite
"in your face" when it came to the camera
work. Upon returning and viewing our friends DVD of
the wedding (Johns work) we were AMAZED! He did SUCH
a good job that we immediately booked him for our wedding.
For our own day we did not even notice he was there
but other guests mentioned the "camera in the face"
scenario - We both agreed that we didn’t mind
this as his final work is so good that it just represents
the entire day and you see things that as the newly
married couple you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Eric and Pina were
helpful from day 0. We first met with Pina the day we
booked the venue and she showed us around the venue
and went through the options for the day. Upon booking,
Eric was always quick to respond to any email questions
and requests. This I find is very important as us brides
are busy workers and planning a wedding is almost a
full time job! On the day of the wedding the staff,
service and venue was immaculate, professional and helpful.
These guys know how a wedding should be run! No doubt
behind the scenes was more hectic than they let on!
Torrent and the team at Finesse Limousines were perfect
for our wedding day. As we were having the ceremony
and the reception at the one place we did not require
the services of a car for the entire day and Alana was
fabulous in arranging a fantastic price for the use
of the limo for half an hour before the ceremony and
also a car to pick Matt and I up at the end of the reception
to take us to The Vines Resort for the wedding night.
Alana was always fast to respond to emails and always
obliging. On the day she dressed professionally and
was very helpful to us girls, thanks Alana.
Wanda is an expert
at what she does. She was helpful and practical and
her extensive knowledge of flowers and what is available
when and what looks good with what is amazing. Above
all Wanda listened to what ideas I had and then made
suggestions and she showed us examples of exactly what
we could expect and a quote for exactly what it would
cost. With regards to cost I found that Wanda was probably
the best quote that I received and was within my $1000
budget for flowers.
|Formal Wear and
|Formal Wear Express
to our home and measured all the guys up for the pants
and jackets. Delivered all the day before. All at a
|Technotan- Natalie McKay
Natalie McKay did
my tan for the wedding and has done my tan ever since
for other special occasions. She is friendly, fabulous
and affordable. She works from home but for bridal parties
she offers a spray service at your home. The follow
up service is fantastic – Natalie will call you
and see if there is any patchiness and will give advice
to you over the phone.
was fabulous. He designed and created my engagement
ring and subsequently we also got him to design and
make our wedding bands. Matt and I believe we have a
jeweller for life, he is amazing. I cant wait to get
an eternity ring made by him!
|The Bead Co
I used the Bead Co
to buy all the swarovski crystals for my dress, the
girls dresses and also for the girls jewellery which
I made as a gift to them (earrings and bracelet). They
were very helpful and eager to give suggestions.