Jaimee & Hamish Sutherland

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Jamie and Hamish on their wedding day

Jaimee recently married the love of her life, Hamish, at a local property that has been in her family for generations. A special event for the couple and their families and friends, with many personal touches throughout the day and night. They used many local wedding vendors and did much of the preparation and set-up themselves. We asked Jaimee to tell us all about her special day.

Hi Jaimee. Can you tell us about your connection with the Coffs Coast?

My family have lived in Coffs Harbour for many generations. I was born in Coffs Harbour and have spent most of my life growing up in Karangi.

Congratulations on your recent wedding! How did you and your husband Hamish meet?

We met through family and friends. The first time we met was at a party, but eventually, we spent weekends together, which turned into many years.

How long into your relationship did you decide to get married?

We got together around 15 years ago; however, there was a period where we went our own ways, but we came back to each other and have been together ever since. We have a seven-year-old son, and one due early August. We decided that after all these years, it was time to tie the knot.

Can you tell us about the proposal?

We were in Sydney for a family occasion and left Beau (our son) with his family in Sydney for an extra few days. On our way home, we did the tourist drive, rather than straight up the highway.
Hamish detoured into a small beach town, and we went for lunch at a restaurant on the water. He was ordering a bit fancy and then asked me to marry him over lunch. I took it as a joke and laughed it off.
After realising it wasn’t a joke, I said yes!

We hear the location of your wedding is quite special to you. What made you decide that was the place to get married, and why was it so important to you?

The location is at my parents’ property. My father grew up on the property, and it has been in our family for a long time. We had held many events and activities there, but not a wedding. We had talked about doing the resort-style wedding, but it isn’t us. My cousin got married on her own property the year before, and it really inspired us to get moving and do something similar. It was just so much more personal and unique.

There’s a lot of amazing inspiration out there for wedding planning these days. How did you come up with the kind of look and feel you wanted for your wedding?

 I asked a lot of questions from friends and family who are married, asked for their opinions – what worked/what didn’t work etc. I knew that being on a property, the theme needed to be rustic/country. Pinterest gives you many ideas and inspiration.

You did a lot of decorating and styling yourself. Can you tell us about that and some of the challenges you faced?

I started to buy things 12 months before the wedding; I got things second hand from friends who had similar style weddings.
We were so lucky to have a lot of amazing helpers, before the day and on the day. I had ideas in my head but left it up to the helpers to create the final results. What they all had done was beyond our dreams, and we are still thankful to all those helpers.
As the wedding was in a paddock, we created a day look and also needed to prepare a night look. Having the lighting right in places was important for our guests to be able to see, but also the ambience from the fairy lights etc. – it gave the night a really romantic vibe. One challenge was that there was no power, so we needed to hire a large generator, which supplied power for everything at the venue.
Being an outdoor wedding on a river bed, my biggest fear was rain — turning into a flood — which would have wiped out our venue completely. Thankfully, we had a perfect day – green grass and a flowing river.

Can you tell us about some of the local vendors/contributors you used and how you came to find them?

I Googled, and I searched Facebook (photos and the reviews) and also got personal referrals from friends. 
Our first booking was with Married by Sam. She was more than a celebrant; she made us both feel at ease and gave us both so much support in the lead-up and on the day. We chose Model Me Photography; Leonie really went above and beyond to get us the perfect photos. We hired our marquee from Always Party Hire, who delivered, installed and pulled it down. Our caterers were the Coast to Coast Golden Roast – all went smoothly, and the food was yummy. My grandfather races pigeons; he contributed by breeding some white pigeons, and we released them after the ceremony with a poem read by Sam (thank you, Pop). Absolute Entertainment was our DJ for the night and had our guests dancing the night away.
I chose Park Avenue Florist; they were really helpful with fast responses and have been in business in Coffs for many years. Hilliar Roses on Englands Road also supplied me with some beautiful roses for our decoration on tables and around the venue.
Living Doll were our hair stylists; they were fast, efficient and nailed it!
My makeup artists were Jalea and Kasey Dickson, whom I trained with at Trendz. There is no one else I would have picked to do our makeup, as they are very talented girls. The next superstars!
Any Entertainment supplied our lighting; AJ was super helpful and gave knowledgeable advice.
The boys’ outfits came from Conner at the Plaza; they were really helpful.
We really chose the perfect fits; everything just fell into place, and there was not one drama!

Did you have a strong vision of what you wanted for your dress? Can you tell us about when you found the right one?

I actually had no real vision; I wanted to keep my mind open. Being open-minded and willing to try anything on made it really easy. I walked into RSVP Bridal and tried on a handful of dresses; it didn’t take me much to decide. I got my dress early in the wedding planning – and then fell pregnant! ABC Stitches handled all my alterations. Donna and I had a few fittings, worrying that my growing tummy would out-grow my dress. But it was all good, and the dress fit!

How did you find juggling your wedding planning and preparation with day-to-day life?

There were some stressful times!! We started preparations 12 months in advance. The venue took a lot of effort – blood, sweat and tears. We turned the work into spending time together. Most weekends for 10 months we were in the paddock, creating a perfect venue. We juggled it great! We had lots of support and help from family and friends, contributing in many ways. Many hands make light work!

Was there a stand-out moment for you from your wedding day?

Being a sober pregnant bride, I took every moment in. Everything stood out. There wasn’t one detail I didn’t notice. I LOVED arriving at the venue and seeing our family and friends finally there, enjoying what we created! When they say your wedding day is the best day of your life – it is so true. Future bride and grooms – take a moment to look around and absorb what is happening. You spend a lot of time visualising and preparing. Don’t forget to really appreciate your day. It goes so fast.
In the end, let go of expectations and don’t sweat the small stuff; it’s your day!
 I’m so proud of our wedding day and can’t wait for one of my four siblings to get married and use the venue like I did!

Thanks, Jaimee.

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