Kathryn & Ryan Kemp

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FOCUS were lucky enough to have this stunning couple share their special day with us. Kathryn and Ryan Kemp’s wedding day was simply stunning, as Kathryn describes.

Can you describe your husband’s proposal?

It is a bit of a funny story. The best man accidently made me aware of the upcoming engagement, weeks before it happened. I was watching a show on the iPad, which Ryan’s phone was synced to, when messages popped up asking whether there would be a celebration of engagement when we all met up in the holidays. I got a little excited, but Ryan had replied not until he caught up with his parents in Port Macquarie to look for the ring. When he came back from his parents’ place, he must have been a little excited, because that afternoon when we were walking the dog at our spot along the Gwydir River, he dropped down on one knee and popped the question. Of course, I said yes, but he did look a little suspicious as to why I wasn’t overly shocked. And at that point, I had to spill the beans. I was very happy to see he knew exactly what I wanted: a simple white gold and princess cut diamond. 

What was the overall theme of your wedding?

We didn’t really have a theme as such. However, I wanted gold touches, greenery and splashes of colour from the flowers. Very simple but modern. 

Describe the timeline of your wedding day.

We had a 2:30pm ceremony at Holy Name Church, with a 5pm reception starting time for canapés. We did make an informal entrance at 5:30, as we didn’t want to miss out on the mingling part, which we believe is the best part of the evening. 

We sat down for a main meal and formal proceedings at 7pm and were all finished and ready for the fun to begin at 9pm, where those that wanted dessert could help themselves and the dancing would begin. 

Tell us about the location of your ceremony – why is this place special to you both?

Having our wedding at Forster was our chosen location, as it has always been a spot for both families to holiday. Specifically, my family came every year to visit my grandma, who lives on One Mile Beach, which happened to be very convenient for my 87 year old grandmother, as she could nearly walk home from the reception at Cape Hawke Life Saving Club. For Ryan, his family always holidayed at Pacific Palms, so it was quite special for him as well.

It was also special to me to have the ceremony at the Catholic Church, as I had completed all other sacraments – also, to get one up on the sisters and be in Grandma’s good books, as the other two didn’t get married in a Catholic Church! 

Whereabouts was your reception, and who did all the decorating? 

Our reception was at Cape Hawke Function Centre. We had a blank canvas with the most perfect back drop, being One Mile Beach.

Most of the decorating was DIY jobs by me (with a lot of tips from Pinterest), my father, who made the photo booth backdrop himself and the table seating chart, Rosita’s flowers for the centrepieces, and family friends Janice and Ross, who made plant stands and the most beautiful flower arrangements for the church and bridal table. I had an army of help, especially my maid of honour and family, with my uncle and Ryan’s parents putting up lights and setting tables. I did have a few pieces hired from White Palms Wedding Hire to finish the look!

Who were your bridesmaids and groomsmen?

 My bridesmaids included my older sisters, Helen and Louise, and my maid of honour was my best friend from uni, Sally Buchanan. Ryan’s groomsmen were his two best friends from uni (Angus McVey and Matt Svarc), whom he couldn’t really split, so both were considered his best men (even though he made them go through a series of tests/games to deem a winner – Angus McVey).

What was on the menu for guests to enjoy?

We were very lucky to have the ladies from Mums on the Run catering, who did a superb job. We had a tray of antipasto platters to begin, six canapés to start, including Peking duck crepes, salt and pepper squid, mini beef wellingtons, satay chicken skewers, arancini balls, and coconut crumbed prawns. 

For mains we had alternate chicken topped with basil, sundried tomato, bocconcini and steamed greens with a kalamata sauce, or an eye fillet served on chive and garlic mash with peppercorn sauce. 

For dessert it was a dessert bar with my mother’s famous slices, Grandma’s biscuits, a Candi B cake and donuts. 

How far in advance did you start planning? Any hot tips for brides-to-be?

I started a few weeks from the engagement. We actually originally wanted to get married in Mudgee, as it was equal distance between Port Macquarie (Ryan’s home town), West Wyalong (where I’m from) and Moree (where we resided). However, we made a weekend trip there and decided the prices just were not going to fit our budget, so we decided to go with Forster. 

Once we had set a date and confirmed the place, we started booking all the major things first – the photographer, venue and caterers. I also had to get on to local businesses that hire things early. Some of this proved difficult being away; however, White Palms were great to deal with and were happy even if you only wanted to hire a few bits and pieces. Sibella was a dream to help put us in contact with other businesses, as we were out of towners, as was the information centre in town – which have little wedding packs that proved useful. A major tip was researching hair and makeup artists in the area, as a lot of hairdressers in Forster don’t open on a Saturday. We were lucky Ryan’s brother lived in Smiths Lake, and we met Helen there. 

Did you find it easy to source everything you needed for your wedding locally? 

Read above, but it is very easy with most businesses being online, which helps – or in the know with their own contacts to help guide you on to the right people. Again, the Information Centre that gave out the Forster packs was very helpful. 

What was your favourite part of your wedding day?

There were a few! We had my nephew walk up the aisle, who only started walking two weeks prior, so we were a little worried he wouldn’t be able to perform on the day – but he definitely did his job to a tee. Another was just spending those intimate times during the photos, where you could relax as a couple and have fun with the wedding party. Another would have to be Ryan’s speech. He was really funny and heartfelt at the same time. 

Thanks Kathryn.

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