Nelson and Seng
As many brides are aware, planning a wedding is a huge task. For me, this process was daunting, exhausting at times and stressful with so many decisions to make! But the hard work paid off and our big day turned out beautifully!
Since Nelson and I got engaged, I have always been told that if you pick your wedding venue, everything generally falls into place. But that alone is such a huge decision, not made any easier by the need to hold multiple ceremonies for our different cultural backgrounds. We were looking for somewhere unique, where we could hold our ceremonies and our reception in one location. After 2 months of searching, we stumbled across Brookleigh Estate. Not only was it a stunning venue, it ticked all the boxes!
The ability to utilise the whole venue and being provided with a blank space gave us the opportunity to tailor our wedding to our needs. Working with Rachel, we managed to pull off an event that best reflected our casual, fun-filled and slightly chaotic personalities! Rachel was our main contact and was such a pleasure to work with. She was so easy to communicate with, very sweet and accommodating, and responded promptly to my very many questions!
We chose to have our Chinese tea ceremony in the beautiful Lakeside apartment, our traditional western ceremony by the Lakeside Gazebo and our reception on the newly built terrace. We were also planning to have our traditional Laotion wedding ceremony at Brookleigh, on the same day. Although the venue would have been the perfect setting for this (and we had already planned how this would work), time didn’t allow for 3 ceremonies in one day!
Tea ceremony: The Lakeside apartment was the perfect setting for our tea ceremony. The architecture in the room was beautiful and it had the necessary facilities to hold the ceremony. Rachel organised for some of the furniture to be moved so that it comfortably fit our immediate family and bridal party, allowing us little more space to serve the tea and hold the ceremony.
Ceremony: Having our wedding at Brookleigh gave us a range of different options of where we could hold our ceremony, but we chose to have it by the lakeside in the newly renovated gazebo to make the most of the beautiful backdrop. We opted for the ceremony package with some slight additions, which was arranged and set up seamlessly. Although the day started off a little dark and gloomy, the sun came out for our ceremony. The space was big enough to accommodate our ~50 guests, but small enough to make it private and intimate.
Intermission: Following the ceremony, we arranged for a picnic-style intermission in the Courtyard by the pool, so that our guests could have some where to relax with drinks and nibbles in between the ceremony and reception. This worked really well as many of our guests took the opportunity to have photos taken in the courtyard gardens, have a break and catch up with other guests while we had our wedding photos taken. Many guests told us that the time went really fast and that they appreciated having a set intermission area.
Reception: Held on the terrace at Brookleigh, the reception space was naturally stunning and overlooked the lake as the sun set. Simply magical! The terrace had adequate lighting, but we added extra fairy lights and festoon lighting to add to the ambience and add a little extra sparkle. Our centrepieces were rustic and complemented the venue. Having an outdoor wedding meant that we needed mosquito repellent and found that the incense sticks and electrical repellent worked well, despite being a still night. For our reception, we provided a casual/semi-formal dinner service. Long tables were set up on 2 of the 3 tiers of the terrace to ensure that everyone had a seat. However the casual fun-filled aspect came in the form of the 2 food trucks that we hired for dinner service followed by an ice cream cart as part of dessert, which all went down a treat! The terrace seated 70 guests with room for a dance floor on the 2nd tier, although some spaces were a little tight due to the way that we asked for the tables to be arranged. We had a drinks bar, salad station and dessert table set up under the pergola, and had hired wait staff to serve drinks and clear tables on the night.
The DIY aspect of the venue meant we needed a lot of help from friends and family to help set up all elements of the wedding – tea ceremony, set up of centrepieces, food/drink service, and picnic during intermission, etc. Rachel was very accommodating and allowed us to set up the lights the night before the wedding, and let us check in early as the rooms were free for us to use. This helped A LOT! It also helped that we had accommodation booked on the night of the wedding so that we didn’t need to attempt clean up until the next morning.
Despite the mess from the night before, it was really nice waking the next morning with my new husband, reflect on the wedding, and still physically see how beautiful the venue was with the fairy lights still twinkling.
I can’t recommend the venue enough to those who are happy to put in a little effort for their wedding. There are so many photo opportunities, so many spaces to utilise, Rachel is easy to work with and the venue is naturally beautiful. Thank you for letting us hold our wedding at Brookleigh Estate