Wed Log

Pioneer Country

Wedding Tips and Advice


Wedding Tips and Advice

Styling Tips

TWO WORDS – agree upon your TWO WORDS to describe your wedding vibe. Eg “Natural Country”, “Elegant Country”, “Farm Boho”, “Family Fun”, etc. Then use these two words to help you decide everything from the font used on the invitation to what type of shoes you should be wearing and the style of the floral bouquets. When in doubt, hold up the items in question and run your TWO WORDS past them and one will be the obvious winner.

LINKS – link the different elements of your wedding to give your wedding a polished, well rounded feeling. Eg If you use gum leaves in the chapel, consider using some in your bouquet, the lapel pins and as part of the table styling. The same with colour, once you have decided upon your colour palette, continue with accents of same hues from woe to go.

How to save money

OFF-PEAK – Consider an off-peak wedding from Monday to Thursday. You still get the day before the set up and rehearse, the day of the wedding and you can collect your cars and styling stuff the morning after. If most of your guests are coming from afar they probably were planning to take a day off work anyways. 

BAR TAB – Set your bar tab limit to what your budget allows. Then once it is spent let guests transition to paying for their own drinks. They are your family and friends, they will understand your budget and limitations and maybe that you have just purchased or about to purchase a house. They will not begrudge you.

CEREMONY MUSIC – Have the celebrant or a friend play the music in the chapel using our in-house PA system. Then have your musician or DJ start 1 hour later at the same time as drinks start on the verandah. The performer needs to quote for only 1 setup and for 1 hour less duration. 

FLOWERS – BYO gum leaves or buy from Pioneer Country (circa $45 per antique teapot or garbage bin) and supplement with baby’s breath or flowers of your choice. Or cleverly mix feature fresh flowers with good quality, maybe even hired, artifical flowers.

Get Organised

Once you have confirmed your booking Sarah will invite you to join our shared run-sheet.

💰 The first worksheet covers all things relating the cost. It is best to plan conservatively and assume every invited guest will attend, then when they decline you finds yourselves with some spare cash versus having to hunt around for those extra few dollars just prior to the wedding.

🕰 The second run-sheet helps your schedule evolve. Initially your wedding planner will propose a run-order based around sunset and the golden hour for best photography. Typically the invitation time is sunset minus 3 hours For example, in winter the sun set early and a 2:30 pm is  a typical start time with the bride walking down the aisle half an hour later at 3:00 pm. 

🛒 Vendors. Once the venue is booked then the next key people to book are your celebrant and photographer. Pioneer Country has a list of proven and reliable service providers. Once your in-house wedding planner understands your style and budget she can streamline your selection process even further by recommending vendors specific to your requirements. What is the point of requesting a floral quotation from a vendor that is well outside of your budget??


Time line

Most couples choose to book 1 year out from their wedding so plan to be a little flexible with your date and selected vendors if you book less than one year out. It is also worth noting, that COVID seems to have shortened the booking lead time for some weddings and it is now not unusual for couples to turn around their wedding within 3 to 6 months from the date of booking confirmation.

Legally your celebrant requires 1 month and 1 day to process your wedding paperwork.  If the date is available & the celebrant has the paperwork in order Pioneer Country can turn your wedding around within the week and we have done so in some exceptionally moving circumstances.



Run order planning

A great wedding that guests rave about for years afterwards gets down to an amazing runorder. To quote a leading wedding DJ, “Have them begging for one more dance when it is time to close”. That way your guests will be buzzing all the way home and even the next day.

Work with your in-house planner to discover how long is the best time to allow for speeches and when, and how long should you allow for dancing.

Vendor Booking Order

 If you have a friend that is a celebrant or a specific religious minister that you would like to conduct the marriage ceremony then you need to book them and the venue in parallel (ie make sure they are both available on the same date).

Otherwise the pecking order is:
1st Venue
2nd  & 3rd Celebrant & Photographer as soon as possible after the venue is confirmed.

Then at a more leisurely pace:
Accommodation, floral (bouquets & buttons holes as a minimum), Stylists (or formulate your DIY styling plan), furniture hire (normally not required at PC), hair & makeup, attire, favours (optional).

Unveiling the Beauty of the Tweed Region

If you choose Pioneer Country for your dream wedding your guests will be able to take advantage of the regions natural beauty, sleepy fishing villages, river cruises, pristine beaches, farming townships and foodie gourmet delights. Guests can fly into The Gold Coast Airport and stay in a variety of accommodation all within 10 minutes drive of the wedding venue.

We highly recommend The Rydges Gold Coast Airport Hotel, where your guests enjoy a 15% discount (10 mins from venue). Mantra at Greenmount Beach holiday apartments (10 mins from venue), The Colonial Caravan Park riverfront cabins (800 meters from venue) or the bride, her glas and her family the Belle Riverhouse at Tumbulgum that sleeps 18 adults (13 kms)

From Concept to Reality

Our in-house planner is a good listener and will ask all the right leading questions during 2 hour planning meeting. As soon as possible after booking a planning meeting is scheduled either in person or using Teams. In this meeting we will delve deeper and agree on your TWO WORDS to describe your wedding vibe. We will talk about your interests and how we can personalise your wedding. It often doesn’t take any extra cost, just some planning to bring out your personalities and imprint your style to make yours a memorable, stand-out event for your family and friends.

These elements are recorded in the runsheet and a timeline or runorder is drafted around them. This runsheet is saved in the cloud where all parties can access, amend, comment to ensure this living file evolves and is recorded from the start of planning right up to the day before the wedding. This attention to detail ensures the day runs seamlessly, all vendors know what is expected and when and helps avoid unexpected surprises.

Culinary Excellence: Local Sourcing and Farm-to-Table Delights

 Pioneer Country is still a working beef cattle property and we take great delight on showcasing what the Tweed Valley has to offer in fresh, quality produce and we go to exceptional lengths to construct our menus around locally sourced produce.

Guests rave about Chef Luke’s slow cooked Black Angus beef cheeks that hail from McAuley’s Road Terranora (5km). Chef typically serves the beef cheeks with a red wine jus (gluten free) and crispy duck fat potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Our antipasto platters feature Cheeses Loves You from Upper Burringbar by Debra Allard. Debra’s husband runs the dairy and she hand makes her award winning cheeses. The platters also incorporate Salumi cured meats from Billinugel.

Or maybe you prefer to take a cocktail made using honey grown on our own farm.


Invitation Start Time

We normally determine the time you print on the wedding invitation during the planning meeting. The invitation start time is normally dictated by the time that the sun sets. 

If you have pinned any outdoor wedding photographs you can almost be certain they were taken within 60 minutes of sunset and rarely in the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky and casting harsh shadows.

If you need to set a start time and haven’t done your planning meeting please call and we can verbally help you decide upon an invitation start time however typically it is sunset minus 3 hours. eg

1:45 Groomsmen & celebrant arrive
2:00 Invitation start time
2:30 Bride & bridesmaid’s arrive
3:00 Confetti, candid & group photographs
3:30 Drinks
3:45 Antipasto
3:45 Photography tour
5:00 Sunset
5:00 Grand Entrance, champagne tower, speeches
6:00 Main meal 




This is a blog about the funny stuff that goes off behind the scenes when you run a farm wedding venue with your 83 year old dad. (I don ‘t have a picture of Bill to hand but he collects bells).

Exciting things are happening at Pioneer Country. Our extreme make-over has begun. In the coming weeks watch us transform from federation colours to neutral whites and greys as we get all our barns re-painted. Sarah 2 June 2023

8 July make-over update
All three big barns have been painted in our neutral grey and white colours. Just the final touches to be done. On track to being completed in time for the Tweed Coast Weddings Winter Open day on Sunday 16 July 2023 from 10am to 3 pm.

It is official, champagne towers are now back in vogue & Pioneer Country is pleased to announce the hardware for your tower is now part of our standard in-house styling (included in the venue hire). You are only charged for the number of bottles consumed (typically 4 – 5 bottles at $39 per bottle which you would have consumed for the toasts anyways)

A champagne tower is a great way to kick off official proceedings just after the bride and groom entrance to the reception area or to energize your guests once they have slumped into a food coma after the main meal and before the speeches start.


If you have never poured a champagne tower you won’t be able to wipe the smile of your faces or off the people receiving such a fun and celebratory drink. 

1 Sep 2022
Pattie, my now fully grown black Angus cow that was hand reared is holding out on me. She has a big udder and showing all the signs of having recently delivered a baby calf but she is hiding it from me.

As background, the above are some pictures of Pattie growing up.  Pattie was born 20 Sep 2019. Immediately above is Pattie photo bombing at last week’s wedding – how good was that rainbow?

Stay tuned for more details and where she hid her baby.

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