Aroha O’Brien is still floating on cloud 9 after celebrating her magical wedding to husband John, not just for the obvious reasons, but the fact that being a Bartercard employee, she benefitted from the vast network of members to help her plan her big day. Aroha has worked for Bartercard for 11 years as a Corporate Receptionist and more latterly as a Member Services Officer and assisting the Bartercard Directors. She and her husband-to-be planned their wedding in just seven months, and we caught up with Aroha on her return to work.

How did you settle on the location of your wedding?

We decided to have our wedding in NSW as my husband’s family and friends were all from the Northern beaches of Sydney and it gave the Queenslanders and Kiwis a new destination to travel too, while making it into a family holiday as well.  The Central Coast is located halfway between Sydney and Newcastle and this is where we had our wedding.

Which members did you turn to for help in planning your big day?

The beautiful Margie from Metamorphis Ceremonies was our marriage celebrant and MC for the entire day and evening.  We found she really personalised our love story and it captured the hearts of all our guests.

Snap Southport based on the Gold Coast printed our invitations and Sean from Vubbelaar Pty Ltd provided us with the spectacular wedding venue – The Entrance Lake House.  It’s a beautiful historic restaurant with views overlooking the water, and there was a beer garden which we also hired where we all danced the night away under the stars.  It really was magical.

Chocolate Works created our wedding favours which doubled as place name settings and they looked fantastic.

Due to the location and necessity for travel, we used Crowne Executive Chauffeurs who provided return transfers from Sydney to the Central Coast.  Ken was fantastic and very accommodating.  So helpful – all my family loved him!  We also used Con-X-Ion Coaches for airport transfers to Brisbane for those people traveling from the Gold Coast.

With all the planning, both John and I decided we needed some pre-wedding pampering, so we both had gorgeous relaxing massages thanks to Naomi at I Do Massage as part of My Freedom Club.  It was bliss!

As a Bartercard member, it’s not always easy to book accommodation and venues months ahead, how accommodating were the members?

We found the members were exceptional and they didn’t hesitate in helping us.  I was fortunate enough to view the venue on a trip to NSW in March, and Sean provided all the food, venue and service hire on Bartercard. It was magnificent.

Was there anything you couldn’t get on trade?

To be honest we were extremely happy to be able to get what we did on trade.  Anything was a blessing.  Due to the location of our wedding, we did find some Sydney members were unable to travel to assist us since we were a further 1.5 hours north of Sydney but they were upfront about it and so we paid cash for some suppliers.

We didn’t expect to be able to pay for everything using our trade dollars, however, we did manage about 40% of the overall cost which was a huge help.  Those cash savings were fantastic and it allowed us to spend more on our accommodation after the wedding and explore some of the coastlines we’d not experienced before.  I’d booked our blended family of 8 into a Penthouse with waterfront views on the coastal sleeping town at The Entrance, which was just brilliant.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give anyone wanting to book a function/wedding on trade?

Be upfront with the merchant.  Allow for flexibility and tell them straight up that you are a Bartercard member – they will appreciate it.  All the members were very accommodating and I can’t thank them enough for making our dream wedding come true.

Also, speak to your local Account Manager for advice and recommendations.  I want to give Georgia Bowen from the Bartercard Newcastle office a huge shout out for her help and for recommending the members we used in the first place.  Organising a wedding or big event can be stressful but there are people at Bartercard who can help!

Be the next Bartercard success story

Congratulations once again Aroha and John!

Bartercard isn’t just about helping businesses, it improves lifestyles too. Bartercard has approximately 24,000 members worldwide.  They’re helping people like Aroha plan their big day or celebration, as well as helping businesses to grow.  Contact Bartercard to find out how you can benefit.

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