On the 10th day of September in 2016 my now husband, Luke + I wed on a moody Byron Bay day.
I have been meaning to write a blog forever but have finally got around to it, just in time for our two year anniversary.
Firstly, what can I say about my husband!!! Put simply, he is the BEST person I have ever known + will probably ever know. We went to the same high school (he was in the grade above me) + became friends outside of school when I graduated. We started going out the year after school + the rest is sealed in almost twelve years of history.
He is a talented graphic designer / brand manager, has a incredibly dry sense of humour, loves to surf, enjoys the simple pleasures in life + is partial to a kitchen dance off.
We had been together for nearly a decade at the time of our wedding + even though we knew everything about each other.. for us, getting married deepened our connection even further. Sharing our vows meant absolutely everything!
Being that both of us are in creative businesses we so appreciated every detail. I have outlined the key elements of our day below to peruse.
Our vows were witnessed in front of 85 guests in the heart of Byron Bay.
The Secret Garden was the perfect space for what we were after. Arty, green + instant atmospheric vibes with all the Bromley artworks + sculptures en masse!
A private oasis but still amongst the excitement of the town + beauty of the near by beaches.
It also allowed a Plan B for wet weather which we utilised through the rainy afternoon / night!
Being able to have the ceremony in the same place as the reception was a major tick on our checklist.
Photography / Videography:
WILDE VISUAL IS THE BEES KNEES! We recommend them on the regular.
Jess + Ben not only brought the goods in every way possible for our memory sakes. They knew when to take us away from the crowd when we needed a second to breathe + have much needed time alone!
Your wedding is the greatest day ever but can also be overwhelming with so many moving parts, the weather + everyone focusing on you.
You can view our wedding video here: https://vimeo.com/189737309 (I still cry when I watch it)
Below are some photos.
As a florist, I have to super transparent with my brides on how mother nature controls the flora available for their special day + let me just tell you, I learnt the hard way!
All I actually dreamed of for my bouquet was en masse, long stemmed white Delphiniums or Matricaria en masse.
Alas, on the week of the wedding, storms effected the white Delphinium supplies + Matricaria in its white / yellow daisy form weren’t blooming.
I look back now + am so happy that I had this experience to take forward into my bridal consults. Mother nature 1000000000% is boss!
What I ended up creating was a GIANT bouquet of natives, Cymbidium Orchid, delicate whites + textural feathers. I figured if i couldn't go simple, i’d go wild in every way... Flowers, style, stem length!! It had three King Proteas (which in hindsight was crazy)! I would never ever make something this heavy again. My hand locked up at one stage + I felt so sorry for Brigette who had to hold it while the ceremony took place.
At one point during our photos, the rain decided to pelt down on us + Luke took my bouquet + placed it over my head like a umbrella, Haha!
The girls bouquets featured one statement white King Protea, native greenery with white + light blue blooms.
All bouquets were finished off with Song Bird Silk ribbon.
Our bridal party was a culmination of family ties + years upon years of friendship
Luke’s best man was his brother, Jacob + my maid of honours where Luke’s sisters, Brigette + Meghan.
Luke + I completed our 5 sided bridal party with our best friends: Groomsmen; James, Sebastian, Matt + Jeremy and bridesmaids; Emma, Jess + Kate.
A special mention to the girls, they were an integral part of the setup on the day prior (+ for the months + months of wedding decisions) I would have been lost without them + I still think we are in shock with how much they did for us. To say we are grateful is a gigantic understatement.
On the morning, I wore a romper / Isla Bonita Kimono by Spell Designs.
The Kimono actually matched with the girls bridesmaid dresses + it was the most comfortable outfit to feel special in.
I changed into The Zeppelin Gown by Rue De Seine from Babushka Ballerina. The dress is a classic off white silk slip with a sequin + beaded embellished mesh bottom section / train. The top shell brought the drama with its bell sleeves + open back.
I have never everrrrrrr felt more me in a dress + thought I could sell it after the wedding + am yet to do that. I just can’t seem to part ways with it because of the special memories it represents.
The dress came up at the front + showed off the pointed nude lace up heels I wore.
Accessory wise I went with a petal veil from Babushka Ballerina for the ceremony + worked with Tess who created a custom made Lack of Colour hat for the speeches / photos.
I wore opal / diamond earrings that Luke had given me from a Tasmania trip + a Louise Jean necklace.
For the reception I changed into a white Silk Laundry slip dress + matching silk neck tie. Completing the look with a fresh flower crown.
Luke’s wedding ring was hand made by Lia from Vice Jewellery! Luke had a real vision for it + Lia brought it to life.
My wedding band was bespoke Louise Jean Jewellery. I have always loved her designs + it was such a beautiful experience! Louise even hand delivered it to me + we shared a coffee / stories!
The morning called for comfort so I gifted them very pretty silk blue / white kimonos from Le Rose.
They changed into the Isla Bonita dresses by Spell Designs + lace up tan Windsor Smith heels.
To bring the own style to the party, I asked them to chose their own turquoise ring to wear + minimal earrings that suited their vibe.
I also purchased simple bar styled necklaces to gift them + had the coordinates of Byron Bay engraved.
Groom / Groomsmen Outfits:
Luke really wanted a classic look + something he felt wouldn’t date with time.
He opted for a black MJ Bale tux, white long sleeved button up, black oversized bow tie + black dress shoes.
For the boutonnieres I went with feathers to match back with some of the table arrangements along with Sea Holly, Geraldton Wax + Easter Daisies.
He gifted his groomsmen Zippo lighters with personal engraving.
Hair + Makeup:
I used to be a professional Makeup Artist so when Luke proposed I knew I wanted Alana Mevissen from the word go! Not only is she full of raw talent, I can hand on heart vouch for how beautiful of a person she is. I made such a connection with her that I asked if shed like to stay + watch our ceremony (and she did).
I have always admired her talent for bringing out the best in peoples features + after a few discussions, we opted for a bronzed palette + wavy half up / half down hair.
I really wanted the girls to have whatever they felt comfortable with makeup wise but within the bronzed palette.
Meg + Brigette curled all the bridal parties hair + then Alana styled it to each person’s comfortability. They also had fresh flower combs at the back of their hairstyles.
On the morning of, Grace from Grace + Beauty came + did manicures on us.
I opted for the Sienna Byron Bay’s Nail polish in the colour ‘Harmony’ for the ladies. Which is a perfect peachy nude tone.
Personally, I chose to have the colour ‘Wategos', which is a light blue (almost white) tone.. + it had a lovely sentiment within its name because when Luke + I started dating we were constant visitors to the magnificent Wategos Beach.
Each one of us had a spray tan at Bella Bronze Tans in Mermaid Beach two days prior. They are the BEST on the coast + I love supporting local lady bosses!
Planning / Co-ordination:
One of my bridesmaids Jess is an event planner + a bloody epic one at that. She assisted throughout our whole wedding journey + really helped let us know what was key + vice versa!
I wanted her to enjoy the actual day though so she organised her event planner friend, Ashleigh to take the reigns for the on the day co-ordination.
All of our styling elements came from Palace + Co.
Olivia (Palace + Co) worked with Brigette (All The Feels Styling) to bring our Wedding aesthetic to life.
We really liked the mix matched bronze / silver with hints of blue / green translucent sea glass.
An abundance of moroccan rugs, pillows, lanterns brought it all together.
What made it difficult was the uncertainty of whether to have it all inside (due to the looming rain) or go with Plan A of having the ceremony outside. We entrusted Brigette with this call + I am so glad she went with Plan A. Ofcourse, it bucketed down with rain a mere 5 mins after the ceremony but we got our dream ceremony outside! Woo!!
Inside was kept fairly bare in the middle for our dance space but there were little nooks of low lying tables that my brother hand made (how amazing of him) atop more rugs + cushions.
One piece of styling that was a crowd pleasure was the LOVESTONED green neon sign that was hired from the darlings at What She Said Co! We got asked numerous times during the night where we got it from + lets just say that it is a light we hope to buy in the future so we can enjoy it in our abode.
The ceremony macrame was by another local lady boss, Eden Eve Macrame. We adorned it with draped greenery.
Luke created all of our invites + stationery.
Food + Drinks:
After Ceremony: Champagne + cheese boards (made by my bridesmaids)
Reception: Siguenos Mexican truck took care of the nights catering + we had an array of different wines. We also had a few different beer options that sat in the wooden boat at the venue, adding for a different take on an esky.
Cocktail hours: Mojitos were served after the ceremony + Sangria was served during the Main Course. Tanisha from Cactus Club Juicery created these for us.
Luke + I are huge fans of cheesecakes so we got the lovely Lili Jean to create three different cheesecakes.
The main cake that we cut was a salted caramel style. She also made Oreo cheesecakes + Blueberry cheesecakes in pre cut squares.
Our dear friend Jaclyn also made a favourite, peanut butter cups + they were on offer in abundance! Thanks Jac.
For us, this was the most + still is the most important part of our day. In the whole lead up, we both knew the moment we saw each other for the first time was going to be special + boy oh boy was it emotional. My brother, Daniel walked me down the isle + knowing my Dad was with us in spirit added extra fuel to the emotional fire.
The bridesmaids walked to The Rain Song (fitting really) by Led Zeppelin + I walked to the Sea of Love by Cat Power.
Our ceremony was orchestrated by the beautiful, caring + soulful Mel Haviland of Within Me. Knowing Mel for years prior added a level of depth, understanding + trust to the proceedings. To this day people still talk to me about how she set the tone + meaningful vibe for the whole wedding.
Supposedly, there wasn’t a dry eye during the ceremony but we were none the wiser. I swear, from the moment we saw each other we were teleported into our own vortex.
Another beautiful part of the ceremony is when one of my best friends, Lauren got up + delivered a reading.
Once the legal part was complete, the kiss + the announcing of husband / wife occurred we fluttered back down the aisle to Light My Fire by The Doors.
The whole day was MC’d by one of Luke’s best friends, Jacob. We are so thankful for what he did + to have an MC that we trusted so dearly.
We decided against a sit down reception + went for the cocktail vibes which worked wonderfully with keeping up the high energy from ceremony to dance floor. Although because of this I think I only had mouthful of food the whole night! Something to consider for those of you getting married.
We had speeches in intervals between entrees to mains to dessert. We liked this a lot as it kept movement + didn't bulk it into one section!
- My brother + Mum.
- Luke’s parents.
- My bridesmaids - they did a rap / dance / remix which blew everyones minds!! So hilarious!
- Maid of honours.
- Best man
A while before our wedding, I was working at the Nesst stall at the Village Markets when I heard the sweeeeet, sweet sounds of Ondre Davis. Luke + I weren’t even engaged at the time but i knew Luke would be obsessed with his music. I ended up recommending him for a friends wedding + when Luke heard him there he looked at me + said when we get married we have to have him.
As soon as we locked in the venue + date, the first thing we booked in was Ondre!
For anyone getting married, you must check his music out.
For the reception we just played music off our iPod which worked a treat as we knew exactly what music we wanted to get the party started. However if we had enough money we would have organised a DJ for the reception.
Our first dance was to Cheek to Cheek by Louis Armstrong + Ella Fitzgerald.
The leaving song was to Opposite of Us by Big Scary.
My girls + I stayed in the artist house / villas at The Secret Garden.
The boys + Luke stayed in a local Airbnb.
Luke + I stayed at Bask + Stow the night of + after our wedding.
As you can tell, we loved every single detail of our day + we adore being able to recommend them to you. But to us the actual getting married part was the only aspect that ultimately mattered + everything else was a beautiful bonus.
I always give that nugget of advice to my couples.
In this day + age of continual Instagram / Pinterest ‘inspiration’ its hard to not get swept up in the idealised perfection of it all. So, when choosing what you want, make sure you actually like it! Authenticity is key.
All I can say is when making wedding decisions, try to align yourself with people + vendors that you can put your trust into + allow them to do what they do best. No-one likes a bridezilla/groomszilla or any kind of wedding-zilla for that matter.
If it all seems to get to much, if someone expresses distaste to you because something doesn’t work for them, a desired vendor is booked, or the weather is looking grim.. just remember the ‘why’ behind getting married + what it means to you both. Guaranteed, by stepping back for a hot second, you will relax, breathe + all the trivial worries will be overshadowed by the bigger, more aligned picture of you + your partner!
Because guess what?? That's all that should matter.
Ness x x