Nothing can prepare for you the sheer amount of work that goes in to a wedding, no matter how big or small. Originally, we wanted a huge wedding, then we took a full 180 and decided that we would not tell anyone and elope, and then we settled on a wedding that had around a 100 person capacity.
Every aspect of planning a wedding takes very careful thought. From the guestlist, to the dress, from the venue to the food. There are literally so many variables that I started to go a little crazy… (In fact some newspapers labelled me a “Bridezilla”, but let’s forget about that for now shall we? ha ha!!) 😉
As soon as we got back from our engagement, the questions start flying in from all angles. Well, actually it was just one question: Have you set a date yet?
It’s quite a humorous question really, because right after getting engaged is the moment when you’ve spent a huge amount of money on a ring, and so the thought of spending another huge lump of money is really quite horrifying!
Finding the perfect venue
We were both pretty set on a destination wedding, but not necessarily an overseas one. Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, so we quickly realised that we could look quite locally and find the perfect wedding venue.
We kept toying with the idea of a wedding in Bali, but Byron Bay came out as both of our favourite places that we would like to get married, so we looked for the next Wedding Open Day, and jumped on a plane to go find our dream location.
After this video we decided that The Figtree was our favourite venue. It wasn’t too far from the main town, and getting married under a huge tree just seemed so magical.
We sat down to work out the finances and set a date that was realistic at the end of 2019. That date would give us enough time to work hard, save up and still live a comfortable life whilst saving up for the biggest party of our lives.
Then it happened.
The Figtree called us with a cancellation, enabling us to bring the wedding an entire year forward.
It was time to hustle. Suddenly the pressure was on.
I decided to get my wedding dress from Pallas Couture in Sydney. I always loved everything that Joy and her team had previously designed, so I knew I was in good hands. Sidenote: when you go to wedding dress fittings, they really do give you champagne just like in the movies!
I chose to go with two wedding dresses; one with a long train for the main ceremony and then a more easy to wear cocktail style dress for the evening. On the day of my final fitting, the week before the wedding, we made an executive decision to add big floral sleeves to the dress which meant the dress had to fly in on the morning of the wedding, which was a side-stress I could have probably done without!
Kane got his suit custom-made from his friend, and one of Sydney’s finest suitmakers; Cedric Mezieres. This process was very different to mine, Cedric came to our place for all measuring and fit sessions, and even hand delivered the suit with matching shoes before we set off to Byron Bay.
We worked really closely with Byron Bay Wedding Planners, and that took so much stress of my shoulders, I would highly recommend getting a planner to help you with your big day. When you are having a wedding there’s literally so much to arrange and it’s like a huge machine where all the cogs need to keep turning otherwise the whole thing grinds to a halt. Having Sihanie, from Byron Bay Weddings was a blessing. She knew how busy we were with work leading up to the wedding, but still kept the pressure on me to ensure there would be no nasty surprises on the day. In fact, 3 days before the wedding you can see in this vlog, everything was going pretty swimmingly, that’s all thanks to Sihanie.
The day before the wedding a lot of the guests started to arrive, so we had a bit of a struggle balancing our time between wanting to see long lost friends and also having to do final runs and rehearsals at the venue. All subsequent photos: Jarrad Seng
With everything ready to go, we said our goodbyes for the evening, and we spent the night before the wedding apart. I enjoyed an evening with my mum and sister, and Kane… well Kane, I don’t really know what happened, but basically, the boys who were flying in, all arrived at our place, and started having a few drinks. The next thing they knew, they had missed their check-in at their own B’n’B so about 20 lads ended up sleeping all over the floor at ours!
I don’t know how or why, but on the day of the wedding everything on my side went perfectly smoothly. The amazing team at Byron Bay Weddings had pulled it together without a hitch, my hairdresser, my dress, and last remaining overseas guests all arrived on time. I had never felt so calm about something so important before!
Kane on the other hand… Well… Their escapades the night before threw everyone off I think, they were running late, he lost his tie, and broke his shoe. It seemed like a total panic-station over at their place! LOL.
Rather than sharing our wedding location with our guests, we asked everyone to arrive in town at a set time because we had a ‘special’ pickup for everyone.
Once our guests were ready, a big red English double decker bus arrived. We figured that getting everyone to arrive at the same time would give the venue more of a ‘wow factor’, as well as helping to break the ice with guests who didn’t know each other.
The Dress Code
I get a lot of questions from couples asking me how did I get everyone to dress in the same colour tone. Well, because we had an online wedding invite rather than a paper one, we were able to go in to a little more detail than usual, and we put up a series of photos that people could use as inspiration and simply wrote the following:
I am so happy with the end result, the entire theme of the wedding ended up blending so well with the venue. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
We kept the ceremony very intimate, and specifically only had seats for half of the guests, this meant the unseated guests crowded intimately around the back and sides of the seats and it made the moment feel like a fairy-tale under a huge Fig Tree.
I know I’ve said this a few times now, but I can’t recommend our celebrant, Peter Bray enough. Like seriously, if you are engaged, stop reading this post right away and try to book him for your wedding NOW. Pete is such an accomplished public speaker with a gnarly sense of humour, he had everyone laughing from the moment they got on the bus until the end of the night.
Typically with a wedding day, there’s a period of time where the bride and groom leave the wedding and go off to take some photos with the photographer. Whilst I love this idea, we also didn’t want to leave our guests for an extended period of time. So the day before we scouted a few key locations with Jarrad and we got all our wedding photos within about 30 minutes which was just fantastic. The more time we got to spend with our guests the better!
Once we got back from the photoshoot we rejoined the reception, and caught the tail end of Jason Grey’s Magic Show. Having a magican really got the party going, and Jason is probably the best on the East Coast of Australia. Highly recommend getting a magician for your big day! (Words I never thought I would ever say out loud!)
For the dinner, we moved the wedding to the lower levels of the Fig Tree for an outdoor seated sitting. Thankfully the rain held out until the end of the day!
Every so often Jarrad would pull us to one side for 5 or 10 minutes each time for a quick photo. He would use other guests who wanted pics to test out lighting of the venue to come up with some epic photos, and then when he had it perfect, he’d call us over for a snap without us having to sacrifice too much time away from our guests.
Our Wedding Cake
After we decided our favourite cakemaker was Marina Machado, we struggled to work out what flavour we wanted the cake to be. All her cakes are just so amazing that we ended up opting for one huge wedding cake, and 600 petit fours, so everyone got to indulge in a variety of her exquisite delights. Seriously, if you are after a wedding cake around Byron Bay, Marina is the only person to go to.
Our wedding video
And here’s our wedding video! 8 Camera angles and one crazy vlog-husband. I hope you love our wedding video as much as we do!
I used to work in corporate law, before quitting my job to start an eco-friendly brand helping to clean up the ocean. I travel full time with my husband exploring this wonderful place we all call home.