How did you meet your (now) husband? At the Coogee Bay Hotel through my flat mate at the time. Courtney was a good friend of both of us and later became one of our bridesmaids.
How long have you been together? 3 years.
Do you have a proposal story? Ryan proposed to me on 8 November 2014 Gerringong, Sth Coast NSW. We had perviously walked the headland at Werri Beach and decided to return and run it. Ryan knew this was an ideal place to propose. Nobody around, beautiful farmland and scenery overlooking the ocean. I am a hard person to surprise so Ryan ran with me each Saturday morning for 8 weeks straight so when he asked me to run the Werri Headland it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. Ryan carried the ring in the back pocket of his board shorts. He later told me he was excited, not nervous but more excited as we started running. We got to a point and turned around to head back when Ryan dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. It really did the trick and I was shocked. It was perfect. The weather was stunning on this day and we celebrated by drinking champagne on the beach followed by lunch and dinner together, a full day to celebrate.
What was your wedding date? 3 October 2015
Location (Ceremony and Reception)
Where? Park near Clarke’s Beach, Byron Bay and Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club
What made you choose there? Byron is our absolute favourite place in the world and holds lots of amazing memories for us.
How did you find it? Prior knowledge of the area
How was the weather on the day? AMAZING!!! Not a cloud in the sky, barely a breath of wind and about 25 degrees. The whole week was like that, which made it so special for our friends and family who had taken time of work and travelled so far for us. We still cannot believe how lucky we were.
What made you decide to get married on this particular date? It happened by chance, but the date did end up having significance for us. We met on AFL grand final day, 2012. 3 October 2015 was AFL grand final day.
The Wedding Details
Theme? Gold, rose gold, white, natural timber and greenery
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest mainly. But I was right in to my shiny metals in my own home at the time.
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? My very dear friend Jenny made our entrance sign and our wishing well, my maid of honour made the buntings for the back of the chairs at the ceremony and I made the rest of the signage at the reception. I also had a lot of the candles made by a friend at work who own Hunter Divine Candle Company.
Bridesmaids – who/relationship?
Emma - Maid of Honour. Best friend throughout our schooling, starting at age 4
Amanda - Eldest Sister
Melanie - Middle Sister
Courtney - Best Friend. Introduced Ryan and I. Ex flat mate.
Shana - Best Friend. Partner in crime through our teenage years. Sister from another mister.
Belinda - Best Friend from school and beyond.
Groomsmen – who/relationship?
David - Best man. Best mate. A very special bond
Murray - Younger brother
Trent - Youngest brother
Samuel - Best mate. Surfing buddy. They have travelled a lot together. Originally met at work about 8 years ago.
Troy - Ex flat mate. A very good friend who would do anything for his mates.
Jono - Best mate. Now lives in Darwin but their friendship remains very strong.
Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?
Sophie - Our beautiful niece. Melanie’s daughter
Mason - Our gorgeous nephew. Sophie’s little brother
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I have always loved KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gowns. The Anya gown was the first ever gown I decided I wanted to try on when I first began looking on the internet.
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? I have been a bridesmaid 5 times so I have been to David Jones Bridal once or twice ;) I have always admired the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gowns there. I have also followed KAREN WILLIS HOLMES on Instagram for a long time.
How many gowns did you try? About 6. I was told I had very little chance of getting the Anya gown, as it was an off the rack gown and was in high demand. So I was trying to make myself like something else. My mum asked me if I only felt that way about Anya because I knew I couldn’t have it. I thought about it but decided that wasn’t the case. When my dress finally came in and I tried it on, there was no doubt about it I had made the right choice to wait.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? David Jones Bridal
What did you especially like about your gown? The sequins and how they looked under light. I always thought I would wear lace, as did everyone else. So I loved how I surprised every body on the day.
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? White Runway.
Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? David Jones
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore a Jannie Baltzer head piece. I always wanted to wear my hair out, but I find it quite annoying. The head piece was a great way to control it and keep it off my face. It also really suited the dress. I wore a bracelet belonging to my mum. My two older sisters have also worn it on their wedding day. I wore earrings given to me by Ryan on my birthday, the first birthday that we were together.
Where did you get your shoes from? The Iconic.
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Headpiece - see above. I also wore a veil. I borrowed it from my sister Amanda. I think it was Lisa Gowing.
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? The small details really really didn’t matter on the day. The week leading up is busy and stressful. But if you forget to do something, I guarantee you will be the only person who notices it.
Depending on the requirements of your venue, I recommend getting a stylist. I did not have to worry about a thing on the morning of the wedding. I knew Rachael from The Events Lounge would do an amazing job. And that she did. I couldn’t even fathom the thought of having to set all that up on the day.
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Think about your body type and what suits you. Be comfortable. It’s a long day with a lot of photos taken. You want to look at ease and like you are enjoying yourself.
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. We felt so blessed by the amount of people who travelled to Byron Bay to share our special day. And by the generosity they brought with them. 140 people made it to our destination wedding! We had the time our our lives!
Florist - Elyssium Blooms. As recommended by Rachael from The Events Lounge. They have a very close working relationship and friendship. The florals were extremely well priced, in my opinion.
Photographer - Ming Nomchong from Sail Me to the Moon. AMAZING! I absolutely loved her work before and I couldn’t be happier with my photos. She’s amazing. And such a lovely lady. Excellent with customer service and replying to emails. Can’t rate her highly enough.
Music - Nick Saxon. Nick is a good friend of Ryans. However, is available for weddings and has a beautiful voice. Nick was willing to learn anything we asked of him. We had a pre-dancing play list and a dancing playlist. Everyone was up dancing very early. We had to cut the pre-dancing short so we could get in to it!
First Dance - Is this love by Bob Marley - sung by Nick. We didn’t really want to do a first dance so we made everyone do it with us.
MC - Ryan’s very good friend Jamie Watts. The poor man, we gave him very little information and at the very last minute but he did an excellent job. He didn’t pressure us when we were running around the day before even though he was freaking out that he knew nothing about the day. He was a champion about it.
Celebrant - Katrina Holt. I found her on Instagram and was instantly drawn in by her kind face. I also liked the fact she didn’t have any big flashy adverts out there. She was new to the Byron area from Freshwater in Sydney. Freshwater was where Ryan lived when I met him. On our first meeting (via Skype) she made us feel relaxed and at ease. She is a lovely lady who wrote a beautiful ceremony for us. We had a lot of compliments on how personal the ceremony was.
Stationery - Made by a family friend, Sarah Hampton. Sarah’s family own Colour Print Solutions at Bulli, NSW. We had pineapples all over them. We wanted people to get a fun vibe from our invites so they knew it wasn’t going to be a traditional wedding.
Menu - We had a cocktail reception so our guests could mingle and get the party started early. The Larder were our caterers. They were excellent. As well as roving finger food and fork boxes, we had a huge antipasto grazing table. It was a big hit! The Larder were a joy to deal with.
Cake - Rebellyous Cake Co. It was 4 tiers and I had a different flavour for each tier. Lemon mud, raspberry ripple mud, dark chocolate mud and her signature flavour, coconut lime mud. Elyssium Blooms supplied the flowers for the cake, which Rebel likes to arrange herself. I got a cake topper made saying ‘Mr & Mrs Good’. I got that off Etsy.
Hair - Fuz Hair Byron Bay. Kali did a great job on my curls. I was very nervous as I had a few trials before with curls and hated it. On the day they were perfect.
Make up - Emily Graham Makeup Artistry. Emily was a friend of a friend who has become a friend of mine. An absolutely gorgeous lady. Emily and her sidekick Georgia Richards did an amazing job. All the bridesmaids loved their makeup. Everyone looked beautiful.
Extra features -Stylist - Rachael from The Events Lounge. Rachael worked with me on creating my dream wedding. Rachael listens to what you want, creates mood boards and makes selections around this. Rachael used Hampton Event Hire and Lovestruck Weddings for the furniture hire. Both had a lot of amazing pieces. We also hired plants from The Borrowed Nursery and lighting came from North Coast Events. The photos show it all. It was beautiful and beyond what we had imagined.