James and Hannah’s Byron Bay wedding was all about the little things – delicate crystal place cards, handmade paper stock from India and perfectly placed gold cutlery.
They kept the venue – one of Byron Bay’s best restaurants, Fig Tree) a surprise from their guests, who were treated to some beautiful food with one killer view of the ocean and surrounding area. And in keeping with choosing an amazing wedding team, Heart and Colour were on hand to snap the whole event for memory safe-keeping.
Tell us about how you met and the proposal?
We met when we were two. Our parents became friends, so we’ve pretty much known each other our entire lives. We didn’t get together until the end of high school and then took ten years to get engaged… we like to do things slowly.
We were in Mexico for the Triathlon World Championships which James was competing in. After his race we spent a few days relaxing in Tulum, and it was there he asked me to marry him. We were alone, having sunset drinks at a lookout over the ocean and he pulled out the beautiful ring.
We kept it to ourselves for a couple of days which was the best decision! Apart from the fact we had limited wifi in Mexico, we also wanted to enjoy the moment without being interrupted by phone calls or text messages from Australia.
Did you take on an DIY projects for the wedding? How did it all come together?
I was pretty set on the look I wanted for the wedding. I worked with Byron Bay Weddings to ensure each piece of furniture, cutlery and crockery looked perfect together.
I found some beautiful paper stock for our invitations but it was handmade in India and no printers in Australia wanted to touch it. But I was in love with it and wouldn’t budge on alternatives. After lots of rejection, I found the lovely Lava from Lava Stationery who was amazing! She sourced the paper for me and was able to print my designs. We used the same stock for our invitations and menus for consistency.
We had the most beautiful agate slices for our place cards. The cost to have these made was astronomical, but again, I was set on this idea and wouldn’t consider an alternative place card. So I ended up teaching myself calligraphy and finding a crystal wholesaler. I purchased the agate slices myself and began the long process of writing on them. It took hours but the end result was fabulous. All of our guests took the slices with them so it made a gorgeous gift for everyone.
Sounds like you really knew what you wanted! Was there a particular vibe or theme you had in mind for the day?
We didn’t really have a theme but once we selected the venue I developed a colour scheme of gold, white, green and slate. I wanted to use lots of texture so the styling didn’t appear too polished and formal, so we used agate, linen and greenery to achieve this.
What traditions did you involve (or not involve) during your big day?
We’re not traditional people, so for us the thought of including particular elements for the sake of tradition just didn’t sit well. Because of this, we didn’t have too many traditions at all! We skipped the bridal party, first dance and cake.
What advice would you give to other couples leading up to their big day?
Don’t share your plans. We kept nearly everything to ourselves and didn’t involve friends or family in much of the planning. As a result, we weren’t on the receiving end of any unsolicited opinions! We live interstate from most of our friends and family, so it wasn’t a deliberate move but it definitely helped the stress levels.
Hire a wedding coordinator and/or planner if you can. We were lucky to have Byron Bay Weddings and they made the entire planning process such a breeze. It ended up raining on the day of our (outdoor) wedding, but BBW took care of every element. Neither of us were stressed on the day and that’s purely because of BBW’s amazing staff.
We also kept our venue a surprise from our guests, and they didn’t find out until the bus delivered them to Fig Tree. It was probably highly annoying for everyone else, but we hope it added excitement to the day.
What does marriage mean to you?
Cementing our love for one another in front of our families and friends.
What was your favourite moment on your wedding day?
Hannah: One of my favourite moments was walking down the aisle and seeing all of our loved ones together. I got so excited and started waving to everyone and I completely forgot to even look at James… oops!
I also loved our reception – we were able to dine outside underneath the beautiful fig tree, then dance our way into the night with our favourite people. We danced for hours which was exactly what we wanted.
James: Everything! I wish we could do the entire weekend all over again.
CREDITS: Photos Heart and Colour // Flowers Floral and Mineral // Ceremony, reception and catering Fig Tree Restaurant // Styling Byron Bay Weddings // Stationery Lava Stationery // Bridal gown Daarlana via Hope X Page // Brides shoes Bianca Buccheri // Hairpiece Lelet NY // Accessories Sarah & Sebastian // Grooms suit and tie M.J. Bale // Rings Robert White Jewellers // Hair Athina Skarparis // Makeup Tanielle Jai // Music DJ Kristin // Celebrant Benjamin Carlyle // Transport Byron Bay Double Decker Bus.
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