Julia and Ben’s Blue Mountains tipi wedding was a stylish celebration that highlighted their shared love of the outdoors. Their giant tipi took full advantage of their venue’s incredible outlook and their dance floor was perfectly placed beneath the stars.
They also added their own personal touches by writing their own vows and making a donation to two different charities in lieu of wedding favours. Being a graphic designer, bride Julia also created the most beautiful invitation suite, delivered to guests in a keepsake leather envelope.
Captured by WS faves Ripple Weddings, you can check out their entire wedding day below.
Julia and Ben, congrats on getting married. First, could you tell us about how you met, any funny first date stories and a bit about the proposal?
We met working in hospitality together 12 years ago… We now work together and collaborate on projects all the time, so things have come full circle!
Ben proposed to me at Kakslauttane Arctic Resort, Finland, chasing the breathtaking Northern Lights. After a husky ride Ben dropped to his knee in the snow; with my twin sister, brother-in-law and some reindeer as our witnesses, and we celebrated the night away under the northern lights.
In a few sentences, how would you describe your wedding day? Was there a particular vibe or theme you went for?
The vibe was Scandinavian meets Moroccan-style on a cliff in the Blue Mountains. The ceremony was nestled in a forest adorned with native cotton from my family farm. We are both lovers of the outdoors and exploring so we really wanted that incorporated into our day. We then wanted the wedding to be a really immersive experience for our guests. We wanted everyone to arrive and enjoy the space, not having to shift venues. Staying in the one place meant more of a seamless transition from ceremony to canapés to dinner and dancing. Guests were truly able to appreciate the location, that incredible view and to soak up the good vibes the entire time. Our family and friends kept remarking ‘it’s just so you’, and that’s what we wanted out of the day.
Did you write your own vows?
I was lucky enough to have my Godmother as our celebrant. We always wanted to write our own vows and having Barb guide us through the process was so special. We felt super comfortable with her so that allowed us to share vows with her for advice and feedback without having to involve our partner. We wanted to write them independently so our partner was hearing them for the first time on the big day… it made for a very emotional moment!
What’s the best piece of advice you took on when planning your wedding?
Make the most of the planning. It’s so beautiful to see all the important people in our lives come together in the planning stages, it gives you an insight into what life is going to be like after the big day. The more positive energy and love you have surrounding you in the process and lead up to the wedding, the more you will get out of the day.
What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started planning?
I wish I knew how tough it would be designing your own invitations! I’m a graphic designer and obviously couldn’t wait to design our invitation for the big day…. but it is tough being your own client. It all came together in the end… complete with letterpress printing bundled into a stunning leather envelope that I hope our guests will keep for a long time as a keepsake from the wedding.
Now that you’re married, what’s the best piece of advice you can give other couples?
Try to make the weekend last as long as possible. Have the night before drinks and have that recovery brunch… you only do this once! We were also lucky enough to stay on the property for several more days soaking up every last second with close family and friends. Choosing a venue which allowed us to have an extended amount of time there was super important to us and meant the festivities just kept on going long after the last song on the wedding day.
On the topic of the ceremony…. We had ALL of our nieces and nephews as flowers girls and page boys… seven in total. It was beautiful! It also made for an hilarious ice-breaker at the beginning of the ceremony. They all ran and gave him [Ben] the biggest stacks-on hug and it was truly unforgettable… one of my favourite moments of the day. It also took the pressure off one child… there was no stage fright in sight.
Did you scrap any wedding traditions?
In lieu of a wedding favour, we made a donation on behalf of the guests to the Leukaemia Foundation and MS Australia—both causes are close to our hearts. We let our guests know this by alternating the charity donation on the back of the name cards. Cutting of the cake was quick and a bit of a non-event straight after the ceremony… Traditionally brides don’t speak at their weddings, but I was definitely speaking at mine and so was my twin sister (Maid of Honour) whose speech was amazing!
Finish this sentence. The best (or most unique) thing we did at our wedding was…
The best part was dancing under the stars with a packed dance floor until the very last second of the wedding! Ben and I even missed our ride back to the bridal suite as we certainly weren’t missing any of the party. We had to convince another guest bus to make a detour for us!
CREDITS: Photos and video Ripple Weddings // Flowers and styling The Ivy League // Ceremony and reception Allview Escape // Catering Red Pepper Catering and Applejack Hospitality // Tipi KataLane // Stationery Julia Jacque Design // Bridal gown Calla Blanche // Accessories Natalie Marie // Brides jacket Tan Made // Bridesmaid dresses Camilla & Marc // Bridesmaid gifts The Daily Edited // Groom and groomsmen suits M.J. Bale // Hair Sarah J // Makeup Makeup by Ivd // Celebrant Barbara Colless.