A charmingly rustic French-inspired B&B holds within it honest moments of spirited emotion drenched in the dreamy autumn light of the Northern NSW Hinterland.
This enchanted wedding is one of simple romance drawing you into a soulful story not masked by over styling. Rustic textures and raw and recycled décor are made delicate with fresh flowers flanked by walls of silk, the warm glow of a blanket of fairy lights and the soft palette of white and antique pink.
Telling the story through emotion and details, Joseph Willis - one of The LANE’s handpicked photographers moves you with his stirring storytelling.
HOW WE MET: Our story is a bit backwards. We met when I was home in Norway for Christmas holidays. I was a temporary Aussie at that time, studying design in Perth. I was celebrating my 21st birthday when a mutual friend introduced me to an Australian guy living in my hometown in Norway. His name was Dallas and he wore cowboy boots! He charmed his way to a date and a month or so later we celebrated New Years Eve together back in Australia. Dallas spontaneously decided to join me on a road trip around Australia and at the end of a wonderful holiday I made a decision to follow my heart and move back home to Norway - and home to Dallas.
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: Dallas: Four years later we convinced Malene’s family to travel with us to Australia for Christmas and New Years. I wanted to show them where I grew up, and I wanted them there for what I had planned. I had been thinking of a proposal for some time; I had sourced a 1940's ring from the US and asked Malene’s dad for his permission. I took Malene for our usual jetlag-morning walk along the beach in front of my family home, Shelly Beach. I pulled her aside and proposed as the sun came up.
WEDDING LOCATION: We held the wedding at Deux Belettes, a French style bed and breakfast in the Northern New South Wales Hinterland. It looks like it is from a fairytale! Picturesque, charming and rustic - this place ticked all the boxes and gave us a great canvas to style our wedding around.
THEME/STYLE: We have definitely gone for a more relaxed and rustic style. Both in materials for the stationary and the venue decor, we chose more natural and unfinished materials such as kraft paper, raw wooden tables and old miss matched chairs.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Coming from a photographic family, the wedding photos were very important for me. We chose Joseph Willis because of his ability to capture those small precious moments and we loved his style and passion for photography. When we first received our photos it was like reliving the day again - it was way beyond what we could have hoped for! For our thank you cards, each guest received a couple photos of themselves as well as one of us - it was amazing what was captured that day.
BRIDE’S DRESS: My dress, made by Australian-born designer Henry Roth, created a very simple silhouette but with gorgeous textured guipure lace and Swarovski crystals with that luxurious vintage look. For me, it was about finding a dress that was simple but with texture and subtle details.
BRIDE’S SHOES: Being a tall bride I went with flat sandals. I found the most beautiful sandals from Filippo Raphael Shoes – but for comfort I made a last minute decision to go for a pair of inexpensive crystal embellished sandals from Forever New. Comfort is key!
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: I wanted the girls to have the same colour dresses but different styles. My maid of honour wore a maxi dress, while my two bridesmaids wore a shorter version – all in a dusty rose colour to match our colour scheme, and all had lace details to match my wedding dress.
BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: Whatever they felt comfortable in!
JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES: I wore my mum's earrings as something 'borrowed', the same ones she wore on her wedding day. And I also wore my great grandmother's gorgeous blue sapphire ring that my grandparents gave me before the wedding as 'something blue'.
WEDDING RINGS: My engagement ring is a square emerald cut diamond centre stone, with two half moon diamond accent stones and four round accent stones on the side. The ring is from the 1940‘s and Dallas sourced it from the American company EraGem which specialises in vintage and antique engagement rings. My wedding band is 14k white gold with 14 diamonds from Michael Hill. As Dallas doesn't wear rings due to his work, we bought him a watch from Nixon instead and had it engraved.
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Dallas wore a special ordered light grey Tiger of Sweden suit, a black tie from Country Road, cognac coloured shoes from Aquila, and matching cognac Hugo Boss Belt. The groomsmen wore grey slacks from yd and their own white shirts and black shoes for a relaxed look. To make them stand out we gave them matching black bow ties (also from yd.) and recycled bamboo sunnies from Gro Collection.
HAIR/MAKEUP: Freelance stylist Julie Corbet did both my hair and my makeup. I had my hair down with vintage curls and a flower circlet/crown. For the makeup we focused on the eyes with smokey shades of brown.
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: I did all the invitations and stationary myself. I used kraft paper as a base and white ink to get a fresh and different look. I created the name cards and table numbers out of clay. I made small circles with lace embossed to tie it with the lace theme of our dresses, and stamped every single letter by hand. These were tied to the wineglasses and vases with twine to keep with the rustic theme. I like to put my personal touch on things, and even though it took a very (very!) long time, I do believe the guests appreciated the effort.
BRIDESMAIDS GIFTS: I gave my bridesmaids a handmade dainty silver heart necklace with their initials from Mon Cadeau on Etsy.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: Alison at Alstonville Florist really understood our wishes and ideas. They delivered flawlessly and exactly what we imagined! We had a colour palette of white, green and subtle pink. My favourite flower is peony but it was unfortunately not in season at the time so we used flowers like dahlias, lisianthus, astilbe, roses, spray roses and carnations instead to get that same romantic feel. My bouquet and the decorations were wrapped in twine which tied in perfectly with the style of our invitations and the ceremony itineraries. I wanted my bridesmaids to have flower circlets instead of a bouquet; that way they could use their beautiful flowers all day and all night!
PREPARATION: My girls and I stayed at Deux Belettes the night before. That way we got to relax on the morning with champagne in bed – followed by a heavenly breakfast made by the owner, Sharon. My mum and grandma came up in the morning so that we could all get ready together. The atmosphere was so relaxed, peaceful and fun. I couldn’t have asked for better company! Dallas started his day surfing with the boys. After a fun session in the water he had breakfast with the groomsmen over a glass of whiskey and plenty of laughs. My dad and my father-in-law met up with us for a glass of a 25 years old whiskey he bought especially for this day.
MORNING GIFTS: As a morning gift, Dallas gave me a beautiful cocktail ring made out of a raw amethyst stone his grandmother found in the desert back in the days. He designed the ring himself, and included my birthstone (blue topaz) and two marquis diamonds to represent the two of us. The ring is so personal and precious. It also represented 'something old' and 'something new'.
Dallas: I got my morning gift when I got back from surfing – on the sofa there was a special made balsa wood surfboard. Malene wrote our wedding date and the same sentiment as on our ring and watch on the stringer for that personal touch.
CEREMONY DÉCOR: The venue is so detailed and beautiful in itself so we wanted to keep the styling simple. We used miss matched chairs from Little Grey Station, with hanging bottles as pew ends with delicate white, green and soft pink flowers from Alstonville Florist.
RECEPTION DÉCOR: We had a large open marquee with silk lining for our reception. We skipped the flooring and went with the natural gravel instead. We also re-used the miss matched chairs from the ceremony. This tied in perfectly with the long raw wooden tables. It all combined beautifully together, the raw materials mixed with the delicate flowers and silk lining. Rustic elegance.
WEDDING PLANNER: We used Frank and Joy for the day's coordination.
WEDDING STYLIST: Myself.
CAKE: Since we had a cheese bar after dinner we hadn't really planned for a wedding cake, but then my grandparents surprised us with a delicious chocolate mud cake.
WEDDING SONGS: For our ceremony we had our close friend play the guitar and sing "Marry Me" by Train. It was so beautiful and intimate to have our friend performing. When we signed the marriage certificate he sang a Norwegian song called Idyll – we had the lyrics printed on the ceremony itinerary so all the Norwegians could sing along. To end the ceremony as we walked out, he played Newton Faulkner’s "Dream Catch Me" – which is the song we listened to on our road trip when we first started dating. For our first dance we danced to "Come Fly With Me" by Frank Sinatra. Such a classic and easy to move to!
ENTERTAINMENT: We had live music during the ceremony, a pre made list of music for the canapés, and DJ Pip during the evening.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: We had the amazing Hungry Like The Wolf cater for us. We wanted something more fun and relaxed and they were perfect for the event. All the food was made in-house and from local produce. They created a mixture of food bars and feasting tables and the main dish was a fantastic paella made in front of the guests. As a special drink we had the traditional norwegian spirit – Aquavit. This particular Aquavit is produced where my family is from. After dinner Dallas’ whiskey bar opened with a selection of aged whiskey.
HONEYMOON: We went sailing in the Whitsundays with my family. Even though we enjoyed it, we felt we needed some proper honeymooning just the two of us so a couple of months later we went to Bali to the most beautiful bungalows in Padang Padang. The bungalows had private outdoor showers surrounded by lush gardens. After 1 week in Bali, we had 4 weeks in Scandinavia to visit family and friends.
CELEBRANT: Irena Kirpichnikova from Byron Bay. She was lovely, relaxed and gave us good advise along the way. She understood us, and the ceremony reflected us as a couple.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: When our eyes met walking down the aisle.
ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS... I wish I knew how many things that needed to be hired for a catered wedding. That is something to take in consideration when you choose a reception venue. If you want to make it easy for yourself – have the dinner at a restaurant, if you are ready to plan every detail – then go for that special venue that you fall in love with.
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE... Invest in a good photographer (or two) with a full day coverage! The wedding day goes by so quickly, and you cant be everywhere at one time. Being able to reminisce and relive the day is something you wont regret spending a little bit more on. Also seeing those moments you missed on the day is precious.
DALLAS & MALENE'S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: Joseph Willis
VENUE: Deux Belettes
BRIDE'S DRESS: Henry Roth
BRIDE'S SHOES: Forever New
BRIDE'S GARTERS: Lucy Bridal Boutique via Etsy
BRIDESMAIDS GIFTS: Mon Cadeau via Etsy
GROOM'S GIFT: Balsa Surfboards Riley
HAIR & MAKEUP: Julie Corbet
FLORIST: Alstonville Florist
CATERING: Hungry Like The Wolf
WEDDING PLANNER: Frank & Joy
CELEBRANT: Irena Kirpichnikova
HONEYMOON: Padang Padang
ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Pip