One & Only Hayman Island.

Wednesday, January 21st 2015

Moments amongst impossible teal waters. Cocktails in coconuts sipped poolside. The romance of a free-spirit. Dancing on the sand under violet skies and by waters shimmering pink under a setting sun. Being busy doing absolutely nothing. Sailing at sunset. Days drenched in endless light. A private island escape in the middle of the Coral Sea. Feasts shared under new moons. Moments made with family and friends. Paradise is a feeling. A feeling we found at One&Only Hayman Island.

If there was ever a time to find paradise, that sense of infinite space, otherworldly landscapes, crystalline waters, dream-like simplicity, irrelevant time and unimaginable beauty, easy luxury and effortless style, it’s your wedding. On our continuing wanderings to discover the most magical wedding spaces worldwide, we found ourselves heading north, far north, to the incredibly chic and forever iconic Hayman Island in Australia’s Whitsundays. The luxury resort, synonymous with Australian style and celestial blue waters, was recently given an 80 million dollar makeover and reimagined by the One&Only Resort group, but don’t think for a minute this was a rebirth that took away Hayman’s soul and charm.

Evoking feelings of bygone beauty and of old Hollywood (think bohemian moments at Beverly Hills Hotel circa 1970) met with a tropical private island escape, it’s cool, effortlessly cool. Reminiscent of those iconic resorts around the world that charm with their almost nostalgic style and relaxed luxury, alluring the gypset and all their glamour. With its white façade, blue and white striped awnings and days spent in (completely white) pool suites diving off balconies into the iconic Hayman beachfront pool, sipping Gin Fizzes in one-pieces, lounging on striped sunbeds housed in private beachfront cabanas…this is the destination-wedding venue for those searching for paradise, in its most stylish form. It’s the venue for a little touch of Calvin Klein minimalism and broad-brimmed hats. For barefoot pool parties with guests and recovery days soaking in the sun. For welcome drinks at sunset and dinners on the palm tree lined sands. For unassuming and understated luxury. For those considering Australia as a destination wedding venue and for those wanting a destination venue without leaving Australia.

A little tropical rainforest, a little pool club meets a lot natural beauty and perfect white sandy vibes - aesthetically the One&Only Hayman Island works for a number of different wedding styles and creative visions. From ceremonial rituals with an enchanted backdrop of ethereal teal waters (painted with the majestic islands of the Whitsundays), long tables on the sand under open skies for 300 (or just for three), all barefoot and black-tie, fine dining restaurant spaces, tranquil rainforest gardens amongst tropical greenery to chic cocktail parties poolside. Unlike other destination resorts that allure with the promise of paradise and all-inclusive wedding packages (more often than not the kind where you choose your wedding from a list, pick chicken or fish for an alternative drop menu and tick a sash colour for cringe worthy chair covers), this is a venue where the focus is on style and the approach is bespoke. Where absolutely anything and everything is possible, while at the same time nothing is forced. It’s just a matter of deciding on the scope and style of what you would like to create (made easier when packages include an option to fly in for a site inspection) and the incredible team makes it all happen.

Meeting Teegan Deck (One&Only's Wedding Sales Manager) and the team of wedding specialists on the island, who oversees each and every wedding with an impeccable eye for style and a passion for creating the most beautiful and authentic events, we knew we had found a truly special space for a wedding. This is a girl who gets it. Supremely stylish herself, yet down to earth and completely approachable, she’s the kind of girl you want behind your wedding. Her dreams are big and her vision boundless. She, unlike the unsettling feeling that sometimes envelopes when meeting with a planner, is on your side. Making the impossible possible with a carefully curated, highly edited, impeccably picked list of brands to call on, to help translate your vision. She has a way with finding only the absolute best in an industry flooded with brands that sometimes aren’t aesthetically a good fit. She’ll find those evocative photojournalists, artful florists, detail obsessed planners and interior focused décor hire companies.  She’ll listen to your story and understand your spirit. You’ll sleep easy knowing this really will be a destination wedding without the stress, yet completely and uniquely yours.

Visiting One&Only Hayman Island, staying poolside and being treated to most of the seven dining venues (espresso martinis at Bar Fifty, coconut waters by the pool, tapas and a Gin Fizz at Aquazure are our must dos), our reveries naturally turn to what style of wedding does this space suit? Who is the One&Only bride? …. the options and spaces really are endless, from lavish fine dining and beachfront restaurants to dramatic verandah spaces completely surrounded by the tropical rainforest. However for us, the beauty of this venue is it’s breathtaking natural landscape of almost otherworldly proportions, the white shores and celestial blue waters, the views of the tranquil and lush islands of the Whitsundays, it’s iconic charm and unassuming, understated luxury. Those stand out things that have been refreshed, but not lost in the refurbishment and give the island its authentic soul. The most magical weddings, we imagine pay homage to these things and continue over languid days spent with family and friends sharing laughter, drinking and dancing. A story of fun, euphoria and breathtaking scenery, told through the eyes of an incredible photojournalist.

Pared back and understated luxury our imagined mood, with a wedding that is ultimately relaxed, fun and focused on timeless style and celebrations that continue over a number of days. Begin with an arrival dinner with family and friends on sunset as the sky turns violet and waters pink. Moments lost, food shared and Champagne sipped from crystal stemware around a long table on the shoreline (effortlessly draped in raw linens and lit by a blanket of stars) or in the enchanted and moodily lit private dining room of Fire Restaurant. Spend the morning of your wedding reveling in ocean swims and beauty rituals, followed by a simple, late afternoon ceremony either on the sands of coconut beach or on the islands helipad (both spaces that will allow for those undisrupted views and majestic backdrop of the islands). Opt for a reception under the stars by the iconic pool, the kind where guests greet the morning sun. Use the beachfront cabanas for guests to relax and serve roving canapés and refreshing cocktails and come night, the timber deck area for a dance floor that’s lit only by a single row of festoon lights.  We recommend keeping styling to the absolute bare essentials with a focus on more bohemian minimalism than bohemian luxe, a palette of dreamy whites and a satin slip, clean lines and floating hemlines. Flowers could either be plentiful or kept sparse, but definitely white.

Our must read tips for this venue

- The most beautiful time of the year for a wedding on Hayman Island is winter (April - November). The weather is cool, dry and waters the bluest of blue. For those that don’t mind the tropical climate and hot, sticky days, November through to April is low season.
- Flights are direct from many major cities to Hamilton Island, with a one-hour private transfer in a luxury boat straight to Hayman (it passes way too easily with Champagne and the magical Islands of the Whitsundays passing by). Just an 1 hour and 20 minutes from Brisbane for Australians logistically this so close and a really easy option for a destination wedding, giving that feeling of absolute seclusion. For other parts of the world, Hayman offers the ultimate in Australian style and all its natural beauty.
- What we love about this venue is that while there are all-inclusive wedding packages available, each and every wedding is bespoke and can be tailored to exactly what you are looking for.
- For destination weddings, One&Only Hayman Island coordinates all suppliers, each chosen for their incredible work and aesthetic fit for the super stylish. There is also a hair salon and spa on the island that can be used for the morning-of rituals (hair, makeup, mani and pedis with your bridesmaids).
- There are 160 rooms available that are spaced over three different wings. Our pick are the pool suites for guests (you can dive straight of your balcony into the beach front pool) and the private beachfront villas for the bride and groom or those thinking of visiting Hayman for their honeymoon. With an open-air pool in the middle of the room and a private beach at the front, you can still have privacy from your guest, family and rest of your bridal party.
- If you book your accomodation in advance you can save 20% of any room type (book by February 28th).
- If you are looking at exclusivity, it is possible to book the resort for exclusive use for your weddings. However the design and layout of the refurbishment has been really well thought out and during our stay, most times, we felt like we were the only ones on the island. 

Spicers Peak Lodge.

Wednesday, November 12th 2014

Imagine escaping to a majestic mountaintop for your ceremonial rituals. To a place where the air is cool and fresh, the landscape painted with rugged mountains, the space infinite. A place where the air smells of wood and of cedar, of earth and fire: a place where time is trivial and the silence enveloping. A place where you’re untouchable and can hear yourself think. Imagine being married in the kind of place that creeps into your soul and stays long after you leave. This is Spicers Peak Lodge...

Sun-soaked coastal ceremonies may come to mind when one thinks of a wedding in Queensland Australia. The summer heat, the salty breeze and beaches that seduce, but surprising to most be that there is so much more on offer. Spicers Peak Lodge, just 90 minutes from Brisbane city (2 ½ hours from the Gold Coast), located on Queensland Scenic Rim and in the mountains of the Great Dividing Range is seemingly worlds away from the often too familiar happenings of many weddings and awakens a longing for intimate celebrations of wholesome luxury. A well hidden gem, 8000 acres on a dramatic peak top location (reminiscent of those romantic winter ski chalets that come to mind when one thinks of places like Aspen and the French Alps), that the LANE team was lucky enough to experience on our ever continuing search for the most incredible wedding venues…..

After a winding drive on the dirt path that leads up the mountain to Peak Lodge you realise you are high, very high (this is Australia’s highest non alpine lodge) and are surrounded by breathtaking views, green fields, roaming cattle and the mountains of the Great Dividing range. At the top awaits a charming cedar lodge (covered in climbing ivy) with chimneys a blaze on a spring day, calling you to retreat. Thoughts of intimate destination style weddings that move effortlessly between festivities and celebrations over numerous days are imagined. This is the venue for those allured by the romance of seclusion, those that have that innate love of the wilderness and wide open spaces and those that want the intimacy of a destination wedding with touches of relaxed luxury.

From the awe-inspiring views to incredible food and luxe spa treatments, we quickly learn that Spicers Peak Lodge is effortless luxury. The touches are quiet and humble. They are personal and easy. It’s not the kind of luxury that’s pretentious or rigid, but rather the comforting kind that makes you feel like you’re staying in the beautiful home of an old friend. It’s quiet, welcoming and relaxing. You find logs of freshly chopped firewood at your door for the stone fireplace in your room and a handwritten note with chocolates by the bed. There are stacks of coffee table books and cashmere throws for warmth. The service is the same, with every step taken to make your stay comfortable. The staff know you by name, the car is parked and your bags await in your room (which is warmly lit by a blazing fire), all before you’ve had a chance to take in the incredible destination.

In the heat of the Australian summer many consider the coast the only option for a wedding, but the mountaintop location of Peak Lodge with the cool, fresh air makes this the perfect escape from the stifling summer heat. The days are pleasant and the light incredible, which means the celebrations can start early and continue all day. While the lodge has that beautiful rustic feeling of an almost winter-like ski chalet, the styling and aesthetic of weddings that would work at the space are endless. The stone fireplaces, dark wood accents and earthy materials combined with the focus on amazing food and wine have us imagining an effortlessly luxe wedding, ultimately refined, but with the nonchalance and relaxed mood of an intimate dinner party. Think raw beauty, romantic intimacy and natural surrounds. An outdoor dinner on the grass with one long timber table and a small gathering of guests sharing amazing food and company would be our pick. We recommending extending on the beautiful rustic touches that the space has with a mood that is purposefully restrained. Added refinement with oversized and artful arrangements of white and ivory peonies and roses.

The real beauty of Peak Lodge is in the incredible destination, breathtaking views and the rawness of the natural surrounds, which will really resonate with those effortless bohemian brides. If you’re after a gypsy-esque celebration there is a secluded campfire style spot amongst the bush land with rustic timber tables, log seating and a bonfire. Full of charm for an intimate and spirited ceremony that exudes that real sense of bohemian and free-spirited heart, we imagine the log seating arranged in a circle around the fire with a clearing at the top for the exchanging of vows and a bride adorned in a billowing and flowing silhouette of paisley prints. We also imagine this space hosting the pre wedding night celebrations for the boys (think Moscow mules by the fire), while the girls have cocktails by the infinity pool (the espresso martinis are amazing) or get pampered at the retreat’s spa.

If food and wine is a focus, this is the heart of Peak Lodge and the venues award winning restaurant is famous for their 7 course degustation dinner with matched wines (which we were lucky enough to be treated to during our stay). Come dinnertime, drinks and canapés are served in the communal lounge room followed by the most unbelievable meal. Beautifully presented and from produce source from local and organic suppliers, each course is told in the most descriptive detail. If you're considering this space it is even worth a stay prior to your wedding just to sample the menu. The highlights for us were the lamb served with quinoa porridge, onions and buttermik and the baramundi with almond, orange and za’atar.

While Peak Lodge can accommodate weddings of up to 100, the lodge sleeps 26 and can be book exclusively (which we would recommend to really create that secluded sense of intimacy with close family and friends that extends over a weekend). There are also two private timber lodges at the bottom of the property that are perfect for couples on their wedding night. With a double door stone fireplace, an infinity hot tub on the mountain edge and the most majestic views, you'll never want to leave. While buses can transport guests to and from the venue, it’s 2 hours back to Brisbane (2 ½ to the Gold Coast), so we don’t really recommend this option. If you’re considering larger guest numbers there are a number of ways to make this incredible venue work. Spicers Canopy (also run by the Spicers group) is a campsite located at the bottom of the property that can accommodate around 10 tents of two people. Wedding options at Peak are bespoke, so there’s even a possibility of having something like Homecamp (pop up glamping for guests) set up on the property!

Our must read tips for this venue

- Pack layers! You are high on a mountain so even on a warm spring day it can be cool at Peak Lodge. For brides, we imagine a billowing gown with voluminous sleeves.
- For those considering a weekend getaway or a short stay, packages at Spicers Peak Lodge are all inclusive. Three meals, food, beverages and mini bar are included as well as the seven-course degustation dinner menu.

Things To Do
If you're considering a destination wedding celebration or even a hens weekend away at Spicers Peak Lodge here’s a list of our must dos…

- Have an afternoon picnic with a rustic cheese board and wine at one of the mountain lookouts. The northern lookout (also an amazing proposal spot) was the most dramatic and our favourite. The views and afternoon light magical!
- There’s nothing like the magic of listening to music and sharing stories around the property's bonfire.
- The resorts spa (Spa Anise) is amazing! We were treated to the Peak Signature Massage where your body is wrapped in hot towels before a full body massage with beautiful plant oils! Bliss!
- The 7-course degustation with matched wines is a must! Foodie or not the food is incredible and the most perfect way to spent an evening!

Styling Ideas

Refined Rustic
Leith & Brooke's Rustic Hunter Valley Wedding / Bridal Gowns: Voluminous SleevesReception Decor: Crystal Cut Glassware / Flowers: White Hydrangeas / Styled Shoot: Tres Chic /  Photography: Dramatic Landscapes / Cakes: Fig Adorned

Bohemian
Kara & Jeff Real Wedding / Bridal Gowns: Folk Silhouettes / Bridal Gowns: Bo & Luca LibertasDecor Hire: Timbermill Rentals / Theme: Summer Whites / Theme: Sheer Simplicity  /  Flowers: LilacsFlorist: Fleuriste / Cakes: Gillian Bell / Food Styling: Flower Food / Photography: Dramatic Landscapes / Favours: Smudgesticks / Food Styling: Mulled Wine / Decor: Exposed Festoon Lighting / Flowergirls: Tea Princess Bohemian Dreams Collection

Head over the Spicers Peak Lodge website to see more of this incredible venue. 

LANE Hidden Gems Tour. Byron Bay.

Tuesday, July 15th 2014

“ We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls”

Head east, the furthest east, where salty manes and bare feet roam. A magnetic sun illuminates blue seas and the pacific breeze calms afternoon dreams. With energy like no other, Byron, is a euphoric place with an untamed soul.

A longtime haven for nomadic spirits and a regular witness to the many exchanges of sacred vows and words of forever, much has been written about this spiritual land. Translating to “ Cavvanbah” the aboriginal word for meeting place, its pull is strong and its appeal sweeping. 

Byron is made for late night swims and barefoot adventures; summer afternoons at Top Pub and shared dinners with friends. People travel from lands faraway and those close by, for rest, for healing and for a chance to immerse themselves in the laidback way of life and channel the free spirit that Byron radiates.

Winter on the East Coast in far north NSW is one of the most magical times of the year. The days are warm and the nights are clear. While in summer the town can feel a little overrun with tourists in winter there’s a peaceful serenity which can make for an amazing destination wedding, elopement or honeymoon. Byron is a regular weekend visit for The LANE team, we are drawn by its gypsy mood, artistic culture, sparkling beaches and amazing food and wine scene. This draw extends to many gypset couples seeking eclectic weddings that reflect their laidback style and so on our most recent trip we set out to find wedding and honeymoon venues that haven’t been done a hundred times over; those that will work beautifully regardless of your aesthetic! This journey unearthed some of Byron’s Hidden Gems and gave us the opportunity to revisit and bring to you some of our favourite venues and spaces, perfect for creating your dream wedding in this enchanting place. Some off the beaten track, some iconic, but all magical…

NEWRYBAR DOWNS...

There’s a certain shimmer to the sunset in the Byron Bay hinterland, it’s ephemeral and fleeting, but look closely and it’s there. It’s in those last magical minutes of the day when the rest of the world has turned their back and only those that are patient in their wait are gifted with the beauty. It’s when the sky is painted pink and the green fields are burnt amber. When a dark shadow begins to creep over the land and the mystery of the looming night begins to spread like wildfire.

Inspired by the celestial mood awakened by pink skies kissing green fields and a golden sun romantically lingering in the sky, the enchantment of a wedding in the Byron Bay Hinterland evokes simple serenity like no other. While hinterland and private estate venues might seem in abundance, there’s a romance in knowing that in Byron you are only minutes from the coast. It’s one of those enchanted places where the sea and land dance together.

Often discarded for their logistical trouble, it is true a hinterland marquee wedding requires much more than green fields and auburn sunsets. So we set out on an adventure to discover the very best Byron Bay hinterland venue for LANE Brides. One that provides the engulfing magic and serenity of fresh country air, a stylish homestay for the bridal party, the ease of bringing in a marquee while still radiating the spirit and laidback charm of Byron and its surrounds.

Drawn to the breathtaking views and the relaxed sense of serenity fused with the opulent glamour of a decadent party at a private estate, we immediately fell in love with the undiscovered Newrybar Downs - an incredible 10-acre property set amongst lush green Byron Hinterland and towering tropical palms.

Head up the tree-lined driveway of the property where a single story white rendered house dressed with black and white awnings awaits behind tropical towering palms, lawns are freshly manicured and green rolling fields sit to the right and there’s a definite mood of French chic meets relaxed country. Salty breezes and green fields evoke thoughts of a Hamptons style private party or a weekend country escape with a wedding thrown in for good measure. A venue perfect for those brides looking for a refined take on a gypsy marquee wedding.

A lingering setting sun paints blue skies pink and the stunning green landscape pulls you to the right of the house where a cabana area dressed with black and white arm chairs and cane furniture, a glass fenced swimming pool and timber sun lounges sit on top of a rolling green hill. The space is reminiscent of weekend escapes to a friend’s private estate where days are lost easily to drinking in the view and fresh hinterland air. This otherworldly serenity together with the French-inspired design elements (like the black and white striped accents and the oversized pear lantern) have us thinking of decadent dinner party in a clear-sided marquee.

The beauty of Newrybar Downs is its versatility and that is can work perfectly for two different styles of weddings – an opulent dinner party with a French chic aesthetic and a bohemian-inspired garden reception under the stars. For a decadent dinner party work with the French aesthetic and set up long timber tables dressed with black and white striped runners and white bentwood chairs. Add opulence in your choice of blooms with large oversized arrangements of berry and peach wildflowers organically spilling from bronzed urns or even large balls of white hydrangeas. Crystal stemware and antique crockery will add a regal touch. As night falls cluster hundreds of white pillar candles in an array of heights, have the dance floor outside and your first dance on a magical field of green under a blanket of stars.

For a bohemian garden party draw inspiration from a palette of all white to awaken a mood of whimsical innocence on a midsummers eve. If the weather permits do away with a marquee and simply erect timber trestle tables (joined together to form one long reception table) on the flat grass area. Draped with raw white linens and adorned with crystal vases and handpicked white blooms the mood of effortless bohemian romance will be brought to life.

For many the allure of a wedding at a private estate is the ability to create the homely atmosphere needed to give your wedding that beautiful sense of intimacy amongst close family and friends. Enter the house at Newrybar Downs where a freshly baked lemon cake made with fruits from the properties orchid cools on the kitchen island bench, vases of flowers handpicked from the gardens pop against dark timber floors and you are welcomed by property owners Pip and Greg and you instantly feel at home and that you are amongst the company of good friends. The eclectic aesthetic of east meets west and the fusion of French country design, Asian antiques and original artworks with an organic touch of an effortless Byron beach house creates a warm, homely ambience and would provide a beautiful backdrop to pre-ceremony wedding photos. The house with its 5 bedrooms is designed in a U shape around the properties courtyard which creates the perfect setup for entertaining pre and post wedding!

What you need to know
Newrybar Downs can be taken for the entire weekend with check in Friday and check out Monday.
- The house accommodates 10 guests with 4 queen bedrooms and 1 room with two single beds.
- Weddings of up to 150 can be accommodated. The cabana area can be used for up to 60 guests.
- A flat turf area in front of the pool area has undisrupted views of the rolling green fields and is available for marquee set up.
- While the house sleeps 10 and is equipment with a kitchen there is also a private shed for wedding catering. Portaloos can also be brought in so access to the house can be closed off for the wedding. 
Newrybar Downs is located in Newrybar just outside Byron Bay NSW and a short drive to Lennox Head and Bangalow. It is 20 minutes from Ballina airport or 40 minutes from the Gold Coast with lots of additional accommodation available in Byron and it’s surrounds.
- The best place for guests to stay would be in Byron or Bangalow and coordinate bus transport to pick up and drop of guests.

Styling Ideas
French Chic
James & Nadia Real Wedding / Bridal Gowns: Chic Minimalism / Wedding Guest Fashion: Le Smoking / Reception Decor: Crystal Cut Glassware / Flowers: Classic Arrangments / Styled Shoot: Tres Chic / Ceremony Decor: Beach Chairs / A Love of Letterpress / Flowergirls: Teaprincess Ivory Wildflower Collection

Bohemian
Kara & Jeff Real Wedding / Decor Hire: Timbermill Rentals / Theme: Summer Whites / Theme: Sheer Simplicity / Flowers: Astilbe Boquets / Beauty: Daisy Chains / Bridal: The New Crochet / Florist: Fleuriste / Cakes: Gillian Bell / Food Styling: Flower Food

To see more of this property you can view Newrybar Downs on The LANE Directory or find out more here

RAE'S ON WATEGO'S...

Wategos Beach, Byron Bay, Australia. The days pass freely and the sultry summer nights come quietly.  A cauldron of bohemians and spirited souls adventure barefoot, warm sun kisses bronze skin and salt breezes calm afternoon dreams. A positively dreamy wedding area for those drawn to the serene coastal charm of life in Byron Bay.

Evoking a 70’s beach club vibe and inspiring dreams of lounging poolside after salty summer days, for the bohemian luxe brides we fell in love with Rae’s on Watego’s; the iconic seafront boutique hotel full of exotic charm. 

Built in the 1970s, the whitewashed, Moroccan-inspired Mediterranean villa is the perfect blend of modern luxury and bohemian grandeur. With its beachfront open air restaurant space, seven luxurious suites, walls adorned in eclectic David Bromley art, exotic décor, Moroccan inspired details, climbing fuchsia bougainvillea and laidback coastal charm, it’s the perfect wedding space for the boho luxe bride.

Beams from the Cape Byron Lighthouse dance romantically on the sea at night affront of the luxe, yet laid-back restaurant space, open air dining terrace and beachside bar, where clear shutters can be opened up for guests to revel in the fresh sea breeze and tables and chairs can be moved out creating a blank beachfront canvas. Work with the eclectic bohemian vibe of white timber floors, pink mother of pearl archways and art painted walls to create a cocktail style reception that pays homage to the whimsical Byron location.

Chanel the mood of iconic bohemians like Talitha Getty and opt for a heavily embellished gown worn barefoot, with groomsmen in soft linen suits. Dress the curved restaurant window seat with vibrant cushions and scatter antique Moroccan rugs in a palette of cream, burnt orange and faded purple on the white timber floors. Hang an abundance of white Chinese lanterns for mood lighting and to mirror the full moon on the quiet sea or even clusters of shell chandeliers. Use the beachfront manicured lawn with the backdrop of the ombre blue waters of Wategoes Beach (given privacy by palm tree clad gardens) or the intimate Moroccan-inspired pool area for a relaxed and spirited ceremony.

You can hire out the entire hotel for complete exclusivity and spend your post wedding days reveling in morning swims, pink sunrises and lounging on the sun-drenched balconies of the Mirabella Penthouse. Marble floors, arched white windows, sunlit rooms, the four poster timber bed, open plan spa, David Bromley art and painted surfboards and daybeds dressed with an eclectic mix of soft furnishings make this amazing space feel like your very own bohemian beach abode!

Styling Ideas
Bridal Gowns: Kaftan Silhouettes / Bridal Gowns: Heavy Metal / Reception Decor: Mood Indigo / Decor: Cadry's Rug Hire / Accessories: Turquoise & Diamond Rings / Florist: Fleuriste / Cakes: Gillian Bell

You can view more information about weddings and honeymoons at Rae’s here and view Rae's on The LANE Directory.

ITALIAN AT THE PACIFIC...

Think about those nights that stay with you, the ones that draw you back and make you nostalgic for days gone by. For summer moments by the beach and for skin kissed gold, for afternoons that roll into spontaneous dinners and for sharing spirited stories and breaking bread with close friends. Think about these nights. It’s not a moment you remember or even a place it’s a feeling; a fleeting feeling of carefree happiness in those rare times when you are completely surrounded by family and friends.

Italian at the Pacific is made for these kinds of nights. Nights for eternal memories made over a shared meal with amazing friends, nights for dinner and nights for dancing. Located in the heart of Byron, nestled just to the side of Top Pub and right across from Main Beach, where spirited travellers and locals migrate on dusk and the night comes alive, it has stolen many midnight hours with its incredible food and delicious cocktails. If you have visited Byron before chances are you too would have fallen in love with the incredible food, but might not have thought of this rustic and intimate space as a potential Byron wedding venue.

Lively, intimate and full of laid-back coastal charm, the restaurant space is perfect for those wanting a no-fuss dinner party style reception with a focus on amazing food, wine and cocktails. For those planning a Byron elopement or trying to coordinate a destination wedding from a distance, logistics can get tricky and the costs of a marquee wedding at a blank canvas venue can creep up quickly, with additional elements like catering, portaloos, décor hire and transport needed. While a reception at Italian at the Pacific might not be dinner under the stars, it is a reception that is full of soul, where the true meaning of celebrating with only your closest family and friends is not lost.

Simple romance and raw love is the mood that envelopes when taking in this charming space and thoughts of dinner and dancing are awakened. Really is there anything more romantic? The space has a beautiful rustic aesthetic with timber bi-fold doors and windows, paneled roof, exposed white bricks, thatched roof frontage, glass wine cellar, striped lounge seating in a palette of cream, black and grey and menus scripted on a chalkboard wall and as such lends too minimalistic styling. The inside area can be transformed from its usual set up to have three long dining tables allowing for a dinner party of 70 seated guests. The Byron ocean front location and rustic beach restaurant vibe inspires dreams of an ethereal bride in billowing chiffon with brown feet adorned in chunky shell anklets. Simple additions of fresh hand picked blooms, wildflowers or natives placed organically in glass bottles, ivory tapered candles, driftwood and clusters of seashells will mirror the mood of Byron beach life. After formalities the middle dining table can be moved out to allow for more dance floor room. The restaurant can also be hired out exclusively and the front and side courtyards can be used for cocktails and canapés and adorned with your personal styling touches.

Food is the focus of this venue, which inspires a more organic and intimate reception. As one of our all-time favourite restaurants, we can’t visit Byron without dining here. The menu and food is like nothing else! For weddings we love that there isn’t a traditional alternate drop menu that one might expect and guests can experience the food in all its amazingness. Menu highlights of braised beef, potato puree & caramelised onion; snapper & lemon crushed potato; pepperonata, braised lamb with a herb risoni; wild mushroom risotto; set chocolate custard, candied peanuts & a banana, natural yoghurt ice cream and beverage options that include lychee martinis are like nothing we have ever experienced at a wedding!

What you need to know
Italian At The Pacific offers an array of catering packages, seated dining for between 50 and 120 guests or a cocktail menu for between 60 and 140. The outdoor courtyard area can be booked for weddings of 20-65.
- Wedding bookings are from 6pm until midnight and bookings can be made as late at 6 weeks out from your chosen date.
- White napery, tablecloths, crockery, cutlery and the necessary glassware are provided. Any additional décor styling and flowers can be brought in and staff are really accommodating in arranging these for you.
- Live bands or DJ’s can be set up inside the restaurant.
- Menu prices range from $65 - $75 per person. Beverage packages start at $55 per person.
- Christmas holidays in Byron are an extremely busy period and it can be hard to get venue options and accommodation. Italian at the Pacific does not take wedding bookings during this period (December 25th - January 10th).

Styling Ideas
Flowers: Fleuriste / Flowers: Wild Flowers / Accessories: Anklets / Cakes: Gillian Bell Cakes / Cakes: Berry Wedding Cakes / Reception Decor: Tied Cutlery / Reception Decor: Rose Ice Cubes

Visit Italian at the Pacific's official website to view more or visit The LANE Directory.

HARVEST CAFE NEWRYBAR... 

The night comes quietly at Harvest. The soft auburn glow of the afternoon light seems to hang magically in the air as the hinterland fields come alive with the luminous sparkle of a setting sun. Like us and the abundance of barefoot beauties, if you have been pulled to the Byron area for its bohemian charm and laid-back existence, chances are you would have hustled for a table at Harvest on a busy Sunday or lined up for a coffee and pastry from their famous deli. However with its rustic, yet chic aesthetic and relaxed vibe, Harvest is also the perfect space for an intimate bohemian, effortlessly luxe or country inspired reception full of soul.

Set in a little town called Newrybar in the Hinterland of Northern NSW, just outside of Byron Bay, this 1900’s rustic cottage house with its whitewashed weatherboards, teak floors and small town vibe, is our routine weekend visit for lazy Sunday lunch. Romanced by fresh county air and wide-open spaces, we love to lose our days feasting on their local, seasonal and sustainable menu and cocktails inspired by the native Australian bush and tropical fruits.

Our favourite spot for a rustic reception dinner in the Hinterland is Harvest’s verandah. A sprawling, open roof, timber decked area, which looks out to the neighboring deli, Harvest gardens and historic 100-year-old bakery, has us instantly dreaming of a shared meal with friends reception dinner. Think dramatic long tables and bentwood chairs set with incredible handpicked arrangements of wildflowers in deep plum, rich berry, jewel tone and wine stain hues, complementing the natural landscape of the area and the seasons harvest. A spirited ambience and magical serenity created with an abundance of soft flickering pillar candles and mood lighting.

The old-bakery set at the back of the cottage house is another of our favourite spots to hold a spirited and lively reception. Retreating to the space after wandering the Harvest Garden (where small ceremonies can be held), with its concrete floors, exposed brick walls, bi-fold French windows, wooden ceiling beams and dramatic rustic chandelier, we feel we have discovered the ultimate gem for an intimate and completely original wedding reception. Inspiring thoughts of 40 of your closet family and friends enjoying a shared table menu or embracing the spirit of paddock to plate with a whole beast from the woodfire oven. The rustic details are divine and if keeping costs low is a priority, minimal styling is needed. The beauty is in the spaces, history, charm and the unique story it tells (it is still a functioning bakery during the day). We recommend opting for oversized florals held in dramatic crystal cut vases to bring a sense of opulence to the space.

The food however is the real star of Harvest for us and if amazing food and wine is a big focus for you, then with just one mouthful you will fall even more in love with this incredible venue. Renowned for their fresh and seasonal produce sourced from the local region and Harvest’s own garden and 5-acre organic farm.
What you need to know

Wedding packages can be tailored to suit your reception preference and range from cocktail style for up to 120, shared table dining or even a luxurious dinner for eight in the private dining room (housed in the century old bakery). The Harvest Restaurant can accommodate 88-seated guests or 120 cocktail style. The Old Bakery can be booked for 40 seated guests or 100 stand up.

Styling Ideas
Reception Decor: Raw Wooden Tables /  Reception Decor: Bentwood Chairs / Reception Decor: Rustic Table Textures / Food Styling: Cheese Displays / Reception Decor: Tied Cutlery / Decor Hire: Timbermill Rentals / Flowers: Anemones / Flowers: Raw Simplicity / Flowers: Rustic Buckets of Flowers

You can view Harvest Café Newrybar on The LANE Directory and find more information, package options as well as venue hire fees over on Harvest Café’s official website

OTHER HIDDEN GEMS...

EWINGSDALE HALL...

Built in 1908 this hidden gem / community space is a charming rustic country hall just outside of Byron which can be hired out for weddings and events. Nestled on a fig-lined street and beside a cute little Anglican Chapel, the hall with its cream frontage and burgundy accents evokes nostalgia for the simplicity of weddings in days gone by. Think a raw and real ceremony in the garden amongst the giant figs and flowering purple tree with the rolling green hills of the Byron hinterland as a magical backdrop.  

While still in the Byron area Ewingsdale Hall doesn’t have the serenity and views of other hinterland or coastal properties. It is right of the main road so it is for those looking for a quaint and cute space, but not too worried about the location. While undeniably full of vintage charm to ensure a timeless wedding reflective of your personal style we recommend steering away from any vintage references. Over the top vintage styling is not a look we personally love and because the venue is so rustic it works best when given some contrast. This will create a fresh and timeless aesthetic and ensure your wedding isn’t too trend based. Inside the hall the floors are timber and beams are exposed so it is an absolute blank canvas and stylists dream to bring in your own décor and styling.

If you're inspired by bohemian charm and free spirits you could bring more of a gypsy aesthetic to the fields next to the hall with Tipi Tents from KataLane. The beautiful silhouettes of the tents on the wide-open field and the backdrop of a landscape painted with a multitude of colours will enchant. Think lively chatter over homemade favourites, a mellow tune hanging overhead and a palette of earthy hues working to create a mood of gypset luxury. Style tents with low-slung loveseats, Moroccan floor rugs and an array of low tables and picnic style seating. Light fixtures can be kept either oversized or understated, while pretty tea lights and dripping mismatched pillar candles cast magical shadows on the canvas walls. 

A marquee can also be erect to the left of the property for those that want added refinement and additional space. Our Wild Rose theme with its stunning contrast of rich decadence and earthy decaying textures offers the perfect blend of gypsy luxe for this venue.

What you need to know
- The hall can be hired from Friday am until Monday am, allowing plenty of time for styling, set up and pack down.
- Venue hire fee is approximately $1200. Guest capacity is 200. The hall is equipped with a fully functioning kitchen although caterers often set up tents outside of the hall for additional space.
- There are four toilets on site.
- There is ample parking available, but we recommend hiring bus transport for your guests.
- Décor available is minimal and we recommend working with a local stylist like Little Grey Station to help you with décor hire and to completely style the space. The noise curfew for loud music is midnight.

Styling Ideas
Gypsy
Theme: Wild Rose / Beverages: Cake Wines / Decor Hire: Timbermill Rentals / Decor Hire: KataLane / Food Styling: Flower Food / Reception Decor: Floral Clash / Decor Hire: Tipi Tents / Ceremony Decor: Musical Instruments / Reception Decor: Crystal Visions / Reception Decor: Tied Cutlery / Flowers: Jewel Tone Florals / Brice & Leah's Real Wedding / Tim & Hannah's Real Wedding

More information and contact details for this venue can be found here

Many of the hidden gems we unearthed also offer beautiful spaces to hold your wedding ceremony, but for those dreaming of a traditional church ceremony before their reception at one of these amazing venues some of our favourite local churches discovered were….

Bangalow Presbyterian Church
73 Byron St, Bangalow NSW 2479
02 66291484

A tiny chapel on a little lane in the historically charming small town of Bangalow was our standout favourite. With a cream frontage, blue trims, leadlight arches window and gardens lined with overgrown hydrangeas come spring it awakens a love of tradition and timelessness.

St. Oswald’s Church in Broken Head
14 Kingsley St, Byron Bay NSW 2481
(02) 6685 6431

Bexhill Open Air Cathedral
Grace Rd, Bexhill NSW 2480
(02) 6628 4225
(30 minutes drive east from Byron Bay)

Our handpicked photographers based in either Byron Bay or the Gold Coast area…
Bushturkey Studios
Bek Grace
Lucas & Co
Figtree Pictures
Joeseph Willis
Sail Me to the Moon
Amelia Fullarton

A few of our favourite things to do in Byron…

To Eat
Bay Leaf, Byron Bay
Miss margarita, Byron bay
Italian at the Pacific, Byron Bay
Harvest Café, Newrybar

To Shop
Hope and May, Byron Bay
Pompidou, Byron Bay
Ahoy Trader, Byron Bay
Island Luxe, Bangalow
Brauerbirds, Bangalow

To Explore
Byron Markets
Bangalow Markets
Wategoes Beach
Tallows Beach
Broken Head Beach

For Beauty
Mud Honey, Byron Bay
Byron at Byron Spa

 

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