We’re eternally drawn to weddings for the stories they weave. Far beyond styling and aesthetics, we love the lives behind the couples, how they met and how they proposed, what drew them together and kept them in sync.
Amy and Brett’s story is born out of a tragedy, their relationship strengthened by the struggles they faced. After spending a year on dialysis due to kidney failure, Brett received a miracle in the form of a kidney transplant. Sometime later, on their first beach visit since the operation, Brett proposed to Amy, taking her by surprise as he knelt on the sand.
Their wedding was a more than a union, it was a celebration of life and love, an affirmation of their bond and the next chapter of their journey together.
Held in the hinterland of Byron Bay, a modern barn was dressed in hues of blush and stone, neutral tones elevated by pendants, cutlery and candlesticks brushed with bronze. Concrete floors were softened with feathered blooms and orchids that spilled from tabletops and cascaded to the floor. As the sun set behind the hills, guests dined on charcuterie and sipped Frosé, every decision a reflection of the couple and their life together.
Photography by Lucas & Co.
NAMES: Amy and Brett
WEDDING DATE: April 29, 2017
GUEST NUMBERS: 110
HOW WE MET: We were connected by my sister who was friends with Brett and also with the help of trusty Facebook!
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: Brett and I had been together for almost 7 years at the time we got engaged. We would spend many of our weekends in Byron Bay at the beach and catching up with friends. Three months prior to our engagement Brett was lucky enough to receive a kidney transplant which was life changing after spending 12 months on dialysis due to kidney failure. The operation had a long recovery and we needed to be nearby the hospital for Brett’s daily check-ups. We had been living in Brisbane and hadn’t had the sand between our toes in quite some time.
It was a Sunday the sun was shining and Brett woke me up and suggested we go to Byron Bay together with our dog Lordie for the first time since his operation. We spent the morning swimming and playing with the dog at our favourite spot Dolphins Beach. After being distracted by Lordie I turned around and Brett was down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. It was such a nice private moment, we had the beach to ourselves on a perfect day which is kind of unheard of in Byron. My Grandma was visiting from overseas at the time so we met family at our favourite restaurant. It was the perfect engagement for us!
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: A lifetime of commitment, support and love! No matter what life throws at us we are with each other for the ride.
(Interview continues beneath gallery)
WEDDING LOCATION: Our venue was located in Clunes which is about 30 minutes inland from Byron Bay. Byron is our special place so there was no question when it came to choosing a location to get married. With the help of our amazing wedding planner Rachel we found The Orchard Estate which is a beautiful barn-style space perched on the top of a hill overlooking the lush hinterland and surrounded by a macadamia plantation. It was love at first sight when we laid eyes on the venue, the striking black timber façade teamed with the bright white interior and recycled hardwood beams was the perfect blank canvas for us.
THEME/STYLE: I always struggle to pin point our exact theme but I will narrow it down to Contemporary Elegance.
PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY: We chose our photographer and videographer Lucas & Co quite early on in the planning process. As soon as we saw their images we were sold. They capture the day as it happens and completely blended into the crowd on the day. We cannot speak more highly of Jason, Sarah and the team. We are over the moon with the beautiful images and video that we have received from them. They captured all of the love and emotion from the day and they didn’t miss a single detail.
BRIDE’S DRESS: My dress was designed by Brisbane couture duo Margaret and Michelle of MXM Couture. I wanted a dress that was elegant and modern. Margaret started with a sketch but the real design of my dress was inspired by my body shape. The dress was adorned with pearl beading and a train that was also detailed with an embroidered appliqué cut out. The dress accentuated my curves in the right places and it was an absolute dream to wear on our day. I chose sleeves to complement the deep neckline and bare back to keep the look modest and elegant. My mum’s wedding dress also had sleeves and I thought it was a nice touch to continue the trend.
I also chose a simple cathedral veil which was adorned with pearl beads.
BRIDE’S SHOES: I wore Valentino Rockstud sandal heels in a grey/blue hue, they added a fun touch to my outfit and also worked as my “something blue”.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: The bridesmaid dresses were from Fame and Partners. They were perfect for the day, flowy, silky and elegant even with the thigh high split. I loved Fame and Partners because each of their dresses are completely customizable which is perfect when bridesmaids come in all different shapes and sizes.
BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: The girls wore a pair of simple strapped Tony Bianco ‘Kashmir’ heels in blush suede.
FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS: Our dog Lordie played both roles for our day. She stayed with the boys the night before the wedding and waited at the isle for me to arrive wearing a beautiful handmade artificial floral collar from The Nesst. She was also our ring bearer and had our rings tied to her collar.
WEDDING RINGS: For my engagement ring Brett chose a two-tone design with an oval cut center diamond set in a white gold basket atop a delicate micro-pave rose gold band. I wanted something a bit different for my wedding band so I chose a thicker style rose gold band with 12 brilliant diamonds bezel set. Brett chose a simple rose gold wedding band to match my rings.
JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES: I kept my jewelry pretty simple for the day and wore a pair of beautiful earrings from one of my go to jewelry designers Valére. Samantha the owner and designer arranged for a pair of custom ‘Mariah earrings’ to be made for me in rose gold. The earrings were a drop design with two moonstones and one freshwater pearl set off with a textured finish rose gold. Samantha has been a long-time friend of Brett’s and an absolute dream to work with. I had been tossing up if I should get yellow gold to match my bridesmaids or rose to match my rings and much to my surprise she had a pair made for me in both yellow and rose gold! I cannot speak more highly of this brand!
I also gifted each of the bridesmaids a beautiful pair of Valére ‘Angelina earrings’ in yellow gold and moonstone.
GROOMS ATTIRE: Brett chose to wear a tuxedo from Hugo Boss with a classic satin trim paired with a Hugo Boss dress shirt with pintucks. He also wore a pair of classic patent leather suit shoes from Aquila. He accessorized with a Hugo Boss bow tie and custom monogrammed cufflinks which he also gifted to each of his groomsmen.
HAIR: I chose to wear my hair down in loose curls and for the girls we decided on textured ponytails.
MAKEUP: I chose Mia Connor as the makeup artist who worked her magic on the bridesmaids and me. We used a natural brown palette for the eyes and nude lips. The girls wore a more toned back version of my makeup.
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: All of our wedding stationery was created by The Little Press. Our wedding invitations were a combination of light grey letterpress and watercolour. For the on the day stationery, we stuck to the grey and watercolour theme and chose to use handmade paper with a ripped edge which turned out beautifully.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: The flowers were really important to us for our day so we chose to work with the incredible Bower Botanicals. Both Kelley and Jaala were an absolute pleasure to work with and blew us away with their creativity. We stuck with whites and cool pinks with touches of brown and foliage. The ladies used white and mocha Phalaenopsis orchids, beautiful quicksand and blush roses, tropical leaves and pampas grass. The florals were arranged in brass vases and we had draping arrangements at the table ends and bridal table.
I chose a cascading style bouquet consisting of large white and mocha Phalaenopsis orchids and large blooming roses. The girl’s bouquets were a posy style bouquet of loosely arranged roses and white Phalaenopsis orchids.
PREPARATION: The bridesmaids and I stayed at The Grove in Coopers Shoot which is a beautifully decorated bohemian luxe style home. The girls and I had a really nice calm morning popping champagne and exchanging gifts. Brett and his groomsmen stayed at accommodation on Wategos Beach and all went for a dip in the ocean before getting ready for the nuptials.
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR: We chose a palette of soft grey mixed with touches of dusty pink, antique mauve and white to create a beautiful romantic day. For the reception, we wanted a luxe feel so we had plenty of candles, gold accents, crystal drop pendant lights, draped tablecloths and flowers galore. For the ceremony, we arranged white bentwood chairs in a semi-circle overlooking the hinterland with Beni Ourain rugs (sourced from Kulchi) as our isle runner. We opted against the traditional arbor and used a mesh screen that was decorated in beautiful orchids, roses and magnolia leaf. For cocktail hour we had market umbrellas and high bars with white bentwood stools arranged on the lawn. To keep with the luxe theme, we also had a lounge area with a beautiful velvet charcoal colored couch, ottomans and wooden tonk stools with gold side tables.
WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST: At the beginning of our planning process we hired our wedding planner Rachel from The Events Lounge. The day wouldn’t have been possible without Rachel’s talent, she literally turned our dream into a reality. The whole event was styled to absolute perfection and ran without a glitch. All we had to do was arrive on the day, she coordinated all the vendors and creatives that worked on our event. Rachel is probably the nicest person that you will ever meet and instantly makes you feel calm and at ease. I cannot speak more highly of Rachel and her team and we are so thankful to have worked with them.
CAKE: My sister is super talented in the
kitchen and made us a two-tier cake which was decorated with gold
leaf, orchids and roses presented on a vintage Moroccan tea tray.
We chose salted caramel for the bottom layer and red velvet with
marshmallow layers for the top layer. Yum!
ENTERTAINMENT: We are very lucky and have some super talented friends! For the ceremony and cocktail hour, we chose a live performer and friend named Jesse Pumphrey he played a mix of blues, folk and country tunes to ease us into the party later that evening. For the reception and after party our friend Kane (AKA Little Fritter) was on the decks and our dance floor was on fire!
FOOD & BEVERAGES: We chose a LANE favorite, Anise Catering. We were drawn to Anise by their creativity and presentation, their food almost looks too beautiful to eat! All of their produce is locally sourced and tasted incredible. For cocktail hour, we served a charcuterie board filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, cured meats and cheeses accompanied by an oyster bar. We chose a plated entrée and main course for the reception followed by wedding cake for dessert.
We served a few of our favorite drinks like Frosé, Aperol Spritz and D & B Pour Les Amore Rosé to name a few!
HONEYMOON: We chose Moorea which is an island off Tahiti. We stayed in an overwater bungalow and it was magic! There were so many highlights but swimming with sharks and stingrays was definitely something I never would have imagined ever doing and I am so pleased we did. We didn’t want our holiday to end and it was the perfect wind down following the busy wedding week.
GIFT REGISTRY: We didn’t make any requests for gifts or a wishing well but our friends we very generous and spoilt us none the less.
CELEBRANT: Our celebrant was a friend Doorena of Peace Wedding Ceremonies. We felt so comfortable being married by someone who knew us and Doorena kept the ceremony simple which was exactly what we wanted.
READINGS: Brett and I chose to write our own vows which we had printed by The Little Press onto cute little handwritten booklets which are a perfect keepsake. Brett’s sister also read ‘Blessing for Marriage’ by James Dillet Freeman which was beautiful.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: Inspiration was definitely drawn from The LANE, Pinterest and Instagram.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: Everyone was seated during the reception and the large barn doors were opened just before speeches. Behind the doors was the most magical sunset we had ever seen, it looked like a painted picture. I think everyone in the room gasped when they saw how stunning it was. The videographer captured it perfectly!
ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS… How quickly the day comes and goes. During the planning phase, it seems like it is so far away and when the day finally comes around it is all over so fast.
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE… Enjoy every moment and take in every little detail - because you probably spent hours and hours obsessing over the little details in the planning phase.
AMY & BRETT’S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY: Lucas & Co
BRIDE'S DRESS: MXM Couture
BRIDE’S SHOES: Valentino
BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Fame & Partners
BRIDESMAIDS SHOES: Tony Bianco
GROOM’S FORMAL WEAR: Hugo Boss
WEDDING RINGS: CTJ Jewellery
JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES: Valére
MAKEUP: Mia Connor
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: The Little Press
FLORIST: Bower Botanicals
CAKE: Lucy Duke
CATERING: Anise Event Catering
WEDDING PLANNER/STYLIST: The Events Lounge
CELEBRANT: Doorena Scales
WEDDING VENUE: The Orchard Estate
HONEYMOON DESTINATION: Hilton, Moorea Lagoon