When we heard stylist and creative Danielle Butchart (of LANE favorite The Make Haus) was due to be married, we knew something magic was coming… Combining an inimitable eye for detail with a penchant for the unexpected, Dani and James’ wedding was a kaleidoscope of design and styling, where an aesthetic built from texture and colour was brought to life in the Byron Bay Hinterland.
Set against the inky façade of The Orchard Estate, Dani and James made use of the minimalist space, creating elaborate structures adorned with orchids and antique roses in the softest of hues. With formal table settings switched out in favor of communal gathering areas, guests were encouraged to mingle as the sun disappeared behind the endless hills, capturing every moment with the wedding’s hashtag – forever immortalized in neon print…
Photography by Jason Corroto.
Names / Dani & James
Wedding Date / November 18, 2017
Guest Numbers / 100
How We Met
We met briefly in our hometown and found each other on holidays in Byron Bay 2013. Our love was instant and we spent everyday day together at the beach, partying. Life actually felt super easy, I wasn’t working, we had no kids which give us a sense of freedom.
Our Engagement Story
The proposal came as a surprise four years after we first met. We had a trip planned for Noosa which James surprised me with on my birthday four weeks prior. I found out the night before we were headed for Noosa and the morning of at 4 am, James put on our favourite song (Flight Facilities, Claire De Lune) and walked me to the lounge room. I could barely open my eyes as I was a little hungover. He had painted on the floor across a 4x4m span ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME’. He used ceiling paint…and started at midnight. It was a pretty magical moment.
We have since painted the floors and the words unfortunately were scraped away, but we laugh as Taubmans posted it on their Instagram.
Marriage To Us Means
I think we both feel so comfortable, confident and proud of each other. We know what we want, we work out how to do it, and just do anything we can to make it happen.
James has always gone out of his way to express how much he loves me, in tough times and happy times. He is motivated and determined to provide for his family and I’m so grateful for this. We support each other and feed off each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
We decided to travel north to Byron, back where we met and had some special holidays together. As a stylist, I had seen so many local venues and none felt exciting anymore. When we found The Orchard Estate we booked it instantly. We had just painted our house black and since it was the same, we knew our friends would instantly understand why we picked it.
Theme & Style
The mood was a subtle mix of dark and pastels balanced with fresh white furniture against the harsh black exterior. We were very much inspired by the orchard building itself. Black, bold, architectural. It was important to keep the styling contemporary yet with a classic undertone to not allow any prominent trends take over. The wedding was cocktail, therefore inspiration was drawn from events that had visual elements to entertain guests throughout the duration as they mingled on the property. The use of the airstream, coloured smoke and grazing carts allowed lots of movement.
I had previously worked with Jason Corroto on a wedding on the Northern Beaches, I got a good feeling and liked his vibe instantly. His approach is thoughtful and serious, and he challenges himself to truly capture moments. His eye for composition and feeling was on point for me
I really wanted a gown that was designed just for me, I discovered this incredibly talented designer in Petersham Sydney called Sant Elia. We developed the shape of the gown from one she had on the racks and the look evolved over time. It was important to have a contemporary dress which still was quite bridal. It was exactly what I wanted and beyond my wildest dreams of what was possible.
James wanted to wear a tux and this set the tone for how we wanted to look on the day. He wore head to toe black.
Stationery & Invitations
We designed and printed all our signage. We used Holosheen decals on white foam core panels. Our invites were paperless – as we had an away wedding we had too much information to send in the snail mail.
Flowers & Bouquets
The flowers were mixings of pastel and muted tones paired with very dark accents and overscale branches. The flowers were really important to us as the venue was very fierce in its design, I wanted to soften it with a feminine vibe.
We woke up and did a 6 am private yoga class. Following this, the day became manic with our makeovers and the production of the day. It all went smoothly but so many moving parts – it flew by.
Find our handpicked edit of Florists around the world on the Directory.
Ceremony Décor & Reception Décor
As a creative, it was important for me to create something that truly reflected us. James made the custom neon light “The Deans”, and I had most of the décor custom made. We created all our signage too. “Smell The Love” was an impromptu name which is tattooed on James’ chest (another story)…it became the hashtag for the event.
We packed our trailer and hit the road for the best stylist road trip. The Make Haus went on tour and styled the blooms, furniture and all event décor, including lighting. My assistant Gabrielle Chevellay created some magnificent blooms and supported the vision every step of the way. We chatted endlessly about what would work for us, blending a few favourites of rubber tree, aged palms and of course, cactus.
Our list of incredible suppliers really reflected an incredible outcome, we are so grateful for their contribution to our day.
Claire De Lune, Flight Facilities.
A Memorable Moment
Most memorable was waiting for the rain to stop! Every part of the day felt unique to us as we had never experienced anything like it. I loved our vows which we wrote to each other, reading aloud was extremely scary but resulted in the best feelings.
If I Could Give Other Brides-To-Be One Piece Of Advice
Create a celebration that suits both of you. As James and I created our day, we each had a set of requirements that when fused together, looked like us, felt like us.
Photography / Jason Corroto
Videography / Lynden Foss
Bride’s Dress / Sant Elia custom gown
Groom’s Formal Wear / M.J. Bale
Groomsmen’s Formal Wear / YD.
Wedding Rings / Grew & Co
Hair / Em Witte from Salon W
Florist & Styling / The Make Haus
Catering / 100 Mile Table
Wedding Venue / The Orchard Estate
Entertainment / Niki De Saint