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What Would They Know – Kate Austin of In The Booth

by | Entertainment Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
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Kate Austin of In The Booth

What an ice-breaker a photobooth is – and Kate and her team  from In The Booth have created a great experience, where you really can be as silly as you like and yet take quality pictures. Not your normal shabby, not chic, mall photobooth of old, In The Booth provides booths that are clean,  spacious and well run by an unobtrusive well dressed operator – there when needed, but always in the background.  I’ve always hated my photo being taken, but I found myself being cajoled into stepping inside In The Booth’s photobooth at a recent wedding – and acting like a misbehaving child for a few minutes was well, F.U.N. And the long lines and constant laughter erupting from the booth was evidence that others thought so too!

What was the catalyst that started your interest in the photo booth business?

I was intrigued when I read about passport photo booths appearing at weddings. Being a retro lover at heart, I thought it was an amazing idea but, being a photographer, I knew these booths were sadly lacking in quality and style – two attributes that are essential at any special event! Together with my husband Steve, we set about designing a photo booth that would bring both image quality and aesthetics to every event; from weddings to twenty first birthdays, corporate functions and everything in between! We wanted to offer an experience that was like any other and so some things were essential: exceptional customer service and a booth that provided the age old magic of having your photo taken behind the curtain but was completely portable, looked unapologetically stylish and captured the whole story of the event, not just the faces! Before long, we were taking enquiries from all over Australia – in fact, one of our earliest events outside of Brisbane was because a client called to book a booth for their wedding at Rydges Southbank. Little did we know, there also happens to be a Rydges Southbank in Melbourne! To honour our commitment to all clients, a booth was driven to Melbourne for one very happy bride. One happy bride led to another and In the Booth is now Australia’s leading photo booth franchise with offices all over the country.

In The Booth 8

In what areas of Australia are you located?

In the Booth has local providers in the following areas:

  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Toowoomba
  • Whitsundays
  • Hamilton Island
  • Mackay
  • Townsville
  • Darwin
  • Broome
  • Perth
  • Adelaide
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney
  • Canberra
  • Port Macquarie
  • Tweed Heads

In The Booth 6 

 Are you able to travel to the more remote locations of Australia?

We often travel in order to bring the entertainment of the booth to couples outside of our immediate areas. We don’t like saying no, so we will more often than not find a way to say yes!

Where are your photo booths constructed, and what sets them apart?

Our professional photo booths are a unique design unlike anything else in the photo booth market. After extensive research in both Australia and overseas, we were unable to find a commercially available booth that would give us the high quality experience we were determined to achieve.

So, after two years of engineering design and development, we began producing our own unique booths, right here in Australia in our purpose built construction facility. They are completely portable (to date there has not been a venue we could not get into) and yet large enough to fit 8 people comfortably and more if personal space is not an issue ;)

We also designed our booths to capture full length shots so you are guaranteed to get the whole story, and not just your guests faces! Not to forget the dress! You spent a whole lot of time choosing that dress, right? Our booth images give you the opportunity to capture it and much, much more!

We firmly believe that our booths, with their classic aesthetic, will add to any style concept or theme and therefore can be a main attraction rather than being tucked away so as not to detract from the look of the event.

 Can you briefly describe the packages you offer? 

We love nothing more than ensuring that the booth contributes to the couple’s chosen theme so our all-inclusive hire packages include a choice of entry curtain and our range of backdrops that will seamlessly integrate the booth. Our large range of on trend instant print designs can be customised with details and thank you message. Guests absolutely love adding their photo strips to the included black leather guest book and writing messages and couples then have a fantastic keepsake to take home at the end of their reception.

Our booths also include video guest book options which allow guests to leave unlimited fifteen second video messages. All the video files are then supplied in a USB folio along with the high resolution photo files after the big event. Our couples always tell us how much they love the Highlights Reel included in their package. We want our couples to feel just like they did on their wedding day when they receive their images so this is our little way of reliving the excitement and fun and is also something they can then share with their family and friends!

In The Booth 4

 

How do you set yourselves apart from other  photo booths?

Easy question. Our client focus and commitment. Quite simply, we strive to make the experience of booking us for an event the easiest and the best. We want our clients to be pleasantly surprised by how far we will go to make their experience exceptional, memorable and seamless. Contributing to the story of our couple’s day is a privilege that we take very seriously and we want to be part of creating ‘The Best Wedding Ever!’, so we make sure that hiring us is the best decision a couple can make; from the booking process through to the little package they receive in the mail soon after their event. We have built our business on reliability and the trust that comes from consistently providing excellence in service.

How do you ensure that the images are of good quality so that they last?

Being a photographer I needed the image quality to be of the highest professional standard. We are committed to using  industry leading software and imaging equipment and we designed our booths around our imaging requirements, not the other way around.

There would be no point going to the lengths we have in creating great images if the booth prints didn’t go the distance. Our booths use professional, photo-lab quality printers that print in less than twenty seconds, including a clear protective coating, and land completely dry. Unlike the traditional arcade photo booths, there’s no fingerprints to worry about here! Our print quality is second to none and of archive quality, so they will be treasured in albums, wallets and on the fridge for years to come!

Do you deliver and set up the photo booth before the event? What facilities are needed to operate a photo booth?

Our attendants will be on site to set up the booth generally around an hour and a half before the event hire begins. We are very conscious, however, about not having set up occurring in the vicinity of ceremonies so we will always work with our couples and/or their coordinators to ensure the set up time suits the flow of the wedding day.

We have had our booths set up in lounge rooms, basements, high rise apartments, boats, heritage listed buildings, concert venues, on islands, and under outdoor marquees. Stairs, lifts, and corridors are rarely a problem – if you can host a function there, we can get the booth there! All we need is a level surface, access to standard power and, if outside, shelter from the elements in undesirable weather. To date, there has never been a venue we couldn’t get into.

 In The Booth 2

What is the role of the photo booth host and how do they assist the guests?

Our attendants’ role is to ensure our couples and their guests get the most from their photo booth hire and are highly trained to ensure the event runs smoothly. As well as set up and pack down crew, they will be there to ensure any guests who require a little extra assistance are well looked after! From hot tips on perfecting the winning pose to ensuring guests make good use of the guest book, our attendants will add to the ‘vibe’ of the booth experience. They always look the part too, bringing that extra element of booth magic to the experience.

We are very proud of the fact that our attendants and the service they provide are more often than not the stars in the great comments and thank you notes our couples leave for us after an event!

To inspire creativity, what do you consider are the best props to use? Do the bride and groom need to supply these themselves?

We are big fans of styling booth props to suit the theme of the event. Everyone can buy big glasses and feather boas, and while they certainly add some fun to the booth images, they can start to feel a bit same-same throughout the event – ‘Where’s Wally’ style.

While we do not provide props we do have loads of prop inspiration on our website, including some great places to find the perfect pieces. Our Best in Booth galleries on our Facebook page are also fantastic real life inspiration :)

Blackboards are always a great idea for cute, heartwarming or downright hilarious messages to the bride and groom. Picture frames will allow your guests to get creative with frames inside a frame and classic props on a stick will give that old-school magic to your booth images without the hygiene concerns that other props can bring.

Ultimately though, our favourite style of prop is the ‘free style’ prop. When guests are left to their own devices in the booth real magic can happen. We have had guests create an ATM story with the card going into the camera and the money coming out. We’ve had pregnancy announcements, outfit swaps (try doing that in three snaps!) and lots and lots of kissing ;) We’ve had surfboards and furniture and pot plants and puppies and kittens in the booth! Not to mention the new jewellery couples have to show off and the good old photo bomb!

Our best advice? Less is more. Style your booth with a few props that suit your chosen theme and then let your guests bring the real magic. They’re your friends because they’re fun, right?

 In The Booth 5

How does installing a photo booth enhance a wedding reception?

Our photo booths are a great addition to wedding reception entertainment – the ultimate party starter! People are in and out of the booth all night long and the laughter coming from the booth is contagious! Just what a photo booth brings to a wedding reception is best told by one of our couples, Daniel & Hayley:

‘Every-time we looked over to the booth there was a huge line to get in, lucky for us we got straight to the front every time ;-) Everybody loved it. The added bonus of the album is a fantastic idea. It was amazing to go through all the photos the next day. It’s great because you don’t get your photos back for a while so to have the ones from the booth is fantastic. It really shows peoples’ personalities and how much fun they had.’

The guest book is full of the first images from the wedding that the couple will see; images of grandfather and granddaughter, flower girls looking up to bridesmaids, and friends and family misbehaving. Our booths provide a fly on the wall experience for our couples with video messaging capturing the magic of the day along with the instant prints and high resolution digital files the couple receives. A wedding day passes so quickly and booth images that end up on fridges and in frames contribute to the lifetime of memories from the couple’s big day.

Being able to provide a service that not only contributes to the joy of our couples’ celebrations but also captures life long memories is, quite simply, awesome :)

What is it about photo booths that brings out the actor in people?

Ha! We are completely convinced that the old age magic of an enclosed booth allows people to relax a little and channel their inner ‘silly’. I think that people can relax in the booth because there is a general air of booth images being informal and fun so there is an absence of pressure. Anything goes, so to speak (Well, maybe not anything!). Being able to get in the booth with at least 7 (or more) of your nearest and dearest and be silly and clever together means there is also safety in numbers and a general hilarity that is contagious. The buzz of being with friends and family at a joyous occasion certainly helps to set the vibe required to put a booth to good use ;)

What are some of the funnier things you’ve seen?

Haha! That would be telling!

Seriously though, we have seen some cracker scenes played out in the booth. We mentioned the outfit swaps earlier. It has been done a few times now, but one couple actually changed outfits and then swapped back in the course of three images! Now that is commitment!

We are also constantly laughing at the unpredictable and unexpected things people bring to the booth. Like this image:

In The Booth 1

Or when they use a common prop mixed in with their own creativity to bring something to life that we have never seen before:

In The Booth 9

We might be the photo booth provider, but we also get to be the audience to a whole lot of clever that happens in the booth and this in turn motivates us because we are always keen to see more :) It is just so inspiring!

What do bridal couples tell you about including your photo booth at their wedding?

We are very fortunate in that we work with couples who take the time to provide us with their thoughts about their experience with us. This is great because it allows us to reflect on where we are meeting our goals, what people really like and what we could make even better!

Here are some couples’ thoughts:

“Wow, thank you so much! We absolutely loved having In the Booth at our wedding! It was such a great way for us to get everyone up out of their seats and get their photos taken so we’d have a lifetime of memories to look back on. Brett was fantastic! Very engaging with all our guests and encouraging of everyone to get up and give it a go. The photo quality is great, the booth is huge so heaps of us could fit in at once, the album is the perfect added extra, the outside of the booth looks great and best of all, it was loads of fun!! Thanks so much for helping us make our wedding night so memorable.” – Kayla & Shane -

“I must say it has been an absolute pleasure dealing with your company, the whole process has been so smooth and hassle free from start to finish. The quality of the photos was so much better than I had ever expected and the feedback I am getting from people that attended the wedding usually starts with how fantastic the photo booth was. I would not hesitate in recommending your company to others and hopefully will need your services again someday in the future.” – Nicola & Joe – 

“On behalf on myself and my wife Ellysha, we would like to THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH for attending our wedding on the weekend! Everyone enjoyed the photo booth and your video teaser is amazing! We can’t wait for the folio to arrive! Hope to see you guys at more Malay weddings in Perth.” – Hafiz and Ellysha -

I would give the gift of………

Home made dinners and baked goods. I’m practical like that. In hard times, you still need to eat and that’s when you least feel like making anything!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Refer to question above ;) I have an office of staff who like cakes. What can I do? :p

My favourite place for a great night out is…….

Nonna’s house. Being in the events industry, my ideal party is a quiet and cosy affair with my closest friends and family, and Nonna’s cooking on the table. Can you see a theme emerging here? ;)

Thank you Kate for sharing your story. To find out more about In The Booth visit the website.

All images courtesy of In The Booth.

Good Vibes at The Church of Bang Bang Booglaoo

by | Event Reviews, Venue Wisdom, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Willcocks
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Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

“This isn’t a regular church, it’s a chapel of luuuuurve” drawls a gent who looks suspiciously like Elvis Presley incarnate as he toasts the opening of The Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo, while simultaneously mourning the lack of fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. He’ll have to settle for an all-white candy bar brimming with sweet marshmallows, alabaster freckles and tiny milk bottles for now.

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Bang Bang Boogaloo is the latest addition to Jerome Borazio’s Get Notorious empire. And an unexpected one, considering Jerome is most known for founding or reinvigorating some of the grittier drinking establishments around town such as Ponyfish Island, Sister Bella, the Kelvin Club, £1000 Bend and the late, great St Jerome’s bar as well as the Intercontinental laneway music festival of the same name. As such, this new space is a little more rock ‘n’ roll than your average wedding venue with subtle nods to Las Vegas (sans most of the tack and morning-after regrets).

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Hidden down a cobbled blue-stone laneway, complete with street art and paste-ups in the Melbourne CBD, Bang Bang Boogaloo has variously been a farrier, a Cobb & Co. stage coach factory and a motorcycle mechanic in past lives. Now it hopes to play host to engagement parties, vow renewals and commitment ceremonies with a good times vibe amid unpolished concrete floors, exposed rafters and charming crumbling walls.

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

While the space could easily encompass a completely sophisticated affair, the chapel lends itself to more irreverent celebrations. Not surprisingly music is an important factor here, with a Sonos sound system ready to blast couples’ custom playlists. There’s permanent space reserved for an instant photo-booth and even a general store for last-minute gifts, cards or forgotten essentials like flat shoes, bow ties or hangover remedies. The store can even be stocked with customised bridal merchandise; think ironic tote bags emblazoned with “totes getting married” or stubby holders starring the newly-wed couple.

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Both the ceremony and the reception can be held within the chapel (which comfortably houses 150 guests) itself. Or, there is also the option of moving the party into the cavernous warehouse-cum-gallery behind £1000 Bend, which adjoins Bang Bang Boogaloo, after vows are exchanged. Individuality and personalisation are encouraged and couples aren’t restricted to sticking with the venue’s preferred suppliers like Create Catering, Pomp and Splendour, White Luxe and Dann Event Hire. Apart from the chapel itself, nothing is set in stone when it comes to the big day.

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Though in true Vegas tradition, they do support you get hitched by The King of Rock and Roll (or one of their other youthfully exuberant celebrants). It seems as if Melbourne weddings are about to get, as Elvis himself might croon, all shook up.

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Church of the Bang Bang Boogaloo

Photos by The Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo

What Would They Know? Belinda Kirkwood of Byron Beach Cafe

by | Venue Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
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Belinda of Byron Beach Cafe

How do you package up a premier restaurant, right on the beach in Byron Bay no less, with understated luxury,  spectacular views and the sound of the sea as your wedding song? It’s all at Byron Beach Cafe of course – the award winning venue that has it all. Positioned perfectly it’s only a short walk from your beach ceremony to the bubbles and yummy food that awaits you at Byron Beach Cafe. At Byron Bay, somehow the stars shine a little bit brighter, the feeling of relaxation and fun is everywhere – the perfect place for a destination wedding.

Tell us about Byron Beach Cafe – where it is situated and how close to the beach is it.

We are literally right on the beach! The cafe is located on the dunes at Clarkes Beach in Byron Bay and overlooks Julian Rocks with sweeping uninterrupted views stretching in all directions from The Pass and the Byron Lighthouse in the south to Mount Warning and the Byron hinterland in the north. We are actually the only absolute beachfront café in the area.

Every part of the Byron Beach Cafe has been created with passion and attention to detail – a far cry from the rundown cafe we inherited in 2006. After two significant renovations, in a space of five years, we are committed to providing Byron Bay’s best dining experience. We know we’re doing it right when our guests arrive and we watch a huge smile transform their face.

 Byron Beach Cafe 1

You’ve recently won some awards. Could you tell us about them?

It’s always nice to win awards and be recognised by your industry and peers. We’ve been extremely blessed in the past 12 months winning 4 major accolades, including ‘Best Cafe’ at the Australian Small Business Champion Awards and ‘Best Tourism Restaurant and Catering Service’ at the NSW Tourism Awards. We were up against some really big capital city venues, so it’s great to see our family-run business be acknowledged as the best in Australia and the state.

These awards also pay tribute to our hard working staff, our wonderful customers and to our suppliers, including some of the region’s most ethical and sustainable food growers.

Byron Bay Wedding 4

Please describe your wedding space/s and how it is best utilized for the reception?

Being the only purpose-built wedding venue on the beach in Byron Bay, we offer our clients a unique opportunity to exchange their vows on the beach and then it’s just a short stroll up the dunes to their wedding reception.

Our team is on hand to greet guests on our expansive deck with champagne, cocktails and canapés. We also provide towels and scented foot baths to wash the sand from their feet! This gives our newlyweds time to have their wedding photos taken; and, with one of the world’s most beautiful beaches on our doorstep, their photos are always stunning!

We love what we do. My husband and I have invested an enormous amount of time and resources into renovating this iconic Byron Bay building into a quality landmark. Inside, the interior has been designed with banks of bi-fold doors that open right up to offer stunning ocean and hinterland views from every table, both inside and out. The interior is a light, bright space filled with natural sunlight and warm wood-trimmed walls, which are, actually, reclaimed 100 year old Sydney Harbour piers.

For weddings and special celebrations, the space is transformed using everything from floating silk lanterns, chandeliers hanging from the trees and jam jars filled with candles. Steering clear of convention and looking to nature, invariably, produces some of the most atmospheric results. Think driftwood, shells, beautiful scented flowers and sand sculptures. We also encourage the wedding party to personalise the space with whatever colours and décor they choose.

Do you have a wedding planning service available?

Yes we do! We have a full time dedicated wedding team, so whether it’s a little or a lot of assistance needed, we are here to help. We don’t offer packages or off-the-shelf generic weddings. Our approach is to work closely with our couples to ensure we deliver the wedding of their dreams. We feel it’s important to create and design weddings that make a special connection for each individual couple, that will touch their hearts, and be something they and their guests remember forever. This can only be achieved by a hands-on personal approach.

Getting the assistance of an experienced team, and having people on the ground who know the nuances and unique aspects of a Byron Bay wedding, can make all the difference, especially for couples getting married away from home. Trying to remember and coordinate every tiny detail is stressful and time consuming and our empathetic and professional team can help with hints and tips that couples may never have considered on their own.

And as they say, the devil is in the detail. And this could not be more so than when considering outdoor wedding ceremonies. A beautiful beach wedding, a lighthouse ceremony or a garden party are all stunning options. But, what if it rains? Many of Byron Bay’s dream wedding ceremony locations can be compromised by the rain. Having a backup plan is essential for both the ceremony and the reception. Couples having their wedding reception here at the Byron Beach Cafe can discuss options with our team, in case of bad weather. Engaging our expert team ensures a swift and seamless reaction to any obstacle, allowing everyone to stay calm and relaxed and, if necessary, dry.

Byron Bay Wedding 2

What does the complete planning package include? 

We don’t offer wedding packages per-se and we can honestly say that no two weddings at the Byron Beach Cafe have ever been the same. The reason for this is simple. Every couple is different and we plan weddings that are unique and specific to each and every couple. We enjoy spending as much time as is necessary with each couple, helping them design a menu that’s original as well as delicious, sourcing beautiful pieces to make their day truly unique or working with the groom to plan a special surprise for his new wife! And vice versa!

We feel so lucky that this is our job and that includes all the marvelous network of people who work with us from the celebrants to the florists to the amazing wedding cake artists. And then there are the talented musicians, videographers and photographers. The pool of talent in this area is almost unlimited. We know the ropes and, by working with all the local authorities, can assist our couples in obtaining the required permits and all the necessary paperwork for the actual ceremony and photographic locations.

However laid-back or lavish couples want their Byron Bay wedding to be, the necessary key is planning and organisation, the detail. While not the glamorous part, our team know it is absolutely essential to ensure a perfect day.

Are there any items the couple need to source/provide themselves?

Not a thing! Seriously, we’ve got it all covered. Our team has over 15 years of experience organising local weddings and we can take care of everything. Or, for couples who prefer to be more hands-on, we can advise and guide them to the most professional service providers for their big day. Everything, from entertainers, makeup artists, photographers, cake decorators, venue decorators and all other wedding day essentials.

However, planning a wedding in Byron Bay can present some unique challenges, particularly without local knowledge. Getting married on the beach in Byron Bay does require a good deal of forethought and there are a lot of details involved from the very practical matters of obtaining permits and checking tide times to transportation and styling. We find that the best way to start planning a Byron Bay wedding is to pick up the phone and give us a call. We’re here to help.

Can you suggest some gorgeous places to have a wedding ceremony around Byron Bay?

Byron Bay has so many spectacular and unique locations for a wedding ceremony that clients are spoiled for choice. Everything, from the traditional to the unexpected! For beach weddings, it’s hard to go past Clarkes Beach with its sweeping views of the bay, Byron Lighthouse, Mount Warning and Julian Rocks. Unlike other beaches in Byron Bay, Clarkes Beach is uncrowded whilst close to everything, including the Byron Beach Cafe. Which is great, if you’re looking for a relaxed yet stylish beach location for your reception, one that your guests can stroll up to after the ceremony. In the event of bad weather, couples also have the luxury of having their ceremony at the Byron Beach Cafe, including a stunning beachfront backdrop.

For jaw-dropping views and iconic locations, the Byron Lighthouse is ideal and nothing says a “Byron Bay wedding” like this location. There are, however, limited times when ceremonies can take place at the Byron Lighthouse precinct, so our advice is to check before booking or contact one of our wedding planners to help you with all the required council permits and paperwork.

For a more traditional ceremony, the 100 year-old St Oswald’s Anglican Church is a beautifully intimate venue with pretty lead light windows, antique wooden pews and a lovely bushland setting. Full of charm and character, this church is perfect for couples wishing for a church ceremony whilst not compromising on location. This venue is a 10 minute drive from town, so you may wish to consider transport for your guests or we can organise buses or private cars for you.

And, of course, we can’t leave out Wategos Beach. With its white sand, palm trees and stunning Pacific Ocean views – it truly is paradise. Wategos is also home to some of the most luxurious beachfront accommodation in Byron Bay, making it an ideal location for wedding parties to stay. Choose from the many truly unique hotels, guest houses and private bungalows. However, couples do need to check the tides for this beach and have a standby plan in case of bad weather. If you’re holding your reception at the Byron Beach Cafe, our team can help you with an indoor ceremony back-up plan and transportation there and back.

No matter where couples choose to say ‘I do’ in Byron Bay, one thing is for certain, they’re spoilt for choice when it comes to gorgeous wedding ceremony spots.

Byron Bay Wedding 5

Are you able to serve post ceremony refreshments at these places?

For weddings at Clarkes Beach and Wategos Beach, our team can be on hand at the Byron Beach Cafe to greet guests with post ceremony cocktails and canapés in the garden or on the deck. The bride and groom can relax whilst having their wedding photos taken on the beach and surrounds knowing their guests will be catered for and enjoying the chance to mingle.

Currently it is not possible to serve food and drinks on any beach in Byron Bay, but for all other locations, we can provide post ceremony refreshments including drinks, champagne and canapés before the wedding party make their way to the Byron Beach Cafe for the wedding reception.

Our award-winning offsite catering team can also bring the Byron Beach Cafe food experience to many locations in and around Byron Bay. We have created the ‘moving feast’, so wherever our couples’ weddings take place, we can cater it.

Please describe the style of food your chef prepares for weddings?

Our head chef and I really love simple food that is fresh and full of flavour. Rather than following trends closely, our food evolves from a close collaboration with our local food producers. Our starting point for each new wedding menu involves sourcing the best local in-season produce and designing dishes that are then made from the freshest raw ingredients. Almost all our dishes have some kind of connection to the local area, be it Bangalow pork, Byron Bay seafood or the best Byron hinterland organic produce.

For weddings, share plates are our idea of wedding heaven! We love this style of dining and how it brings people together. And it’s a bit of fun too. Our share plate feasts include a large variety of dishes from classics like salt and Szechuan pepper squid and mini wagyu beef sliders to such plates as Thai smoked trout, char su pork Vietnamese rice paper rolls and crispy duck and shitake mushroom wonton. Our dishes are designed to be the perfect champagne or cocktail companion, leaving the taste buds tingling.

Grant MacIntyre Photography

What is his current favourite dish?

That’s a hard question! With every wedding it’s something new. Currently, I’d have to say, it’s either between the slow-cooked Bangalow pork belly with cauliflower parsnip puree, spiced plum mandarin glaze, king prawn and crispy pancetta or our Beach paella with prawns, mussels, chicken, chorizo and saffron. But then there’s dessert… Our musk coconut tapioca sprinkled with sherbet musk dust is unbelievable!

Does Byron Beach Cafe have a food philosophy?

For us, it’s all about what’s in-season and available at the local farmers’ markets. Our head chef and I like putting together menus that reflect not only Byron, but also the bride and groom, whilst always having a signature Byron Beach Cafe touch of understated luxury. Our philosophy is to let local provenance guide our menus, with home-grown ingredients looming large. How we put these together is a result of consultation between the couple and ourselves.

Can a bridal couple request an a la carte menu or shared platters for their sit down reception dinner?

Yes and yes! However laid-back and relaxed or formal and opulent couples want their Byron Bay wedding to be, our team will provide a wide range of menu ideas. Everything from sit-down dinners, cocktails and matching canapés, share plate feasts to formal fine dining menus with expertly matched wines.

We can also create menus to suit specific styles, themes, budgets or dietary requirements.

You also offer a catering service for events held off-site. So could a bridal couple choose to have their ceremony and reception on the beach, or by the lighthouse, for example?

For couples getting married at the Byron Lighthouse or elsewhere, yes. We can help with all arrangements, including all required permits for their wedding ceremony, reception and wedding photos. For beach weddings, it is currently not possible to hold your reception on the beach. Byron Bay is a very special and unique part of Australia and permits are subject to conditions designed to ensure the conservation and integrity of our beaches and reserve areas. We can assist couples with exchanging their vows on the beach, but, due to current regulations, no one is allowed to serve food or drinks on any Byron Bay beach. This is one of the reasons why the Byron Beach Cafe is Byron Bay’s favourite venue for beach weddings. Being the only absolute beachfront restaurant and wedding venue in Byron Bay, couples have the luxury of being able to say their ‘I do’s’ on the beach then it’s just a short walk up the sand for them and their guests to their beachfront wedding reception venue.

Byron Bay Wedding 3

Are there plenty of accommodation options for wedding guests, close by?

There are plenty of great places for couples and their guests to stay, which cater for all styles and budgets from five star luxury resorts, Bali inspired villas to cosy beach shacks. As a town which is a popular holiday destination, accommodation is plentiful. We will advise our clients the best times to take advantage of special pricing and full availability at locations best able to meet their special interests.

What are your favourite things to do around Byron?

Aaahhh…where to begin? There is so much to do and see in Byron Bay!

For me, because work is so all consuming at times, a pamper package at a local spa is always welcome and, often, necessary. For most locals, including our family, the beach is a focus of life here too. Everything emanates from and revolves around the water from surfing to swimming to stand-up paddle boarding to kayaking with dolphins. There is something for everyone.

Staying fit and on top of my game is important and sees me at the gym a few times a week as well as regular runs up to the Byron lighthouse. When the kids are on holidays, we also love exploring the hinterland, finding secluded and intimate places to camp, fish and go bushwalking. My husband, when he can, enjoys a game of golf at the local course as well.

Wandering around the abundant local farmers’ markets is another favourite pastime. I love starting the day with a freshly brewed coffee and chatting to the local food producers before selecting some great produce for the cafe and to take home.

For all of us, though, we never forget how privileged we are to live in the best area in Australia.

Thank you Belinda for sharing your story with us. To find out more about Byron Beach Cafe visit the website.

All images courtesy of Byron Beach Cafe.

 

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