Shannon & Chris
An intimate wedding is pure romance but when you escape to one of your favourite places with just your closest family, your beloved and your dog, it’s practically dreamy. This Byron Bay elopement is filled with so many moments of beauty, quiet and romance, captured by photographer Olivia Texier.
Shannon tells their story, which started quite some time ago. “A young girl of only 10, bare faced and scruffy haired moved to a new Darwin school. There she met a boy, blue eyed and full of silence that made her tummy flutter and face grin ear to ear. She knew that he liked her, but the words never passed his lips. Whispers in the school yard reinforced their feelings for each other. A tug of war friendship transpired, their unspoken words and passing glances sending their hearts racing and their minds to a wonderland of future promise. The years passed quickly and soon they were off to different high schools, never far from each other’s thoughts and what might have been. In 2009 curiosity got the better of them and they reconnected. They promised each other that if they were ever in the same place they would meet up and reminisce on days gone by.
On the 16th of May 2015, their lives changed forever. Meeting once again, face to face for the first time since childhood. They had come full circle. Falling in love again quickly and without fear they were soon best friends, lovers and partners in crime. One year to the day later, under the shade of a fig tree in the school yard where they first met, Chris proposed to Shannon. She said yes.”
Ava Belle Bridal styled the bride’s hair and makeup, she remembers, “Our hair and makeup artist Ava Belle Bridal was wonderful. She was highly skilled and really took the time to get a strong understanding of the desired make up and hair style that I wanted. She was never rushed and made me feel completely comfortable to communicate exactly what I wanted. My hair and make up on the day was flawless, and she didn’t bat an eyelid as I made Simba’s wreath while she was trying to do my hair.”
Of Shannon’s gown, found on D H Gate , she notes, “I have always loved the idea of a dress that was a little different and not just the traditional lace gown. I was drawn to gowns with full skirts that had volume and texture, but that still had that romantic vintage look to them. I scoured the internet for made to order suppliers. I fell in love with this dress when saw it and it seemed too good to be true. I ordered the dress a month before the wedding. It was a nervous wait for the dress to arrive, as I was unsure what the quality would be like and crossed my fingers that it would fit. I was excited and relieved when I finally got to try it on. The dress was gorgeous.”
For the processional Shannon remembers, “I surprised the groom and organised for his favourite singer Thomas Stowers to play “our song”. Chris sang this song and slow danced with me on one of our first dates. It was an acoustic version of “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke.”
Shannon and Chris chose Koonyum Range Retreat for their wedding “Our ceremony was perched on the edge of the escarpment a Koonyum Range Retreat. The view was breathtaking. We wanted our wedding day to be intimate and a representation of the things that are most important to us. Our family and our love for each other. It was a relaxed ceremony with no real rules as such. It was about celebrating the unique connection that Chis and I have had with each other since childhood. There was an element of tradition as my father gave me away and Chris did not see me or my dress before the ceremony. Our dog Simba walked down the aisle ahead of my father and I to meet Chris at the alter.”
” Chris’s mother read the story of how we met to begin the ceremony, and we exchanged silver wedding rings that I made. They have an imprint of our fingerprints on the band.
We read this promise to each other before we exchanged rings.
“I carry you in my heart, my love
Hand in hand I will follow you,
Through your darkest hours and your brightest of days,
I will dance in the rain or bask in the sunshine,
As with you, is where I am meant to spend my days.
I will be your strength, your confident, and your closest friend, I will cherish your flaws, as it is in these that I see myself reflected.
I promise to love, honour, and respect you, for you are my all. Until my breath runs dry, and our souls leave this world together.
I will carry you in my heart.”
The bride made the wedding rings, noting, “Although this was an elopement, it was important for us to have our parents and our dog Simba there with us to be part of our day. Our handmade rings made the ring exchange all the more special. Also being an outdoor wedding, the addition of a live musician to play as I was coming down the aisle made the moment all the more perfect.”
Of their photographer, Shannon remarks, “We chose Olivia Texier Photography. After looking at several other photographers based in the area we found Olivia. Her wedding photography had the romantic vintage feel that we were looking for, with the ability to capture some beautiful candid moments. After talking to her we felt she really understood us and the kind of images we were after. Olivia was so easy to work with and made us feel instantly comfortable. Nothing was too much trouble, and she was dedicated to ensuring all our important moments were captured.”
Post ceremony, the couple popped a bottle of champagne with their family before returning to their villa for an intimate dinner for two.
Congratulations Shannon and Chris! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Olivia Texier for sharing today’s wedding!