Jodie & Cameron
I am yet to figure out what exactly it is that makes Byron Bay so magical because it is clear that today’s relaxed and colourful Byron Bay wedding has whatever it is in spades. Stunningly captured by Van Middleton Photography, the couple married in a little hidden spot by the beach, where whales swam, before joining their guest’s for a pastel sky reception overlooking the beautiful rolling Hinterland landscape. It was the blissful beginning of the next stage of life for the pair who met at a self-help seminar and aptly, where engaged by the sea.
Jodie recalls the story. “Cameron proposed to me on a walk along the beach at sunset in the Yasawa Islands in Fiji. He surprised me by writing “Will you marry me?” in the sand and had brought the ring all the way from Brisbane. He told me later that the airport security guards paused on his bag with the ring in it, and he was worried that they might ruin the surprise and he’d have to propose at the airport!”
The bride found her strapless wedding gown at Strictly Bridal, telling “My dress was from Strictly Bridal on the Gold Coast. I had a bit of an unusual experience as I tore several tendons and ligaments in my ankle 6 weeks before the wedding and so had to have my dress fitted while wearing a moon boot and crutches, which was memorable, to say the least. I was determined to heal in time and keep my lifelong dream of walking down a sandy aisle! Luckily, after weeks of intensive rehab, I was cleared to take the moon boot off the day before the wedding.”
The couple met before the ceremony for a first look.
Guests were transported to the beachside ceremony by the Magic Bus Byron Bay. Jodie telling “It was really important to us to make sure our guests to be able to relax and enjoy the entire day in style, so we made sure to book the ever popular double-decker “Magic Bus” to bring the guests from their accommodation in Byron to the beach, and then up to the hinterland reception. We had a giant antipasto spread waiting for them when they arrived, along with champagne and cocktails to enjoy while they took in the beautiful venue and view.”
Jodie and Cameron found their ceremony musician at a local cafe, explaining “We were lucky enough to come across this incredible musician, Gian, playing at one of our favourite cafes up the Sunshine Coast. After 6 months of chasing him down and begging him to play at our wedding, he finally agreed! We were so happy as we couldn’t think of anyone that would even come close to helping create the atmosphere on our special day. Gian played his own acoustic song “Sun Keeps Shining On” while my Dad and I walked down the sandy aisle. It was perfect!”
Jodie and Cameron chose a spot by Byron Bay’s Tallow beach for their ceremony, with Anthony Lewis officiating, they explain “We wanted our ceremony to be very intimate and relaxed and submerged in nature – a barefoot beach ceremony. We chose a small hideaway in the dunes on Tallows Beach that we had stumbled upon on a previous holiday to Byron, which had a natural amphitheatre-type space between the trees. We chose to write our own personalised vows to each other and included a ritual where several guests placed a rock in a vase filled with sand from the ceremony site. The rocks were of special significance as we had collected them during our travels around the world, as well as a rock from each of our childhood homes.”
Beautiflora styled the beautiful floral arrangements for the day, including the stunning circular ceremony backdrop. Jodie tells “Our wedding flowers were one of the things I looked forward to the most. I wanted them to be whimsical, bright, colourful and lush because I find the florals make a huge impact on the atmosphere of a wedding. Our incredible florists, Beautiflora, created my vision exactly and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Something I have wanted to be the backdrop of my wedding ceremony for many years, and the centrepiece of both the ceremony and the reception, was a giant, 2m wide circular arbour that we had set up by Beautiflora in a secluded location in the dunes. We then had it transported to The Grove for the reception to use as a beautiful backdrop for our speeches as well.”
“We had our guests throw rose petals as we walked onto the beach after the ceremony. To symbolise our mutual love of travelling, we made the cones out of atlas paper.”
Jodie can’t rave enough about the couple’s photographer, telling “While researching photographers, Van Middleton immediately caught our eye with his beautiful, natural style and how he captured raw and real emotion. We barely saw him the whole day as he was nowhere but everywhere at the same time, catching every moment on camera, which is the secret to perfect photographer. His second photographer Asher King was also incredibly talented and really helped us chill out and enjoy the day.”
Rural venue The Grove Byron Bay was the most beautiful setting for the stunning reception and wove it’s way beautifully into the vibe the couple wanted for their day. “We were lucky enough to have the most beautiful weather. We were a little worried about the risk of rain and even more of the gale winds that northern NSW often experiences in October, particularly on the beach. The forecast was threatening rain and we had a big rain storm the day before, but somehow mother nature turned it on for us the entire day, with beautiful sunshine, perfect comfortable temperatures, little white fluffy clouds floating around, and a gentle breeze… Our reception was up in the Hinterland in Coopers Shoot on a working macadamia farm called The Grove. It had the most stunning view out over the rolling hills and sunset from a luxurious, beautifully appointed and styled house perched on the top of the hill, where we stayed with our families for the week. It was magical!”
Fig Tree Catering served up a feast for the couple, who remember “How can we pick one favourite detail when the food and drink, the flowers, the music and the venue were all so perfect!?! Can you pick the atmosphere as your favourite detail haha? One thing that definitely stood out to us and our guests was having the food served as 16 individual stands up canapé style meals, ranging from bite-sized entrees to full mains such as paella, slow roasted lamb shoulder, shiraz braised beef cheeks and cider braised pork. We made a conscious decision not to have a sit-down dinner at tables with a seating plan, as we loved the relaxed atmosphere it creates by having everyone chilling out on the stunning open deck, under the giant tipi, or lazing around on couches on the lawn.”
“There were so many, as our photographer, Van Middleton, is incredibly talented and captured all the details of the day” tells Jodie when asked for her favourite photo. “However, it would have to be a close tie between the photo of our first kiss as husband and wife at our ceremony on the beach, or another one of us in “golden hour” under the trees in the grove. We also love the photo of us kissing just after Cameron’s speech at the reception as there’s so much love in this candid picture.”
“Our favourite part of the wedding planning was finding out that both of us have very similar taste in all of the details of the day… luckily! We loved seeing it all come together at the end and all the hard work and effort that we and all our vendors went to paid off!” says Jodie.
Congratulations on your marriage Jodie & Cameron. Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you to Van Middleton Photography for working with us to share today’s beautiful wedding!