Candice & Michael’s Vibrant + Relaxed Forest Wedding At Donnelly River Village

by | Australia - Western Australia, Bride, Inspired Weddings,

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Candice & Michael

We’re almost smitten with a bride in colour, and for today’s bride Candice, the idea of traditional wedding gown shopping was just not her jam. The most gorgeous sunshine yellow gown she stumbled upon, just the beginning of the colourful, beautiful moments in today’s wedding in the heart of a Western Australian forest.

And with a month of embracing all things colour for The Colour Issue, we could simply not wait to share Candice and Michael’s beautiful day, captured by the lovely Michelle of  Folklore Weddings. 

As teachers, the pair had worked together for some time before romance finally blossomed. The bride filling us in on how it all began.  “We met at work” she shares. “We are both teachers and had worked at the same school for 7 years before we became a couple. My desk was near the kitchen and coffee station and Mike spent a lot of time filling his water bottle every day. A colleague suggested she thought it might be because he was interested in me!”

It was over the utterly romantic setting of a picnic in the park that Michael popped the question, Candice tells, “I had just started in a new role at the school we worked at and was quite busy and stressed, so Mike suggested we go to Kings Park for a romantic picnic and watch the sunset. As he was pouring us some drinks and rifling around the picnic basket, he pulled out the ring and proposed.”

That sunny yellow gown of dreams? The bride found at Needle & Thread online. “I had looked at some wedding dresses online and hadn’t seen anything that I thought suited me and or that I would feel comfortable in. Going to a wedding dress shop sounded like a nightmare to me, so I decided to look into more non-traditional dresses. I came across a beautiful yellow Needle and Thread dress online, found it on sale for $500 and ordered it! It was absolutely perfect and I was so happy to be wearing my sunny yellow dress on the day.”

The day’s festivities were held in the middle of the forest at the sweet Donnelly River Village. Candice tells  “The ceremony was in a clearing in the middle of the Karri Forrest and the reception was in the old Workers Hall in the Village. We arranged to book out half the holiday cottages in the Village for our guests to stay for the whole weekend.”

The bride walked down the aisle to The Branches cover of The Darkness’s “I believe in a thing called love.”

Kiss Me You Fool Marriage Celebrant officiated the wedding ceremony, the couple marrying in the heart of the forest surrounded by Karri trees. Candice remembers “Our ceremony was in clearing in the middle of the forest, right under a towering Karri tree. Our guests were sitting on hay bales covered in colourful crocheted blankets that I had found in op shops over the previous months. We wanted our ceremony to be relaxed and fun and just a celebration of our love. Our amazing celebrant pumped up the guests and I walked down the aisle to cheers from our family and friends. We had an impromptu scissor paper rock competition to decide who said their vows first and the ceremony was filled with so many laughs (and a few happy tears). We asked three of our closest friends to surprise us with a reading of their choice. It was such a nice part of the ceremony to hear what they each chose. We also wrote our own vows and didn’t share them with each other until the ceremony.”

“I love the photo of Mike and I walking back down the aisle at the end of the ceremony, being showered in rose petals” remembers the bride. “We both look so happy and it really captures the joy and fun of that moment.”

The bright and beautiful floral details for the day were styled by Urban and Wild Co tells the bride. “I wanted colour flowers with lots of greenery. My bouquet was full of purples, reds, yellows and oranges. Our amazing florist also created a stunning flower headpiece for me. The reception was deforested with individual flowers arranged in an assortment of old bottles that I had collected.”

The cottages of the village also played hosts to guests for the weekend, “Knowing that we were investing a bit of money into the wedding day, we wanted to make it last for a while longer so we booked out half the holiday cottages for the whole weekend. Most of our guests came the night before to help us set up and then we had a big BBQ. It was so so nice to have time to see everyone and spend time with them because the actual wedding day was so busy! We also had breakfast for everyone in the worker’s hall the next morning so we could say goodbye and thanks before everyone made the journey home to Perth.”

The couple had noticed the work of photographer Michelle at a friend’s wedding, telling “Our photographer was the amazing Michelle Troop of Folklore photography. She photographed our friend’s wedding the year before and their photos were so beautiful and she was so highly recommended that we had to book her. We loved her relaxed, documentary-style and she made Me and Mike feel so comfortable through the whole process. She really captured the feel of the day and was genuinely a pleasure to have around!”

While the couple had photos taken, guests enjoyed drinks under the trees, along with a few unexpected guests. “The Kangaroos and emus took a real interest in the wedding and at the reception, the kangaroos joined in a sat amongst the guests and snacked on the Hay Bales.”

The bride decorated the reception with recycled bottles and flowers, it was just one of the handmade elements of the day, explains Candice. “We created our own wedding website using Squarespace, to provide our guests with information for the day. The website was also how our guests RSVP’ed.
I collected old bottles to display the flowers and made all the signs to direct people to the ceremony and reception location. My mum and I also collected and dried rose petals to use as eco-friendly confetti (that the Kangaroos were very happy to snack on!)
We created welcome packs for each of the cottages and a hangover kit for guests to take with them at the end of the night which included some midnight snacks, a soft drink, Panadol and a hydro light.”

The first dance? Candice and Michael chose Harry Connick Jnr’s “So We Are In love” with a choreographed dance, telling “Our friend who is an amazing dancer choreographed a dance for us. He took inspiration from La-la Land and the dance was quite funny and lighthearted. We definitely steered clear on the serious romantic slow dance.”

A big congratulations to the newlyweds! What fun to share your special day! Thank you to Folklore Weddings for today’s beautiful photographs!

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