Brooke and Bruno originally met online, and after six weeks of talking finally met on a Monday night at Tokyo Bird in Sydney. They bonded over Sailor Jerry’s and fresh lime and were instantly in love. Funnily enough, Bruno is from Brazil and had been in Sydney for two years when the couple met, but Brooke had only been in Sydney for three months. Bruno became Brooke’s tour guide over the next few weeks and they moved in with one another after about six weeks. They say it was absolutely meant to be. When it came time to get married, Brooke and Bruno wanted their wedding to be simple, minimalistic and natural. They designed their wedding around their venue, Beach Byron Bay, which echoed their style. On board to capture the beauty of the day? The talented Sarkodie Photography. Below, Brooke (who also happens to be a wedding planner!) details how their wedding unfolded.
We got married in Byron Bay on the 12th of September, 2019. A Thursday wedding! We think this will be all the rage soon. Weekday weddings are the best. We had four big houses booked in a complex about two minutes outside of the town centre that we all stayed in for four nights. It meant the wedding kind of started on the Wednesday night as everyone was arriving in Byron (the dance floor was HOT that night in one of the lounge rooms). We had the wedding on the Thursday, but the celebrations extended well into the weekend with most people not leaving until the Sunday afternoon.
The most important thing to me about my dress was not what I wore, but who I bought it with. With my mum living on the Sunshine Coast and Bruno and I being in Sydney, I could not fathom trying on dresses without my mum. So, the first opportunity we got, Mum and I stopped by a local South Coast wedding dress shop and were ready for a day-long adventure… But I bought the first one I tried on! It was a gorgeous bohemian lace with a champagne lining. The things I loved the most were the train and the back of it.
For flowers, I just wanted to go for something very natural and I was keen on supporting a local Byron business so we chose Poppy & Fern. I had a very natural bouquet with lots of green foliage and gorgeous white flowers. Our arbour was handmade by my mum’s partner, and it was so gorgeous we didn’t want to cover it too much so we just had a very simple extension of my bouquet above our heads on the arbour. Bruno and our fathers each had a little buttonhole made from my bouquet and our table decorations were freshly picked herbs in glass jars I had rescued from a bar closing down. We also had eco-confetti from Blossom Tree Confetti (cornflour blue!)
We chose not to have a wedding party. Our wedding was so small and every single person there was already so important to us, that we didn’t think it was necessary. Both of our parents walked each of us down the aisle and then we had our best friends as our witnesses. It was impossible to single any people out, our whole wedding was our wedding party.
Bruno wore the most beautiful blue suit jacket that we got from M.J. Bale. He wore sand coloured chinos and a beautiful grey vest over a white shirt and the vest even had a blue back. He wanted to feel like ‘The Groom’ but also have an outfit reflective of a Byron Bay wedding. I think he nailed it!
Bruno walked down the aisle to ‘Miracle Love’ by Matt Corby and I walked down to ‘Resolution’ by Matt Corby. I still burst into tears anytime I hear either of those songs!
Our arbour was handmade (and then bought by two friends of our who own Pop Up Gardens in Sydney, so it’s now available for hire!).
Our celebrant (Marry Me Kristy) did the most beautiful job at capturing the emotions of our journey together. We are such deep lovers and have been through such a journey together, it was so important to us to honour our relationship the way it deserved and then consciously step into the new adventure of marriage. When we wrote our vows, we wrote them together and made them as realistic as possible. Kristy was just wonderful and even when we first met her, we all had a turn at crying as we talked about our love story. It’s how we knew she was the perfect fit.
Our ceremony was our favourite part of the day. We are so happy we took the time to actively participate in the creation of our ceremony and to also take the time with one another to do so much intention setting for our marriage. It meant that we had really talked through what it meant to be married so once we were, we felt like we could step into the next stage of our life with a really strong union. But, one of the little things that I did love was that my best friend brought along four gorgeous blue rings for me, my mum, Bruno’s mum and I to wear on the day. That was extremely special.
Our photographer, Joseph Sarkodie of Sarkodie Photography, is the absolute bomb. He was the only vendor we brought with us from Sydney. I was super keen on using local businesses and ensuring that our wedding didn’t feel like ‘work’ for me, but we couldn’t go without Joseph. I had worked with him on another wedding and had watched him interact with the couple and just loved his relaxed style. Both Bruno and I are extremely camera shy so we needed someone who made us feel like they weren’t there.
He was also so supremely adaptable. When he arrived at the houses while we were all getting ready was when I was at the height of my nervousness. I asked if he could just give me another half an hour so he just was like ‘yep’ and just made himself busy and just walked around the houses and captured some amazing shots of all our friends and family. He even put up with my four page long email with photography notes for him because I didn’t want posed family photos, only candid and he captured every single one.
Belinda and the crew at our venue, Beach Byron Bay, were just about my favourite people in the whole process. Belinda was so no-nonsense and given my natural inclination to over-plan and overthink (as every good wedding planner should). She had no problems with my novel length emails but then also knew exactly when to say, “Don’t worry, I’ve got this.” Planning a destination wedding is never an easy task but she made it seamless. Also, we were super lucky that half of the waitstaff and bartenders on the night were Brazilian, which was perfect because half our guest list were Brazilian!
Both Bruno and I love the scent of fresh herbs, so we opted for bunches of herbs on the tables rather than flowers. It was actually such a joy to put these together on the wedding day – the perfect chore to do to calm my nerves.
We DIY’d every single element. Our napkins were handmade by a beautiful friend of my mothers and embroidered with our names and wedding date. My dad made the most stunning and elaborate ring box (he was always making things for my when I was growing up so it seemed only natural to have one of his creations on the day). Our wedding favour candles were handmade. I made all of the stationery myself (albeit with help of a wonderful graphic designer – Kaz Cooper Creative) but I had them all printed on recycled paper. Our table arrangements were done by me on the day.
We also had a lot of handmade inclusions made by family and family friends which just added to the vibe. We had an extremely small wedding as we really wanted that intimate feeling, not just for us but so that everyone who came could leave our wedding feeling like family too. For me, planning a wedding that was filled with love and fun was the top priority. We were so extremely excited to have guests from all over the world attending, that we made sure we planned a wedding as much for them as it was for us.
As an eco-ethical wedding planner myself, it was important to me that our wedding was as close to zero waste as possible. All the flowers from the day were taken back to the houses we were all staying in. My uncle and aunty owned a florist shop, so they dismantled the florals from our arbour and placed them into the vases we’d had on the tables to go in each of the houses.
I collected all the menus and place cards from the venue the next day and made sure they were shredded and donated to a local community garden with chickens.
Our wedding favours were these gorgeous candles made by The Crackling Candle Co on the Sunshine Coast and I was sure to check that once our guests candles ran out, they could actually send them back and get it refilled with their favourite scents. Anything we can do to lighten the load on our planet.
Wedding planning is never easy. So I just really embraced the challenge of planning my own wedding. Bruno is also amazing at bringing me back down to earth when I was letting the planner in me get the better of me by trying to micro manage every single situation. Embracing that you can’t control everything is certainly the first step to keeping things stress free.
Don’t forget why you are having a wedding. Your wedding day is just an awesome celebration to start the rest of your lives together. Your budget, the details, the colours, seating plan all fall into a blurred background when you are standing there, marrying the love of your life. They are certainly ‘nice to haves’ but it’s not what makes your marriage. Only the two of you, united, can do that.
Ms Floral Says: Congratulations Brooke and Bruno on a stunning Byron Bay wedding filled with stacks of eco-friendly inspo!
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Take a (virtual) trip to Dayelsford with us today to celebrate the marriage of Zoe and Matthew. This couple initially met through mutual friends at university and were then politely encouraged to go on a date via a good friend/work colleague, who could see how much they had in common! A cheeky message from Zoe then prompted a drink at Neighbourhood Wine. She knew things were looking good when they had talked so much they didn’t realise the restaurant was empty! Fast forwarding to their wedding, the couple wanted authenticity. This meant nothing over the top, and they also wanted to showcase good produce in an Australian setting. And that they did! Below, Zoe details how their special day came to be and how it unfolded…
We married in November 2019 at The Burrow in Daylesford. We loved the area and fell in love with the venue.
I enjoyed the process of finding a wedding gown, but accidentally ended up with two dresses, which was quite stressful. I chose a price point and went for a dress trying experience with my mum and sister for some fun. I was keen to purchase a recycled/pre-owned dress, but couldn’t quite find the right one.
I then found one at a sample sale and it was the right price point, so went with it, but wasn’t in love with it. However, I then couldn’t get out of my mind visiting Georgia Young Couture in Carlton on my “trying on” day where everything was modern, beautifully made, designed and created locally. I felt flawless and elegant in her gowns and wanted that feeling on my wedding day. I was able to sell my original dress on Still White and did not regret my decision in any way.
Matthew’s suit was easy! He was measured to precision by Andrew at CECIL in Melbourne and the suit made within six weeks, with a perfectly made to measure shirt as well. Andrew had an excellent range of fabrics and Matthew looked so sharp in a perfectly fitting suit. We purchased his bow tie and pocket square from Le Colonel Moutarde in France, who have an excellent range of liberty print fabrics and are beautifully made.
On our wedding day, we wanted a relaxed morning and completed all our photographs prior to the ceremony. This meant we could capture those first reveal photos and have most of our photographs with perfect hair and makeup. The best part was we could then enjoy canapés and meet and greet our guests, without missing out! It made the afternoon flow so much more smoothly.
Flowers was one of the easiest decisions. Matthew first purchased me flowers from Mary Mary Studio and I fell in love with everything and anything Kate made. I gave Kate a basic colour palette and let her be as creative as she pleased. My only request was to include some orchids as my dad grew a stem of standard orchids for my mum’s bouquet.
We wanted an intimate bridal party. Matthew had his best mates from high school (Nathan) and university (Simon). I had the pleasure of my two incidentally perfectly matching friends, Louise from high school and Olivia from university.
Matthew played soccer with our photographer, Alex Motta of Motta Weddings, when they were both in school and always wanted to use him at our wedding, as he loved his ability to capture colour and moments in a photograph. I am so glad we did. He was professional, organised and creative. Alex was a pleasure to work with and we had our complete range of photographs within four weeks.
We wanted to utilise one venue with the ceremony and reception on site, as we have really enjoyed this in the past. We loved the setting of The Burrow in the Wombat State Forest, with the Australian bush as a backdrop.
I tried to surprise Matthew with ‘Perth’ by Bon Iver as it’s one of his favourites. Then he insisted on adding it to the list about two days before the wedding. We still went with it and it was a perfect song to enter to.
We wanted a personalised ceremony all about us, that told our story and celebrated our relationship and achievements thus far. We selected our incredible celebrant Lara Williams after seeing a photo of another wedding that raved about their celebrant. In the photo Lara wasn’t centre stage, she was off to the side letting the couple have their moment, which was exactly what we wanted. We selected a modern reading about love, which we then translated into French as we had some special French guests attending.
The reception space was modern and stylish and a blank canvas to work with, but we also wanted to minimise decorations and enjoy the view. For DIY, we purchased 130 of each dinner/side plates, vases, water jugs and napkins from Kmart and have since sold them on. We hired cutlery and glassware. We decorated the centre of the tables with gum leaves and baby’s breath and placed candles (IKEA) in glasses (from Daiso) for additional lighting. We also printed our invitations and place cards at Officeworks and thank you cards online through Optimal Print.
We also hired the wonderful team from Trufflepig Catering and Shelley was a pleasure to work with. We wanted to feast on share platters down the centre of the table, like one big family and great food is really important to us. Shelley did a remarkable job accommodating various dietary requirements. The food was wonderful, locally sourced where possible and we have received great feedback on the quality and quantity of produce.
I particularly enjoyed selecting vendors and ticking things off the list in the first six months of planning. It was fun and exciting to be planning our day, exactly as we wanted it.
We had a few dance lessons with a local instructor who was fantastic, we chose ‘Chateau’ by Angus & Julia Stone and have had so many compliments on the dance and song choice. It pays off to have a lesson or two.
We wanted our dance floor to be very active and we selected Tom from Melbourne Entertainment Company who played live saxophone and DJed. It was incredible! We didn’t get off the dance floor all night!
My advice for brides and grooms to be? Google spreadsheets are amazing for planning and organisation as they can be accessed anywhere and edited by multiple people simultaneously.
Ms Floral Says: Thank you so much for sharing your perfect country wedding with us, as well as your great advice for brides and grooms to be. Wishing you all the very best in your married life!
Polka Dot Dream Team...
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