You think you’ve seen it all, and then you find a bush camp wedding with authentic bush dancing. Coolest. Thing. Ever!! I love the relaxed atmosphere of this woodsy DIY affair. It’s a vintage woodland wonderland with a dose of flower child splendor. By the way, the bride looks so gorgeous, especially considering she broke both arms five days before her wedding – I mean, can you believe it?! What a trooper. You go, girl! Many thanks to the spectacular floral design of Flower Opera and for sharing this gem with us. Please check out the full gallery of images right here!
From the Bride… Working in Canada, I was excited to return home, get married and create an amazing, relaxed and fun wedding. Sad to leave our life in Canada, we decided to commission a jewellery designer (Jennifer Shigetomi of Matsu) to create our rose gold rings, and I found my dress at a vintage store not far from where we lived in Toronto. We chose Nanga Bush Camp in Dwellingup , so guests could stay the night and we could dance the night away. Having just flown home, our budget was small so I weaved plenty of DIY into the day, making the invitations, the table runners from doilies picked up second hand, collecting jars for the candles, making fun markers for the cupcakes and making menus for the meal. My dad even made traditional shaker sticks with bottle caps to use on the dance floor, and I sewed together a variety of fabrics in shades of white to create a backdrop for the band. All was going to plan and I was gearing up for all the final touches, when five days before our wedding I came off my bicycle and had to go straight into surgery to fix two extremely broken arms! This is difficult for any bride to be — I felt washed out after surgery and couldn’t do simple tasks. And it is particularly difficult for a bride who was planning to do all her own flowers, decoration and setup. Fortunately, our family and friends banded together and did everything. (I even managed to make my own flowers … slowly and with painkillers!) Breaking both my arms forced me to focus on the important things, and despite the swollen arms, less than perfect hair and the ‘not so to plan’ day and leadup, I was allowed to take my splints off for the ceremony and some photos, and I couldn’t have asked for a better day with the support of all the important people in my life surrounding me.
Immediate family and the bridal party came down the night before the wedding. We baked, arranged and hung jars until we were all ready to enjoy a meal around the log fire. On the day of, guests carpooled out to the bush location and the rain cleared long enough to have the ceremony on the deck outside the bunkhouse and scoot around taking pictures. We were fortunate to have friends of ours, the talented Esti & Jay, photograph the day for us. After post-ceremony drinks on the deck, guests moved inside and assembled themselves down the long wooden tables, and a harvest-style meal was served of fresh salads and a range of wood-fired pizzas cooked fresh just outside by Vespa Pizzas. I sourced recyclable bamboo plates and cutlery (Greenpack), so clean up was quick and easy at the end of the night. My sister took photos of the guests using a Polaroid and guests wrote a message alongside their photo. The “first dance” involved all the guests coming to the floor and being lead through a fun dance with myself and my husband. Guests then danced off the feast with bush dancing lead by Southern Cross Bush Band, (noting one amazing fiddle player!) One guest even stood up and called one of the dances! At the end of the night as people tucked themselves into bed, a small few enjoyed drinks around a log fire into the early hours of the morning.
One of the best memories I will have of the day is how both families came together and helped make the day we had been hoping for. In particular, my husband was amazing caring for me during the surgery, the days after and the day of the wedding. I may have been unlucky … but looking back I think I am the luckiest!
Wedding Photography: Esti & Jay / Wedding Venue: Nanga Bush Camp in Dwellingup, Western Australia Wedding / Planning, Floral + Event Design: Ann Lawrie of Flower Opera (The Bride) / Catering: Vespa Pizza / Music: Southern Cross Bush Band / Wedding Dress: Vintage / Bride’s Red Shoes: Zu / Bridesmaid’s Dress: Tigerlily / Groom’s Attire: Jack London / Rings: Jennifer Shigetomi of Matsu