I think it’s safe to say that Byron Bay is synonymous with uber-chic and creative weddings.  When this wedding by Kate Belle Photography landed in my mailbox my jaw just about landed on the floor.  The perfect blend of classic, bohemian and rustic details made my heart do a million little jumps for joy.  Take a moment to savor the entire breathtaking and romantic celebration in the full gallery!

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From the bride… Both Mark & I live in Sydney, Australia. However, Mark is from New Zealand, and I am from the States. We both have friends and family scattered around the world, which made it difficult to find one place where we could have everyone we knew come and celebrate with us. Shortly after we were engaged, we went on a holiday to Byron Bay, where we stumbled across a private house in the hills that we both just knew we had to have our wedding at. Mark and I were adamant that we wanted to have a wedding that was different and wanted to make is as special and unique as possible. Coorabella, the farmhouse where the wedding was held, is truly unique, different and breathtaking. The 100-year-old house is adored lovingly with antiques, old family relics, original pressed tin ceilings and even a mirror ball in the centre of the house to set the scene for a grand party. It ticked all the boxes, and we knew none of our friends or family had seen anything like it. The old wrap-around veranda overlooking the peaceful and serene hills of Byron Bay would set the perfect romantic scene for our wedding.

Everything that we planned, from the wedding invites to the table settings and to my dress … I tried to always go for something unique. I wanted us and our guests to enjoy the wedding, but feel like it was different from every other wedding they had been to (which is hard to do!). My beaded dress was designed by Johanna Johnson, which fit the perfect romantic and classic/worldly setting of the house while still providing that ‘wow’ factor I was hoping for. We gave guests traditional Japanese fans, a nod to my Japanese heritage, while also giving out Hershey Kisses at the end of the night, a nod to my American sweet tooth! Both my mother and grandmother wore traditional kimonos for the wedding, which everyone loved. It was the perfect way to bring an element of my Japanese culture into the day, while also making me tear up when I first saw how beautiful they looked.

One of our favourite design elements was asking both sets of parents to give us old family photos of past weddings and also favourite family shots to incorporate on the day. This also meant we had photos afterwards to keep and make an family album with. We placed a old window frame at the entry of the house where we strung the photos so guests could look at as they entered the venue. Later, we encouraged guests to take a Polaroid photo and write a message on the back of an old postcard and hang it from the frame. The postcards were of places Mark and I had travelled to during our relationship. For each place setting, guests were given a story about our travels. We thought this would be a good talking point, as each guest had a different story from whom they were sitting next to. The bar was decorated with grey & white pom poms, which looked amazing. We lit as many candles as possible throughout the house to set the romantic tone as dusk fell. In the end, our friends & family from Japan, New Zealand, Canada, China and U.K. flew in to make our day even more special. Looking at everyone during dinner and seeing how many people made the effort to come was a memorable moment for both Mark and me. It was truly the unique special day we both wanted & had hoped for. 

Wedding Photography: Kate Belle Photography / Venue: Coorabella in Byron Bay, New South Wales / Wedding Coordination: Jane Magnus of Byron Bay Weddings and Events / Wedding Stylist: Raechel Temily (raecheltemily@mail.com) / Flowers: The French Petal / Catering + Wedding Cake: Seaweed Cuisine / Dress + Veil: Johanna Johnson / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Jewelry: Mezi + Tiffany’s / Groom’s Tuxedo: Ermenegildo Zegna / Hair + Makeup: Cassie Hanlon / String Trio: Byron Strings / Place Settings + Menus: DIY by the Bride

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