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Hannah & Joan- a stunning DIY wedding bought together by family and friends.

Hannah & Joan- a stunning DIY wedding bought together by family and friends.

Photogerson Margaret River Western Australia lesbian two brides gay forest country wedding Dancing With Her (1)

Hannah and Joan headed to Margaret River to tie the knot. With the help of family and friends, they pulled off a completely DIY event, full of personal and stunning touches.

Tell us a little about yourselves.

We are both health professionals- A Physiotherapists and a Speech Pathologist.

Fun for each of us is very different. Hannah loves crazy events like ironman, where Joan prefers gym events like weight lifting. Although we both love to travel, explore new places, and relaxing at the beach with our doggo (Luna the Looney) in our hometown of Broome.

Aside from your wedding, what is your favorite memory together?

We travelled the world together for eighteen months with only a backpack, including living and snowboarding in Japan. We were walking the Camino De Santiago and road-tripping through North and South America.

Tell us about the proposal.

Hannah and Joan had been living apart due to work commitments, so Hannah came home to surprise Joan. However, Joan was competing in a gym competition (followed by beers), so she didn’t come home until late at night. Hannah wrote a letter on the door popping the question, but Hannah opened the door before a confused Joan had finished reading the question. Hannah proceeded, ‘so what do you think’ Joan followed ‘about what’ Hannah ‘I am trying to ask you to marry me!’

Any stories from the lead-up to the wedding, stressful or funny?

The original wedding day was supposed to be in Broome, but that was cancelled due to COVID, so a last-minute reschedule in Margaret River for New Year’s Eve came to be. We took a gamble with border closures and held our breath that all our guests could make it.

They say things happen in threes. The lead-up to the wedding had some hiccups. The ice cream cake delivered was incorrect, but a fresh cake was delivered on the wedding day. Another customer took our flowers, and replacement flowers provided the day before, and the lawnmower wouldn’t start- thanks to a trusty family, we got that sorted!

Talk us through your wedding day.

We opted for a low-key wedding, close family and friends in the forest. All guests had to follow some homemade signs and trek down a 4WD track to get to the Boranup Forest location but were greeted by family with beer and champagne while waiting for us to arrive. On arrival to the forest, we walked down the ‘aisle’ to the song “The world is Ours” by Volunteer.

Our fantastic celebrant Bronia Ramsay to greet us under our homemade arbor cut down from Jarrah trees from Hannah’s family property and put into place by Joan’s family, so it didn’t fall on us during the ceremony.

We both wrote our own vows, which had some funny moments but also some tears. We got in trouble for a few sneaky kisses before the official one. Joan ended up swallowing a fly and being provided with champagne to swallow it down.

Then we popped off for some photos down dirt tracks in the forest, which was a lovely time to spend together relishing in the glow from the ceremony.

After headed back to Hannah’s family home on a bush block for the party, we were met with a stretch tent set up with fairy lights, a homemade bar by Hannah’s dad, Lance. All the decorations were homemade. The bar tables were made from old 44-gallon drums, which were given a facelift, homemade signs for toilets, food, drinks, and the photo timeline. 

The bar went off from the get-go with espresso martinis and cosmopolitans being made by the guests starting at eight pm! Some strong drinks were consumed, which helped to get the dance floor started.

Advice for other couples planning a smaller wedding?

Make it a family and friends affair. Getting everyone involved and pitching in it makes it an enjoyable experience, and they feel part of it too. Especially as the day goes so fast so having the build-up with everyone is really fun.

Plan a catch-up the next day to debrief and reminisce. We did a lot of our own things. Catering, making of furniture, signs, etc. It was a lot of work but saved us a lot of money and was a lot of fun doing it.

Having the party at home was excellent, with no closing time and a meaningful location.

What does the future hold for you both?

We are back living in Broome and enjoying all that the Kimberley has to offer both of us working at the hospital.

We are also looking through the logistics of starting a family as a same-sex couple. But for now, just enjoying life. Just the three of us, Joan, Hannah and Luna (our doggo), as well as our newly purchase a tinny boat.


Photography by Photogerson

Cake Simmo’s Ice Creamery
Cake Topper Strachan Creative
Celebrant Bronia Ramsay
Ceremony Venue Boranup Forest, Margaret River
Florist Wild Art Floral
Teepee Hire Juice Stretch Tents
Reception Venue Family home, Margaret River

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Dancing With Her is created on the beautiful land of the Bundjalung Nation. We acknowledge that we have benefited from the colonialism which dispossessed the Bundjalung People of their land and culture, and pay our respects to Bundjalung elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge sovereignty was never ceded. The land we live and work on is Aboriginal Land.

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