Words by Noni

Lauren proposed to me during an epic summer storm when we lived in a tiny seaside beach house. It was out of the blue, but, the moment felt so right. Lauren felt in her bones that it was time to spend every moment together for the rest of our lives, I could not agree more, it was a huge, massive yes!

We had packed up our lives from the Gold Coast and moved 5 hours north to the beach town of Bargara, a slice of regional Queensland paradise. Finding the perfect ceremony and reception venue was easy.

The ceremony and reception locations have trees that reminded Loz of Hawaii, and both events were overlooking the ocean, something that we both adore. We live literally 3 mins walking distance from where we got married and celebrated, so we walk past our ‘ceremony tree’ every morning with our dogs, it is a beautiful daily reminder of that moment in our lives.

We went with a relaxed tropical theme, natural earthy greenery and native florals always make people feel good inside. Our no rules policy let people feel free to be themselves. We wanted the event to leave a minimal footprint on the earth and limit waste while being effortless and beautiful. We live in subtropical weather and we were married in early August (which is in the middle of winter). We had the weather of a beautiful fresh summer day, so it was lovely that people got to wear Tropical smart casual and the natives and greenery lasted in the warm winter weather.

We did a few DIY projects in the lead up to the wedding day. We had set the intention of spending the most on ensuring our guests had awesome food, bountiful drinks and brilliant music to dance to. For ourselves, we wanted a beautiful ceremony, epic photos and stress-free fun. We were both dedicated to paying for our day completely and not going into our marriage with any debt, and we rocked it!

I made our macramé ceremony backdrop, because it means so much to have it hanging in our home, knowing that we became a family in front of it.

We made our flower bouquets ourselves, we got them in big lush bunches from a local farm and fashioned them with the help of Pinterest.

Sarina (M.O.H) and her partner Alec are draftsperson/building designers so they made our giant Jenga and her dad made our corn hole game. We set up and packed down the venue ourselves, hiring only what would increase comfort and beauty but not going OTT.

When it came to finding the perfect outfit Lauren tried on lots and lots of dresses, nearly going for a black floor-length dress at one stage. The moment she stopped trying on dresses, she found her Tokito outfit; a navy jacket, navy pants and a gorgeous white cami. Lauren felt beautiful and her whole face lit up.

I knew that I wanted to have a long-sleeved, separate boho outfit. I love the achievements of Jane Lu ‘the Lazy Ceo’ (Showpo) so I chose the ‘thinking of you’ white lace crop, that had zip and tassel tie back details and got a flowy bridal skirt from a local wedding business.

We got our shoes together in town, Loz’s dark tan heels with front zip detail tied in beautifully with her jacket buttons and navy coloured outfit and I got dance-worthy nude platforms because she was already taller than me before her heels and I wanted comfort + boho fun.

Our ceremony honoured the traditional owners of Australia, which is really important to us, and our celebrant did space clearing with white sage of the ceremony location. We did a group affirmation toast, meaning our guests all married into supporting our relationship through all our seasons of life.

The day of the wedding we did a sunrise nude photo shoot. It was the most fun and memorable way to kick off our big day, it was a perfect sunrise, there were dolphins dancing in the waves and we had so much.

We were so excited about the day ahead, but it gave us alone time to be real, raw and mindful of all we have created and all we have to look forward to.

Guests loved the local Bargara Brewery beers at the ceremony and it felt so good to support local. The amazing vegan catering was embraced and loved by everyone and was beyond delicious. Everyone dancing into the wee hours of the morning and the ‘circle of love’ our guests did around us made us feel so loved and united.

Photography Banjo Loves Dixie | Catering Green Street Foods | Ceremony Venue Neilson Park, Bargara | Celebrant Marlene Butteriss | DJ & MC Chris McGregor | Rings Micheal Hill | Flowers The Lettuce Patch | H&MU Chantelle Crowley, Jessica McKee | Reception Venue Bundaberg SLSC | Wedding Favours Bargara Brewing Company | Outfits I Love Showpo, Tokito Jadore