Belinda and Joseph

Sparkly shoes never fail to win me over and when paired with a bubbly bride who pours out her wedding story with such fun, well I can barely resist! This gorgeous Grafton wedding seems just right for today and with the vibrantly colourful and fun reception – it’s packed full of fun, relaxed inspiration!

Belinda and Joseph have known each other all their lives (how romantic) Belinda tells the story of their romance. “Our parents have known each other for decades, and we spent most of our childhood living around the corner from each other. We have always been friends and in a similar social circle, but Joe was really good friends with my brother, and it never occurred to us that we could be anything more than friends. I moved “home” to Yamba around six years ago after university, living abroad, working in Sydney. And Joe followed a similar pattern four years ago. We kissed for the first time Christmas Eve 2007, after hanging out as friends on Joe’s return. And that was really it. I knew instantly that it was something really special.”

Elisse Hassey is today’s photographer. Didn’t she do a lovely job of capturing the spirit of the day? The shoe photos were the first ones I saw and I love how Elisse captured those little beauties!

Belinda (owner of Belinda’s Store in Yamba and Grafton) chose glittery Kate Spade heels for her wedding day along with a Johanna Johnson gown. In the days before the wedding, Belinda spent time with close family and friends. “Spending the time with family and friends setting up the hall a few days before the day. That was such a lovely time. Drinking cups of tea, eating chocolate cake, and really just enjoying seeing everything evolve, and all the months of dreaming form into reality.”

Belinda carried a bouquet of “Baby’s Breath by Annette of Annette’s Flowerworld.”

Belinda and Joseph were married in a traditional church. Belinda recalls “The ceremony was in the Christ Church Cathedral in Grafton (where my grandparents married), and then we popped our guests on a bus and took them twenty minutes out of Grafton to a teeny tiny town called Brushgrove. Surrounded by cane fields and paddocks. Very serene and picture perfect.” Belinda walked down the aisle to ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ Georg Friedrich Handel.

Joseph wore a suit from Baubridge and Kay with Country Road shoes.

The reception was held at Tyndale Hall. Belinda says “Originally we planned a marquee on the riverbank of Joe’s parents house. Then we had a flood in January, and we were concerned that it was going to flood again, and that it would be just too stressful. So, we started hunting for an old town hall to match the style of people that Joe and I are. I always wanted it to be a formal wedding (Dad loves wearing black tie), and I think it is appropriate as this is the most special occasion in your life, so it warrants it being a black tie event. On the flip side of that, I wanted to reception to be a relaxed, warm and happy atmosphere. Not stuffy or pretentious. We drove all over Grafton, South Grafton and surrounds. Then one day my sister suggested the hall at Brushgrove and from the moment we saw it we knew it was perfect. A blank canvas for the girls and I to work with.”

Belinda’s friend and colleague helped the day come to life. Belinda explains “The personal touches that come to life with the help of Anna Andrews (she works in my Grafton store) like the invitations, the cootie catchers, the order of service, the place settings etc are a special memory.”

Belinda says “Our guests were just overwhelmed with the way the hall looked. It was really conducive to everyone having a great time. My favourite part was the ceremony. I was quite concerned that I would be really anxious, but it was just a dream walking into that church with Daddy beside himself with pride. It was so exciting to see Joe waiting for me at the end of the aisle and I could not stop smiling. I shed a few tears when my dear friend sang a song that he had written for us called “My Sweet Season”.”

Belinda loved “The joy on our guest’s faces when they realised that what they were experiencing was personal and not done by a “stylist” or wedding co-ordinator.

Many details went into making the occasion unique and not a cookie cutter wedding. Hankie bunting, cootie catchers,orange place settings (which were double sided so the person opposite knew your name), marmalade tags – different facts about love and marriage and the symbolism of oranges, each table setting having a different set of vintage plates, the stage decorations, the pumpkins, the roses , blue gingham tablecloths, the card birds strung from the market umbrellas, the hay bale seating, the oyster-man shucking fresh oysters, Cosmopolitans, wine buckets, the fragrance when you walked in the hall.”

Belinda and Joseph hired caterers from Georgie’s Restaurant. Belinda says “Our caterers were amazing. Very calm, they listened to everything that I said leading up to the day and in the end the food was spot on. Mark and Judy Hackett who own Georgie’s Restaurant in Grafton. They were amazing.”

The couple hired Luke Vasella to perform all night. For the first dance, Belinda recalls “We danced our first dance as a married couple to U2 singing ‘Everlasting Love’. After that I changed into a Carla Zampatti cream silk cocktail dress, so that I could really dance the night away. As I re-emerged from the bathroom, Luke (the singer) started playing “You’re the one that I want” from the Grease soundtrack and Joe and I really carved up the dance floor. People even asked if we had choreographed the number, but no, we were just happy and excited!”

Congratulations Belinda and Joseph! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Elisse Hassey for sharing today’s photographs!