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Briana and Jono

Briana and Jono chose to have just their closest family an friends attend their wedding at stunning Byron Bay venue Deux Belettes Guesthouse. This allowed them to speak to each and every guest and spend plenty of time together. The day unfolded with rainy moments, a first look and an impromptu acoustic singalong to the Grease soundtrack, ending with the bride and groom diving into the guesthouse pool. A wedding so fun and unexpected doesn’t come around very often, Van Middleton capturing all the spontaneous moments!

Briana tells the tale of how they came to be. “We had met one another a couple of times through mutual friends. However, it wasn’t until we both found ourselves out one night with these same friends (who were all behaving a little suspicious) that we began to suspect a set-up. Turns out they were onto something!”

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Abbey Fancourt created the couple’s whimsical stationery and also created chalkboard signs.

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Bride Briana chose a Rachel Gilbert gown with shoes from Witchery and jewels by Samantha Wills.

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Briana and Jono met before the ceremony for photographs, Briana remembering, “Jono and I really wanted to see one another prior to the ceremony, so we had a ‘first look’ with our photographer. It was really magical to see each other for the first time with no one else around…. It definitely didn’t take away from the sentiment or excitement of walking down the aisle towards Jono! In fact it made the whole experience even better because we both felt so calm after seeing one another and were able to absorb everything that was happening during the ceremony.”

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On their decision to marry at Deux Belettes Guesthouse, Briana tells, “We had our ceremony and reception at Deux Belettes. It was an ideal location to hold the whole day; there are so many unique areas to have each aspect of the wedding, which has a major impact when ‘revealing’ new areas of the venue to the guests. The whole place has such a lovely vibe and was a beautiful backdrop for the photos as well! Minimal travel also made it easier for our guests (we chartered a bus there and back) and allowed us to spend the maximum time possible with them.”

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Briana walked down the aisle with her parents to a piece she had chosen long ago. She tells, “I chose a classical music piece called ‘Dear Frankie: Opening Title’ by Alex Heffes. I first heard this piece when watching the movie ‘Dear Frankie’ at 16 years old and decided that I would walk down the aisle to it one day!”

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The couple were married by Irena Kirpichnikova.

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The couple married under a beautiful floral arch created by White Ivy Design. Briana remarks, “Our florist, Janine, from White Ivy Design was amazing… I had been really excited to see how the flowers would turn out as they were a big feature of the day…However when I saw them in real life I was totally overwhelmed. Everything Janine does is incredible! She constructed a floral chandelier and ceremony arch for us on site as well as putting together the flowers for our tables. The flowers she used for the decorations and our bouquets were divine! She is a seriously talented lady (and an absolute pleasure to deal with).”

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Of their photographer, Briana tells, “We discovered Van Middleton Photography through a recommendation from a friend. The moment we looked through his work on his blog we knew we wanted him to photograph our wedding. When we traveled to the Gold Coast to meet Van and discovered how amazing and easygoing he was it reinforced our feelings that he was the man for the job. Van was an absolute dream to work with on the day. He was innovative in his ideas and subtle in his approach; I don’t remember noticing him too much throughout the day, but Van sure didn’t miss a single special moment. He went to great lengths to ensure his photos told a candid, honest story of our wedding day and was totally on board with our crazy ideas-like jumping on the pool at the end of the night! Plus he was really quick to get the photos back to us, which is always a bonus!!”

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On their decision for an intimate wedding, Briana notes, “Having a small number of guests meant that we were able to have a meaningful conversation with every single person at the wedding. It also meant that Jono and I were able to spend HEAPS of time enjoying the day together, instead of being apart mingling all night!”

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White bunny rabbits featured throughout the decor, paying homage to Briana’s childhood, she explains, “As a child I used to be called ‘bunny’ by my parents, and I’ve always thought of white rabbits as being quite lucky. Leading up to the wedding we curated a collection of white bunnies, which were featured amongst the table decorations and scattered around the venue.”

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Guests dined at one long table. “We all ate dinner at one large rectangular table. Because our families and friends mostly know one another it kind of felt like Christmas! It was noisy and full of laughter and people swapping seats all night, but it created such a lovely atmosphere.”

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Most of the decor was organised by Briana and Jono with Nicole Randall working on the day to ensure everything was set up and ran smoothly – also creating a sweet station for guest favors. Briana remembers, “We spent about 12 months slowly collecting an assortment of glass jars for the flowers and making decorations. We had a lot of help from the bridesmaids and my mum to make bunting, signs, chalk boards and tassel garlands. We also drove four carloads of furniture and decorations for the venue (Thank goodness for parents!), which our wedding co-ordinators set up and styled, alongside all of our hired furniture.

Due to the nature of the wedding venue we were in control of organising the caterers/menu/drinks, furniture hire, decorations, music etc. Because of this we were able to have a day that was completely suited to us. It was hard work (especially without a wedding planner), and I was lucky I had 12 months to get things organised, but it was definitely worth it. Our day was filled with nothing more than the people and things that we love.”

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“One of the greatest moments of the day, and something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life happened during dinner. The musician was playing an acoustic version of ‘You’re the One That I Want’ from Grease and the WHOLE table erupted into a spontaneous sing along. You can’t plan that kind of thing…It was incredible!”

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For their first dance, Briana says, “Jono chose the first dance song which was “Let’s Stay Together’ by Rev Al Green, played acoustically by our musician (Chris Byrne). Having live music added a lot to the atmosphere of the day… Our musician, Chris, is a really genuine and talented guy. Prior to the wedding he arranged for my dad to get up and play a few songs with him during the reception, which was really special”

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Congratulations on your marriage Briana and Jono! Thank you for sharing your story with us and thank you to Van Middleton for sharing today’s wedding with us!