casual byron bay wedding

Larissa & Rayne

I love tradition and I love ritual, but I am also a big fan of a wedding where you ditch the things that don’t feel right and embrace what you love. Which is exactly what Larissa and Rayne chose to do for their simple Byron Bay wedding. No aisle, no first dance  but a big focus on celebration with those that they love the most. Luminarie Photography by Wendy Chung was there to capture it all.

Rayne tells the story of how he proposed. “Half way through our eight-month overseas trip, we found ourselves in Casco Veijo – an old picturesque part of town in Panama City. It was Valentines Day, we had just had an amazing dinner at The American Trade Hotel, and the mood was right. A man in a white tuxedo was playing a grand white piano in the background, which set the tone for what I was about to do next. When I dropped to one knee it somewhat caught us both off-guard, but we both knew it was meant to be. Larissa agreed to the proposal on the condition that I swiftly return from the ground.”

groom getting ready in byron bay

green and berry boutonniere.

bride getting ready in byron

bride with loose curlsbride in Carla Zampatti

Larissa accessorised her Carla Zampatti gown with jewels from Samantha Wills, remembering, “The dress was a simple, white crêpe dress from Carla Zampatti – I lucked upon it as soon as I started dress shopping. It wasn’t what I had originally thought I’d choose, however once I tried it on, I just loved its simplicity and elegance, and it was incredibly comfortable.”

groom in pale blue pantsgroom in navy blazer pale blue pants

Larissa & Rayne chose to meet before the ceremony for photographs.

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bride and groom in byron forest

amaranthus wrist corsage

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Of their photographer, Larissa and Rayne note,  “Our photographer, Wendy Chung, understood exactly what we were looking for and produced a spectacular spread of photos beautifully capturing the day. Having chosen to get our couple photos done before guests arrived for the ceremony, Wendy only had a small window of time once we were dressed and ready to go to work her magic with us, and managed to whiz us around to a number of locations and get so many fantastic shots whilst making two very camera shy and awkward people feel completely relaxed and have fun!”

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Larissa and Rayne chose Secret Garden, Byron Bay for their wedding, telling, “The ceremony and reception were both at the same venue – Secret Garden. We loved it as soon as we saw it – it had a great indoor space that spilled out into a garden that felt like someone’s back yard – casual, beautiful trees planted in a way that created various nooks and experiences in the backyard, and some really funky features – an old, painted bus; an old timber row boat that acted as a drinks cooler; old bird cages…if felt really fun and informal.”

floral chandelier

The ceremony space had one decoration- a “flower ball” made by the couple.

groom watching bride walk down the aisle

The ceremony had no processional and was kept completely casual, the couple noting, “Our ceremony was pretty informal and brief – we’d made a decision to keep to short and sweet to devote as much time as possible to our guests, many of whom had traveled a fair distance to be there to celebrate with us. Our ceremony took place in a corner of the garden under a tree, and everyone gathered around us – neither of us are all that comfortable in the spotlight, so keeping it casual and relaxed meant that both of us didn’t too nervous with all the eyes on us and could relax and enjoy the moment.”

bride wear Carla Zampatti gowngroom at byron bay wedding

wedding ceremony in byron bay

byron bay ceremony

Kerry Nijam officiated the proceedings, Larissa and Rayne remembering, “We kind of goofed up the ceremony: we hadn’t done a rehearsal, as we had thought if would all be pretty straight forward – after all, we had kept the ceremony short and sweet. However we were both clueless about the sequence of proceedings: Rayne had my ring on my finger well before he was supposed to, which set me off giggling until the end of the ceremony; I struggled to get Rayne’s ring on his finger; and at the end the clasp on the back of my dress broke as I was given a great big hug and the back of my dress flew open.

But our celebrant was such a champ and helped us fumble through it – the three of us were standing up there in front of everyone giggling most of the way through!”

bride wearing wrist corsage

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bride hugging guest

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The newlyweds note, “The thing we valued the most about our wedding day was having our loved ones there to celebrate with, and keeping the formalities to a minimum so that we could just relax and enjoy hanging out with our friends and family.”

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The couple added sweet botanical touches to the reception. “We made succulent centre pieces potted in concrete pots we made, as well as candles and the concrete pots they sat in; we also made our invitations and the seating charts.”

succulent wedding decor

“We just wanted to keep everything simple – raw timber tables, succulent centre pieces in concrete pots, candles in concrete pots. The garden and indoor spaces themselves are fantastic so we really didn’t need to do anything to dress it up. We wanted to keep the table settings as paired back as possible and felt the raw timber tables and concrete planted greenery complimented the venue really well.”

secret garden byron bay reception

Olive & Luca were a dream vendor on the day. “Olive and Luca handled all the food and drinks on the day, and Jo acted as a wedding planner, organising all the other vendors and setup and some of the finer details. All the food was incredible, as were their staff, and Jo did a such a great job of making the lead up fun and stress free, and pulling off a seamless party on the day. Both Rayne and I could completely relax and enjoy ourselves knowing our photography, food and drink and running of the day were in the very capable hands of these two.”

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“The speeches blew our minds – everyone had the most incredibly kind and thoughtful words, brought back beautiful memories of growing up together. It just made us both feel so incredibly special and blessed to have such beautiful souls in our lives.”

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byron bay wedding dance

There was no first dance, but you can bet there was a dance floor! Larissa noting, “We loved seeing so many friends and family, even the most unlikely, letting loose on the dance floor – which couldn’t have happened without Andrew’s (of  Quintrixx Productions) impeccable music selection!”

dancing in byron bay

Congratulations Larissa and Rayne! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Luminarie Photography by Wendy Chung for sharing today’s wedding.