Courtney & Damian

It was an Autumn day when Courtney & Damian celebrated their Byron Bay barn wedding. With a backdrop of rolling green hills, the duo said their vows with a vibe that was as relaxed and as intimate as the early morning yoga session the bride started the day with. Captured by Florido Weddings it was pure beauty from the moment the sun rose over the beach until it set over the hills.

The bride started the day on the beach, remembering “I organised for a friend to do a yoga session on the beach in the morning with all the women – it was so awesome to wake up, walk down and have a couple of hours just chilling with friends on the beach and doing something physical. Then we had coffee and breakfast at the Roadhouse.”

“I had the gorgeous Katie Reeve who’s the head of education and creative at Toni and Guy do my hair on the day – we’d worked together before and she has this great energy and works so well under pressure – a wedding was nothing compared to 20 models for a fashion show!”

The bride chose Strateas.Carlucci to make her wedding gown with a change into a Rachel Gilbert gown for the reception and a Bec and Bridge jumpsuit for dancing, She tells “I  was heading up the Australian Fashion Chamber (a peak industry body for fashion designers in Australia) so I picked a designer who I love from Melbourne – Strateas.Carlucci (two awesome boys whose work has enormous integrity and is designed, cut, finished beautifully always with a bit of edge to it.)

I also borrowed a dress from Rachel Gilbert for dinner and a Camilla and Marc white jumpsuit for dancing! I figured I’m in the industry so I should make the most of it!

I also asked all the guests to wear Australian design and support the industry.”

“We walked down the aisle together – we felt it was more us and no-one was really giving me away – but the Father of the Bride played the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” so in a creative way he gave away the bride through music.

When I lived overseas he played it to me on a ukulele one time and I just cried. He’s a great musician and it was a glorious day with that afternoon movie-star light flowing in.”

The couple chose a private property for their wedding, next door to where the bride grew up. “We chose Byron because that’s where I grew up but also because Damian loves it and we want to move back to live there at some point. It’s also breathtakingly beautiful and a good place for guests to be able to get accommodation and feel like they got a bit of a break too.

We were really lucky in that my parent’s old neighbours gave us their property to use – it’s not a wedding venue and they have refused subsequent requests. So it meant a lot to be looking out on a valley I tramped through as a kid and that was really magical for us.”

Imogen Guest officiated the ceremony, Courtney noting “We kicked off with an excerpt from the Shakespeare play – Much Ado About Nothing – which I suppose sounds a bit highfalutin but made everyone sit up and really enjoy the ceremony. We had a friend be our officiant and she threw in a few jokes, was perfectly serious in all the right moments and was perfect. She’s an amazing artist and really creative so she added a lovely feel in front of this magnificent backdrop of the valley.

Damian’s mum is from Chile so she also read a poem by the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.”

The couple made sure to give a nod to their background. “We had Damian’s mum there reading in Spanish. His dad is from Egypt so we also had a few little allusions to that like an Arabic chill tent with carpets and cushions behind the shed.”

Of their photographer, the bride remembers “Callie was born a day apart from my sister in the Byron hospital and was like a 2nd sister to me… so I knew her really well even though we don’t live in the same city together. I work in fashion so there were a few photographers I was sounding out but I love Callie’s work – it’s really creative and has a funky edge to it so it’s not just wedding and cheesy. She also has a fun professional attitude and worked so hard on the night to capture all the right moments while still looking like she had a bit of fun.”

Courtney remembers “We loved thinking about how made it a representation of us – thinking about the things we really cared about and how we could portray that in our wedding. I also loved the creative part of making things. We also both love to entertain our friends and make sure people have a great time – it was so cool to do this on a level we never have before…”

Courtney purchased blooms from Jumping Red Ant for the floral arrangements, noting “I got colourful bunches of roses for the tables from the Jumping Red Ant guys at the Byron Farmers markets  and then I got bunches of Gum foliage, White Proteas, Thistles (sea holly), Lisianthus, Columbian roses, Wax flowers, white filler flowers, and white snap dragons to make the guys’ pins, flower girls’ headpieces and bouquets which I did on the morning.”

The bride made little trinkets for the guests. “I’m a hobby ceramicist and I made 120 ceramic candles for everyone to take one home. I also did little ceramic name tags for everyone.”

The wedding was filled with Courtney & Damian’s favourite people “The bridal party included my sister (who I managed to get into a dress for a rare moment), and my close friends Cristina and Daisy. Cristina had just given birth to her first girl 5 weeks prior and lives in WA so made an awesome effort!

Damian had his three close mates – Jamie, Chris and Brent.

We also made our friend Lockie Harris the MC and had speeches by Amit Sign and Clare Penrose who were a big part of when we first got together.”

Food and wine were of huge importance to the couple, who chose Francisco’s Table to cater their event. The bride remarking “We had this Argentinian guy – Francisco’s Table who does these fun pop up lunches around the region. He always stands up at the beginning of the meal and talks about where the food is from and how it was put together. We really wanted that for our wedding to celebrate the good regional food. The mushroom gnocchi was unbelievable and people are still raving about it.

One of our friends is a wine wholesaler and he did the wine lists, bringing in all the bits of our life into the wine like a champagne from France where I studied and wine from Canberra where we met. He also walked through the characteristics and his methodology.”

“Damian’s speech was hilarious, made a bunch of people cry, talked about his mum coming out from Chile and what politics meant for her – I had so many people tell me it was the best they’ve heard – he had the tone, the timing everything down pat.”

Of the first dance, the bride tells “We chose Stand by Me which the Cuban guys had played when Damian proposed – it’s just the song that found us. We thought about a few others and we just kept on coming back to that one.”

Rusty Miller Music played all night, the bride remembering “We had the best band! Renee Simone is this awesome woman with Jamaican heritage who’s got so much groove in her you can’t keep up… she was on the dance floor herself and when the band packed up she turned into the DJ – so good!”

And then the dancing began! Says Courtney “We had Peppe an Italian pizza guy set up a wood-fired oven for around 10 pm just when everyone started getting hungry again (or before they got too drunk!) – that was a really good idea!”

Congratulations on your marriage Courtney and Damian! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us. Thank you also to Florido Weddings for sharing today’s gorgeous celebration!