If there is one thing we know about Byron Bay weddings (apt, of course during The Byron Bay issue) is that couples that choose Byron Bay weddings? They do their wedding their way. Take today’s lovers Charlotte & Todd, for example, who chose to have a tiny, little ceremony. Just them, their celebrant and their closest family. This was the moment that was most important to them, that they wanted to protect together, and then, once the official part of the day was over, their extended family and friends joined them, for an evening under the Byron Bay sky.

This was a wedding that was everything they wanted it to be. “Laidback, family-focused, with dinner and dancing under the stars.” And with photos by the Ivy Road Photography team, we can’t wait to bring their story to life.

It was on a holiday in Asia, that Charlotte & Todd first laid eyes on one another. “Todd and I met while travelling through South East Asia, in a small town only accessible by boat. I was living in NZ at the time and travelling with my best friend Alex, and Todd was living in Perth and was catching up with his American cousins in Thailand. We started chatting after his younger cousin almost urinated on a venomous cobra.”

And another holiday, led the groom to pop the question! “Todd had unofficially proposed on a trip to NZ but didn’t have a ring. When we returned to Australia we went on a road trip one weekend and stopped into Mavis’ for lunch and fell in love with the place and decided to lock it in as a wedding venue. The only problem was Todd didn’t want to tell people without a ring. He was determined to surprise me, given I already knew it was coming and managed to do so on one of our early morning hikes with our dog. It was 6.30 am, I was in my daggiest activewear and hadn’t brushed my hair… But it was perfect.”

Charlotte chose a chic gown by Chosen By One Day, noting “I knew very early on that I didn’t want to wear lace and I didn’t want a big dress. My mum came over to Brisbane from NZ and we had a week of trialling dresses on. In the end, I couldn’t choose and decided to pick two. One for the ceremony and one for the reception. My ceremony dress was the Byron gown from Chosen by One Day. I loved its simplicity and the fact it didn’t feel too tight or too revealing. The fabric was very flattering so no spanks required!”

Todd worked with Institchu on his neutrally styled look, telling “Todd decided to get a suit custom made from Institchu but was pretty open to what the suit looked like. His only requirements were no tie or bow ties. He also knew he wanted to be slightly different from the groomsmen so he ended up going with a light grey linen jacket, white shirt and dark navy pants with brown boots.”

“Shelley and her team from Ivy Road are infallible” tell the newlyweds of their photographer. ” Every photograph blows my mind. Our video from Yellowbull Media is also incredible and has probably been rewatched by us and family over a million times already.”

The day, in all it’s parts unfolded at Mavis’s Kitchen. Charlotte notes “We had the whole day at Mavis’ Kitchen as they have such a variety of stunning locations on their property. We had a private, family-only ceremony up the top of their hill looking out towards Wollumbin, then joined all our friends in the kitchen garden for canapes and croquet. Dinner was then under the stars overlooking the lake followed by dancing in the barn.”

Charlotte and Todd chose Benjamin Carlyle to officiate their ceremony, Charlotte noting “Our ceremony was an intimate, family-only affair which made it feel really special and helped us with our nerves as we both don’t like being centre of attention. We almost eloped months earlier so this was a nice compromise.”

“Everyone was amazing but our celebrant Benjamin Carlyle deserves special mention for setting the mood, making everyone feel comfortable and delivering the ceremony we had dreamed of.”

Charlotte and Todd worked with Charlotte Canning to style up arrangements of dried flowers for the day, Charlotte explaining “We have a general rule in our house that we don’t buy cut flowers so it seemed like a no brainer for us to use dried flowers. This way we could keep them afterwards and give bunches away to friends as mementos. I personally am also obsessed with Australian natives so that was a clear choice too. With the help of our amazing bridal party, we did all the flowers ourselves including the bouquets, ceremony installation, dinner tables and reception decorations.”

Charlotte and Todd made much of the decor themselves, sharing “Everything was done by ourselves with the help of our bridal party and parents, from the flowers to hand-painted signs, the napkins sewed by my mother in law, to the cheese tower made by my mum. We also had a lot of votives and candles donated to us after our friends’ wedding earlier in the year and spent a few weeks of op shopping with friends for things.”

There was plenty of honouring of cultural tradition for these two. “We wanted to make sure we had a traditional welcome to country before our ceremony to pay our respects to the land and traditional owners. My uncle was also our MC and incorporated some Maori proverbs in Te Reo into the reception which was really beautiful. The day felt like a beautiful mix of Australian and New Zealand customs and practices.”

For dinner and dancing, the bride changed to a sequined gown by Karen Willis Holmes. “My second dress was the Anya dress from Karen Willis Holmes that I had altered to have a lower back. All I can say about this dress is it’s the sequined activewear for brides and perfect for dancing the night away.”

 

Outdoor dining and roasting marshmallows were all part of Charlotte and Todd’s dream for the day. “We wanted to make sure we could be outside for the day, surrounded by nature as we love doing things outdoors. Dining at big long tables and toasting marshmallows in the fire were must-haves.”

And because we just can’t get enough of these two, we’re delighted to share this beautiful film YellowBull Media of the day.

A big congratulations to you both Charlotte and Todd! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thanks also have to go to Ivy Road Photography for sharing today’s beautiful imagery.