Kate & Dion
If there was a checklist when it comes to Byron Bay weddings, it would have to be bright blooms, beautiful, whimsical details, a totally relaxed vibe and a couple who can’t take their eyes off one another. And if there ever was a couple to fit this mould? It’s Kate and Dion! “Our theme was LOTS of colour, summery and fun! ” explains Kate. “Our dress code was Smart Summer Colour- so everyone turned up in bright bold colours and it just made the day that much happier! We still get comments from our guests that it was the best wedding they have ever attended. The weather on the day was amazing and the vibes were high from start to finish.”
Born and bred in New Zealand, these two first crossed paths while they were both on holiday in Bali, Kate fills us in on their story. “We met in Bali, both of us are originally from NZ but we didn’t know each other back home there.
I (Kate) lived in Byron Bay and was in Bali on a girls trip. Dion was in Bali for the season to surf before heading over to WA to work.
We bumped into each other a couple of times on the street before introducing ourselves in a bar. From that night on, we spent the rest of our trip together. I then headed back to Byron, Dion over to WA where we kept in touch every day. We both decided we wanted to make a go of things (and long-distance wasn’t an option for me!) so I put the hard word on Dion – Me or the job!. Two weeks later he moved to Byron. That was eight years ago now.”
Being beach lovers, it completely sounds appropriate for Dion to have popped the question in Hawaii. Kate telling “I had just finished up working a Summer on the Big Island in Hawaii and Dion came over to visit and have a holiday with me. I actually thought he was going to pop the question when he took me up Mauna Kea ( a Volcano on the Big Island) however he totally tricked me and dropped the knee when I least expected it. We were on the North Shore (pipeline beach) and it was raining, so we decided to take a couple of bevvies down to the beach to watch the sunset.
We found shelter under a permanent beach tent and the rain began to clear. We were chatting away & next thing Dion was down on one knee and presented me with THE MOST beautiful engagement ring that he had designed for me. I was super surprised and the happy tears flowed! It was so perfect, Hawaii will always be a special place for us.”
Starting the day with her mum and favourite friends is what set Kate up for a brilliant day – and a morning she will always remember. She tells “I really loved getting ready together with my Mum and my girlfriends. My mum and I spent the morning together and both had our hair and makeup done. Byron Bay locals Erin Hazledine was my make up artist and Amy Perkins Heartfire Collective did my hair. They both made Um and I look and feel a million bucks! And we had the best time laughing and chatting together.”
The bride found her dream gown at Grace Loves Lace, pairing it with a veil from Made With Love. She shares “I choose the “Dominique” gown from Grace Loves Lace. I had seen it online before and just loved the classic cut. It made me feel so elegant and it was super easy to move around in.
I went to their Gold Coast showroom with my best friend to try a few of their gowns. I think I tried 5 or 6 on and we both agreed that the Dominique was the one- we both cried when I came out in it!
I wore a cathedral veil from Made with Love Bridal- it was so beautiful and complimented my gown. I’ve actually lent it to two of my good friends to wear at their weddings.”
Kate and Dion chose Harvest Newrybar for their wedding, both loving the venue as their favourite place for a weekend sojourn, Kate sharing “Harvest was a no brainer from the start. It’s somewhere that is very special to us. We have gone there almost every weekend for the past 7 years for coffee and caramel doughnuts. It’s set in an old Queenslander with a bakery and Deli. The buildings are awesome and the gardens stunning. It was great to find somewhere we could have the ceremony and reception in the one place. We were the first couple to turn the restaurant area into a dance floor, usually, the old bakery is where the dancing happens.
Another reason Harvest was our top pick was because we also wanted somewhere that provided everything from the staff, cutlery and plates to clean up the next day. DIY wasn’t really something we wanted to do, the thought of having to return with friends to a venue the next day to clean up (with hangovers most likely!) was not appealing at all!
The staff, food, and drinks were exceptional. Again we still have guests raving about how good the Margaritas and food were!”
The stunning floral arbour, styled by Nikau Store became the focal point for the day, explains Kate. “I’m a total flower nerd (if I have a career change, I want to be a florist!) and I was super lucky that my good friend Nikki owns Nikau Store in Byron Bay. She is the most incredible, creative person who can really put together your vision (and she’s a total legend and fellow Kiwi!).
I knew from the start that I wanted Nikki to be the flower boss and that I wanted pops colour – purple, mustard, pink, red, greens and she totally nailed the brief! Actually, it was wayyyy beyond my expectations! When I walked down the aisle to see the arbour I was gobsmacked! It was incredible. And my bouquet was so special – coral peonies, slutty red roses (ha), mustard roses, purple bougainvillea, orchids and more. My Nana had made a handkerchief and sewed pearls from my Mum’s wedding dress onto it, which I attached to the bottom of my bouquet. To our surprise, the girls actually carried our arbour up a flight of stairs to the reception area – so when we returned from our photos, it was there for us to sit under when the speeches were happening.
I put total trust in Nikki and Nicole from Nikau, I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.”
May The E.K was the star of the show, transporting the bride to the wedding in utter style. She explains “My girlfriends joined us at lunchtime for some bubbles and to calm the nerves before heading off in the cutest car ever – May!. We made sure we did a lap of Byron with the 60’s tunes blasting and windows down hehe. My Dad rode in the front and my besties rode in the back with me.”
“My Dad walked me down the aisle, he was so chuffed! ” tells Kate of her walk down the aisle, with her father to Boy & Bear’s cover of Crowded House’s “Fall At Your Feet”.
Kate and Dion chose Dion’s suit from Joe Black. The bride noting “He chose to wear a 100% wool blue suit by Joe Black, a crisp, long sleeve white shirt and a Milano brown felt hat. He had his hair out and opted not to wear a tie.
He had tried on a few different suits but kept coming back to blue. It fits in with the theme of our wedding and it was something he could wear again to other events.”
Kate and Dion chose Katrina Holt of Wonderlove” to officiate their ceremony, which surprisingly for them both, turned out to be their very favourite moment of it all. Kate remembers “We weren’t expecting the ceremony to be the highlight of our day- but it really was. It had ALL the feels!
Our celebrant Katrina was absolutely the perfect fit for us. She took the time to get to know us and our love story. She delivered a ceremony that suited our laid back style with just the right amount of laughs, tears and love.
Dion and I wrote our own vows and included both of our Mums to present the rings. Dion had his best friend sign the marriage certificate while I had my Nanna sign.”
“Our first kiss as husband and wife under our arbour is a stand out the photo” says Kate. “All of the colours and the light make it look like we are in some sort of tropical, colourful wonderland. It’s special to us too because everyone was cheering and yahooing so loudly at the time. We walked back up the aisle to ‘C’mon Now’ by John Butler Trio- that really kicked the party off!.”
One of the many traditions Kate and Dion opted out of was a wedding party, Kate explains why. “We figured all of our close friends will be with us on the wedding day and would help during the process. At the end of the day, we just wanted to see each other at the altar, not our friends (who we see every week anyway!)”
One of my favourite parts of this day? The family-orientated touches these two included. “My pop had passed away a year before the wedding and it was important for us to have something of his on the day. So Dion carried Pop’s handkerchief in his suit pocket. I also wore my Mum’s garter and had a handkerchief my Nan had knitted with pearls from my Mum’s wedding dress attached to it, in my bouquet.”
“Jess from Wilde Visual is next level amazing” raves Kate of the couple’s chosen photographer. “I am a big fan of her work. I had worked with her a few years ago on a shoot and she’s the kind of girl you just want to go and have a beer with! It was truly like having a good friend follow you around with a camera all day ( but not in a creepy way!).
She was super professional and even sent a couple of pictures to us the morning after the wedding. She makes these amazing mini clips (to the music of your choice) that capture all the keys part of your day in a minute. I am so glad we added this onto our package, I’ve watched the video 100’s of times.”
“Everyone, seriously everyone was a standout” remarks the bride of the couple’s chosen vendor team. “But I must say the team at Harvest made the day. Their staff, service, food and drinks were exceptional. And Sam & Kelsy ,our event co-ordinators, made sure the day flowed effortlessly.
We choose to go as local as possible with all of our vendors. This made planning so much easier as we didn’t have to travel far for meetings etc. We even met our celebrant for a beer at the local pub to discuss our ceremony.”
These two really embraced their wedding planning process, filling the moments with all kinds of joy. “Dion and I really enjoyed sitting down together and chatting about ideas – I guess that mindset carried over and showed on our Wedding day too. We wanted to split our speeches into two parts, so guests didn’t lose their mojo having to sit through a bunch of speeches at once. So we had our MC (my best friend, Duane) our Dads and my Brother speak first. Then after a few cocktails, we let our close friends get up and spill the beans on a few things! I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.”
In keeping with the Byron vibes, the couple took to the dance floor to the sounds of Angus & Julia Stone, noting “Our music was all Australian. We choose “Nothing Else” by Angus and Julia Stone for our first dance I had made a pact with Dion that I would only change my last name if he did a first dance (he hates dancing and I originally wanted to keep my maiden name).
We did try and practice a few spins and dips in our living room before the day. It is quite a slow song so as soon as it was over, we blasted Chameleon by Pnau to get the dance floor started right away! It was a hit and everyone was dancing right up until the end!”
And along with those photographs? Wilde Visual also captured this beautiful film of the day unfolding.
Congratulations to you both Kate and Dion! What a beautiful honour it was to share your day! Thank you to the crew at Wilde Visual for sharing today’s beautiful images with us.