Jelena & Carl

For Jelena and Carl’s wedding, it could simply be described, in the words of the groom himself as Relaxed, sophisticated, botanical, cultural and full of love” And that it was. A traditional a church ceremony offering a moment of reflection, flower-filled marquee inviting guests to celebrate.

The Byron Bay Issue is all about weddings that celebrate not just the stunning Hinterland location, but also the effortless, chic style. The relaxed vibe that just somehow comes together beautifully. Jelena and Carl’s wedding no doubt ticks all the boxes, and is the best kind of distraction for your week, alongside the beautiful imagery from the pros at Cloud Catcher Studio.

The pair, who met on a night out many years ago, have quite the story to share, not just of how they met, but of how they became engaged, Jelena explaining “Carl proposed at Broken Head, Byron Bay. It was the late afternoon and Carl told me he wanted to go to Broken Head headland before dinner (because he was getting restless and our dinner reservation was a while away).

When we got to the lookout I was snapping away and just taking it in when Carl came up behind me and started hugging me. At that moment I pretended to knee him in his private area (a little personal joke)… I came to regret it because straight after he said ‘don’t do that, I want to be able to have kids with you one day’ and he proceeded to get down on one knee. He pulled out the ring and I sobbed so much I gave myself a headache (a surprising reaction).

His actual proposal plan was to bike ride to Broken Head, suddenly stop and whine about a ‘faulty’ wheel and then get down on one knee (very much my style of proposal haha). It didn’t go to plan for him but it was still amazing nonetheless.”

Jelena and Carl chose four sweet flower girls on the day. “We had four flower girls and two-page boys who are the best little people you’ll ever meet”, who gifted the bride something very unexpected. “My flower girls gave me the sweetest gift on the day of the wedding. It was a pendant with small little trinkets that they chose to put inside it e.g. C&J letters, an infinity symbol etc. I pinned it to my bouquet and was asked so many questions about it!”

Let’s talk about Jelena’s amazing gown, it’s a creation by Brisbane designer Darb Bridal Couture. The bride explaining “When we locked in the date, we had 7-8 months to plan the wedding, so I knew I didn’t have much time to get something sorted. I knew what I wanted in the overall shape of the dress, but I was open to a lot of different fabric options. The first dress I tried on was in Brisbane and I loved it but I didn’t want to rush into it, so mum and I booked a girls’ trip to Sydney and tried a few more down there. There were a few I loved but I came back home knowing my heart was set on the first dress I tried on (I surprisingly cried, again).

The thing I loved the most was the hands-on experience I had with Brad from Darb Bridal. I could not recommend him and his talent enough. The dress ended up being perfect for the day – not too serious, a little undone (raw hem on each layer of the pleated silk) and SO COMFORTABLE.”

Jelena & Carl chose St Kevin’s Catholic Church for their traditional ceremony.

Carl chose a beautiful linen suit for the day by Wil Valor. “Carl knew he didn’t want a traditional suit and had always been leaning towards a linen suit that’s a little less formal and little different. We went to Wil Valor in Brisbane and he had a suit made in dark green linen. The colour really suited his skin tone and he looked extremely suave if I do say so myself.”

Jelena remembers “My dad (shout out to dad who looked super stylin’ in his custom Croatian made suit) walked me down the aisle. We had a string trio play Pachelbel – Canon in D.”

The ceremony was a calm and emotional moment for Jelena and Carl, the bride explains this was very intentional. “The day before, the priest told us that the ceremony is just for us – it is just our moment to embrace and the reception is for everyone else. Although we had the time of our lives partying, the priest was right. We honestly can’t remember anything else but each other at that moment. Carl says that if he could go back to any moment, it would be when he saw me walking down the aisle (cute as).”

Jelena and Carl made small, and beautiful gestures to honour not only their guests but tradition.  “In Croatian tradition, wedding guests get pinned with a sprig of rosemary tied with a red, blue and white bow. The weekend before the wedding my maid of honour, flower girls and cousins were sewing 150 bows for the rosemary springs (that came from my cousin’s garden). It was surprisingly fun!”

Once the formalities were over, guests headed to Hinterland House for celebrations, a venue Jelena and Carl fell in love with, at first sight, sharing “We had decided on Hinterland House as soon as we viewed it. It was perfect in regards to its beauty, history, location and proximity to a/the church. It was a no brainer.”

“Having all our family and friends together in one spot was the best – especially when there were so many people there who travelled so far to be with us” reminisces Jelena.

Jelena and Carl adored their photographers, raving “Cloud Catcher are THE BEST! They’re probably sick of us telling them, but they made us feel so comfortable and we really felt like ourselves. Even our guests loved their energy. If you want non-posey, candid and beautiful photos, they are your gals.”

Jelena and Carl chose Fig Tree Byron Bay to cater their wedding, choosing a grazing table, and cocktails before a decadent sit down dinner. The bride adds “The food, drinks and music was really important to us so we had a lot of fun picking it all out. We just wanted everyone to have LOTS of food, drink, comfort and music and that’s exactly what happened. We wanted to make sure everyone was very well looked after I also loved the styling aspect of it – it’s so easy to go overboard haha.”

Guests were gifted jars of local honey from Hinterland Honey Byron Bay.

The flowers were such a standout part of this day, the lush blooms styled by Bower Botanicals. “Bower Botanicals did all the flowers for the day and I could not recommend them enough” notes Jelena. “They nailed the brief which was initially ‘sticky and drippy’ aka. architectural floral arrangements as well as florals that had a ‘dripping’ effect. We chose a colour scheme, a few key flowers and then we let them do their magic.”

The first dance, an utterly romantic and retro favourite, Bryan Adam’s “All For Love”. The bride remembers “We tried to dance the weekend before the wedding and we were so bad, we couldn’t even sway side to side with each other. Carl was mortified, so we booked 3 quick dance classes the week of the wedding. It ended up being so fun and on the night we broke a few (a lot) of rules.”

A big congratulations to you both Jelena and Carl! How wonderful to share your stories! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us and thank you also to Cloud Catcher Studio for today’s beauty filled images,