Hollie & Will

Hello Tuesday and hello romance! We’re all about the chic, dreamy Byron Bay vibes today for the wedding of Hollie & Will, thanks to the crew of Bird and Boy Photography. The stunning hinterland the most gorgeous golden backdrop for a day that was full of champagne cork popping, beautiful blooms, brilliant sunshine and a first dance that knocked the socks off every single guest.

It was Anzac day when Hollie and Will first met. “We are both in the Air Force and met through a mutual friend Kate on Anzac Day.
Will had done basic training with Kate, and after finishing Medic training Kate worked with me as a Medic.
We were all dancing together on Anzac Day when Kate introduced us. At the end of the night, Will asked for my number to take me out on a date. He looked familiar to me but I couldn’t place him.
On our first date, I realised that I had met him before that Anzac Day when he was one of my patients in the clinic! I knew he looked familiar!
Apparently, he had been eyeing me off for months at the gym but was too shy to come and say hi!
It’s with big thanks to Kate that we are now husband and wife! The first date clearly went well!”

This proposal story is right up my alley – because it revolves around cheese! Hollie tells the tale. “I was about to deploy to Kabul, Afghanistan so Will booked a cheese and wine festival for our fourth anniversary and one of our last dates before I was to head off for 6 months.
After buying two eskies worth of delicious cheese, we went for a walk around the grounds of the vineyard to get some happy snaps selfies to reflect on whilst we were apart. We walked to a lush part of the grounds that was private (and also private property) and just after being told to get off the property by security, Will dropped to one knee….he had to prompt me for my answer and ask me to drop the eskies of cheese so he could put the ring on my finger…I don’t even remember what he said, I was so shocked and the memory is a bit of a blur! Best day ever though! (other than the wedding!)”

Will and his groomsmen wore pieces from Scotch & Soda. Hollie notes “Will wanted a blue-ish jacket but not matching pants. So he went for a Scotch and Soda jacket with cream coloured chinos and a white long-sleeved collared shirt. He had personalised socks from a store on Etsy and brown leather shoes and a brown leather belt. He wanted to be comfy and feel himself. Matchy-matchy is not his thing!”

Hollie found her Made With Love gown at  Lily Grace Bridal. “I spent a long time looking at inspo for dresses and always kept coming back to Made With Love Bridal. Their dresses were exactly my vibe…not overdone or underdone….just the perfect mix of boho and elegance. I loved so many of them that it took me a few tries of a few different dresses to find the perfect one but as soon as I put on Carla by MWL on, I was IN LOVE. She was perfect! I initially wanted a crisp Ivory Crepe dress but ended up with a 3D lace bone coloured dress!
My experience was AMAZING! I worked with Sally at Lilly Grace Bridal at the Entrance NSW, a stockist of MWL and she is a very special human being. She was so patient with me and went above and beyond to help me find my perfect dress. We are still friends now which is special.”

Byron Bay venue The Earth House hosted Hollie & Will’s ceremony and reception. Hollie says “The Earth House is a stunning venue with plenty of perfectly manicured grass, beautiful gardens, a view to die for and an amazing packed earth building with huge verandah. We married underneath the historical fig tree overlooking the views of the hinterland.

The venue is in a quiet part of Clunes just outside of Bangalow – it’s private and beautiful.
It was awesome to be able to stay in one place for both the ceremony and reception. It meant we could maximise on the time spent with our family and friends and also make the most of the beauty that is the Earth House.”

Hollie & Will made sure to pay homage to their lost loved ones, sharing “For all the people that we love who are now angels in heaven, we framed photos of them which sat on seats at the ceremony. Later in the day, they were moved to watch over the festivities inside. We also had family overseas that were unable to come so we Skyped them in for the ceremony so they could be included.”

Says Hollie “The only traditions we kept was keeping the dress a secret, not staying together the night before and not seeing each other before walking down the aisle. Other than that we just did what we wanted to do!”

For her walk down the aisle, Hollie remembers “We had our good friend Sam play ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’. He played the tunes on the ukulele and sang the lyrics amazingly! On the way back down the aisle as ‘officially’ husband and wife, we danced down to Fall, by the Presets…one of our favourite songs from when we first started dating. My dad walked me down the aisle. It was really special. He was super chuffed.”

Hollie and Will chose Benjamin Carlyle to officiate their wedding, telling “It was short, sweet and perfect. We wanted a minimal but beautiful feel to it. The Earth House is so beautiful all on its own, so we wanted to allow the natural beauty to be forefront and just add a few florals and some glammed up humans to complete the look.
For the wedding overall, we wanted it to feel more fun and less formal. We chose the best celebrant in the world – Ben Carlyle, and he helped us turn the ceremony dream into a reality. He was funny and captivating and made the experience personal rather than feel scripted. There were laughs, tears and cheers and it was raw and personal. Absolutely perfect for us. People still comment on our celebrant now….he made a huge impact!”

“Bird and Boy…oh my goodness…where do we start!!!??? ” says Hollie of her and Will’s choice of a photographer. “Before the wedding, we opted to do an engagement shoot, purely to get a feel of being in front of a camera. This was the best decision we made. It allowed us to iron out the insecurities about getting photos taken but also to build a relationship with Jerome and Maddi before the wedding.
The Bird and Boy team were absolutely amazing! They capture perfection, candid and raw moments. These are the type of photos we wanted most. Posing awkwardly is not something we wanted to do.
They were there from the beginning of the day all the way through to end. They’re right there all the time, but you don’t even notice. They let you do your thing and capture all the special moments in the rawest way. They know what they’re doing so if there is something they know will look great – you do it! Whether it was break into dance in the middle of a paddock of cows or pop bottles of champagne during a gush of wind, crank up the music to initiate an awesome car dance or take over the wood fire pizza van to flip some dough…you do it. They’re always right!!!!
Sam and Jerome were so great to have there on the day…it felt like we were just hanging out with our mates celebrating our big day – but they were capturing all of it on film.”

The beautiful blooms on the day were styled by Alstonville Florist Weddings. “I chose Kerry from Alstonville Florist to make our day beautiful” notes the bride. “I sent through some inspo from Pinterest and together we came up with arrangements we were going to use on the day. I wanted minimal but beautiful.

I wanted a lot of white with hints on latte, brown, dusty pink and deep green. She put together an amazing two-piece arrangement for the ceremony backdrop (turned photo booth backdrop), there girls’ bouquets, boy buttonholes and arrangements for the tables and bar.”

“It all came together more perfectly than the picture in our heads, so it’s hard to pick a single detail we love the most” notes Hollie. “What was the most special, was that all our friends and family all over Australia, New Zealand and the UK were able to be there to party with us. It’s the one party in your life that all people you love come together to celebrate… it’s just the best!!!!!”

“We did very very minimal DIY” remarks Hollie. “The plan was to DIY a lot of the decorations initially but as I got into planning and researching I decided against the DIY.
It was going to be expensive and time-consuming! It seemed like a much better idea, in the end, to support small businesses on Etsy and hire most things from local Byron wedding suppliers. We’re so glad we did it that way.”

Hollie and Will chose Frank & Joy to help them plan and bring their day together. “We wanted our day to be Cocktail style with plenty of seating. Minimalist boho chic with lots of white, dusky pink and rattan. Flecks of gold and blue. Relaxed vibe with loads of fun and with scents of vanilla and caramel.”

Hollie’s tips for those still to walk down the aisle? “Set a budget….it’s really really easy to spend a lot of money on your wedding. Do your research. Communicate openly with your vendors. Remember, these are the people who know weddings, they know what works and what doesn’t, let them do their thing.
Have fun on the day! It goes so quickly! Be present and enjoy the moment – months to years of planning is over in a matter of hours, so make sure you enjoy it! And, get a videographer!!!!”

The first dance was an utter surprise for Hollie & Will’s guests. “Our first dance was something different….and we loved it! We danced to a song called ‘Call on Me’ by Starley.
About six weeks out from the wedding we started taking dance classes at Rosanna’s Dance Academy in Brisbane. We wanted to do a hip hop dance for our first dance…we didn’t want to opt-in for the bridal waltz or slow dance. We took about four lessons and practised a lot in our dining room at home. It was so much fun and our guests LOVED it! We hadn’t told anyone about our dance idea so everyone was shocked and amazed. It was probably one of my favourite parts of the wedding! The dance….that was the favourite. It was such a great bonding process for us. We had so much fun – it was made even more fun because it was a secret. We didn’t have a single argument about it either! It was relatively stress-free.”

A big congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for sharing your day with us. Thank you also to Bird and Boy Photography for sharing today’s imagery!