Alex & Ari
We’re always fascinated, by what a wedding pro chooses, when it comes, after hundreds of weddings, time to tie the knot. Today, we’re celebrating the wedding of Alex and Ari, the master behind wedding cinematographer co Keeper Films.
Inspired by the private AirBNB they hired for the day, this was a day filled with effortlessly cool, retro vibes. “We just wanted to reflect the Australian bush/beach landscape and fun Spanish vibes (my mum is Spanish so that helps)” tells Alex. “The brief ended up being: ‘Earthy and bright, with a 70s vibe’.” With yellow blooms, a ruffle worthy two-piece gown, handpainted signage and outdoor reception under festoon lights, this celebration completely meets all expectations and is so utterly the personality of Alex and Ari themselves.
These two? It seems history is in their favour, meeting in high school! It’s been eleven “pretty damn fun years” for the relationship now, which culminated in a Spanish proposal from Alex. Ari filling us in. “Alex proposed in Menorca, a little Spanish island. In typical laid back fashion, he waited until the last day of our holiday and found a random beach suggestion from the locals to propose. He claimed he needed a new profile picture and did a timed photo of the moment. It was perfect! I had also had a near-death experience the night before after having an allergic shellfish reaction, so he thought he better do it before it was too late.”
Beautiful Airbnb Casamio Surf Hacienda played host to the celebrations. “Casamio has been impeccably designed by the owners Ali and Vaughn, so we just wanted to reflect the Australian bush/beach landscape and fun Spanish vibes (my mum is Spanish so that helps). The brief ended up being: ‘Earthy and bright, with a 70s vibe’.
It’s such a magical spot and having everything contained in one area made it stress-free and allowed everyone to really relax. We also got so lucky with perfect weather, just after the worry of fires and floods.”
Beautiful blooms in hues of yellow were styled by Alice Beasley. Says Ari “Alice Rose Beasley was our florist. I couldn’t find another florist that matched what I had in my head as much! I wanted wildflowers and little bud vases for the 70s feel, rather than big bouquets and table settings. And she was so kind and willing to trek everything up to Crescent Head in the heat. The bouquets were particularly incredible!”
The couple ditched the idea of bridesmaids and groomsmen, instead asking their favourite people to just be with them on the day, says Ari “We didn’t have a really traditional wedding party, just our 15 best friends staying with us. My girls chose their own dresses – basing the colours off a picture I gave them of some fruit. I’m aware that sounds weird! It became a running joke before and on the day.”
Ari donned a two-piece gown, designed by L’eto Bridal. She remembers “I wanted something unique that was perfect for the look of the venue – different, really fun and easy to dance in, and with a 70s feel. I literally could not be happier with it! Anya from L’eto Bridal is the best.”
Ari walked down the aisle on the arm of her father to Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe”.
Festivities began with a beautiful outdoor ceremony officiated by Love is Love – Lake Macquarie. Ari shares “There is the most ridiculously beautiful Bloodwood tree on the property so we wanted to keep it simple – benches for our loved ones to sit on, a few rugs, and gorgeous wild-looking flowers by Alice. Both our mums wrote their own pieces to read out loud (my mum’s was a poem meets trivia creation and included the guests). One of our close friends, Mitch, is also a celebrant from Love is Love and he absolutely nailed it. So the whole thing was a dream!”
Alex wore a suit from MJ Bale. “Simple and laid back was the brief – pretty easy!” tells Ari.
Yet to tie the knot? Ari has this advice for you. “Get a good night’s sleep and get everything done BEFORE the morning of! Because we stayed at the venue, I didn’t get a night of great sleep and was quite stressed in the morning finishing my speech, directing the set up of both the ceremony and reception, chatting to friends and family… Just try and make it as relaxing a bubble as possible!”
Ari and Alex were lucky enough to have two photographers, both The Runaway Hearts (whose images are used in today’s feature) and Full Hearts joining them for the day “It felt a little extra to have both film and digital photography but we are so incredibly happy with how they turned out. Full Hearts is a friend of mine and captured the whole day perfectly, and the film photography from Kara at The Runaway Hearts has a magical timelessness absolutely made for Casamio and what we were after.”
The food for these guys? Catered by Paddock to Plate. Ari noting “We wanted to incorporate a little bit of our cultures. We’re both born here but I’m half Spanish half Malaysian, and Alex is half Indian half Aussie, so Matt from Paddock to Plate helped us custom make a menu inspired by those cultures. The food was delicious and colourful and brought everyone together.
“It was pretty much all DIY,” tells Ari of the couple’s plan for their day. “It all came together seamlessly with the help of Mel and Ali from Salt and Wildflowers who worked all morning to set it up. We didn’t want the standard sit down dinner, so had lots of break out areas including regular tables, low picnic tables and couches from the house. Again, lots of earthy rugs, cushions, lights and wildflowers in bud vases to tie it all together. The drinks caravan from August & Lucy and bell tent from Willow Tree Marquees was critical as well, especially because Alex played a set with his band at night and it became an incredible concert. I also painted all the signage myself!”
Rain turned out to be the best thing that could have happened during this evening reception. “It started to rain just before the second set of speeches so everyone had to help bring the chairs under the tent. It changed up the environment and created the coziest little space for the rest of the night, and there was also quite a bit of barefoot dancing in the rain!”
This was a dance floor, a night, that certainly did not end early, explains the bride “Alex is a musician and pulled together a band of friends – they played covers and originals. It was SO much fun and went off, as you can tell by the pictures! Matt from Noiseflash Productions did the sound and did such an incredible job making the gig feel like a high-quality production (in the middle of nowhere!). We also had a friend Alex Tullet take over as epic DJ.”
And the dance floor debut? To Red Hot Chilli papers “Dosed”. Ari laughing “We’re a sucker for the Chilis, and the lyrics are beautiful. We literally hadn’t practised once and I’m very sure it showed.”
A big congratulations to you both Ari and Alex! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us. Thank you also to The Runaway Hearts for sharing today’s beautiful images!