It was just six weeks before they stood on the beach together, that Hayley and Mitch began planning their wedding. “We just wanted it to be super simple with no stress so we could really just relax and be in the moment.”

The pair, who have built a coffee roasting company together and now call the Gold Coast home,  chose a June day on Byron Bay’s Wategos Beach to tie the knot. They chose a  guest list that simply included photographer Jasmin Sleeman, cinematographers Fly On The Wall Films, their celebrant and 11 months old baby boy Finley.  “Life gets busy and is full of distractions – work, kids, the day to the day rat race. We don’t have as much time to just relax and be the young, carefree, spontaneous couple we once were. We have chosen to elope because this moment is just about us. We don’t want to make it all about impressing guests. This day is just a peeling back the distractions, just being together and reminding each other why we have chosen each other as our forever.”

It was a complete chance meeting that led Hayley and Mitch’s paths to cross. “Mitch is from NSW in a small coastal town called Merimbula and I am from WA in a small coastal town called Dunsborough. Mitch was over in WA doing his maritime course when we met 8 years ago and we discovered our lives had crossed paths many times.

The first thing we discovered was that we had both lived and worked at surf camps in France only a short drive away from each other. We had been to the same parties and bars every weekend in Hossegor and had several mutual friends. We were both baffled we hadn’t yet met. It felt like that movie Sliding Doors. Next, we got chatting about how we had both just returned from a long weekend holiday in Byron. We were in Byron on the same weekend, both having drinks at the Beachy and Rails, yet again we didn’t meet. It’s like the universe was trying to nudge us together. The more we talked the more we learned that there were even more crazy coincidences. I actually worked at the surf shop with a good friend of his from back home in Merimbula. Then we found out our dads were both professional golfers and nearly toured together. However, my dad pulled out and so Mitch’s dad toured with my dad’s best friend! We talked for ages, then Mitch called me a taxi and gave me a quick kiss goodbye.

We have both done lots of travel, we love the ocean and warm climate and that’s why we chose to make the Gold Coast home. We moved here with one old car, a few belongings in the back and no money. We went out on a whim and started a business. 7 years on have bought a home, have a really successful coffee roasting company, we have a beautiful network of friends on the coast and a darling baby boy Finley who is 11 months old.”

So join us today, as we soak up these last few moments of The Coastal Issue, for a day that embraces every bit of beauty Mother Nature has on offer.

Hayley found her beautiful gown at Stone Cold Fox. “I never saw myself wearing a real wedding dress. I just wanted something beautiful in white that I felt really myself in. As it was winter I wasn’t having much luck as there wasn’t a lot of white about. But then I found this Stone Cold Fox number. It fit so perfectly and didn’t need any adjustments so I figured it was meant to be.”

It was while Hayley was pregnant, that Mitch surprised her with a proposal. “I was six months pregnant and we were in WA visiting my family. We woke up and Mitch said, “Come on, let’s go for a walk to Castle Rock.”
I normally have to beg Mitch to go walking with me but I figured the surf was probably bad and he needed an activity? I was feeling very heavy and lazy but I rolled out of bed and we bush walked along the coast until we got to Castle Rock. Then as I went to turn around he said, “let’s climb to the top!” I was thinking, are you bloody serious? But it was an amazing morning and the view would be worth it so I scrambled up. When we got to the top I was busy taking pictures of the view when I turned to Mitch and he opened a little box at me. In my hormonal pregnant state, I immediately started crying and didn’t hear a word he said to me. I couldn’t even see the ring till the tears stopped but it was the ring of my dreams. He did good!”

The golden light poured down, as Hayley and Mitch sharing “The ceremony itself was simple and sweet. Very us. We both wrote our own vows which were special. There were a few tears shed during those! The day itself was just magical, with no wind, glassy ocean and whales breaching right in front of us! Couldn’t have planned it better if we tried!

We finished with an amazing dinner for two at Raes. We called our family from the bar downstairs to share the exciting news.”

“Mitch is a no-fuss kind of guy,” explains Hayley of Mitch’s simple suit from Country Road. “He just wanted to wear a white linen shirt and his Country Road chinos. Last-minute I ordered him a linen jacket that arrived the day before. I’m glad he wore it, it finished off his look perfectly.”

There were minimal blooms for the day, Hayley choosing Flower Bar Co to create her a stunning bouquet of coral oranges and blush pinks. She shares  “I chose a few of my favourite flowers and colours and then left it up to the extremely talented girls at the Flower Bar Co in Bangalow. They delivered my bouquet to our resort just before the wedding. It was seriously the bouquet of my dreams!!”

Hayley had found the couple’s photographer Jasmin online and fell in love with her work. “I found Jasmin via Instagram. Just fell in love with her work, her use of light and warm tones. But most importantly I loved how natural all her shoots were. We are both so awkward in front of a camera but Jasmin just made us feel so relaxed. We just did our thing, and she just captured magic moments like we didn’t even realise she was there.”

Hayley and Mitch also chose Fly On The Wall Films to capture this incredible film of their wedding.

Congratulations Hayley and Mitch! What a joy it was to share your beautiful day. Thank you both and thank you to Jasmin Sleeman for sharing today’s stunning imagery with us.