It wasn’t the first legal wedding on the 29th of March 2021 for Michelle and Tom. The pair, who had planned to marry a year earlier, chose the exact date in 2020, with just Tom’s brother and his partner, and their celebrant to make it truly official. “We had originally planned to marry in Byron” explains Michelle. “But because of covid we pushed it back a year, but also did not want to wait to be husband and wife.”
And so, one year later, Michelle (who has seen a few, or more weddings in her time as the founder and creator behind accessory brand Crystal Eclipse Crowns.) celebrated with their nearest and dearest. And with their first wedding already under their belts, they had a distinct vibe in mind for round two. “We wanted it to be super chill, neutral earthy vibes, full of good friends and good food”. Bird and Boy Photography joined the intimate party, for a wedding that included an incredible sunset and a surprise appearance by everyone’s favourite – dolphins!
It was a definite cross country love story for these two, who both, on travelling to Australia, fell in love with the country. That love brought them together says Michelle “Tom is from England and I (Michelle) am from Canada. We both travelled here (him about a year before me) to travel, both fell in love with the country and never wanted to leave. Shortly after I arrived, I started working for a sales company and that’s where I met him. He was the trainer, my boss, so it was a bit hush hush until I left the company.”
The pair, who soon fell in love, were engaged, of course, in Byron Bay. “We do not have a big OTT engagement story, but that wouldn’t be “us” if we did. He asked me at the end of a night out, at home when we were cuddling in bed and of course, I said yes, but he then said he wanted to ask me more romantically. I started sending him pictures of rings (oh ya, he didn’t have a ring when he asked) and because we share a bank account I knew when he bought it.
We were travelling to Byron Bay shortly after it arrived in the mail, yes I saw the postal card when they tried to deliver it lol, so I knew he would ask when we were there. We were both so on edge at the airport and bickering because of the nerves. We went for dinner the first night and he said “I would ask you here but I left the ring at the Airbnb” so then I cried (emotions still so high!!) haha and then we got to the Airbnb and finally I turned around and he was on one knee. We spent the rest of the trip celebrating.”
Michelle and Tom chose Little Wategos Beach for the wedding “We had the wedding on Little Wategos Beach, a short walk from the main Wategos Beach. It was so lovely, had grassy and foresty elements whilst being on the coast. We saw dolphins frolicking in the sea whilst the ceremony was happening.
Everyone arrived before me and they were all watching them and they told me when I got there and I thought I missed them and then all of a sudden Ben said something and they just started jumping again; it was magical.”
Tom, wore a two-piece suit from Angela Nicolades. Michelle explaining “Tom gets his suits made by a lovely lady named Angela Nicolades so he was always going to go to her for something custom. He spent time with her picking fabrics and styles and went for an almond colour dress pants and a vest (no suit jacket) In a wool/cashmere blend, a white linen button up top, with a real vintage feel.”
With many guests stuck internationally and overseas, Michelle and Tom opted out of a wedding party, instead of asking their guests to dress in earthy shades. “We were always going to have a small intimate wedding so we asked everyone to dress in “earthy neutrals” so our “wedding party” could be everyone – it turned out great.”
Michelle’s beautiful look was compiled of a simple silk gown by Melbourne designers Kyha Studios. “My dress was perfect; it was simple and silk, draping perfectly with a slit up the front and a low back. Made by Chosen by One Day Bridal (now known as Kyha Studios) I had purchased 2 other dresses before this one, the first one at a sample sale where I just felt the pressure to get a good deal and then I got home and hated it and other online which was returned.
I had my eye on the Lennox gown at One Day from day dot, but we were on a budget and I am thrifty and I just thought it wasn’t necessary to spend that much but my mind and heart always went back to it. I thought I’d go try it on and maybe it would make me not like it, and I could get it out of my head – did not work and I fell more in love and knew it WAS worth it. I sold the first dress I bought and just paid in instalments so it all worked out in the end. I could not have been happier and it was absolutely the perfect dress for me.”
She added a crystal crown from her own business Crystal Eclipse Crowns. “I actually have my own company called Crystal Eclipse Crowns and I’ve been making wedding accessories for years and it was finally time to make my crown. I made two and chose my favourite on the morning of.”
Michelle walked down the aisle by herself to “To Build A Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra.
Michelle and Tom wanted to relax and enjoy their day, so they chose Hitched In Paradise to plan it so all they had to do was show up! Explains Michelle “I used the company Hitched In Paradise for the planning of the wedding, which provided details for options on all vendors. I went with Hitched In Paradise because I didn’t want to think about the little details. They made things such a breeze. My favourite part about planning the wedding was not doing much planning.
I’m incredibly controlling in normal life and I wanted to take a step back, there would already be enough stressing me out with just booking Airbnb’s and flights – and then Covid hit – but leaving most of the planning to Tarnie at Hitched In Paradise was amazing.”
The relaxed beachside ceremony was officiated by Benjamin Carlyle. Michelle explaining “We just wanted it to be relaxed, we didn’t want any pressure or nerves or a million people there so we just have the perfect small intimate ceremony with our closest friends. We both prepared our vows and went with the amazing celebrant Ben Carlyle to officiate.”
The couple was thrilled to be able to have their family – from all over the world dialling in via Zoom to share in their day.
Post ceremony photographs remain one of the couple’s favourite parts of their day, thanks to their chosen photographer! “Jerome was a great photographer. He had the exact “look” we were going for and he couldn’t have made either of us feel more comfortable. Maddi was also perfect in her communication after and we were delighted with how the photos turned out. The biggest standout for me was getting our sneak peek photos the next day! So impressed with that.”
The beautiful blooms for the day were styled by Lola’s Wildflowers. “Immediately I knew that Lola’s Wildflowers was perfect for us. Very boho, neutral, earthy.”
Michelle’s advice to you? “Don’t sweat the details, half the little things I thought I wanted I ended up forgetting and I don’t care at all.”
And just as they wanted, the ceremony was the end of the formalities for the day, the rest of the afternoon unfolding with just good old fashioned celebratory moments. “The formalities like first dances were something we didn’t want, at all, at our wedding” explains the bride. “We wanted food and drinks but no announcements, so after the ceremony, we sent our guests over to Loft Bar for cocktails whilst we had our photos.
We arrived about an hour later and had a couple ourselves before heading over to Balcony bar. Whenever we are in Byron, a trip would not be complete without going to our favourite Balcony bar. So we knew we had to have it there. We had a private room and the food was incredible.”
Camp on the Hill Films captured this beautiful film of the day. The magic of Byron Bay is so beautiful against this intimate ceremony on film.
Congratulations to the newlyweds. What a joy to be able to share your beautiful day! Thank you both and thank you to Bird and Boy Photography for sharing today’s stunning celebration.