We barely know where to start with Caroline and Christian’s wedding because it was That Heckin’ Epic. Putting aside the fact that this couple organised a banger of a big day in a remote town in the Northern Territory, they got the whole thing sorted in just three months (wow)! As they explain, there’s not much in the way of wedding stock available in a remote community like Nhulunbuy, so many bits and pieces had to be picked up by friends and driven the 1043km from Darwin (much of it dirt road, no less) to make this wedding what it was. Thankfully, Caroline was able to fit in a quick trip to Brisbane to pick out that Karen Willis Holmes gown, and Alexandra Cohen flew in from Perth to jump behind the lens. Scroll on for all the deets…

THE INSPOThe theme for our wedding wasCelestial Wild Eden. We wanted to honour that there is sacredness in wild places, and to reimagine an Eden just for our wedding, in Arnhem Land here on Earth. We wanted to create the feeling of intimacy with community and also with nature – in the church which we filled with green palms, and in the reception all laid out under the wide Arnhem sky as it filled with stars.”

VENUEThe guiding principles of our relationship are our commitment to faith and to communities, so it was a blessing to have approval to marry in the old Yirrkala church we often visited for services. The church is old with a rich history in Australia’s Indigenous storyline. It has no walls, just a wooden floor and old wooden pews with a high roof and open-air sides to invite the breeze that sweeps in from the sea.

FAVE DEETSHaving a face-painter for the guests as they arrived at the reception, painting celestial objects like little stars and moons on faces and arms, to help transition everyone into a heavenly but playful mood. Together in the evening it was like having glimpses of a galaxy.”

THE DRESSKaren Willis Holmes was my [Caroline] first appointment. Although I hadn’t expected to choose a dress like this, my dress was the first dress I reached for. I discovered in the fitting room that it fit me perfectly! It felt like a sign. I put the veil on with it and didn’t want to take them off. That’s how I knew! We bought it right there and then, and canceled the rest of the week’s appointments.”

THE GROOM’S ‘FITIn 2008 I [Christian] was in Barcelona and saw a photo in a Catalan fashion magazine of a man with a bright red and silver sequin collar-like cape. I kept that magazine because I wanted to get married in something as beautiful as that. Caroline’s friend connected us with Luke from Romance Was Born, and he took our inspiration and designed the incredible piece which became the “Jabiru Dreaming” sequin mantle. Jabirus are giant birds and before I met Caroline, when friends would ask when I was going to meet ‘the one’, I jokingly told that I would know my future wife because there would be a sign of a jabiru. [On our first date] we walked down to the beach where there was standing a giant Jabiru just over a metre from us, unmoving. This was our dreaming.”

A WORD OF ADVICEWe didn’t try and plan seating for everyone and it was such a good decision! It saved us the headache and spending money on the name place cards, and it was a joy to see which of our friends and family had unpredictably developed friendships and so had mingled and sat together organically in ways we couldn’t have guessed anyway.”

STANDOUT VENDORSAlex Cohen was so engaged and meticulously organised. She took time to come to our events leading up to the wedding to get to know everyone, and went above and beyond on the actual day. She balances everything so masterfully and her eye for the light is insane. She’s amazing and we can not speak highly enough of her, not to mention her photos which speak for themselves!”

If you’re loving on Caroline and Christian’s dreamy day as much as we are, then check it out in print – originally featured in Issue 36. Bonus: Nab it for yourself online via our store and you’ll receive a free issue for a mate when you use the code THANKSABUNCH. Don’t say we do nothing for you, friends! While you’re at it, be sure to head over to our Directory to find out more about two of our leading ladies, Alexandra Cohen and Karen Willis Holmes. But first…

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Alexandra Cohen Cinematographer Aris & Grimes Styling DIY Florist Magnolia Flower Merchants Stationery Pigeonhole Ceremony Yirrkala Mission Church Reception Gove Peninsula Surf Life Saving Club Catering The Waterfront Kitchen, Arafura Surf & Turf Neon Sign Zanvis Sound FNQ Signature AV Entertainment Matt Gordon (friend), Yirrmal, DJ Bailz via FNQ Signature AV Celebrant Kellie Doyle Rings Sarah Gardner Fine Jewellery (bride), vintage (groom) THE BRIDE Gown & Veil Karen Willis Holmes Robes Glamour + Grace Bridal Shoes Edward Meller Earrings A.B. Ellie Hair Berry Lane Bridesmaid Dresses Shona Joy Bridesmaid Hair Studio Em Hair & Tanning Bridesmaid Makeup Emma Stretton Fragrance Le Labo THE GROOM Suit Daniel Hechter Bespoke Mantle Romance Was Born Shoes Julius Marlow Groomsmen Suits Daniel Hechter Groomswoman Outfit Dissh