After Ella put a ring on it, she was pretty sure she’d be “a super-chilled fiancée who could just be happily engaged for seven years”. Not so, it turns out. “I hit Pinterest SO BLOODY FAST – I was showing Bella photos of fairy floss carts at 2am like, ‘Babe, do you love this? I need to know immediately.'”

But what’s wrong with being bloody excited to get stuck into planning your big day?! Nothing, we say – and we are so here for this fun-loving couple owning all their feels as they prepped for the nups. And there were so many feels! They decided to keep things ultra-personal and tie the knot at home, Ella tells us. In my deep vortex of wedding research, I looked online at roughly 95,000 venue options (a modest guess) but honestly, getting married at home always felt right to both of us. It felt intimate and sentimental. Now, every time we stand on our front balcony we say, ‘This is where we became wives!” Okay, we are seriously loving on that. 

The gals were fortunate enough that the wildly talented (and super lovely – “an angel sent directly from heaven”, says Ella) Stories By Ash was available to shoot the day, bringing her relaxed vibes and mad photog skills as the cherry on top of this sweet and colourful celebration of love.

THE VIBEWe wanted that ‘hoedown in a country pub’ vibe that’s so unpretentious and nostalgic with undertones of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Sequins and cowgirl boots were specifically requested in the dress code. Our travels through remote Australia and Pride month were the two sources of inspiration for our overarching aesthetic and vibe!”

LITTLE LOLTwo weeks before the wedding, our border collie puppy entered his ‘hole digging phase’ and excavated our entire front yard…much to my horror. The only rational thing to do, in my opinion, was to cancel the ceremony and re-plan the entire event elsewhere. I channelled 100% of my unhinged bride energy into our now substandard lawn. We sent texts to all 60 people, confirming that the wedding venue would be changed… Seventy-two hours before the wedding (with no venue secured) I consulted my deck of angel cards (again, the most rational thing to do). I pulled the ‘Home’ card and we proceeded to RE-ANNOUNCE the original plan to our guests.”

FAVE DETAILS Our flowers! Specifically our arbour at the ceremony – it was unparalleled. Somehow, Kerry at Alstonville Florist took my 25 deranged emails and turned them into actual magic. The bow tie worn by our nephew Soli when he walked us down the aisle was also really special, it belonged to Ella’s dad. We also loved our ceremony benches! We found them on Facebook Marketplace and picked them up from an old café in Tambourine Mountain. Bella sanded them all back herself for the ceremony. And the traditional Maasai wedding necklace that our best friend Hannah sent from Tanzania! It hung on the front door behind us at the ceremony.”

DIYWe did absolutely everything with the help of our friends and fam. It was staggering, actually, how many people wanted to contribute their time and energy for us – super, super spesh! Everyone really rallied around us. From picking flowers to sanding benches, to stationery, grazing boards, setting up and packing down, stocking the coolroom, sourcing most of the décor from op shops and Gumtree… It was a labour of love, for sure.”

THE OUTFITSMy dress was from the Lennox Head Vinnies… the dress had just been donated and I tried it on for fun (it was 100 bucks). When I came out of the change room, the ladies working were quite literally ecstatic that I would consider getting married in it – they squealed. The outer shell of the dress had Western elements and the lace was insane but, true to form in the realm of vintage bridal, it had the fugliest polyester lining – reminiscent of a painting smock. But in the end, I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the shop without it so I took it to Simone at La’ Studio with a vision to turn it onto a sheer, two-piece set and she absolutely nailed it! 

Bella found her blouse at an RSPCA Op Shop in the suburbs of Adelaide and as soon as she saw it she said, ‘This is what I’m getting married in!’ Once Country Road released those candy pink wide-leg pants, the rest was history. We found her pink tasselled Ariat boots on Facebook Marketplace and the pink fringing was hand-sewn on by our beautiful friend Jane – she went shopping with drag queens in Melbourne in search of that fringe and we ended up finding it in the craft section of a $2 shop!”

REFERENCESInstagram was pretty much our exclusive source of finding vendors. The Hello May website was also frequented!”

COOL CUSTOMIn memory of absent people that we adored, we lit three candles before our ceremony – one candle for Ella’s dad, one candle for Ella’s grandmother and one candle for Ella’s very close friend who we lost in 2019. We could feel them there with us, cheering us on.”

MEMORABLE MOMENTSWe officiated our marriage at the reception and just as the last signature hit the certificate, W.A.P started playing. The timing was bloody flawless.”

MARRIAGE MEANSFor us, marriage is about taking turns having meltdowns so that at least one of us is always steering the ship! But more importantly… it’s about always telling your wife she looks hot, despite her decision to wear Crocs.”

A WORD OF ADVICEAvoid trying to do it all – there are no rules. Just choose the things that matter to you and in the bin with the rest of it!”

STANDOUT VENDORS Our photographer, Ash! We had been following her work adoringly for years and our celebrant, Erin Woodhall,  actually bridged the gap and put us in touch. It’s hard to articulate how big the feelings were when Ash came on board. We cried… more than once. Ash is second to none, we can’t obsess over her enough.”

These newlyweds sure have some mighty fine things to say about Stories By Ash, and we can hand on heart agree – she is a bloody rockstar. Hit up her directory listing if you want her skills on your big day. And if this wedding is giving you serious inspo, we highly recommend checking it out over in Issue 33 of our print edition – available on our store.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Stories By Ash Cinematographer Alexander Baker Florist Alstonville Florist, Crystal Creek Flowers Stationery Canva, Vista Print Ceremony Brides’ Residence Reception Rous Mill Hall Catering Golden Grazers, The Bread Social Alcohol Dan Murphys, No Bones Byron Bay Food Trucks The Wiener Haus Cake Secret Weapon Cakes Hire Items & Lighting Hire Byron Bay Wedding & Party Hire (timber banquet tables) Sound Hire Coastal Beats Signage Urban Flower Wall Co (neon sign), Canva, Vista Print Entertainment Spotify Celebrant Erin Woodhall Rings Ella’s Dad’s gold wedding band, resized by Diamond Jewellery Manufacturers, Goldmark Transport May the E.K Plants C&S Plants – Evermore Farm Plant Pots Bunnings Umbrellas The Capri Club THE BRIDE (Ella) Gown Vintage dress restyled by La’ Studio Boutique Vinnies Hat Lack of Color Robe Gorman Shoes Free People Sunnies The Salvation Army Thrift Shop Alice Springs Hair Blonde by Soph Makeup Taylor Jean Makeup Artist Maid of honour dress Country Road Maid of honour flower crown Alstonville Florist THE BRIDE (Bella) Blouse Angelica, Paris (vintage, pink fringe added) Boutique RSPCA Op Shop Pants Country Road Hat Lack of Color Robe Miimi + Jiinda via Adairs Shoes Ariat Earrings Alix Yang Makeup Taylor Jean Makeup Artist Best Man Shirt Country Road Best Man Pants The Iconic Best Man Shoes Dr. Martens