Best friends of 17 years and lovers for six, Kate and Frank’s wedding in Balingup Golden Valley Tree Park, WA, was inspired by the iconic US festival Burning Man and its WA counterpart Blazing Swan, of which Frank is a founder and Kate on the committee. “We wanted to showcase creativity from our families and communities,” the couple share. Two hundred guests attended their lovefest, which was the culmination of a huge communal effort, and included epic outfits, fireworks, three DJs and two singers. Luckily for us (and you) Flossy Photo was there to capture the absolute magic that was this wedding day…

THE VENUE “We didn’t really consider anything else, the GVTP is down the road from the tiny town where Frank grew up – it was where we first kissed after a spring picnic.”

DIY “We always knew the wedding would be a huge communal effort, and wanted the creative expression of our loved ones to be infused throughout. But we also didn’t want to cross the line of exhausting volunteers and their gifts. That’s why it was hard to ask Madeleine Mitchell and Matty Moon to design and build the ceremony space and arbour, because although they are family, it’s a lot of pressure to take on the week of the wedding, especially for a bridesmaid! We were so glad they accepted the challenge as their masterpiece added another layer of magic to our day and held the space of our ceremony perfectly.”

FAVE DETAILS “The speeches. We wanted to squeeze as many in as possible because we love them so much! Inspired by other ceremonies, we split the speeches into two segments and it worked perfectly. Every speech blew us away and was phenomenal and unique. Although it’s a pretty daunting task, we realised upon reflection that it is an incredible thing to allow people an opportunity to consider and then express how they feel about you. We were shocked to learn things that we had never before heard from people we have known for decades. And perhaps they wouldn’t have known these things explicitly if not given the opportunity to think about it. Every speech was eloquent, poignant, and witty. All of the words shared are a treasure we will hold in our hearts forever. And our MC, Peter Rowsthorn. Frank had the pleasure of dancing on stage with Peter back in 2018 at the Wirrpanda Foundation Dinner. We know you don’t do weddings Peter but we both very much appreciated you being our MC for the evening. Of course, he was incredible.”

THE DRESS “I had so much trouble trying to find a wedding dress. It is so easy to get caught up in Instagram wedding expectations, and I must have looked at tens of thousands of dresses and suits trying to fall in love with something. I just didn’t like the look of anything I saw. Then this pink dress popped up on Stillwhite. Someone had it made by a dressmaker and decided they didn’t want it. So it was new recycled fashion. It was also extremely affordable so I could relax dragging it through the park and not have to worry about resale. I was pretty shocked by the extremely positive reception from everyone on the day.”

THE SUIT “Frank was wearing a suit hand sewn by his mum – the incredibly talented Sandy Mitchell, who was unbelievably patient as we took forever choosing and then ordering material. She just seemed to whip it up with so much grace and poise while also casually sewing a dress for herself to wear.”

WE’RE REALLY GLAD WE… “With deep symbolism, we chose to shave off our luscious locks together, the morning after our wedding. Like birds shed their feathers to make room for more. To mark a new, fresh beginning together.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “Some good advice we received before the wedding was to choose just a couple of features each that make our wedding reflect the two of us/our relationship and not to try to make EVERYTHING stand out.We both wanted to have extra speeches and good food, and Kate wanted a few moments of her sister Reigan Derry‘s music, including our first dance.”

If you’re putting together your own WA-based dream team, look no further than our directory. Or if you wanna check out more West OZ weddings, may we suggest perusing Amy & Mat’s big day here, and Katie & Georgia’s Margaret River shindig here.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Flossy Photo Cinematographer Movement Productions Event Management Good Time Events Florist & Stylist Lara Rose Botanical Stylist Ceremony Floral Styling Maddeluxe Stationery & Signage Made by bride and Frank’s son Printer Snap Print Solutions Ceremony & Reception Venue Golden Valley Tree Park Catering Hooley’s Catering Company Cake Myra Viljoen Hire Items Hire In Style, Hire Society Marquee, Lighting & Sound Hire Bos Tents & Events Entertainment David Rastrick, Reigan Derry, Pussy Mittens, Micah Earnshaw, Sam Freeman Fireworks Angus Priest Celebrant Tim Viljoen (friend) Welcome To Country Undalup Association MC Peter Rowsthorn Rings Ioanna Liberta THE BRIDE Gown Stillwhite Shoes Gianni Bini Accessories Swarovski THE GROOM Suit Sandy Mitchell (groom’s mum) Material Babbara Designs