Samantha and Bret’s dreamy day at Wategos Beach in Byron Bay gave us all the feels. These two are just SO sweet. “Bret is an author with a deep fondness for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s words and we both bonded over our love for reading The Great Gatsby,” shares Samantha. “We were sure to incorporate literature throughout the wedding with personalised quotes on the stationery [from Paper Paper Co], such as ‘I love her, and that’s the beginning and end of everything,’ from Fitzgerald.”

Walking down the aisle wearing the gorgeous Grace Loves Lace Clo gown towards Bret, Samantha says was one of her favourite moments of the day, and thankfully for us, Ivy Road Photography was there to capture it, as well as a tonne of other magic you’re going to want to see…

THE VENUE “We got married on Wategos Beach. It holds nostalgia for me as it was my favourite holiday destination as a child – it was where my dad taught me to surf and now a place I visit daily to surf and to teach Bret, too. We chose Victoria’s at Wategos for the reception for the old-world Tuscan-inspired feel. We both agreed that we wanted the room to feel like it was bursting with flowers like the scene Gatsby creates for Daisy with fountains of champagne.”

THE INSPO “We wanted the wedding to be timeless and authentically us as a couple. We took inspiration from The Great Gatsby for florals. We also went to Burning Man together in 2018 and have been fascinated with neon signs since so incorporated one for our ceremony, ‘Happily ever after’, and one for our reception reading ‘The Whitfords’. Lastly, we were inspired by our stylist Haus of Hera. I was first besotted with her aesthetic and attention to detail but quickly learned she went above and beyond in everything she did.”

THE DRESS “My ceremony dress was the beautiful Grace Loves Lace Clo gown, which I wore with a lightweight Italian tulle veil.”

FAVE DEETS “We were honoured to have Joe Chef cater for our wedding. Joe is passionate about sourcing incredible local produce and styles it impeccably. We had a deluxe selection of canapes, and shared dining. Overflowing Dom Perignon was a must, and signature cocktails including Spicy Sammysmargeritas. And our cake! We had faith Marina Machado Cakes would, as always, produce a masterpiece and allowed her free creative range. The only request was some dramatic ruffling. We loved the surprise colour palette, the earthy tones and mixes of browns translating into muted soft pinks and latte.”

MEMORABLE MOMENTS “Having my dad hold my hand as we walked along the sand towards Bret passed all our beaming, colourful guests who had travelled far to celebrate us. The roaring laughs and tear-inducing speeches from our siblings and best man, which upheld just how much our love and journey has been experienced by those closest to us.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “Meet with your vendors beforehand where possible and tell them why you are drawn to their talent and allow them get to know you as a couple, that way you can have confidence with how they will represent you. It made everything feel calmer and familiar on the day for us. Lastly, make sure you really enjoy yourself and kick up your heels on the dance floor at the end.”

STANDOUT VENDOR “Shelley from Ivy Road Photography. I was drawn to Shelley’s warm nature and she made the experience fun and got plenty of genuine laughing shots out of us.”

Loving Samantha’s Grace Loves Lace gown as much as us? Head to our directory here to get in touch and see more brides wearing the iconic Aussie brand.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Ivy Road Photography Event planner & stylist Haus of Hera Florist Bower Botanicals Ceremony Venue Wategos Beach Reception Venue Victoria’s at Wategos Stationery & Signage Paper Paper Co Cake Marina Machado Cakes Catering Joe Chef Celebrant Kirsty Ella, Heart and Soul Ceremonies Entertainment Danielle Guest Music Rings Cartier THE BRIDE Bridal gown Grace Loves Lace Reception dress Marry Me Bridal Shoes Christian Louboutin Bridesmaid dresses Camilla Flowergirl dresses Tea Princess Hair Edwards and Co. Makeup Alexis Mahoney THE GROOM Suit & groomsmen suits Rico Jordan Shoes Gucci