Mel & Aaron's Wedding - Byron Bay - Australia
Friday 16th March 2007
Bfb... So why did you choose Australia and Byron Bay Mel?
"Well Aaron is Australian and I love the place, so it seems like a natural choice, even though I'm from Bristol originally!
Byron Bay is known for being a tranquil, hippy, beachside town on the eastern most point of Australia. It is beautiful and you only have to see pictures to understand why anyone would want to get married there.
We also gave a lot of thought to our guests, many of whom had not been to Byron Bay before and some even Australia. So when thinking where would guests want to spend a week or a weekend, by the beach in Byron Bay was the easy answer.
We also looked at venues in the Tambourine Mountains which is an hour or two inland. A very different feel, equally as beautiful but when I found the location and venue on Clarkes Beach (Byron) we stopped looking.
And why a beach wedding in particular?
A few reasons I guess...
I come from the UK so the idea of getting married on the beach is practically unthinkable over there...over here in Australia it’s quite normal, you live by the sea so why not get married by the sea?!
Aaron spent many years on the Gold Coast and is a keen surfer. He loves the sea as much as I do so it was an easy decision. Plus I wanted a very relaxed wedding, with no formalities and I couldn’t think of a better location to achieve this than on the beach!
How did you organise it?
I organised it all myself!
I took a drive down to Byron Bay one day and drove all around the headland and came across this little café called the Pass café. It was really secluded and just moments from the beach, it was just the perfect location.
I made Aaron come with me the very next day and he also loved it. We spoke to the owners of the café whose menu was fantastic. I’d tried lunch there before mentioning we’d like to have our wedding reception at their café. They were just a small venue so it was very easy to discuss our requirements with them. We also provided all our own alcohol which was a great cost saving.
The land on which we wanted to marry falls within the Arakwal National Park so after making sure it was free on the day, we also needed to get the necessary permit from the Cape Byron Trust and pay the licence fee.
What type of ceremony did you have?
Neither of us wanted a religious wedding but it was still important to have someone special to marry us. We found a wonderful Civil Celebrant called Zenith Virago! Initially we wanted an afternoon wedding but Zenith had a wedding booked at 4pm, so we settled on 5pm just so we could have her.
She was worth it - she even made a few suggestions for calming my nerves the day before the wedding!
How many guests did you have?
We had about 40 guests which was perfect. It was intimate but lively.
We had friends and family from all over, England, America, Canada, Japan, Sydney, Perth. Many guests travelled many miles to be at our wedding and that is the reason it was such a perfect day, we were able to celebrate it with the people that meant the most to us.
What was the best part of your wedding?
It was not only the most amazing day but the most amazing week.
We decided to spread the celebrations over a few days rather than just one, mainly because we had so many family and friends travelling so far, we wanted to make the most of the time we had together.
We booked a big house in Byron Bay, just minutes from our wedding venue which also had the most incredible views. It turned out to be the perfect house with plenty of entertaining space which we made the most of on many occasions.
Any advice for future brides?
If you're marrying on a public beach, consider going for a week day. We married on a Friday and there were less people on the beach and it was just a more relaxed atmosphere all round.
Give guests as much advance warning as possible so that they can plan time off work, and sort out their finances. If you’re asking guests to travel miles and spend a lot of money be prepared that some may not be able to come.
For those that can, it will be their holiday for the year so as much as it is your day, your guests are making a huge effort - so much more than if they were driving 2 hours up the M4!
And have fun! It was the best start to married life by far."
Mel and her new husband decided to stay in Australia for a while after the wedding. Nearly 3 years on and they're still living & loving the beach life all year round.
Our thanks to Mel and Aaron for sharing their memories!
If this has got you thinking about Australia for your wedding, why not check out our venues pages for some equally stunning places to marry Down Under?
Or if you're already looking forward to a ceremony in Australia let us know your plans..
We always love to hear from you!