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We couldn’t be more excited to share with you the beautiful wedding of Barbara and Ana. Barbara is a long-time friend of our editor (they’ve known each other since high school!), who married her sweetheart, Ana, in one totally dreamy Byron Bay celebration – yep, we’re talking real wedding goals here.

To tell this couple’s love story, we have to rewind right back to the beginning – to when Barbara signed herself up to a dating app in 2015. Initially trying it out just for fun, she was one of the lucky ones who struck gold. “Ana and I started texting back and forth, and quickly found that we had many of the same passions in life,” remembers Barbara.

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Feeling the instant connection, the two graduated from talking on the phone to travelling interstate to meet in person – and ultimately falling for each other. “She became my life and my true love,” Barbara says. Okay, so maybe dating apps do work.

Skip to a year later and the two were still happily travelling back and forth to see each other when a hurdle appeared. “Ana’s from Brazil and her visa was expiring, so she had to reapply,” explains Barbara. With a trip to Thailand already booked, Ana hopped on a plane and waited there for her visa allowing her entry back into Australia. “It was so daunting for the both of us. We had no idea when she would return.”

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After joining her beautiful girlfriend in Thailand for a romantic holiday, Barbara returned home completely heartsick. Then hope appeared. “A few weeks later, a migration agent helped with getting the paperwork expedited and, within days, Ana flew back and we were reunited!”

Determined not to be torn apart again, the two moved in together and decided to make things official. With same-sex marriage not yet legalised, Barbara and Ana planned an intimate commitment ceremony with their loved ones present at Byron Bay’s Fig Tree Restaurant… Then, in a case of beautiful timing, the plebiscite result was announced.

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“It was actually Ana’s birthday,” Barbara recalls. “When it was later announced that same-sex marriage would be made legal from 9 January, we realised it was only three days before our special day! We were so lucky that everything fell into place. It was obviously meant to be!” Well done, Australia!

Things were once again in Barbara and Ana’s favour when the couple’s wedding day (12 January, 2018) arrived. Despite a rainy forecast, they were treated to perfect blue skies as they walked down the aisle hand in hand, and exchanged their vows before 50 of their friends and family. “The ceremony was under a giant fig tree and it seemed to envelop us,” says Barbara. “It was so majestic and strong – such a beautiful setting.”

Escaping to have photos taken while guests enjoyed post-ceremony canapés, the two then kicked off festivities with a fabulous dinner party-style reception. The guests gathered around a table under a tunnel of twinkling fairy lights for drinks and gourmet share plates. “It was the sort of reception where people passed plates, talked over fine wine and nibbled on delicious food,” Barbara says. “We both come from cultures where family meals are nurtured, and our vision was to replicate that.” Mission accomplished!

Adding to the relaxed feel of the day, guests roamed the styled venue grounds (Barbara is a director for a retail design company) and enjoyed poolside drinks. “We wanted to create an elegant celebration that still felt relaxed and comfortable,” explains Barbara. “Our styling had plenty of dusty pink tones, greenery, textured fabrics and antique brass accents to give a classic look.”

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Moving the festivities into the venue’s main house, the newlyweds then joined guests to really let their hair down. “Instead of having a traditional ‘first dance’, we had two Brazilian dancers perform,” Barbara says. “It was a surprise for our guests and it really kicked off the dancing!” We can see how – feathers, sparkles, vibrant costumes and infectious beats are totally irresistible!

Partying into the wee hours with their loved ones to the joyous sounds of a live Brazilian band, Barbara and Ana’s special day was pitch perfect. “It meant so much to us to have our parents, our friends and each other all together in the one place,” explains Barbara. “And on top of that, to be legally married! It was a day we had only ever dreamt of.” Dreams do come true.

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LITTLE BLACK BOOK:
Photography: Marina Ridgway Photography // Ceremony and reception: Fig Tree Restaurant, Byron Bay // Wedding dresses: Wendy Makin Bridal Designs // Hair: Hair by Jools // Makeup: Janise Chan Makeup Artist // Rings: The French Door // Flowers: The French Petal // Cake: Byron Bay Cacao // Celebrant: Benjamin Carlyle // Entertainment: Diego Bezerra & Giovanna Cursino

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