This couple’s fabulous wedding came from what has to be one of the most low-key yet lovely engagements we’ve heard of. After meeting and becoming friends at university on the Gold Coast nine years ago, Romy and James quickly fell in love and relocated their lives to Barbados (James is originally from nearby Trinidad and Tobago). While the two were chilling out in their new home and soaking up the sunshine, James surprised Romy with a simple but beautiful proposal. “I was floating on a water hammock in absolute bliss mode when I opened my eyes and saw James holding an engagement ring,” remembers Romy. Um, hello proposal goals!
It didn’t take long for the couple to plan one seriously charming wedding. With many loved ones still in Australia, Romy and James opted to tie the knot there just 11 months after getting engaged. “We always wanted to get married in Australia, in particular, Byron Bay,” says Romy. “It’s always been a special place for us and we knew it would be a fantastic destination to assemble our nearest and dearest. Also, as we live abroad we loved the idea of an Australian winter wedding – we couldn’t imagine it any other way.”
Discovering the perfect venue online, the couple were won over by picturesque Byron View Farm. “The hilltop position was perfect and we loved that we could stay in the beautiful cottage for the weekend,” says Romy. “It was also dog-friendly, so we could bring our Cavoodle, Ziggy, along for the festivities!” A dog… a Byron hinterland venue… yeah, we’re kind of in love with this wedding already. Setting the date for 8 July, 2017, the two recruited the help of wedding coordinators Byron Bay Weddings to put together their dream celebration. “We had a somewhat minimal approach to our wedding. We didn’t want too many ‘extras’, but we were very particular about the food, drinks and the music – the rest just fell together.”
As the big day loomed, the couple arrived in Australia for their wedding… which nearly didn’t happen. “We almost weren’t legally married on the day because we left our passports on the Gold Coast where we were staying,” laughs Romy. “We had to make a very panicked phone call to our neighbours who were just about to head down and join us in Byron. Thankfully they found them on our bedside table – our neighbours quite literally saved the day!”
With all the legal paperwork found and in hand, Romy got ready with her bridesmaids (and a cheeky drink or two) in the property’s cottage. Meanwhile, guests arrived in style in a red double-decker bus and were greeted with Champagne and Byron View Farm’s friendly Border Collie. “We used The Magic Bus company to transport our guests to and from the wedding,” says Romy. “It was a fun touch that everyone loved!”
Later that day, dressed in a stunning custom Casey Tanswell dress and on the arm of her uncle, the bride walked down the aisle to an acoustic performance of Matt Corby’s ‘Resolution’. “It was a bittersweet moment because I had lost my dad three months before the wedding,” she says. “My Uncle John was perfect and it meant my grandmother still got to see one of her sons walk me down the aisle.” Romy and James exchanged vows in front of 130 guests in a heartwarming ceremony with hinterland views – and a very special celebrant. “My brother Oliver married us!” says Romy. “He did a great job and had us moving from tears to laughter.”
After a bridal party photo session that made the most of Byron View Farm’s spectacular outlook, Romy and James proceeded to let their hair down (figuratively speaking, of course) in a fun-filled reception. Styled to perfection, an outdoor marquee adorned with fairy lights and hanging foliage provided the perfect setting for enjoying cocktails and delicious fare. “We had a cocktail-style reception with canapés and small meals like local tuna with ponzu, sticky slow-cooked Vietnamese pork spoons and potato gnocchi with roasted pumpkin and sage butter,” says Romy. Sticky date puddings with salted caramel, plus Espresso Martinis and Moscow Mules also had everyone in high spirits. “Everywhere you looked there were smiling faces and great conversations happening. There was a fantastic vibe all round.”
When a full moon appeared later in the night, the newlywed couple took a moment to think of someone very special. “We felt my father’s presence so much at that moment,” reflects Romy. “We will both always maintain that he orchestrated the day’s beautiful weather for us.”
There was plenty of love in the room later on as well, when guests shared a few words about the couple. “The speeches were a rollercoaster of emotions and were perfect in every way. No one had anything prepared; they were so raw and so genuine.”
After sharing laughs and drinks under the stars, and tucking into a gorgeous cheese wheel ‘wedding cake’ made by one of the bride’s talented bridesmaids, one cheeky guest had everyone up and hitting the dance floor. “When one of James’s groomsmen took over as DJ and played Justin Beiber’s ‘Despacito’ that’s when the party really began,” laughs Romy. “At one point in the night, most of the men ended up shirtless and the feeling in the marquee was electric. We look back and laugh, but we’re not sure Byron Bay has ever seen such a loud party!” Now that’s saying something.
An amazing celebration that saw loved ones reunited and new memories created, Romy and James’s wedding was one to treasure. “Seeing everyone we love and care about come together for us made it the most incredible day,” says Romy. “It bridged so many gaps in our lives and we wish we could relive it over and over again.”
BRIDE’S LITTLE BLACK BOOK:
Photography: Amelia Fullarton // Ceremony & reception: Byron View Farm, Byron Bay region // Wedding dress: Custom Casey Tanswell Designs // Bride’s shoes: Style Tread // Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy // Hair: Byron Bay Wedding Hair Co. // Makeup: Rococo Makeup Artistry // Suits: Politix // Rings: Natalie Marie Jewellery and Custom Jewellers Workshop Gallery // Flowers: The French Petal // Cake: Made by bridesmaid // Celebrant: Bride’s brother, Oliver, and Modern Love // Coordinator & stylist: Byron Bay Weddings // Hire equipment: The Wedding Shed // Live music: Lark Music // Bus: The Magic Bus Company // Honeymoon: New Zealand
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