Jo and Joel held their ceremony in the beautiful Boranup karri forest near Margaret River, arriving in style in their four wheel-drive. The shade from the tall karri trees made this the perfect location for a ceremony on a warm summer’s day. Joel and his dad collected the branches for the arbor, cherished each one for 3 months so that its bark didn’t fall of and secured it beautifully in the forest the morning of the wedding. After the ceremony, we then went to Hamelin Bay, a nearby beach camping spot where the Jo and Joel often spend their holidays with family and friends. Joel’s parents transformed their backyard their Margaret River home into a perfect reception venue with a DIY dance floor, marquee and fairy lights. Jo and Joel’s wedding was a true reflection of their relaxed, adventurous personalities.
We were in the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes, Norway embracing the final days of our winter European trip before heading back to the UK to visit my parents. We started the day off with a romantic snow shoe walk in the fresh snow, just us two and the open hills, enjoyed a reindeer sausage for lunch, cooked on an open fire in a cozy log cabin and watched the sun disappeared at 11.50 am (strange I know!). Later that day we jumped aboard a romantic husky sledge tour through the valleys, yet not quite as romantic as we were flung off of our sledge when the dogs decided to take a short cut, instant snow angel’s and screams of laughter! Once the adventure was complete, we returned to the Hotel, taking our preferred position in the wicker chairs in front of the enormous glass windows overlooking the snow covered valleys below, searching for the Northern Lights as we did each night. Sipping on our hot chocolates and pondering on what an amazing day we had and how thankful we were for this experience, Joel looked at me from his wicker chair and said, “Do you know what would make this day even better?”I replied in a playful tone, “Play hide the sausage?” He laughed and held out a ring and said, “No! If you would be my wife!” At this point I was dying of embarrassment and had turned instantly the colour of beetroot. He handed me his six dollar Ebay platinum engagement ring with the intention that our rings would be designed by a good friend back home in the UK. That night we went to dinner with all the other guests at the Snow Hotel, as we always did, but this time with a secret we didn’t share. We didn’t want any fuss and enjoying keeping this special moment to ourselves, low key, just like us, Jo and Joel style.
Both the ceremony and the reception venues were a no brainer for me. Joel and his family have spent the last 30 years camping down at Hamelin Bay over Christmas time. When we started dating this soon became my tradition too. As you travel to Hamelin Bay you have to drive through the amazing national park, Boranup Forest. The Karri trees seem to touch the clouds, it’s simply breathtaking. I knew instantly when I saw it for the first time that this was where I wanted to marry Joel. As for the reception venue, Joel’s parents have a wonderful home and we adore spending time with his parents during the school holidays. For me it is a really special place, where I feel at home, as my parents live in the UK. Deciding to celebrate our marriage in their back yard just felt right for us both. However, once the details and logistics of the day were considered, Joel needed a little bit of convincing. Our ceremony in the Boranup Forest meant we would have to source and setup everything ourselves, we were planning our wedding 1,500km in the North West of WA, amplifying the potential stress. Joel suggested we look at venues, but there was just nothing out there that screamed ‘Jo and Joel’. So our original plan of DIY backyard wedding began to take shape. With no regrets we would do it all over again, It was magical and it was exactly what we imagined! Our only consideration, In hindsight, we would work with a wedding planner for a stress-free journey in the the days before our wedding.
Your Wedding Style
We didn’t really have a theme, more of a vibe. We really wanted our wedding to reflect the people we are. We are outdoors, easy living and low key. Our idea of fun is boating adventures to find deserted island we can camp on with our fur baby Tao. We just wanted a relaxed vibe, nothing to fancy and I think we achieved our goal.
Photography and Videography: Zaneta Van Zyl
Second photographer: Rae Marie Event planner / Stylist: Bride (Jo) Florist: @flowersbyjanieWA Stationery: Etsy – idoityourself Ceremony venue: Boranup Forest, WA (National Park) Reception venue: Backyard Wedding-Margaret River
Catering: Supper Rd Cake : Brumby’s Bakery Prop or furniture hire : Love Me Do Hire South West Events Hire Marquee / teepee: Juice Tents Photo booth: Bride and Groom (DIY-made ourselves) Lighting / sound hire: WildWood Lighting
Entertainment: Seth Lowe (AKA Squid) Acoustic guitarist Celebrant: Anita Revel Engagement ring: Andy Stocks – Baroque Jewellery Brighton Lanes, UK Bride’s wedding band: Andy Stocks – Baroque Jewellery Brighton Lanes, UK Groom’s wedding band: Andy Stocks – Baroque Jewellery Brighton Lanes, UK Transport: Shep Bus Hire Drinks: The River Cellar
Bridal gown designer: Teresa Gown- L’Wren- Q’pique Bridal Boutique: Bridal by Aubrey Rose Veil: Mari-ette Bridal Veil
Flower crown: Native Flower Crown – Janie Saggers Robes / getting ready tees: Gowns-Le Rose Lingerie: Simone Pérèle
Gowns: Le Rose Shoes: Sandler Accessories: Samantha Wills Hair: Sonya Poletti Hair and Make Up Makeup: Bianca Craven
Bridesmaid dresses: Show me your Mumu Bridesmaid shoes: Bridesmaid’s own Robes: Le Rose Rings: Esty – Hoops by Hand
Suit: Roger David Cufflinks: Etsy: Design Just For U Shoes: Tarocash Socks: Etsy Shop Sock Prints Watch: Diesel