I am ridiculously in love with Stef and Col’s colourful, modern wedding at Graciosa, and I’m delighted to share these fabulous pictures taken by Lara Hotz. I adore a colourful wedding, and when it’s combined with a cool venue and amazing styling I’m in heaven!
Usually I don’t start with the shoes when talking about a wedding, but Stef’s shoes are so darn cool! For me, her pair of mint green jewelled platforms by Kat Maconie set the tone for the entire wedding – cool, hip, and really fun.
Stef and Col’s wedding ceremony took place outside against the backdrop of a bamboo wooded area (which later provided a great spot for pictures), followed by a reception in an old barn which provided the most amazing blank canvas for the couple to style. Magnificent flowers formed the main decor detail, with beautiful lighting and flower installations on the ceiling and behind the bridal table. Vases of vibrant peonies and roses lined the long tables and filled the room with colour.
Whilst I’m talking of flowers, the bridal bouquets are some of the most incredible I have ever seen and work so well with both Stef’s wedding dress and the bridesmaid dresses. Stef’s bridesmaids wore really pretty mint green shift dresses adorned with pretty flowers from ASOS, and a pair of sparkly high heels.
So, to Stef’s wedding dress… WOW! It shows that you can buy a dress off the shelf from the high street and look and feel incredible. I just adore this dress, especially the floaty lace sleeves that danced around her (they look great in the pictures!). For the evening Stef changed into a short dress that is just as gorgeous as the main wedding dress. So, if you’re going for a cheaper option, maybe you could have two dresses for the price of one?
Every little detail of this wedding has been cleverly planned and the concept works so well. They wanted Palm Spring meets boho look and this is exactly what they achieved and the whole thing is utterly romantic, colourful and pretty darn cool!
I hope you enjoy these pictures – get ready to start pinning…
Feeling Like a Princess
“Col and I met while we were working at Apple. The day I started was the busiest day of the year (Black Friday), and he was so helpful and I remember thinking ‘Oh wow, this guy is so lovely’. We had this instant connection and spent all our lunch breaks together. Friendship then blossomed into romance and the rest is history.
“Col and I had been together for about four years and had not been able to travel yet, so we decided to go to Japan. Col had been before but this was my first time, so Col handled the itinerary.
“We splurged and decided to spend one night in Kinosaki towards the end of our trip. After travelling around Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima we finally made it to this beautiful little town with koi fish, hot springs and bridges. It was so beautiful. When we arrived the owner took me and let me pick out a beautiful kimono and headpiece to wear; I felt like a princess.
“Col and I decided to go out for dinner, but being so close to Christmas everything was shut. Col was panicking, which is very unlike him, but I just happy to be there. We ended up at this restaurant that was so average and he just kept apologising, then after dinner he asked if I wanted to take photos on the bridge. Feeling like a princess, I obviously said yes.
“Once we got there he said he had a gift for me and pulled a huge box from his bag. Totally confused, I opened it and inside was a book of illustrations. It was hand-painted, watercolour illustrations of our trip in Japan, with everything we saw and visited in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. Then it said, “But our next memory will be our favourite”. I quickly flipped the page, tears already streaming down my face – it was a question in Japanese. I flipped the page again – it was a picture of us both in Kinosaki, on that bridge with him on one knee. As I looked up Col was holding my grandmother’s engagement ring, and he asked me “Will you marry me?” I don’t think I have ever cried harder or louder.”
Romantic, Moody, Beautiful
“Our wedding style was Palm Springs/Boho. I knew I wanted lots of colour and flowers, and in fact most of the decorations were flowers. I can remember how beautiful the barn smelt when I first walked in, and I wanted to get really creative with all the decorations, like having the flower installations on the ceiling and behind the bridal table, and having everyone’s name cards in gold sparkly acrylic.
“We made all the napkins. I wanted them a specific ombre colour so Col and I spent one Saturday painting fabric. I made little clay hearts and painted them red and pink to stick in everywhere for pops of colour. Our wedding stylist was a genius; I would come up with an idea or see something I liked and she would just make it happen. She turned a bare barn into a romantic, moody, beautiful space.”
“The dress code was casual because I just wanted it to be a party. I bought my wedding dress off the rack and I only went to one shop. I knew it was the one I wanted and I fell in love with it instantly; it just felt right.
“The bridesmaid dresses were from ASOS and were fun and bright. My reception dress was from Alice McCall and it was super-cute. It had some of the same elements as my wedding dress, but it needed to be shorter as Col and I had a choreographed first dance!”
Memories and Advice
“I have so many special memories from the day. Walking up the aisle and seeing Col for the first time in his suit and bursting into tears as my heart was so full of love and excitement. Being announced into the reception as husband and wife to Black Skinhead by Kayne and dancing my head off. Our first dance and wowing everyone with our surprise choreography. Listening to the speeches and feeling so honoured and special that it was our day and people were here to celebrate.
“My advice for other couples would be to work together, make lists, expect things to go wrong, and when they do, laugh. Col probably planned more of the wedding than I did. He was so good. When I got stressed he just talked to me and said “Give it to me, let me do it!” He was amazing and so good to bounce ideas off. You need to expect things to go wrong – you’re planning this huge event. How can it possibly go smoothly? You need to have a sense of humour!”
Photography: Lara Hotz Photography
Venue: Graciosa, Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Styling: Peachey Pie
Wedding Dress: Lover
Bride’s Shoes: Kat Maconie
Suits: The Tailors Co.
Bridesmaid Dresses: Asos
Flowers: Poppy and Fern
Cake: Byron Bay Cacao
Catering: Fig Tree
Stationery: Set Square
Entertainment: The White Tree