Real Wedding – Katie & Jaxon, Albany WA
Katie and Jaxon’s dream WA day is not only jaw-droppingly beautiful, but also filled with moments of huge emotion and heart. From their incredible ceremony, that brought with it tears and laughter in spades, to a series of heartfelt speeches that will stay with them forever – these two spent eight months planning their dream day and wouldn’t have had it play out any other way.
Opting for an effortless look – their stunning garden surrounds at Bullimah did much of the work, their timeless, neutral and special celebration was accented with earthy tones and elegant touches.
An outdoor ceremony that moved into a sprawling, lake-side cocktail hour they then hosted a party that prioritised all their favourite things – wonderful food and a high-energy dance floor.
They got right into their planning and eight months after becoming engaged, brought about a stunning day that quite honestly, we could look at for hours. In The Wilds of Someplace have documented every moment just beautifully.
We had lots of mutual friends for many years and would socalise in similar circles from the age of 17 but never seemed to cross paths often. Years later we started running into one another more and more on nights out and at events in Perth. Friendship groups started merging a bit more and our interests in one another grew.
We often say, ‘how did we end up together?’ because it wasn’t love at first sight and we knew each other for years before we started dating. It was a natural progression and before I knew it, I couldn’t imagine life with anyone else.
We were holidaying on the Sunshine Coast (visiting Jaxon’s sister) and took a day trip to Noosa. We stopped at Sunshine Beach on the way and the boys had a surf. Jaxon and I went for a walk over the headland and found a little private beach (I think it is called Paradise Beach). This is where Jaxon dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him! It was perfect! Stunning location, no frills, just us.
It was a somewhat short turnaround, with only an eight-month engagement. We knew we wanted to get married in the Great Southern as this is where we spent a lot of downtime and where some of our family is based. The venue and date were the first things we explored and locked in as all other decisions were based around these two things.
We wanted a venue that was naturally beautiful and required little to no styling, so The Gardens at Bullimah was the perfect choice for us. We were able to have an outdoor ceremony in the garden with cocktail hour spilling out to the lawn by the lake. The newly-built reception venue with high gable ceilings, big exposed beams and a view of the lake required no styling so we were able to save on cost and effort.
With a short engagement and wanting to get married in ‘wedding season’ I did feel a bit stressed about whether the vendors we preferred would be available. We were very fortunate that we were able to secure all our preferred vendors and worked in order of what service we found most important. We are both food lovers and wanted everyone to be well fed so catering was a big priority for us. We opted for a cocktail reception and chose a menu of woodfire pizza, tacos, skewers, paella and rice paper rolls (hearty food to keep people full all night).
Keeping the energy high with a great live band was also high on our list. Our venue provided a BYO alcohol option, therefore we were able to supply our own selection of beer, wine and sparking which saved a lot of money and gave us the freedom to select the drinks we wanted.
I am a planner by nature, so I dove in head-first and had everything organised pretty early on so that the few months leading up to the big day were relatively stress-free and we were able to enjoy the build up and excitement.
I didn’t want to make a bold statement with the use of colour or a tone of styling. I wanted things to be effortless and let the natural beauty of the venue and gardens shine through. I would describe the inspiration behind the style of our wedding as timeless, neutral, minimal, no fuss (no DYI effort required), earthy tones and keeping things simple.
I booked appointments at two bridal stores in Perth. Although I had a silhouette in mind, I was open to trying on everything. I tried the big princess dress, and sequences and lace, but the effortlessness of French silk was the winner in the end.
It was a process of elimination, as I was able to gain a better idea of what I liked and what suited me after trying on many dresses. My Mum, sister (MOH) and one of my bridesmaids came to the dress fittings with me and were able to help me narrow it down to the perfect dress. It was a really fun day.
I chose a dress by Brides by Design which was made in-store from French silk, in a tailored, timeless design. Having the dress made locally was comforting as I didn’t have to worried about waiting for it to arrive from interstate or overseas. Mum was with me at each of my fittings and it was a really special process to experience together.
The ceremony was certainly the most emotional and significant part of the day, filled with lots of laughter and happy tears. I would re-live our vows one hundred times if I could – this was such a special moment to share with Jaxon. We were able to include our parents and siblings in different aspects of our ceremony which also meant a lot to Jaxon and me.
I will always cherish the time spent with my bridesmaids the evening before and morning of the wedding. Our bridal party were all legends and we had so much fun together throughout the whole day.
Speeches were also a big highlight of the reception. They we heartfelt, nostalgic and had us and all our guests in fits
Meaning of marriage.
To us, marriage is a promise to keep enjoying the journey together, knowing that wherever it takes us we will be there
Aisle: Here comes the sun by The Beatles
Reception entry: Good life by Kayne West
First dance: I would do anything for you by Foster The People
Funny stories (or near disasters).
There was so much laughter and funny moments during the lead up and on the big day. We reflect on the whole weekend the most fun and memorable times we have had to date. No dramas or near disasters at all.
Finalising the guest list was probably the toughest part of planning the wedding. It was an uncomfortable process having to reduce numbers from our original list. I think the best way to handle this is to start the list early and revisit it often to see how your thoughts change over time.
Words of wisdom.
Most of our guests travelled long distances to be at our wedding and many arrived the day prior. We organised a casual dinner and drinks the night before the wedding for all our guests. This gave Jaxon and I the opportunity to catch up with family and friends before the wedding and not feel so overwhelmed and pressure to spend time with every guest at the reception.
This meant we could relax during the reception and mingle with guests naturally without worrying if we had missed anyone. I’d highly recommend this approach to anyone that has the option as it made a huge difference to how we enjoyed the reception.
Western Australia has the cream of the crop when it comes to wedding venues. We share with you some of our favourites as well as some top tips for getting married in this stunning state. Head here to read more.
KATIE & JAXON’S VENDORS
Ceremony: The Gardens at Bullimah – The Sunken Garden
Reception: The Gardens at Bullimah – Potter’s Well
Celebrant/Officiant: Anna Cameron – Anna has known Jaxon since he was a young boy, growing up in the same
farming community. It was so comforting to have Anna in control of our ceremony. Anna makes the whole process so
special and provides support and knowledge along the way. Anna told our love story so perfectly and it sounded just
the way we lived it.
Photography: In The Wilds of Someplace – Holii and Ash made Jaxon and I feel super comfortable, were easygoing
and captured our day beautifully. We will always cherish our wedding photos and love that the photos capture all the
feelings and moments of us on our big day so seamlessly.
Florist: Helen from Riverdale Farm – I wanting to incorporate a banksia into each bouquet for sentimental reasons,
however, still keep the pallet neutral and soft. Helen nailed this and I was so blown away by what she created.
Hair: Michelle Finessi Hair – A long-time best friend that took on the massive task of seven lady’s hair in one morning
with so much care and attention to detail.
Make-up: Carissa Phillis Make Up – Carissa not only brings her talent for beautiful make-up to the day, she brings
such a great energy and positive vibe.
The Dress: Brides by Design – The ladies at Brides by Design made the whole process so special. The quality and
service were amazing.
Veil / headwear: Veil borrowed from my sister (MOH) – It was really special to be able to wear my sister’s veil on my
wedding day while she stood by my side as Maid of Honor.
Rings: Miles Henderson Jewellery – Jaxon knew Miles through mutual friends and chose Miles to design and create my
engagement ring. We went back to Miles together to design my wedding band and are super happy with the end
products and really enjoyed the experience.
Catering: Wood Fired Catering Co – Amazing food and lots of it! Narda and Jamie provide amazing service on the
night and ensure everyone is satisfied. The food is super tasty and the servings are very generous.
Bar: BYO with service provided by The Gardens at Bullimah
Cake / Cake topper: Assortment of sweets from Mt Barker Bakery
Entertainment: Siboney and Andy – cannot recommend more highly. Sib and Andy kept guests dancing all night and
their playlist suited the occasion and crowd perfectly. Very easygoing and bring a great energy to the night.
Transport: Albany Limousines and Charters – Very professional and organised. Simon is very experienced,
accommodating and ‘no-fuss’.
Hire: The BIB Approach – A beautiful collection of quality hire items and very responsive and accommodating.
Honeymoon: Cancelled due to COVID-19. We were all set to travel to Croatia and Spain for the month of May 2020.
We have instead opted for a lowkey week away in the South West of WA.