After two babies, buying and selling property, and renovating a house, Shannon (a stay-at-home mum and architecture student) and Grant (an electrician) couldn’t wait to get married… “We were ready for a party – a party for us!,” laughs Shannon.

A woman who loves all things creative, the bride had a clear vision of what the couple’s ‘backyard party meets the beach’ wedding would look like. So the pair got their hands dirty and ensured almost every detail at their Byron Bay venue the Secret Garden was DIY. “We made signage, we made drink coolers, we made indoor fun games, we made decorations, we designed the space and made it happen with the help of Frank & Joy!,” enthuses Shannon.

The couple sourced many of their wedding vendors at the Byron Bay Wedding Fair where Shannon had exhibited her own rustic styling pieces and coordination packages. Photographer Carly Tia was one of those talented ladies who Shannon instantly connected with. “Her photographs are out of this world. We can’t stop looking at them and can’t wait to have some printed in our home.”

And knowing exactly where to look for her bridal gown, the bohemian Spell & The Gyspy Collective dress that both Grant and Shannon loved from the start, made it down the aisle. “I love their stuff, it’s my vibe and it suits me. Straight away both Grant and I thought, the Gwendolyn Wrap would be perfect, he LOVED it! So we made the trip to Spell and Hannah was outstanding. My bridesmaid and sister-in-law Lizzie popped the champagne and the festivities started in the most amazing private loft space inside the Spell Boutique. I tried loads on, even those which I didn’t particularly like the look of and sure enough the Gwendolyn fitted and felt like home. I kept it a secret from Grant until I walked down the aisle… he was mesmerised!”

When asked what her favourite part of the day was, Shannon says, “I loved the boat stacked with ice and beers, the bus decked out with our dress-ups as our photo booth and the non-stop games of Finska our guests revelled in!”

But her ultimate joy? “Watching our sons ride in on a trike down the aisle to Daddy while he balled his eyes out… because he was so darn happy.”

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Carly Tia Photography Event planner & Stylist Shannon Thompson Creative (the bride) On the day Co-ordinator Frank & Joy Florist The French Petal Stationery & Signage Shannon Thompson Creative Ceremony & Reception Secret Garden Byron Bay Catering Crusta Woodfired Lighting & Sound Hire Byron Audio Entertainment Matt O’Donnell Music Celebrant Rebecca Mayo Rings Demarge THE BRIDE Bridal Gown Spell & The Gyspy Collective Getting Ready Outfits Piyama Shoes Nude Footwear Earrings The East Bracelets Pandora Hair Edwards and Co Makeup Penelope Make-up Art Bridesmaid Dresses LJC Designs THE GROOM Shirt & Pants Rodd and Gunn THE KIDS Page Boy Outfits Zara Kids & Converse.