As the owners of Sydney’s Audley Dance Hall, Zoe and James were all over creating a kick-ass event at their own venue. “We were so excited to do things that are a little left of centre that we always hope our clients will choose to do, like having one long 122 seat dining table outside. We really wanted all of our friends and family to get to spend time in the Royal National Park, a place we have fallen in love with. It was an easy choice,” says Zoe, who sums up the day’s vibe as bold, quirky, abundant and textural and chose awesome vendors like Flour and Stone and Blessed Days to pull off their one-of-a-kind day.
“We had discussed over 10 years that our wedding would be a great feast, whether on the family farm or out in the bush, we wanted to be in touch with the land and share good food and drinks and dance into the night.” And of that, there was a-plenty. The newlyweds and their loved ones got their groove and grub on into the early hours of the following day (nearly 3am!).
“The food was out of this world. One of the waiters spotted me digging into the oysters at the seafood bar and said, ‘I love a bride that eats!’ There was no way I was going to miss out on all that deliciousness,” explains Zoe, adding that choosing her favourite memory from the day is a no-brainer.
“Without a doubt, the moment we got to the middle of our ceremony circle. Looking around at all the beautiful faces of everyone we love. The best!” While the pair, with the support of their celebrant, Wendy Haynes, opted out of signing the legal documentation until marriage becomes equal for all (get a move on it, Australia!) they tell us that they’re looking forward to a future filled with tonnes of pashing and looking back at their special day photographed by Alice Mahran.
“Holy moly, your vendors really get into the trenches with you! The photographer is one of those magical elements and Alice captured the whole thing so beautifully. I’m so happy we get to relive this awesome day through her lens.”
As for advice for other brides and grooms-to-be? Zoe and James, who are undoubtedly experts in the field, remind couples soon journeying down the aisle to have heaps of fun, go with the flow and to remember this: “You’re inviting a bunch of friends and family around for good food, wine and dancing and to celebrate love. Someone else is cooking and cleaning up, so relax and have a blast!”
Zoe and James’s romantic bush wedding was originally featured in issue 15. Want more inspiration? Check out Issue 16 on sale now and stocked in newsagents nationally. Search for your nearest stockist via suburb or postcode here or shop online with Mag Nation or via the HM online store here.
CREDITS Photographer Alice Mahran // Florist Zoe Wilder // Ceremony, Reception and Catering Audley Dance Hall, NSW // Cake Flour and Stone // Pink Salt Favours Nicholson & Saville // Reception Furniture Blessed Days // Entertainment Cavan Te // Celebrant Wendy Haynes // Bridal Gown Akira Isogawa // Lingerie Gooseberry intimates // Shoes Jimmy Choo // Accessories Litter, and Sarah and Sebastian // Hair and Makeup Katie Angus // Bridesmaid Gifts Maison Balzac // Suit Hugo Boss // Shoes Church’s // Socks Harrolds // Watch and Cufflinks Georg Jensen // Pocket Square Tom Ford // Barber Scivetti Hair // Flower Girls Collette Dinnigan Dresses.