“I pretty much shot this entire wedding barefoot- in my element, doing what I love,” says Madeline Kate Photography of Chantel and Michael’s beach wedding in Dolphin Sands. “The wilderness that surrounded this stunning property was like no other Australian landscape I’d ever seen – let’s just say I was glad I had a 4WD,” she adds. Add a barefoot bride in Karen Willis Holmes (from Amante Bridal, no less), a taco truck and glamping for days, and you have the recipe for a damn good wedding. Make sure you scroll down for the video from Luke Bickley, too.
THE PROPOSAL We had the vacation of our dreams in the Cook Islands. Michael planned a beautiful dinner on the beach and as the sun was setting we went for a walk along the shore. Something up ahead of me caught my eye so I went to look at it before Michael yelled out my name and I turned to see Michael down on one knee. I also fell on my knees in the sand and just held him crying happy tears.
THE VENUE My parents bought five acres on the oceanfront in Dolphin Sands and the first time we visited together, we just knew it was special. I looked at Michael and said ‘this is where I want to marry you one day!’ This land will forever be treasured by us- it’s where all our family come to create memories and just be present with one another.
THE VIBE We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our life together with our two sons. I was crazy enough to style the whole wedding myself and do my own flowers, but the style I was trying to portray was natural elements with a mermaid’ess/ boho twist. Some of our guests came over on the Spirit of Tasmania and set up camp all over our land. Rooftop tents, swags and pitched tents. It was more than just that one day- it was the days after, spending time around the fire, drinking red wine and watching our kids enjoy nature.
DIY We arrived a week before our wedding to set up and create our vision. Michael is the ultimate handyman and we built everything. Driftwood signs, the bar, we also collected flat rocks from the beach that we used as our guestbook, giving our guests the chance to write a message on one of rocks that we now have in our garden. The driftwood teepee we married under, the pathway to the beach and wooden stumps that were stools for the kids. Being a florist, I wanted my flowers to be a representation of me. I used oversised white roses for the girls flowers- their dresses were different and I wanted it to look simplistic and not overdone. With my bouquet, I used moody smokebush foliage with dusty pink roses alongside magnolia foliage that had the best velvety, leather looking brown leaves & my all time favourite, fluffy cotton stems.
THE DRESS After trying on every bell sleeve, boho, lace dress that I always imagined myself wearing, my body just did not suit them. I adored the dresses, just not on my figure. But then the gorgeous Stacey from Amante Bridal pulled out the ‘Lottie’ dress from Karen Willis Holmes and my first reaction was ‘no way- it’s fitted and thin straps!’ But as soon as I slipped it on I just knew. I felt like a mermaid. The whole experience was magic, from entering into their bohemian, luxe dressing room, to having a whole session dedicated to just me to sipping herbal tea. It was so special and memorable.
STANDOUT VENDORS Madeline Kate Photography was an absolute dream and made us so comfortable! Also Merren, our celebrant is such a beautiful soul going above and beyond to give us our perfect ceremony.
COOL CUSTOM Merren had the idea of asking guests to collect some kind of beach treasure (shell, driftwood etc) as they arrived. They held it in their hands throughout the ceremony, blessing it with love and after the ceremony was finished we all walked towards the water together to throw it in- super special! Also, as us girls were getting ready, we held a ‘sisterhood mediation circle’ using rose quarts, singing bowls and candles to celebrate woman and show gratitude from me to the girls.
CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Madeline Kate Photography Cinematographer Luke Bickley Stylist & Florist Zingara Life (Bride) Place cards The Hollow Geode Ceremony & Reception Private Property Taco Truck Tacotaco Tas Oyster Bar Melshells Oysters Cake Wicked Cheese Hire Items, Marquee & Lighting Entertainment Tony Mak Celebrant Cinta Celebrate Love Glamping Pachamama Retreat BRIDE Bridal Gown Karen Willis Holmes Bridal Boutique Amante Bridal Robe Arnhem Bridesmaid Robes Boohoo Accessories Lovisa Barefoot Sandals Frankly My Dear Makeup Makeup By Chelcea GROOM Shirt H&M Pants Cotton On Suspenders G-Star Raw Shoes Wild Rhino Watch Ripcurl Groomsmen Suits H&M