R + R Get Married! The Details (Part 5)

Details, details, details. Without a doubt, it’s the deep love and the people that make a wedding, but often it’s the little details that can pull together a truckload of inspiration to create a memorable and aesthetically beautiful celebration.

After a few stops and starts, we were truly blessed to assemble what we affectionately refer to as ‘The A-Team’ for our wedding, and I’m crazy about everyone involved.

Today is all about all the juicy details, so read on and feel free to ask any questions in the comments. I’m sure I’ve missed some things!

The Florals


I’m not really sure where to start when it comes to Elise, the creative talent behind our stunning florals.

Ramai and I first met Elise when we worked together on our engagement photo shoot, and thankfully the stars aligned after the florist we had originally booked for our wedding didn’t work out, which freed us up to be able to team up on the ‘main event.’ Everything happens for a reason, and in this case, it was the best damn reason in the world. There’s simply no comparison!

The brief I gave Elise for the florals had two components – the first being a request for a combination of soft pastels, gum leaves, natives (including King Proteas, which I love) and wildflowers for displaying in the “inside out room” and the marquee, and the second, bright-as-anything blooms to match the neon vibe I had going on in the artist’s studio (the dancing shed). She absolutely nailed it.

Elise’s incredible creations included:

+ The arch for the ceremony (oh my, OH-FREAKING-MY!)
+ Draped florals and leaves across the doorway at the front entrance to the property
+ Single stems in bottles hung from the roof (no pics of these unfortunately)
+ Baby’s Breath in bottles scattered around the venue
+ A mix of leaves and pretty flowers in vintage decanters and vases on the tables in the marquee
+ The cake decorations
+ Big vintage bowls (vases) with gorgeous arrangements for the guestbook table and other spots in the inside out room
+ Flower-filled jars everywhere!
+ The dessert table
+ Bright arrangements for the studio
+ The succulents for the favours/ escort cards
+ Baby’s Breath flower crowns

Along with all that – an impressive effort in itself – Elise created the beautiful bouquets for my bridesmaids and I and the buttonholes for the boys. My head nearly fell off when I found out there would be peonies – my all-time favourite flower – flown in from Holland for the occasion!

If you haven’t gathered by now, we love Elise and it’s been so lovely seeing things blossom (mind the pun) for her business Elyssium Blooms over the past few months. You heard it here first – this girl is going to go far.

The Storytellers


I’ve previously introduced you to our mega-talented  photographer Ali Mitton but it needs to be said again – she is simply amazing.

Not only is she a supremely talented photographer, but Ali is also one of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around. She was joined on the day by one of her best friends Emma McMillan (behind my Dad in the shot above), who I am also friends with, and together they made a formidable team. They put in 12 solid hours and so many people commented on how wonderful they were. Total treasures.

When it came to finding a videographer, Ali recommended I get in touch with her friend Jesse McCormack (also above) who she had worked with on Element campaigns, and again, he was an absolute joy. The style of our video is very much like the photos – but with a soundtrack of our favourite songs thrown in the mix – and we know we’ll treasure the many memories they all captured forever.

The Food


From the moment we met Simon from Eat Drink Catering, we knew he was our man.

Simon is a true professional and the union of his charismatic personality and his obvious passion for food is nothing short of glorious. He gets it. It’s easy. Things flow, suggestions are put on the table, advice and support is offered along the way. It just works. 

Testament to Simon’s good nature is the Eat Drink team he has assembled, who are all lovely and equally as professional. You get the feeling that “over and above” is their mantra, and we were truly made to feel like VIP’s all day with lots of “extra” attention.

Simon was a pleasure to work with start to finish, and I know we’ll continue to keep in touch as the years go by. If you’re getting married in Byron Bay or around the area, you need to get in touch with him.

The Paper Goods


We enlisted the help of someone who I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with to design our paper goods, the lovely Jo from August Empress/ The Darling Tree.

Jo is amazing to work with because she just “gets” it off the bat and is totally patient and understanding (umm… especially when I emailed her in the last week asking for a few additional items!)

Jo wove her design magic over:

+ The feasting menu, which were printed on brown kraft bags
+ Lots of tags/ flags – escort cards, placecards, straws, table numbers
+ Signage for the guestbook table
+ Bar and cocktail menus
+ And my favourite – the ‘Love Manifesto’ we printed and placed on everyone’s plate in the marquee

* All items were printed at sarbe invitations + papers on the Gold Coast. Ask for Andrea if you go there, she’s the best!

The Lighting


It’s rare to find people as truly passionate about what they do as Dan and Sean from North Coast Events. Again, we hooked up with these guys when the previous supplier we’d spoken to was basically impossible to get a hold of, and once again, we’re so blessed we did.

These guys both worked tirelessly (in the rain) in the lead up to the day, hanging lanterns from trees and throughout the roof in the inside out room and the marquee, as well as transforming the dancing room with festoon bulbs and an array of other lights that really created the party atmosphere.  It’s a pleasure to watch people get as excited as they do about their work.

Dan and Sean were also responsible for the gorgeous rustic ladder that hung through the centre of the marquee, shown above, and all the audio for the ceremony and speeches. Absolute legends, I can’t speak highly enough of them both (they also DJ if you’re interested).

The Dress


Ahh, the dress. I searched and searched online for The Perfect Dress, and after realising I just wasn’t going to find what I wanted in Queensland, last October I took the opportunity while down in Melbourne to visit designer Amaline Vitale to try a style I’d seen online… and it was love at first sight. My bridesmaids cried, I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day and I knew I had to have it.

My gown was made to measure, which meant I had to fly to Melbourne for 3 different fittings (actually, there were 5 fittings all up) earlier this year, and seeing the workmanship and it all come together slowly each time I went in was just amazing. It really was an ‘experience’ and I can’t speak highly enough about Amaline and her the boutique manager Sam.

My favourite thing about this dress was that it was ridiculously comfortable, which is big for me as I knew I didn’t want to be hiking up a strapless all day. I love that the look is both timeless and modern and I’m preeeeetty certain I won’t be looking back in horror at my wedding pics when I’m 50, which is always a good thing!

* I’ve made the decision to sell my beloved gown, so if you are interested please drop me a line so we can chat. 

My beautiful bridesmaids wore Alannah Hill and I gave them Fuji Instax Mini’s with film (to capture memories on the day and in the future) to thank them for being such an important part of our wedding.

The Support Crew


We hired my friend from work Shannon to be our day-of coordinator, but Shan being as awesome as she is, showed up the day before to help with the set-up, worked her butt off all day Saturday and into the night, and again, was there on the Sunday doing most of the pack-down with my parents (we were oblivious this was going on as we were told that was all meant to happen later that afternoon).

To say she went above and beyond would be a gross understatement. Shan may not being a wedding coordinator by trade – she works in business events and her work ethic is just part of the reason I trust her judgement implicitly – but seriously, there’s a career there for her if she ever wants to grab it by the horns.

I also cannot fail to mention my parents who were so unbelievable with everything in the lead-in and over the wedding weekend it actually brings me to tears. They worked tirelessly to help us achieve my “vision” for the day and were up again first thing the morning after cleaning up, packing decorations in the trailer and doing whatever they could to assist. So, so blessed.

The Props


As I mentioned in this post, we borrowed some furniture/ vintage props from our friends Judi and Kris from Little Gray Station – things like a sofa, vintage wooden boxes, vases, a linen table cloth and so on.

LGS have a fantastic inventory that’s growing weekly, so I highly recommend you check them out if you’re having a wedding in South-East Queensland/ Northern NSW. They’re also awesome people, which is VERY important when it comes to “anything wedding” – you need the best of the best around you when you’re planning something so huge.

Other Bits + Pieces


Screen printed HOORAY flags for waving when we walked down the aisle. You wouldn’t believe how long it took to stick those things to skewers!

We made signs (Welcome/ I Do’s/ Mrs & Mr/ Restroom/ Photobooth/ Dancing) out of old fence palings and wooden letters from Bunnings that we painted white and glued on. We also did a bit of a renovation rescue on an old rustic box to create our wishing well.

Printstagram prints were pegged to twine. We also had an Instax Mini on the guestbook table for guests to take mini polaroids of themselves to add to the twine throughout the day.

I bought one of those “finish this sentence” style guestbooks from kikki.K and had vintage postcards of New York and London that I’d sourced on Etsy on the table for people to write their well wishes or words of wisdom on.

Both these cities are significant for us, and the idea was that the cards would be mailed to us over the first year of our marriage to remind us of our special day  – however, most people just signed the guestbook so that whole concept kind of fell by the wayside!

My dear friend Liz did an amazing job in creating the prettiest caramel mud wedding cake for us (bonus points that it tasted so damn good too!) Along with my step-dad’s famous cheesecake – which is seriously beyond – the wedding cake and the rest of the dessert table was attacked with vigour. I’d like to blame it all on the oldies but I know better.

Ramai gave me a gorgeous, delicate diamond Tiffany bracelet to wear on the day (it’s now a permanent fixture on my wrist) and in lieu of a watch/ other piece of jewellery (he already has one and he doesn’t wear anything else), I had to get creative with his present.

After much brain-wracking and with the help of a friend who works for the AFL here on the Gold Coast, we arranged to send Ramai’s Essendon guernsey down to Melbourne to have it signed by the coach and captain – his favourites. As a huge Bombers fan, I think it’s fair to say he was pretty stoked when he opened it on the morning of our wedding day!

I also got him a new iPad – totally unromantic but the guy has everything, which makes present buying impossible – and a ‘wedding survival kit’ with cigars and Rescue Remedy and other bits and bobs.

Pretty much everything in the dancing room was a DIY job. Neon tassel garlands made from cellophane, a coffee table and picnic table made from shipping pallets, step stools painted two-tone and jars wrapped in coloured builders string.

I sourced the awesome hot pink chevron cushions from Earth Cadets on Etsy and the rest was a mix from IKEA, Spotlight and thrift stores. We also made our own photo booth (using props bought at the local party store) and had a rotating slideshow of images of us and our loved ones projected an a huge drop down screen.

Venue: Gurragawee (truly beautiful, you’ll want to own the place once you see it! )
Makeup: Ashlea Penfold
Hair: Alisha Anjaiya
Celebrant: Karen Tesar
Musician: Linc Hillard (absolute gem with a killer voice)
DJ: Aleksander Kornel (bro of my besty’s boyfriend)
Hire: Byron Bay Wedding & Party Hire
Transportation: Blanch’s Bus Company (guests were bussed in)
Invitations + website: Tabitha Emma
Rings: Adam Graham

For more wedding goodness, check out:

R + R Get Married! Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I hope you’ve enjoyed our wedding recaps and please, if you have any questions on specifics, please let me know. I haven’t included everything above as the post was getting rather massive, but I’m more than happy to help with any advice or recommendations. Ask away my lovely brides-to-be! x

R + R Get Married! Party Time (Part 4)

I love playing with different themes when it comes to styling and the reason is pretty simple: my “flavour of the month” is prone to changing constantly. Variety is the spice of life, right?

For my hens party and engagement photo shoot, I knew I wanted to go for a laid-back bohemian vibe – complete with flower crowns, native blooms and lots of brass – and when it came to planning our wedding, I knew that a natural, rustic look would tie in perfectly with our chosen venue.

As well as loving soft colours and natural decor, I absolutely adore bright, modern neons, stripes and graphic prints and I knew I wanted to incorporate those styling elements into our day somehow, which is how I ended up decorating the artists studio – AKA, the space where we partied the night away – as shown above.

Everything was DIY’d and there was a definite shift in the mood as we walked through the door at around 8:30pm and everyone took in the Neon Nights vibe. It had all the essentials – the disco ball was spinning, the DJ was cranking out the floor-fillers and the bar staff were serving up signature R + R cocktails. We called them The Love Bomb (Lychee Caiprioska) and Mint to Be (Moscow Mule) and they were a huuuuge hit. Freaking delicious.

* We also had some Really Important Security Guards keeping the crowd under control, as you can see below. Thank god they were there on the job.

Ramai and I have (far too) many photos of us dressed up in crazy outfits, so it was only fitting that we’d have a photo booth at our wedding, complete with hideous beards, fluoro wigs and other bits and pieces.

We created our own set up in the back corner and these photos have brought us endless joy (I’m talking laugh-til-you-cry-your-eyes-out tears). And just FYI, there’s 400 other shots where they came from. Laughter for days!

The Photobooth


I hope these silly pics brought a smile to your face after the more heartfelt stuff in Parts 1, 2 and 3. And finally, the lucky last installment will cover all the details on our vendors and the supplies we used, so if you have any questions please let me know in the comments and I’ll be more than happy to answer them for you!

Photos from… everywhere! A total mish mash, as you can probably tell. 

R + R Get Married! The Reception (Part 3)

Following our ceremony, the eating, drinking and good times well and truly kicked off while Ramai and I went to get our photos, and the guests had fun mingling on the gorgeous front verandah, eating from a beautiful big mezze platter crafted by the wonderful Eat Drink Catering and listening to sweet acoustic tunes played by our musician.

Half an hour or so later, everyone (including our muso Linc) headed back into the “inside out” room – which had been transformed into a lounge area by that stage – and the canapes started circulating. Highlights were the tempura zucchini flowers and Panko fish and chips in cones with dill aioli, which one of the waitresses kindly delivered to us while we were getting our photos taken. OH. EM. GEE. Yum.

We came back and had about half an hour to hang and chat with everyone, and although this part is a bit of a blur of conversations, I just remember awesome music, loud chatter, lots of excitement, plenty of hugs and kisses and photos galore. 92 people in a room, vibin’ off the love.

Our friend Scott took on the job of capturing everyone in the room on our Instax mini and hanging the little polaroids on the strings above the guestbook table (what a legend) so we have plenty of keepsakes to tuck away safely in an album which is wonderful. Yay for Scott!

Once it was time to move into the marquee for the main meal, I had hilariously “dumb” moment and (with the intention of encouraging others to follow suit) walked in and sat down at the bridal table in the middle of the room, chatting away mindlessly to one of the other guests.

A few minutes later, Ramai’s groomsmen Chris came up and tapped me on the shoulder and said “Um, aren’t you and Ramai meant to be ‘announced’ and walk in last?” Oops. I seriously lost it laughing and scooted out of there as quickly as possible – hello brain!

When we entered The Right Way, to the sound of Florence + The Machine’s ‘You’ve Got the Love’ and lots of cheering and clapping, it was straight into the formalities so that everyone could enjoy their meal without stopping and starting to listen to speeches.

Funny story: up until a few months ago, we weren’t actually going to have speeches at our wedding. We’ve been to a few weddings where the speeches were awkward and uncomfortable and Ramai literally begged me after one particularly strange one saying “Can we please NOT do speeches, you have to agree that was baaaaad.”

We had this idea (that never came off due to time restraints) that we wanted all of the guests to be involved in the speeches and that we were going to send around a video camera, get all our friends to do a piece to camera with their well wishes or funny anecdotes, and then we’d edit it all up to play on the day with some other cool footage mixed in.

That never happened, and although I still think it’s a pretty cool idea, I’m SO glad because the speech gods clearly had better things in store for us.

The best man and bridesmaid speeches were awesome (seeing all three of my girls up there made me super teary, they said the most beautiful things!) and then my step-dad did this incredibily heartfelt speech, absolutely nailing Ramai – and when I say nailing, I mean dissecting his character to a T and talking about his authenticity and ability to make anyone he’s speaking to feel important, which I agree is truly one of his biggest strengths.

And then my Dad – who had been nervous as hell all day – came out and freaking knocked it out of the ballpark, down the road, around the corner, and back again. Like, majorly. We’re talking standing ovations, high fives from half the guests, girls asking him to be the stand-in father at their weddings and a whole lot of “Speech of the century, or what?!” chit chat. It was beyond hilarious and I don’t think anyone was more surprised than Dad at the reception he received. I think the fact he has an Irish accent definitely helped – I just remember my bridesmaids yelling out “Davey” through the whole thing. Classic.

Once the speeches were done, it was all about the food and the wine, and the feasting menu – a progressive menu of 8 dishes – went down an absolute treat. One thing I can tell you is that no one went home from our wedding hungry, as I’m sure you’re starting to gather.

Drinking + Dancing + Having a Raucous Time


I’ve got a real mix of photos from the last part of the night – including some photobooth shenanigans – so I’ll save them for a separate post. The last and final post in the wedding series will contain all the juicy details, from my dress designer to the suppliers, so for all of you that have been curious and have emailed questions, stay tuned!

R + R Get Married! The Ceremony (Part 2)

When we started planning our wedding and put some thought around the way the day would unfold, we knew it was crucial to find a celebrant who would really “get” our vision – that is, that burning desire we shared that our ceremony be heartfelt, intimate, totally real and a deep and true reflection of  ‘Team R & R.’

We were (beyond) blessed to find that person in Karen Tesar, and it was a joy to work with her on distilling the essence of our love into a thoughtful ceremony that was personal, contemporary and unfussy. It seriously couldn’t have been more “us.”

This is how it went…

Like most of us, when I’m a guest at a wedding I always look to the groom to see his reaction when the bride appears at the top of the aisle, and one of my clearest memories is locking eyes with Ramai as I stepped out through the sheer draping I was hidden behind with my Dad and keeping that gaze fixed the whole time I walked towards him. I probably would’ve pulled a muscle if my smile was any bigger!

My bridesmaids Megan, Ez and Jess and my brothers Andy, Ryan and Kaidyn had walked down the aisle to Songbird by Fleetwood Mac – one of my all-time favourite bands – and as soon as I heard the intro to James Vincent McMorrow’s version of Higher Love, which indicated it was “almost time” for my entrance, I took a deep breath, looped my arm through my Dad’s, felt him squeeze my hand and started walking.

Choosing a song to walk down the aisle to is a pretty huge – and daunting task – and when we were going through options, we just couldn’t go past this beautifully haunting rendition of Higher Love. I love the lyric “Bring me a higher love” because I imagined that was what Ramai was saying – with my Dad of course “bringing” me to him – and every.single.time I hear the part where he sings “Let me feel the love come over me, let me feel how strong it can be” I tear up. Without fail. Yes, still. And probably forever.

The Readings


We wanted our gorgeous friends Kim and Liz to be involved in the ceremony so we asked them to do our readings, which were as follows:

Passage from The Alchemist (one of our favourite books) 

“When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke – the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognised the same thing.

Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”

Excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

“Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”

The Vows


I’d always pictured us having our ceremony on the outside lawn area at Gurragawee because, of course, like most brides I didn’t envisage it raining on our Big Day (especially at the beginning of June, which is typically super clear and completely rain-free).

I can honestly say though, hand on heart, that the rain made our wedding. I never thought I’d say that about rainy weather – seriously, I’m the biggest weather freak out – but I don’t think I’ve ever heard the words “magical” and “mystical” uttered more than I did on that day.

Without a doubt, the biggest benefits were that it kept everyone together – which wouldn’t have happened otherwise at a venue that had lots of nooks and crannies to explore – creating a bustling, vibrant, electric atmosphere, and most importantly, because it meant we had to have our ceremony in the large conservatorium-style area known as the “inside-out room.” A gorgeously rustic, perfect space that I can’t believe we didn’t think to utilise for the ceremony beforehand. Honestly – waaaay better than the lawn. Times infinity. Ask everyone.

Ramai and I wrote our own vows, and it’s funny, when I was saying mine I almost felt like I was “out of my body.” I’m someone who sobs at other people’s weddings – yep, even that time when I didn’t even know the bride and I was losing it more than her mother – but I think I was just so overcome with joy, excitement and adrenalin that I was able to hold it together pretty well. Well… except for a few parts when Ramai was saying his vows and his voice started wavering which made me choke up too (and let’s just say I’m glad I was looking at the groomsmen rather than the bridesmaids and my brother Andy, who apparently were all tearing up).

As we said our vows, I remember listening to the rain as it trickled down on the roof and I could literally feel the love emanating off everyone as we stood there grinning like mad. It was the best feeling in the world.

Once the vows were done, we signed our register (with my Mum and Ramai’s best man Jason as our witnesses) to Adele’s cover of The Cure’s Lovesong and then it was all about The Kiss (!) as we were declared husband and wife. Or kisses perhaps – I think there were several from memory! Why not hey?!

Champagne was poured and glasses were raised as the new Mr and Mrs MacDonald walked out into the crowd to the tune of Beyonce’s Halo – a light, energetic song we chose simply because we knew it would be perfect to kickstart the celebrations for the rest of the day and night.

Next up I’ll be posting on our reception, so stay tuned!

+ If you missed Part 1, check it out here.

All photos by Ali Mitton and Emma McMillan, except black & whites shown. 

R + R Get Married! (Part 1)


There’s so much to tell.

How do you distill months of preparation, an avalanche of emotion, sights and sounds and essential characters – the celebration of a love story spanning six years – into words and images?

I’m really not sure. It feels like a gargantuan task. I’m hoping I can do it some justice over the next few posts.

I’ll start with the day before. I spoke about the week leading in to our wedding here but I’ll talk a bit more about the Friday to connect the dots and start the story flowing from there.

Friday was literally full-freaking-on. When you’re the wedding planner, wedding stylist and bride-to-be all rolled into one, and you’re essentially the only one with the vision for the big extravaganza unfolding the next day, there will be questions. Many, many “What else needs done and where do I find this, and this, and this?” questions. See also: how does one clone oneself?

We got to work early because I’m better that way (purposeful “doing” makes me happy and finally I could “do” rather than simply “plan”) and what ensued was a huge day of rearranging and arranging décor, changing plans, climbing ladders to hang things from the roof, rehearsing the ceremony, accepting the rain and {insert 5692 trillion other things here}, and finally, at around 9pm, Ramai and I had a moment to sit down together, with no one else around, to edit the songs we were using in the ceremony the next day. Nothing like a bit of last minute song editing – and Chinese takeaway – to celebrate your impending nuptials!

By that point we were both pretty overwhelmed by how much we’d squeezed in to the day and the enormity of the whole event finally coming together, and as I walked my soon-to-be-husband out to the car so he could head back the accommodation he was staying in that night, we were finally able to take a breath… followed straight away by some pretty serious tears from us both.

I’ll never forget those tender moments – that deeply vulnerable, please-don’t-leave-I-need-you-to-hold-me feeling, all that unhinged anticipation and excitement cloaked in exhaustion. It had it all, and I know those sacred, precious embraces will stay with me forever – just the two of us talking about why we were embarking on this beautiful thing called marriage and reflecting on the path we’d travelled together to get to that point. It makes me quite emotional to think back to that now, actually. Wowee.


The Big Day Has Arrived!


Thoughts about the way you’ll feel on the morning of one of the most important days of your life are something you inevitably flip over in your mind throughout the wedding planning process.

“Will I even sleep the night before? Will I wake up sick with nerves? Break down in tears, throw a tantrum, need some “alone” time, down a whole bottle of champagne before the bridesmaids arrive?” The whole lot.

In reality though, when I woke up at 5:15am on Saturday 2 June, I just felt calm. Ridiculously serene. Full of joy and so, SO ready. Truth be told, I think I was a hundred times more nervous when I was bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding, and I’ll share a little secret here: I have a feeling I owe that sense of inner peace to Rescue Remedy. If you’re not familiar with this bottle o’ goodness, seriously, get acquainted. I think there might just be magic in there.

We still had some decorating to do after breakfast and my excitement levels were almost out of control by the time I headed down to the accommodation (“The Shed”), conveniently located at the venue, where my beautiful bridesmaids and Mum were already having their hair and makeup done.

IT’S. GETTING. SO. CLOSE. we were all exclaiming, and there were happy tears and present opening and glasses of Veuve and big hugs all round. Despite chatting to him that morning on the phone, I was really missing Ramai by that point and was beyond pumped to get the show on the road (what’s that they say about patience being a virtue?!)

When I heard the boys had arrived and that the ceremony would be starting in 20 minutes, the butterflies definitely started to kick in. Eep!

I’m going to talk more about the ceremony in another post, so I’ll leave with one of my favourite moments of the getting ready process, which was when my Dad and my brothers came in to the room (my three brothers walked down the aisle just before Dad and I) and with shining eyes, told me I looked beautiful and that they were so proud. I know I’ll hold the way I felt when that happened close to my heart for eternity.

So there you have it, Part 1 of our wedding!

Today was a bit of an overview to give you a feel for the day, but in future posts I’ll delve deeper into the ceremony, the reception dinner/ paaaartay time (drinking + dancing!), the people that helped us bring the day to life, the details and our highlights. There’s so much more to share.

I’d LOVE to hear what you think so far so drop me a line in the comments my loves!

UPDATE: there are quite a few newbies around here so if you want a bit of background on Ramai and I, you can check out our wedding website here.

For even more wedding goodness, check out Part 2 (The Ceremony), Part 3 (The Reception), Part 4 (Party Time!) and Part 5 (The Details).

Photos by Ali Mitton + Emma McMillan 

Making Me Happy

Hola! Are we good? Are we real good? Hope so!

This past week has had a bit of everything for me: the highest of highs (the kind you want to bottle and pour over yourself when you’re feeling less-than), aha-moments (the B-School Facebook Group is quite the rave party!), quiet observation, a night out on the town with my besty, lazy mooching, a stream of emails that have brought salty tears to the eyes of this incredibly humbled bloggette, goal-setting, sniffles + coughing (ugh, head cold begone!), cold mornings, the clearest blue skies you ever did see and the understanding that anything is possible. For real.

In more detail, I give you, The Highlights Reel:

A Night on the Town


Oh hello rogue baby hand…

It’s been ages.

Sure, we go to dinner every weekend and do fun things like GET MARRIED + HAVE BIG PARTIES but it’s been a while since I’ve dressed up and gone out on the town (here), besty in tow, with the simple objective of drinking cocktails and laughing til my sides hurt. I absolutely loved it.

Sometimes I feel like a bit of a Peter Pan – as in, there’s this huge part of me that fears completely growing up – and being a restless, energetic Sagittarian means I thrive off other people and “getting out and about.” I actually need it.

As I get older I’m more than happy staying home of a weekend (in fact, I love it just as much) but if I go too long without some sort of fun occasion (too long means more than one weekend, BTW) one of two things start to happen:

1. I lament that I miss the spontaneity of my early 20’s where my friends and I lived for the weekend (because that’s, like, totally sustainable)

2. I start frantically making mental lists of things I can do to bring a bit of old fashioned frivolity into our lives, whilst hassling Ramai with something that sounds like ‘WHY ISN’T EVERYONE KEEN TO DO FUN STUFF AT THE DROP OF A HAT ANYMORE?’ I’m always great to be around when I’m having one of those moments. Ahem.

Before I totally confuse you, this is definitely not about nightclubs or drinking. Oh, hell to the no. It’s more about the collective desire to be with good people laughing and forging bonds/ making memories that I start to miss when that side of things slows down and we all get super busy with other commitments. I remember fondly when having a birthday meant everyone was in, and then, over the years, it wasn’t.

Is anyone else with me here? Does this even make sense? I think I may have just confessed my deepest secret to you – that the thought of living an utterly boring life that doesn’t have a great mix of work and play scares the pants off me. Eek.

Heart-Warming Emails


I still pinch myself that people are thoughtful enough to take time out of their day to drop little old me a line, laden with delicious words of support that seriously make my heart sing.

This week has been a corker on the email front and I couldn’t be more grateful to the people that have reached out. You know who you are. Thank you, thank you (and just so you know, I file all the beauties I receive away in a folder and read them if I’m ever feeling flat. There’s nothing more effective to instantly brighten a gal’s mood!)

Strength Finding


I’m taking stock at the moment and conducting a bit of a mid-year review, which entails updating my vision boards, redefining my goals, setting up systems so I can work smarter, and finally, uncovering my ‘sweet spot’ – that awesome place where what I love and what I’m good at intersect.

I’m still plodding through all this slowly, but it’s definitely given me some food for thought on freelance projects that are well suited to my skill set, like whipping up web copy or social media consulting. I’m trained in Marketing/ Journalism/Public Relations and I get paid to write web copy and manage and develop campaigns for a range of social media channels by day (which I’m not sure if you know?) but it’s funny how I’ve almost glazed over those skills in the pursuit of other dreams.

I’ve got a web copy job on the go at the moment and may even take on a few more here and there soon, so watch this space, amigos.

Reliving Our Wedding


Last night we watched the low-res version of our wedding video (hip hip hooray!) and we’re soooo happy with it!

Apart from the bit where we’re saying our vows and we’re clearly emotional, both Ramai and I are grinning like Cheshire cats throughout the whole thing and watching the pure joy on both of our faces and remembering the various parts of the day together was really special.

Totally cracked up at last part where everyone is obviously rather ‘happy’ and busting some serious moves on the dance floor. We chose this track to lay over that piece of footage and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It actually looks like the dance moves were choreographed for the song, which is pretty rad!

Bring on the fully-jazzed up high res version, I can’t wait for a movie night – complete with popcorn and tissues – with our nearest and dearest.

(Oh and for those that asked, our wedding pics will be coming next week. Our girl is in high demand and off on jobs interstate so we’re waiting impatiently patiently to receive them this weekend).

Now, my dears, are you ready to claim your seat for the weekly In Spaces Between ‘love-in?’

Tell me: what are you grateful for right now? It could be something you did, somewhere you went, something you learned, or bought, or read. Share your happiness and take note of how you feel when you do (hint: blessed + filled with joy is a good place to be).

ONE MORE THING BEFORE I GO: have you entered the Rand Papele necklace giveaway? Today is the last day to enter so don’t miss out! 

Images: Kavan & Co | Fellow Fellow | Ban.do

R + R Get Married! The Wedding Week

Hello, hello, hello!

Gosh it’s nice to be back. I feel like there’s so much to fill you in on with regards to our wedding (also known as the best freaking day of my life!) so I’m going to create a series of posts related to our Big Day – Part 1 here, to talk about the week of, and the rest once I have our professional photos back, because I’ve come to realise it’s rather hard to explain the details otherwise.

I’ve had lots of questions and emails about various elements already so I hope I can cover off everything in this series of posts, but of course, if I can help with anything with your planning if you’re a bride-to-be, just shout out or leave a comment below.

Just so you know, I’ll be covering:

+ The Amazing People Involved in Our Big Day

+ The Important Deets (including information on where you can buy some of the decor)

+ The Highlights

The Beautifying


Pre-wedding, I had a gorgeous little fantasy in my head that went something like this:

The wedding would be completely planned 3 weeks before the actual date and I would spend my time meditating, luxuriating in warm baths filled with detoxifying salts and bubbles a-plenty, face masks plumping and hydrating and doing everything they’re meant to do. I would go for head-clearing bushwalks, and use my Omnilux hand-held New-U every second night, and live on salads and H20 to ensure maximum glowiness, and I’d wake up on the wedding day feeling like a Victoria’s Secret model who had been living at a health retreat for 6 months.


This is how it actually went…

+ I squeezed in facials on my lunch hour.

+ I sped through traffic to get to Hypoxi appointments after work, and while there, I replied to emails on my phone. Prescence? What presence?

+ I changed an Omnilux facial appointment 3 times (I never do this) after booking it for the Thursday afternoon before our wedding – the same time I had to be in Byron Bay unloading furniture/ wedding decorations. Turns out there’s only one of me.

+ I cursed silently as I got eyelash extensions done on Thursday (who can lie still for a full hour?!) and heard my phone ring 15 times in my handbag.

+ I ate chocolate every day. Sometimes as a snack, mostly for lunch. I also lost 3 kgs around that week (don’t try this at home kids, it’s one of those freakish wedding things that never translates to “normal life” – believe me, if it did, I’d know).

+ I laughed my head off, woke up on our wedding day feeling calmer than I’ve ever felt and realised that none of the rushing and squeezing-into-unrealistic-time-slots mattered, because the make up artist (Ash Penfold, who I’ll talk about in a future post) and my hairdresser (Alisha Anjaiya, again who I will introduce on a later post) knocked it out of the park and I truly felt more pampered and prettified than I’ve ever been before.

Moral of the story? Surround yourself with good people.

The Treatments Explained


I’ve promised some of you that I’ll delve a bit deeper into  Hypoxi and Omnilux (very fancy sounding, no?) as I know your curiosity was piqued, so read on…


I first discovered Hypoxi a few years ago via a women’s mag and being the “I’ll try anything once” type, I trotted off to the brand spankin’ new studio that had opened in my area and signed up for a bunch of sessions immediately.

I was hooked from the get go. Despite being a regular exerciser, there were things Hypoxi did for my body (toning, smoothing, tightening and cellulite blasting) that running/ gymming just did not do for me. Definite winner.

Being slightly outlandish (and addicted to the Hypoxi “high” – I don’t know what it is but there’s something about all that lymphatic drainage and circulation boosting that makes me feel on top of the world) I booked in for 24 sessions this time around but it was really only 12 that I did properly/ consistently as I was kind of all over the place initially. I did the last 12 in the 3 weeks leading in to our Big Day, which worked a lot better.

What actually happens?

After taking your measurements (waist/ stomach/ hips/ butt/ legs) at the first session, a heart rate monitor is strapped around your waist and a velcro temperature strapped around your upper thigh and then a neoprene “skirt” is placed on with the assistance of a Hypoxi staff member. You are then helped into either an upright machine (S120) or a lie down machine (L250), where you pedal your legs for 30 minutes on a resistance that feels right for you.

The idea is that you keep your heart rate in the fat burning zone, and while you are cycling, the machine acts as a vacuum, circulating positive and negative energy to heat up those problem areas (hello butt and thighs!)

The next time you go for a run or go to the gym, touch your legs/ butt/ stomach afterwards and they will most likely feel cold. After Hypoxi, they’re hot. And that’s where the genius of the machine lies – increasing blood flow to the areas where we are prone to storing fat. Think of it as “melting away” the wobbly bits.

My results:

  • 5cm off my waist
  • 4cm off my stomach
  • 9.5cm off my hips (yeahyah!)
  • 5cm off my butt
  • 2.5cm off my legs

Note that it’s not cheap at $690 for 12 sessions, but in my opinion, completely worth it. I don’t go out every weekend/ pay $10 a drink/ while away my dollars on cigarettes etc, so I look at this as a solid investment in feeling fab.


I love lamp. No seriously, I do. In a major way.

What is it?

In a nutshell, Omnilux is a very bright light (lamp) which you lay under for 20 minutes (with goggles on), during which time it will boost collagen, brighten and tone, soften up facial lines and * BONUS * leaving you feeling mega happy like our good friend Hypoxi. It’s just one big serotonin-fest around here, isn’t it?

Trust me when I say you will glow like a mofo after just one sesh. I wanted to immediately raid our wedding fund and book eleventy hundred sessions ’til the end of time, because I just don’t think anything else will compare on the facial front now. I was planning on just one sesh – which I had on the Monday of our wedding week – but HAD to book in another for Thursday because… well… who wouldn’t? I’ve never had more compliments on my skin.

Again, you’re looking at a not-cheap $120 per session (packages are also available – I had mine at Elysium Beauty in Burleigh Heads FYI) but there are different heads for the lamp depending on what result you’re after.

  • Revive is for glow and “make me feel awesome”-ness.
  • Plus is best for mature skin.
  • Blue is perfect for clearing acne and congestion.

Sky high thumbs up from me. I’ll be back!

The Crafting/ DIY’ing


The Sunday before the wedding we had a big family “craft and construction” day, during which we made some of the decor elements shown above.

Handy tip: for those wanting to make wedding signs that look pretty cool and don’t want to paint the lettering on (stencils are rubbish), Bunnings sell paper letters that can be painted and glued to old fence pailings. This was an Important Discovery in the MacDonald household. It’s amazing what you’ll deem as Important when you’re planning a wedding.

Other stuff:

Between Monday and Wednesday last week, we also wrote our vows, got all the paper goods printed, replanted succulents in glass jars, tied ribbons and glued them to programs, stuck drink flags to straws, drove up and down the Coast a bajillion times, attended beauty appointments as mentioned, finalised run sheets, printed photos out, bought presents, organised desserts and cocktail ingredients, collected chiffon for draping on our arch.. and oh, changed our plans completely for our ceremony due to the rain.

The Set Up


Which is as good a time as any to talk about Thursday evening.

In the pouring rain, we set out from my parents house where we had packed a large trailer, my brothers van, my other brothers ute and Ramai’s car with all our decor/ furniture items. On the way we stopped in to borrow (even more) bits and pieces from our friends from Little Gray Station Vintage prop hire. It was a production, I tell ya.

Here’s our convoy:

We got to our wedding venue – which is about 50 minutes from where we live – at about 6pm (still pouring… by now I had completely accepted we were having a wet wedding) and unpacked the inventory, drove back up the Coast, crashed out, woke at 4:30am (my body’s new wake up time) and headed back down to Byron again to start the real work.

The Coming Together


Last Friday seems like a whirlwind now, and you’ll see all our efforts once I have more pictures to share but we were setting up from morning until about 8pm, and that entailed everything from:

+ Decorating the large front verandah (welcome drink area)

+ Completely transforming the “inside out” room (sunroom where we had our ceremony and drinks/ canapés)

+ Laying out the table settings/ centrepieces/ florals in the marquee (for the main meal)

+ Completely overhaulin’ the artist’s studio (dancing/ cocktailing/ photoboothing)

+ Having our ceremony rehearsal with the celebrant and bridal party

It was epic.

My parents deserve a medal. My friend Shannon – our day-of coordinator, who actually did nearly 3 days worth of work in the end – was incredible. Our bridal party were fab. Everyone was so calm and measured and magnificent and I’m still blown away by how it all came together so beautifully.

Like everything along the way with our wedding, the changes to the plan made it SO. MUCH. BETTER. I never thought I’d say that about rain, but seriously, it’s all we’ve heard from our guests (we’ll go into that more in a later post)

Stay tuned for Part 2, lovers! Mrs MacDonald, signing out for now.