Tying the knot on Wategos Beach in Byron Bay, Australia was the natural location choice for Brittany Barr and Joel Hutchines. After all, it’s where the two spend most of their time together and it’s also where they got engaged. “I knew Britt was the one very early on in our relationship,” Joel shares. “We are best friends and we bring out the best in each other. It was never really a question of if, but more so when, I would propose.”
Keeping it a surprise from Britt, Joel planned to pop the question during their ritual morning walk to the beach with their dog. “I organized a couple of photographers to hide and take photos. This just happened to be after a cyclone and the beach was eroded; it was a rainy day and there was literally no one else there but us—which was very rare,” Joel describes. “My friend managed to capture an image of everything that made for the most amazing picture, with our dog and full city skyline in the background. I still look at the photo all the time and think how special that moment was, and how lucky we are to have each other and to live in such an amazing place.”
For their wedding day, the two, alongside 110 of their friends and family, said “I do” on a beach under a wooden arbour topped with vibrant flowers in shades of violet, pink, orange and green. “The flowers were quite possibly my favourite part of the wedding,” Britt says. “Elise from Elyssium Blooms is seriously a floral genius. I told her my idea and vision and she made it all come to life. My bouquet was extra-special because I attached my grandparents’ wedding photo to it. They weren’t able to travel all the way to Australia so it was my way of having them with me all day.”
Just as Britt and Joel were signing the register, the cloudy skies, which had looked threatening all day, finally unleashed rain upon them. “Joel swept me up and ran under a tree. It was actually for the best because the clouds gave us an amazing backdrop for our photos and we even got a rainbow!”
Following their ceremony, the pair and their guests headed to the Byron Beach Café for a cocktail-style party. A lounge area was set up, complete with a couch and armchairs for people to relax in, as well as an array of tables in varying heights for guests to set their food and drinks on.
Obsessed with shapes and colour, Britt ensured that everything from their geometric cake decor (which she and Joel made together), to the hexagonal-tiled guestbook, complemented their whimsical style. “I loved the geometric decorations and fashion in the year leading up to our wedding,” Britt says. “It just seemed really fun and unique to me, so Joel and I collaborated and came up with some interesting ideas.”
The rest of the evening digressed into one big dance party filled with great music, entertaining speeches and amazing food. “The speeches were one of my favourite parts of the night. They were super-emotional but funny and inspiring at the same time,” Britt says, and Joel agrees. “The night went by way too fast—we wish we could do it all again.”
After their wedding day, Britt and Joel kept the party going with a group trip. “We actually went on a ‘groupiemoon’,” Britt exclaims. “My family had flown over from Canada for the first time, so there was no way we were leaving them. We went up to Palm Cove in Far North Queensland and spent four days exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and lazing on the beach with cocktails. It was bliss!”
Brittany Barr and Joel Hutchines, September 27, 2014, Byron Bay, Australia.
Photography courtesy of Ivy Road Photography.
Ceremony location: Wategos Beach, Byron Bay, Australia
Reception location: The Byron Beach Cafe
Bridal gown: Barbra Allin from Becker’s Bridal
Bridesmaids’ attire: Lush Tutu Boutique (skirts), Kookai (tops), heels.com (shoes)
Groomsmen’s attire: Country Road (suits) with DIY bowties and pocket squares created by the groom’s sister
Groom’s tux: Saba
Cake: DIY cake and cupcakes made by the bride’s sister
Caterer: The Byron Beach Cafe
Flowers: Elise from Elyssium Blooms
Stationery: DIY by the groom and Emily from Impressworks
Lighting: Steve from Elyssium Lighting
Videographers: Maria and Al Tsudon from One Day in Mind
Celebrant: Ruth White