“Love me and the world is mine.” – David Reed
“Love me and the world is mine.” – David Reed
Michelle and Bill opted for an unconventional wedding – joined by just nine guests, they tied the knot in a grove of Banyan trees, and celebrated their nuptials with an intimate dinner at a house they rented for the week. They chose Iolani Palace on Oahu as the backdrop for some truly lovely portraits. Simple and love-filled – nothing more required.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? Not really. We knew we wanted it to be different and meaningful to us. We didn’t want it to look cookie cutter – we wanted it real and vintage and mismatched. My grandmother sent two silk horseshoes for me to carry after the ceremony which is a New Zealand tradition. She also gave me a brown quartz necklace which I incorporated into my bouquet.
“We wanted to get married under big Banyan trees, and then have photos in front of a beautiful historic building, so Iolani Palace was perfect as it had both.”
Your ceremony in three words. Intimate, meaningful, and relaxed.
Who officiated your ceremony? Angela Keen. We researched officiants online and as soon as we spoke to her we knew she was perfect.
What was your ceremony music? No music, but we had a Hawaiian conch shell sound at the start of the ceremony, and our officiant did a Hawaiian blessing.
What were your vows like? Angela prepared the vows after speaking with us and we discussed them in advance. We were so happy with what she prepared we didn’t change a thing. One thing we asked her to add was mention of our fathers who had both passed away – which brought us all to tears.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? That it was relaxed and we were surrounded by those closest to us.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? The location was perfect – the massive trees and the beautiful grounds were humbling.
“We didn’t have a formal reception. We just had a gorgeous family dinner at the house we were staying at. It was a low key intimate dinner under retro café lights right on the beach. It was just as we had imagined it would be.”
Why did you choose this location for your reception? Because we had small children in the group and wanted it to be easy for them. The house was also beautiful and the perfect venue on the beach so it was a no brainer.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Wild flowers, the light when the sun is setting, chandeliers hanging from the trees, vintage mismatched table settings, beautiful champagne, candles and retro lighting, and incorporating our fathers.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The laughter.
What was your first dance song? We didn’t do a formal dance, but there was some dancing!
What was your wedding menu? We ordered lots of Whole Foods platters. This way, no one would feel obligated to organize or cook – it was all done for us without having to have a caterer come to the house.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? A naked vanilla cake with pomegranate and figs on top. Bill’s mother also made her amazing key lime pie.
Did you have a signature cocktail? No, but we had lots of Veuve Clicquot for the table.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? To try and savor the moment. Even so it still went by in a blur.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Think about what it is that’s important for you. For us, it was having our immediate family with us. The rest was just details. A photographer that you feel comfortable with is also key if you’re not used to having your photo taken.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? We wanted the focus to be on our families getting to know each other. Bill’s family is from the U.S., and mine are from New Zealand, so we wanted the week to be about spending time together, not just the day of the wedding.
Thanks to Victoria Cameron and her team, this week’s Mini Moon feature takes us down under to Byron Bay, Australia!
Byron would have to be one of our favourite places in Australia and we try to get there as often as possible, usually five to six times a year.
It is a fantastic holiday destination for everyone, especially for couples looking for a romantic weekend getaway. There is something to cater for everyone’s tastes, although we have to admit when we go it is all about the beach, the shopping, and the organic donuts!
The main beach in the centre of town is patrolled by lifeguards. This is the most popular beach and the surf is usually perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Our personal favourite beach is Watego’s. A regular beach for locals, it’s quieter and has a great walk to the nearby Lighthouse. Another great spot is Clarke’s beach. The Byron Beach Café has a great atmosphere on a Sunday, a beautiful spot to sit, sip, listen to live music & take in the gorgeous view.
There is nothing better than shopping on holidays. There are new shops to explore and you usually have the time to browse at a leisurely pace. Here are a few of our favourites from Byron Bay and the nearby town of Bangalow.
A curated collection of art for the home as well as select clothing labels and jewelry.
Liberty Trading Co. hosts a range of handmade and unique pieces encompassing homewares, gifts and stationery.
The home of bohemian chic, Spell and the Gypsy Collective have a range of clothing, jewelry and accessories, homewares and divine beauty products like their blood orange body wash.
Inspired by global travels, Hope & May bring an eclectic fusion of interiors and fashion to Byron Bay. Some of our favourite things include their luxurious bedding and throws.
There are always great clothing selections at Pompidou.
They have a store in Byron Bay and Bangalow — an eclectic store with a sense of luxury, Island Luxe captivates beautifully sourced collection of homewares, fashion and accessories.
The Byron Markets is also a must. They are held on the first Sunday of every month and sell everything from fashion, homewares, organic fruit and vegetables, jewelry and lots more. There are buskers, performers and a great vibe. This is also where you will find the best organic donuts – plain, blackberry jam or chocolate – just have them all!
FOOD & DRINK
A few of our favorite places…
Miss Margarita has amazing Mexican food & decor.
A little out of town is Folk Kiosk and General Store.
Fish Heads for fish and chips. We usually get this to take away and eat on the grass overlooking Main Beach. Next door the Italian at the Pacific has delicious food and cocktails. Bella Rosa has the best gelato and an abundance of flavours.
Harvest at Newrybar is a MUST for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They also sell the most delicious pastries on Saturdays!
THINGS TO DO
The Lighthouse walk or just drive up and admire the view.
Whale watching season is June – November!
Drive up to Crystal Castle in the hinterland. The grounds are really beautiful.
WHERE TO STAY
Our favourite spot to stay is The Atlantic!
For something fabulous but a bit further out of town, you can’t beat The Byron at Byron.
Another beautiful spot is Rae’s at Wategos.
Byron Bay is the perfect mini-moon destination – enjoy! xoxo Victoria Cameron!
Will you be serving a sit-down meal at your wedding reception? Wondering how exactly to set an informal table for your relaxed outdoor luncheon, or a formal table for your multi-course black tie dinner? With the help of Josh Gruetzmacher, Celeste Green, Studio Mondine, and Frances Lane, we’ve got you covered!
Informal (Semi-Formal) Table Setting
An informal (semi-formal) setting includes: a dinner plate with a smaller salad plate placed over it, two forks on the left, a knife and spoon on the right, a wine glass and water glass above the knife and spoon (the majority of the population is right-handed, so glasses are placed on the right).
Tip #1: To help you remember what utensils go where, picture the word “FORKS” and notice that F (for ‘forks’) is on the left while K and S (for ‘knife’ and ‘spoon’) are on the right.
Tip #2: Always be sure to set your knife with the blade facing toward the plate.
Formal Table Setting
When setting a formal table, you have quite a few more pieces to work with! You can have up to three of each implement at the table, and as many as five different glasses (water, white wine, red wine, champagne, sherry). Instead of placing the dinner plate directly on the table, a service plate (also known as a charger) is the base of each setting. A bread plate is set on the upper left side of the place setting. Formal settings can also include individual salt and pepper shakers or cellars.
Tip #3: With any table setting, the placement of utensils is determined by the menu, starting with the outer utensil for the first course, and working your way in toward the plate.
Tip #4: The napkins can be placed on top of the plate, under the charger so that it hangs over the edge of the table, or under the forks if space is tight.