Many newlyweds spend their first night as husband and wife in opulent luxury. But not Caitlyn and Tony! Married in a destination wedding at the Bournda National Park on the NSW south coast, this outdoors-loving couple exchanged vows, danced the night away until 3am and then wandered back to their pitched tent in the camping ground where the majority of their 93 guests were also staying.
Decked out by family and friends with chocolates, champagne and confetti, “it was a luxurious as a tent can be,” says Caitlyn, who also bought some beautiful new linen for the occasion.
She explains, “I had originally been looking around for somewhere fancy for us to stay on the wedding night but it was going to be an incredibly large taxi fare. So we decided in the end to stay with all our friends in the campsite too. We do lots of camping so we’re very used to it.”
The adventuresome couple, who now reside on the Polynesian island of Tuvalu, met at Australian National University in Canberra, boarding at the same on-campus accommodation. They spent many uni breaks camping and surfing with friends at the national park, a favourite holiday spot where Tony was even a volunteer Camp Ground Host in the summers.
Caitlyn says, “We are both fairly laid back people and our greatest priority for the day was to have a relaxing, fun celebration surrounded by the special people in our lives.”
Caitlyn and Tony chose a sage green and off-white colour scheme, which was used in the floral arrangements by Entwine Design, including the bride’s bouquet and the table centrepieces.
Caitlyn was beautified by local hair and makeup artists, getting ready at the beautiful old heritage listed house, Munn’s Tower House in Merimbula. Her gown was a strapless lace Essense of Australia design purchased from Brides of Wagga.
The Bournda National Park’s rotunda was the site for Caitlyn and Tony’s cocktail reception, which they decorated with a wall of ‘selfies’ – photos of themselves taken on their travels around the world. “Travelling is another one of our passions,” says the bride.
“On the morning of the wedding it was grey and drizzly,” says Caitlyn. “But the moment I stepped out of the car at the ceremony, the sun came through the clouds and the umbrellas were all put away for the rest of the day.”
Caitlyn says, “I love how carefree and adventurous Tony is and how he continuously pulls me out of my comfort zone.” Tony says, “Caitlyn is spontaneous, considerate and happy. I love her determination.”
Merimbula chocolatiers, The Original Fix, delivered delicious pistachio and dark chocolate gelati to the beach for guests to enjoy with sunset drinks in between the ceremony and the reception.
Tony wore a tailored charcoal lounge suit which was custom made in Thailand, teamed with an ivory shirt and tie. Caitlyn wore flats for the beach ceremony and later stepped up in heels for the reception.
“We specifically chose Creative Image Photography because we wanted someone who could take creative photos,” says Caitlyn. “We were really happy with them.”
Of the decorated park rotunda, Caitlyn says, “I had always dreamed of using white lanterns so we hung more than 50 in the high ceiling which became the centrepiece as they gently blew in the breeze. We also lit up some of the larger beautiful gum trees on the perimeter of the clearing as the final decorative touch.”
“At the end of the day, if you are married then nothing else matters!” says Caitlyn, adding, “Be flexible with your choices and arrangements and you will love the final outcome regardless of what happens along the way.”
Photos courtesy of Creative Image Photography.
Bomboniere: Dream Cuisine / Brides Accessories: Brides of Wagga / Brides Gown: Essense from Brides of Wagga / Brides Shoes: Evans Shoes - Albury / Celebrant: Sue Middlewood / Ceremony Music: Own playlist / Ceremony Venue: Hobart Beach - Bournda National Park / Entertainment: Own playlist / Flowers: Entwine Designs / Grooms Attire: Custom made in Thailand / Hair: Arcuthi / Invitations: Vista Print / Makeup: Lisa Garner / Reception Venue: Park Rotunda - Bournda National Park / Rings: Coronet Jewellers / Venue Decor: Barlens Event Hire, Coast Hire
Additional Suppliers: Munn's Tower House Merimbula