An Intimate Backyard Reception with Tons of Boho Charm

First thing’s first. If you haven’t already seen (and pinned the heck out of) the ceremony shots from this Riley & Grey wedding. Go do so here. If you already have, then good news! We’ve got more gorgeous wedding photos coming your way right now.

Next up in this two-part real wedding feature, Sarah & Lehi’s magical, intimate backyard reception. The stylish couple’s big day hit practically every mark without doing too much. You’ll see that the festivities have transitioned from a boho chic ceremony with a beachy backdrop to a rustic post-nuptial couple’s shoot in a nearby forest. Finally, the day closes with a lush, palm-filled greenhouse reception exuding a slightly more tropical vibe. Summing up the whole soiree with one trendy buzzword just doesn’t do it justice. And we wouldn’t dare.

Let this be a lesson in not adhering too strictly to a single “wedding theme” and letting your personal style show through. At the end of the day, it’s all your taste for a reason. It will come together seamlessly.

But let’s not ignore the major role Sarah & Lehi’s amazing venue played in this whole affair. The scenic spot just may be The Perfect Place to tie the knot. Unfortunately, you can’t book it unless you have some serious connections. Why? Because the property just happens to be the bride’s parents’ Byron Bay abode. Bummer, but oh well. All hop is not lost. If you’re looking for intimate ceremony and reception inspiration this is it. Small weddings don’t  mean minimal impact, and this stylish celebration makes a major case for that claim.

Go ahead and read the rest of our interview with Sarah & Lehi for planning tips and big day dish below now that you’ve clicked through the 50+ photos above — it’s okay, we wouldn’t have been able to wait either. 

Trickiest part of planning? Any hacks or tips you discovered along the way?

As it was at my parents home, picking a date was really hard as we weren’t bound by availability! We checked the moon and the tides and went with the elements to finally pick a date. When that was set, everything else started to fall into place, I would say the same would occur when you finally choose and book your venue. A big tip would be to take help when it is offered! We tried to do so much ourselves, but when it came to crunch time we needed all the help we could get and it made the day all the more special to have little pieces of your friend’s and families creativity dotted throughout. We didn’t hire a planner as we wanted the day to have our personal stamp, but we did get an On-the-day Coordinating service which was such a relief to let it all go come the big day.

Any “wedding rules” or “nuptial no-nos” you think are total B.S.? Traditions you dig, traditions to ditch?

We found navigating most of the rules and etiquette really strange, and there are so many we had never heard of before! We found a happy-medium between traditional and relaxed and always asked ourselves when making decisions, “is this really reflective of us?”. Having said that, looking to traditions was actually helpful when we were lost for ideas, we would always just put our personal twist on them.

Traditions we ditched: I would not have cared if anyone else wore white (even though no one did); we stripped back the ceremony script to just the legal lines and designed the rest from scratch including a recognition of the Indigenous land we were standing on; both my parents walked me down the aisle; we had a wishing well and a gift registry so people could choose; we threw out the traditional schedule of events and made up what we thought would be fun; I didn’t throw my bouquet, I wanted to keep that for myself!

Traditions we dug: the groom didn’t see the dress beforehand (so special to see his reaction to that!); We didn’t originally plan to have a bridal party, but it was so worth it to have helpers and calming voices by your side; confetti thrown after the ceremony was joyous and awesome; speeches were so wonderful, we chose to spread ours out over the day to break things up; having a first dance to kick off the party.

Photography: Kate Holmes (Bushturkey Studio) &  Sophie Vaughan (reception photos)

On-the-day Coordination: The Events Lounge

Brides attire: Bespoke dress, vintage pearl earrings, The Wallflower Story flower crown, Valentino shoes

Grooms attire: The Suit Shop suit, tie and shirt, Saint Laurent shoes, Jack London cufflinks

Bridesmaids dresses: Free People

Hair: Brianna Lee, Mudhoney Salon

Makeup: Ashlea Penfold

Florals: The Wallflower Story (Zoe Wall), foliage from Talofa Valley Plantation

Decor Hire: Frank & Joy, The Palace & Co 

Catering: Seaweed Cuisine

Music: Duke Bannister and DJ Black Amex

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