Image Credit: Ashleigh Sky Photography

Nuptials Under The Sun

Few will experience a celebration of love finer than one’s wedding day. Increasingly, couples are opting for a destination wedding to escape the mundane routine of everyday life and to add a little extra magic to an already beautiful day. Given the international travel restrictions in place, more couples are choosing to pay homage to all this wonderful country has to offer by embracing the benefits of an Australian-based destination wedding. Here, Emma Warner Allen discusses how to effectively orchestrate a gorgeous bush wedding with the help of Lauren Fredericks, owner of Jarrahfall Bush Camp.

Image courtesy of Jarrahfall Bushcamp,
Photography by Jesse O’Leary

Choose With Love

While many relish the planning process, for some, selecting the perfect location for your wedding day – ensuring it will encapsulate your vision, personalities, and special bond – can be likened to standing at the base of a mountain you must= climb in order to reap the rewards of the gorgeous vistas at the summit: overwhelming and a little bit intimidating. Stemming from the knowledge that your wedding will be one of the most pivotal days of your life, and an inherent need for the day to live up to expectations, many succumb to the stresses of the planning process. On a day whose purpose is to unite individuals through love and joy, it is a tragedy that so few are able to savour the planning process which will ensure their day is exactly as envisioned. However, supporting the adage, ‘knowledge is power’, doing your research and, where possible, visiting venues in person is a guaranteed way to alleviate the stress and pressure many experience.

With destination weddings becoming an increasingly popular trend, it is no wonder that gorgeous Australian bush weddings are also surging in popularity; “We regularly have viewings where our guests don’t want to leave. The peace and fresh air just make you feel good”, Frederick remarks. Simply put, “people are happier when surrounded by nature.”

Stressing its importance, “research the area in person and online. Speak with the recommended vendors who know the local area and have shot at the venue in the past. Chat to the venue management and ask them to show you options during your site visits”, Fredericks advises. Though each venue will have a different approach to weddings, founded upon the owner’s personal experience of weddings, Jarrahfall Bush Camp seeks to eliminate any anxiety or stress that can come with booking a venue. Couples are encouraged to book a site visit online and will receive a list of recommended local vendors list as well as a booking pamphlet which outlines its packages and inclusions. “Couples are welcome to visit as often as they like and are encouraged to view [the venue] during their month of choice, if possible. One month out from the big day we finalise the booking, ceremony, reception, catering, and accommodation details”, Fredericks explains.

A Sight To Have And To Behold

As modern couples continue to veer away from traditional weddings held at a place of religion, many people instead seek the rewards of a wedding held in fresh air, under mighty Australian gumtrees, star-dappled skies, or in a meadow of blossoming wildflowers – the flexibility afforded to couples today is liberating. “Nature is a stunning canvas. Jarrahfall has various ceremony locations to choose from. It really does depend on the style the couple are wanting,” Fredericks asserts. Many venues that promote bush weddings will have a variety of gorgeous settings to choose for your wedding. Outlining some of the options available to guests at Jarrahfall, “there is 35-acres to explore here onsite. We are surrounded by state forest with bush tracks and bush ‘rooms’ – where the trees and fallen logs surround you, just a walk away. There are various beautiful trees with branches that can replace an arbour and open spaces with 400-year-old trees on the horizon,” Fredericks describes.

Bear in mind that when you opt for a bush wedding, you’ll need to consider whether the surrounds and spatial requirements will suit your needs on the day itself, which can be gauged when visiting the location. As working with nature has more limitations than a designated indoor space, such as a town hall, make sure you account for this when planning. It is always possible to transform a space into your dream venue with a little bit of shrewd styling and a dash of tender love and care, for good measure. However, if you are shying away from ample styling to truly embrace the nature of a bush wedding, you may like to consider whether you are enamoured with the location as it stands, given it will be undergoing minimal transformation.

Work It For You

Though taken out of context, following the sage advice of Missy Elliott, “Is it worth it? Let me work it”, there are a range of ways to style your venue to tame the natural bush and create a magical experience for you and your guests alike. While bush weddings may warn of a logistical nightmare just waiting to unfold, Fredericks reassures couples that “anything is possible with styling and catering choices”. When asked how to style a bush wedding location to achieve the desired look, Fredericks explains that there is a multitude of ways to evoke your dream environment. “The thing to remember is to be respectful of the bush. Don’t introduce any weeds or non-native flowers to the area, choose fabrics that won’t drop glitter and use biodegradable confetti,” she advises.

However, once you have factored in the environment, you arguably have more freedom to style the area exactly how you would like it. Corroborating this, “we have had couples ziplining during their cocktail hour and hiring bouncy castles for the kids,” Fredericks highlights. For those where the thrill of the nuptials is enough, “campfires offer an amazing atmosphere and are welcomed from April through to October, as permitted”. “The stars seem to shine brighter out here as there are no competing lights; a dancefloor under the stars surrounded by festoon lights is always a winner,” the venue owner recommends.

Bush weddings can offer happy couples a remarkable amount of freedom to achieve the wedding of their dreams in an abundantly romantic location. Before embarking down this route it is always best to speak with an industry professional who can offer you a wealth of advice and guidance to ensure your day runs smoothly and as planned, all while being among the glorious Australian landscape.