A whimsical garden party with crystal candelabras, flower clusters, and twinkling lights, this couple’s wedding looked straight out of a fairy-tale. Married on a private property in Forster, NSW where lovebirds Billie and Michael grew up and met, their day felt extra special and sentimental. More than just a crafty, fun wedding, shots by Damien Milan paint the day as an enchanting, emotive love story.
Photography by Damien Milan
Reminiscent of falling down a beautiful rabbit hole, imagery by Damien Milan and Nastia nailed the brief. Their signature experimentations with light along with playful editorial-like shots brought the couple’s fairy-tale theme to life while still capturing all the raw emotion from the day.
The Bridal Party
Wanting a dress that embodied her theme, Billie chose a strapless, tulle gown by Liz Martinez and ‘glass slippers’ by Magrit. Working their magic, Hairborn crafted Billie’s chic bun and Ilona Kish went for classic soft and natural makeup look. Bridesmaids wore mismatched blush gowns from Luhmann, Silk Laundry, Meshki, Song of Style, Third Form and Coco and Lola while groomsmen went sharp and cohesive in beige MJ Bale suits. In a chance to relax and setup, the entire bridal party stayed in Forster the night before the wedding, even partaking in a fun group yoga session. “This set the intensions for the day and brought beautiful energy,” remembers Billie.
Forster Garden Ceremony
While the ceremony was initially planned to take place by the property’s lake, mid-north coast flooding meant the bridge down to the lake was under water. “We decided to move the ceremony to a garden area on the property – which turned out just perfectly,” says Billie. Setting the scene, Hank Meadows played the harp, which the couple say sounded magical through the trees and their friend of Aboriginal heritage introduced the land. The couple also included their beloved Blue Staffy dog who walked their rings down the aisle. For an intimate touch, the couple only shared their vowels with each other, off microphone. “This was truly even more special, our guests were all crying but had no idea what we were saying,” remembers Billie.
Forster Garden Reception
Billie and Michael decided on two reception spaces – the first, a cocktail hour in the beautiful courtyard and the main, dinner and dancing in the yard. “The cocktail hour had an oyster bar, a grazing table, margaritas and the harpist playing – this was a really special time and it was nice to mingle with everyone before running off for photos,” says Billie. The main reception was set amongst two large marquees, bar/garden tables, lounge settings and a big dance floor under fairy lights and disco balls. On the outskirts were a games section and food stalls thanks to Suntana’s Kitchen and Good Times Mexican. “It felt really warm and beautiful, just like an elegant garden party,” describes Billie. Also bringing Billie and Michael’s whimsical, fairy-tale theme to life, Wild Cosmo Flowers scattered clouds of fluffy flower clusters for a dreamy touch.
Letting her creative side run wild, Billie spent the year leading up to the wedding collecting and planning her dream fairy-tale themed party. “I had big ideas but was conscious of budget, so being a creative I undertook a lot of projects and wrangled everyone in to help, poor them!” she jokes. A couple of her projects included collecting crystal glassware, fabrics, photo frames and candelabras, along with designing and constructing invites, restoring an old drinks cart, building and painting the food stall, making the flower girl dresses, making the cake and making the flower girls’ dresses! Enlisting help from friends and family, two of Billie’s bridesmaids designed the signage, crafted flower petal cones and made espresso martini bottles – a huge crowd pleaser! Billie’s father even got in on the fun, making a timber guest book and wooden oyster boats.
Images Damien Milan Photography | Bride's Dress Liz Martinez | Bride's Shoes Magrit | Groom's Suit MJ Bale | Groom's Shoes Brando | Hair Hairborn | Makeup Ilona Kish | Celebrant Megan Meadows | Flowers Wild Cosmo Flowers | Catering Good Times Mexican | Videographer Anchored Cinema | Rings (Bride) Natalie Marie | Rings (Groom) Cort Jewellery | Catering Sunanta’s Kitchen | Wedding Favours Cool Stubby | DJ Coen Ridgeway | Bride's Ceremony Earrings Jackie Mack | Bride's Reception Earrings Reliquia Collective | Furniture and Games Martin and Ko | Harpist Hank Meadows | Acoustic Guitar Adam Dooker |