Our Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Destination Wedding in Byron Bay
Australia’s Hidden Gem: Byron Bay
We visited Byron at the end of May, just in time to soak up the last week of Autumn while still being able to enjoy a quick swim in the Pacific. It was the perfect time of year to escape the hordes of tourists that often populate the Bay and instead slip into the natural rhythm of the city among other locals. While you could do Byron Bay over a whirlwind weekend, we found spending a week on Australia’s Gold Coast was the perfect amount of time to really relax, soak in the sunshine, and make sure all the top food spots lived up to the incredible hype.
In keeping with the city’s mellow vibe, you won’t find flashy, international hotels or resort chains in Byron - instead you are spoilt for choice when it comes to boutique, intimate accommodations. We chose to spend all seven of our nights at 28 Degrees, a relaxing private guesthouse so focused on offering a calming experience to their guests that they chose to forgo televisions in all of their rooms. Grab a complimentary beach umbrella or bike and spend the day outdoors instead!
As always, we spent our days learning the best-kept secrets of the town and sharing personal interactions with Byron Bay’s top notch vendors and venues. The vendors on offer all along the coast are among the best in Australia. We were lucky enough to collaborate with C L Weddings & Events, a long time A to B Lister who helped us style an elegant wedding dinner at Byron View Farm. We also met and worked with local sweethearts like photographer Nicola Lemmon and florist Michela of Wilderness Flowers. The days didn’t seem long enough, as Byron Bay is overbrimming with passionate creatives.
On our days off from wedding planning, we enjoyed exploring the town and ticking off all the iconic spots on our checklist. Our favourite daytime excursion was visiting the iconic lighthouse for a private sunrise picnic. We also loved of the gorgeous beaches! The main, sprawling beach is lovely and great for people watching but there are some gorgeous beaches hidden elsewhere - a favourite of ours was Wategos Beach, where we could relax under a linen umbrella and actually soak in the lapping of the waves. After a morning in the sun, we suggest you take a long lunch at one of the creative farm style restaurants the Bay is known for. There are endless options we lay out in our guide if you are interested in further details! And lastly, no trip to Byron should be complete without taking home a souvenir to remember your honeymoon by. Skip the classic Koala soft toy and opt for a visit to one of the many artisan jewellers based in the Bay.
PLANNING YOUR BYRON BAY WEDDING
If you are considering a Byron Bay destination wedding, then scrolling through our full Byron Bay guide should be the first step you check off your list. Our team has trotted the globe, travelling to every destination we feature and spending hours researching, coordinating, list-making and meeting with all the best vendors, venues and creatives each spot has to offer! We go above and beyond to capture every detail so that you can carefully curate the destination wedding of your dreams.
We know that planning a destination wedding can be a tricky and, well, foreign experience. That’s why our guides are straightforward and clean, offering a no-fuss, genuine approach to sharing not only the tips and advice we’ve learnt along the way, but extensive lists of anything and everything you need to check out while planning your big day.
Do yourself a favour. Log out of Pinterest, pour yourself a glass of champagne, and settle in with one of our guides. They’re updated frequently with all the latest and most relevant content, so you can simply sit back, dream big and plan the wedding you’ve always wanted!
WHAT TO EXPECT
The landscape for Byron Bay falls into two main categories: the beach and Hinterlands. There are some very fabulous beachfront venues which often double as accommodation or restaurants and some venues even cater for beachside nuptials. The Hinterlands are a beautiful and perhaps unexpected side of Byron - thinking rolling hills, magical sunsets and gorgeous villas and venues. Trawling through wedding inspiration will not see two Byron weddings the same, each vendor is wildly inspired here and layers their unique touch to every venue each time. We found the selection of florists to be especially impressive. You’ll find no shortage of tipi and canvas tent companies in the area - still a very popular and ambient choice of venue topping, a global trend that surely originated in this bohemian influenced town! Many leading, destination photographers who spend their Winter months shooting luxury European weddings call Byron Bay home the warmer half of the year. That is the great thing about Byron Bay, whilst it might be ‘down-under’ it really is world-class choice for a destination wedding.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO MARRY (OR HONEYMOON)
When someone mentions an Aussie wedding, it almost always carries with it images of a hot summer day. And there is no doubt summer highlights the very best in Byron, bringing the crowds and showcasing the laidback beach vibes of the area - which is why it’s the perfect spot for a summer honeymoon. But for weddings we highly recommend planning in the shoulder seasons or even Winter. The temperatures are still heavenly, but with a breeze that will ensure you won’t sweat through your dress! Without as many competing weddings you’ll have your pick of vendors… there is so much hype around Byron weddings that peak season weddings book out years in advance. Those quieter months means you’ll mostly likely be able to lock down those top vendors you have your heart set on. The rates are cheaper too as accommodations and vendor prices often dip in the less popular Winter months. No need to fear shorter days either because Byron also looks amazing by night! Winter evenings usually mean killer sunsets, and local vendors possess the incredible ability to use unique lighting methods to give your golden hour ceremony or reception a romantic, candlelit glow.
Byron hosts two of Australia’s most popular music festivals, Byron Bluesfest and Splendour in the Grass, and a very large writers festival - all dates we suggest avoiding, unless you are planning to attend. NSW and QLD school holiday calendars bring in big crowds as well, as do many weekend during the peak Summer period.
PICKING YOUR BYRON BAY VENDORS
In case you haven’t gotten the message by now, we’ll tell you one last time - Byron is a treasure chest of amazing vendors. The talent on offer itself really are the true reason you should choose Byron Bay for a wedding destination. But be weary - it is a very small and close-knit community and you will find that Venues often have a set of associated vendors they work with exclusively. If you’re wanting complete creative freedom make sure you bring a list of your top choice vendors with you and double check the contract before you sign on a venue.
Byron Bay may look like a small town within a very large country however when picking vendors you don’t need to stick within the boundaries on just Byron town. The Eastern coast of Australia is known for its long strip of golden beaches which comes along with amazing vendors. Many vendors service from the ‘Sunshine Coast to Byron Bay’ with Brisbane city being included. Whilst it’s an easy (and picturesque) drive for them, remember that enlisting an out-of-town vendor may result in 1-3 hours of travel time each way. We still believe it’s a small price to pay for an amazing vendor, but definitely something to consider when planning your budget!
THE LEGALITIES OF MARRYING IN BYRON BAY
For every guide we create we do our best to provide information and resources for the legal side of marrying in the country. Our Australia segment is still on its way, so subscribe to our newsletter to be kept informed or of course get in touch with one of our suggested celebrants who can walk you through the process.
BUDGETING FOR A BYRON BAY WEDDING
There is something for every imagination and every price point here. Byron really is capable of catering for world-class million dollar weddings when the chance arises. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot to create a stylish and dream wedding. Venue choice often sets the tone for your weddings price point and budget and the wonderful thing about Byron Bay is that many of the venues often blank canvas indoor or outdoor spaces. An affordable option can often be choosing a ‘naked venue’ and hiring a tipi or canvas tent. Whilst many opt for a planner you can DIY your wedding and refer to our full Byron Bay guide to assist in planning your wedding. There are many gorgeous ideas for romantic yet simple elopements as well that just require the sand beneath your feet to make it official.
On a global scale Australia is an expensive place, food and accommodation are two things that can cost a lot compared to other countries as will plane tickets if you are coming from a far.
CoOrdinator: Well Travelled Bride, Photography: One But Many & Nicola Lemmon, Wedding Planner: CL Weddings & Events, Wedding Venues: 28 Degrees and Byron View Farm, Hair & Makeup: Alex Ouston, Wedding Dresses: Kelsey Genna, Grooms Suit: Wil Valor, Florist: Wilderness Flowers, Caterer: Joechef, Cake Designer: Rebellyous Cake Co, Bride & Groom: Daisy & Billy, Stationery: Paperlust, Bridal Shoes: Forever Soles, Daisy’s Honeymoon Wardrobe: Arhem