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Stevie & Jay find the perfect place in Dwellingup for a DIY bush wedding

Stevie & Jay had been searching for a blank canvas wedding venue for a couple of months when they came across Nanga Bush Camp. Straight away Stevie thought it would be perfect, but Jay took some convincing—and I can’t really blame him. Most of us know Nanga from childhood when we attended adventure camps there, and it can take a moment to look again and see it as the perfect venue for a laid-back bush wedding.

It’s actually an incredibly beautiful place. Located in Dwellingup along the banks of the Murray River, the campsite is situated amongst the towering trees of a Jarrah forest. On his first visit, Jay fell in love with the place and they made their booking on the spot!

When Zoe from Theiadore Photography first met with Stevie, she was excited to learn about her vision: simple yet elegant styling using lovingly collecting items that would enhance their surroundings. Added to that would be Jays’ incredible workmanship which captured the essence of who they are.

They met in New Zealand, whilst living in Taupo with Jay proposing 2 weeks after the birth of their first child in suitably low-key fashion: “I snuck out to do some shopping” says Jay, “and when I returned I practically threw the ring at Stevie and said, “What do you reckon?” Their engagement lasted for 7 years.

They wanted to keep the vibe as natural and chill as we could, keeping the natural setting of the venue, but adding some of their own touches as well.

The vibe we were going for was a cosy woodland winter wedding. Pinterest was definitely a big help with ideas!

Stevie found her dress on the first day of shopping (although she waited a few months before purchasing):

It was from a gorgeous little shop in Fremantle called Through the White Door and designed by Katya Katya Shehurina. Vicki, the owner of the store was incredible. She made me feel so comfortable and at ease in the store. I knew I wanted a vintage look lace dress and when I tried this dress on I knew it would be perfect for what I envisioned my wedding day to be like.

Stevie’s father passed away when she was very young, and so her mother had a locket made with a picture of him inside. Zoe says he was incredibly present throughout not only was he right beside her heart…. he was hanging at the bar, the dance floor, the photobooth and the dessert table!

The whole wedding was pretty much DIY, Jay built the bar along with the sock wall and bar tables. Stevie made the macramé curtain, and hand painted the lettering on all the signs and place name wood rounds. (The bar is available to hire from Stevie’s own business, Wood You Marry Me).

The table seating chart glass door was found on the verge and the couple just gave it a tidy up and used chalk paint to write the names.

The sock wall was probably Stevie & Jay’s favourite detail. They were stoked with how it turned out. Jay built the wall out of pallets and Stevie painted the sign. By the end of the night everyone was on the dancefloor in their own pair of funky socks!

Zoe says her overall goal as a photographer, is to try and capture who the couple are, and create a story to remember forever. She also had a whole heap of fried bread—which is reason enough to have more Maori weddings!

Stevie’s Stepdad and Cousin performing a traditional Maori Haka for the couple.

I am so glad we chose to have wood-fired pizzas instead of attempting to do all the catering ourselves.

My aisle song was Ruelle, I get to love you, recessional song was Goldford, Ray of Sunshine and the first dance was a cover of Bob Marley’s Is this love? By Jessica Domingo.

 

Bride's Review

Zoe from Theiadore Photography was incredible; she even managed to make Jay semi-comfortable for someone who really does not like getting photos taken! Our celebrant Candice was also a pleasure to have with us, she was 35 weeks pregnant and still ventured into the woods for us and the ceremony

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By Rebecca Carmody

Co-founder and editor of WA Weddings; a premium blog showcasing original photography and inspirational ideas from beautiful west coast weddings and the most creative local suppliers who made them possible.