Drumroll please! Here’s the one we’ve all been waiting for… the ultimate Australian destination wedding location: Byron Bay. Today I’m talking with the gorgeous Hayley Newport from Divinity Weddings Byron Bay, who is the woman in the know about how to get the best out of this gorgeous Australian beach destination. Take it away, Hayley…
Q: Please tell us a little about yourself, your company and your experience in the wedding industry.
I am the wedding planner behind Divinity - a boutique agency creating fresh, elegant weddings in Byron Bay. I love what I do and I believe that shows… in attention to detail, listening to what my clients want and going that extra mile to make sure everything is perfect. Divinity has operated in Byron since 2001 and has earned a reputation for style and professionalism with clients and local suppliers, creating truly special days for each couple. Divinity is definitely not a “wedding in a box” style company. Each wedding is completely individual, cultivated from the couple’s ideas and polished with stylish simplicity.
My husband and I have a wealth of local knowledge, as we were born and raised in the Byron region. We have recently returned home to raise our children in idyillic Byron Bay. In this spectacular region, I am fortunate enough to indulge my passion and zeal for delivering beautiful events for my clients. I bring a wealth of experience to Divinity Weddings, having spent a decade working in Events and Communications in London, Brisbane and Sydney. I also serve on the board of the charitable organisation, Stars with Heart, since 2007, managing PR and charity events.
Divinity creates fresh, elegant weddings that are unique to each couple – weddings that reflect who you are and your distinctive way of celebrating your marriage together.
Q: You organise weddings all over the Byron Bay region. What are your favourite Byron wedding destinations and why?
It is so hard to pick a favourite destination for Byron Bay it is such a spectacular region offering great variety. I think a classic and simple beach ceremony is beautiful, while the hinterland has a lot more to offer than you would expect.
Beach ceremonies are beautiful, a truly natural setting, a heartfelt exchange of vows with your friends and family celebrating with champagne on the beach, acoustic music, candid photos and then a casual but stylish get together.
I am doing more hinterland weddings (above) of late and I love the variety, character and uniqueness that this region has to offer. The hinterland provides unexpected surprises for my clients and their guests, not to mention the spectacular views the hinterland has to offer.
The region has so many amazing venues to offer, while new and beautiful venues are popping up all the time.
Q: For each of your favourite destinations, can you tell us your favourite venues, ceremony sites and anything special about the locations?
A long time favourite for beach ceremonies is the grassed area at Wategoes Beach, it really is such an idyllic setting. It offers the convenience of a grassed area with the feeling of being on the beach.
For a small intimate wedding Beaumonts on the Beach (above) is the perfect spot for a small marquee right on the beach.
For a bigger budget small wedding Wategoes House is the ultimate in luxury and privacy.
Deux Belettes is a new favourite of mine, a beautiful French style chateau which offers a truly unique and beautiful wedding experience. It is so beautifully and thoughtfully constructed, it is the perfect wedding venue, no detail has been left undone at this beautiful property.
Coorabella House has long been a favoutrite of Divinity, it again offers the client a truly unique experience to clients, from the beautiful views to the beautifully appointed interiors.
For reception venues with spectacular views you can’t beat Koonyum Range Retreat, The Summerhouse (above) and Emerald Valley Villa. All of which offer a luxurious experience for intimate and beautiful weddings.
Q: Do you have any tips for couples contemplating a Byron wedding?
Plan ahead for your guests, accommodation books up early in Byron Bay, especially during school holidays.
Byron provides the opportunity for a unique wedding, make sure you make the most of it. Take your time to view all the different properties around the area to find something that is suitable for you, don’t fall into the trap of having a “package” style wedding that does not make the most of your personality.
Plan to come to Byron at least a few days before your wedding. Byron Bay is the perfect place to unwind with family and friends before your wedding. There are great spa facilities, health and wellbeing and beauty services in and around Byron Bay to help you prepare for the big day.
One thing I offer my clients is a wedding website for their guests. This provides travel information, accommodation specials and discounts on activities for my clients and their guests to enjoy. These are a great idea, it helps your guests in planning their trip, and allows you to easily arrange group activities so you can make the most of your time in Byron Bay with those people most important to you.
Q: What are your best tips for a destination wedding?
- A destination wedding is your chance to spend quality time with your guests.
- Plan a few days of events to make the most of the time away, a ladies spa day, mens golf day, a post wedding brunch or a cocktail evening are all popular options.
- Remember that all your guests are travelling for your wedding as a testament to how important you are to them. Make sure that you go to extra lengths to look after your guests while they are in Byron Bay celebrating your wedding. Offer travel information with your save the date cards and plan for transportation for your guests to and from the wedding. Plan events for your guests to get to know each other before and after the wedding.
- Make your event is as unique and individual as you are.
- Plan to enjoy the most this beautiful region has to offer.
Q: For 2009 and 2010, what are the trends on the horizon for Byron weddings?
Despite an economic downturn weddings in Byron Bay are proving more popular than ever.
More and more clients are moving away from formalities to casual beautiful events. This is not only cocktail style, but roving entrees, long leisurely lunches and casual sit down events with speeches scattered throughtout the event.
My clients are getting so imaginative with their events, it is wonderful to see all the beautiful styling ideas that have been coming out recently. Use your wedding to indulge your creative side!
Functions on private properties are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a completely unique experience. Using a private property allows you to tailor all aspects of your wedding from your catering to your music and decorations.