A Fun Festival Wedding: Kate + Jay

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With a love of festivals and fun adventures, Kate + Jay wanted to treat their friends and family to a New Year’s Eve wedding party that they would never forget! Filled with fabulous food, drinks, glitter and glow sticks, the couple celebrated their new marriage and loved every minute of it!

Keep scrolling down to read about their festival-style wedding, and to see images from Beck Rocchi Photography!

Tell us about your proposal.

I convinced Jay to come hiking in Nepal. Even though he proclaimed he hates walking and almost didn’t book his flights to come. We were hiking in the Himalayas, doing the Ana Purna Base Camp Trek. A few days in, we were staying in a tiny room cantilevered over the mountains. At 5am we woke up to the sun rising over the clouds and lighting up all the snow capped mountains. The view was ridiculous. We opened up all the windows and sat in our sleeping bags taking it all in. Jay proposed with a copper ring he had bought from a village the day before. Back at home his cousin was making my real engagement ring – they designed it together – a sapphire and diamonds and a Celtic knot engraved on the bottom.

It sounds like something out of a movie, except for the fact that I was so shocked I replied “shut up Jay, don’t be an idiot”. Even though I knew Jay was the one I wanted to spend my life with, I didn’t have marriage on my radar at all at this point! Once I realised he was actually serious (and crazy enough to really want to marry me) I had to change my answer to yes!

We were engaged for almost 2 years before we got married – just long enough for two people, with zero events experience, to organise a large d.i.y festival wedding without killing each other or breaking up! Woo hoo! We made it!

How did you know your partner was the one?
I grew up in Melbourne, Jay grew up in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast and there was almost no possible way that our paths ever would have crossed in Australia. We met, by fate or luck or both, at the Oktoberfest in Germany, 2010. Jay, still competing in Surfing at this time, was on a trip with one of his sponsors, Planet Sports – a German Company. I was working in the Schottenhammel Tent selling novelty hats. I convinced him to buy a hat of course and he offered me a 1 euro tip in exchange for my number.

Six weeks later we went on our first date back in Australia. Going to meet him for that first date (more like blind date), all I could remember was that he had curly blond hair, and he could only remember that I was covered in freckles and had Irish heritage like him. From the start it was as if we had already known each other for a long time. We had so much fun together and went on so many adventures around the world in the first few years. We have grown to become a really great team since then and we support each other in different ways. I can’t imagine sharing my life with anyone else. It was a bit of a fluke that our lives crossed paths, but once they did, we just made it work so that we could be together. It’s been somewhat of an adventure since then and our wedding hash tag 6 years later was #frecklefestival.

What do you love most about your partner?
Jay is just the best human I’ve ever met. He’s a 6 foot, blue eyed, curly haired cherub who talks like the Honey Badger, and has the biggest, kindest heart in the world. He’s frustratingly humble, and fun, loves his family and friends so much and would do anything for them, AND never gets embarrassed about wearing costumes in public. He will dress up just for the hell of it, at a festival, or even to pick me up from the airport! He accepts me for me, exactly as I am. He loves me when I am being fun and loveable, but also when I am being a crazy person because I am tired / stressed / grumpy / unwell or all of those things at the same time! Patient, understanding and always ready to give me a big hug and look after me no matter what.

What was your favourite part of the wedding day?
The ceremony was my favourite part of the day. Walking down the aisle / across the field trying not to fall over in my heels, hinged on my Dad’s arm, the first line of the song we had was “I’m so happy just to be here, finally, in a place, with you”. That was exactly how I felt.

The whole ceremony was so calm and serene and beautiful. Such a highlight to finally commit to my man in such a formal way with all our loved ones there with us! My best friends’ dad, David, hosted, and my Aunty Sue was our celebrant. I played my parents wedding song while we signed the registry, and they were both so happy and proud. All I saw during the ceremony was Jay. I felt so proud and lucky to be standing next to my man, and I was honoured to be able to tell everyone how much I love him and how special I think he is.

Describe your wedding theme?
We wanted to create a New Year’s Eve festival that all our friends and family would HAVE to come to – as well as create the experience of switching off from our busy lives and escaping into a world of fun for a whole weekend! I would describe the feeling we were aiming for like this – it’s a balmy summer evening and the horizon in every direction is lined with trees, you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere and that horizon is turning golden as the sun sets behind it. All your best friends are around you smiling and dancing and one of your favourite bands is playing the best set – they haven’t quite become famous yet so they are putting in a big effort and they are equally as elated to be on stage as you are to be watching them. It’s just magical and the good times roll on into the next day and the next night and just thinking about it afterwards gives you goosebumps and makes you smile. The combination of the venue, the tepees, our amazing musicians Lily and Kane, as well as so many surprises from our friends – including a smoke machine and Daft Punk cameo (our friends Johnny & Nick in Costume), a surprise performance by Kada Music (Kate Miller who absolutely blew us away with Umbrella by Rhianna), as well as fireworks at midnight (best wedding present ever by a couple of our coolest friends)… I think our guests definitely got a taste of the festival experience!

What was your favourite detail?
As an ice breaker and to get all our friends from near and far to meet each other I organised enough glitter, gems, flash tattoos and glow sticks or everyone and we asked our guests to decorate the face of someone they had never met before. One of my girlfriends Steph Marks, never shy amongst a new crowd, really helped everyone get into it as “The Glitter Chief”…. I knew I needed someone I could count on to forcibly glitter all the guests. After the obligatory bridal party photos, Jay and I sat on the hill above the Tipi Village we had created, we decorated each other’s faces and had a moment just the two of us to take it all in.

The sun was going down, the venue looked stunning. Jay turned to me and said “listen to that! Everyone is laughing!” Sure enough everyone was laughing and having a great time, the Glitter Chief had everyone involved being silly and decorating each other’s faces and bodies in glitter, flash tattoos, gems and glow sticks. It really kicked off the party and got everyone in the mood for New Year’s Eve.

What is marriage to you?
In our vows, we both talked about being best friends, and each other’s biggest support. We also both included the phrase “I will never give up on us, I will remember to compromise, and to be honest and faithful to you and our family.” We know relationships are not always easy and can be tough at times, so getting married was a nice way to officially commit to each other “in good times and bad” in front of all our friends and family who will be there to support us in the future.

Carly Tia
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Credits

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