Australians Harriette Gordon and Alex Fletcher had known each other for years before their connection turned romantic. "He's my dear friend Tess's older brother," Harriette explains. But, in June 2014, after years of knowing each other, they "collided" at Winter Music Festival in North Fremantle, Australia. "We didn’t leave each other's side all night," she recalls. "We had our first kiss—the rest is history." In fact, in June 2016, two years after that first kiss, Alex popped the question before the same music festival. "We were sitting on top of Monument Hill looking out over our hometown of Fremantle, sipping champagne and discussing plans of our impending Europe trip a month later, before we headed to the festival," Harriette says.
However, for the wedding, the couple surprisingly did not select a June date or the festival grounds as their venue. Instead, they looked to the groom's family vacation home in Yallingup, Australia, where the bride also went on holiday growing up. "Yallingup means 'Place of Love' in Aboriginal culture," she adds. From there, Harriette and Alex took that meaning quite literally, making it their vision to create a "place for all our loved ones to be together and celebrate with us." This translated to a free-flowing day, where guests arrived to refreshments and canapés before the ceremony even started and showed off their musical talents late in the night.
Keep reading to see all the stunning photos by Katie Grant—and you can't miss the bridal designer bride's gorgeous looks.
Before their guests arrived, the couple posed for photos so Harriette could rock her second look, a white two-piece number by Edward McCann, in the daylight. The bride worked with the designer to make a "bespoke natural white suit," which consisted of a smoking jacket with a silk satin lapel, a cropped pant, and a silk camisole. The groom also wore Edward McCann.
The bride is the bridal designer behind Harriette Gordon so she, of course, designed her own dress. "I knew I wanted to wear something embellished and couture but in a relaxed, nonchalant way," she says. "It was such a special experience creating the gown. And it took many many many more hours than anticipated! In the last month before the wedding, there were times when five seamstresses were working on it. I will never forget the magic and madness of that month!" The resulting dress was made of two layers: the base of corseted tulle, and a top hand-beaded and embellished in mixed metal antique gold, silver, and brass. As a finishing touch, lyrics of Neil Young’s "Harvest Moon" were embroidered on the hem of the gown.
Harriette accessorized with Valentino Shoes, antique diamond stud earrings, and a vintage ruby-and-diamond bracelet ("something old and borrowed" from her grandmother). She also wore her solitaire diamond-and-platinum engagement ring, which the couple found together at an antique store in Dublin.
The designer bride also made custom gowns for her each of her bridesmaids. "I wanted the girls to wear different modern, slightly bohemian couture gowns," she explains. She originally planned on adding color but ended up going with a classic black and gold mix.
Alex's tux may appear black in photos, but it was actually a green, navy, and black woven together. His groomsmen wore classic back tuxes with a surprise underneath: hot pink socks!
The couple's flower girls wore Harriette Gordon gray dresses, which were accented with sweet Peter Pan collars. "I wanted their dresses to be classic, refined, and traditional, along with their patent black Mary Jane shoes. I have loved those shoes since I was a child," Harriette says. As a final touch, the girls wore dried bunny-tail floral crowns to tie into the rest of the day's palette.
The ceremony site was decorated with a bed of roses and fresh blooms mixed in with dried florals and grasses. "We wanted a refined and muted palette with lots of texture," the bride explains.
Harriette walked herself down the aisle—to “Ember” by the Dirty Three—to meet Alex at the altar. (She says her favorite moment of the day was seeing him smile back at her!) There, they exchanged vows they'd written together over red wine at their favorite bar in North Fremantle. "First, we each wrote a couple of sentences, read them to each other, and then combined them," she says. "Simple and meaningful."
Dinner was served in a big Sperry tent set up on court on the family's property. "We loved the way the tent felt like a grand canopy from an old circus or fair," Harriette says. Inside, the poles were decorated with dried ferns and roses (to match the ceremony's design), and below them, tables were set with gray linens, black taper candles, and antique candle holders.
Minimal rose arrangements were placed in mini bowls, and each place setting was accented with a calligraphed place card and yet another dried fern.
The newlyweds selected "Magnolia" by JJ Cale for their first dance—but that was not the only performance of the night. The groom is in a band so several of his friends surprised the couple by performing their own songs. "The live music was so much fun and was a really important part of the day for us," she says.
The bride changed into her second look just in time to cut into their buttercream cake, which was filled with passionfruit, chocolate, and rose flavors.
Looking back, the designer bride shared this advice: "Don’t do things you think are expected of you because it's a wedding," she says. "Do the things you want to do, have what is important to both of you, and stick to your instincts."
Bride's Dress & Veil: Harriette Gordon || Bride's Suit: Edward McCann || Jewelry: Delphi Antiques || Shoes: Valentino || Hair: Kayla Marshall of the Pretty Parlour || Makeup: TXC Collective || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Harriette Gordon || Flower Girl Attire: Harriette Gordon || Groom's Attire: Edward McCann || Engagement Ring: Delphi Antiques || Wedding Bands: Steven Sher Antiques || Officiant: Adrian May || Floral Design: Ivy Flowers || Paper Products: Chil 3 Design || Music: Lucy Peach Music || Catering: Tim Whitty || Cake: The Cake and I || Rentals: Heart Strings, South West Events || Tent: The Zest Group || Transportation: Gannaways || Photography & Videography: Katie Grant