Eric + Caroline's Micro Wedding - Byron Bay Lighthouse

May 6, 2019

Eric and Caroline’s Easter Monday Wedding - April 2019

Caroline and Eric both fell in love with the Byron Shire on a trip to the region in 2018. So when Caroline said yes to Eric’s proposal they couldn’t think of a better place to say ‘I do’. When Caroline first enquired with me she told me they were looking for a Byron Bay Celebrant so they could marry later in the year. But there was a glitch, they both lived overseas in New Caledonia and asked if it was at all possible to complete the marriage paperwork electronically?

There’s a really straightforward process for applying to marry in Australia when you live overseas, and this was a really exciting email to receive, as I’d never married anyone from New Caledonia before and I assumed they’d want parts of their ceremony written in French – my mind went future tripping with all the possibilities. I asked a few clarifying questions; exactly where in Byron Bay they’d want their ceremony, how many guests, the type of vibe they’d be expecting – I gave them a quote for my services and awaited their response.

Caroline replied advising they’d have 10 – 15 guests, were hoping to be married at the Byron Bay Lighthouse, and were expecting something quite light, fun and relaxed, I may have squealed in delight! The next steps were to get the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) completed and witnessed by a suitable authority.

Lucy Lillian making magic under the Byron Bay Lighthouse, a surprise for groom Eric.

Here are the steps:

  1. Book an appointment with an Australian Consular Officer at the Australian embassy in Noumea;
  2. Take the completed NOIM to the meeting;
  3. The Officer will need to check all the details on the form – name, DOB, and Birthplace – against passports;
  4. In the unlikely event there’s a mistake on the form, they can cross out whatever mistake, and write the correction close by;
  5. Both parties sign the form, in the presence of the Officer, they witness, dates and stamps (they usually have an official stamp of some sort).
Eric practicing his English with his legal vows

Then the original form is sent to the celebrant (it’s always good to make copies), and the ceremony can be held one month from the date the celebrant receives the NOIM. (edit: January 2020 – NOIMs can now be received via email.)

Then 3 things need to happen in the celebrant’s presence before the marriage:

  1. The celebrant views both passports and adds the details (passport numbers, check names, DOBs etc.) to the NOIM;
  2. If either party have been married before, the celebrant will need to witness the divorce certificate;
  3. Both parties and the Celebrant sign the Declaration of No Impediment to Marriage.

When Caroline and Eric arrived in Australia a few days before their ceremony, we organised to meet up on the Gold Coast. We finalised all their paperwork and went over the final preparations. We’d agreed, as most of their guests were french-speaking, and as long as they said the legal vows in English they could share their personal vows in French.

Their wedding date was set for Easter Monday, and as you can imagine, Byron Bay Lighthouse is extremely busy across the entire weekend. When Renata, from Boho Bay Designs and Styling, and I arrived, the parking attendants were more than happy to accommodate us and found us a double parking spot. It rained and rained and rained in the days leading up, and I had 15 umbrellas on hand just in case, but as luck would have it, it cleared just as we arrived and so we were able to create something truly magical.

Caroline organised a violinist as a surprise for her husband-to-be through Upon a Moment Music, Lucy Lillian, which really added that extra bit of elegance and Eric was blown away and became quite emotional even before the bride arrived. When they both shared their vows in French I was overwhelmed by a blanket of emotion I couldn’t even explain – I didn’t know what they were saying but their sentiment was so obvious! I really had to pull myself together.

Rebecca from Just Rebecca Photography captured all the lovely moments, Caroline created her bridal bouquets herself, and as their entire wedding party were colour coordinated in Blue, Purple, and White, they chose my navy blue Italiano dress from my style me page.

Almost everything went according to plan, except Caroline’s son, Mat, who scored himself the biggest ice cream just before the bride arrived. You should have seen Caroline’s face when he approached to walk with her down the aisle with a face full of ice cream – it was a classic!

We stayed with them and toasted their love with champagne before Caroline and Eric went off with Rebecca to have their photoshoot all around the Lighthouse, and just as we put the last of the arbour and chairs in the back of the car, and the newlyweds made their way back to the car park, it started to sprinkle.

Becoming Mr and Mrs with Byron Bay Lighthouse as witness
First kiss as Mr and Mrs Hashimoto
Mat and that huge Byron Bay ice cream
Caroline and her bridesmaids
Introducing Mr and Mrs!
A champagne toast

Eric + Caroline's Micro Wedding - Byron Bay Lighthouse

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