Orchard Artist's Wedding | Michelle & Dylan | Australian Wedding Photographer

Amy Gray Photography

I'm not that kind of person that has ah-ha moments. All my life, my decisions have come gradually, as if the idea or decision slowly diffuses out from my inner-most self, into my thoughts and deeds until I can't remember ever deciding, but know exactly what it is I'm going to do. This happened with my decision to marry Ivan. There was never a big moment, there was just one point after several years that I knew spending the rest of my life with him was exactly what I was going to do. The same thing happened with our move to Los Angeles. There was no defining moment, no list of pros and cons--it was just the diffusion of a feeling until there was no other option. 

But Australia was different. 

We returned home changed after spending 2 weeks with Michelle and Dylan. Our hearts were opened and our perspectives shifted by this incredible couple. The time we shared with them is a moment in my life that I can point to and say, "Here is where I changed and this is who changed me."  

I have tried over and over to write this post, to explain how powerful spending time with Michelle and Dylan was to us, how sacred the space around their wedding felt and how loved they make everyone feel, but words fail when your heart has been touched, forever changed for the better. Knowing and sharing two weeks with this wonderful couple and their incredible group of friends and family is something Ivan and I will never forget.

Michelle and Dylan swept us up, welcoming Ivan and me into their home, family and friendships, giving us a front-row look into their relationships and daily life. We witnessed how Dylan and Michelle put their values of connection, creativity, joy and generosity into all they do. It was inspiring to watch how each of these was folded into different aspects of their lives, from daily swims in the sea to how sweetly they care for Grandpa Norm, Michelle's 98 year old grandfather. Michelle and Dylan have a way of making each person feel valued and celebrated; they actively make their friends and family the priority in their lives. They take the time to foster their relationships and celebrate them along the way. 

Dylan and Michelle's wedding was a reflection of these values. They poured intention into every detail of the day, from the tables guests dined at that Dylan built by hand (14 in all!), to the watercolor birds Michelle specifically chose and painted by hand for each guest. There was meaning in every aspect of the wedding. Feathers were carefully collected by Michelle and her mother for months and handmade into boutonnieres, while food was lovingly made and packaged into baskets by close friends for a picnic. The theme of birds was woven throughout the day and was made even more special when two wedged tailed eagles flew over the ceremony as Michelle walked down the aisle. The strength of Dylan and Michelle's relationships with their guests shone throughout the weekend, from excited reunions with guests attending from overseas, to inside jokes, to meaningful hugs, the love was everywhere. 

We are so profoundly grateful to have been a part of it all and to now have the honor of calling these two fantastic humans friends. Thank you Dylan and Michelle for being you, for changing our hearts forever and helping us to redefine our priorities by showing us the way you lead your life together. 

Michelle hand painted their invitations with scenes from the orchard where their wedding took place

Michelle and her mom, Margret, collect each of  the feathers for the boutonnieres from the forrest, bush and beaches around their home. Michelle chose the colors and feathers specifically for each one of their friends to wear. 

Dylan made every one of the tables guest had dinner at by hand, out of repurposed screen printing frames. Guest received a hand watercolored and specially chosen bird painting. Each had a quote on the back and were used as unique and personalized table cards. 

The bridal party surprised the bride and groom with a rousing and hilarious performance of "The Goatherd Song" from the sound of music. It was complete with choreography, costumes and lyrics customized for the occasion!