A few weeks ago our region was hit by the tail end of Cyclone Debbie. She brought with her a drenching of rain and crazy winds, followed by days of flooding and devastation. Team Figtree photographed 8 weddings over this crazy week from Byron Bay to Carool to Brisbane and Gatton. Although there were many challenges along the way, our team captured some incredibly beautiful stories and we are so excited to share them with you.
We spent our Thursday at Summergrove Estate in the Tweed Hinterland with Brad and Reanna. The day consisted of torrential rain, flash flooding and an amazing couple. Many of the guests had just flown in from up north and thought they would be escaping Cyclone Debbie, however, she followed and arrived on the day of the wedding. We were able to run outside for just a few moments after the ceremony in the pouring rain, and the bride and groom embraced it like champions and weren’t phased by the fact that their wedding was literally happening in the midst of a cyclone. Always with smiles on their faces, and a drink in hand. At 8pm the decision was made for the bus to collect all of the guests, as the towns at the base of the mountain were being evacuated. So the guests got on the bus and continued their party no doubt!
(ABOVE :: Brad and Reanna – The absolute champions that they are!)
Our Friday was spent at Graciosa in the Byron Bay Hinterland with Sophie + James. Our photographers departed for Byron Bay way ahead of schedule, as we knew the flood waters were rising and there may not have been a chance to cross the border. We were greeted by probably the most relaxed and chilled out bride and groom we have ever met, who were just so excited to marry each other. Most of the guests arrived (some had been on the road since 7am trying to find a way around the floods) while some arrived by chopper! Everyone embraced the elements and we photographed one of the most beautful and heartfelt ceremonies ever. Followed by a location shoot filled with smiles and love (and a little bit of sunshine).
(ABOVE :: A little ray of sunshine at Sophie + James’ incredible day)
As our wedding photographers were leaving Sophie + James’ amazing party on Friday night, we found out that the motorway was closed due to flooding and we would be unable to get to our homes until at least Saturday afternoon. What happened next was the epitome of teamwork, and enough to make your heart smile. Our entire team was on the phone and text with each other for hours, sorting out who was going to be able to get where on Saturday (with 4 weddings to photograph). Every couple was called, our photographers briefed each other, new run sheets were prepared and everyone got ready for a big April 1st.
On Saturday morning, we all carefully ventured to our weddings across Byron Bay, Mount Cotton & Gatton. One of our weddings started with a total of 7 (of 70) guests, however the groom spent his entire wedding morning organising helicopters for all of their guests (while the bride was totally unaware). There were so many stressful and drama filled moments throughout the weekend, however everyone pulled together and we were apart of some truely amazing wedding stories.
To all of our couples. Thank you! You have been absolute champions, and taken it all in your stride. Thank you for having us as part of your story on your wedding day, it is definitely a weekend we won’t be forgetting in a hurry. We photographed some truly beautiful days, we stepped in and photographed weddings for other photographers, and felt the most amazing amount of wedding community spirit throughout every stage.
Thank you to the suppliers that we have worked with that have gone over and above to bring the weddings together with all of the challenges at hand. A special shout out to all of the wonderful wedding venues; Summergrove Estate, Graciosa, Fig Tree Restaurant & Rooms and Sirromet.
Finally, we are so proud of our amazing Figtree team, everyone went ABOVE and BEYOND to make every single wedding early, with a positive attitude and ready to capture each beautiful story (amongst the devastation). Continue below for a sneak peak into the incredible real stories we have witnessed…