sharn + tui – yanchep national park – cabaret cave wedding

Sharn and Tui were married outside at Yanchep Inn, in the Yanchep National Park in Western Australia, with their reception held in the Cabaret Cave. It’s an amazing venue. The lawn where they held their commitment ceremony is shaded and lush, and the cave is just incredible – lit with fairy lights and floor lights that bring the warm rock walls to life, creating an gorgeous, intimate feel despite the generous size of the cave. Perfect for two of the awesome-est guys I’ve had the privilege of meeting. πŸ™‚

While Sharn was getting ready at Yanchep Inn’s gorgeous accommodation, his mum surprised him with a beautiful wooden box filled with lovely treasures: letters and mementos from his life.

Then it was time to head to the Yanchep Inn lawn, and await the arrival of his beloved…which was another surprise, and a style truly Tui πŸ™‚

Once everyone was over the excitement of having one of the grooms arrive in a helicopter, the ceremony began. Sharn is a pretty laid back guy, and not overly fond wearing shoes, so his bridesmaids went shoeless in support. I back the move…much easier to walk on grass in bare feet than stilettos, that’s for sure! πŸ™‚

Tui, on the other hand, is always very well put together, so his bridesmaids rocked the heels…and managed the grass just fine. πŸ™‚ They all walked down the aisle to the amazing sounds of ‘Over the Rainbow’ by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. If you haven’t heard it, click the link, it’s super gorgeous. πŸ™‚

They were very happy to see one another, as you would expect. β™₯ The ceremony was conducted by Sharn’s mother, which made it very personal and very intimate. Same sex couples aren’t legally allowed to marry in Australia, so Sharn and Tui, unconstricted by the requirements of a civil union, were free to design a ceremony entirely theirs. It represented their relationship perfectly. Their vows were simple, heartfelt, and incredibly moving. And very funny at times, which was awesome – they’re a couple who love to play, with mutual respect and love always.

After exchanging vows, they tied a lovers’ knot in two gorgeous pieces of green and black rope. Well, Sharn did most of the knot tying, while Tui helped…sort of. πŸ™‚ Here is an excerpt from their ceremony, read by Sharn’s mother while the knots were tied:

“Sharn and Tui have just sealed their relationship with the exchanging of vows. Today their relationship is further symbolized by the tying of a true lovers’ knot, for it is the strongest there is; its bond will not break, becoming ever stronger under pressure.

These two cords represent your past; each of you as individuals and the unique and special gifts you bring to each other. As you fasten your pieces together, these actions represent the present; this moment when you join your two lives into one common purpose. The completed knot represents your future, secure in the knowledge your relationship will continue to strengthen despite the inevitable changes life brings. Although the lover’s knot is one of the simplest to tie, it is also the most enduring and the sturdiest. As stress is applied, the knot becomes ever stronger.

It is the goal of devoting yourself to another to achieve a blending of hearts and lives, but like the spaces between these cords, let there also be spaces in your new life together, so each may encourage and nurture the individual growth of the other.

I ask that you know pull on this rope to see it strengthen under pressure while still allowing us to see the individual cords ~ just as your support of one another as beautiful and blessed individuals strengthens your union.

As you hold one another in mutual concern, shared respect and love, may you continue holding each other tightly in your hearts, formed as one in mind, body and spirit from now and forever. Let this knot indicate the strength of your love and be a symbol of your unity from this day forward.”

Champagne to celebrate, of course! What’s a wedding without bubbles, I ask? Followed by hugs and tears of joy and lots of laughter.

Once the congratulations were done, Sharn and Tui signed their life contract, witnessed by their mothers while Sharn’s dad looked on proudly.

World’s cutest flower girl:

And ducks and kangaroos all over the place!!!

Bit of a fly issue during the group shots…

We did a quick portrait session by the Yanchep Inn lake.

They’re so lovely together. β™₯

Then it was in the bus for a quick ride up to Cabaret Cave, with some shoe adjustments on the way. πŸ™‚

I love a good bowtie!!! And this one is particularly awesome.

Tui is a New Zealander, and his family and friends greeted the guys with a haka – so powerful and emotional and spine-tingling. It filled the space with love and strength.

After their spectacular entrance, it was all hugs and food and lollies and speeches and laughter and dancing and singing…lots of beautiful singing.

It’s exhausting being a flower girl, don’t you know? Yay for cushion-filled nooks in caves. πŸ™‚

After cutting their awesome “Mr & Mr” cake, the grooms danced to Sia’s Chandelier, and then the dance floor got very busy!

When I left, the d-floor was crowded, and the party looked like it was going to kick on for quite a while. πŸ™‚ It was an amazing day, one I loved being a part of. Thank you for having me, Sharn and Tui. You guys are ace and you really know how to throw a party. :)β™₯ xox

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