A Naturally Beautiful Wedding at Villa Rustica in Australia

Casey Goody and Rumond D’Assonville are part of the same friend group, so they've been acquaintances for years. So, when they both found themselves in need of roommates in November 2015, they decided to move in together. They stayed up late into the night, bonding over long talks and mugs of tea. “We became best friends and somewhere in there, realized this was a wild love,” says Casey, the graphic and digital art director at Australia-based bridal design company Grace Loves Lace.

Just over three years later, Rumond planned a date at a whiskey bar where one of the couple’s favorite blues bands was playing. “When we arrived the waiter escorted us to a private room,” Casey remembers. “Rumond says romantic things all the time, so when he began to pour his heart out it still didn’t click what was happening—I even interrupted him! But then he was on one knee and, aside from a big ‘YES!’ that’s all I remember of the rest of the night. We probably stayed in that room for another three hours in an ecstatic, loved up blur.”

The pair decided to plan an "intimate, untraditional" wedding for the following April near their home in Australia. "We were inspired by earth tones, whiskey, and warm light, and with Moroccan-esque décor,” Casey says.

Read on to see all the details from their relaxed-yet-elevated wedding celebration, photographed by Joey Willis.

“We were instantly in love,” Casey says of their ceremony location, Villa Rustica, an event venue in the New South Wales town of Byron Bay. “The architectural facades, the warm earthy tones, and textures, everything felt like a home away from home.”

Thanks to her position at Grace Loves Lace, Casey says she had the "most amazing time" at her appointment. “Because I work there, it was just so fun to actually be the bride in the showroom," she says. "‘The Summer’ was the exact dress I’d envisioned getting married in. It’s timeless, elegant, and eye-catching, and made me feel comfortable, confident, and completely myself.”

The bride completed her look with a pearl-embellished blusher veil, also by Grace Loves Lace. “Because my gown was so simple, the pearl-adorned veil was the perfect statement piece," she says.

“My best friend Nina was my maid of honor,” says Casey. “She’s been my closest friend for almost ten years, my soul mate, and a huge part of my life, and I had the honor of standing next to her at her wedding also.” The pair spent a weekend shopping around Byron Bay’s boutiques for Nina’s dress, which they found at Rowie the Label. “The color fit with our neutral scheme and looked amazing on her," Casey adds.

Having some time to focus on our love, on each other, and be still before the whole day began was, to me, the real wedding...That moment was magic.

The couple met for a first look before the ceremony. “Rumond and I shared words from our hearts with each other, which was so special,” says Casey. “Having some time to focus on our love, on each other, and be still before the whole day began was, to me, the real wedding. Rumond’s words were so beautiful and heartfelt. That moment was magic.”

“We planned the wedding ourselves and, to my surprise, the process was fairly chill,” admits the bride. “We really prioritized staying on top of the organization and having fun with it. It was the most creative project we’ve ever had to pull together.” 

Casey's parents escorted her up the aisle to a recording of “Rivers and Roads” by The Head and the Heart. “This has become ‘our’ song over the years after plenty of long drives listening to it on repeat and evenings where we would jam together singing as the sun went down… it was a goosebumps moment for me just hearing the song play,” says Casey.

An arrangement of dried toffee roses, palms, and pampas served as a backdrop for the ceremony. There, the couple's 35 guests looked on from white benches surrounded by brass accents, textured cushions, and jute wh. “We stood on a Moroccan rug, which was Rumond and I’s first purchase together and it’s our prized possession," Casey says. "The colors fit the theme perfectly, and it was such a wonderful, sentimental touch.”

The couple exchanged vows they’d written themselves. “Rumond is a poetic genius and he definitely showed me up,” Casey says with a laugh. “Not a dry eye in the house!” Dan Gorry, the senior pastor at the church the couple attends, officiated the ceremony. “We have done so much life with Dan, knowing him since we were both teenagers so it was very special to have him marry us," adds the bride.

One it was official, the newlyweds recessed to live guitar music, performed by a friend.

Following the ceremony, Rumond and Casey took some impromptu portraits. “Because it had been a rainy day the sunset turned out to be a beautiful, vibrant orange and pink,” Casey says. “Completely unplanned, we jumped the fence with our photographer and took photos running across the field.”

Following the ceremony, guests mingled over cheese and cocktails before posing for a group photo by the pool.

After, everyone listened as the couple's friends and family made speeches. “They were incredible, particularly my brother’s speech,” Casey recalls. “He is normally not the type to be emotional but when he gave his speech, which began as a bit of a rip on his big sister, he couldn’t get the words out through the tears.”

Guests then moved to the reception venue, a peach farm owned by Rumond’s boss. The space was decorated for a cocktail-style reception with lush plants in concrete pots, jute rugs, and fairy lights. “When we entered the venue, our favorite blues band, The James Street Preachers were bringing the best speakeasy vibes," Casey recalls. "They were also playing the night Rumond proposed. It was like having our very own whiskey bar!”

Guests dined on pizza and sipped old-fashioned cocktails, “an ode to our love for whiskey,” says Casey. “There were also margaritas because it’s not a party unless there’s a marg!” Instead of a traditional wedding cake, Casey’s mother created the desserts. “They were certainly made with love," she says. "My favorite apple slice and macaroons were on the menu.”

Dancing followed to a playlist created by the couple. “It turned into the most outrageous dance party!” says Casey. “I LOVE a good boogie and have never been prouder of our friends for their commitment to the dance floor.”

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