Local couple Chloe and Kerrod Parker were married recently in the romantic setting of Dangar Falls, Dorrigo. We asked them to tell us about the proposal, the planning, and the wedding, and what made their big day so special.
Hi Chloe and Kerrod. Congratulations on your wedding! Could you tell us a bit about when and how you met?
Thank you so much! Neither of us can remember exactly when we met, we think around five years ago, through Daniel and Amy, Chloe’s parents. Kerrod loves cycling and Daniel owns the local bike shop Rainbow Cycles, and Amy was working with Kerrod at the time.
It was between cycling and the coffee shop that we noticed each other, with many side glances and butterflies! We were both so nervous each time we saw one another, we both knew there could be something between us, but Kerrod was so shy. It took him a while until he asked me to be his girlfriend. When he did, he took me out the back of Coffs to a secret waterfall and asked me to be his girlfriend. Once we started dating, it felt as though we’d been together forever. It was just so right; he and I work so well together. We knew we were meant to be.
Did you both grow up on the Coffs Coast?
Chloe: I have always lived on the Coffs Coast; you really can’t get much better. Mum and Dad have brought my sisters and I up to appreciate all that we’ve been given here by spending many hours outside. We have spent so many days on the beach and at the river; they hold some of my favourite memories. We’re blessed to live here.
Kerrod: I spent my early years in Armidale and then moved down here when I was 12 with my family. We really do have it so great here; there are some of the best beaches and bush right at our doorsteps. I have loved growing up and being able to appreciate everything this region has to offer us. I can’t say I don’t occasionally miss the uniqueness of Armidale, but I could never move back after living here!
What was the proposal like?
Kerrod: We were camping at Dangar Falls in Dorrigo for Easter with Chloe’s family; it’s a pretty awesome spot that looks out over the valley and hills. It was after Easter Sunday lunch and everyone was off doing their own thing, we decided we’d go for a ride along the dirt road to an old decommissioned railway bridge, not far from Dangar itself.
I had the ring stashed in my jacket, as I knew I wanted to ask today. I suggested to Chloe that it would be a good idea to walk across the bridge, seeing as though she has always been too scared to do it. It’s ridiculously high up and crosses a river and road; the sleepers on the track have started to break away, so there’s large gaps between each step. Chloe was freaking out, because she hates heights; she’s only ever made it out a few steps along this bridge. She was gripping on to me very tightly, yelling and laughing nervously at me for taking her out over this bridge. After a lot of nudging and persuading, I eventually managed to basically drag her into the very middle. Strangely, I didn’t really feel nervous, I think because I was concentrating so hard on keeping myself and Chloe on the bridge.
Chloe: Kerrod all of a sudden drops down onto one knee, and I’m standing there grabbing hold of him in fear of falling off this bridge and then realising … Kerrod’s proposing! It’s as though the whole world stops in that one moment. He pulled out the most beautiful ring and asked me to marry him! I wasn’t expecting it at all. It was my family who we were camping with, so we were able to tell them straight away. Kerrod had asked my dad a few months ago if he could marry me, and seeing Dad and Mum’s reaction was priceless. It was such a happy and beautiful moment. Kerrod and I were going to get married!
Where did you guys get married, and why did you choose the location?
We knew pretty much straight away where we wanted to get married. It had to be the spot where Kerrod proposed, up at Dangar Falls. We wanted someplace unique and open, where we could have the ceremony and reception all in the one place – a place that we felt represented us. It was truly the most magical place. Kerrod built the arbour for us to get married under, and we placed it on the hill, right where you could see the bridge where he proposed down in the distance. Having it on the paddock also meant that we could have our family and friends either camp or stay in the lodge.
There’s a lot of amazing inspiration out there for wedding planning these days. How did you come up with the kind of look and feel you wanted for your wedding?
I spent hours scouting online and reading through mags. The wedding became like our second job. We both knew we wanted our family and friends, good food, live music and fun! We especially wanted our wedding to look lush, full of beautiful Australian natives and foliage. Kerrod, my dad and I spent hours filling trailers full of foliage. I started with that and dreamt up ideas, and really if I saw something I loved I bought it, like the white Mexican flags I found on Etsy.
Etsy was a very useful website; I could find beautiful Australian made pieces that would contribute to the look of our wedding. I loved knowing that it was also going to be supporting small businesses.
Pinterest has an incredible amount of different themes and ideas; it’s almost a bit overwhelming seeing how much is out there. I didn’t want to follow one theme specifically … We didn’t want our wedding to look like every other wedding, which is also why we wanted to be married at Dangar Falls. It had to be ours. We went after what we loved, to make it our own.
Can you tell us about some of the local vendors/contributors you used and how you came to find them?
We were very lucky with the people who helped put this wedding together – people who went the extra mile for us. Kerrod and I tried to hand make as much as we possibly could. There is a lovely lady, Bernie, in Bellingen who runs a business with her son called “Bellingen Bespoke Weddings”; she had everything vintage and unique, which is what we were after. She also introduced us to different local businesses who were in the wedding business that we had no idea about. We wanted to keep it all local.
Daisy Llewellyn from Bellingen did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair beautifully. One of my best friends, Yolanda, did all of our makeup (it’s extra fun having one of your best friends there the morning of, doing your makeup!)
David Moore, from Sawtell, was our amazing photographer (arguably the best photographer around; just don’t tell his wife, Leah…)
Our florist was a local lady Danielle, who worked along with two women, Kate and Crystal, who I had become friends with at the café I was working at. I approached them one day and asked if they’d be interested in decorating our wedding. It was their first big wedding, and they all went above and beyond, – it looked absolutely amazing what they pulled off.
Our clear marquee was from C2C event hire, and the chairs were from Coffs Chair Covers. The band was a local folk/bluegrass band called “the Mid North”; they knew how to get everyone dancing! We spent the night outside dancing around the fire pits.
We had a few things from Kennards Hire in Coffs and Faircloth and Reynolds too. And the food was by Tru Blue Catering; they do spit roasts. We both felt it was very special and important to keep it all local, to have people we knew play a part in our day. We both knew a lot of people who worked locally in different industries; it definitely pays to ask around.
Chloe, had you already dreamed up the kind of dress you wanted, or did you just come across one that felt right?
I had definitely dreamed up the dress I wanted. I drove up to the Gold Coast on my own to the Grace Loves Lace showroom, where you have to pre choose the five dresses you want to try on. The very last dress I had just added to fill up the five, called the Florence Ivory dress, ended up being the one. I had no expectation of it suiting me or even really liking it. But once I had it on, I knew it was the one. It was a dress I never thought I’d wear on my wedding day, but I loved it! I could just imagine it flowing in the mountains, a wildly romantic dress; it was absolutely perfect.
Is there a special moment from your wedding day that really stands out to either of you?
Probably the most memorable moment would have to have been when we were at the signing table waiting for our best friends to sign as witnesses. As we were waiting, that was our first brief moment we got to hold each other as husband and wife – nothing can describe that. It’s truly a surreal feeling. Our photographer, Dave, captured that moment; it’s one of our favourite photos. It holds such emotion to it.
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
Our honeymoon was on the South Island of New Zealand. It was a long awaited holiday after working hard at work and on the wedding. We hired a campervan and travelled about 3,000 km over the course of two weeks all throughout the stunning New Zealand. We crammed in as much as we could. It definitely wasn’t long enough; you could spend months there taking in all its beauty. We definitely recommend it!
Have you got any advice to give other couples planning on getting married on the Coffs Coast?
Make sure you ask around; ask your friends and family if they know of anyone in the wedding business or who can hire things out. It’s surprising how much is out there. It can be stressful and overwhelming planning your big day, but there’s always people willing and able to help with it all.
Most importantly, make sure you enjoy every moment! We were the last ones to leave our wedding, and we would never change that. It was such an incredible day!
Thanks Kerrod and Chloe.