Real Wedding – Clarissa & Joel, Jan Juc VIC
Real Wedding – Clarissa & Joel, Jan Juc VIC

Real Wedding – Clarissa & Joel, Jan Juc VIC


Clarissa and Joel’s wedding celebration simply oozed love and happiness.

Channeling a Mexican Fiesta vibe, the pair threw a fun and relaxed celebration for their nearest and dearest, combining  colour and DIY craft touches to execute the winning look.

We love the spirit of this fun and fabulous celebration, and Chrisp Pictures has captured it beautifully.

In Clarissa’s words…

The meeting.

Joel and I met at the Ballarat Cup horse races back in 2005. He was in the VIP area that my MOH was also in with her then boyfriend who knew Joel – she snuck me in for the free vodka Redbull’s but I was much more attracted to the blonde surfer in the woolly op-shop suit! We chatted all day and he saved me a seat on the bus back into town!

The one.

I knew Joel was different from anyone one I had ever met very quickly. After our first meeting we spent every weekend travelling between Ballarat & Torquay where we both lived at the time. We tried to make it very clear to everyone around us that we were just hanging out for the summer but clearly failed miserably! I told Joel I “l L’d” him after a few weeks whilst stumbling home from the Torquay pub! He replied with a lovely “ Ah I like you a lot.” Joel then moved down to Portland for work and we quickly realised this wasn’t just a summer fling and made it official.

The proposal.

Our first trip away together was to Wilson’s Prom which is my favourite place! Joel decided we would hike up Mt Oberon on a scorcher of a day and armed himself with a banana and half a bottle of water – let’s just say it didn’t end too well and we never made it to the top! We now camp there each year with a group of friends. On one of the mornings two years ago he woke me up early to attempt Oberon again. This time armed with two bottles of water and two bananas we hiked up and made it to the top! Joel says he couldn’t get a word in edgeways with my constant chatter so he ended up sitting beside me and handing me a banana to eat which had my ring squished into it and asked me to marry him – I promptly replied, “is this a joke?”. After nine years I didn’t think the moment would ever happen!

The planning.

Lots and lots of looking on Ivory Tribe and Pinterest for casual DIY weddings! I began collecting small DIY pieces over an 18-month period and sent hundreds of emails back and forth to potential vendors. It was surprisingly rather easy and fun which I did not expect from stories I had been told. I did also make a little vision board which helped form the “theme”.

Style inspiration.

Mexican Fiesta was what we were going for. We wanted to throw the best party we could for our family and friends with all the things we loved! We wanted a relaxed, fun and colourful vibe so everyone could sit back, relax and then party the night away with us.

The dress.

The dress was a little nerve wracking as what I thought I would wear ended up looking like I was a kid playing dress-ups in my mum’s closet. I had seen the dress in a Facebook photo from a shop window and knew I had to try it on. It was the first dress I tried on and the only bridal store I went to. I cried when I saw myself in it and knew instantly it was the one, so the search stopped there. I wanted something elegant, classic and something I would feel comfortable in. I ended up finding it on Still White and purchased it from a lovely girl in Bendigo for less than half price!

Favourite moment(s).

Seeing Joel for the first time, I walked around the corner of the Surf Club with my Dad and saw him standing there, I hadn’t seen him dressed in his get-up get so I was very excited. There’s a great shot of me seeing him for the first time. I think I yelled out “Oh you look so handsome!”.

Joel’s favourite moment was cruising around in the Kombi taking photos, our photographers also fit in so it was a lot of fun!


We did a first dance and I had my something borrowed (Joel’s Oma’s hairpin), something new (my shoes), something old (my grandfather’s ring which I wore) and my something blue was my Mum and Dad

The meaning of marriage.

To us it was solidifying a commitment we had made to each other years ago and being able to share that moment with our family and friends.

Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Somewhere over the rainbow/What a wonderful world by Israel  Kamakawiwoʻole

Signing: Say you won’t let go by  James Arthur 

Processional: Marry You by Bruno Mars

First dance: Best Friend by Queen

Funny stories (or near disasters).

Driving to the ceremony in the Kombi and seeing two of our guests who were running late walking down the road ahead of us, we drove past and I hung out the window asking them to hurry up as I had somewhere to be – the look on their faces was priceless!

Planning surprises.

That it was so much easier than I had imagined! I had so much fun planning our wedding but was surprised at just how nervous I was on the day!

Words of wisdom.

Remember what is important to the two of you and what it is that you both want from the day. It is amazing how many people will give you their two cents about what they did or didn’t do at their own weddings. There is no “what a wedding should be” It should be tailored to the two of you as a couple. Also, start planning early!

Last words.

Don’t stress, have fun and try to take some time out with your groom as it all goes by so quickly – Also try to eat the amazing food you have supplied!



Coastal cool is where it’s at. Get inspired by Caitlin and Damien’s Jan Juc ‘wedstival’ here



Ceremony and reception: Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club

Celebrant: Georgia Mills

Photography: Chrisp Pictures

Styling: Bride

Florist: My lovely bridesmaid Natasha – Live Wild Flower Child

Hair: Studio 2 Make-up & Hair

Makeup: Hilary Holmes

The Dress: “Iliana” Rosa Clara – purchased from Still White

Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Rings: Michael Hill and Etsy

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Esther Boutique

Menswear: Myer and Connor

Bow ties / ties: Bossini Menswear

Catering: The Taco Truck and Geelong Mobile Ice-Cream Truck

Favours: Homemade hot sauce made by Joel – Bottles custom made from Custom Favours.

Cake / Cake topper: Cake was made by our lovley friend Kate Kennedy and topper from Ingrained

Stationery: Etsy and Vistaprint

Signage: Chalktalk

Entertainment: Marcus Hayden – Geelong Entertainment Group

Transport: The delightful Mark at Coastal Kombis

Honeymoon: Bali



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