Real Wedding – Jenna & Richard, Warrandyte South VIC
It was all about celebrating their love when Jenna and Richard gathered their nearest and dearest for the party of a lifetime.
The Farm was the perfect location for this pair to seal the deal, both inspired by the rustic and modern vibe of the space. They asked their guests to come ready for a garden party and decided to celebrate across lunch-time across luxe long tables with a feast that was to-die-for.
Jenna looked a vision in her One Day Bridal gown as they exchanged vows in a heartfelt yet light hearted ceremony that set them up for a sensational affair ahead.
With florals that wowed, much laughter and love, all the perfect moments were captured by Jessica Abby.
In Jenna’s words…
Richard is from the USA and I am Australian, we met in Dubai back in 2011 when we were both working there at the Grand Hyatt Dubai. We had both definitely noticed each other (although Richard would tell you I hadn’t noticed him straight away). A friend’s party was what brought us together and the rest was history!
The night of the party I knew there was something special. We had a few obstacles to overcome but we were both committed to giving our relationship a real shot and we are so happy that we did.
Richard took me out to our favourite little Italian restaurant in Melbourne (Il Solito Posto) to begin with. After dinner we walked up Collins Street towards The Treasury building. To be honest I didn’t think he was going to propose that night and was suggesting to walk the opposite way to get an Uber. After this went back and forth a few times I looked up at The Treasury building across the road and went “oooohh”. We walked across the road onto the steps and Richard got down on one knee and popped the question. It was a big yes!
I had always imagined our special day being at a winery. We did explore the “industrial” blank canvas offerings in Melbourne as another option, however is was one of my bridesmaids who found The Farm online. We went out there the next weekend and as soon as we drove over the hill and saw this beautiful country/winery venue, we were in love and decided on the spot.
The Farm was a dream to deal with and made the process so easy. The fact that the landscape eases the amount of decorations you need to do, food is made at the venue and wine comes from the winery all cut down on sourcing suppliers.
After the venue was chosen and date selected we were straight on to booking in the band, florist and photographer. For the band we did a lot of research online and listened to the large array of samples that are on Instinct Music. Music plays a big part in our lives and I truly believe this can really make a special occasion complete so it was important to find the right one. We ended up with a DJ, roaming saxophone player and singer.
Instagram was my best friend in finding a photographer, being able to see real wedding photos gives you a true picture into their style of photography. For us it was all about very natural photos and not staged. I also used instagram to find my bridal party hair and make-up. I could not have loved my hair and make-up and more than what I did, but deciding on my final hair style was one of the most stressful components. After a trial run I completely changed what I had imagined and decided a week before the wedding what I wanted.
The florist was a recommendation from the venue which was great. She knew the venue so well that it meant we only needed one meeting with her and we felt comfortable leaving the rest in her hands.
Our celebrant was a recommendation from friends who had recently been married and we are so incredibly lucky to have found Laura! She met with us for breakfast or G&T’s and got to know us over a six month period in the lead up. By the time the wedding was here she was like an old friend. She set the tone for the entire day, friends and family had never laughed so much during a ceremony and it set the tone for the whole day.
We honestly found the whole process a breeze, which may have something to do with managing large hotels as a career choice. I have been through many stressful situations and for me this was just fun and exciting.
I am not sure if we really have an event or an inspiration as such that created the style of our wedding. We wanted something rustic but modern and thought of the day as a big fun party to celebrate our love. The theme and dress attire was “Garden Party”. We decided on a lunch time event instead of evening, and it was honestly the best longest lunch with the most amazing group of people. We chose a family style lunch which suited a day time wedding and the venue, not the mention the food was to die for!
The Dress. Google, magazines, Pinterest and Instagram. I actually found my dress on the first day we went to try on dresses and in the second boutique we went to. I discovered what I thought would be my style actually wasn’t once I started trying dresses on. But when you find the one, you definitely know!
As my dress was quite a statement in the bottom half, I decided against a veil as I felt it was all too much. Our ceremony was also at The Farm outside of a barn and a veil for me just felt a bit out of place. My dress gave me freedom to move and as an extra bonus I could actually go to the bathroom without assistance!
Richard’s suit was tailor-made and was a gorgeous blue with brown shoes – no black suits were allowed. We found the most amazing tie which matched the boutonnieres and bouquets incredibly well. There was definitely a touch of fun and it suited the venue perfectly.
Saying “I do”! The moment you say those words, all nervousness and anxiety just disappear in an instant. The other moment was when the sun came out and everyone moved out onto the lawn and the band followed. It was just the most gorgeous afternoon and the perfect last hour.
Meaning of marriage.
For Richard and myself it was another step in our relationship and an opportunity to celebrate our love with those closest to us. We have spent a lot of time in a long distance relationship throughout our many years together, and this was symbolic to us that we were settled under the one roof together.
Aisle: Bridesmaids – A Sunday Kind of Love by Etta James and bride: At Last by Etta James
Signing: Signed Sealed Delivered by Stevie Wonder
Recessional: Sexual Healing by Hot 8 Brass Band
Reception entry: Got to be Real by Cheryl Lynn
First dance: So Into You by Childish Gambino (Triple J Version)
Funny stories (or near disasters).
The bridesmaids dresses – my amazing aunty who is a very clever seamstress was trying to copy these beautiful silk Dion Lee dresses. They were just impossible and two weeks out from the wedding I changed the colour to white and found my bridesmaid’s dress online and my sister’s dress was bought two days before the wedding.
We never really got all our timings accurate until we had to work backwards with the photographer. Your day really ends up getting planned out to 15 minutes intervals which I hadn’t really thought about!
Words of wisdom.
- The dress – I am a size 12 and all the sample dresses you try on are made for a perfect size 10 (or smaller). You need to make sure you take time to imagine what it would look like when a new dress is made to fit you and not get disheartened. Be sure to decide on your dress at least 6 months in advance so you have time to do plenty of fittings to get it right.
- Do not do a massive crash diet once you have been fitted for your dress. Just maintain, I focused more on toning up for the day rather than trying to shed weight. This is no different for the men!
- People will try to get involved at the last minute, be accepting but be sure to stay true to what you want. You can not please everyone and that’s ok.
- We had a pre-shoot with the photographer prior to the wedding, I highly recommend this! Because of the time we had with the photographer prior there was no time wasted on the day getting used to each other and was so natural and easy from the get go.
- If you are doing a lunch or dinner wedding, be sure to serve your guests enough food. People will expect a proper meal and there is always a lot of wine consumed. I had so many comments from our guests about how amazing the food was and how much food there was.
- I started Clear & Brilliant facials months in advance as my skin preparation. If you are going to start any lasers, facials, wrinkle injections etc do it in advance so you do not have any unwanted effects on the day.
Need a survival guide for handling the morning of your very own wedding day? Here’s our wrap up to ensure you’re completely bridechilla and not a bridezilla.
JENNA & RICHARD’S TRIBE
Ceremony venue / location: The Farm – Yarra Valley
Reception venue / location: The Farm – Yarra Valley and Garden State Hotel for the after party
Celebrant/Officiant: Laura Lehmann – Love by Laura
Photography: Jessica Abby Photography
Florist: Pinkie Promise
Hair and make-up: Carla Dyson
The Dress(es): One Day Bridal
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Groomsmen’s suits: Briggins
Bow ties / ties: Country Road
Stationery / Signage: Invitations and signage created by colleague at work. Cork name card holders from Etsy
Entertainment: Mad Men Trio
Transport: BMW 7 Series for bridal party and coach transfers for guests