Real Wedding – Jessica & Hugh, Smoko VIC
Real Wedding – Jessica & Hugh, Smoko VIC
Real Wedding – Jessica & Hugh, Smoko VIC
Real Wedding – Jessica & Hugh, Smoko VIC

Real Wedding – Jessica & Hugh, Smoko VIC


What we love about Jess and Hugh’s sensational country celebration was that they said ‘no’ to tradition and instead embraced a day that showcased their love and their love for their friends and family in the most beautiful way.

Set on Jess’ family property, the two arrived together in sensational style, on a gator, which only further set the tone for a fun and relaxed day ahead. After searching for a gown, Jess settled on a beautiful linen design from SoHo Bride that suited the occasion perfectly, while Hugh looked dashing in his custom tuxedo.

They took inspiration from the region and used local suppliers where they could, as well as their family and friends, to create an outdoor affair that was full of colour and more importantly love and laughter, and through the incredible photos captured by Smith + Archer, you can see the joy this celebration exudes.


The meeting.

Dating app (bumble) 2018 – an evening in Edinburgh Gardens.

The proposal.

A hike up to Mt Feathertop, atop a deserted snowcapped mountain.

The planning process.

It began with the 4-hour journey back to the city putting together a guest list. We thought Jess’ family property would be a perfect venue therefore requiring arranging of all providers and suppliers.

Style inspiration.

The region – local product, views of the mountain, relaxed and natural. We had a strong sense of what we wanted, and the location dictated suppliers. To be honest we were a bit naïve.

The ceremony.

We wanted to somewhat break with traditions and wanted to set the tone of the day early – a tone of fun, casual and keeping it about our guests. We arrived together on a gator through the paddock. Walking down the aisle, we paused to say ‘hi’ to our guests, embracing, high fiving etc down the aisle. Our celebrant was a family friend and old high school teacher of Jess’, who had married many of her school friends, including some of those present.

It was situated in an avenue of chestnut trees in bud burst planted by Jess’ grandparents.

When Hugh’s father read a verse, we were fighting back tears, everyone present was doing the same.

The outfits.

Jess found her dress in Geelong – SoHo Bride, who stocked the Canadian label “& For Love” – a linen dress with sleeves, plunging neckline and a bare back. She searched many bridal stores throughout the city and the inner ring in her pursuit.

Hugh wanted classic/timeless and knew Oscar Hunt Tailors would be able to deliver on the brief with a custom tuxedo.

Favourite moment.

Jess: Walking back down the aisle with confetti falling, and friends and family celebrating

Hugh: Arriving at the ceremony seeing everyone gathered – poised for the day ahead.

Meaning of marriage.

A union of friendship, family, and support.

Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Elton John – Your Song

Recessional: Arthur Russell – Wild Combination

Funny stories (or near disasters).

The four days leading up to the wedding was torrential rain, leaving the paddock and chestnut grove under water. The marquee coming from Melbourne was delivered with the incorrect canvas – requiring the next day delivery, delaying furniture delivery and set up.

Floods through country SA and VIC made guests journeys by car difficult, adding additional stress to nervous family members travelling from interstate.

Words of wisdom.

Start early! Establish your providers etc early – you don’t want to be searching for things last minute (unless you enjoy that stress!)

The following day recovery can be really beautiful. Sharing the freshly made memories, hearing the afterparty stories and getting more time with your loved ones is priceless.




We loved the way Jess and Hugh arrived together on their wedding day on a gator, for more ideas on how you can make your wedding ceremony unique, read here



Our photographer, Ali Bant of Smith + Archer, was a huge resource for planning the structure of the day, list of providers and industry connections. Her set of resources were so helpful, full of thought and kindness. Jess’ mum spoke to people within the Alpine Shire community in the search for providers and suppliers too.

Ceremony location: Chestnut Grove on Jess’ family’s property.

Reception location: Neighbouring open paddock with shelter provided by Under Sky sperry tents.

Celebrant/Officiant: Kay O’Connor.

Photography: Ali Bant of Smith + Archer.

Videography: Carlo Peritore of Lunar Red Films.

Florist: Ourselves – mainly Jess! We purchased from Azalea and Hugh’s father supplied flowers from their family farm in the Adelaide Hills. We also foraged from the local region. Lovely friends helped put together massing and an arch around the entry point to the marquee.

Hair: Anita Hamilton.

Make Up: MAU Sisters Make up artist sisters.

The Dress: “& For Love” Auldyn from SoHo Bride.

Suit and accessories: Oscar Hunt.

Shoes: Jess :Lorena Paggi from 124 Shoes.

Hugh: Conflict For Interest from 124 shoes.

Rings: Engagement asking ring: Sarah and Sebastian /Engagement Ring: Local maker Opal / Wedding band: We Are Arrow / Commissioned wedding band by Pip Stent using stones from Hugh’s mothers ring.

Catering: High Country Food Co / Slippery Pearl Girls / Coffee Chakra (day after).

Bar: King Valley Prosecco’s and wine, Alpine Shire beers and others.

Favors: Harrietville Cricket Club.

Cake / Cake topper: Our beautiful friend Jemima O’Brien of Zephyr and Bloom cakes.

Stationery / Signage: We undertook majority of this with some help from our talented friend Martina Tempestini.

Entertainment: Our extroadinary friends Braden Pullen and Tanelle MacKenzie. DJ’s were friends throughout the night.

Transport: Alpine Spirit.

Décor: Ourselves and caterers.

Hire: Under Sky sperry tents, Memphis Hire, Happy Barrel Hire.

Honeymoon: Montenegro and London.

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