Real Wedding – Jessica & Leigh, Red Hill VIC
As soon as Jessica stepped her way down the aisle towards her husband-to-be Leigh, she knew she never wanted the day to end.
Dressed in a stunning Suzanne Harward gown and surrounded by a mix of moody florals, this perfect pair exchanged heart felt vows before their nearest and dearest.
On the magical Mornington Peninsula this duo would dance the night away with their jazz band providing an incredible atmosphere to party all night long. Damien Milan was there to capture the moments, so get lost in this special day.
In Jessica’s words…
We met in 2010 at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, where we both worked. He was the Executive Sous Chef and I was a waitress.
He was moving away for six months, so our relationship grew strong very early on. Before he left to go to France, I had stayed at Leeroy’s (I never call him Leigh, ever!) house. I had had a dream that we were married on top of a grass mountain. When I hesitantly told him about my dream, he told me that he also had a dream that we were married. I couldn’t believed that we both had the same dream. Without sounding gross, but I just knew that we would be together, this guy was it!
In 2016, Leeroy and I travelled to the United States. Our last stop was New York City and it was the most special place we had ever visited, it was just incredible. It was our second last day before we flew back and we were staying in the Lower East Side, The Ludlow Hotel. I was still in bed when I heard a knock on the door. I looked at there was a man bringing in a bottle of Champagne and I thought to myself ‘It’s a bit early!’. I looked at Leeroy and he told me to put on my robe and come over to the dining room. I took a glass of Champagne and turned around and he was on his knee with a ring. He then told me to get into my finest (at 10am!) because we were being picked up very soon. The car took us to the most southern tip of Manhattan where we arrived at a helipad which then flew us around New York City. After we had landed, he told me that we were going for lunch. For months and months, I had been trying to make a reservation at Eleven Madison Park, but I couldn’t get one. I asked Leeory ‘We aren’t going to Eleven Madison, are we?’. He turned to me and said, ‘if you couldn’t make a reservation for months, how do you think I could get one?!’. Little did I know, we drove straight to the front of the restaurant! We spent about four hours, laughing, crying, and being engaged! There was one final stop after lunch. Leeroy told me there was a car picking us up for 8pm. We were picked up and taken to the Top of the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking district. There was live jazz, and a view like no other, overlooking Manhattan. When we were taken to our booth, I saw two of my oldest friends at the table! He had flown them to New York as a surprise! There was Champagne, laughter and nothing but pure joy. That is our engagement story!
Some parts were stressful but I didn’t want to wish anything away! It was fun and challenging, but I had some very good family and friends who helped me along the way.
I wanted it to be romantic with moody florals and elegant with the styling.
I went to Suzanne Harward and I tried on a few gowns. I went back to the studio once more and decided then! It was rather quick. I had my mother and bridesmaids with me for some advice and they all loved the gown and so did I.
The ceremony. It was unbelievably special. To declare your love for one another in such a way was beautiful. Every element that Leeroy and I had worked on really came together. We had live music during the ceremony, the world’s best celebrant, and everything about it was perfect. I remember saying to Leeroy, ‘I don’t want this to end!’ and it was only the beginning of the day!
Meaning of marriage.
It’s Leeroy and I being a family.
We both are big cheerleaders of jazz. We had Dave Brubeck playing down the aisle, then our band playing during the gaps. We then had our favourite jazz singer, Kelsey James, sing La Vie En Rose in French as our first dance.
Funny stories (or near disasters).
No disasters, but I wouldn’t have cared. Nothing could have made me upset on the day!
The cost, ha ha!
Words of wisdom.
Don’t wish anything away, you’ll never have it again. Take time with your partner during the day to reflect on everything you have created, not only for your wedding day, but for your entire relationship.
Is the Mornington Peninsula calling you? Check out our favourite venues in this romantic region.
JESSICA & LEIGH’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: Port Phillip Estate
Celebrant/Officiant: Cassandra Duncan – couldn’t have asked for more!
Photography: Damien Milan
Florist: Cecelia Fox – amazing!
Hair: Dimitri Kyvetos
Make-up: Kate Fletcher
The Dress: Suzanne Harward
Veil / headwear: Suzanne Harward
Rings: Sally Rose Jewllery
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Scanlan Theodore
Groomsmen’s suits: Oscar Hunt
Bow ties / ties: Oscar Hunt
Catering: Port Phillip Estate
Bar: Port Phillip Estate
Favours: The Everleigh and Port Phillip Estate wine
Cake / Cake topper: Celia Hinault – a dear friend who is a cheese monger
Entertainment: The Shuffle Club