Real Wedding – Jessica & Max, Cape Schanck
Real Wedding – Jessica & Max, Cape Schanck
Real Wedding – Jessica & Max, Cape Schanck
Real Wedding – Jessica & Max, Cape Schanck

Real Wedding – Jessica & Max, Cape Schanck

Melbourne footballer Max Gawn is used to taking the stage in front of eager eyes, but we suspect this was by far his most glamorous debut yet when he wed the love of his life, Jess.

Marrying at their dream venue, where striking  and elegant architectural surrounds paved the way for their modern affair. Surrounded by their favourite people, Jess and Max danced into the night and pulled off a celebration to remember.

The light-hearted duo can laugh off a few of the day’s hiccups – a hungover New Year’s Eve reveller joining their photo session, and a late-night sparkler exit gone wrong – as they only add to the laughter you can see so brightly on the faces of the couple and their guests.

Captured by one of our favourite lensmen, Jeremy Blode, Max and Jess’ day is sure to put a smile on your face too.



The meeting.

We met through friends/family eight years ago. My sister is married to one of Max’s old teammates at Melbourne Football Club. Max found me through her Instagram and used to comment on all of my photos. I thought he was funny, but a bit weird!  We didn’t go on a date for a few years though. I didn’t want to date a footballer as well!


The ‘one’.

Jess: after a few dates in it felt different to anything in the past. He made me laugh and every time I was with him I felt happy and our values were so similar. We have been together for six years and have continued to grow together and love each other more.


The proposal.

We were in New Zealand visiting Max’s family for Christmas in 2018, we arrived in Queenstown and he said we should go for a little walk before breakfast. He didn’t tell me where/how far, the hike took four hours to the top of a mountain, I cracked it a few times on the way up about how long it was taking, he didn’t pack water and how quick he was walking. He was nervous, but won’t admit it. It was beautiful at the top and a special memory for us.


The process.

We both wanted to have a big party, that was relaxed and fun with all our favourite people in one room. We wanted this to be the most important part and then all the little details, napkins and seating charts, just the extra details.

Our planning process was quite easy and we didn’t have any dramas throughout. We both like similar things/styles and having stylist, Harper and Co, made the planning so easy. Once I got into it I found organising it all quite fun and creative and a great time waster!  If you can, I would recommend to use a stylist, neither of us have a background in events so having someone to envisage everything together and guide us through what we should be organising/trusted suppliers was so helpful. It also meant we could just enjoy the morning with our families and friends and not have to be rushing around setting things up.


Style inspiration.

We wanted a simple modern/luxe look with lots of black/white and neutrals. The style evolved throughout the planning process and was also dictated by the modern architecture and design at RACV Cape Schanck.


The dress.

I went to a few big dress shops by myself and tried on lots of things to get a feel of what I liked by myself. Eventually I felt a bit overwhelmed.  When I went to Marquise Bridal I loved all of Megan’s (Marquise designer) collection, I wanted to wear them all. She was such a boss lady and I trusted her throughout.


Favourite moments.

Too many! Walking up the aisle with my dad to meet Max was very special with all of our family and friends watching on. The dance floor at the end of the night was also memorable!


Meaning of marriage.

Supporting someone no matter what and sharing your life together.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle song: Can’t help falling in love (acoustic) performed by The White Tree

Entrance song: Good as Hell by Lizzo

First dance: Best thing by Ray La Montagne

Father-daughter dance:  Isnt She lovely by Stevie Wonder


Funny stories (or near disasters).

At the end of the night we were leaving and everyone had sparklers for us to exit in a makeshift arch way, however the sparklers were all duds they burnt straight down and one of our guests dropped them and the carpet caught on fire. Max and I left to a burning carpet and only one sparkler still lit.

We had our wedding photos in a parkland, it was new year’s day and there was a lady asleep in the parkland recovering from big new year celebrations the night before. She was just out of shot of all of our photos and yelling out funny things, we are genuinely laughing in all of those photos.


Planning surprises.

Furniture hire is expensive, as is getting married on a public holiday!


Words of wisdom.

Enjoy it all! The planning, lead up and don’t lose sight of why you are marrying each other all the details around planning it are just fun.



An incredible sunset session as the day’s light faded made for some mind-blowing photographic memories of Jess and Max’s day. Embracing the magic of golden hour is one of our top wedding tips – see more about that here.



Ceremony and reception: RACV Cape Schanck Resort

Celebrant/Officiant:  Chris Dawes, a close friend of ours who we initially joked about him being the celebrant on the day, he did his celebrancy course for us which was more work than any of us realised! It was very special to have him marry us.

MC: Jack Watts, our close friend – he was so good!

Photography: Jeremy Blode – we were blown away by his work and all the attention to detail he put into making our day special was unbelievable. We absolutely love the photos and working with him and his wife who are laid back and lovely people.

Videography: The White Tree, we were not sure if we needed a wedding video but so many couples told us to get one. It’s our favourite thing and we are so glad we did, they captured all the fun and love in our day perfectly. I have watched it too many times!

Styling: Harper & Co Events – Natalie styled my sister’s wedding and she was amazing in helping us style the day when we had no idea where to start. She made everything easy, beautiful and she is a little pocket rocket at getting things done!

Florist: Botanics of Melbourne came to the rescue for my sister’s wedding when her florist pulled out a week before, they were one of the first vendors we booked. They are brilliant and we loved our five metre installation above the tables.

Hair: Alisha Henderson 

Make-up: Dani Cousins  

The Dress: Marquise Bridal –I found Megan on Instagram. I loved every dress she had and the fact you could mix different designs together and fabrics to create a custom dress. Her atelier is beautiful and her work is incredible.

Veil: I borrowed my sister’s veil which was very special to wear.

Shoes: Nakedvice

Rings: The Melbourne Diamond Company for engagement ring/wedding band. I also wore a ring from both my grandmothers who couldn’t be there.

We couldn’t find one to fix Maxs broken finger, we used a cheapie on the day and put it on his right hand! He has since got a J tattooed on his finger.

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Scanlan Theodore, white crepe knit. They were stunning I wanted to wear one!

Menswear: Tailors Mark

Catering and bar: RACV Cape Schanck

Favours: In everyone’s room we put a bottle of champagne and a beer from Max’s wine bar on arrival, with a little note from us saying we couldn’t wait to see them. We wanted to thank everyone for being there on New Year’s day to celebrate with us.

Cake / Cake topper: Max’s mum has a cafe, Olive at Loch in Gippsland, and we asked her to make a dessert. She ended up making a huge dessert bar of all the desserts she is famous for. It was a huge hit and special for us to have her touch instead of a cake.

Stationery / Signage: Fox & Mae

Entertainment: The White Tree

Transport: None. We loved that about Cape Schanck, because everything was in one place, accomodation, ceremony and reception with catering. It made it very easy to plan.  Everyone stayed and we loved that our guests didn’t have to move between locations and could just enjoy the party.

Arbour: canmeventhire (Max’s best man loaned us an arbour from his hiring company)

The Small Things Co – cutlery and candle holders.

Linen: Table Art Event Hire

Chairs, lounges, tables, bar: Dann Event Hire

Honeymoon: We stayed in the Mornington Peninsula for a few days after and then Max had to return to football training. We had a pre honeymoon to Italy and Spain earlier in the year which was amazing.

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