Real Wedding – Jessica & Ryan, Baxter VIC
Real Wedding – Jessica & Ryan, Baxter VIC
Real Wedding – Jessica & Ryan, Baxter VIC
Real Wedding – Jessica & Ryan, Baxter VIC

Real Wedding – Jessica & Ryan, Baxter VIC


Irresistibly elegant with a chic contemporary flair, Jess and Ryan’s wedding celebrations are a dreamy concoction of relaxed sophistication and sweet party vibes.

With all their festivities occurring outdoors, as the skies darkened, it was a tense moment. However, these two radiant sweethearts braved it out to a fantastic outcome; the weather passed over, and all that was impacted were the stunningly lit images by photography wonder Love Bomb – and what a breathtaking result.

To max out the impact with stylish simplicity, Jess chose a softly draped gown by one of our faves; Grace Loves Lace. A classic silhouette gives subtle nods to decades gone by with sweet spaghetti straps, a very now update to the cowl neckline, and distinctly on-point thigh-high split. The overall effect is one of timeless elegance, especially when paired with Ryan’s killer black tux.

Choosing to offset the rustic elements of their venue with classic monochromatic styling made for a striking effect. Abundant clouds of spun ivory florals interspersed with textured greenery tied in perfectly the lush acreage surrounds, whilst a combination of neons and fairy lights added a modern moment as night fell. And in the hands of music magicians Paper Hearts, the dance floor was the absolute place to be.

For each exquisite detail, scroll on.

The meeting.

We met in July of 2012, I (Ryan) had just returned from an overseas holiday, and one of the girls I met had a get-together with her newfound Contiki friends and friends from her high school. It was here our paths crossed. Jess came into the kitchen after losing a drinking game outside, and straight away, I noticed this beautiful girl and smile and had to find out more.
We got to know each other that night, staying up for hours talking and laughing. We both stayed at the host’s place; however, no hanky panky occurred, going our separate ways in the morning.
After both being too shy to continue this spark we experienced, it wasn’t until weeks later I got a text out of the blue saying, “is this Ryan?” to which I responded, “the one and only.” The rest is history!


The ‘one’.

There wasn’t any one single moment that made us think, “you’re my person,” but more a collection of qualities, experiences and understandings discovered over time. Little things, like how our humour pairs together, how we complement each other’s imperfections and character, and of course, the way I dislike pickles and Jess loves them. All these things over time are what led to us knowing we were each other’s person.


The proposal.

I told Jess we were going away for the weekend camping and came home to find she had purchased heaps of vegetables and cut them all up ready for some campfire cooking. I then broke the news we weren’t camping but, in fact, going to Queenstown, New Zealand, for five days.
Frustration swiftly pushed aside due to lengthy vegetable chopping; we were on our way to NZ.
After spending all day in the pouring rain, cruising the passage at Milford Sound, we were driving back through rows of tall trees and pulled over into a clearing with picturesque mountain ranges in the background. I set the go-pro up on the car for a photo but really had it set up to video the moment where I dropped to my knee and popped the question. Damp, tired, and yet so astounded by the moment; she said yes.


Planning process.

Due to COVID, we were engaged for 19 months before we thought it was safe to pull the trigger and start organising things. The only date left in 2022 at Baxter Barn was April 30, which gave us five months to get everything organised. This was actually good because we just made decisions without overthinking things. We did find that a lot of vendors were booked out; however, most would then point us towards other people in their industry that they could recommend.
We honestly loved all our vendors and are glad we didn’t get our first preferences for a lot of things!


Style inspiration. 

We wanted an outdoor wedding that felt really relaxed and not too formal however also wanted it to still feel classy and not boho.
Given the relaxed rustic vibe of the venue, we decided to go very simple, timeless and sophisticated, having the boys all in tuxedos and the girls in black dresses with white bouquets.

We found Instagram and Pinterest extremely helpful for inspo. Due to the nature of the algorithm, by the time we got married, I think wedding spam was all that was in my feeds! I preferred the imagery of real weddings personally – it was nice to then see the tagged suppliers and then follow the links to their pages.


The ceremony.

It was outdoors, which was a big one for us – we’re definitely outdoors people.
The ceremony that Racheal wrote for us was perfect; it told our story in a light-hearted, funny way. A lot of our guests commented later how nice it was to hear our story from the start.
We also aren’t huge on traditions either, so we just made it ours and included what we felt resonated with us and left out what didn’t. One particular element was that I had my mum and dad walk me down the aisle, which was a pretty special moment.


The look. 

I bought the first dress I tried on from Grace Loves Lace. I had seen it on Instagram and loved its simplicity and elegance. Given the short time frame until the wedding (five months), they squeezed me in for an appointment, and I had to decide then and there if I wanted the dress in order to have it ready on time.
For Ryan’s suit, we went to M J Bale, and he chose the black tux he liked. There were thoughts that maybe he wanted to wear a grey tux, so we compromised and went with black!


Favourite moments.

The first dance would be a stand-out, having practised time and time again in our kitchen and lounge room, constantly getting bits messed up and stepping on toes. But when it came time to perform, we somehow turned it on, and it felt so amazing with our nearest and dearest there with us.


Meaning of marriage.

Marriage to us is essentially a formality of the commitments we have already made to each other in life. To put into words and actions and move into the next chapter of our lives.
(But mostly, it’s an excuse to have an amazing party with our nearest and dearest!)


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
Reception entry: September by Earth Wind and Fire
First dance: High by Lighthouse Family
Father / daughter dance: The Circle of Life by Elton John
Exit song: Don’t Stop Believing by Journey


Funny stories or near disasters.

Our day was very weather dependent, with all the festivities based outdoors. With the weather not looking fantastic leading up to the wedding and having it pour down the night before, the best we could do was hire umbrellas and have them at the ready.
All seemed okay until the ceremony was about to begin and dark clouds rolled in – all the umbrellas were in the hands of guests, as a few raindrops fell and I felt one on my nose.
The band with all their electrical equipment just looked at each other; I looked around and thought, this is it; everybody is about to make a run for it. But luckily, just as quickly as it appeared, the clouds disappeared, and not a single drop fell for the rest of the evening – crisis averted!


Planning surprises.

Not particularly, just ensuring every contracted person, the venue included, was on the same page and knew what the plan was. This was easier with some than others, but all in all, we were very happy.


Words of wisdom.

It all comes together on the day as long as you have accounted for all the main vendors and don’t have unrealistic expectations. Things will undoubtedly not be perfect, but you just have to go with the flow and have a good time.





Love a sleek monochrome look? We’ve curated some of our favourite truly chic black and white weddings, for all the dramatic inspiration you need, here on the blog.




Ceremony & reception venue: Baxter Barn, Victoria

Celebrant: Rachael Gimson

Photography: Love Bomb Photos (formerly One Spoon Two Spoon) – Hailey Birch (THE MVP)

Videography: Valley & Peak (Steve was also the MVP!)

Florist: Rosewood Studio (Lauren Auld)

Hair: Hair by JC (Jennifer Chan)

Make-up: Stephanie Jane

The dress & veil: Grace Loves Lace

Shoes: Bared Footwear

Rings: Kush Diamonds (Simon Prestige Jewellers, Melbourne)

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy

Suits & bow ties / ties: Ryan – MJ Bale, groomsmen – Ferrari Formal

Catering & bar: Baxter Barn

Favours: Bronwyn Johnston (family friend) made our cookies

Cake: Elise Allen (Jess’ cousin)

Stationery / Signage: Sam Allen (Jess’ sister)

Entertainment: Paper Hearts – Acoustic Duo Emma & Simon, with DJ Andrew

Hire: Weddings of Distinction

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