Real Wedding – Marcus & Jess, Perth WA
When life gives you lemons, what can you do but make limoncello?! For Jess and Marcus, pandemic-constrained wedding planning led them to create a day that was intimate yet overflowing with effortless elegance and heartfelt emotion.
When accommodating a large number of guests isn’t a factor, it gives the freedom to focus on the details. For Jess and Marcus, this meant incredible food, soft, luxe linens and floral accents, all in a chic monochromatic palette to add a stylistically classic touch. Homemade limoncello as a gift for the guests adds a perfect personal touch.
Jess is radiant in her Shona Joy gown, a sleek silhouette with an elegant cowl neckline and bouquet of long-stemmed ivory blooms to elevate the overall effect. Handsome in his classic black suit, Marcus gave the nod to his favourite football team, wearing coloured socks to inject his personality into his fit.
There to capture every uplifting moment was photographer Kitty Loves Love, leading the newlyweds on an urban stroll reminiscent of a classic movie montage. Scroll on for every inspired shot.
Via a mutual friend in 2011! Jess was 16 and still at school. Marcus was completing his apprenticeship. Our friend double-booked us to catch up one Saturday night- so we ended up combining plans and went to the movies together. We immediately had a crush on each other!
Jess: Marcus’ ambition for the future always made me excited. I couldn’t wait to see what he would achieve, and I felt I was always going to be part of that journey. Since we were so young when we met, the thought of marriage didn’t cross my mind until we hit our 20s.
There was one night in particular when we were travelling in Europe in 2016; we were in Rome and decided not to join our tour group for dinner. Instead, we went to a little restaurant and had pasta and wine, just the two of us. We walked around the city after dinner, looking at the market stalls and artwork. I remember thinking to myself, “Oh my god, this guy better marry me!”
Marcus: I wouldn’t say there is a particular moment in time when it all clicked in my mind about Jess being the one. For my personality, the realisation of Jess being the one progressed over time and was formed by a number of key factors. Her ability to see the best in people is something I found truly amazing, as I tend to be the opposite. Her unwavering loyalty and support make me grateful every day I am with her. Most importantly, everything seems effortless and positive when we are together, as I know we both look after each other’s best interests. All these little things added over time, which made me realise I had to marry this girl as she is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
We were having a small getaway up north with extended family. On the second day, we headed to the beach for a walk and swim with our books. Marcus was determined to find the perfect spot, and we ended up (after what felt like forever) down the beach with an area to ourselves.
We were building a house at the time, and I was buzzing about the dinners we were going to cook together. Marcus managed to pounce on a pause in my conversation to tell me how much he loved me and suggested we take a photo together on the beach.
After we took the photo, I turned around to find him down on one knee.
We now have a beautiful ‘before’ and ‘after’ photo of his proposal!
Initially, it was disheartening with the impact of covid-19. We had dreams of eloping in Sicily with our nearest and dearest.
Despite efforts to organise a casual wedding in Perth, the consistent lockdowns meant we risked losing deposits at the venues we loved.
After hearing the Western Australia borders were not going to be open on the 5th of February 2022, we were hit with some spontaneity and decided to book the next available appointment at the Old Tower House.
A global pandemic quickly makes you realise what is important. For us, it was family and food, and it was surprising how fast everything came together.
The 4 square meter rule (for capacity limits) was in place in the Perth metro area, and the threat of this becoming stricter loomed on us right up until the day we were married.
It forced us to surrender and cherish the special moments we were able to have. It meant our wedding day was relaxed and carefree – as we knew the rest was out of our control.
We wanted a classic, intimate setting with attention to the small details; homemade limoncello, hand-tied napkins, neutral colours and delicate flowers. We wanted it to look timeless.
Pinterest was the biggest source of inspiration. Our vendors were enormously helpful in sharing their past work and suggestions to make our vision happen.
It was bittersweet. After being together for 11 years, we felt content and excited to finally become husband and wife.
Our ceremony had fewer than eight guests. It was intimate and wholesome, and we feel so lucky we could have a handful of family and friends there to support us.
We decided to write our own vows to each other, which was a particularly special moment for both of us.
Jess wanted simple, classic and timeless. Ivory was the colour of choice. It needed to be elegant yet capable of accommodating an Italian dinner afterwards.
Shona Joy was an obvious choice. The dress perfectly complemented the atmosphere of the day; romantic and relaxed.
Marcus wanted traditional; a tailored black suit and bow tie. He took his mum for the tick of approval. True to his style, he paired it with footy socks to add a pop of colour.
The mini after party in our hotel room with lots of champagne. It was a blur of belly laughs.
Notable mentions include the personalised vows and cannoli tower for dessert.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage means family to us.
It’s a journey and commitment with highs and lows. It means loving each other with everything we’ve got and knowing we’ve always got each other to lean on. Most importantly, it’s someone to laugh with!
Aisle: From This Moment On (cover) by Caleb and Kelsey
Reception entry: Bella Ciao by La Casa de Papel
Secret first dance: All of Me by John Legend
Funny stories or near disasters.
Where do we begin?
Grandma having the best snooze of her life after sampling some of our homemade limoncello for the guest gifts.
Daniel and Nik delivering an incredibly un-rehearsed speech as our MCs.
Jacob pretending to take photos of our guests after the reception but instead filming the whole ordeal. We still often watch that video and laugh.
We couldn’t believe how quickly we had it planned. A small wedding meant we had to focus on what was important- and it made the process so much easier.
Words of wisdom.
Make the day representative of yourselves as a couple; you don’t need to follow tradition.
Make a list of ‘must have’ photos with your loved ones.
Listen and acknowledge the option of others – then disregard them and do what is best for you.
Soak it up – it’s so incredibly precious to have your loved ones in one place!
Surrender and breathe!
Love the idea of an intimate celebration for your wedding day? We can’t get enough! Check out Alice and Ryan’s Collingwood micro-wedding, for a different take on the smaller soiree option, here on the blog.
MARCUS & JESS’S VENDORS
Ceremony venue: Old Tower House, Perth
Reception venue: The Mark, Como the Treasury, State Buildings Perth
Celebrant: Old Tower House, Perth
Photography: Kitty Loves Love
Florist: Love Posy
Hair: Salon Jaimmelee
Make-up: Holly Garvey
The dress: Shona Joy
Shoes: Steve Madden
Rings: custom- Al Fouad Jewellery, Dubai.
Catering & bar: Post, Como the Treasury, State Buildings Perth
Favours: Homemade limoncello
Stationery / signage: Homemade
Transport: Kool Kombis Perth