Real Wedding – Stephanie & Jesse, Merricks North VIC
Real Wedding – Stephanie & Jesse, Merricks North VIC
Real Wedding – Stephanie & Jesse, Merricks North VIC
Real Wedding – Stephanie & Jesse, Merricks North VIC

Real Wedding – Stephanie & Jesse, Merricks North VIC


It’s only fair that Stephanie and Jesse’s wedding started off just like their first date, cocktails in hand and ready to celebrate with their nearest and dearest.

They opted to do things their way, with a smaller celebration and a nod to the finer details with a stellar backdrop provided by their chosen Mornington Peninsula venue, Jackalope. Complimented by soft and playful tones of pinks, creams and whites for their floral arrangements, Steph and Jessie marked their first moments married dancing back down the aisle in a to a shower of rose petals to iconic Ja Rule tune, Livin’ it up.

With a picture perfect day and their non-conventional approach of only incorporating elements that brought them joy; this was certainly an evening never to be forgotten. See how this fun-filled celebration has been captured beautifully by Tahnee Jade Photography.


The meeting.

Like every great love story of the 21st century, our story begun six years ago on an app, but really kicked off during our first date at Izakaya Den on a rainy winter night in the city. We hit it off instantly and ended up making our way through every cocktail on the menu!


The ‘one’.

We both knew from very early on that this was something special.

Jesse knew almost as soon as they met that Steph was the one, and dove right in. After dating for only six months, Jesse wanted to show Steph just how much she meant to him by commissioning a painting of their first fur-child; Ivy and surprised her with it at an art gallery opening on her birthday.

Steph loved Jesse’s old school romantic charm and sense of adventure which has led them to travel all over the world together. It was actually on one of these adventures at Val D’Isere in France in 2017, that Steph knew with absolute certainty that J was her person. In subzero temperatures, a patient Jesse kneeled in the freezing snow for hours on his snowboard coaching Steph to descend a very difficult mountain on skiis after she realised (all too late) that she was terrified of heights and wasn’t very good at stopping.


The proposal.

Steph was at a conference in her favourite city, Lyon, in France in 2019 where she had lived on exchange ten years earlier. Jesse had been planning the surprise proposal for months with her close French friends and flew all the way to Lyon where he popped the question on her favourite bridge in the old town under the disguise of a day of Christmas market shopping in search of the best “vin chaud.”


Planning process.

We had always wanted to celebrate our marriage intimately with the most prominent and integral people in our lives. Our main focus in the leadup was remaining true to how we wanted to celebrate our marriage, without being influenced by societal expectations of what a wedding should look like.


Style inspiration. 

We wanted our wedding to have a fun-filled and relaxed vibe without many of the formalities of a traditional wedding, complimented by strikingly beautiful decorative details to create a memorable and unique experience for our nearest and dearest.  


The ceremony.

Our ceremony was beyond anything we could have ever dreamed of. The sun was shining over the rolling vineyards at Jackalope, complemented by the magical florals created by Zara and Tamasin from Salt Flower. Our nearest and dearest sipped Aperol Spritz and Gin Cocktails as our celebrant Sarah, who is also a friend of ours, told the story of our love. The happiness was palpable.


The outfit. 

I wanted to wear something that was timeless, but also made me feel like a bride. I found the dress whilst shopping on High Street, Armadale with my Mum and one of my best friends. It was only the second dress I had tried on and it fitted like it was made for me, I didn’t have to get a single alteration. I knew it was the dress I wanted to get married in from the minute I put it on!


Favourite moments.

Our favourite moment of the day was dancing back down the aisle after our ceremony, showered by flower petals to our completely unconventional song Livinit up  by Ja Rule knowing that we had finally gotten hitched! Everyone was laughing and dancing with champagne in hand and the sun was shining. It couldn’t have been more perfect.


Meaning of marriage.

Respecting and supporting one another to chase our dreams and picking up the slack when the other needs them.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Bloom by The Paper Kites

Recessional: Livin’ it up by Ja Rule


Words of wisdom.

Remember it’s about creating a day which represents you as a couple and the way you want your marriage to be celebrated. As long as you are both filled with joy on the day, everyone else will be too.



Need help planning that honeymoon destination? We have the top honeymoon destinations in Australia here.



Ceremony and reception venue: Jackalope Hotel, Merricks North, Victoria

Celebrant: Friend – Sarah Ackerly

Photography: Tahnee Jade Photography – Tahnee was reliable, considerate and fitted in seamlessly. Her photos speak for themselves and so perfectly capture the bliss of our wedding day.

Florist: Salt Flower by Zara and Tamasin – Zara and Tamasin were incredible to work with. They took on board my vision and brought their own talent and ideas to my vision to create the most magical, eye catching florals which completely exceeded our expectations.

Hair: Madi from Blow Kulture 

Makeup:Louise Jean Makeup – Louise is a dear friend of ours and also a very talented makeup artist. She’s the queen of making you feel like the most beautiful version of yourself whilst still looking and feeling like you!

The Dress: Rachel Gilbert 

Veil / headwear: Kyha 

Shoes: Tony Bianco

Rings: Diamond Exchange 

Suits:The Bespoke Corner Tailors 

Cake / Cake topper:  Cake by Millstone  and Floral cake topper by Salt Flower

Honeymoon: We had always planned to honeymoon in The South of France and Italy, but in light of COVID-19 we are still working on a suitable local alternative…

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