9th February 2019
We both work in emergency services which is so rewarding, but juggling shift work can be demanding. Which is why whenever we have time together we always try to make the most of it! We love getting outside in nature, hiking, going for a surf, or taking our very cheeky border collie Diego for long walks. Food is also a great love of ours, so we are constantly on the hunt for the best pizza we can find outside of Italy!
Let us have a sneak peak of your proposal:
The proposal happened on one of our annual trips to Byron Bay, which is one of our favourite places to visit. We spent a warm and sunny afternoon walking the Byron Bay Lighthouse Trail and had made it to the lookout at the Lighthouse when we stopped to take in the amazing view. Lenny was carrying a backpack and told me (Jess) she had a headache so could I get her some Panadol from out of the backpack. She told me the compartment to look in and I found a smaller bag which had a beautiful engagement ring inside instead of Panadol! She asked me to marry her and that was that! The way she did it caught me so off guard and took me totally by surprise! She did so well to pull off the surprise as usually I’m pretty cluey and always figure out surprises before they happen.
What was the date of your Big Day, your beautiful wedding:
Saturday, February 9th, 2019
Where was the location of the wedding:
Baxter Barn, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
What does Marriage mean to you:
Marriage to us means living each day as best friends, each other’s family, and partners in life. Always aiming to fill our days with as much fun, love and laughter as we can!
What colour themes were used in the wedding:
Maid of Honour was in emerald green and the bouquets had burgundy accents.
What was the theme of your wedding, and how did you decide this:
We both wanted a wedding that was relaxed, rustic, organic, personalised and that was amongst nature as much as possible. Having florals be a big part of the day was important to me (Jess) so we tried to incorporate flowers as much as possible – from a huge floral semi-circle installation as the backdrop for the ceremony to a “Pick a Bunch” display, where guests were invited to pick their own bunch of flowers from the display table to take home as bombonieres. We also wanted our friends and family to be involved as much as possible to make the day as personalised as possible, so we chose close friends to be our photographer, celebrant and musician and family for the MC and junior bridal party, which was made up of Jess’ six nephews and Lenny’s three young cousins. Overall we love a good party and we really just wanted to throw a party that our guests would have a ball at!
Your wedding was very beautiful, where did you gather inspiration from:
We wanted our wedding to be relaxed and outdoors amongst nature, as that represents what we are about as a couple. We came across Baxter Barn and fell in love with its beautiful outdoor space and relaxed vibe of the historic barn. The space was great for both the type of ceremony we were wanting, but also a beautiful venue for the reception, which dates back to the 1870’s. The barn has beautiful rustic wood elements, lots of fairy lights, and a trendy outdoor drinks caravan helped create that fun, festival vibe we were going for. The property is on 11 acres so there was plenty of room for our guests to roam around and take in the beautiful gardens and check out the animals on site which is also something that appealed to us.
What were some of your favourite moments in the wedding with either your partner, family or friends:
Lenny is Greek so we included a number of Greek dances throughout the night including the crowd favourite, the Zorba! There’s also a traditional Greek dance that involves the bridal party dancing around a shot glass of whisky before taking the shot from the ground, which is always a lot of fun so we made sure that was part of the night as well.
Who were your favourite vendors for the wedding:
All of them
Who was the photographer for your wedding:
Shardey from Na Lia Weddings
We would love to know what soundtrack was played for your first dance:
First Dance – “Sunflower Skies” by Anabelle Kay
Aisle song – “The Heart is a Muscle” by Gang of Youths (which is our all time favourite band who we’ve seen live SO many times!)
Recessional song – “Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
Did you go away for a Honeymoon, if so where was the location:
Kauai and Maui in Hawaii
What words of support could you say to couples taking the journey of marriage:
Don’t sweat the small stuff! Make sure to be present for each stage during the big day as every single part of the day is a special memory.
The Big Day:
Neither Lenny I (Jess) are traditional, but one tradition we did want to incorporate was to spend the night before the wedding day apart – Jess spent the night with her family who had all travelled from interstate to be there and Lenny with their closest friends. The morning of the big day was spent with lots of coffee and getting ready with family and friends.
Our wedding day was in early February, which is usually hot, hot, hot in Melbourne! But the morning of our wedding day was the exact opposite – cold, wet and so windy! With so much of the day planned to be outdoors, we were both sending so many prayers to the universe for the weather gods to pull through with the goods and show some sun!
By lunch time, the rain had stopped – just in time for our first look photo shoot! We had planned to have our first look on the beach in Mornington, but it was still so windy that once we got to the beach it became apparent that photos on the beach were not going to work. Our photographer was amazing and quickly came up with Plan B, which was to shoot in front of an amazing red rock at the top of a cliff, which not only protected us from the wind, but was an incredible backdrop for our first look shots.
After our first look, we travelled to the wedding venue and enjoyed some relaxed moments with our bridal party, which comprised of Jess’ sister Mel and Lenny’s best mate Cal.
The afternoon ceremony was held in a field at the venue, and just as it was starting, the clouds parted, the sun shone through and the wind died down right. The timing was impeccable!
Lenny waited at the end of the aisle as the junior bridal party, Maid of Honour, and Jess walked down the aisle with her Dad to the Gang of Youths song “The Heart is a Muscle”.
It was really important to us both that our ceremony was personalised and reflective of who we are. We also really wanted to be married by someone we knew and loved. It’s such a special moment that we wanted to share it with someone who was a part of our lives and knew us well. We had our good friend Rita officiate and the ceremony included non-traditional and non-religious readings by close friends. Our friend Dave who is a musician also played one of our favourite Ziggy Alberts songs to mark those family members who had passed and weren’t able to be there with us on the day. We also wrote our own vows and ring exchange.
After the ceremony we had photos around the property while guests enjoyed a cocktail hour with an amazing grazing table full of delicious nibbles.
Our reception was held in the barn instead of outside as it was a pretty chilly night and featured all the usual cake cutting, first dance, speeches and frivolity! We wanted to make sure we got everyone up dancing so we made sure our DJ played some all time classics. We finished the night with a sparkler exit and kicked on with close friends at our wedding after party!
Things we are glad we did:
We are so glad that we personalised the day as much as we could by choosing friends to play important roles in the day. This was really special to us and means we get to relive these memories with them when we catch up now!
Four by Four Films
Cake (and what kind):
Two tiered, semi naked caramel mud cake
Provided by venue
Our close friend, Rita
Wild Heart Events
Petals by Elise
Na Lia Weddings