Emma + Justin by Katherine Schultz Photography

It was a combination of big steps in our lives, and the quiet moments alone, realising each moment and memory made me love her more.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

Justin is originally from Newcastle and grew up fairly close to the beach, and Emma is from rural South Australia growing up on a sheep and cropping farm, and currently we live together in Tindal, NT. Justin is in the Defence Force, and Emma works as a Dietitian/ Nutritionist. We spend our weekend in a variety of ways; we have a chocolate Labrador, Charlie, so the majority of days (weekday and weekends), we start our day walking him; we love to go to cafes for breakfast, brunch or coffee. We love to spend time outdoors exploring when it is not too hot, we like hiking, watching sunsets or sunrises, or finding swimming spots. We also like spending time eating out, going to wineries or trying new wine at home (we are not wine snobs, just like it). Now we are in the NT, we spend a lot more time tending to our house (the grass does not stop growing!), and we love going away for weekends or a night somewhere in a National Park we haven’t been to yet. Family is important, and we enjoy spending time with friends and our family (although not much family time at the moment). We are both fairly active, with Emma favouring running and HIIT classes and Justin preferring the gym. We both love food and are trying to get better at cooking together and expand our repertoire, we have recently mastered Laksa, Focaccia bread and various slices.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

Our paths crossed in 2018 after we both swiped right on Tinder. Emma had moved to Newcastle a couple of years earlier to pursue a career change in Nutrition. Our first date was coffee at Bluedoor Kiosk at Merewether Beach, fitting seeing as how we both can’t go a day without coffee.

Emma: I can’t help but think if I never chose Newcastle to study, I never would have met the love of my life, Justin. Cliché, but it was honestly fate!

Emma: Honestly a bit ashamed to admit it but I thought oh gosh he’s wearing jeans with thongs. After that, I realised what beautiful blue eyes Justin had, and I was so grateful he was much taller than me and thrilled I hadn’t been catfished. He was very lovely and kind, and we talked all afternoon, and probably would’ve talked longer if Justin didn’t need to go to his family dinner (which in time to come would also be a big part of my life).

Justin: Tall, blonde and cute. Ticking all the boxes so far. I started chatting, and first impression, and I thought, oh no, she could be a bit stuck up. She walked down for coffee from her beachfront apartment with her posh Adelaide accent. I spent the afternoon trying not to sound dumb and trying to come up with ways to look impressive.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

Emma: At some point in 2019, I knew this was something real, and from then on, I imagined repeating a version of this to Justin on our wedding day. During one of my many meltdowns… and I can no longer remember what I was so stressed about, soon to be case in point, but I will never forget what Justin said to me and how that made me feel, he told me, “It won’t matter what happens, the point of life is to enjoy it and to be happy.” Not that I always take this on board, but I am so appreciative that I have Justin to remind me, no matter how frustrating it must get for you. The yin to my yang, the calm to my never-ending worries, the carefree to my anxiousness, the rational to my irrational.

Justin: Probably around 2019,  when I realised I wanted our laughter-filled adventures like Em squatting strangers at Randwick races to be part of my life forever. It was a combination of big steps in our lives, and the quiet moments alone, realising each moment and memory made me love her more. Emma is incomparably kind, always looking to help others, even if she has known them for 20 minutes or 20 years. She is determined and focused in a way I could never imagine, as I get distracted by just about anything, and she always wears her heart on her sleeve. Expressing everything through her facials, even when she is trying not to.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

It was the evening of our farewell from Newcastle – 02.12.22. Justin asked me to be ready an hour earlier than originally planned, and I didn’t think anything of it. We drove to the venue by Nobby’s Beach, and Justin decided to park quite a distance away from it. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he preferred this park or something silly. Anyway, we started walking through the beautiful parklands, and I tried to go the most direct route, but Justin insisted we go around. I saw a chocolate brown Labrador and thought to myself he looks like our dog, Charlie. It was only when said dog came bounding towards me I realised it was, in his beautiful white bow tie with a message in a bottle attached to his collar. I knew exactly what was happening, and it was perfect, well, aside from Justin kneeling down and then Charlie running away after seeing another dog. Justin’s mum chased after Charlie, and we eventually got the message in the bottle off his collar after a few attempts, too many knots! The message made me cry, the ring was perfect from Newcastle designers Kate and Kole, and I of course said yes, after a few photos and moving his car we headed to celebrate with friends, family and champagne at our Farewell.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding.

I would describe the style as French provincial with a twist. A variety of blue shades, whites and greens in the florals accompanied with fruit like grapes and pears, dreamy handwritten fonts in watercolours, scalloped umbrellas, different textures like soft crepe linens, various ceramic vases, marble, and pillar-like candles and unique, fluid shapes in the place cards and invites. Hydrangeas were a must for the florals. Libby from Libby Styles essentially brought my Pinterest board to life. We wanted lots of little moments with detail that highlighted the natural beauty of the stunning venue and grounds that is Kingsford. The floral arrangements definitely brought the Conservatory Room, where our reception was held, to life. The pops of blue were absolute heaven! Also our welcome sign, I didn’t think I could get excited about our welcome sign, but Alexandra from One Mimosa Please proved me wrong by creating a cutout to replicate the gorgeous Homestead building at Kingsford. The Homestead building is breath-taking, it was such a lovely moment to walk down the steps as the aisle with my dad.

My dream was to have an easy-going day full of fun.

We wanted our guests to be wowed by the food and beverages we had chosen, we wanted our guests to be emotional at our ceremony with our handwritten vowels, and we wanted our guests to be inspired by the styling and take lots of photos of the set-up. We hoped to surprise them with something a bit unique, like our welcome Limoncello Spritzes and the Sax player.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Delicious food that showcased the best of SA, great local drink selection to highlight the impeccable wine culture of SA, fun and beautiful photos, stunning florals and table settings, some ‘unique’/ fun moments like our welcome Limoncello Spritzes and highball G&T’s. The Florals were definitely more than we had planned to spend, but gosh, it was worth it. Sarah from Bloom Theory was a dream to work with and absolutely transparent. I (Emma) had some wild ideas, like creating hydrangea floral clouds above the reception tables, and well, Sarah did it! We were also happy to splurge on the venue. We chose Kingsford because we loved how beautiful the Homestead building is. It was important to us that we could stay on-site with our families and bridal party or very close by, and the accommodation at Kingsford is stunning. We knew the food and wine would be impeccable, which was important to us. The Barossa was also the first wine region Emma took Justin to on his first visit to Adelaide when we started dating. We wanted our wedding to be more than a day, as we don’t see our friends and family as much as we’d like to living interstate, we hosted welcome drinks in Adelaide two nights before, the rehearsal dinner in the wine vault at Kingsford and recovery drinks at a local Barossa distillery.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

There was a mix-up with the buses transporting guests to the wedding. Thankfully I (Emma) was kept mostly oblivious to it, other than the bus turning up half an hour early mid-way through my bridal photos. Justin was sweating, apparently, but he managed to sort it all out. We had a couple of buses bringing about 90 or so guests. The larger one, which was meant to bring about 60 people, turned up with only 10 passengers. The driver had completely missed the memo and only gone to one location rather than the multiple stops. Thankfully the company fixed the mistake, apparently the original driver had called in sick, but it was quite stressful (for Justin and those helping him) when guests who realised they hadn’t been picked up started calling wondering where the bus was. It made for a good story anyway, and the team at Kingsford were amazing. They set the early guests up in the outdoor pool area so they were having a lovely time.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

Emma: I love bows and pearls. What can I say, it’s convenient bows are a big trend at the moment, I knew I wanted a statement bow aside from that I didn’t know what my ‘dream’ dress was. I had admired Greta Kate’s work on Instagram, but it wasn’t until I met her and realised she is sunshine in human form that I needed her to create my dress. Plus, she’s incredibly talented and sources the most beautiful fabrics. I didn’t want the traditional veil, so having the exaggerated tails on the bow was the perfect addition to my dress. My shoes had to have pearls and not be too high, once I tried on the Jimmy Choo’s I couldn’t consider anything else. They are so well made, elegant and surprisingly comfortable. Similarly, I wear pearl studs every day, everyone knows I do so I had to have pearl earrings or it wouldn’t have been me. I wanted something more than plain studs, so the drop pearl stud with the three crystal embellishments was the perfect addition.

Justin: from the outset, I knew I didn’t want all black. I wanted something timeless, not too out there but different to the groomsmen and guests. Coincidentally, my late father wore a cream jacket and black pants on his wedding day to my mum. Call it serendipity or my subconscious recalling their wedding photos, but it’s what I ended up going for. Emma and I popped into MJ Bale in Brisbane when we were there for a wedding, luckily we did because the jacket I got is only at selected stores. It was a stunning blend of silk, linen and wool – perfect for February. I wore cufflinks with a hint of blue to go with the styling.

CEREMONY & RECEPTION Kingsford the Barossa, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia, @kingsfordthebarossa, @weddingsatkingsford PHOTOGRAPHER Katherine Schultz Photography, @katherineschultzphotography VIDEOGRAPHER Kelly at KMS Visions, @kmsvisions STYLIST Libby Fosdike of Libby Styles, @libby.styles FLORIST Sarah Caruthers of Bloom Theory, @bloomtheory__ CELEBRANT Laura Brooks of Love From Laura, @lovefromlaura___ ENTERTAINMENT DJ Ben and Saxophonist from Entertainment Adelaide, @entertainmentadelaide HIRE Lighting and rigging: Venue Productions, @venue.productions; Furniture and table cloths: White Marquee, @whitemarquee; Custom candles by Studio Billie, @studio__billie CATERING Andrew Owens Catering via Kingsford the Barossa, @kingsfordthebarossa CAKE Catherine of Blossom Bar Cakery, @blossombarcakery STATIONERY & SIGNAGE Alexandra of One Mimosa Please, @onemimosaplease_ RINGS Kate and Kole, @kateandkole BRIDAL DRESS Greta Kate, @_gretakate_ BRIDE’S SHOE Jimmy Choo, @jimmychoo ACCESSORIES Earrings: Jennifer Behr, @jenniferbehr MAKEUP Millie Herd, @millieherd HAIR Chelsea Louise Hair, @chelsealouise.hair BRIDE’S FRAGRANCE Byredo – Bal d’afrique, @officialbyredo SUIT, CUFFLINKS & BOW TIE MJ Bale, @mjbale GROOM’S SHOE RM Williams, @rmwilliams ACCESSORIES Watch: Daniel Wellington, @danielwellington GROOM’S FRAGRANCE Bleu De Chanel, @chanel BRIDESMAID DRESSES Shona Joy, @shonajoy; Zimmermann, @zimmermann; Reformation, @reformation GROOMSMEN SUIT Local tailor in Newcastle PJ’s The Sleeper, @daily_sleeper; Papinelle Sleepwear x Karen Walker, @papinellesleepwear TAN Goldie Studios, @goldiestudios__ CONFETTI The Whole Bride, @thewholebride DISPOSABLE CAMERAS Tawo Studio, @tawostudio GUEST BOOK The Guestbook Collective, @theguestbookcollective