Jess + Ben by In The Mood for Love

Ben was keen to keep it clean and classic. I love a bit of glam and thanks to our love of soul train and all things mid-century modern we both wanted a retro twist. Think tuxedos and jimmy choos, gold disco balls, white cat eye sunglasses and a maraschino cherry 2-tier wedding cake.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
JS: Ben and I have been together coming up 10 years and both grew up and currently live in Adelaide. Ben is a Firefighter and avid cyclist and I am an Exercise Physiologist and Brazilian Samba dancer. Together we love getting outdoors and hiking to our favourite spot that looks out over our beautiful city, heading to the Adelaide Hills on a wintery day for a pint of guinness and packing up the car and heading to our south coast shack in summer with our 8-month-old son Will and two boxer dogs Murphy and Hamilton.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
JS: Ben and I first met in the early hours of a Monday morning on the dancefloor at the Adelaide nightclub, Sugar. My friend recognised his friend, his friend couldn’t see past his hands to facilitate an introduction so Ben stepped in to say hi. We danced, we kissed, he liked my hat, I liked his drink order and at that, he picked me up 2 days later for our first date.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
JS: With Ben it was different. No games, no confusion but logistically, much complication! When I met Ben I was 2 months off embarking on a 2-year working holiday abroad and Ben had only just returned from having done the same thing. The timing couldn’t have been worse, but as we sat looking over the Adelaide city lights on a night before I began what I thought would be my 2-year journey (turned out to only be 6 months!), we decided to do long distance and it was that night I knew he was the one.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
BS: After having purchased a green Australian sapphire 6 months prior, sourcing Jess’ grandmother’s diamonds from her father and engaging a local jewellery designer to design the ring, I received the completed ring on Friday 12th March 2021 and I had planned a nice dinner in the Adelaide hills and picked the perfect spot to do it on the Sunday night. Sadly, Jess had too big of a Saturday night backed up with a long day of work on Sunday and wanted to chill at home that night instead. Jess had a later start the following Monday morning so we went for a walk along the esplanade with the dogs and sat down at what would have been the perfect spot, however I had forgotten the ring. Sure enough by the time we got home, I proposed to her in our kitchen. Jess was surprised then flustered as she realised she’d have to arrive at work in less than an hour and teach her first Pilates class of the day, with both her Mum and my mum in it! Long story short, after that class she took the day off work and we had a lavish day out together.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
JS: Ben was keen to keep it clean and classic. I love a bit of glam and thanks to our love of soul train and all things mid-century modern we both wanted a retro twist. Think tuxedos and jimmy choos, gold disco balls, white cat eye sunglasses and a maraschino cherry 2-tier wedding cake.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
Entertainment was one area we were happy to splurge on. Jess and I wanted our dancefloor to be one big party and having live saxophone, bongos and DJ ensured the floor remained filled all night long. I also purchased some expensive Cuban cigars for the groomsmen and we made sure all our favourite wine was on the list!

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
JS: I can only look back on my wedding morning and laugh! My morning started super relaxed until it wasn’t! Our then 5-month-old son Will required a convenient 60-minute feed right in the middle of getting ready, my father’s 1965 ever so popular for weddings and regularly driven mustang refused to start for 30 minutes to the point we almost called an uber to the ceremony. Once the car started, my father realised he hadn’t turned on the house alarm and in his hurried state, broke off the house key in the door to which he then had to abandon at the last minute. Just before the ceremony, I stepped through the lining of my wedding dress, ripped a hole through it and required my bridesmaids to use emergency double sided tape to hold it together!

BS: Everything was smooth sailing on my end but I still laugh about all the funny dance moves on the night.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
BS: I liked the idea of a black and white theme, and I thought a tux with a big bow tie would suit nicely. I kept it simple and went for a classic style with peaked lapels and went through a local bespoke suit store.

JS: I spotted my perfect dress online through a New York label who sadly, when I enquired, had archived that style. I turned to my friend Cristina from Adelaide-based label Couture Love Madness and shared my story and together we drew inspiration from this style when creating my gown. From inception to completion I had fallen pregnant, had my Son and had Covid 2 weeks before the wedding date and I had no idea whether my original plan A style would look the way I had envisioned. Thanks to Cristina and her team, they made 5 months postpartum me feel every bit the bride I had hoped to be!

Ceremony location: Botanic Garden Weddings, @botanicweddings / Reception Location, Catering & Beverages: Chateau Apollo, @chateauapollo / Photographer: In The Mood for Love, @inthemoodforlove.jaz / Videographer: @inthemoodforlove.ale / Celebrant: Por Vida Ceremonies, @porvidaceremonies / Entertainment: Entertainment Adelaide, @entertainmentadelaide / Styling, Planner & Stationery: Wonderland Invites, @wonderland_invites / Hire: White Marquee, @whitemarquee; Adelaide Wedding Hire, @adelaideweddinghire; Venue Productions, / Flora: Christina C Events, / Cake: Friend Sian Giorgio / Gifting: Wishing well / Signage Fulfillment: @laserlabco / Pet Chaperone: I Do Paws, @idopaws_ / Jessica’s Dress Designer: Couture Love Madness, @couturelovemadness_ / Ben’s Suit Designer: Beg Your Pardon, @beg_yourpardon / Ring/s: Hinton Jewellers, @hintonjewellers / Jessica’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo, @jimmychoo; Vivaz, @vivazdanceshoes / Ben’s Shoes: Aquila, @aquila_est1958 / Jessica’s Bag: Thacker from @vestiaireco / Jessica’s Earrings: Dior from @fire_empire_vintage / Jessica’s Sunglasses: Reality Eyewear, @realityeyewear / Makeup + Hair: M&Co Style Bar, @mco.stylebar / Jessica’s Fragrance: Pure Musc by Narciso Rodriguez, @narciso_rodriguez / Ben’s Fragrance: L’Homme by Saint Laurent, @ysl / Bridesmaids’ Attire: (Assorted) Scanlan Theodore, @scanlantheodore; Country Road, @countryroad; @loverthelabel; Azzurielle, @azzurielle / Groomsmen’s Attire: Beg Your Pardon, @beg_yourpardon