Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship… We met eight years ago at a work function.
John’s friend, a colleague of mine (her and her husband are now our closest couple friends), overheard me at the bar joking that I’d had only come to look for a boyfriend. She chimed in, “I know a guy who wants a girlfriend!” and next thing you know…
Back then, we were both writers at a publishing company – him at a men’s mag, me at a women’s mag (like How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days but on minimum wage). I’d say what initially drew us to one another is shared interests and curiosity. I liked hearing about the cool stuff John was into, and vice versa – though I’m still not into bodyboarding, I’ve memorised all the important names, slang, waves, etc.
In 2017, we quit our jobs and spent three months travelling – a huge road trip through America, then to Europe to see our friends get married in Greece. After that we officially ‘moved’ to Amsterdam for a year. We did stacks of travelling and just generally grew up a lot being over there. Through plenty of pressure tests, our relationship reached diamond status. Before returning to Sydney, we spent a month in Portugal and Italy, which is where John proposed. I had literally no idea it was a proposal, and thought the hotel was just being bougie by packing a picnic basket and wine in our rental car. But in the end, it was magic and very romantic; there was a rainbow in the sky on the drive back to the hotel.
Now, things have come pretty much full circle. We work at the same content agency, for the same client. Which means we spend basically every minute of the day in the same car/office/house/bed. But it’s awesome and I honestly dread the day when we won’t get to make eye contact across iMacs.
Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details … We didn’t want a big fancy wedding, just a really good party. And we wanted to be married to each other ASAP so we went through an intense period of decision making and life admin from the time we got back to Australia in October (finding an apartment, getting work sorted, catching up with people) until the wedding in May. I recommend getting it done fast because planning a wedding – even one as low-key as ours – is so intense and time-consuming (consciously or subconsciously, it’s literally all you think about). And I figured I’ll look back in 20 years and be like “It was cool at the time, kids!” so who really cares about the minutiae?
Bringing it together was very much an all-hands-on-deck affair. All of our immediate family had to fill their cars with stuff to bring to Tathra, including the most precious cargo: the dried flowers, the homemade wedding cake and the orange wine. It still gives me the warm and fuzzies thinking back to how enthusiastic everyone was to chip in. It makes you realise how lucky you are.
My friend Dee was our stylist. She runs a beautiful vintage store called Details and we are kindred spirits in a lot of ways, so I knew she’d be the best person to help me pull it all together in a way that looked eclectic and purposeful, not haphazard. Inside, I wanted it to look like a little French country house with bunches of dried flowers hanging from the ceiling (which I DIY’d, so for months our apartment was full of flowers in varying stages of dehydration). Most of the glassware and decorations Dee and I found in second-hand stores, because neither of us wanted to just dump a bunch of stuff in landfill when the party was over. I remember making our big entrance into the hall and being in total awe of the space. Speaking of, we made the very last minute decision to walk into the Star Wars theme, because it was May the fourth (and I actually love Star Wars, though getting married on that date was coincidental).
Because we had such a relaxed attitude to a runsheet (just as the MC, my sister’s boyfriend, can attest) the dancefloor kicked off almost immediately. Later in the night, trays of butterscotch schnapps – a nod to John’s Austrian heritage – circulated while John and his best man, who used to DJ together, were on the decks playing ‘Acceptable in the ‘80s’. We played Daddy Cool’s ‘Eagle Rock’ at just the right time in the night, knowing the aforementioned MC would feel inspired to strip on-stage, all the way down to his tuxedo undies. There were a lot of sore heads and feet the next day
Tell us about your main outfits: I knew I wasn’t going to end up in the typical wedding look, and was on the hunt for something a bit Pride and Prejudice. Through pure laziness, I was doing all of my searching online rather than making appointments at bridal boutiques, and ended up finding my dress – the last one and technically a size too big – through cookies (you know, like when the internet tracks everything you look at online and then pushes ads to you to try and tempt you into buying things). It’s ironic because I am otherwise so anti big data and have everything trackable turned off on my devices, but for the wedding, I figured a tiny bit helping me find my dress wasn’t so bad. Anyway, as soon as I spotted that dress I bought it. I had umm’d and ahh’d over countless others so I guess it’s true what they say: when you know, you know.
John made an appointment at P. Johnson, went in with an open mind and came out with the suit that he wore. No bots required there. John stayed in his outfit all night, minus the jacket once the dancefloor kicked off, but I swapped into a white vintage dress I’d found in Brooklyn during our earlier travels. It has huge puffy sleeves and magically fits me like a glove, so was ideal for getting down in as the evening wore on.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day? We had our grandmothers sign the marriage license, which was pretty special. Then we had photos, which turned out so beautifully – the local fishermen on the wharf were enthusiastic about our little photoshoot! – but by the end, my lips were blue from the cold. We went back to the house to stand over the portable heater and drink whisky, just the two of us, before going to the reception. That was a nice moment of calm.
The speeches were a highlight, and we had so many people tell us after the wedding that they were some of the best they’d heard. Super sweet, but most importantly funny. At the end of the night, we played “Closing Time” by Semisonic and those of us left standing were all arm-in-arm singing and jumping around.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together? When your new husband leaves your car keys in the photographer’s car, realises midway through the day after the wedding and then has to take a four hour road trip with his Mum to collect them from the place they’ve been hidden under a parking cone in the side street of a random town… just go with it. Welcome to married life.
Ceremony location: Tathra Memorial Gardens | Reception location: Tathra Community Hall | Photographer: Tom Coburn and Todd Hardingham | Celebrant: Kylie Grey | Entertainment: Jack Danzey (DJ) | Styling: Dee Jenner | Hire: Barlens | Flora: Hand-dried by the bride | Catering + Beverages: Woodfired pizza by Sapphire Coast Eats & Grazing table by friends | Official Wedding Cake: By the Groom’s family | Served Cake: Flour & Stone’s | Bride’s Dress: Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini from Moda Operandi | Groom & Bestman Suit: P. Johnson Tailors | Engagement Rings: WWAKE & ManiaMania | Wedding Bands: SJCo | Bride’s Shoes: Vintage Manolo Blahnik from The RealReal | Groom’s Shoes: Church Footwear | Earrings: Simone Rocha | Veil: AnzaBridal | Makeup & Hair: Jasmin Lo | Fragrance: Jo Malone Rosewater and Vanilla Intense | Maid of Honour Dress: Pasduchas