Real Wedding: Bonnie & Jesse – Photography by Daniel Brannan
Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
Jesse and I have been sweethearts + best friends for 15 years. We went to different high schools and met through mutual friends at house parties, I was 15 and Jesse was 17.
Jesse is an Electrician. He is super charismatic, has a huge, contagious laugh and a beautiful pearly smile to go with it. He loves a laugh, having a beer watching the footy and he looks identical to his Bitmoji! I’m an Operations and Events Manager and have been working in events for over 10 years. I have a champagne taste on a beer budget, love coffee dates with my girls and attempt to have a green thumb. Together, we love travelling to places we’ve never been before, this includes to snow countries where we can go snowboarding together or to jungles where we can swim under waterfalls. Being brought up on the Mornington Peninsula, we love the ocean and any chance to jump on our kayaks or go swimming in the bay.
Jesse and I have travelled the world both together and separately; we’ve lived in four different countries together (Australia, Canada, England, French Alps) and two different states in Aus (Perth + Melbourne) and are still just as excited to see each other at the end of the day as we did when we were kids.
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 always wanted an outdoor wedding with a big tent and the option to dance under the stars. We knew we didn’t want to have it at a venue where our day would be dictated by rules and strict timings so that’s why we started looking for properties to hire. Obviously every bride and groom have a secret (sometimes ridiculous) wish list of what they’re looking for in a venue.. Yep, we did too – and ours was pretty bloody specific that’s why we knew when we first saw the property we hired, we had to have it. It literally had everything we wanted and more; a long tree lined driveway – weird prerequisite but I wanted guests’ experience to start as soon as they entered the property and this driveway did that – it was soo long and beautiful, I loved imagining the suspense it built while guests would be arriving – also fab for photos, obvs. A gorgeous lake (a non-negotiable – I had to have some sort of watering hole!). This lake was no ordinary lake, not only was it the first thing you see (beyond the beautiful wooden cottage) once you arrived down the long tree lined driveway, BUT it was surrounded by big old bushes and trees AND had its very own jetty – the jetty was also ah-maze for photos. A tree filled garden for the ceremony – we got married in the private apple orchard in a far corner of the property and it was exactly how I imagined it – us girls were able to walk down through the trees to where the boys were waiting for us with the lake as the backdrop. A separate space for the reception – we didn’t want to ‘waste time’ changing properties or venues so wanted to have both the ceremony and reception at the same location and this property was a perfect size to still make it feel like two separate ‘events’.
We didn’t necessarily have a theme but we wanted it to feel elegant without being too girly so we went with the less is more effect – minimalist chic (if you want to get wanky). Aside from the mixture of white candles, jars filled with marble pebbles and small jars of floral matching our bouquets spotted around the tables, we let the property speak for itself!
We did however hire a 20m x 10m stretch Bedouin Tent (another wish list item) which we had outlined by festoon lighting. We used white occasional furniture and built a 6m x 4m white dance floor which was ‘indoor-outdoor’ (for dancing under the stars). We also had some lawn games – giant jenga, table tennis and darts.
Our favourite theming details include the cluster of disco balls above the dance floor (I saw this on pinterest – still in love!). Our hexagon arbour that my dad and brother made (to match our invites). The gorgeous love swing that sat just in front of the lake (Bonnie’s dad and bro also made this). Our Skinny Love neon sign (skinnylove2018 was our hashtag – skinny being our well known nicknames for each other.. long story, for another time). The giant gold love heart you walked across as you entered the apple orchard. Our ‘Best Day Ever’ sign Bonnie’s sister made for us.
We were always told by any married couple that their wedding went too fast and finished before their eyes that why we wanted to start our ceremony early @ 2pm. On arrival we had drinks for our guests (this was supposed to be one per person but we should have known our friends and families better).
Tell us about your main outfits:
I had two outfits on the day. The first was this amazing strapless fitted ‘midi’ dress which finished just above the strap of my shoes. I had a separate layer of feathers which was worn like a bandeau on top of the dress. I never saw myself wearing your traditional white gown although I love them on other brides. My second outfit was a white pair of silk flares which I had made to fit and be paired with my feather top which I got changed into after our first dance. My inspiration for both outfits came from flicking through pinterest of course! IF you go into my “White Wedding” page, you’ll see that I had a large obsession with textures, tassels, feathers, and sparkles. It was awesome to be able to find something that brought a few of these elements together weren’t OTT and but very me. My little sis and MOH surprised us girls with denim jackets which she made and read McMaids – love!
We wanted the boys to have a chic but relaxed look so we went with the classic ol’ black bow tie look with some modern touches. All of the boys wore black chinos with a white shirt and black bow tie. The groomsmen wore black blazers with satin lapels and Jesse wore a navy blazer with black satin lapels. To finish the look they wore black woven leather shoes (without socks of course)! For a bunch of loveable laricans, the all looked a million bucks!
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
Ceremony – My dad being able to walk me down the isle unattended is something I won’t forget. A couple of months before he was riding his motorbike and got hit by a kangaroo and shattered the bone connecting his ankle to his foot.
Our speeches were amazing. We had one of our close friends MC the wedding – his introduction to the bridal party was hilarious and really got the crowd amped. Our family and best friends all said some really beautiful things.
Jesse did some impromptu dance routines which were both fantastic and hilarious! At one point where he even climbed me, it was mental.
We hired glitter artists for a couple of hours at the end of the night. The party was already at such an epic level but when the glitter came out, it took it to another level! Faces, bodies, beards, heads – there was glitter and glo tatts everywhere!
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
We were bought a beautiful coffee table book for our wedding of photos of the Mornington Peninsula called Seasons. In the book, there was a couple of really nice quotes which have resonated with us for our forever-ever.
“The best portion of your life will be small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you” – Anonymous
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things” – Robert Brault
In other words, laugh lots, enjoy each other’s company, love hard and always be in the moment.
Photographer: Daniel Brannan | Ceremony location: The Apple Orchard @ The Lakehouse Main Ridge – Air B’n’B | Reception location: The Lakehouse Main Ridge – Air B’n’B | Cinematographer: Popcorn Wedding Films | Celebrant: Kat Sillars | Entertainment: The White Tree; Glo Tatts | Styling: Pop Up With Style | Flora: Hello Blossoms | Catering: Happy Camper Pizzas; Mr Paella; Grazing table – Paul Golding (Bonnie’s colleague) | Cake: Daniels Doughnuts | Bride’s dress: Designed by Bonnie, created by Suzanne Kitson | Rings: Bonnie – Anna Sheffield; Jesse – Mens Rings Online | Bride & Bridesmaids Shoes – Billini | Groom & Groomsmen’s Shoes: Bronze Snake Shop | Earrings: Elizabeth Stone | Bridesmaids Earrings: Emeldo | Bridesmaids Bracelet: Samantha Wills | Makeup: Tidal Makeovers | Hair: Peninsula Bridal Hair | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bec + Bridge | Groomsmen’s Attire: ASOS; YD