Santana & Jacob by Samantha Heather

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

Jacob and I met six years ago when we were both working in cafes across the road from each other. We’d been chatting for some time before I worked up the courage to ask him out.

I had never asked anyone out myself – I was so nervous! After a few months of dating, we planned a trip around Mexico and the US for a month. As soon as we returned home from our travels, we decided to move in together. We live in a small beach town on the South Coast of NSW. We own a vegetarian café and run an Airbnb in our backyard studio. On our days off, we love to spend time at the beach or hanging out in the garden with our two sweet kitties. Jacob and I are go-getters. We like to dream big and always have ideas and plans for the future. We made the huge decision to buy an iconic local café quite early on in our relationship. It was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. It has been testing at times, but over the years we have learned to balance our work-life schedule much better, and to make sure we both have time to ourselves to do the things we love. I’m a dancer, and I teach classes a few nights a week (when I’m not making coffee in the café). Jacob loves to surf, and he’s always out looking for waves after a day of cooking up bliss burgers. 

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…

Our wedding was a celebration of our love for each other and our love for our family and friends. We chose to get married on Jacob’s family property where he grew up. It’s a stunning 100 acres of bushland with views out across the ocean. We love how unique the wedding was to us, we could really make it our own. We collected a lot of things from op shops and second hand items online, hiring a few key pieces to really bring it all together. The whole look had a bit of a country vintage charm to it. When Jacob and I went location scouting on the property to find our ceremony spot we found the most stunning clearing in the trees, we had no back up spot, and our wet weather plan was to get wet! The only way to get to the site was by ferrying our 80 guests in a few 4WD cars. It made for the best adventure!! The ceremony site was one of our favourite details about the day, it was such a magical location and it blew our minds to see it all come together with our closest friends and family standing there supporting us. We had almost every type of whether you can imagine on the day, it poured all morning, the skies magically cleared during our first look, then an icy blast of wind came through for the ceremony. A crazy lighting storm with water tornados over the ocean (which was so cool to see) followed, then it poured again right as we had our first dance. Even with all that it was still the most perfect day ever and we wouldn’t change a thing. 

Tell us about your main outfits:

I had my eye on this beautiful dress by Dreamers and Lovers for a long time before we were even engaged. The day after Jacob proposed, I went online and ordered a sample size of the dress to try at home. When it arrived, I invited my bridesmaids over and tried it on for them. It was perfect! I sent off my measurements to California and waited a few months for my dress to land in Aus. My heels arrived in the mail the day before we got married, I had planned to wear something else, but these popped up on Instagram, and I clicked express shipping as fast as I could. They were just what I had envisioned but hadn’t been able to find, olive green velvet with a sparkly gold heel. My headpiece was the finishing touch to my outfit, a handmade gold blossom hairpin that I will cherish forever. Jacob wanted something casual but also unique as he isn’t much of a formal suit guy. We went up to Sydney to Joe Button to get his suit made, they were super helpful and helped Jacob narrow down what he wanted. After going through a lot of fabric swatches, he chose a custom made grey jacket and dark navy pant combo that looked amazing! We even made a cute date night out of the trip while we were at it. He finished off his outfit with a pair of RM Williams brown leather boots and a matching belt. 

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

The whole day was perfect, and we wish we could relive it over and over again. Probably one of our best and most important decisions was to do a first look. To be able to spend that time together before the whirlwind of the wedding is something I would recommend to everyone. Our photographer Sam perfectly captured all of our emotions during the first look, plus we were able to get some extra portrait shots in. All of the vendors that we chose went above and beyond to make it the most memorable day ever. The food was insane! Our friends from Tallwood Eatery catered for us. We decided to serve up Mexican canapes not only because it’s our favourite food but also to celebrate my Mexican heritage. One of the best local drink spots, Harvest Bar, also served up the most delicious cocktails all night long in their traveling caravan bar Harvey. The dance floor was such a highlight for us and all of our guests. We had Adam from the Vintage Stylus pumping out the best tunes! Somehow the dance floor started hours before we had planned it to (which we were so glad) we almost felt bad when it was time for our first dance as we didn’t want to bring the energy down. My dad and I also busted out an impromptu father-daughter dance to the Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive. It was such a spontaneous moment, and I’m so happy it happened. 

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

Focus on what feels right for your wedding day. If something is unique or meaningful to you as a couple, include it. If you don’t mind seeing each other before the ceremony, take the time to spend an hour together. We’re so glad we had our first look to calm our nerves, I think I would have cried a lot more if we had waited to see each other until the ceremony. We’re also glad that we decided to write personal vows. Listening to each other’s most profound and raw thoughts was incredibly touching; there wasn’t a dry eye in the forest. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re doing mostly DIY with the set up like we did, you will need it. That’s what friends and family are there for. We had a few big days of setting up, followed by pizza in the backyard to celebrate finishing. 

Photography: Samantha Heather | Ceremony and Reception location: Family Property | Celebrant: Oliver Thomson | Bride’s gown: Dreamers and Lovers | Groom’s outfit: Joe Button | Rings: Windfall Jewellery and Jay Rash & Co. Jewellers | Bride’s shoes: Bared Footwear | Groom’s shoes: R.M. Williams | Headpiece: Twigs and Honey | Earrings: Jay Rash & Co. Jewellers | Makeup: Lu Lu Makeup Artist |Hair: Personal Hairdresser | Bridesmaid’s outfits: Sheike and Reformation | Groomsmen’s outfits: Joe Button | Entertainment: The Vintage Stylus | Planner: The Wedding and Event Creators | Hire: Wooden Weddings | Marquee: South Coast Party Hire | Flora: Lovers and Fleurs | Catering + Beverages: Tallwood Eatery and Harvest Bar | Cake: Family Member | Grazing Table: You’re Social Plate