Sarah + Jes by Hannah Benwell

After some cheese and a game of Uno, Sarah handed Jes a box filled with photos of their adventures and beloved cats, as well as a card popping the question!

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

Sarah is a foodie and book-crazy teacher who enjoys good coffee, collecting vinyl and planning trips away!

Jes is a science nerd who works in oncology research and knows her way around a sewing machine. We both really love their cats, Snowball (Old Man Cat) and Gatsby (Baby Cat) as well as cooking together and exploring new places.

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

We met on HER, a queer dating app, during COVID in late 2020 and chatted about our mutual interest in history and travel before locking in a coffee date!

COVID meant a one-hour limit on the table at Karma and Crow, but that hour turned into a few…. Jes fell for Sarah’s Cheshire Cat smile while Sarah was bewildered by Jes’ eyes and just how normal she was. Sarah messaged Jes straight after to line up date two, and we have spoken pretty much every day since.

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

For Sarah, it was a trip to Robe that made the future clear. In between good food, games and wombat spotting, I realised that Jes was so bloody special. She has the ability to talk so deeply but also to be super silly. We took a very cold night walk, and whilst standing on top of a lookout near an enormous lighthouse, cuddling like teenagers, I knew.

For Jes, it is a collection of little things, like when Sarah crashed her car trying to buy Jes a kitten.

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

Sarah proposed to Jes in Inman Valley, South Australia, with a picnic and some help from Littlest Vintage, who set up a spot with rugs, pillows and flowers. After some cheese and a game of Uno, Sarah handed Jes a box filled with photos of their adventures and beloved cats, as well as a card popping the question!

Sarah then handed over a ring box to Jes whilst crying. Once Jes said yes, and Sarah stopped crying – mini bottles of Moët helped us celebrate a little more before we enjoyed our first beer as fiancés in Myponga.

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

At first, we were a little unsure about what we wanted, opting for more traditional venues and colours, but it didn’t feel right. We knew we wanted a small wedding with a party feel so we moved our ideas to the CBD of Adelaide. Once we found our venue, Next Door Bar, it flowed from there, and the colour scheme of our clothing cemented a colour palette that was burgundy heavy with splashes of blush, gold and green.

The mood? Think Harry Styles meets Gucci in a cute gin bar with a dash of extra camp.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

We have two splurges…

Firstly, the flowers! We knew that it would be the element that would bring all the colours together and give our day a little wow factor. We chose East End Flower Market as our florist because we had both received flowers from one another there, even in their early days – we had even both gone to East End Flower Market on the same day to get each other a gift!

Also, our outfits. As we weren’t wearing the traditional white dresses, getting bespoke clothes was also non-negotiable, and Sarah had her heart set on working with Cristina Tridente from Couture + Love + Madness.

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

So much crying. Before, during and after the wedding.

People talk about the intense feelings that you can experience around a wedding, and I never got it… until we got married!

Having photos was also quite an unnatural process for the both of us, we felt so weird but Hannah helped us relax and create some funny memories.

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

Neither of us wanted to wear dresses as they don’t really fit with our everyday style and how we express our gender. Cristina from Couture + Love + Madness was able to take the ideas that were in our heads and pop them on paper like magic, while selecting colours that fitted our mood.

Her team did an excellent job with fittings, reading our queer minds quite often, and they assisted in making adjustments here and there to create two very different but complementary outfits. On the first visit to Cristina’s, Jes saw a crown by AEL ESTE and fell in love, so Jes worked with them to create a crown and matching jewels.

CEREMONY Adelaide Botanic Gardens, Adelaide, South Australia RECEPTION Next Door Bar in Prohibition Gin, Adelaide, South Australia FLORIST East End Flower Market, @eastendflowermarket PHOTOGRAPHER Hannah Benwell, @hannahbenwellphotography OFFICIANT Lauren The Celebrant, @laurenthecelebrant MAKEUP Millie Herd, @millieherd HAIR Longko Salon, @longkosalon BRIDAL OUTFITS Couture + Love + Madness, @couturelovemadness_ HEADPIECE & ACCESSORIES AEL ESTE, @ael.este RINGS Sonja Clark Jewellery, @sonja_clark_jewellery SHOES Miss Gladys Sym Choon, @missgladyssymchoon CAKE From The Wild Au, @fromthewildau BRIDAL / GETTING READY HQ Hotel Indigo Adelaide, @hotelindigoadelaide