Rachel and Jarred

Rachel and Jarred had such a fun picnic wedding in Sydney and I loved the relaxed, whimsical feel they made sure their wedding had. I especially love the feeling of everyone sitting on blankets, celebrating the marriage and eating delicious food! What a way to spend a day.

Rachel explains how they met “Jarred and I met in 2000 while both at University in Wagga Wagga. He was studying Acting and I was studying Design for Theatre. We ended up working on a play together in March that year and the rest as they say is history. After making me wait 11 long years for a proposal he finally popped the question on a gorgeous sunny day in Venice on a step overlooking the sparkling water and beautiful old buildings. I don’t remember everything he said but I do remember he asked ‘Will you spend the rest of your life with me?’ It was well worth the wait.”

Photos today are by Imajica Photography who have captured the day in such a fresh, relaxed style!

Rachel wore a gown made by a friend. She remarks”My dress is not your conventional wedding dress in that it’s half black. Growing up I was the girl that dreamed about her wedding day and in particular the dress. I always thought I’d have your typical long white dress and a veil and the whole 9 yards but then I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’. When Grace Kelly first appears in this movie she is revealed with a spin in an amazing black and white 50’s cocktail dress designed by Edith Head. The second I saw it I feel in love and I had to have that dress. My friend B made a variation of this dress for me and when I asked my new husband what he thought when he saw me coming down the aisle he said ‘ I thought you looked like Grace Kelly’. What more could a girl ask for on her wedding day?

I had a pair of bright pink buttons as earrings that I picked up at a market in Newtown, My gold baby bracelet which I’ve had my whole life; it has a small heart shaped lock on it with a blue bird and my name engraved. And I wore a simple fine gold chain around my neck which after the ceremony I put my wedding ring on. Why? Because my wedding ring belonged to my Great Grandmother and is  now a family heirloom. It was given to me by my mother and it is slightly too big for my finger; I feel odd about making it smaller as though it is taking away some of its sentimental value so I wear it on the chain around my neck close to my heart.”

The bridesmaids wore completely different outfits, Rachel explains “My bridesmaids wore different outfits I got from a variety of places .My sister’s green dress was from Faster Pussycat and her bow head band is from Alannah Hill, My other sister wore a Ben Sherman vest I found on ebay, pants from Cue and a shirt from Myer. She also had a hand made fabric flower brooch I found at Beehive Gallery. That leaves my third bridesmaid whose dress I ordered from Trashy Diva in New Orleans. I simply could not find a dress we both loved in Australia so I went online. I wanted my bridesmaids to all have an individual look that suited their personalities and I really wanted them to have an outfit they loved and could definitely wear again.”

Rachel walked down the aisle to ”Everloving’ by Moby. “When I first heard this song it made me think of walking down the aisle even though it was many, many years before and it always stuck with me. So how could I have had anything else.”

“We didn’t like the idea of your run of the mill wedding ceremony and as we aren’t religious we wanted to have a different kind of tradition on our day, so we had a hand fasting ceremony. The nerdy sides of our personalities liked the joke of literally ‘tying the knot’ and the fact that it was one of the earliest forms of marriage ceremony predating the ring ceremony felt more honest and meaningful to us. We also exchanged rings but they were not the focus of the ceremony.”

Rachel and James married at The Lily Pond, Centennial Parklands Sydney. Rachel remembers “We had the whole event at the Lily Pond, it has a little white bridge that crosses the water and of course lots of lily pads. The Pond is surrounded by huge trees which provided lots of shade and beautiful dappled light. We reserved the area but of course could not stop the general public from being in the same area as us. This was no big problem as it added to the laid back atmosphere we wanted for the day and no one caused us any trouble. Centennial Parklands were very open to our ideas and although there were a couple of restrictions we were pretty much able to do what we wanted.”

Rachel tells the story behind choosing the picnic style reception. “We had a slightly vintage theme with some quirky aspects the main one being that we had a picnic. Years ago Jarred and I never had enough money to go out to restaurants so we went for picnics and just relaxed in each others company. So we wanted our wedding day to be just like that only surrounded by all our family and friends.”

To pull everything together on the day, Rachel and Jarred hired planners Girl Friday Weddings Rachel says “Although I did the majority of the planning, making and organising myself these guys were life savers on the day. It’s all very well to organise a picnic wedding reception in the park but you need someone to set it all up. And they did it beautifully. I hired the girls for only 4 hours on the day to help set up and then they helped with drinks and handing out the lunch boxes we had put together by our caterers Simmone Logue. It was a great move because I didn’t want to hire wait staff and I didn’t have the time to supervise the set up myself. They have all kinds of packages and really is quite affordable if you just need an extra pair of hands.”

The dessert was almost the best part of the day. Rachel explains, “For dessert we had a sweets table filled with lovely homemade bakery treats made by my fantastic sister, Our awesome wedding cake made by my mum and we purchased some freshly made Turkish delight and some of Adriano Zumbo‘s’ famous Macaroons. I loved the extra colour they added to the display and although we splurged a little by getting them they are so delicious they are well worth the cost.

I loved my Mum’s amazing cake. I knew exactly what I wanted my cake to look like and although I found a few places that make cakes in that style when we taste tested them I really couldn’t justify spending so much money on them. My mum always made our birthday cakes growing up and has instilled a love of baking in all of us so in the end I asked her and I don’t know why it wasn’t my first instinct. She made the most delicious carrot cake with buttercream icing and not only did it taste a whole lot better then the professional ones but it was all the more special coming from her.”

Simmone Logue catered the reception. Rachel explains “Because we had a picnic the food had to be done in a certain way. I wanted it to be simple and delicious and something that didn’t require plates or cutlery. The fabulous guys at Simmone Logue put together individual lunch boxes for each guest with a gourmet baguette, a salad and a savoury tart. We decorated each box with a bright pink homemade paper pom tied with twine to add a little something and they turned out just lovely. They’ also supplied some yummy antipasto platters to accompany the meal.”

Rachel says “I didn’t want a particular colour scheme for our day but I wanted lots of colour and texture. Fabric and sewing is a big part of my life as I work in costume in the film and television industry so I incorporated that element as much as I could. The invites I made where card backed with an assortment of vintage fabrics, ribbon and buttons. I also used an assortment of fabric to make the bunting that decorated our reception tables and as our reception was a picnic so we had blankets and baskets  and games to play. I hired a giant chess set and we borrowed a quoits set which was very popular. We didn’t want a structured wedding we wanted people to relax and enjoy the sun.”

Guests received toffee apples as wedding favors.

Rachel made the bouquets herself. She recalls “The day before the wedding I dragged my husband to be out to the Sydney Flower Markets at 4:30am in order to snaffle some little gems. I had no real idea about what kind of flowers I wanted I just knew the colour combination I wanted and that I wanted unusual textures and shapes. Even now I couldn’t tell you exactly what I ended up with but I was very happy with the outcome.  I made roughly round bunches and tied black satin ribbon around the steams. The money I saved was well worth the early hour and the satisfaction I got from doing it myself was a great little boost on the day.”

The couple had their photographs taken after the reception wound up. Rachel explains “Because we had the ceremony and the reception in the same spot we couldn’t disappear for an hour or two between so we left our main lot of happy couple photos till the end of the day. This let us take advantage of magic hour and the light as the sun began to set and of course by then it was all over so we could just have fun we took advantage of the many different aspects of the park and even bought ice cream from a street vendor.”

Sabrina Domenis  styled the girl’s hair and makeup. “Sabrina and I met years ago working together on a t.v. series called ‘The Surgeon’ the show didn’t last but our friendship did and I couldn’t have chosen anyone else to make me feel beautiful on my wedding day. Sabrina is a truly talented lady. ”

Of their photographer, Rachel says “Our photographer Sarah was the perfect fit for our day. Her manner was easy and casual and she got along with all our guests, many commented to me about how fantastic she was. Sarah captured the feel of our day exactly with lots of candid photos and intimate moments. Her style was unobtrusive and discreet, her relaxed and easy going manner made everyone very comfortable as though she had been a friend for years. Sarah really contributed a lot to our day and her photos are amazing.  We had so much fun doing our photos and it shows.”

The first dance was a very private moment, Rachel explains “We decided not to have a first dance but we did choose a song to dance to if we felt inspired. It was ‘Guilty’ by Yann Tiersen from the ‘Amelie’ sound track. Although we never formally danced to it when we left our guests to do some couple photos we heard the song play from across the other side of the pond and we had our own private little dance which Sarah caught on camera.”

Rachel wore “Bright blue ‘Robert Robert’ heels which I have owned for years but have hardly ever worn because I love them so much and didn’t want to ruin them. When we got engaged one of the first things I thought was ‘I have the perfect shoes’ and as I’ve told many of my friends in reference to our wedding ‘It’s all about the shoes’. I also had a second pair of red satin kitten heel shoes that I wore for most of the reception as stiletto’s and grass don’t mix amazingly well.”

Congratulations on your marriage Rachel and Jarred! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Imajica Photography for sharing today’s wedding with us!