Jess & Brendan
Nobody really does casual elegance like Australians and I say that hand on heart as a proud Australian, but also because there is something in the water that makes it look so effortless. There’s a way of being that is beautifully true to oneself – the mix of a casual celebration with a beautiful dress. An impromptu dance performance, a table laden with cheese and pages of a love story being told all while there are plenty of giggles and laughter.
Photos today are by Jonas Peterson who has a heartfelt elegance to his photographs and captured the beauty of Jess and Brendan’s celebration. The coordination of the day was executed by Girl Friday Weddings who ensured everything ran smoothly and the couple’s vision came to life.
The wedding’s decor and styling elements were put together by the couple – from the stationery to the favors! Jess explains, “Brendan and I own a homeware and giftware shop in Surry Hills called shelf / life so we were keen to utilise some of our gorgeous products as well as my creative ability as an Interior Designer. As such I was really excited about DIY-ing the majority of elements for our wedding to make it a truly meaningful experience for both of us. It was so much fun to create our wedding invitation set based around our loose ‘nautical’ theme and then run with that theme in the decoration of the ceremony area and the reception space. We ordered a couple of vintage pill boxes from Etsy and made little cushions for them to use as our ring boxes.”
The floral arrangements at the ceremony and reception were styled by Jess & Brendan. Jess explains, “The morning of the wedding Brendan and I drove down to Eveleigh Farmers Market at Carriageworks (where we would later pose for photographs as husband and wife) to pick up huge bunches of seasonal flowers to decorate the signing table and the sweets table at Cafe Morso using vintage glass mason jars and ceramic vases from the shop. For the ceremony we brought a couple of old timber oars from my dad’s boat for the signing table and tied jute rope around the chairs instead of flowers. My lovely mother-in-law tirelessly made hundreds of fabric poms which we then thread and draped around the branches of the tree near where we said our vows.”
Jess and Brendan chose Jubilee Park in Glebe for their ceremony. Jess explains, “We wanted a fairly casual outdoorsy wedding with a party feel so we picked the perfect location for our ceremony in amongst the trees at Jubilee Park in Glebe. We were so lucky to have perfect weather on our wedding day – the sun shining with a light breeze.”
Jess wore a Lisa Ho gown and added a belt from Alannah Hill My beautiful life clip.
Phil Stormer provided the music for the ceremony. Jess remembers “The lovely Phil Stormer played an acoustic guitar version of The Beatles ‘All you need is Love’ as I walked down the aisle. While signing our lives away Phil played ‘Sea of Love’ by Cat Power (originally by John Fahey) and our recessional was ‘Nantes’ by Beirut.”
Jess and Brendan were married by Tracey Armstrong, Lets Celebrant, Jess remarks, “Our ceremony was led by celebrant Tracey Armstrong who seemed to understand us completely and really helped to keep us calm through the whole thing.”
The couple chose Carriageworks for their post ceremony photographs. Jess explains “After the ceremony the bridal party went on to have some photos taken at Carriageworks in Eveleigh – a favourite spot of ours for its weekend farmers’ market and beautiful old industrial buildings.”
Of their photographer, Jess says “We were lucky enough to have the amazing Jonas Peterson as photographer for our wedding. I (Jess) had swooned over his beautiful imagery well before any talk of a wedding and knew immediately once we decided to get married that he would be the one to document the day.”
The bridal party floral arrangements were styled by My Violet. Jess recalls My bridesmaid and I received the most stunning bouquets from My Violet that arrived in a gorgeous box along with the men’s buttonholes.”
The reception kicked off at Café Morso, Jones Bay Wharf . Jess recalls “We met up with all our friends and family for the reception at Cafe Morso on Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont. This was the perfect location for us, away from the crowds, but right on the water with beautiful views. Cafe Morso provided us with the most amazing canapés and drinks whilst we danced the night away to music by Slide McBride.”
Wedding coordinators Girl Friday Weddings made sure everything ran smoothly. Jess recalls, “We had the help of the amazing ladies from Girl Friday who probably thought I was completely obsessive when I sent over instructions for the exact layout of vases and trays for our sweets table with a Photoshopped image of what it should all look like. They did an awesome job of reconstructing my little vision, with the result being a table packed to the brim with gorgeous flowers, baskets of macarons, jars of colourful pate de fruit, trays of mini biscuits (all by Sweetness), our cheese tower, wedding favours and a few nautical objects thrown in for good measure.
We wanted to thank our guests with a gift that they would be able to get enjoyment from. We hand stamped muslin bags with a custom stamp made from a drawing I did and filled each with a sachet of loose leaf tea and 2 sugar sticks.”
Indulging their loves was a focus of the wedding, says Jess. “Instead of a traditional wedding cake we decided to indulge our love of cheese and have a cheese tower. We saved a huge amount of money by choosing the cheeses ourselves at David Jones the week before and assembling the tower ourselves on the day. I loved all the little personal touches that we’d added to the day made it really special for both of us. We wanted to keep the whole event true to our personalities as we knew we’d have the perfect day if we did so.”
Jess and Brendan remember “Having Jonas capture our day was really very special. We’re not big into taking photographs of ourselves so it is great to have so many beautiful natural shots of all our friends and family as well as some lovely ones of ourselves.
We were able to share our day with our closest friends and family and have some fun together. We all lead such busy lives these days that it was just so nice to be able to kick back and enjoy everyone’s company.” Slide McBride kicked off the entertainment for the evening.
There was one tradition the couple held onto. Jess explains “We weren’t too fussed with many traditional details on our wedding day. We had already decided not to do a formal entrance to the reception or a cake cutting, but we could tell that our families wanted to see a first dance. We happily obliged with a lovely Nina Simmone tune called ‘Trouble in Mind’ and had a blast dancing together for the first time as husband and wife. Our first dance really kicked things off and the dance floor was packed for the rest of the evening.”