Jenna and James

Jenna and James’ wedding is so bright and beautiful- coral orange weaving its way through the elements of the day. After a chance meeting backpacking through Europe, the couple celebrated their marriage with a garden ceremony overlooking Sydney Harbour captured by Welsch Photography.

Jenna kicks off their tale with the story of how they met. “We met 8 years ago, in Amsterdam. Both of us were backpacking through Europe with a friend and met in the bar of our hostel in Amsterdam. James was not very talkative at first – perhaps something to do with his quiet English reserve. But we eventually got talking and a close friendship quickly formed after a few adventures through Berlin, Spain and the UK. Several years, a few hundred emails and a few Skype calls later, we decided to embark on a long-distance relationship. Fortunately for us, the distance only made us stronger and the rest, as they say, is history!”

Celebrations started with invitations designed and printed by The Print Fairy. Sarah remarking, ” They were simple but beautiful and the service we received was exceptional.”

The groom wore a suit from Joe Black with the groomsmen wearing their own black suits.

Claire Hudson and Linda Sleishman from Makeup by Claire styled the girl’s hair and makeup. Jenna remembering, ” They were wonderful to work with, and put up with my last-minute decision to change my hairstyle. They made the bridal party and our mothers look stunning and were a lovely, relaxing presence before the wedding.”

Jenna chose the “Kelly” gown by Karen Willis Holmes purchased at David Jones. She added shoes from BHLDN and borrowed earrings from her aunt.

Sentimental details meant a lot to Jenna and James who included many throughout the day – Jenna tells, “I pinned my grandmother’s (on my mum’s side, who passed away several years ago) wedding and engagement rings to my bouquet, which was a lovely way to remember my grandparents and have them close to us on the day.”

“We were so lucky – we had beautiful weather and the day went pretty smoothly. When we left my mum’s house to walk down to the wharf to get the water taxi to the ceremony, one of her neighbours had decorated the footpath with flowers to say congratulations! It was a lovely surprise, and so sweet.”

Yurulbin Park, Birchgrove was chosen for the ceremony, Jenna telling, “We chose Yurulbin for its beautiful views, but also because although it’s in the middle of the harbour, it is not too exposed and had an intimate feel.”

Sarah from Girl Friday Weddings co-ordinated the ceremony and events on the day, Jenna remembering, “Sarah Johnston from Girl Friday Weddings helped us to create a beautiful setting for our relaxed, garden ceremony.We worked with so many professionals who helped to make our day amazing. Sarah was an absolute delight to work with.

They provided the ceremony decor and styling and she helped to streamline and organise the details of the day. It was such a relief to know that she was on hand to smooth out any last-minute details and to sort out problems on the day – it meant we could just relax and enjoy our wedding without any stress. Sarah is worth her weight in gold!”

Jenna walked down the aisle to Here, There and Everywhere by The Beatles.

” Our ceremony was occasionally interrupted with the sound of horns and cheers from passing boats, which was quite amusing.”

Robyn Pattison married Jenna and James. Jenna remembers, “Robyn Pattison was our celebrant and she was a delight. She really took the time to get to know us and crafted this beautiful ceremony that encapsulated our story, our dreams and our love. Our guests all raved about how personal our ceremony was. Robyn was a pleasure to work with.”

Jenna worked with Jess Heinjus from Ivy & Eve for the wedding flowers, explaining, “The flowers were partly DIY. My sister and I got up at 4am the day before the wedding and trawled through the flower market for our flowers, which was an experience! With the help of my good friend Jess Heinjus of Ivy & Eve in Melbourne ( Jess is a close friend and I knew I wanted her to do our flowers before she even offered! She flew up from Melbourne the day before the wedding and created our beautiful bouquets out of our market finds. She is a gem!) my bridesmaids and I made all the flower decorations for the reception.”

“Our wedding was really all about family and friends and about celebrating our love with all the people who matter most to us. We tried to carry this feeling throughout the day and the special memories really reflect that. One of our favourite moments was the reading during our ceremony. It was written by my paternal grandmother, who is a beautiful writer and has a way with words. We asked her to write us something special for our wedding day, as we wanted to have something heartfelt and meaningful. It was read by one of my aunts, and truly was such a special moment.”

After the ceremony, guests hopped on a ferry for a two-hour cruise while the bridal party had a photography session. Jenna tells, “Our lucky guests then enjoyed a two-hour harbour cruise on the Radar, from Rosman Ferries. All our guests said this was a major highlight! The Radar, which we hired to give our guests a harbour cruise between the ceremony and the reception, was previously a passenger ferry in Sydney Harbour which my paternal grandfather used to catch to work. That was a lovely way to remember him and connect with my family history on the day.”

Of their photographer, Jenna tells, “Karl was fantastic. We were really drawn to working with him because of his beautiful photos and the way he captures light – there is something magical about his work. Karl put us at ease from the moment we met him and went above and beyond what we asked him for. All the guests at our wedding commented on how they didn’t even notice his presence but were so thrilled about how he captured every guest and all the special moments of the day.”

Sydney Dance Lounge was chosen for the reception. Jenna explaining, “Our reception was held at Sydney Dance Lounge in Walsh Bay. It is a stunning venue, with exposed wooden beams, chrome lights and a view out to the Harbour Bridge. It was one for the first venues we looked at and we loved it for its relaxed and warm ambiance, ideal for our relaxed but fun cocktail reception. I also used to do dance classes there, so there was a little history connected with our day.”

“I bought some colourful thongs in bulk, which I tied together with handmade sizing tags and left them near the dance floor for tired feet. I also made up a little basket of pampering products for the bathrooms with things like band aids, mints, makeup remover, blister pads, moisturiser etc – they ladies loved it!”

Pier Events catered the reception, Jenna telling, “Danny Fildissis and the team from Pier Events were wonderful! Danny was great to work with, took all my ideas and last-minute instructions on board and created this beautiful space for our reception. It was exactly as I had imagined it and the food was delicious.” A friend made the wedding cake with Jenna’s aunt adding her famous brownies.

XYDJ got (and kept) the party started, Jenna telling, “We had Simon from XYDJ to do the music for our reception. He was great to work with, very understanding about our song requests and really read the mood of the reception right. The dance floor was still going strong when we left! Amy Mead from XYDJ was fantastic in the lead up to the wedding with our queries and questions.”

“Probably the biggest DIY detail was our guest book. We asked our guests to email us a picture of themselves, either with us or without us. We printed these off, stuck parchment paper to the back and then had them strung up against the posters at Sydney Dance Lounge, on display. Our guests then took them down and wrote their message to us on the back and out them back up. It was a highlight of the night and is so lovely to look back on all those wonderful memories with our favourite people.”

Jenna loved, “The many messages from family and friends unable to make our wedding – they were filled with so much love and hope for our future. We even had some friends send us a video of them doing the Harlem Shake – amazing!”

Of their first dance, Jenna remembers, “Our first dance was to Crazy Love by Van Morrison. It took us a while to pick a song for the first dance, and we went through lots of options, from more upbeat numbers to slower, romantic songs. Crazy Love just seemed to fit as we didn’t want to make a spectacle of ourselves, but still wanted to have a first dance as husband and wife. We didn’t take lessons at all – just practiced a few shuffled steps in the living room a couple of nights before the wedding! Our bridal party joined us after about a minute or so and about halfway through James got his mum and I got my Dad and we finished up dancing with them while the other guests crowded onto the dance floor. It was a really special moment.”

Congratulations on your marriage Jenna and James! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Welsch Photography for sharing today’s wedding!