Jess & Dan

The stunning beach and streets of St Kilda gave Jess and Dan’s gorgeous George Ballroom wedding something special. The couple choose a venue right on the beach as they said their I do’s, before being lured by the stunning old-world glamour of the historic ballroom as they celebrated – complete with confetti cannons and champagne tower. It was all lovingly captured by Days Like This.

The beautiful Jess shared with me the epic tale of how these two came to be, of on-again/off-again moments, moving across the world, across the country from each other and of travelling with each other before the pair finally made it official; Dan proposing after a failed attempt in the Southern Highlands.
Jess remembers, “We had planned a day trip to the Southern Highlands. We were going to see some of the cool antique stores and do some hiking/bushwalking. We were at this beautiful lookout point and we had been in a silly mood that morning and he turned to me and said, ‘I have to ask you something’. It was such an obvious spot for a proposal that I thought he was actually joking and making reference to how beautiful the scenery was. Turns out he wasn’t joking as he pulled this box out of his pocket. I said ‘yes’…after some blubbering tears and Daniel trying to get down on a knee. Unbeknownst to me he had booked dinner at the beautiful Biota in Bowral and had organised some accommodation for the night and so we stayed the weekend. It was the best surprise. I loved it.”

The bride wore a beautiful silver sequinned Jenny Packham gown from Le Louvre, remarking, “I had in my head that we were going to have a really relaxed “outdoorsy” wedding and so thought I would have a very relaxed and almost casual outfit. A friend had suggested I go to Le Louvre and try Jenny Packham in particular. I was quite set on a certain idea of what my dress would look like, I wasn’t keen to try on too many things that I saw although I was immediately attracted to the back detail on the ‘Hilda’ dress when I saw it hanging. I was reluctant to try it on but my posse convinced me to give it a try at least.

Once it was on, everyone loved it – me included. It really stood out from everything else I had tried to date.

Le Louvre was fantastic at making it all possible in such a short time frame and was very flexible and helpful. It was quite a fun experience in the end once I had decided on something. It was fun to share the experience with some special women in my life too.”

Jess and Dan held their ceremony at Westbeach Bathers Pavilion. Jess explains, “We originally hoped for an outdoor wedding in a garden or the like. We checked out lots of different places in and around Melbourne and all of Victoria in fact. Daniel had photographed a wedding at West Beach Bathers Pavillion previously and so was keen to show Jessica what it looked like. Once we saw it we knew it was a great option as there was so much natural light and windows everywhere. It was like being outdoors but without having to stress too much about what the weather was going to do. They were a great team to work with as well. Very relaxed, helpful and accommodating.”

Veronika Drago officiated proceedings, Jess remembering, “We asked our celebrant to keep things light and there were lots of laughs during our ceremony. The celebrant told the story of our relationship – how we met and what he had done together so far. It was a really nice way for everyone to learn about us and our relationship. She was very funny in the way she delivered the story and everyone really enjoyed it.

My cousin Grace did a reading. She read the lyrics to ‘Into My Arms’ by Nick Cave. Daniel and I love this song. It was one of the songs that Daniel put on my iPod back in the day. The lyrics are beautiful and meaningful and in a strange way brought a spiritual touch to a civil ceremony.”

The ceremony included one very special thought-out detail. “During the ceremony, we also carried out a ring-warming tradition. Usually, when a wedding happens in a church the rings are blessed by the priest. Since we are not overly religious we had a civil ceremony but we liked the idea of the rings be blessed. So instead we asked for our immediate family to stand up during our ceremony and take our rings into their hands, one by one, and put their love and energy into them – blessing them in a way. It was so special and quite emotional actually. Our rings became so much more precious with the love and energy of our families now carried in them. Apparently, this is an old Irish wedding tradition.”

Of their photographers, the bride remarks, “Our photographers were our good friends and the very talented duo from Days Like This Photography. Luc and Klint were perfect to have around on the day and we are so so happy with the finished product.”

Cecilia Fox along with Nat James created the floral arrangements for the day, including a beautiful bouquet alternative for the bride. Jess noting “Cecilia Fox provided the florals and they were styled by our stylist Natalie James. I carried a garland rather than a bouquet. I had spotted some photos from another wedding and I loved it. Something a little bit different. The fathers of the couple and the groom wore boutonnieres that matched the bouquet as well. The ceremony and reception were styled with a lot of blue gum and natives in warm muted colours. The blue gum garland down the centre of the dining tables was beautiful. Nat James did a great job!”

Celebrations got underway at two long kings tables in St Kilda’s George Ballroom. The bride tells, “We had checked out lots of other places around Melbourne and Sydney and even out of town in other places around Victoria. Once we set our eyes on the ballroom it was a bit of a no-brainer. We knew it was right from the moment we saw it. Its grandeur and uniqueness was perfect and it was so charming that we knew it wouldn’t even need much extra styling work to be done. The team was really helpful and it was nice to know that the event planning was in good hands too. The George Ballroom was probably the highlight feature of the whole day and night!”

The newlyweds toasted to their guests, kicking off the evening with a celebratory champagne tower.

“We had a relatively small guest list and it was, therefore, a really intimate wedding with our closest friends and family. This made it a really nice vibe where lots of people knew each other and it kinda made it extra special for everyone to be there. It is quite amazing to have the opportunity to have your closest and most precious friends and family in the one room and the same time!”

Guests gathered around the newlyweds for the first dance, the bride remembering “We danced to ‘Buona Sera’ by Louis Prima. We love dancing together and this song was perfect for our style of dancing. We wanted it to set the scene for the night by lifting everyone’s spirits. We did it early in the night and everyone was gathered around us. When the big band kicks into the song some friends and family standing around us let off some supercharged confetti poppers that filled the space with colour and applause. Everyone then joined in the dancing for the rest of the song. It was sooo much fun!”

Electric Waltz  captured this very beautiful film of the day as it unfolded.

Congratulations Jess and Dan! Thank you for sharing your stories with us. Thank you also to Days Like This for sharing today’s beautiful celebration.