Lauren & Jesse

If there ever was a wedding that was filled with warm country charm, then I think we may have found it.

For Lauren and Jesse, their day had to be all about relaxing with friends and family. With good food, beautiful Australian native flowers and a country setting you couldn’t get much better! Luckily for us, Lauren Anne Photography was there to capture it so today we get to share every single moment.

It was on the bride’s 30th birthday, during a celebration with family and friends that Jesse popped the question. But the story of these two actually began many years earlier. Lauren tells us in her own words, “We met online a really long time ago through a ‘pre-facebook’ social media platform. We chatted for a while and then one night Jesse decided to get in touch and see what I was up to. I was heading out into town, so Jesse made his cousin drive all the way to a brewery to meet up with me and we instantly hit it off.

We spent some time together over the course of a year then things started to slow down a bit and we eventually went out of contact. Then, sadly, my mum was sick and passed away so he reached out to me. Jesse was prepared to drop everything to fly to me in QLD. Things picked back up between us and three and a half months later at my birthday dinner Jesse sat me down, stared into my eyes and told me that he loved me. I responded with a polite ‘thank you’ and then didn’t return the gesture until 2 months later! We’ve been inseparable ever since and that was almost 10 years ago now.”

The bride added special heirlooms to her look. “I had a locket with a photo of my mum and I and my stepmother gave me a brooch to wear that was passed down from her grandmother, both were attached to my bouquet.”

The bride found her long sleeve lace wedding gown at Newcastle Bridal House. She remembers, “I initially had a bumpy start with dress shopping, I couldn’t find anything I liked. I was about to head home feeling disheartened when my girlfriends suggested we try one more shop. We walked in, I picked a few to try and the first dress I put on just felt like me. Cue instant tears and tears from all of my girlfriends and my mother-in-law. I knew instantly it was the one for me. I added some custom lace sleeves because we knew it would be slightly colder weather and it was the best decision I ever made. If I could wear my dress every day I would, I’m still so in love with it!”

The sprawling Stanley Park set the scene for this day to unfold. “We chose the incredible Stanley Park House at Fullerton Cove for both our ceremony and reception. Stanley Park is a stunning property; it features a beautiful eight bedroom homestead which was built in 1897 on a 28-acre land space with waterfront views. It also has a large barn space where we had our reception.”

The bride walked down the aisle with her father to Ed Sheeran’s “Teneriffe Sea”.

“We wanted to include some special people to us in our ceremony,” remarks Lauren, “namely my mum who passed away in 2011 and Jesse’s grandmother who passed in 2017. We made sure our ceremony acknowledged that they weren’t there and how much we missed them.”

The couple chose Samantha Grabda to make it official, the bride sharing, “Jesse and I are super easy going (we like to think so, haha) so we wanted it to be a relaxed setting with lots of laughs and memories. We wanted to personalise our vows and keep them a secret til the day, Jesse ended up writing a short story about our journey as a couple and it was the sweetest touch.”

 The Wedding Designer created the lush, native-filled floral details for the day. The bride says, “We wanted something simple and beautiful. I have always had a love for Australian natives especially king proteas. I gave a general idea of what we wanted to our designer and they absolutely blew us away with our arrangements on the day.”

Of their photographer, Lauren remarks, “Lauren was hands down the most perfect fit for us for our day. We immediately felt comfortable with her, she was relaxed and so much fun to be around. I don’t think anyone could have captured us and our day the way she did and we are so grateful!”

During cocktail hour, guests were treated to an epic feast by Fork N Knife. “We would recommend all of the vendors we chose a million times over to everyone! Our guests are still raving about our grazing table.”

As the sun set, guests gathered inside the barn for a sparkling sit-down reception, which was set up and styled, along with the flowers by The Wedding Designer. Lauren tells, “My favourite part of our planning was surrendering control to our wedding designers! They made it such a relaxed and stress-free experience, we gave them a rough idea and they created something magnificent!

The wedding dessert? Stacks and stacks of Doughheads doughnuts!

Tells Lauren, “One of the most memorable things that happened at our reception was a video that was put together by our family and friends! They surprised us with it at our reception during our speeches. It was hilarious and so heartfelt.”

The newlyweds took to the dance floor to Rise Against’s “Swing Life Away”, their band EAO Entertainment (Mark Wells Trio) surprising them by learning the song and playing it live.

A big congratulations on your marriage Lauren and Jesse! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us. Thank you also to Lauren Anne Photography for today’s beautiful imagery.