Jess & Simone

In late March, love birds Jess and Simone chose inner city hotspot Rupert on Rupert to tie the knot! Embracing a more relaxed atmosphere, the urban jungle setting provided the ultimate backdrop for the happy couple. A focus on family, friends and fun became the central focal point for the couple as Kat and Scout of It’s Beautiful Here Photography seamlessly blended in to capture the day. Bride Jess details their day and gives us and insight to the day she “married the man of her dreams”. 

Simone and I met through mutual friends. I was first shown a photo of Simone on his facebook profile by my girlfriend and chastised her for not introducing us earlier! He was very cute, and looked particularly cheeky…and Italian! We officially met at our friends 30th birthday party. We didn’t quite hit it off straight away. I was initially very shy and intimidated by how outgoing he was. He came right up to me and introduced himself and I spent the rest of the day avoiding him! I got up some confidence eventually and we managed to organise a first date through facebook…where it all began!

My dress was a Made with Love dress from Bluebell Bridal in Melbourne. I was pretty “no-fuss” when dress shopping, as I found the whole experience so overwhelming! There is so much pressure to find “the one”, and it’s so easy to blow out your budget when you get attached to something.

The guys at Bluebell were really kind, patient, and helpful, and when I found one that I felt comfortable in, I went for it! It was only the second bridal shop I looked in. I never thought I would go for a lace dress, but I did and I was really happy with how it looked (and more importantly) felt on the day!.

Simone wore a suit from Oscar Hunt Tailors, which was this amazing emerald green colour. He wanted something that was a little bit different and that reflected his personality and personal style.

It was really important to Simone and I that we kept everything really simple and refined. We also chose our venue, Rupert on Rupert, partly because it has the most incredible natural greenery, so we really didn’t need to do too much more to make it look beautiful.

My bridesmaids helped me buy flowers from the Monbulk flower market for the styling of the tables and venue, and Mali (Rupert’s event coordinator) styled the tables which looked incredible. We also hired some beautiful blush coloured napkins for the tables, and Simone and his dad hand made 68 little name signs, which were stuck into Baci’s (Italian chocolates) for each seat. The atmosphere we were hoping for was like one big love party, so everyone felt relaxed and care free, which we think we achieved.

We chose Rupert because it has the most amazing vibe – as soon as you walk in its like an urban jungle. There is greenery everywhere, and it’s a very cool industrial vibe. We also loved Mali who arranged everything and supported us the whole way through. We had the ceremony as well as reception at Rupert as we felt this more a more relaxed vibe, and we wanted our guests to be able to settle in.

We DIY”d a lot! The bridesmaids and myself made our bouquets, the boys lapels, and the groom and father of the groom made the table numbers, wedding favours (maracas which the boys spray painted white to match the theme and get the party started!), and signage.

We are very lucky to have some musically talented friends who gifted us live music to walk down the aisle to! Our dear friends Vincent and Aaron played/sang a slowed down version of a Barry White song (which Simone played on our first date!) when I walked down the aisle, and then a rendition of Volare by Dean Martin when we both left at the end of the ceremony. It was absolutely perfect.

I was really nervous about the ceremony because I’m not great with being centre of attention…so I was happy for it to be short and sharp! However, it was important to both of us to make the ceremony about us, what we have together, and how we feel about each other.

We both wrote our own vows which was very emotional on the day! We had one quote from Esther Perel (a psychologist) which resonated with us both “For [intelligent couples], love is a vessel that contains both security and adventure, and commitment offers one of the great luxuries of life: time. Marriage is not the end of romance, it is the beginning. They know that they have years in which to deepen their connection, to experiment, to regress, and even to fail. They see their relationship as something alive and ongoing, not a fait accompli. It’s a story that they are writing together, one with many chapters, and neither partner knows how it will end. There’s always a place they haven’t gone yet, always something about the other still to be discovered.”

We organised our own flowers from the Monbulk flower market. We went with a range of colours, mostly white and green, and then some colour pops which looked amazing all together.

I (Jess) had 5 of my girlfriends as bridesmaids, and Simone 5 friends, two who came from Italy to be in the wedding! We loved having a big bridal party, it was so much fun getting ready together and we both felt so well supported on the day.

For our photographers we went with Kat and Scout from Its Beautiful Here, as they had done a friends wedding and they were so much fun to work with and their pictures were incredible! They did an amazing job and were so great to work with, we loved having them!

For us on the day, it was all about friends, food, and good music, so they were the main focus for us.
It made our favourite detail easy! We loved our band, Del Barrio! They were so fun and an incredible live performance that got everyone up and carving up the dance floor!

Our first dance was the most incredible, spine tingling, emotional, love filled moment of the wedding for me. I still get shivers thinking about it! We had an amazing Latin band, but for the first dance we chose a beautiful rendition of You Got It by Lucie Silvas.

It was the most amazing moment, it felt like it was just Simone and I even though we were in a circle of our dearest family and friends. For the last chorus everyone started to sing along and join us on the dance floor, lifting us up and holding each other in a circle. It was incredible!

There is a photo of Simone and I at the end of the night walking through the “sparkler walkway” taken from behind which is so beautiful, but it is hard to choose one favourite, as Its Beautiful Here did such an amazing job capturing the day!

Our advice to couples would be to think about your budget before you do anything. Think about how you want to feel on the day. Don’t compromise with anyone other than your partner. Remember that it is one day, and it is your day to celebrate each other and the love that you share.

It can be so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of all the things you think you should have, but it really will not make much difference on the day. We tried to think of the top 3-4 things that were the most important to us (venue, music, photography, wedding dress) and that’s where we splashed out, otherwise we tried to be more conservative. Try not to make things too complicated either, its such a big day, if there is too much going on, you will miss it!

Ms Zebra Says: Congratulations to these two gorgeous love birds!!! Thank you for sharing your incredible day with us and we wish you all the happiness in the world as your continue on life’s journey together as husband and wife!!