Jess & Ryan

If there is one thing you need to do before diving into today’s wedding, it’s turn up Pete Murray’s “Saving Grace” and settle in. The song, chosen by the gorgeous Jess & Ryan for their first dance, it turns out, is also the most apt background music to share in their day.

Set at the beautiful country venue of Gum Gully Farm, Jess & Ryan planned a day filled with sunflowers filled with honouring family, filled with laughter and of course, most of all, filled with love. Luckily for all of us, Rick Liston was there to capture it so we can share the joy!

After meeting through a mutual friend at a group dinner, on Valentines Day one year, these two soon hit it off, Ryan eventually popping the question during an international holiday. Jess shares the tale. “(It was) on our 6-week holiday through Canada and the USA. We got to Lake Moraine in Canada, Ryan suggested we walk down this path and found a bench with a beautiful view of the lake where no one else was around. Ryan got down on one knee and said he loved me and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him? Of course, I said yes.”

Dreaming of Jess’ wedding gown as much as us? It’s by Melbourne designer Gwendolynne. Jess sharing “I was looking for a dress that suited the rustic theme for Gum Gully Farm with sleeves and found some of her designs online, as soon as I put Gwendoylnne’s Sparrow dress on I knew it was the one.
Gwendolynne made the whole experience stress free and also made me focus during the appointments. The care and detail she put into making the dress was exceptional.”

Jess and Ryan chose country venue Gum Gully Farm for their wedding, sharing “Gum Gully Farm was the first place we went to see for a wedding venue and just fell in love, how could you not. Sue and team are just lovely and honest, we knew the venue matched the relaxed atmosphere we were looking for. There were so many photo spots and also areas to hold the ceremony if plan B was needed pending weather.”

Jess walked down the aisle with her brother to The Beatles ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’. “My brother Scott walked me down the aisle on behalf of my late father Fredrick who passed away in 2016, he was wearing my dad’s Navy medals. This was a special but very hard moment not having my dad there. A lot of tears were shared with my brother leading up to the moment.”

Jess and Ryan’s joy-filled ceremony was conducted by Bianca Paliaga. “The ceremony was just amazing, set in the sunken garden” remembers the bride. “It was adorable watching our nieces and nephews also walk down the aisle as flower girls and page boys. Bianca our celebrant captured exactly what we wanted, representing us as people and as a couple with laughter and tears. For Ryan and I, we definitely had nerves with everyone looking at us we are not ones who like to be the centre of attention.”

Jess adores sunflowers, so made sure to include them in the floral arrangements on the day, she shares “My favourite flower is the sunflower so to tie into the rustic venue we mixed the sunflowers with some native flowers. We didn’t have the flowers professionally done, my mum Margarete and bridesmaid Bronwyn did an amazing job with a flower arrangement for my bouquet, tables and the wedding cake. We kept it simple with bridesmaids holding 1 sunflower each.”

Of course, the couple needed to make the most of the star attraction at Gum Gully during their portrait session!

Jess and Ryan loved working with their photographer, remarking “After meeting Rick at home it was clear we wanted him to photograph our wedding. Rick made us feel at ease, he is all about just getting you to laugh and enjoy the moment. We were very lucky to have him as our wedding photographer and looking at the pictures we are just over the moon with what he captured.”

Once the sun set, guests gathered inside for a dinner reception. “Not many people get to say this but the favourite part for us was how easy it was” tells the bride. “We found a lot of our vendors without having to look too much, it all kind of fell into place.”

The speeches were a highlight of the night and remain one of the bride’s favourite memories. “My brother Doug’s speech on behalf of my dad had us laughing and in tears. Ryan’s dad Peter re-wrote Tom Jones ‘Delilah’ to be about Ryan’s life while getting the guests to sing along. The bridesmaids continued with some great speeches and groomsmen made their speeches memorable for all wrong reasons.”

Jess & Ryan chose “Saving Grace” by Pete Murray for their first dance, Jess remembering “We are not dancers but spent a little bit of time leading up to the wedding just figuring out what we were going to do. There even may have been some YouTube research.”


What a wedding! What a story! What a joy today has been. Thank you to Jess & Ryan for sharing your beautiful day! Thank you also to Rick Liston for today’s stunning images.