Thea & Jesse
If there ever was a celebration that ticked all the boxes of delight (let alone, seemed like just what we needed to kick off The Colour Issue) it’s the wedding of Thea and Jesse. In the bride’s words “Our wedding didn’t have any traditional elements because we really wanted to create something new that represented us and our relationship.” Think big band style reception tunes, a table filled with handmade biscuits and treats by family and friends and a wedding dress made of tinsel.
Oh yes, it’s as glorious as it sounds and we’re sharing every sparkly, rainbow detail captured by Zach Taylor with you today!
It was a love of music that brought these two together, tells the bride. “Jesse and I met as first-year classical music students at UWA in Perth. I was majoring in Percussion (with a double in engineering) and Jesse in Saxophone (with a major in education). Over the next seven years, we became great friends. We formed an ensemble together with gigs at the Ellington and University Club, and we even moved in together and lived in 5 different houses together over 4 years with combinations of different housemates. We had so many excellent house parties and adventures together during that time but never suspected anything would ever happen between us. It wasn’t until I got a scholarship to move to Melbourne and study music that we realised how we felt about each other. I left for Melbourne a month later, so after being so close for so long as friends in Perth, our first year in a relationship was long-distance across Australia. Luckily for me, Jesse decided to move to Melbourne where he completed his Masters in Performance/Teaching and we could finally be together!”
First, let’s talk about that dress! Thea knew just the person to call on for her stunning tinsel clad gown, sharing “I was absolutely blown away when I discovered Brisbane designer Rachel Burke’s work and immediately sent her an email begging her to make me the outfit of my dreams. She was a total legend and created an incredible multi-coloured tinsel skirt, leaving me with the very difficult task of finding a top to match it. Luckily Asos came to the rescue (thanks to my dear friend Amy’s suggestion) with a golden top which made it look like one outfit! Rachel also made tinsel pocket slips for the boys and earrings for my maid of honour. ”
Thea and Jesse held their wedding at the beautiful Perth City Farm, noting “Perth City Farm was the whole package in one place” explains the bride. “We got married at one end of the big barn and then the reception filled the barn and spilled out into the beautiful courtyard. We had our photos in the huge vegetable garden out the back of the venue which was perfect because we didn’t want to keep our guests waiting. It is such a lovely open space that comes as a blank canvas, which means we could use it in any configuration and do any decorating and lighting that we wanted.”
There were plenty of personal, handmade touches throughout the day- including 70 metres of colourful paper bunting, all made by the bride and groom and their family and friends. “My favourite part of the wedding planning was the craft day that we had with our friends and family. Everyone came ready to work and with delicious snacks to share. We made 70 metres of bunting and all the signs for the food and desserts. It was so much fun just sitting around chatting to everyone.”
Thea and Jesse walked down the aisle, hand in hand, together as Jesse’s father played The Beatles “Blackbird” on guitar. “It was such a special moment” remembers the bride.
It was Jesse who popped the question, choosing Christmas to propose. Thea reminiscing “We live in Melbourne now but were at home in Perth over the Christmas break and Jesse and I had spent all day making our family’s Christmas presents when he comes up with a pre-packed picnic basket and takes me for dinner to watch the sunset from our favourite bench overlooking Cottesloe beach. I suspected something when I saw how much effort he had put into the picnic, and sure enough, he proposed and I said yes! Later while we were walking along the beach, we met a lovely stranger and asked her to take our picture. When she heard the story she insisted on us re-enacting the proposal for the photos, so we have a series of hilarious photos of Jesse on one knee, staged just for the picture. After this, I lost the car keys and we spent the next 30 minutes retracing our steps until we found them. It was such a perfect evening though, nothing could have ruined it!” It was really important to the bride and groom that their day honoured their beliefs, but was also plenty of fun! They chose Mark Kenny to bring their vision to life, telling “We wanted our ceremony to celebrate and affirm our commitment to each other in front of our family and friends, but also be full of joy. It featured signs telling the audience when to cheer and an amazing arrangement of the Sesame Street theme song by Jesse’s dad while we signed the wedding documents. Our celebrant Mark Kenny (who also joined our band afterwards to sing a few songs) helped us to create the perfect atmosphere, and we can’t recommend him highly enough! We had two ‘readings’ during the ceremony, the first was from Jesse’s Pop, Laurie who has been married to Nan for 60 years, he gave us some life advice on how to build a long and happy marriage. Jared, our friend and housemate spoke to a quote that we gave him from Winnie the Pooh all about life being a big adventure. His words were so genuine and beautiful.”
Guests celebrated the newlyweds with an amazing grazing table created by the bride’s aunt.
Jesse chose a chic Insititchu suit for his look, Thea remarking “Jesse wore a very slick tuxedo in dark blue to balance the craziness of my tinsel outfit. It was custom made by InStitchu who was great to work with. They made Jesse feel comfortable every step of the way and had a really quick turn around.”
Of their photographer, Thea shares “I cannot recommend him highly enough. He was in all the right places at the right times and caught so many gorgeous moments throughout the day. He put us at ease for all of the couple photos in the garden and had an eye for beautiful little details, like when the giant Jenga tumbled down and everyone laughed.”
The first dance? A jump filled swing dance, played live by Oz Big Band to “Deed I Do” by Ella Fitzgerald. The bride remembering “Our first dance was to “Deed I Do” by Ella Fitzgerald with the one and only Leah Guelfi on vocals and the OZ Big Band. We had a few swing dancing lessons from Brydie at Swing Patrol before we left Melbourne, so we had a fun routine with a few trick moves!”
Swing dancing? It continued all night long, tells the bride “We were so excited that the 18-piece Oz Big Band performed three live sets of jazz classics with their incredible singer Leah Guelfi. We were lucky that some friends offered to give a quick swing dancing lesson to our guests while we had photos so everyone knew a few dance moves! Jesse was a member of the band for years in Perth and got up to join them for a few songs. Watching him play those saxophone solos was a real highlight for me!”
Dessert and cake? Handmade by family and friends! “The dessert table was a feast of gifts from our talented baking friends, my mum made our wedding cake, my cousin made the wedding favours (wattle seed fudge!).”
The handmade wedding cake and cocktails were even specially created to honour family and friends “Jesse’s dad Nick, made two little clay figurines of us for on top of the wedding cake, they took him such a long time to make and were special to have! Our Melbourne mums Leigh and Lindy couldn’t be at our wedding, but handmade 10 bottles of limoncello for us! So we designed and served cocktails in their honour. One was cranberry and lime and the other featured Prosecco, lemon and soda. It was great to be able to toast them in their absence.”
A big thank you to you both Thea and Jesse! Thank you for sharing your delightful wedding day with us! Thank you to Zach Taylor for today’s beautiful images!