Jessica & James

Modern romance was on show at Jessica and James’ Sydney wedding. The bride wore a buttermilk silk satin bias cut gown, with a show stopping cathedral length veil with cascading frills, and looked beyond spectacular! The flowers, the dancing, the cakes…we can’t wait to share the beauty! Damien Milan Photography captured every detail.

The bride and groom met through the Sydney Flower Markets, Jessica being a florist and James a plant grower. They tell, ”It was definitely a case of, “When you know, you know!” We officially met at a mutual friend’s thirtieth birthday. A week or two later, when I had just landed in London on a family holiday, James texted and there hasn’t been a day since, when we have not spoken.” James proposed after a trip to Tasmania, with Jessica remembering, ”We seriously discussed our future together and when we returned, while I was snacking on Cheezels in the kitchen, James popped down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”

Modern and romantic, every detail of the bride’s outfit was bespoke, and breathtakingly so. She shares, ”My wedding dress was designed and sewn by my talented uncle, Ervan Woo, who has been a bridal gown designer for over thirty years. I have been extremely fortunate to have Uncle Ervan sew dresses for me ever since I was a little girl so it only felt right and natural to ask him to make my wedding dress. I told Uncle Ervan I wanted something simple (easy-to-wear) and timeless and left the rest of the details in his very capable hands. My dress was a buttermilk silk satin 1940s inspired bias cut gown with a petal hemline that lead into a cathedral train. My veil was cathedral length with a twenty- five metre frill hem. The top of the veil was hand beaded with beguile beads, pearls, Swarovski diamantés and crystals. My headpiece consisted of five handmade roses, which were made of glass and pearl seed beads, Swarovski diamantés and crystals. My second ‘party’ dress was a little more fun, a nod to my favourite fashion period, the 1920s. It was flapper style with lots and lots of beads, peals, diamantés and crystals. Uncle Ervan hand beaded the most ornate belt for it, he even attached a few beaded moments onto my satin mules. It was all absolutely divine!”

Tradition held its place in Jessica and James’ wedding day, focussing on family. The bride remembers, ”For something old, I wore Uncle Ervan’s tennis bracelet. For something new, I wore my Casadei heels, for something borrowed, I wore Uncle Ervan’s diamond earrings. And for something blue, Uncle Ervan sewed a small blue bow into the back of my dress. My maternal grandparents had both their names and their wedding date engraved inside the band of my grandmother Anna’s engagement ring and on the inside of both of their wedding bands, both James and I did the same with ours. My maternal grandfather, Michael wore a cream tuxedo jacket with a bow tie and black pant on his wedding day and so did James.”

Arriving in style at Porteno Events, the bride and groom were married in front of a peony, rose and smoke bush arbour. Jessica shares, ”Our aisle song was, ‘Bloom’ by The Paper Kites and our recessional song was, ‘Make It With You’ by Bread. Our first dance song was, ‘Only You Can Love Me This Way’ by Keith Urban, paying homage to James’ country music upbringing.”

The rustic but warm rooms at Porteno Events provided a vista of romance for the ceremony and reception. Jessica tells, ”We spray painted our wooden table numbers black. Thank goodness James has more patience than me! I arranged all the bridal party flowers in my hotel room, the night before our wedding, which I found quite therapeutic.”

Knowing so many in the wedding industry, the bride was keen to work with those she loved. Jessica tells, ”We connected with Damien and Anastasia from Damien Milan Photography. Both of them have great personalities and share a love for Seinfeld, we felt very comfortable in their company. Charis from Porteno Events went above and beyond for us, the numerous emails, texts and calls that she responded to! And of course, Uncle Ervan Woo who made our day that extra bit special from assisting James with my engagement ring to creating my wedding dress, to embroidering our names and date of our wedding on the ribbon tied around my bouquet to sourcing the wedding knife that my maternal grandparents used on their wedding day. Our wedding day would not have been what it was without his level of creativity, dedication and professionalism.”

Both ceremony and reception were held at Porteno Events. The bride and groom remember, ”From the very beginning we had our hearts set on them. We love the space, food and people who operate the venue so much so, we brought our wedding forward so they could accommodate us. The wonderful thing about Porteno Events is that the space speaks for itself, it has so much character that you don’t have to do much to it. We didn’t see any venues beforehand as we are lucky to work in the wedding industry and are already familiar with most venues across Sydney. Our aim was to bring family and friends together over good food, good wine and good music. We wanted it to be a fun and easy-going party.”

An expert in her field, Jessica is part owner of florist The Ivy League, and after putting together her bouquet, left the rest to her business partner. She shares, ”Thank goodness for Carla, who generously and willingly arranged our ceremony flowers. I found the ever-so talented and patient, Erin from Paper Paper on Instagram, her work was featured in a photo that Porteno had posted. We are really glad that we hired Red Soda. Chris and his bandmates were incredible, they brought the party vibes! There was nothing we wish we didn’t do…no regrets!”

Champagne towers and three delicate, floral, all white cakes were features of the evening’s celebrations. Jessica tells, ”Our favourite detail from the day was our wedding favours, which were small glass bottles with cork stoppers filled with extra virgin olive oil and tagged with the saying, ‘per sempre’, which is Italian for ‘for always’. Like olive oil, our marriage will last a lifetime. They were simple, practical and thoughtful. Instead of attending an unofficial after party, James and I returned to our hotel room, swapped our wedding attire for jeans and sneakers and headed to McDonald’s for our first meal as husband and wife.”

Thank you to our gorgeous bride and groom for sharing your seriously beautiful wedding day with us, and congratulations! Thank you also Damien Milan Photography for your magnificent images!