It was in their final year of high school that today’s loved up couple, Jes and Alexx first met. “These are the first professional photos we have ever had together” reveals Jes. “We’ve been together for more than a decade now! I was so excited and specifically wanted to wear a skirt I could twirl in.”

The pair taking to a pine forest just outside of Toowoomba, with photographer Leah Cruikshank Photography to cement the moment in time. “Pre-covid when we would travel overseas regularly, we would often find little forests or parks with pine trees or even long highways we’d pull over on to explore – so this just felt like something we’d do on naturally.”

Jes, who had her hair styled in braided curls by Glam Hair by Tamara in curls and her makeup by Tyneale Hahn Makeup Artist used the opportunity to pay homage to the couple’s background and heritage, explaining “My hair was braided in a Viking style – each small braid represents a part of my family, then intertwined with the main braid to signify who I am in my life. We have both Japanese and Viking heritage in our families, so it’s a big part of our wedding plans and overall style/theme of the day.”

And much like many others in 2020, the pair postponed their original wedding date (which also happened to be their tenth anniversary) to tie the knot on the eve of their eleventh!

Jes and Alexx chose the Pechey State Forest just  north of Toowoomba for their session. “When we pulled up I laughed so hard because a whole section of the pine plantation we were looking for had recently been cut down!” giggles Jes. “Honestly though it was stunning – the weather was cool, there was red dust everywhere from the dirt track and many, many bramble bushes for me to trip over while Alexx pretended not to laugh.”

On what they love about one another, Jes tells “He’s my best friend – he follows me around the world, reminds me I’m not crazy (and tells me when I am), is my personal chauffeur and honestly, he drives me so insane sometimes! I love his laugh and this cheeky smile he does. I love it all. Everything.” Alexx chiming in “She’s taken me to places in the world I had never thought of going to. I love her smile, eyes and nose, as well as her sense of humour.”

Jes’s ring? “It’s custom, and super nerdy – the design is based on our favourite video game (Kingdom Hearts) and holds a lot of meaning (the band has two keys wrapped around to the centre stone; it represents two warriors and two connecting hearts meeting in the world). Alexx proposed to me on our last trip to Japan (he asked me in Japanese and in front of our favourite fox shrine in Kyoto); my younger brother and sister were witnesses, which was really special for all of us. The necklace I’m wearing in our photos was bought that day, for good luck!”

“These photos are literally us” remarks Jes. “We laugh too much, stare at each other a lot, get thorns on my clothes and watch the dust settle on our adventure together.”

With their pair continuing to honour their Japanese background, it makes sense that Alexx chose their trip to Japan to pop the big question. Jes remembering “We were at the Fushimi Inari Shrine outside Kyoto, Japan – it’s our favourite shrine, we’ve been a few times.
This time, my younger brother and sister were with us and we were about to head out somewhere else. Instead, Alexx says to me, “Wait, I have a question for you” and I literally roll my eyes as I turn around (because he has this habit of following this up with a really silly question, okay). And he’s on one knee, asking me to marry him, in Japanese.
I’m still not sure which of (the four of us) we cried the most, it was so perfect – we went back up and rung the shrine’s bell and I bought a necklace (that I’m wearing in these photos!), both for good fortune. Honestly, we just want to travel back there to relive the moment – I am so thankful my siblings were there to witness and the ring – gosh – it was custom, and so nerdy and so beautiful.”

What we asked this couple the things that make them laugh together, Jes shared “Sometimes I think our entire relationship is one long, funny story. Like taking the scenic route to anywhere. Especially when Alexx navigates.” Alexx adding  “…my navigational skills.”