If I say the words emerald green wedding dress, I know you’re going to come to clicking, but for Pip and James, it’s just the start of what you’re going to love about their intimate Geelong winery wedding.

Captured beautifully by The Hogans, the couple wanted something very relaxed for their day. They wanted a day where grandparents and puppy dogs alike were welcomed, where there was no first dance, no minute by minute plan, just delicious food, their favourite people…and a doughnut cake! It was, as Pip shares “Laid back, cruisey, happy, full of laughs and love. Not really traditional.”

They came to be through a little swipe action on Bumble remembers Pip, “We met on Bumble – our first date was at a bar in the city (Melbourne) and we hit it off instantly, staying out till the last train home. And the rest is history! As we always say to each other: when you know, you know, you know?

We later found out that our grandfathers went to primary school together and were best friends! They’re even sitting next to each other in their school photo.”

And just like the wedding, the couple’s engagement story is relaxed and love-filled. “We both decided that it was going to happen eventually and we wanted to do it while our grandparents were still around. On the day, we were walking our dog at the local park, and James got down on one knee and asked.”

Pip wore the most incredible emerald green sequin wedding gown from Jadore. “I went to all the wedding shops and tried on the big white dresses, but they weren’t ‘me'” she explains, “One day my mum and I popped into a local wedding shop and had a look at their formal options, and there was the dress on the hanger. I knew I loved it as soon as I saw it, and once I tried it on both mums and I looked at each other and said “this is it!”

Shoutout to the hair and makeup stylists of Von Ruby who styled Pip’s vintage-inspired hair and makeup. “They were outstanding and nailed it” gushes Pip.

The flowers were stunning and styled by Pip’s friend of  Birchwood Blooms. “One of my friends is a florist, Birchwood Blooms, so we were lucky enough to have her do the flowers for us. We wanted a mix of beautiful natives and something purple. They were gorgeous. I’ve dried some for us to keep as a memento. Em picked up the doughnuts, taxied our dog Ned around, delivered our flowers and set up the venue for us. She was a standout and the day would’ve been stressful if it wasn’t for her!”

Pip walked down the aisle accompanied by her two special people. “Two of my absolute favourite people, my mum and Pop walked me down the aisle. I walked down the aisle to ‘Exactly How You Are’ by Ball Park Music.”

Says Pip “James chose to wear a navy suit, just because it’s his colour and he looked gorgeous.”

The couple chose Geelong winery venue Nicol’s Paddock for both their ceremony and reception, the bride telling “We chose to do everything in the one location to save everyone the hassle of driving around. We wanted to have it somewhere that had delicious food, great wine and a fantastic atmosphere.
Nicol’s Paddock was it. It was the perfect size for our 30 guests. Nicol’s Paddock was fantastic, the service throughout the day was phenomenal. We didn’t even have to ask for a fresh beer – they just knew exactly what we wanted and when.”

The couple, much like the wedding itself, wanted their ceremony to be relaxed and chose Jessie Belle to officiate it. “We wanted it to be laid back and fun. Jessie Bell made that happen, there were lots of laughs, a few tears and plenty of wonderful memories.”

These two credit Jessie and Jake of Big Love Elopements with much of the success of their day. “They made everything on the day a breeze, from the planning to the day they were both fantastic to work with and listened to everything we told them about us as a couple of they made the most of it all. We loved getting the opportunity to meet all of the wonderful people we worked with, from choosing the menu at Nicol’s Paddock to chatting with Jessie and Jake during the lead-up, it was fantastic. I’m glad I’ve done it, but I hope I don’t have to again! Especially during COVID.”

“We both loved every minute of the day, from getting up at the crack of dawn because we were too excited to sleep, and watching music videos on Youtube together before going our separate ways, to hanging out with all of our favourite people in the world. We had the best day ever.”

The couple had formalities dotted throughout the day but didn’t create a formal plan. “We loved not having things locked down to a timeframe and letting them happen when they did, it made everything more relaxed.”

Having great food was important to Pip and James, so they made sure to choose a venue where it was a priority!

We know you want to know all about this very special guest. “We wanted to make sure our dog Ned was involved” tells Pip. “He loved being there on the day and we got some beautiful photos with him. He wore a red bow tie to match my lippie, and everyone loved giving him a pat. He also managed to do a poo in the middle of the photos – so that made for a bit of entertainment!”

If you are planning your wedding right now? Take Pip’s advice “Wedding planning can be stressful, even if you plan every single thing something’s bound to go wrong. Just go with it, it’s not the end of the world. And the only person who’ll know that something went wrong will be you. Enjoy the day, (I know everyone says this but…) it absolutely flies, make sure you eat breakfast, be in the moment throughout the day and get a wonderful photographer to capture the special moments.”

The relaxed vibes of photographer Jake were just what Pip and James were after for their wedding day. “Jake Hogan Photography was our photographer, he was outstanding. Jake was extremely professional, made us all feel very relaxed and comfortable and we honestly forgot that he was there. He outdid himself, and even drove mum, pop and I to the wedding when the car didn’t show!”

“We loved spending time together as a couple for our photos after the ceremony, I think that’s why there’s a few photos of us pulling funny faces because we were both just ecstatic that we’d married each other.”


“We all had a wonderful day, everyone had a great time, it was perfectly (and very luckily) timed between lockdowns so there weren’t any restrictions we had to worry about and we just had the best day ever. Even if the car that was taking myself, my mum, nan, pop, aunty and step-dad to the wedding never showed up, it was the best day in the world and we wouldn’t change a thing – except maybe being able to do it all over again!!”

The couple chose a doughnut wedding cake. “We couldn’t have the day without doughnuts, so made sure we didn’t forget those!” Pip made a photo guest book as her DIY element of the day “I made a photo box for all the guests to take a photo with a polaroid camera for us to stick in a book later on. I also made all of our stationery in Canva and tried to keep everything simple.


A big congratulations to you both Pip and James! Thank you so much for sharing the stories of your day with us. Thank you also to The Hogans for sharing today’s celebration.