For us, there is nothing more joyous than where you share your wedding day stories, your wedding, Today’s superstars? Anita and Jarred. The couple who chose Dennis Tan Creative to capture their day opting for a moody winter wedding Filled with family (Jarred’s daughter Katea bridesmaid, and Anita’s son Jarred a groomsman) it was not only utterly magic but utterly heartfelt. Today we hand the spotlight over to Anita, who shares their story so beautifully.

We got married on a sunny winter day at Sandalford Estate in Perth’s Swan Valley on 19 June 2021. My husband’s daughter Kate was a bridesmaid and my son Bailey was a groomsman and it made for the most wonderful day, surrounded by 95 of the people we love most.

Jarred and I had our first date in April 2018 after meeting online. We had our second date at Kings Park and it was there that Jarred proposed in October 2019 (right beside the spot where we had shared our first kiss).

About a month after we had first met we spent the day at Perth Zoo – our first outing with both kids. This was the day that Bailey and Kate met for the first time and they got along so well. I knew from that day on we were going to be a family.

Our flowers were phenomenal. Flowers and styling were all courtesy of my friend Emma. She had just started her flower delivery service – The Plumery – and while The Plumery doesn’t do weddings flowers, Emma agreed to do ours. Our bouquets were stunning, the flowers on our arbour just blew us away and the reception was everything I wanted while also being beyond my wildest imagination.

It took us forever to choose a wedding venue. We visited some places several times before deciding that Sandalford Wines was the place for us. Jarred loved the idea of a winter wedding and Sandalford is stunning all year round.

Jarred also knew he wanted a sit-down dinner, that he wanted to wear a black suit but the rest he left to me. I planned every little detail of our special day. I even DIY’d our seating chart using a piece of clear acrylic plastic, a white chalk pen and some black spray paint.

I decided to walk down the aisle by myself. I didn’t like the idea of my father – or both my parents – giving me away (hashtag feminist). And so I walked alone and gave myself to Jarred just as he gave himself to me, to the tune of John Legend’s All of Me. And even though it surprised a few of our guests, walking on my own towards my groom felt like the most natural thing in the world.

We had our celebrant (Narelle Palmer Timeless Celebrations) ask our parents to stand at the beginning of the ceremony so we could acknowledge them and all the love and support they have given us. Family was a big part of our day. Our kids and my sisters were in the wedding party. My brother and Jarred’s sister were our witnesses for the registry. My six-month-old nephew Chase was our ring bearer.

We read our vows. Jarred promised to be the best husband and the best father to our children and to almost always remember how I like my coffee. My vows ended with ‘I wish I’d met you sooner, but now that I have – for worse or for better – I’m yours forever. My six-month-old nephew Chase was our ring bearer.

My bridesmaids were Kate (Jarred’s daughter), my sisters Darian and Tiffany and my friend of 30 years Bec. Darian and Tiffany were maids of honour and gave a speech at the reception together. Darian stood next to me during the ceremony as I had stood next to Tiffany at her wedding. And one day when Darian gets married, Tiffany will stand next to her.

Unfortunately, just before our wedding, WA closed its border to Victoria. As a result, Jarred’s best man John wasn’t able to be there and neither was my dear friend Serena who was meant to do a reading at the ceremony. It hurt our hearts not to have John and his family and Serena and her family with us. Jarred’s friend Darryl, who stepped up to be his best man, decided to include a story from John in his speech, so John was still a part of our day. And Serena and I face-timed before I left for the ceremony, so she was one of the very first people to see me in my wedding dress.

Jarred’s groomsmen were Darryl, my son Bailey, and his friends Nathan and Daniel. They looked dapper in black suits with skinny black ties. The bridesmaids wore mismatched black dresses – with red lips – and it made the beautiful burgundy and pink flowers pop.

Our photographer, Dennis Tan Creative, was amazing. Being winter, we only had an hour of daylight after the ceremony but Dennis managed to capture so many beautiful photos in that time. We considered doing a ‘first look’ and having photos taken before the wedding – to make the most of the daylight – but Jarred had his heart set on seeing me for the first time when I walked down the aisle towards him.

Sadly my grandmother died two weeks before our wedding day. At the reception, we dedicated a song to Nanna and her six children and their spouses waltzed on the dance floor. I also wore Nanna’s engagement ring on my right hand as my something old. And my something borrowed was the veil my sister wore to her wedding.

Advice for future couples? When I was getting engaged people told me to enjoy the night – and not get too hung up on making the rounds. However, all of my favourite people were there so I wanted to say hello to each and every person while still having time to relax. So we began visiting tables as soon as the entrée was served and we had spoken to everyone by the time the dance floor opened. This worked for us and I’d recommend it! Oh and if you think you’d like to walk yourself down the aisle, go for it. Walking towards Jarred is still my favourite part of the whole day.

My friend Tamara gifted us dance lessons for our first dance. Practising our first dance over and over again in our tiny kitchen is one of my fondest memories of the lead-up to our wedding.

A big congratulations to you both Anita and Jarred! A big thank you to you both and a thank you to Dennis Tan Creative with us.