Sarah and Jim tied the knot in 2020, and like the majority of 2020 weddings their plans were changed up (twice) due to COVID. Although they admit this was frustrating, COVID space restrictions at their reception venue (City Winery) actually had a silver lining for the couple, who moved their wedding to a morning ceremony and lunchtime reception. This turned out to be the best decision, as they didn’t spend the whole day in anticipation. Instead, they were married by 11am and drinking champagne with their guests! There to capture the nuptials, which took place at New Farm Park, as well as the celebrations was Wildflower Weddings.
Before we find out how their big day unfolded, let’s hear how the proposal went down. “I proposed to Jim on a weekend away at the Sunshine Coast hinterland,” says Sarah. “For reasons relating to my possession of excellent iced vovo earrings, we had a few months prior been dubbed ‘Mr and Mrs Vovo’ by a random dude at a winemaking festival. I proposed with home-baked iced vovos, Tiffany & Co. ‘xo’ cufflinks and the question, ‘Will you be Mr Vovo to my Mrs Vovo?’” So sweet!
On their wedding day, Jim wore a bespoke navy suit from InStitchu, shoes from Bared, and a mauve silk tie and pocket square from John Henric. He also wore two mechanical watches – one on each wrist. The watches had belonged to one of his grandfathers. “Of course, he also wore his Tiffany ‘xo’ engagement cufflinks,” says Sarah.
The bride’s incredible dress? The work of her friend, Christina Kim of Christina Kim Bespoke. “I didn’t want a big white dress, but I still wanted something beautiful and romantic,” explains Sarah. Some of Christina’s other work using printed fabric was used as inspiration, and Christina sourced some Dolce & Gabbana silk from Italy that was purchased sight unseen over the Internet! Christina made Sarah the perfect, flowing gown, which she absolutely loved wearing.
Sarah’s wedding shoes were by Rachel Simpson (and purchased via Deseo Bridal Shoes). She was also lucky enough to loan diamond and morganite drop earrings from Artisans Bespoke Jewellers, who also made the couple’s wedding rings and Sarah’s engagement ring. “I was bowled over when they offered to lend me earrings; I certainly didn’t expect to be wearing diamond earrings at my wedding!” says Sarah.
Kate Dawes created Sarah’s bouquet and Jim’s buttonhole. Sarah took Kate a cutting of the fabric from her dress and she found deep red and very pale dusky grey/purple and cream roses to match and complement it. And after the big day? Sarah gave them to a friend to enjoy because they were so beautiful and also sent off a couple to be preserved into a lovely orb by Blooming Keepsakes.
Behind the camera on the day was Kirsty McPhee of Wildflower Weddings who the couple say was absolutely wonderful. An engagement shoot a month or so prior to their wedding set them at ease, and they found that Kirsty was very unobtrusive, which resulted in lovely natural photos where you can see how much Sarah and Jim – and their guests – enjoyed themselves.
Their ceremony was held in New Farm Park, under one of the big Moreton Bay fig trees. Sarah and Jim loved the thought of having their ceremony in nature, without needing to leave the city.
The couple were thrilled with their gorgeous ceremony decor by Brisbane Wedding Decorators.
Sarah and Jim walked down the aisle together, which for them was symbolic of their decision to join together as equals in their marriage. They walked down to ‘You and Me’ by Dave Matthews Band – a song they discovered together.
Officiating the ceremony was the wonderful Erin Woodhall. The couple wanted their ceremony to be personal and heartfelt, but not too formal. “Erin apparently had everyone laughing even before we arrived, so we walked into an excited and happy crowd,” says Sarah. “It was just as we’d hoped – we had enough time. and were relaxed enough, to actually enjoy the moment and the commitment we were making to each other, and to say in our own words why we were doing so. Erin told our story and elicited both laughter and tears!”
Sarah’s dad wasn’t able to be there on the day due to COVID, but her best friend’s husband FaceTimed the ceremony so he and Sarah’s stepmother could be included.
Sarah and Jim held their reception five minutes down the road at City Winery in Fortitude Valley. High up on their priorities list for their wedding was good food and wine. “City Winery is one of our favourite venues because the food and wine are outstanding, and their service is also impeccable,” explains Sarah. City Winery’s event coordinator on the day was Michael Taylor, who the couple say is a consummate professional and also an absolute delight.
Their wedding cake (by Vanilla Pod) had three flavours, and Sarah says tasting them all was a highlight!
The couple chose ‘At Last’ by Etta James for their first dance. Their friend Justine, who is a dance and Pilates teacher, helped them choreograph the dance. “It was just as well, as we were very much ‘on show’ – with COVID restrictions, we were the only ones allowed to dance! So it was more of a dance performance than anything else. We had a lot of fun with it.”
Jim’s friend, Paul Henderson, is a professional guitarist and joined singer Nyssa Ray on a rendition of the Punch Brothers’ ‘My Oh My’ while the cake was being cut.
There was some DIY at this wedding too… In the shape of two rings! Sarah and Jim did a ‘make your own wedding band’ workshop at Artisans Bespoke Jewellers, which they say was a lot of fun. They rolled out the gold and shaped and polished the rings like pros! “We like to joke that the professional jewellers who guided us didn’t really do much, but they obviously did,” says Sarah. “They were not going to let us leave with wonky rings! And of course, gem setting is not for amateurs, so the diamonds in my band (which had come from my mum’s eternity ring) were set by the jewellers. The finished product was of course made perfect by the jewellers, but we love knowing that we helped make our own rings.”
Their advice for those in the middle of wedding planning? Focus on what’s going to be memorable about the day, both for you and for others. “For us, that was a personalised ceremony and a big party with our friends and family,” explains Sarah. “This allowed us to prioritise our budget and our energy and not worry about things we didn’t think were important. For example, we didn’t feel the need to have a wedding party, which simplified things significantly, especially when we had to move the date!”
One other piece of advice they have is to put some thought into the ceremony – don’t just think of it as the boring bit before you get to the party! “Ours was fun and relaxed but still meaningful.”
Thank you Sarah and Jim for sharing your story and day with us! We loved your choices (oh my goodness, that dress!), the relaxed vibe and all the sentimental details you added in to make the day uniquely yours. A huge thanks also to Wildflower Weddings for sharing these gorgeous images with us.