What happens when a pair of country souls throw a wedding in a chic industrial warehouse? You get bold colours, generous hospitality, a welcoming vibe, and a really fun time! Katie and Jesse tied the knot and celebrated their nuptials at The Black Brisbane – three months after planning the whole thing. There was gorgeous signage and styling from a friend, lush blooms, an incredible (and super creative!) first dance song, and even bagpipes. Snapping the sweet and stunning moments from this warm urban wedding was Wildflower Weddings, with Hello Sunflower Films also there making wedding movie magic.
So how did this duo become engaged? Well, they actually had two proposals!
With so many cancelled plans/trips in the year prior (thanks COVID), Katie was really keen to bring all of their nearest and dearest together for a big party so they all had something to look forward to. “Having been together for seven years, I figured it made sense to be our wedding,” explains Katie. “So I essentially asked Jesse if he wanted to get married this year.”
Their conversation went something like this:
Katie: Hey, do you want to get married this year?
Jesse: Yeah, sounds great.
Katie: Alright, well I have a really busy wedding season so it’ll have to be July or August – want me to ask around and find a venue?
Jesse: Yep cool.
*Katie finds venue*
Katie: Okay, so the venue is available on August 14th – shall I lock it in?
Jesse: Yep, sounds good.
Katie: Okay great, do you want to “propose propose”, or should I just start inviting people?
Jesse: Nah, I’ll propose.
Katie: Okay, great.
For the official proposal, Jesse (being a traditionalist!) asked Katie’s parent’s permission while the couple were visiting them for the weekend. “Katie must have known something was up because my every suggestion that weekend was met with ‘two minutes!’ and she would run off and touch up her makeup. You know, for the Gram!” says Jesse.
Despite pug walks, beach trips and coffees, Jesse hadn’t asked. Then, Sunday morning rolled around and Greg (Katie’s dad) suggested sunset fish and chips with the family. When they got there, Katie and Jesse walked up the beach with their dogs. “After a couple of hundred metres, Katie was keen to head back to her mum,” explains Jesse. “I was trying to work out how to get a ring box out of my shorts, get to a knee and say… My god… What do I even say! Katie looked back one last time and turned around to me on a knee. ‘Kaaaaatiiieee…. wiiilll you be my wiiiife?’ She of course said yes!”
When it came to her wedding dress, Katie had a general idea about what she wanted (sleeves!) but wasn’t sure what would be possible in a short amount of time. She messaged Julie from Angelic Bridal with some photo inspo. Julie replied straight away saying she could absolutely assist. “Shortly thereafter I went in and tried on the most beautiful dress sleeveless by Maggie Sottero,” says Katie. “The quality and make was just divine. While I was trying the dress on, Julie gathered some fabric and showed me how she could customise the gown to add the sleeves. I completely trusted Julie and not long after came back to the dress with mock sleeves pinned on. Julie also made some other alterations to make sure the dress was a perfect fit. The end result was more than I could have asked for! Julie is absolutely incredible at her craft and made the entire process seamless.”
The couple held their ceremony and reception at The Black Brisbane – they wanted a venue that could accommodate both so their guests didn’t have to go from one venue to the next. They had visited this venue a couple of years prior and from that moment it was at the top of their dream wedding venues list.
Due to COVID restrictions, Katie and Jesse had to strip their ceremony back to 20 people, with the remaining guests joining them for dinner not long after. They live streamed the ceremony and had guests join them from all over the country, from as far away as Tasmania, and as close as the pub around the corner!
The bride’s friend, Atlanta of Little Fiesta Co, made the signage and helped with the table styling (mason jars, candles, and some native greenery).
For his wedding day attire, Jesse used his love of Instagram to narrow his search down to two suits, both from Urbbana. By chance, his best man (Mitchell) was visiting Brisbane that weekend, so off they went to visit the Portside store and try them on. “In store, Sam’s knowledge and demeanour was outstanding, and the level of service was exceptional,” explains Katie. “Jesse’s size was out of stock at Portside, so Sam had one Uber’ed from their flagship store in the CBD while Jesse and Mitch wandered off for a coffee. Sam made a few custom adjustments to get the perfect fit. Overall the experience with Urbbana was exceptional.”
Katie walked down the aisle, arm in arm with her mum and dad, to ‘Baby it’s You’ by London Grammar. “It was a very special moment to have them both alongside me,” she says.
The couple had three celebrants involved in their ceremony (including Katie, who is a celebrant herself!) They had initially planned the ceremony with Ali Rollinson of Wed By Ali, who crafted the most beautiful script. Unfortunately, Ali (who is based in Northern NSW) went into lockdown two days before the wedding. “Fortunately, we are both part of an incredible community, The Celebrant Society, so we were able to organise for Venita Manning to step in to deliver it on the day!”
Katie and Jesse personalised their ceremony and made sure it had a lot of great stories that made their friends and family feel included – as they have all played a really significant role in their relationship. They both wrote their own vows.
With COVID restrictions in place, they had to limit their ceremony to 20 people. “Initially we were both disappointed that we couldn’t have everyone there, but it actually turned out to be really special to have such an intimate group,” says Katie.
By Katie’s side on the day were her three girlfriends, Rachael, Leonie and Tara. “I left their dresses completely up to them,” explains Katie. “I wanted them to be completely comfortable in what they were wearing, so said that if they found a black dress they loved then to go for it.”
Jesse’s ‘I do crew’ was two of his three “brothers”, John and Braden. His third and best man, Mitchell, joined the wedding over Zoom from Tasmania for the best man’s speech later in the evening. For their outfits, Jesse matched the groomsmen with the bridesmaids, in simple black suits with navy shirts and ties from Studio 196 at Chermside. “Studio 196 went above and beyond to organise stock from Sydney in the midst of the lockdown,” says Katie.
White Grove Studio were behind the stunning flowers on the day. The brief was “anything bold” with as much native floral as possible for the time of year. “They were magnificent – I could not have been happier. Christine, Rania and everyone at White Grove were a complete delight to work with. They were incredibly communicative and responsive, and with the uncertainty of the final few days, Rania’s cool nature helped to create a sense of calm.”
Snapping all the special moments was Kirsty of Wildflower Weddings. Katie had met Kirsty when she was capturing some portraits for a group of celebrants. She instantly loved her nature and thought she was incredibly talented! “I think it’s really important to gel well with your all your vendors, and Kirsty feels like a long-time friend to both of us,” says Katie. “Kirsty was really thorough in the lead up to the wedding to make sure that she captured the day exactly as we had planned.”
The reception’s catering was by Dalton Catering. “Jesse does a lot of cooking in the smoker at home, so as soon as we saw Dalton Catering’s fire dome we knew we had to have it!” says Katie. The couple worked with Jerome to plan the menu, and Jerome went to the extra effort to source some wild venison specifically for Jesse (as he had mentioned it as being his favourite). “The food was incredible, as was the fire dome experience. Everyone was so complimentary about the quality and quantity of the food!”
Katie’s family comes from Scottish heritage so her brother played the bagpipes to officially open the reception.
Prior to their wedding day, Brisbane had been in lockdown. When the lifting of restrictions was first announced (the Sunday prior), the couple initially thought that we wouldn’t be able to have their reception as planned. As this was being clarified, they had people suggest that instead they hold a “ticketed corporate event” as they were still able to go ahead, and the idea of the ‘Wottabugga Annual General Meeting’ was born. (Wottabugga is the nickname accidentally given to Jesse by his now mother-in-law, due to his surname being notoriously difficult to pronounce!)
This idea took hold, and even as it was confirmed that the reception was able to take place as originally planned under the restrictions, Katie and Jesse decided to stick with the AGM theme! All of the speeches managed to weave this in perfectly and made for a lot of laughs and banter, according to the couple.
The wedding cake (by Zoe Clark Cakes) had tree/bark detail, a nod to Jesse’s love of nature.
Katie pretended to be a bit blasé about their first dance to Jesse. She threw it out there that it would be ‘Islands in the Stream’ by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, but didn’t practise or prepare.
In the background, Katie had secretly been organising with Redtie Band to have them sing the song with comedic lyrics that she had written about the couple’s relationship. “The band absolutely delivered and Jesse was awestruck (in his words!),” says Katie. “I thought I was very clever to have pulled it off and am so grateful to Dave and the band for going along with it.”
Their advice for those in the middle of wedding planning? Have a general idea of what you’re after, and perhaps a few “big ticket” non-negotiables, but try not to get bogged down by specific details, as that’s where the stress really comes in. They also recommend to trust your vendors as they are the masters of their craft. “We let most of ours have free reign, giving a small brief at the beginning, and they all delivered above expectations!”
Courtney of Hello Sunflower Films created this beautiful video of Katie and Jesse’s gorgeous day.
Congratulations Katie and Jesse on your amazing day and thank you for share your love story with us! Thank you also to Kirsty of Wildflower Weddings and Courtney of Hello Sunflower Films for sharing the stunning imagery.