We bang on, constantly, consistently, about creating a day that is well and truly “yours” here at Polka Dot Wedding, but oh how we have good reason! Because when you do it? When you put the focus on what you want, what you love at every moment of your day, it turns out magically. Just as magically as the story we are about to tell today, the romantic lavender farm wedding of Jenna and Steph.
Captured beautifully by Leo Farrell in utter country style, Jenna and Steph filled their day with all the romance you could imagine with its setting, but also of their love for their community. The couple’s brother-in-law is responsible for a delicious dessert of cannolis; their siblings in the wedding party, as witnesses and the MC – they even invited family members, who missed out on their first dances due to COVID, to join them for their dance floor debut. Says Jenna “We wanted our guests to feel relaxed and enjoy the natural beauty of the evening. The personal stories that were shared lifted everyone on the day, we were all at the moment.” This one? You’re in for a treat!
It was not quite love at first sight for the couple, who met at work, Jenna telling “We met at work where we worked together for a couple of years. We were both in relationships and knew each other but weren’t even friends. A few years later we both changed jobs within the same company and struck up a friendship. We were both still in relationships, however, over a six-month period they broke down and we supported each other over coffee and banana bread. Within six months we grew closer and finally, Steph told me her feelings on my birthday.”
Steph popped the question six months later, at home. “I was folding towels in our laundry. She was planning to do it in Daylesford but was worried I would say no and ruin the trip. Marriage equality wasn’t a thing, not even talked about at the time, at least in mainstream media, so we didn’t tell anyone. Years later when it became legal, Steph proposed on the beach in St Kilda near our house it felt so special and we told the world.”
Steph chose an all-black suit for the day, working with designer Effie Kats. Jenna explained “It was important she felt herself and super feminine. It was a beautiful black suit with a silk black lapel and shirt. She looked and felt her best.”
Jenna went for romantic lace, deciding on a gown by designer Hayley Paige. She shares “I chose it because it was comfortable, soft and had beautiful nude silk underneath so much tulle. I bought it in LA and when it arrived the fittings I had didn’t go as well as I wanted. I found the most talented dressmaker to alter it and redesign the top of the dress. It made me feel confident and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”
Jenna and Steph held their wedding at Daylesford lavender farm Sault Estate. Jenna telling “We had a beautiful garden wedding under the trees overlooking the lake followed by canapés on the deck and dinner inside. Jodi at Sault is incredible and felt like a friend helping us throughout the whole day. Jodi made our day; she just felt part of the whole day from planning, feedback and ideas and so much support.”
On her walk down the aisle, Jenna remembers “I walked down the aisle to Ray Lamontagne’s “You Are The Best Thing”. My dad Peter walked me down. Steph’s mum walked her down the aisle just before the wedding party so we all had a moment.”
Jenna and Steph kicked off their outdoor ceremony with an Acknowledgement of Country, it was followed by a Welcome To Country and a traditional smoking ceremony led by Troy Firebrace. Explains Jenna of the ceremony, “It was important for us to spend time acknowledging the land we were meeting. My best friend Maria did a special acknowledgment of the country she wrote herself and we had Troy Firebrace do a welcome to country and smoking ceremony on behalf of the traditional owners.
We loved the welcome to country; Troy told a beautiful story about the land we met on – Dja Dja Country, he played his didgeridoo and it was just magical reflecting, looking over all our friends and family who were just in the moment. It was so unique and gave everyone time to stop and reflect.”
The ceremony itself was officiated by Alex Rand. “We wanted something small and intimate. We both wrote our vows as we wanted it to be super personal and thank all of our friends and family for their support. Our celebrant Alex Rand was so great and respected our want to have it short and sweet.”
Floral arrangements of pinks and raspberry are featured throughout the day, styled by Floral Architecture. “Our flowers continued the theme of blush and burgundy” explained Jenna. “We wanted roses and our florist Rosie even put some beautiful flowers from her mum’s garden; it was such a thoughtful and personal touch – they were the best. We had three hanging rings of foliage and roses which hung above the bridal table and some beautiful eucalyptus foliage running down the tables.”
The newlyweds, upon arriving at their reception, headed straight into their first dance. Their choice? “Latch” By Sam Smith. “Our best friend and groomsmen Shane sang it for us and his brother Brad played the guitar” tells Jenna. “It was important to have people part of our event and have as many personal touches as possible. They are all so so talented, so we love a reason to have them perform. We also had my cousin Alisha and her fiancé Steele and Maria and her husband Stu join us for our first dance, as like us, they had to postpone their weddings due to covid.”
If there is one vendor Jenna and Steph recommend, it is photographer Leo Farrell. “Leo was the most lovely and genuine photographer. He was everywhere and nowhere you just wouldn’t have even realised he was there.
Nothing was an issue; we even interrupted his dinner to get photos of the father-daughter dance. Leo was with us the whole day and we felt like he was enjoying the day as much as us.”
Steph and Jenna filled their day with people who are important to them. “We wanted to include people; Steph’s brother was our MC, her other brother was our witness, we had our best friend by our side, our friend did our acknowledgment of country and Shane and Brad performed. Our brother-in-law Matt also made our dessert of cannolis as he is an amazing chef.”
Jenna shares this golden advice. “It goes so fast, go with your gut not what others say you won’t regret making it just for you, when people see you glow they will have the best time. Spend money on the most important thing; for us (this) was live music so the dancefloor was full the whole night.”
The biggest congratulations to you both Steph and Jenna! Thank you for taking the time to share your stories with us. Thank you also to Leo Farrell for sharing today’s beautiful images!