It was instant attraction for Rachel and Jay who met on a dating app. “I was instantly drawn to Jay’s warm and friendly smile” remembers Rachel. “It sounds funny to say, but it really gave me such a good feeling before we’d even matched!
Jay might tell you I catfished him by pretending to be a movie buff (he’s a Diehard film fan). Alas, I was not and now he has to battle to get me to watch movies with him.”

With the dream to keep their wedding as intimate as they could, they chose their dream team of suppliers – including Nadia Stone Photography behind the camera and Kris McKee Floral Design on the bright and beautiful florals, and let their surroundings shine. Says Rachel “Our wedding was chilled, relaxed, there was no strict style – we just adored our venue so let it speak for itself. Though a pop of colour was important which we achieved through bold flower colours.”

The proposal? Not a complete surprise to Rachel, but the timing, and the way Jay decided to ask? Completely out of left field for her! She tells their story “We had spoken about marriage and I suspected a proposal was coming in 2022, however, there was no way I thought it would be when it was. We had travelled to Mudgee to watch Manly Sea Eagles’ away game and visit friends who live there.
On the Friday evening, after we’d arrived, we were sitting out on our balcony eating a pizza and having a wine when Jay quickly went inside and removed his Ugg boots. I thought this was super weird given how cold it was! He then said a few lovely things and got down on his knee. Turned out he didn’t feel he should ask me to marry him whilst wearing Ugg boots!! It was an easy “Yes!”

The couple wanted bright and beautiful blooms to enhance their historic garden venue, Estate Vaucluse House, and chose Kris McKee Floral Design to make it happen. Says Rachel “I just adore flowers and would’ve loved to have a floral ceiling if money was no obstacle! But sadly we haven’t won Powerball so set a sensible budget and I feel that with our gorgeous florist Kris, we achieved exactly what I wanted. We didn’t overdo styling and our outfits were pretty neutral so I wanted to add a pop of colour and add a bit of a tropical element as the ceremony venue (grounds of Vaucluse House) gave me a rainforest-type vibe. Our flower colour theme was red and orange with bright greenery.”

Rachel walked down the aisle with her dad to an acoustic version of Vance Joy’s “I’m With You”. Rachel advising those of you with pre-wedding nerves, “You might be nervous about being in the spotlight, especially for your ceremony – don’t worry, once you get there, your future husband/wife will be all you see (both Jay and my experience).

Jay’s look was paired back and elegant, tells Rachel “Jay wore black chinos with a beige linen blazer, white shirt, a nude coloured bow tie with chestnut RM Williams. The bow tie was added into the mix only a couple of days before, after he tried on his outfit and it felt like it needed something a little more. It was a great choice.”

The ceremony was officiated by Angela Sanders – Lovethrills. “Our celebrant Ange Sanders (Lovethrills) was amazing” raves Rachel. “We received so many compliments from guests; many thinking she was one of our friends. She took the time before the ceremony to get to know us and our story. On the day, Jay was so happy with her relaxed approach which helped him stay very calm whilst waiting for me (the bride) to turn up. Ange struck a perfect balance between formalities and telling our story whilst having fun – not something many celebrants can do well.”


Rachel chose an off-the-shoulder gown with an asymmetrical neckline designed by Kyha Studios.  “Initially, I didn’t even want a ‘wedding dress’ per se and was just looking at white dresses. I then felt I wanted a slip dress but after trying a couple I didn’t feel comfortable.
I then resorted to looking at wedding dress designers and came across the Kyha Studios’ Teddi dress. It was stunning and after trying it on, I was sold. It was mikado silk, with a structured bodice, a reasonably full skirt and an asymmetric armband which was a feature that I loved.
It was far more ‘bride’ than I originally envisaged, but I felt like me and I received so many compliments on it.”

Of their photographer, Rachel and Jay loved every minute. “Nadia was a fantastic, relaxed photographer. Whilst her specialty is family photography, we went with Nadia as we loved her style and the fact that she shot quite a lot on film which we love.”

Celebrations continued inside, guests seated at long tables. “I love florals hanging from the ceiling” explains Rachel. “I’d have a floral roof if money was no object. Again our gorgeous florist made a few hanging installations for us which were lovely and within our overall budget. I also didn’t want too much waste, so we reused florals from the ceremony at the reception venue (on the same grounds). Also, our florist arranged the donation of all our flowers to a nursing home in our area which was so lovely and well received by them. That was really special for us.”

Of course, Rachel and Jay’s favourite four-legged friend had to be included! “We have an Australian Shepherd dog, Max. He is 2 but he is a little bit (read, a lot) of a troublemaker, plus dogs were not permitted at our venue. It was important for us to include him in the day as he is truly our firstborn child and comes everywhere with us. So we had a cardboard, life-size cut out of him made and he attended the wedding that way. It was hilarious – he sat up at the signing table in the ceremony and made his way to the reception and even the dance floor.” The couple chose two candles to honour their six passed grandparents.

For their first dance, Rachel & Jay chose “You & Me” by Penny and the Quarters. “The song is in Blue Valentine, a film we both love” explains Rachel. “It’s a depressing film, however, the scene this is played in isn’t. We thought the song was a cute and slow-paced first dance song as we had no clue what we were doing.”

Congratulations to you both Rachel & Jay! Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding day stories and thank you to Nadia Stone Photography for sharing this one with us!