On the greyest of autumnal days, deep in the country setting of the beautiful Yarra Valley, there was colour – and plenty of it. Jake and Steven wanted a wedding that was not just about them, but about the love they have for their community, for the people who walk beside them every day through all the years and for all the laughter.

So with Rick Liston behind the camera and the beautiful Zonzo Estate, they planned a day that reflected every bit of who they are – right down to finding an amazing dream team who shared their vibe. And with all the jewel tones, the Champagne and the Italian feast of dreams, this was a day that lived up to every bit of the hype.

The couple’s story starts at university in 2014, Steven kicks off the tale. “After a week or so of texting and general getting to know each other, decided to catch up in person, for a coffee and a movie. To say I was shocked by Jake’s height was an understatement, but I was soon captivated by Jake’s charm, adorable dimples, infectious laugh and general lovability. As time has gone by, we have both grown to love and embrace the height difference, the complementary personalities and we try every day to make the other laugh and smile.”

And two grooms for these two means two proposals! Jake went first with a trip to Tasmania (his home turf) complete with a helicopter ride leading to a secluded beachside proposal off the coast of Hobart. And when I was Steven’s turn?  “I proposed about 6 months later, on a trip to the Redwood Forest in Warburton. I designed a custom wine bottle asking Jake to be my husband!”

Both Jake and Steven chose velvet jackets paired with black pants from Briggins. “We both chose crushed velvet tuxedos jackets, because why not?!” says Steven.  Jake donned midnight blue and Steven burgundy.

The couple dressed for the day together, and also exchanged gifts. “We had a very sweet moment together before heading to the ceremony where we exchanged letters about our excitement for the day. Jake also had some excellent jumpers made to mark the occasion (with husbands, est. 2023 embroidered on the front, and our initials on the cuff)”

The couple were instantly drawn to Yarra Valley winery Zonzo Estate for their wedding, “We fell in love with Zonzo Estate the first time we went” remembers Steven,  “I am Italian, so big family feasts are second nature to me. And they’re something Jake has fallen in love with. So having a big Italian feast that we all shared just felt very us!”

Floral Architecture created lush floral and greenery details for the wedding. “Alice and Rosie from Floral Architecture were an absolute dream to work with” raves Steven. “Every element was perfect! We wanted something simple, natural and elegant with small pops of neutral and earth tones. They understood our vision for the day and beautifully captured our style. ”

For their walk down the aisle, the couple chose Elle Goulding’s cover of Eva Cassidy’s “Fields of Gold”. Shares Steven “We both love British artists and this cover is just really beautiful. We both decided to break with tradition and have both our parents walk us down the aisle. Steven and his parents went down first, followed by Jake and his parents.”

Steven and Jake chose Damon Hughes to officiate their ceremony, noting  “We wanted our ceremony to have the perfect balance of love and humour – which our celebrant, Damon Hughes, achieved beautifully. We were hoping for tears, both from the sweet and tender moments and the funny moments. We chose personalised vows and readings that had sentimental values to us.”

Steven has this to share for wedding advice. “For planning. An Excel spreadsheet never goes astray. And when trying to write your vows, start a note early and add to it little by little over time.

Enjoy the little things that make you fall in love with one another every day. Even if it’s just cuddling up on the couch to a good tv show or movie. Wedding planning can be stressful, but you’re a team, so don’t be afraid to work through it together. And try to enjoy the process – maybe even with a glass of wine.”

“Rick was an absolute dream of a human being to work with!” remembers Steven. “He made us feel comfortable and it shows in all of our photos. But it wasn’t just us that fell in love with Rick. Our niece was in complete awe with Rick for the whole day (and I think he’d fallen in love with her too). He gave us such incredible advice in the lead-up to the wedding. Small touches that made the day even more special and photos that we’ll never forget.”

Jake had his sister Sarah and best friend Bron as his groom’s ladies, both dressed in deep emerald green gowns, while Steven’s groom’s ladies were his sisters Nicole & Nat dressed in navy blue.

The couple’s wedding cake was a berry-drizzled beauty by Ladybird Cakes, tasting the cake flavours one of Steven and Jake’s very favourite parts of wedding planning.

Steven and Jake made sure that their values were reflected in the day – right down to their dream team. “We chose all of our vendors because we thought their work was incredible and we were so glad to see gay representation in their portfolios. It was important to us to include vendors that support people like us!”

Every little detail of the day was carefully considered, right down to the wedding favours, explains Steven. “We decided against bonbonnière, and made a donation to Minus18 on behalf of all our guests. Not everyone LGBTQIA+ individual has the love and support of those around them as we do, and we wanted to provide opportunities to those that need it most.”

Like many parts of this wedding day, even the first dance wasn’t just about Steven and Jake, the pair explaining “We wanted the day to include everyone, so we did a group first dance. We chose “Missing Piece” by Vance Joy because it truly captures how we feel about one another. We make each other feel complete!”

A massive congratulations to you both Jake and Steven! Thank you for being so gracious in sharing your wedding day and its stories with us today. Thank you both and to Rick Liston for sharing today’s photographs with us.