After being together for over a decade, high school sweethearts Jack and Claire tied the knot on their family farm – surrounded by their loving friends and family. This poppy-coloured wedding was captured by Jasmine Dunn from Elk Avenue Creative.
They started planning their bright spring wedding across the globe, in Whistler, Canada. “I had won a helli-skiing ticket in a pub raffle to support the Aus bushfires. Jack got a ticket to come with me for his birthday and I had no idea he had planned on proposing that day,” Claire recalled their proposal story. “The weather was terrible so our tour got postponed to the following day. We had a beautiful bluebird day the next day and skied a couple of runs and were both so happy, truly having the best time. We stopped for lunch and Jack wanted to get photos in front of the helicopter. He bent the knee and I tackled him in the deep snow. Was not expecting it at all. The whole crew we were with were in on it and I had no idea. Was the best day!!”
OLT Media captured the cinematography perfectly on the day.
Claire wore her late grandmother’s sapphire ring as something blue and her mother’s wedding veil as something borrowed. She wore a gorgeous linen dress from & For Love to complement the relaxed nature of the day and allowed the more bright details to stand out. “The dress I wore on my wedding day was the first dress I tried on. I instantly fell in love with the feel of it and how I felt in it. I loved that it was linen and had pockets, and the sleeves/low back made it feel super special. I knew I could dance all night in it and that was important as I didn’t want to have to get changed to dance!”
The beautiful florals of the day were created by Flowers by Ellen (who happened to be one of her bridesmaids!), with the simple brief of ‘vibrant colour’ – and we think she nailed it. “She knew I didn’t want to go over the top with a lot of arrangements and decoration. My bouquet was stunning I was so in love with what she did on the day.”
Jack had a good idea of what he wanted to wear – and went on a mission to find it. His final look included an ivory linen jacket & waistcoat and deep blue pants from MJ Bale. “It was a beautiful suit and he felt a million bucks, but more importantly was super comfy in it.”
Before the ceremony, Claire, her dad and the wedding party spent their time on a dirt road watching the cows in a nearby paddock. They had hired a bus driver and a minivan to get down the aisle from here. “Our bus driver said he could only get our guests to the entry of the property, no further, as he was afraid the bus would get bogged. Jack’s older brother hired a minivan that morning and transferred all the guests down to where the ceremony and reception were being held. Everyone has so much fun making the day happen. There was no stress at all. It all came together and it was perfect. So much FUN!!!”
Helping her down the aisle, Claire had her dad walk her most of the way before her mum joined at the very end. They walked to the tune of “Simply The Best” by Noah Reid, sung live by Baker Boys Band.
It was important to Jack and Claire that there was a special mention of family members they had lost and couldn’t be there. The relaxed ceremony went by smoothly, thanks to their celebrant, Rosie. “She crafted the most amazing ceremony. We wanted it to be a huge celebration; we wanted to feel the buzz. All of our friends and family had been waiting to celebrate this day with us since we first got together over a decade ago. You could feel the warmth of everyone around us,” The couple described. “By the river, on the grass, in between the trees. Our bridal party stood with us for the first part and then were seated for the rest. It felt like we were surrounded, in a semi-circle almost, like getting a big hug from all 150 of our guests as we stood up there alone to tie the knot. It was brilliant. We felt so connected to where we were, who we were with, and even the people who weren’t there that we wish could have been.”
In Claire’s wedding party, she had Jordie, Grace, Ellen and Sinead. “I told the girls I’d like them to pick their own dresses. I wanted them to be super comfortable; I didn’t want to dress them in something they didn’t love or felt like they had to wear. The only brief was colour! They all chose a colour, and they looked so beautiful!!”
On the other hand, the groomsmen, Pete, Jake, James and Connor, needed a bit more help. “Jack picked a suit he liked and told the boys to go get fitted. Unlike the girls, they NEEDED the guidance and push to get themselves organised; they all wore navy suits and looked incredible.”
When asked about their photographer, this couple couldn’t have been more excited! “Jasmine is extraordinarily talented. We met once before the wedding to take some very belated engagement photos at our farm with our dogs. We were blown away at her ability to capture moments in the in-between and knew we had to have her for our wedding day. We didn’t want to pose for photos. We just wanted someone to capture the day. The moment, the vibe, just made us feel like we were back there when we looked at our photos in the future. She did that so so perfectly. She is truly amazing behind the lens and an even better human!! We have so much love for her.”
Once they’d finished their newlywed photos, Jack and Claire wandered over to the marquee set up for the reception. Riverina Party Hire set up the beautiful bright reception on the property. “Getting it set up early just to make sure the inside would be as dry as possible given the rain we were getting that week, they really went above and beyond!” Claire’s mother-in-law made their gorgeous cake – and isn’t it just the perfect addition?!
The venue they picked for the day was Jack’s older brother’s farm on the Murrumbidgee River. “It was so perfectly green and lush. Almost too green and lush!! We had 60ml of rain in the week leading up to the wedding. We were worried it was going to flood and be pouring, but not a single drop of rain fell on the day.”
For Claire, the five things that made this day so special were:
1. Seeing my big brother shed happy tears in the front row during the ceremony.
2. Having all our friends and family there to celebrate with us and feeling that electric love all around us.
3. Surprising Jack by getting the Canadian diamond jack proposed to me with set into my wedding band. He didn’t know I was doing that, and he thought it was super special.
4. Having dad, and mum walk me down the aisle.
5. Becoming Mrs MacKinnon 🙂
When asked about their vendors, they had this to say: “Our guests would not stop raving about our DJ (Vino & Vinyl), caterer (Marbull Catering) and band (Baker Boys Band). They did an incredible job, and we’re so lovely to work with. Betsy’s Goodbar also makes a KILLER Mackinnon Margi :)”
They chose “Beyond The Sea” by Bobby Darin for their first dance, performed live. “The song has always been a favourite of ours. A classic we always play in the car on road trips or at home. We wanted to choose a song the band could play live for us to dance to.”
Jack’s day was made special by: “How beautiful my wife looked and how much fun the day was after all the hard work that went into such a big event.”
A huge thanks to Jasmine from Elk Avenue for submitting this gorgeous couple – and congratulations Jack and Claire on this bright and lively event!