When the dire reality of online dating hits, sometimes all you need is a personal matchmaker. Thankfully for Jess and Rosie, their friend Emma was the one to step up to the task. To celebrate with connection, they hosted a whimsical summer wedding in Western Australia. The magical day was complete with live music, surprise visitors and late-night gelato. What more could you ask for?

Boogying the night away (and snapping shots in between laughter-filled conversations) was Zach Taylor Photography. He perfectly captured the whimsical nature of the day and eternalised the joy and love shared between everyone.

Jess and Rosie’s story started when both women complained to their mutual friend, Emma, about the woes of online dating. “We were introduced by our mutual friend, who was one of Rosie’s bridesmaids and wrote a poem she read at our wedding ceremony. Jess had been on the dating apps and complained to Emma one night about the dire state of affairs. Rosie had also been separately complaining to Emma about her dating life, so Emma suggested they connect. After much trepidation, Rosie sent Jess a very carefully crafted message that said, “Oh hai girl!”. We got to chatting, and the rest was history!”

“We were engaged in August 2021 at the Crown Towers after I organised a surprise weekend away for Jess, complete with giant letter balloons in a very fancy suite that spelled out “Will You Marry Me”. Margaritas were ready and waiting in the room, with a table full of gifts for Jess! The suite overlooked the Matagarup Bridge, and it was coincidently lit up in rainbow the night we were engaged!”

In her wedding party, Jess had a man-of-honour, Benjamin, two ‘bridesmen’ – Nicholas and Ryan and a bridesmaid, Enrica. Ben, Nick and Ryan wore oatmeal linen suites from Country Road, paired with brown leather belts and finished with crisp white shirts. Enrica wore a whimsical, made-to-measure, dusky pink vintage dress from Bojena King and a pair of Kate Spade earrings Jess and Rosie had gifted her earlier that day.

Jess wore the magical Calla Blanche Heidi dress, filled with delicate 3D flowers and hand beading that flowed down the train. She wore platinum Loeffler Randall penny mules, a Cult Gaia clutch and a Tania Maras Iris bridal hair comb in her hair. Her jewellery consisted of her Paspaley pearl pendant (a gift from Rosie for Jess’ 30th birthday) and a set of Allure South Sea Pearl stud earrings (a gift from Jess’ parents for her 30th birthday).

Both Jess and Rosie included the tradition of something new, something blue, something old and something borrowed. Jess wore her something new (a Swarovski infinity bracelet Rosie’s mum had given Jess and Rosie the night before). Her mum (Karen) carried her something blue, old and borrowed for her throughout the day, including a blue hanky and a watch and tie pin from Karen’s late mother and father, respectively.

Helping Rosie get ready was her wedding party, consisting of her man-of-honour, Matthew and bridesmaids – Emma, Elisabeth and Fiona. The bridesmaids wore the same made-to-measure vintage pink dresses as Enrica, complete with the same gifted earrings. Matt wore a matching oatmeal suit as the other bridesmen.

Rosie looked ethereal in her Clio gown by Kyha Studios, sparkling with the delicately beaded silver stars. To match the shimmer of her dress, she wore a pair of Rene Caovilla shoes, her Swarovski infinity bracelet and Tania Maras Stellar crystal hairpins. To complete her look, she wore a whimsical tulle veil from Harriette Gordon, pearl earrings by Linneys and wedding/engagement rings hand-crafted by Michael Quy.

For her something old, Rosie had her Anya Hindmarch Chubby Heart clutch, which she had used when she was Best Woman at her brother’s wedding. The something borrowed was a small blue pouch her late Nanna Mardie had made. And the something blue was a pair of tiny blue stud earrings.

The venue this pair chose was the magical Mandoon Estate in Western Australia. The ceremony took place on the lawn, surrounded by the manicured gardens, river and restored Roe’s family homestead. “Rosie’s grandmother, Rosalie Fitzhardinge (Nanna Mardie), was great friends with Dorothy Roe; when they were young Dorothy regularly invited Rosalie F to the Roe homestead at Caversham for weekends during the school term. Rosalie introduced her brother to Dorothy and they eventually married.”

Since it was February in Perth, the summer sun was beaming down on guests as they waited for the events to kick off. Luckily for them, Jess and Rosie had provided parasols for the ceremony to keep the harsh sun off their backs. The flowers created by Claire from The Flower Girl perfectly complimented the whimsical and summery vibes of the day. “Our flowers were one of the most magnificent elements of the day; Claire absolutely outdid herself with a magical arbour, which we had for the wedding ceremony and then repurposed at the reception. It was summery, ethereal, and the flowers were so fresh that bees were buzzing (in a very friendly manner) around it.”

Just before the ceremony started, they had two surprise guests join the party who wanted to show their appreciation (by eating) of the flowers. “There was a special surprise addition of two white ducks who decided to join us for the ceremony. They were very well-behaved, walking as a pair up and down the aisle while our guests waited for us, then very politely moving to one side while we both walked down the aisle. During the ceremony, they did rounds of the aisle, always together as a pair. They even hopped in with everyone for our photo at the end of the ceremony with all the guests!”

To signify the ceremony beginning, the live musician Alana Fay started singing “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys, for Rosie and her wedding party’s entrance. She then transitioned into “Previous Love” by James Morrison for Jess and her wedding party to walk. Throughout the ceremony, she sang the following: “Everlasting Light” by The Black Keys, “You’re Still The One” by Shania Twain, and for their exit song “Higher & Higher” by Jackie Wilson.

Magical, whimsical and full of love, beauty and joy is the only way to accurately describe this ceremony. “Emma did a beautiful reading of a poem she had written for us about our love journey. And we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect wedding celebrant – Kirk Goodsell has a lovely, warm and calming presence; he captured us both so well, told our story with such joy and love and created a real sense of togetherness.”

Keeping the day on track was their wedding planner, Kiera from The Little Things. “She was an absolute pleasure to deal with throughout the wedding planning process; on the day itself, nothing phased her. She has excellent contacts and recommendations in the industry. There were many moments when we said, “Thank goodness for Kiera”. Our wedding day was utterly magical, and Kiera absolutely nailed the brief! She even brought us gelato on the dance floor to make sure we got some. Kiera is an absolute legend, a wonderful wedding planner and a genuinely lovely human being!”

As guests prepared for the reception, Rosie, Jess and the wedding party stepped aside to take their portraits with their photographer, Zach. “He is an incredibly talented photographer; we were lucky to have him photograph our wedding. He was a joyful and calming presence on the day, who made us feel relaxed and at ease. Zach has a way of capturing the most special moments of the day without you even knowing he is there.”

Back at the reception location, guests had gotten comfortable and were enjoying the lawn games. Each seat had a lesbian flag gift that included a little note about the significance and importance of marriage to the LGBTQIA+ community, to inform guests of the significance of the day. Each table also had a crossword puzzle filled with clues about their relationship. The prize for the most correct answers submitted first was a pair of custom-made Jess & Rosie Lego figures for the whole table.

Throughout the night, they had a few special performances, including sister-in-law Fiona singing a beautiful acoustic rendition of “Two Strong Hearts” by John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John. Even as the sun dipped below the horizon, the summer heat hung around – which meant guests could enjoy some late-night gelato from The Mobile Gelato Cart for dessert alongside the gluten-free wedding cake made by Robyn’s Creative Cakes.

When it was time to put on their dancing shoes, Jess and Rosie had a wardrobe change. Jess slipped into a slinky Manning Cartell Time to Shine slip dress and a pair of shoes from Bared Footwear. Rosie changed into the ivory Rebecca Vallance Daphne mini-dress paired with silver Marc Jacobs shoes. Their first dance was filled with magical choreography by Ryan Gilkison from Gilkison’s Dance Studio. The newlyweds dance to the tunes of “Forever You And Me” by The Teskey Brothers. “After the first dance, the music transitioned into Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best”, and everyone hit the dancefloor!”

One of Rosie’s favourite memories from the night was hanging out on the dance floor, jamming to the tunes of Jess’ friend, DJ Bexx, with her new wife, friends and photographer Zach! “My favourite memory of Zack is when he was on the dance floor, both dancing and capturing us and our guests dancing away in beautiful strobe-like photos we didn’t even realise he was taking. Looking back through our photos really transports us back to our magical day, the best day of our lives, and we feel so lucky Zack has given us these photos of special memories and moments we will have forever. Zack was a pleasure to engage with throughout the entire process, and he did an incredibly swift turnaround with getting the photos back to us much sooner than we expected.”

Thanks to Zach Taylor for capturing and submitting this magical day. And a huge congratulations to Jess and Rosie on your whimsical, summery wedding!