Jess & Luke
It was a beautiful Summer day in the vineyards when Jess and Luke celebrated their modern Coombe Yarra Valley wedding. Their day beautifully blended old and new – the venue itself, housing a historic homestead and modern reception space, beautifully mirroring the elements of the day so carefully curated by the bride and groom. The couple chose Daniel Brannan to capture their magic.
“In terms of tradition, I wore a sapphire and diamond ring of my mum’s down the aisle, and for the entire wedding as my something borrowed. She also surprised me when we picked up my dress, as she had had Jason make a garter for me to wear on the day with lace from her veil and a blue ribbon from my old ballet shoes, as my something old and something blue. They were very special details to me that I am so glad we included.”
Jess chose Jason Grech to create her wedding gown, noting “The story of my dress was an interesting one! Despite meeting with the final designer at the beginning of the dress journey, the age old “to make or to buy made” debate was had internally, and “to buy made” won. Right from the minute of purchase though, something didn’t sit right with me and I knew that I needed to look at other options. Luke was supportive, and so I met with the wonderful Jason Grech very late in the planning game and he committed to making me the dress of my dreams in just four weeks. After quite a negative experience with the first dress, my experience with Jason Grech was nothing short of magic. I met with him three times a week (my mum attended every visit), and watched my dress grow from a few strips of fabric to the dress I adored on my wedding day. The experience I had with Jason’s team was what I had always dreamt of. There was laughter, champagne, and tears with most fittings, and I truly felt that this team were invested in making me feel truly beautiful.”
The bridal party was of particular importance to the bride, who tells ” I had Ashlee &, Lydia (my high school best friends), Steph (my cousin), Alicia (my friend). It should be noted, Alicia had an emergency C-section 3 days before the wedding, and still managed to drive a 4-hour return trip, with new baby in hand just to watch our 20-minute ceremony, so many tears when she arrived!),
“We also took a gorgeous vintage Bentley to the wedding, which had to be jump-started by my poor sweating dad in 36 degree Celsius heat before we could leave. Then, to conserve said battery, we had to have airconditioning off as we climbed the steep hill for a very warm 15-minute drive to the venue. Our driver Frank was so gorgeous and good humoured and had ice water in the car for us, and this is now a funny memory with my mum and dad who were in the car with me.”
Of her walk down the aisle, Jess remembers “I walked to “Marry Me” by Train. We chose it on a drive together one day. My mum and dad both walked me down the aisle, which was really important and special to me.”
Alison Box officiated the ceremony, the bride noting “For our ceremony, we really wanted it to be the one occasion where we were raw, and personal, and said exactly what we felt needed to be said. We wrote our own vows and had two readings: Union by Robert Fulghum, read by our friend Xavier, and The Art of Good Marriage by Wilferd Peterson, read by my cousin Eliza. We cried a lot, and laughed a lot, and paused while the best man cried some more. It was perfect.”
“We originally were scared of writing our own vows, to be so candid in front of so many people. But I am so glad she encouraged us to personalise a little, and then to personalise some more. Our guests commented on how full of love our ceremony was, and I feel like Alison encouraged us to be brave enough to share that with everyone.”
Jess and Luke chose Coombe, The Melba Estate for their wedding, noting “We loved the location of Coombe, with it being in the Yarra Valley wine region, but loved that the grounds themselves were so elegant and so different to the other winery venues we had visited.”
Of their photographer, the bride remarks “We chose Dan because of the images of his that we had seen that captured not “here I am, posing at a wedding”, but rather hidden tears, stolen hugs and spontaneous laughter. It’s hard to pick a favourite image because I feel that in each stage of the day, from getting ready, to vows, speeches and partying at the end of the night, our photos all seem to capture the pure essence of a wedding, the incandescent happiness of that day.”
The bride adding “What can we say. The night we got engaged in New York City, once Luke was asleep (and blissfully unaware the planning had begun!), I contacted Dan and said: “I don’t know when, or where, but we know, you!”. I had loved his images on social media and knew immediately that when the time came, he would be the one we contacted. He is so lovely, and professional, and so wonderfully blends into the background of the business of the day, while at the same time making you comfortable and building a quick rapport with everyone around him. All of this lends to his ability to capture such natural, candid moments. The most compliments we have received of our wedding are of how stunning the photos are, and we could not have been happier with our choice in Dan.”
Sweet Empire made the delicious wedding cake, Jess telling “We contacted Catherine two weeks before the wedding, after realising our previous baker had not actually committed to us, and she immediately took us in and reassured us all would be OK. The cake fitted our brief perfectly, was delicious and we enjoyed it for many days after on our mini-moon following the wedding.
The styling and florals on the day were left up to Tori Allen Events Jess noting “After much Instagram research, we decided to go with Tori Allen Events for our florals, and some of our styling as well. I gave them the brief of “whites and greens”, and left the rest of the planning to them. My one other request was that we have gold stands with foliage on all of our tables, and small vases and candles beneath to create an immediate wow factor when you entered the reception. The results were magical.”
“It is impossible to pick one detail that was my favourite. Each detail would not have the same impact without the presence of the others. The day was such a team effort, with styling, florals, food, wine, the gardens, our clothes, and traditions, and of course the people we shared it all with. Actually, I guess you could say that the people we had around us were my favourite part of the day.”
The first dance was one of the earlier decisions the couple made, Jess explaining “One of the first things we chose, I think even before the venue, was our first dance song. Sitting in our loungeroom one night, Luke asked if I would like “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, which made me cry when he played it. Our band played it live on the night (the guitarist and singer of our band was Luke’s highschool guitar teacher), and we had nothing rehearsed, just enjoyed that moment together. Not long into the song our parents were invited to join, and Luke and I had lovely moment for me to dance with my dad, and Luke to dance with his mum.”
Turbo Productions created this stunning film of the day, Jess explaining “Turbo Productions were amazing also, they ensured we had our highlight video by 1am that morning, so we could play it at the post-wedding brunch we had the next day.”
Congratulations on your marriage Jess & Luke! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to Daniel Brannan for sharing today’s gorgeous celebration!