Michael and Jessica
We are passionate about family, friends and food and we wanted our wedding to be a weekend escape for guests to relax and enjoy and share in a special moment in time. Mavis’s Kitchen and Cabins at the base of the majestic Mt Warning in Uki, New South Wales provided the perfect setting for this to occur. The wedding started with a self-catered BBQ on the Saturday evening where all our family and friends pitched in to help, the wedding on Sunday and a breakfast on Monday morning. All our guests stayed either on the property or nearby and it created a beautiful close atmosphere… we didn’t have to leave the venue once we arrived on the Friday for anything. There was so much love and support around us from everyone all weekend. Our day was magical and we feel blessed to walk away from our wedding with a lifetime of priceless memories that will be with us forever.
Michael and I met eight years ago while studying at Newcastle University, NSW. Depending on which one of us you ask there’s still differing versions of the story of how we came to be together! Mine involves Michael giving me his number…..and …..I can’t remember his! But nevertheless we both feel there was magic in the air the night our paths crossed and we feel blessed to have spent the last 8 years growing up together, moving cities, finding our feet in our careers, traveling and cooking!
I wore a Wendy Makin gown from Bella Donna Brides. It was the first dress I tried on when Mum and I went for the first day to have a look and it was lace which reminded me of my grandmother and I just loved it, especially the back. My make up was done by Kate Caddle and my hair was done by Aleesha Darke. I chose both these ladies because they were based on the Gold Coast and traveled to the location. It was so lovely being able to sit on the deck of the Farm House and drink tea with the girls and both mothers while getting pampered. They were both so wonderful, particularly given I changed by mind on the hairstyle Aleesha had trialled. I gave her a few photos and she just did it on the day perfectly! Mavis’s has four beautiful, themed cabins onsite and the girls got ready in the main big Farm House and the boys at the Secret Cabin hidden up near the hill where the ceremony was.
I walked down the aisle to Passenger’s “I See Love”. It was outdoors at the top of a hill (still on the Mavis’s Kitchen property) and all day I had been weather watching as it was quite cloudy. I remember the photographers arriving and they soon put me at ease telling me clouds make for better photos – I was very relieved! When I got out of the car at the top of the hill and saw those huge dark clouds and patches of blue and silence up there. It was so dramatic and moving I will never forget it. The look on Dad’s face was awesome when he saw me at the cabin and it was really special walking down the aisle. I remember being so calm. We were joking together and it was so lovely and then I saw Michael at the end of the red carpet and lost it! Dad was very emotional too, not that he’d admit it! The Japanese host family I stayed with in Year 10 flew over for our wedding and they wore their kimonos to our ceremony which was very special.
Kitanobo Photography were amazing. We had seen their work in a photo book at Mavis’s Kitchen and knew they would be able to photograph such a unique location. Melissa and Atsuto were so calm and adaptable they captured so many special moments we didn’t see. We also didn’t want to be away from guests for long and wanted to mingle while getting photos not far away and they did a wonderful job at that.
We love collecting antique furniture and vintage goods. We didn’t really have a theme or colour scheme, we just wanted it to reflect us and it was a very vintage and DIY wedding with lots of love. We both have crafty mothers and our families helped us with all aspects of the decorations. I think my mum sewed 20m of bunting! Apart from our clothes, my hair and make up, entertainment and photos we did everything else ourselves. My parents searched op shops and junk yards for a year for props, old ladders, window frames for the seating table and old jars for decorations. My sister-in-law, brother and I handmade the invitations and name tags. Michael’s mother made the middle layer of our cake and Michael the top and my mother knitted the cake toppers. We made the chutney and jam for the gifts and my mother the materials for the tops and my sister-in-law the name cards that went on them as place cards.
Michael’s Aunty did our flowers and it is such a special memory from the wedding when she arrived on the Saturday and my bridesmaids and both families all started helping her take the greenery off and fill all the beautiful old crystal vases we had found for the tables. In my speech I spoke about our wedding gifts (the chutneys and jams) as a metaphor for our wedding- it took a community to make and was literally handcrafted with so much love from all generations across many families.
I handmade our guest book out of a beautiful photo/scrap book Michael had given me years ago. It started at our birth and went right through to the present day. Guests took a tag we made and wrote on it and I am now filling the rest of the book with the tags and wedding photos.
We baked all the dessert buffet cupcakes, friands and rocky road the Friday night we arrived at the venue. It seems crazy looking back for us to do so much and so close to the wedding, but we are proud of it and we know our guests knew the love and effort that went into every detail.
The reception was held in the main Mavis’s Kitchen and Cabins restaurant, a beautifully renovated Queenslander, which has the feel of going home to grandma’s for Sunday night dinner, warm, cosy and full of love. My father and all of our bridal party spoke, including me, and all the speeches were incredibly touching and humorous and then we danced the night away.
Before I got married I often wondered about the fascination with weddings… and their significance in our modern society… however, getting married and being at a wedding really does remind us of the power of the human spirit to love and the possibilities of life.
Images by Kitanobo Photography
Ms Gingham says: How sweet are those little handmade knitted cake toppers? What a crafty bunch you all are! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous wedding Jessica!
Jessica says: “My name is Jess and I recently got married to a tall, dark and handsome devil and spent a delightful four weeks trekking around Europe. We’re now back to reality and I’m struggling with an instant name change…it’s hard! “