Jess & Kevin
Married at The Farm in the Yarra Valley, Jess and Kevin kept things simple and stunning. Wearing an elegant Karen WIllis Holmes gown, and keeping all the florals classic white and glossy green, Canadian Kevin and Australian Jess said ‘I do’ surrounded by family and friends. Smith + Archer captured the day. Meeting on a tour of Greece, Jess and Kevin fell for each other quickly. The bride remembers, ”We met when we were in the same tour group for two weeks. We were talking about how we should visit each other’s countries and 4 months later Kev actually did! After that trip we decided to be together and haven’t been apart since.”
An elegant Karen Willis Holmes gown set the tone of the day. Jess tells, ”I wore a ballgown, I wanted something very ‘clean’ looking, no sequins or lace or anything. I had to line up my wedding dress shopping with a visit home to Australia over Christmas (as the last two years we have spent living mostly in Canada). I went to two stores in Melbourne, but just loved the ballgown so much. It just suited me so well and had the simple, and elegant look I wanted. I also felt so comfortable and confident that the team at Karen Willis Holmes would have my dress made, and it would be waiting for me when we returned for the wedding. It really took a lot of the stress out, knowing that they had it totally covered. The bolo ties that Kev and his groomsmen wore were really special. They weren’t a fashion statement or anything. Kev wanted to wear one because growing up his Dad would wear them to special occasions. As his parents couldn’t make the trip he wanted to include this detail in the day.”
Under a rustic arbour covered with white flowers, and outdoors, the bride and groom were married. For Jess and Kevin, they share, ”We wanted our ceremony to be romantic and lighthearted. Megan Thompson wrote an amazing speech. Everyone commented how well she spoke – giving everyone an insight into our story. It was a very sweet ceremony, I spent the whole time trying not to cry. It was so special. Our vows to one another were beautiful. We each wrote our own and without ever sharing them, they complimented one another so well.” The bride walked down the aisle to ‘Mango Tree’ by Angus and Julia Stone.
Although they were planning the wedding from Canada, Jess and Kevin dabbled in some DIY. They tell, ”Our ‘guestbook’ was postcards and a mailbox. We chose all the postcards and put fake stamps on them. For the most part we hired talented, professional vendors and let them do their thing. Every single person on our team exceeded our expectations- they really were outstanding.”
Complementing Jess’ ballgown and the bridesmaids classic, black midi dresses, the bridal party carried bright white and glossy green flowers. Jess shares, ”I wanted all white flowers with dark foliage. I wanted the flowers to look big and romantic but not too classically elegant. I Heart Flowers took that and created something gorgeous. My bouquet especially was everything I had hoped for, it fulfilled all my dreams of a ‘big’ bouquet – it was a workout carrying it but a work of art!”
For Jess and Kevin, choosing a photographer was as easy as pie! They share, ”Smith + Archer was just amazing. From literally day one (Ali skyped with us to meet as we were in Canada at the time)! She was our first choice, the first vendor we booked and we never went looking for a second option. Her help constructing a timeline for the day was invaluable, as were all her helpful tips she shared prior to the big day. We felt so prepared, and so confident in her ability to capture the day – there was never any stress there. On the day she was so friendly and it felt so easy spending the day with her. She took so many lovely candid photos of our guests, it has been so fun going through her photos.”
Booking vendors and making big decisions during their holiday in Australia meant the bride and groom relied on their chosen team to set the tone for the day, with The Farm Yarra Valley doing a superb job. Jess tells, ”We just fell in love with the venue. We went to four places, with The Farm being the last. After meeting with Anthea we just knew it was the right place. She was so professional and the whole team is so incredibly talented and competent. We felt 100% comfortable leaving our day in their hands – so important when we were planning it from overseas. We knew it would be so beautiful on the day with such an excellent team. We wanted to book it on the spot – but Anthea made us think about it overnight. We never had any doubts. The atmosphere was fairly relaxed, we had a canape reception and everyone spent the warm summer evening on the lawn together.”
Bringing in some influence from Canada, the newlyweds first dance held a story. The bride remembers, ”We had our musician play an acoustic cover of ‘Fishin’ in The Dark’ by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It’s a country song that is a classic in Canada (think ‘You’re The Voice’ level of popularity). It was on a lot when we’d go out dancing together when Kev first took me to Canada, and it became our song. Isaac (our musician) said it was the ‘most country first dance song I’ve ever been asked to learn’. We loved dancing together the whole night. We had Isaac play a mix of country and pop songs, we spent so much of the night two-stepping together.”
Left to thoroughly enjoy their wedding day, rather than worry about the details, Jess and Kevin are profusely grateful to all who pulled their celebration together. They tell, ”Literally all our vendors were AMAZING. Where to start, The Farm Yarra Valley was so professional and accommodating – the food and service was just outstanding (they even made an extra off the menu dish just for my vegetarian bridesmaids to ensure they had enough to eat). We never had to make any decisions on the day – it was all just handled for us. The same goes for Smith + Archer, Lunar Red Films and Main Entertainment (our photographer, videographer and musician/DJ/MC). I had zero stress on the day because all our vendors were working behind the scenes to make sure everything ran perfect. It did!”
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