When Jaytika and Fergus crossed paths at a music festival in 2018 their connection was instant. And despite always living in separate cities, they kept their spark alive and eventually married at Holy Red Deer Estate – a charming and historic venue just outside Brisbane.
As veteran wedding guests (“We’ve been to a LOT of weddings, and I mean a LOT”, said Jaytika) they had a fairly clear idea of how they wanted their QLD wedding to play out – and it was good (think outdoor party vibes, picnics and zero awkward traditions). Beautifully captured by Alcorn Images, check out the entire day below.
How did you and Fergus meet? We met volunteering with Red Frogs at Big Pineapple Music Festival in 2018! I couldn’t help but notice that Ferg was a person who had time for everyone and was so easy to talk and laugh with, it instantly felt like we had been best friends forever.
The proposal: It was a surprise in the sense that I could not believe it was actually happening! We knew we wanted to get married and had chatted about it a lot but Ferg was set on it being a complete surprise! He knew that if he suggested we do something, I would be suspicious straight away so he organised one of our friends to plan a “birthday hang” at this beautiful spot on the beach where we often have bonfires and sunset picnics with friends so it wasn’t out of the ordinary for us to do that!
I had my suspicions (mainly because our friends birthday was in December and it was September hehe) but my family did a great job at talking me out of it! Ferg proposed at this beautiful boardwalk that we’ve sat on many times, and we were both crying before we even got up there once I realised it was actually happening!
He’d then planned for us to have cocktails and dinner with our best friends in Noosa, and then a few nights away at this quirky hotel in Mooloolaba that I had told him heaps of times that I always wanted to stay at because it looked so retro and vibey! Honestly I was so blown away by the triple surprise proposal, it was genuinely perfect.
The venue: We’ve been to a LOT of weddings, and I mean a LOT. So we had a pretty clear idea of what we liked and didn’t like and what we wanted. We really wanted a venue where we could BYO all of our own vendors and somewhere that we could hire for a few days before and after. We needed somewhere not too far from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast and wanted an outdoor ceremony and reception and we needed it to be budget friendly.
HRDE literally ticked off every single thing on our list – and even more that we didn’t realise! They totally let us customise the entire wedding, while still having helpful tips for local vendors on hand and heaps of support and ideas.
The vibe: We honestly just wanted the vibes to be super us, and for it to be a PARTY! We wanted dresses that the girls could dance and eat in, and to have a few fun unique things that people remembered/loved (like the ice-cream cart!). I actually was so obsessed with the girls dresses that a lot of the rest of the style came from that!
The theme turned out to be kind of cottage-garden-party vibes but that slowly just came together as we picked vendors and locked things in, and right up until the day of I wasn’t sure it would all gel together. I was totally blown away by our pictures, and how amazing the style of everything looked together. We just picked things that we loved and (stressfully) hoped for the best. I genuinely cried when we got our sneak peak photos and I saw from a fresh perspective how our vision came to life and worked so well!
Hit or (near) miss: The funniest moment of the entire day was right before we entered our reception! We were waiting in the hall but when we went off to do our photos, I had gotten hundreds of bindies and prickles through the *many* layers of tulle in my dress. So right before we walked in, our HUGE (16 person large) bridal party all stood around me in a circle and helped pick all of the thorns out of my dress! It was a massive effort!
I’ll always remember… Listening to Ferg’s vows! It’s so beautiful listening to someone tell you how much they love you and make wonderful promises for your future. Also, the dance floor was probably my favourite part of the day! It was SO fun to have a really good boogie with all of our favourite people and our dance floor absolutely went off!
Traditions: adopted, adapted or ditched? We sidestepped so many traditions! I lost my biological dad when I was young and couldn’t decide between my grandfathers and step-dad who all played a huge part in raising me, so I organised to have my grandfathers walk me to the back of the aisle, where my mum and step-dad met us and walked me the rest of the way!
We didn’t do a father-daughter/mother-son dance, because we’ve always found them to be a little awkward at weddings! We also decided not to do the, “who gives this woman away” during our ceremony, because we felt that it was a little outdated!
The outfit/s: Ferg knew from long before we got engaged that he wanted a dark green suit! We searched heaven and earth for it and got told at every single store that, “you won’t find a suit that colour anywhere in Australia”. Literally, just when we were ready to give up, we went into a small stand alone store in Carindale and they told us they were getting one in the next week! It was the biggest miracle of the entire planning process!
I ended up with the gown that I had picked out as my favourite from The Veil Collective before I even went in! It was completely perfect for me, I loved how extravagant I felt in all my layers of tulle but also that the shape and style of the dress was simple and elegant, which fit the wedding style perfectly. My cottage princess twirly dress dreams were very fulfilled.
Standout vendors: Okay our photographer and videographer blew us away! You honestly spend your entire day with them so it’s really important that they’re people you get along with. Breony from Alcorn Images was so gentle and peaceful – I swear her peace radiates out to you all day, not to mention that her photos were absolutely PERFECT. They were more amazing than I ever imagined.
Cam, our videographer was the absolute most fun all day. He made us laugh all day and was such a joyful person to lift our spirits if we ever got tired or overwhelmed by the day!
Also, the girls at The Veil Collective really, really looked after me! They were so kind and helpful.
The soundtrack: We are very lucky to have some close friends who are beautiful musicians, and they sung all of the important songs of the day and night. For the rest (aka. our POPPIN’ d-floor) we used good ol’ Spotify! Aisle song: “Sweetest Thing”, by Allman Brown. Signing: “The Blessing”, by Elevation Worship. Recessional: “Home”, by Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeros. First Dance: “Lucky”, by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. Party Starter: “YEAH”, by Usher (special shout out to our friend Em Tay who played d-floor DJ at the last minute and this is her secret party starter recipe song!)
Words of wisdom: Don’t sweat the small stuff! I’m a stressful person by nature, and on the day everything goes at 100 miles an hour, and there was so many things you don’t even see or notice that you might spend weeks stressing about in the planning process! I think I could have saved myself so many hours of stress in the months planning our wedding if I knew this. My biggest advice to brides and grooms is to get a massage (or something similar) the week before your wedding. You will absolutely RELISH the one hour without having to answer texts or calls or make a decision or talk about the wedding!
The budget: We initially planned to spend 15k, but I think it turned out to be closer to 25-30k total! But that was because along the way there was things we decided not to DIY and were happy to find more money for. We were also incredibly blessed by both of our families contributing really generously and paying for most of the wedding.
The future: Living together! We’ve lived in different cities since we met, and it’s been so nice to not have to drive so far to see each other and to start creating a little home together. Next step is definitely a puppy!
CREDITS: Photos Alcorn Images // Video CJ Visuals // Celebrant Tom Birrell // Venue Holy Red Deer Estate // Florist Ruby Lane Co // Catering Parma Street Food // Stationery Fox and Fallow // Bride’s shoes Midas // Bridal gown Alena Lena Bridal via The Veil Collective // Veil The Veil Collective // Accessories Ayla and Oak // Bridesmaid dresses Sleeper // Groom’s suit Male Mannor // Groomsmen suits Connor // Ties Rodger David // Rings Ruusk and The Line of Sun // Hair Beauty by Beloved // Makeup Ru Makeup // Fur jacket Rae Studio // Grazing station Grazing by Noabirra // Ice-cream cart The Esk Fruit Shop // Furniture hire Avideas Event Hire.