The joy-filled, colour explosion, stripped back festivities to celebrate the “Party of Parkes” was exactly what Jemima and Chad had in mind when planning their nuptials.
With their baby boy, Banjo as the guest of honour, their closest friends and family descended on the rural town of Dubbo where they call home. They dolled up at The Repose before hosting their guests at the Macquarie Club for ‘I do’s’, bowls and bubbly.
Dubbo’s most creative wedding vendors were responsible for bringing their vision to life and making everyone involved smile ear-to-ear.
How did you both meet? We worked together at the local high school. Chad works for Clontarf (mentors young Indigenous boys) and I was the new circus/art teacher. We both stood out to each other with our ginger hair and eccentric clothes. Chad invited me over for a crafternoon…
The venue: We liked the idea of stripping a wedding back to a family friendly party. We live in a small town just outside of Dubbo but we knew people would struggle to find accommodation. The Macquarie bowling club is in a great location on the Macquarie River, and the idea of having an activity for everyone seemed fantastic. When we originally asked if we could get married there the staff laughed in shock. The groundskeeper took great pride in mowing the back paddock for us and the venue ended up being the perfect place for our special day.
Wedding vibe: The original theme was “nothing fancy, just love”. I knew I wanted to keep the colours bright and bold (like us), however I didn’t want to blow our budget. I reached out to local vendors and hired disco balls, our incredible balloon arbour, dried flowers and then bought ribbon from a local print shop. As an art teacher I love playing with colour and I was so proud of the final vision.
Traditions: adopted, adapted or ditched? So, as this was both our second wedding we really did away with any tradition. We had our 9month old son head down the aisle with our nephew in a toy car. Then my best friend walked me down the aisle to Queens – You’re my best friend. We then asked our dads to be ring bearers, our mothers witnesses and then our little sisters (9,11) and nephews (9,11) and my step dad to do the readings. They were incredibly sentimental and very fun. We also included a hand binding moment where my best friend tied the knot over our hand with a collection of bright ribbons plated together.
The outfits: My best friend bought me an incredible multicoloured hand beaded headpiece from Florence and I based everything around it. Chad and Banjo were in casual linen with pale blue to pop against the pinks and orange in the backdrop. I really struggled finding a dress I felt comfortable in. Living regionally, I found three dresses online. I wasn’t happy with the first two and then the week before I found her. I purchased a dress online from Mossman. A local seamstress took in the sleeves and shoulders for me. And it was beautiful. I felt it gave me a flattering shape, I could still breastfeed Banjo in it and it had a vintage Hollywood aesthetic.
Standout vendors: Tipi Creative Co put together our fabulous neon Mr & Mrs sign with the balloon and streamers backdrop. La Petite Fleuriste made our dried flower arrangements the week before, Nicole Drew took our incredible photographs. Peggy and Twig, another local artisan made our earrings and I have to mention our accomodation The Repose for the exquisite location for prep and reveal photography. My hairstylist, Grace Brennan and Make up artist, Donna Maree made myself and my four girlfriends feel glamorous and on point.
Soundtrack: We walked down the aisle to “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen. When we signed our certificate we played “Two Strong Hearts” by John Farnham as it was the song I listened to throughout my pregnancy, and our just married song was “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates. Special shout-out to my uncle who sang “Don’t Worry Be Happy” and he included a personalised verse.
I’ll always remember: Looking out at dusk seeing our “festival of friends”. Family and friends playing bowls, enjoying our bbq, dancing to the music and taking photos with each other.
Hit or near miss: Chad couldn’t find the keys to open the BBQ for 3 hours. Everyone was waiting for a feed but he didn’t realise my friend had the keys the whole time.
Word of wedding wisdom: Just have fun! Remember everyone is there for you, so lean in to whatever style represents the two of you, don’t try to copy other people. The best kind of event emulates your identities. Also, don’t be afraid of children at weddings. They find the whole event magical and bring a vibrancy to the air that is wholesome and playful.
CREDITS: Photos Nicole Drew Photography // Florist La Petite Fleuriste // Venue The Macquarie Club Dubbo // Accommodation The Repose // Celebrant Sue Curly // Bride’s Gown Mossman // Bride’s shoes Steve Madden // Bride’s earrings Peggy & Twig // Groom’s suit Taraocash // Rings Sarah Gardner Fine Jewellery // Hair Haair by Grace Brennan // Makeup Makeup by Donna Maree // Cake Lucy Burns and Mitch Smith // Signage All Source Creative // Furniture hire Tipi Creative