This Yarra Valley wedding had its fair share of heartwarming moments (including Jessica and Tommy’s first look) but perhaps the most poignant was when their MC made an introduction using sign language for Jessica’s parents who are both deaf.
Captured by Bianca Virtue, other things we loved were the incredible floral arrangements by Ruby and James, the charming reception space at The Farm Yarra Valley and Jessica’s dress by One Day Bridal. Scroll down to check it out.
Jessica, how long have you and Tommy been together and how did you meet?
Our first date was at a coffee shop in Shoreditch, London. The date went so well we continued to a bar and shared some cocktails, then he met my friends and we watched the world cup at another bar. I then met his friends and we all went to his manager’s Halloween party.
When we met, I only had nine weeks left before I was moving back to Australia. Four weeks after our first date Tommy booked a one-way flight to Perth and now here we are almost five years later, happily married.
Can you tell us a bit about your proposal?
He told me he was planning us a big holiday including various locations and lots of experiences but I wasn’t to know where we were going. All I knew was that we would be in the UK to spend Christmas with his family. Our first stop was Perth, Tommy took me down to Elizabeth Quay, he found a perfect quiet spot by the water to pop the question.
Unfortunately, neither of us remember what he said, he was full of nerves (something I’ve never seen) and I was simply shocked! We then went to the C-Restaurant with a beautiful view of the city. After dinner we went to a bar where my best friend Jackson had organised all my friends to surprise me and the celebrations continued. The next day we were on a plane off to the UK to celebrate more.
Was your wedding in your home town or was it a destination wedding?
We had our wedding in the Yarra Valley, Victoria. Tommy is from the UK and I am from Perth but together with our fur child, Bruce, we have made Melbourne our home over the last four years. It wasn’t a hard choice to make, we both knew we had to have Bruce apart of our wedding.
How did you decide on the location of your wedding and the venue itself?
Neither of us wanted a traditional wedding or city lights, we knew we wanted most of the wedding to be outdoors, depending on the Melbourne weather. We hadn’t decided on a date yet and we weren’t proactively searching when I came across The Farm Yarra Valley on Instagram.
As soon as we arrived at The Farm for a show through and met Anthea, who was our wedding coordinator, we knew we wouldn’t be looking any further. The property was simply stunning, the red bricked farmhouse on top of a hill overlooking the gardens and vineyards was perfect for our reception and we choose to have the ceremony in front of a beautiful old barn. We also loved that they have a seasonal menu and use locally grown produce. Once we found the venue that’s when the real planning started.
In a few sentences, how would you describe your wedding?
Our wedding was the most perfect day/night for us. It felt dreamy and had a relaxing vibe to it. The entire day went smoothly, the ceremony wasn’t too long and didn’t feel too formal, the weather was perfect for our guests to sprawl out on the timber veranda and gardens for canapés with a live band playing in the background, ending the night with a big party and our friends throwing us in the air, we even missed our farewell song and had to continue the party back at the hotel where most of our guests were staying.
What are some of the most memorable and special moments of your wedding?
Our beautiful friend Matilda was one of our MC’s, in the lead up to the wedding Matilda asked me to teach her some Auslan so she could incorporate sign language in her opening introduction. In Auslan, she introduced herself and explained that she doesn’t usually use sign language but had specifically learnt for my parents (who are both deaf). She welcomed everyone and then handed the reigns back to the interpreter. I’ll never forget the surprised and joyful look on my parents face, a truly unforgettable moment.
Of course when Tommy and I shared our first look, I exited the car and with our closest family and bridal party watching on, Tommy turned around and we walked to each other. Tommy didn’t say a word, said he was trying not to cry. I was so excited to just get it all started and marry him.
Were there any traditions you did not partake in or any specific to your family or religion that were special to you?
We didn’t have a cake, no one mentioned anything.
What was your wedding budget? Did you stick to it? If not, how much extra did you spend?
We started at $40k then increased it to $50-$60k, we managed to stay just below $60k.
How many guests did you have?
Were you inspired by a particular wedding style or vibe when bringing your day to life?
We just wanted the day to feel relaxed, we wanted to incorporate personal touches of our home life that represent us as a couple. The Farm is so beautiful on its own it really didn’t need too much added to it. We kept it quite simple with earthly tones and flowers – lots of flowers with native elements which popped against the bridesmaids’ black dresses.
Did you partake in any DIY elements to your day?
I work at a Kindergarten and every rest time I would take a small group of children outside, we would collect dried leaves then use heart hole punches to make confetti. This was used for our flower girl Bella to toss as she walked down the aisle. I also did all the stationary and the wedding website, which was SO much fun to do!
Now that you’re married, what’s the best piece of advice you can give other couples in the middle of planning their own weddings?
If you are thinking about doing the first look, do it.
How did you find your dream team?
Instagram and word of mouth.
Do you have any standout suppliers that you would recommend in a heartbeat?
Ahh Ruby and James, we used the girls for their floral services. Beck and Jess made everything feel like such a breeze when working with them. We had 110% trust in them to deliver what we had visualised and they truly did. They put so much love, attention and detail in their work and they are both such beautiful genuine people, highly recommend these two.
Also, our very talented photographer Bianca Virtue. Need I say much more once you see her work! Bianca captured our wedding perfectly, she takes stunning candid photos capturing so much emotion without you even feeling her presence. She worked so well with our videographers, Daniel and Shannaya Films – the three of them as a team made the whole process so fun, relaxed and effortless.
Tell us about your dress/suit, how did you find it? What did you love about it?
I found my perfect dress at One Day Bridal. I had no idea what I wanted, Georgia was lovely in assisting me and she suggested a dress she thought would be perfect. She was right, it was perfect and so comfortable. We altered the dress slightly to make me look taller by lowering the V-cut in the front.
Tommy went with an all black tux, very timeless and handsome.
What are you most looking forward to now that you’re married?
Our Honeymoon, we had to postpone due to Covid.
CREDITS: Photos Bianca Virtue // Video Daniel and Shannaya Films // Venue The Farm Yarra Valley // Celebrant Sarita The Celebrant // Flowers Ruby and James // Bridal gown One Day Bridal // Bridesmaid dresses Bec and Bridge // Bridesmaid gifts Piyama // Grooms suit M.J. Bale // Rings Ellisi // Hair Monique De Vercelli // Makeup Isabella Quinn // Music Rutherford Entertainment and Belle Bangard // Wishing well Personalised Favours // Vases The Small Things Co. // Napkins Simmons Linen Hire // Favours Yarra Mist.