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Wedspiration > Real Weddings > REAL WEDDING: Juliana + Jonathan – Pialligo Estate
Real Weddings
REAL WEDDING: Juliana + Jonathan – Pialligo Estate
There’s a lot to love about this Canberra wedding – the flowers, the surprise magician and the venue (to name only a few). But we’re most impressed by is this couple’s ballsy decision to ditch traditions (like a wedding party and ceremony readings) and do things their way.
Canberra wedding
Words by Sam
2 September 2021

Juliana and Jonathan took their own advice when planning their Canberra wedding at Pialligo Estate by turning down any wedding traditions that didn’t fit in with what they ultimately wanted. That meant having an unplugged wedding ceremony and no formal wedding party, kindly asking kids to stay at home and making sure they were the last to leave the celebrations. They even had a magician that in Juliana’s words was not an “awkward, top hat magician” but a “stylish incredible magician who entertained our guests!”. Nailed it.

Captured by Corinna and Dylan, you can see the entire day below.


How did you and Jonathan meet? We met at a house party through a mutual friend while Jonathan was working. Jonathan was shy and reserved and I did all the talking! The thing I loved about Jonathan was his beautiful smile (and dimples), plus his warm heart and soft nature. Jonathan loved my outgoing nature, smile and confidence!

The proposal: Jonathan was waiting for the perfect moment for a long time. Then COVID hit and he realised that there was no better time. We had just installed a beautiful new fireplace in our house. So over Easter 2020, we decided to have a date night. We dressed up, Jonathan cooked a delicious roast and we pulled out our favourite wine. We played our favourite classical music and had a beautiful dance in front of the fire. It was perfect, intimate and just how we both imagined it.

Wedding venue: We really wanted a venue that had it all! Nobody had to drive to different locations and we got married in olive groves which were on-site and it literally felt like we were in Italy (Jonathan’s heritage).

Most of our family and friends are located in Canberra so we really wanted somewhere that was easily accessible without the need to travel and spend money for accommodation. We know how expensive that can get! We also wanted everyone to be well fed so as soon as the ceremony was finished, there were charcuterie platters ready as well as lots of alcohol! We wanted an epic party which was exactly what it was

The vibe: Modern, simplistic, fun, intimate and bright. We really wanted our flowers to be the big impact, bold statement (bright orange, red and pinks).

We also wanted the ceremony to be super engaging which was why we chose our amazing celebrant. The ceremony was intimate alright – we may be bias but it was such an intense and intimate moment. Ultimately, we wanted everyone to have so much fun and for our wedding to be one to remember!

Traditions: adopted, adapted or ditched? We really wanted to do our own thing and barely followed any traditions.

1. We had no bridesmaids or groomsmen. We found it really hard to pick our top friends and really didn’t want to. It also made it a little less stressful and it meant that the ceremony was really just about us. Probably one of our best decisions we made and we made it really early on so there was no second guessing.

2. We didn’t want any readings at our ceremony. We felt that it made it extremely personal and all about just us, our vows and our commitment to each other. It also meant that our ceremony didn’t go for too long (or wasn’t too short either).

3. No photos at the ceremony, everyone was really invested in us and it was such an intimate ceremony. Highly recommend.

4. Instead of joining the rest of the guests or having a bridal table, we had our own perfect little sweetheart table. It was actually so nice to sit together and chat between all of the speeches and photos and have ‘us’ moments.

5. We had a magician! Yep, not like an awkward, top hat magician but like a stylish, incredible magician who entertained our guests! It was such a great icebreaker and he also doubled up as our MC!

6. Speaking of MC, we hired our MC which meant we didn’t need to ask a family member or friend to work on our day! He was a total professional.

7. Yep, Juliana totally smashed cake into Jonathan’s face (old school) but man they were the best photos!

8. We surprised everyone with our own choreographed dance. We did a lovely (boring) dance until the chorus of the song where we did lifts, spins and it was epic!

9. We didn’t leave before the end of the wedding. Why would you leave your own party? We were the last ones to leave our wedding and that last hour was amazing. We really got to speak to anyone we didn’t get a chance to have a chat with properly and say a big thank you to all.

10. We asked for no kids throughout the wedding and we are so glad we did! All parents got the night off to let their hair down!

11. Even though we didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen, we still asked our best friends to speak. It was really special and we were so glad that we did!

Hit or near miss: Literally nothing went wrong! Sounds cliché but we can’t think of anything that was hilarious or didn’t go as planned!

I’ll always remember… Walking down that aisle and sharing that moment just looking into each other’s eyes. After the ceremony we sat down and just took it all in. That was amazing.

The outfit/s: Jonathan wanted the modern version of the classic tux, which was exactly what we got. We felt that black was a bit too harsh, yet the navy made him look stylish. We also wanted to go with the big black butterfly bow tie (Tom Ford style) to make a statement but to help with his broad shoulders. Jonathan looked just like the most important man in the room.

I didn’t want a dress that was ‘too much’. I wanted to look really simple, modern but have a small statement. So the one off the shoulder was perfect for it to be a bit different. I was also really comfortable (important) all day and could comfortably move and dance. I felt the most beautiful I have ever felt.

Standout vendors: OMG seriously all of them!

  • Photographer: Corinna and Dylan – felt like they were one of our guests! Everyone has commented that our photos should be on the cover of a magazine, that’s how good they are!
  • Flowers: Laurel + Lace – seriously the flowers were more beautiful than I could imagine!
  • Cake: Ali King – she is one of my best friends and is THE goddess of deserts. She went big yet simple.
  • Hair: Kate Lily – my hair is thick and heavy and is really quite hard to tame. Kate smashed it and gave me the old school classic curls (and it didn’t move all day).
  • Make-up: Jessica Peris – she is the best makeup artist in Canberra! Simple yet glam, the perfect bridal makeup.
  • DJ: Reinhold Kamilo (Rokusiq) – switched from acoustic to an epic DJ.
  • Acoustic: Mickey – Mickey is an amazing singer songwriter who has the voice of an angel.
  • Dress: Wendy Makin Bridal (purchased from Annabel’s Bridal Studio) – affordable and comfortable.
  • Entertainment: Michael Webb Magic – Magician!
  • Celebrant: Amelia Haddock – she was totally our vibe!

Soundtrack: We decided to play mostly RnB which is what we love the whole night, it was a huge hit! Felt like we were back in the nightclubs.

  • Aisle: “Falling Like The Stars” by Amber Leigh Irish.
  • Signing: “Love Me Tender” Norah Jones version.
  • Recessional: “I Found You” by Calvin Harris.
  • Entrance: “This Is How We Do It” by Montell.
  • First Dance: In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young.
  • Cutting cake: Let’s Get Married” by Jagged Edge.
  • Bouquet toss: “Candy Man” by Christina Aguilera.
  • Last song (seriously this was the biggest hit): Can’t Fight The Moonlight” by Leanne Rimes.

Words of wedding wisdom: Best piece of wisdom is to do whatever you want to do for your wedding. Don’t feel pressured to do all of the old fashioned traditional things – make it yours and you won’t regret it.

Budget: $35,000. That was our budget and we didn’t go much over. We did everything we wanted and more in a really cost effective way! Wedding dress, shoes, jewellery was pretty cheap, and were able to get some cost effective vendors too.

The future: Having beautiful babies and sharing epic adventures!

Canberra wedding

CREDITS: Photos Corinna and Dylan // Venue and catering Pialligo Estate // Celebrant Amelia Haddock // Flowers and candles Laurel and Lace // Cake Ali King // Stationery Refined Designs // Bridal gown Wendy Makin via Annabel’s Bridal Studio // Brides shoes Nine West // Earrings Studio Tyly via Etsy // Grooms suit M.J. Bale // Bow tie RessoRoth via Etsy // Rings Harlequine Jewellers and Unique Diamonds // Hair Kate Lily // Makeup Jessica Peris // Music Micky and Rok Musiq // Magician Michael Webb Magic // Signage and wedding favours Blaze Displays // Robes/PJs Bras n’ Things.


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