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High school sweethearts Jess and Dan (who you may recognise from our Real Wedding Special) did what most of us do upon graduating, they packed up shop and moved interstate to study and live the college life. Although Jess was based in Melbourne and Dan in Brisbane they were clearly never far from each others minds as Jess explains, “After a number of holiday re-kindlings of the heart we decided to give things a proper shot in 2008”

Eleven years after that fateful high school parting and fresh home from a trip to New York, Jess and Dan were having coffee at their local cafe when Dan popped the question. Jess recalls, “tears started streaming down my face.  I don’t think the poor waitress who delivered our coffees and quickly backed away knew whether Dan had just stolen or broken my heart (although we made sure she knew later!)”

Choosing to marry in their home state of Western Australia,  Jess says their decision to tie the knot at Wills Domain, an award winning winery north of Margaret River, was a no brainer. “Like many, we are massive fans of food and wine. After hearing wonderful things about Wills Domain and the appointment of the new head chef, Seth James, who had journeyed from a fave restaurant of ours in Melbourne, we were easily sold.”

Jess and Dan were also excited by the idea of having their nearest and dearest conduct their ceremony. “Living in Melbourne we didn’t have an opportunity to meet and get to know our celebrant until a month before the wedding. So we asked my sister Emma and Dan’s best friend Alex to host the ceremony… They led us into our written vows and rings exchange and then introduced the celebrant to do the minimum legal formalities.”

Soon they found themselves on a roll, casually tossing out almost every wedding tradition. “Although this wasn’t conventional it worked a treat and I can’t imagine doing it any other way!” says Jess of their decision to invite both families over for a “first look”. Of course there was also her dress – completely untraditional but so incredibly cool.

“My dress was so so special to me. Firstly, it was my Nan who spotted Sonia Cappellazzo and convinced me to visit. Secondly, it was an absolute ball working with Sonia. I love prints (all my dresses are prints!), florals and metallics and wanted to incorporate all of this into my dress. It just so happened that Sonia was experimenting with printing at that time and loved the idea of gold leaf foil. After many months of designing and deliberating – voilà!”

Other vendors who knocked it out of the park included their florist Rebecca Grace of Natural Art, and photographer Natasja Kremers whose work almost trumped the dazzling, bright blue water surrounding Point Piquet.

“Dunsborough (or more specifically Point Piquet) was the place Dan and I decided we would give the long distance thing a go those many years ago so as well as being amazingly beautiful with waters unlike any other place we have ever visited, it’s definitely a special spot for us.” Call us hopeless romantics but it seems some people really are just meant to be.

Sadly our Real Wedding Special is completely sold out but on the bright side, issue ten is currently on sale and available at selected newsagents nationally as well as online via Mag Nation. Love the work of photographic genius Natasja Kremers – click here and here for more fab real weddings.

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CREDITS Photos Natasja Kremers // Bridal gown Cappellazzo Couture // Shoes Badgley Mischka // Accessories Mimco // Hair Jasmine Bridal // Makeup Gemma Skane // Bridesmaids dresses Aje // Grooms suit Joe Black // Grooms shoes Loake //Stylist Aisle Style // Flowers Natural Art // Ceremony, reception and catering Wills Domain, WA //Cake Sweet on Cupcakes // Decorative elements Ikea, Dusk, BHLDN, Citta Designs and Jumbled // Prop / furniture hire Chic Ristique // Stationery Wedding Paper Divas // Entertainment Adam Hall & the Velvet Playboys // Celebrant Michelle Cooke.