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Not one to beat around the bush, Jess, one of our brides from issue seven, is upfront with some handy advice. “Don’t DIY confetti!” she cheekily warns. “We made the confetti and cones ourselves – something I do not recommend doing, it takes a lot longer than you think!”

Tiny colourful round pieces of paper aside, their day was everything they’d imagined. Married inside their local Salvation Army Church by Joel’s dad, himself a Salvation Army Officer, Jess and Joel exchanged ‘I do’s’ before cheering their way back down the aisle, clearly eager to arrive at their reception, held at Sydney’s Simmer on the Bay, where they were in for a very pleasant surprise.

Jess, a self-professed ‘control freak’ explains, “I was worried about not being able to see the reception set up before the wedding day.” But having hired two of the wedding world’s most in demand vendors, Sheree from She Designs and Jardine Botanic Floral Styling, she needn’t have worried. “She is so incredibly creative and talented that walking into the reception venue on our wedding day was absolutely surreal”, says Jess of Sheree, who together with Jardine and Jess’s stepmum Angela from Urban Arrangement, had transformed their harbourside venue into a space reminiscent of a celestial beings hideout.

“We knew we wanted something that looked beautiful and glamorous but was relaxed and not formal”, says Jess,  adding how her and Joel handmade their photo booth backdrop, seating chart and menus. “We also made the place cards from giant ivy leaves growing in my backyard”, says Jess who called on a very talented friend from Salt and Light Calligraphy to neatly write on every single one.

A woman with serious style of her own she tells us, “I had originally wanted a long sleeve lace dress.  The first store I went to with my mum – Dressense Bridal at Miranda – I tried on a long sleeve lace dress and I knew it wasn’t for me. So I tried on a few others.  “Ubela” was the third one I tried. I didn’t take it off for over an hour that first visit.”

When asked to pinpoint her favourite part of their day, Jess is quick to name legendary photographer Lara Hotz. “The photo session – when we were able to be alone and chat to each other and just enjoy ourselves as husband and wife. And (of course) the dancing!.”

With a two-hour playlist pre-recorded by her brother, Jess and Joel partied until they’d burnt off every calorie of their butter cream wedding cake (topped off with a Communicake It cake toper). But getting to eat good food and dominate the dance floor wasn’t the only reason Jess and Joel decided to get hitched. “A friend of ours said to us before we were engaged – if you cannot wake up another morning and not have them there then you should get married.  So we did!”

Love this wedding? Check out this stunning real wedding that Lara Hotz, Jardine Botanic Floral Styling and She Designs also pulled off together.

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CREDITS Photos Lara Hotz // Bridal gown Rosa Clara via Dressense Bridal // Veil Dressense Bridal // Headpiece and jewellery Lovisa // Shoes Gilt // Flowers Urban Arrangement and Jardine Botanic Floral Styling // Rings Levendi // Bridesmaids dresses Sass & Bide and Howard Showers // Groom suit Farage // Grooms shoes Antoine Stanley via David Jones // Groomsmen suits and bow ties Spurling // Grooms bow ties Declic // Ceremony Menai Salvation Army Church, NSW // Reception and catering Simmer on the Bay, NSW // Cake topper Communicake It // Styling She Designs // Stationery Pinnacle Design Studio // Calligraphy Salt and Light Calligraphy // Hair and makeup Abbey Love // Cinematography Bec Wright // Transport Eleanor For Hire.