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Anybody who has planned a wedding knows that it’s quite the rollercoaster. But despite playing a few rounds of the “who can yell the loudest and get as many words out before the other person does” game, for the better part Jess and Riz stayed cool, calm and collected in organising the ultimate DIY wedding. (First featured in our annual Real Wedding Special).

“Even though it was so much hard work, and at times we felt like we were never going to make it to our wedding day, we are so glad that we designed everything ourselves. To see the day come together as a true reflection of who we are as a couple made all of the hours of literal blood, sweat and tears worth it,” the couple tells us, adding they knew from the get-go that a traditional venue, where time and design space was limited, just wouldn’t do.

“We knew we wanted a space we could make to suit us perfectly. We wanted the whole thing outdoors, with all of our family and friends camping the night so that they were able to party until the early hours of the morning. We spent countless hours on Airbnb and Stayz looking for a property. After almost giving up, a family friend of Riz’s offered up their five acres in the Samford Valley. We went and checked it out and immediately knew it was the one,” says Jess, who wore a dazzling Judy Copley Couture dress and loved the idea of having a big, romantic party where the scenery would do the talking.

However, planning a DIY celebration on a private property definitely had its challenges. Having scribbled out and crunched up countless layouts and designs on paper, the pair made as much as they could by hand and happily employed the help of their friends and family – especially when it came to the reception and a pretty ‘powerful’ misjudgment.

“We had 100’s of metres of lights, a food truck and a live singer, and didn’t take into consideration how much power it would utilise. During the reception, the power cut out about 10 times, turning all of our lights off and stopping the singer in his tracks, but every time it happened, cheer and commotion erupted from our guests while everyone threw their hands in the air in joy. Every single time, someone would get up and reset the power and everyone would go back to eating, eagerly awaiting the power to cut out again.”

Certainly a benevolent bunch, this newly officiated pair say that basking in the intimate moments together is definitely one of their fave memories (all of which were captured by the lovely Trent and Jessie as well as cinematographer Joel Tronoff). “We looked out to all of our friends and family, and I remember turning to each other in awe and saying, ‘this is all for us’”.

Jess and Riz’s outdoor wedding was originally featured in our third annual Real Wedding Special, on sale now and stocked in newsagents nationally. Search for your nearest stockist via suburb or postcode here or shop online with Mag Nation or via the HM online store here.

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CREDITS Photographer Trent and Jessie // Cinematographer Joel Tronoff // Stylist, Props, Wedding Favours and Invitations Indigo and Ivy // Ceremony and Reception venue Samford Valley (Friend’s Property) // Catering Something for Catering // Grazing Table Gramercy Coffee // Food Trucks Something for Catering // Cake Tome // Props and Furniture Hire Tipi LuxeBrandition and Brisbane Events // Teepee and Tents Tipi Luxe and Pitch Luxury Camping // Lighting Pendle Party and Event Hire // Signage Arlo and Co // Entertainment Zeek Power // Celebrant David Webber Marriage Celebrant // Ring Paul Bodman // Grooms Wedding Band Argyle Jewellers // Bridal Gown Designer, Veil and Garter Judy Copley Couture // Brides Robe Natalija The Label // Bridesmaid Robes and Bride’s Lingerie Cotton On Body // Shoes Novo // Accessories Samantha Wills // Hair Hannah Willis // Bridesmaid Dresses Vincija // Bridesmaid Shoes ASOS // Groom and Groomsmen Suits H&M // Tie Ben Sherman // Shoes RM Williams // Watch Guess // Flower Girl Outfits Country Couture.