A couple that works together and plays together, Jess and Ben first met a decade ago when Jess became Ben’s first full-time employee. Fast forward six years later, this duo set out on their four year long engagement (because you wouldn’t want to rush these things!) and their journey to lifelong love. “We had a couple of false starts, postponing our dates multiple times due to a few different reasons. However, in hindsight, it gave us extra time to get the farm prepared. We kept working on it until we were ready to share it with our family and friends in this way.”
The farm that the newlyweds speak of was a post-proposal decision they had made of wanting to buy some land. “It was our retreat to escape the city. Once we found it, we knew that’s where we wanted to grow old together and it made perfect sense that it would also be here we celebrated this love,” says the pair, who deliberately dubbed their nuptials a ‘Festival of Love’.
“We didn’t call it a wedding because we wanted it to be a weekend of celebrating our love for each other, friends and family included. The vibe we wanted to create was an atmosphere of fun, but also of ritual, of love and also of consciousness of the land around us,” says Jess, who was an absolute show-stopper in her George Wu gown.
Going along with their thoughtful theme, Jess and Ben invited their friends to ‘glamp’ on the property, they set up a coffee cart, had their chefs utilise the farm’s vegetable garden and opted for a tree registry rather than a gift registry, asking their guests to plant a tree rather than give them money. Truly a labour of love, this ridiculously crafty couple (who both hail from a web and graphic design background and own not one – but two – bars) did a heck of a lot of DIY.
“I think the question here should be is there anything we didn’t do ourselves! We created the signage, we built the bar the day before, we built the stage, we made our own napkins and table decorations. So many of our friends and family were involved in either performing or creating things for the day,” explains the bride, adding that camaraderie (and amazing photos by Stories by Ash) was plentiful at their celebration of love, and thereafter. “Most people wouldn’t describe us as the most organised people and one element that was left until the last minute was Ben’s ring. Our dear friend, Holly Ryan, saved the day. Literally in the days before – but the funny part is, Ben measured the wrong finger and it was slightly too big! So the day after the ceremony, we had an emu parade of guests searching the paddock, inch by inch, to find his ring…which he’d lost within 24 hours! Safe to say that method works!”
Jess and Ben’s Byron Bay 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.
CREDITS Photographer Stories by Ash // Stylist Sarah Birchley // Stationery and Signage Jessica Huddart from Josephmark // Printer The Hungry Workshop // Ceremony and Reception Venue The Falls Farm, QLD // Decorative Elements Everglo // Additional Furniture Alfie’s Event Hire // Teepee Tipiluxe // Lighting and Sound Hire ASV Audio Visual Hire // Brides Wedding Band Catbird, NYC. // Grooms Wedding Band Holly Ryan Jewellery // Guest Glamping Pitch Luxury Camping // Bride’s Accommodation Smith House // Bridal Gown Designer George Wu // Shoes Valentino via Net-a-Porter // Makeup Gemma Elaine // Suit and Tie The Cloakroom // Cufflinks Codis Maya ‘Capsule // Shoes RM Williams // Socks Happy Socks // Barber and Hairstylist Hair by Iggy.