How did you meet your partner? I met Ben through mutual high school friends in year 10/11. We would attend parties together, but it wasn’t until year 12 that Ben finally worked up the courage to talk to me and invite me to his formal (over Myspace and MSN messenger ... haha) and that’s how it all began.
How long have you been together? 9 years
Do you have a proposal story? Yes, Ben and I had planned to travel to England with his Parents and Nanna in September of 2015 to take his Nanna back to where she was born. We planned to break away to visit Paris on our own for a week whilst his parents and Nanna toured parts of the UK together. Little did I know, Ben had secretly planned a trip inside our little trip away – to take me to my dream destination and one place in the world I have always wanted to visit is Venice, Italy.
It was a complete surprise, and I remember crying at the dinner table of this amazing Parisian restaurant when he told me. So we left Paris at dawn the next morning and when we got to Venice I was in my element. We strolled the streets, exploring for the day and planned what we were going to do for the time we were there. We decided we would get ready, take a nice walk and then go out somewhere for a romantic dinner. During our walk, Ben had picked a moment he felt was right and began a little speech – me being in my own Venetian world did not catch on and instead replied to his 'I want to start new adventures with you' with an 'okay! What should we do!...' rattling off all these ideas of things we can do. Clear to say – the moment passed. So after dinner, we went for a walk. Venice at night is incredible and all of the lanes were now empty. We strolled along the canals, exploring when we came to the Venetian theatre La Fenice. There were gondolas sailing under the bridge and the whole lane was filled with the Italian voice of a Gondolier singing. That’s when Ben dropped down on one knee and proposed. Cue the next 45 minutes of nonstop ugly crying by me.
What was your wedding date? 24th February 2017
Wedding Venue? Jaspers, Berry NSW.
What made you choose there? Ben’s family have a holiday house down the South Coast and it is a place that we just love and feel so relaxed.
How did you find it? Online – whilst searching for South Coast Venues and photographers blogs of South Coast Weddings.
How was the weather on the day? A Photographers delight, or so I’ve been told! It was sunny and warm during the morning but by the afternoon the clouds had rolled over and it was overcast but perfect from what I recall. It rained mid-reception which continued all night – but I loved that because it enhanced the magic of the venue for us both and we loved it.
The Wedding Details
Theme? We wanted a classic, minimalistic style that still reflected us and captured our personal style. Colour pallet; white, berry and greenery galore.
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Firstly, Pinterest was my best friend at 2am, 3am and 4am when I couldn’t sleep. But to be perfectly honest, I drew my inspiration for our day from 3 things.
1. Jaspers (the venue and gardens) inspiration just flows from every detail of each space and the gardens.
2. Our Save the Dates (stationery)
3. My stunning KWH wedding dress.
All of the other little touches and styling decisions stemmed as an extension of how it would work cohesively with those features as the foundation.
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? All other wedding stationery (excluding the Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations) Signage, Menu’s, Seating Plan etc. as well as the Photo table, dedicated to our grandparents that were no longer with us and the delicious Bomboniere (Sri Lankan Love Cake) which my dad’s fiancée helped by making and packaging for us.
Bridesmaids – who/relationship?
Madeline Smith – Best Friend
Stacy Jefferson – Big Sister
Alyssa Esguerra – Best Friend (met through dancing in Primary School)
Bianca Nobrega – Best Friend (met in High School)
Liesel Carter - Cousin
Groomsmen – who/relationship?
Paul Smith – Friend
Kaylon Soertsz – Jac’s Cousin
Andrew Avery – Younger Brother
Joel Dodson – High School Mate
Lewis Shepperd – High School Mate
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
Jacqueline looked stunning in our sequin 'Nerada' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection.
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? After many years of stalking KWH once I got engaged I knew I had to book an appointment with KWH. It was actually the very first wedding dress appointment I booked, however as the store was booked so far in advance it ended up being the very last appointment I went to but they do say, the best is always saved for last.
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Social Media – blogs, magazines.
How many gowns did you try? Altogether about 45 I would guess! At Karen Willis Holmes, about 7.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Karen Willis Holmes, Paddington, Sydney.
What did you especially like about your gown? The way it fit my frame and body shape, the detailing was incredible!! The low back and the femininity of the gown - everything about it I was completely in love with.
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? For my Sister who was pregnant at the time, I had a maternity bridesmaid dress custom made by the incredible designer Olga Moore at Naked Official. The other girls were dressed in the beautiful Misha Collection.
Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? MJ Bale, Woollahra.
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party?
Me - Earrings were diamond studs from Epiphany Jewellers, which Ben had given me for my wedding gift on the morning of our wedding.
Bridesmaids – Ring and Earrings, Mimco.
Where did you get your shoes from? Wanted, Sydney.
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Yes, I had a headpiece which clipped in – this was borrowed from my now Sister in–law. Veil was by Karen Willis Holmes
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Enjoy as much of it as you can, sure, things will feel stressful, but on the day, everything will work out perfectly as it should be, even if it's not to the T of what you had planned. Destination wedding – ensure you have someone (co-ordinator) on site who you can trust completely. Rosi from Jaspers took so much pride in her work and believed in our day that I knew even if what Ben and I ‘wanted’ didn’t go to plan, she and her team would ensure it was to turn out perfect.
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Trust that you know yourself, your body and your style. Search for designers whose style is similar to that which you are looking for your day. And don’t be scared to try on anything that may feel foreign to you, e.g sequin-studded, tulle, beading. I initially wanted a plain white dress and ended up with a fully beaded and embroidered gown. Sometimes, you will surprise yourself! Have some fun!
Something New? Earrings – wedding gift from Ben
Something Old/Borrowed? My (now) Sister In-Law's wedding headpiece.
Something Blue? KWH Little blue ribbon pinned to the inside of the dress.
Photographer – Hannah Blackmore Photography
Florist – Jaspers, Berry.
Videographer – Way Up High Films
Acoustic Duo (ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner reception) – Love Notes
DJ – DJ Sneaky
First Dance – My best friend, bridesmaid and director of Dance Quarter helped up with our moves.
MC – Cousins; Kenneth Carter and Darren Pereira
Celebrant – Paul Meagher at All Ceremonies.
Hair – Hair by Emily Smith.
Make-Up – Jenny Do Makeup.
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands – York Jewellers
We LOVE and HIGHLY RECOMMEND every single one of our suppliers to Sydney brides getting married, Ben and I are beyond thankful to each of them for the love and passion they have for their work and the professional service they provided they made our dream wedding day a reality, we could not recommend them any higher.