This is the most fun wedding I’ve ever photographed and one of the most loving couples I have ever met. Â You will see what I mean.
“We are truly blessed.Â Let us say that again.
WE ARE SO RIDICULOUSLY, OVERWHELMINGLY, LOVINGLY, AMAZINGLY BLESSED.
Organising a wedding from the other side of the world was never going to be an easy task, especially when we had hopes and dreams of it being totally DIY.
But we have the most amazing family and friends ( and family of friends, and friends of friends, and new friends) who did everything to make it happen for us and boy are we still feeling grateful.
It was so important for us to have a wedding that was full to the brim with our love.
So we bundled together our talented family and friends and they did not batter an eyelid in their devotion to making our â€˜Best day everâ€™ super sentimental, personal and a day weâ€™ll remember for the rest of our lives.”
Jo and Brett.
*Joâ€™s highschool job was working in the Cobram FloristÂ and so there was no question who theyâ€™d ask to arrange the flowers for us on the day, and they did not disappoint.
*Joâ€™s friend Amanda is a very talented seamstress and did all the last minute dress alterations and also helped make the veil.
*Joâ€™s friend Sueanne did her make up on the day, which was important to her because theyâ€™ve performed many times over together and always shared this getting ready time together.
*Jo and Brett are both a bit sentimental, but nothing was more special then Brettâ€™s dad giving him his wedding ring for themÂ to use. Â Their parents are real role models when it comes to love and commitment and so itâ€™s even more special that Brett now has his dads ring.
*Joâ€™s Mum surprised Jo with a bag she had made out of her own wedding dress and in the bag some little photographs of Joâ€™s grand parents who had passed away. Not a dry eye in the room
Food glorious food:
*The cake was actually made of cheese (Brie, Camembert, Blue-we canâ€™t get enough of the stuff). Â They had planned to serve olives and Kabana (from our friends Ros and Damien at Rich Glen), and walnut log ( from our friends Beth and Jeff at Katunga Walnuts) along side cocktails Â (gin and tonic , andÂ Pimms- how English of us) and strawberries (From Koonoomoo Strawberries) out at the river, but the rain meant theyÂ had to shift everything inside very quickly ( which we couldnâ€™t have done without the gorgeous Hannah and her friends , they Hydes, Perkins and team FADS). The ladies served the cheese on red gum boards that Joâ€™s dad had made.
*Sharing a meal with family and friends around the kitchen table is one of theirÂ most favourite things to do, and something we miss the most when we are away. Mick and Sherene, who are good family friends of Jo and Brett’s, moved away to Narooma, soÂ theyÂ knew the were taking a punt when theyÂ sent them a cheeky email checking the possibility they might come back so theyÂ could feast on some of their favourite foods influenced from their travels.
*Jo and Brett also had the Strathmerton Football Club wait the bar for the evening. All top blokes (and I donâ€™t think Jo’sÂ Dad who is the president at the club, had to twist too many arms).
*Joâ€™s Mum even home made peach chutneys for each of the guests to take homeÂ
*Youâ€™ll never find a committee that cherishes a building as much as the Yarroweyah Hall Committee loves their hall. When Jo and BrettÂ met with them and watched how excited they were to hear their hall would be used for a wedding (like it did back in the day) . They were sold on the idea straight away and love that the hire costs go back into buying chairs, fixing
*Living just around the corner from Portebello Road market means theyÂ spend our weekends traipsing through antique stalls. TheyÂ fell in love with some vintage steamer trunks which much to the delight of many onlookers at Heathrow, we carted home with us.
*Friends and families helped no end with hunting out and loaning vintage goodies for us for months before the day from suitcases to old bottles and theirÂ collection of musical instrumentsÂ completing transformed the hall. Joâ€™s dad cut pieces of red gum for the table centres, and their friends filled the vases with flowers on the day.
*Brettâ€™s Mum collected vintage frames and turned them into chalk boards soÂ theyÂ could make the table numbers, and his dad made bigger chalk boards and sign posts that theyÂ chalked up with favourite countries and signs for our guests. He also very cleverly made the guitar for people to put cards in.
*Even the confetti Â (majority of which JoÂ found down herÂ dress) was dried rose petals from their familyâ€™s gardens.
*The trickiest but most impressive part of our decorating was easily the lights. Jo and BrettÂ purchased around 600 meters of fairy lights, and after a very unsuccessful attempt (and a bit of damage), 6 hours later the hall was re-created into a magic and warm space thanks to Jo’sÂ Dad, brothers and Brett who certainly deserved a beer afterwards!
*The bridal car is owned and driven by the Coad Family. Mary has been a great mentor to Jo ever since her time working under her wing with Sharman Stone. You can find the story about the car in the Shep News article here.
*The bus loaned was to us by the Kearney family who are good friends of Joâ€™s brother Dan (who was also our MC) and driven by a dear family friend,Â
*Joâ€™s brotherâ€™s girlfriend Hannah sang during our ceremony and Peter (who Jo was in a band with in highschool) played guitar.Â They played some of our favourite songs from bands theyÂ have seen play live. Kate (who is also a high school friend) and her sister played violin for theÂ guests as they arrived.
*The band, Bustamento, at reception Jo and BrettÂ saw live at Glastonbury, U.K. They were soooo good but even better at our wedding (but they might be bias).
*The Finley Amateur Dramatic Society (Jo was a past member) arranged the performances and Ross (Director) the game during the wedding ceremony). Our great friends Zoe and Raj also instagrammed theÂ wedding day so all our friends back in the UK could follow along back at home.
Liz didnâ€™t know this but weÂ hadÂ done a lot of research about photographers for our wedding day, before we fell in love with her over Skype. We didnâ€™t want a posey-posey photographer, but rather someone who would capture all the little bits of our day, all the bits we missed, all the bits we loved.
It was also important for us to choose a photographer who would give back to the community. Liz does just that, through her community projects and volunteering at Heartfelt.Photos are important because they are the one part of your wedding day that you will get to hold on to once the day is done. But also the photographer is important because they will share the best day ever with you. We loved how Liz crawled right into our hearts from day one.
And how about a bit more about Jo and Brett from their friend Terry -Â
“Brett was sitting in a room waiting for the class to start.Â He was perfectly on time and had his note pad out in front of him, prepared for the new communication university elective about to begin.
In bounded Jo, late, hair un-brushed, books and papers piled up under her arm. She dumped the books down beside Brett with a crash and flashed him that great big smile of hers introducing herself with that country girl charm she has.
Their first meeting tells you so much about the Brett and Jo, that we all know.
Iâ€™ve known Jo ever since she was just a dott. She has always been a determined little thing, her heart and words pour out of her loudly and unfiltered. Sheâ€™s always been a bit bossy (that comes with having 3 younger brothers) and decisive. She is chaotic though strangely organised and has a way of filling every last minute of the day with something.
Brett on the other hand is one of the most gentle, patient and kind blokes you will ever meet (maybe that comes from being the youngest of 3 noisy boys). Not a word would pass by his lips without being thought through in a careful and measured way. He is always neat and prepared, though easily distracted and can never make up his mind up.
After a few university assignments (Brett insists Jo always handed her part in at the last minute), they lost touch for a few years and went their own ways.
It was a very long time before any sparks actually flew between them. But something triggered one day when Brett left Jo waiting for him on the beach for 2.5 hours in Portarlington and she realised she was a little more fond of him then she cared to admit.
A few months, texts, emails, phone calls later Jo was back in Geelong for another friends wedding. This time, she managed to break her guitar on the journey and called Brett for a loan of his, bribing him with beers and her company.
What ensued from that point forward has been what Bretts friends would call his â€˜jomanceâ€™ but what Brett and Jo describe as warm, honest and selfless friendship and love.
Despite how different they seem on paper, when I met Brett I knew you could not find a person that better compliments Jo.
Itâ€™s the most rewarding thing to be with Brett and Jo when they are making music by the campfire, when they are with their families and friends sharing a meal they have prepared, or when they are standing at the top of a mountain looking down from great heights on the world they are exploring.
They encourage each other, bring comfort to each other, laugh with each other and support each other in a partnership second to none.
Itâ€™s in these moments you can feel the warmth and light of their love.”
And as they sheltered from the rain andÂ practiced a song for the reception I couldn’t help myself but record it.
Two beautiful songs actually – “I’ve got this friend” by Civil Wars and “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
And if you want to listen to Jo and BrettÂ one more time – turn up your speakers and press play here
Thank you so very very much Jo and Brett for choosing me to photograph your wedding. I feel so blessed to have met you and look forward to catching up with you after your travels or somewhere along the way. I too felt like you crawled into my heart from the minute I met you on skype. Sending you much much love across the oceans xoÂ
IÂ love preserving storiesÂ – yourÂ wedding story,Â family or couple story – no matter where you live if you are interested in me doing something for you please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
To see more weddings go to http://www.lizarcus.com/category/weddingÂ or to see more everything go to lizarcus.comÂ