Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Juanita & Jake


Despite growing up only two streets away from each other and attending the same primary school, it wasn’t until Juanita and Jake had finished their studies completely that they were finally introduced and sparks flew – fate certainly can be funny can’t it? Juanita’s wedding dreams were realised when she wed the “man of her dreams” in St John’s Church, a venue she coveted since childhood. Working closely with Main Event Weddings, the bride’s determination to have cherry blossoms in the reception styling paid off in a big way. We’re besotted with their collaborative effort of the romantic hanging feature with focal blooms and fairy lights.


Date: August 30 2014

The Couple: Juanita and and Jake Rowe

No. of Guests: 70

Location: Brisbane

First Dance Song: Time Of My Life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes

Budget: $35,000

Photography: Milque Photography and Films


Wedding flowers

Wedding rings





Bride and groom


Bridal party

Bridal party

Bride and groom

Bride and groom

Bride Juanita

Wedding reception

Wedding reception

Wedding reception


How did you meet?

Jake and I lived two streets away from each other and attended the same primary school. He was a grade above me, but we shared a lot of mutual friends and we both knew of each other. It wasn’t until we had both finished school and I went to Jake’s 23rd birthday party as a friend’s plus one where we were properly introduced and were no longer acquaintances. The rest is history!

Tell us about the proposal…

It was my 25th birthday and as a present Jake had surprised me with a visit to Sea World to swim with the dolphins. Afterwards we had a lovely lunch at Marina Mirage and headed home. Jake then surprised me again by checking into the Palazzo Versace to stay the night and he had also booked me into a two hour massage pamper package. The day of surprises continued with dinner booked at one of the Versace restaurants. After getting ready and before we walked out the door, Jake dropped to one knee and proposed! It was the most amazing day and definitely one that will never be forgotten!

Why did you choose St John’s Cathedral and Sage for your wedding?

Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of getting married at St John’s Cathedral. It has always been an icon in Brisbane and when we decided to get married in our hometown, I knew it had to be at St John’s. It is such a beautiful church with so much heritage and charm.

Sage was a really easy decision – it simply ticked all the boxes. It was the first venue our wedding planner suggested. We checked out a number of venues of course, but we always came back to Sage and made a very quick and easy decision to hold our reception at their rooftop function venue. Sage offered amazing food, a private venue, exceptional views and was reasonably priced. The deciding factor for Sage was that we had full creative freedom with styling of the venue and our wedding planner did an incredibly beautiful job which made our wedding so unique and intimate.

What did you do for your hens and bucks?

Jake had a day at the races with the boys for his bucks followed by a night on the town in Brisbane.

My girlfriends and family members rallied together and we had a lovely high tea in the afternoon followed by a night with my friends playing games and eventually heading out for a dance.

Key Styling Inspiration

I wanted a very natural and earthy reception venue while still being very romantic. From the first styling session, I was quite determined to have cherry blossoms as a key feature to the styling. It was our wedding planner who suggested making a hanging feature over the guests tables with cherry blossoms hanging down mixed with romantic fairy lights and natural twigs all entwined together. I had also picked the theme colours of mint and a soft cream. Everything else flowed from that. The bridesmaids had the freedom to pick their colour from beiges, creams or mint. I love that they chose mint and they looked so beautiful. The florist who made our bouquets suggested all of the flowers in the bouquet and they turned out so romantic and beautiful.

Where did you splurge and where did you save on your wedding?

We definitely splurged on our photographer and we are so glad we did. We will never get to relive our wedding day, but we have the most amazing photos to look back and reminisce. They really did capture the most amazing moments of the day and we couldn’t be happier with our photos.

We saved on our stationery by doing our own envelopes, rsvp cards, wishing well request card, place name tags and setting cards which were also the thank you cards that explained our gift to the guests. We also created our own escort tags which were hung inside an empty timber picture frame each tied with an antique style key. We then, however, spent our savings on having laser cut invitations!

What gifts did you give your guests?

Jake is a zipper baby, which means he had open heart surgery at a very young age and still has a scar to show for it. Supporting charities that help families that have children with heart conditions is something that is really important to us, so instead of a traditional gift to our guests we made a donation to Heart Kids Queensland on their behalf.

What was the funniest moment of the day?

There were definitely a few hilarious moments. The stand out one for me is when we were at our first location for our photographs and Jake opened a bottle of Champagne and accidentally showered the bridesmaids with bubbly. We had to laugh about it! My father-in-law’s speech was the funniest moment shared with all our guests. He had the whole room in hysterics! There are some amazing photos captured during his speech and you can’t help but remember the laughter.

What was the most special memory from the day?

Marrying the man of my dreams. Walking down from the altar after the ceremony was finished and walking into the cheering and clapping of our guests was an incredible feeling, and a rush of relief almost. The serious part was over and all that was left was to celebrate with our closest family and friends!

What did you do for your honeymoon?

Jake had family that had travelled from London, so immediately after the wedding we spent time with his family at his parents home. On our way back to Brisbane we popped into Noosa for a night at the stunning Outrigger Resort. We booked their romance package, had a couples massage pamper package and went out for an incredible dinner on Hastings Street. We are planning a trip to the UK and Europe in 2015, so we are putting our honeymoon funds to the holiday savings.

Special thanks to…

Special thanks to my Aunt who helped with several different jobs in the lead-up to the wedding and was a massive support. Also our bridal party and team bride were amazing through the whole process. We would not have had such an incredible day without them!

What advice would give other brides-to-be?

Enjoy the lead-up, don’t stress about the small stuff and remember why you are doing this. At the end of the day, you are marrying your best friend and looking back, even with all the amazing moments and all the faults, everything turned out perfect! I wouldn’t change a thing!

Ceremony: Saint John's Cathedral
Reception: Sage On Ann - Rooftop
Gown: Bespoke Gown from When Freddie Met Lilly
Bridesmaid Attire: Goddess of Nature
Groom's Suit: Suits on Q by Paul Barry
Groomsmen Attire: Suits on Q by Paul Barry
Coordinator: Main Event Weddings
Decorator: Main Event Weddings
Flowers: Magnolia Lane Floral Design
Hair: Alexander Woulfe Hair & Beauty Professionals
Makeup: SlP Beauty
Cake: The Flour Girl
Caterer: Sage On Ann
Transport: Golden Gate Limousines
Stationery: DYI, Main Event Weddings and Classic Wedding Invitations
Music: Lure - Rush Entertainments
Photographer: Milque Photography and Films chelle Schulga Photography
Honeymoon: Outrigger Resort and Spa Noosa
Engagement Ring: Sapphire hand-mined by father of the groom designed my bride and groom and made by Dimani Jewellery
Bride's Wedding Ring: Dimani Jewellery
Groom's Wedding Ring: Dimani Jewellery

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