~ As featured in Queensland Brides Spring/Summer 20/21 ~
This couple were always destined to be together.
To Christian and Jessica, finding one another was a sign from the heavens. After Jessica moved to the Gold Coast – only five doors down from Christian! – the two regularly missed running into one another, despite going to the same gym and having several mutual friends. However, when Jessica was baptised at their church, she was struck by an uplifting message from her husband-to-be on Facebook: “My prayer is that God will continue to strengthen you and bless you on your walk with Him. Proverbs 3:5-6.” Fast forward to a few months later and the pair finally met in person at a friend’s dinner party – without knowing the other was attending. Meant. To. Be.
They quickly bonded over their love for adventure (Christian even proposed in a hot air balloon at sunrise!) and less than a year later, they tied the knot. Jessica explains that she and Christian consider marriage to be a blessing and a privilege, based on unconditional love and unshakable respect for each other: “Our lives are joined together, whatever one of us faces, both of us face.”
And they certainly had an obstacle to face when it came to getting married! A wedding with all their family and friends was taken off the table due to coronavirus restricting travel and limiting their wedding party to just eight people. However, Jessica and Christian viewed this as an opportunity to enjoy an intimate ceremony with their families in a smaller, magical venue, and excitingly, they now look forward to renewing their vows in front of all of their loved ones in 2022, with a second big celebration in New Zealand. Despite the complications, Jessica and Christian consider it a blessing that they will now be able to share their joy with loved ones in the countries in which they were born.
On 20 June, 2020, the couple managed to create a mini “destination wedding” in Australia at a place they consider their own Garden of Eden – Villa Rustica in Byron Bay. “It’s such a stunning venue,” says Jessica. “We didn’t need to add anything, except ourselves!” In this magical, one-of-a-kind space (think Moroccan-style rustic elegance immersed in the tropics) Jessica and Christian exchanged vows surrounded by lush greenery, overlooking a tranquil aqua pond. Without the pressure of a large crowd to greet, the newlyweds were able to take their time with an intimate photo shoot highlighting Jessica’s sweeping gown as they explored the Villa Rustica grounds.
When asked for words of wisdom for future couples, Jessica said that instead of a single piece of advice, she would recommend reading the book Love & Respect by Dr Emerson Eggerichs, which looks at marriage roles through the lens of a Biblical passage. She excitedly explains that she found it to be “the best book you could ever read to transform your marriage!”
Jessica and Christian enjoyed an “isomoon” tucked up in a romantic chalet at Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat in Northern NSW, where they spent three days exploring nature and marvelling at the beauty of the land they both now call home. Mind you, the newlyweds are eagerly awaiting a time when they can enjoy their planned mini-moon in Fiji before their huge vow renewal and campervan adventure in New Zealand. For this couple, one love fest just isn’t enough!
[Little Black Book]
Photography: Bulb Creative // Venue: Villa Rustica, Byron Bay // Celebrant: Mark Sceriha // Dress: Pearl Bridal // Suit: MJ Bale // Hair and makeup: The Future Mrs and Clare Moriarty // Engagement and wedding rings: Michael Hill // Florist: PIKT Flowers // Videography: Evade Media