– As featured in Queensland Brides Autum / Winter 2020 –
Hearts aligned and fine wines flowed at this romantic winery wedding.
Do we take ‘French vineyard with a hint of Australiana’ to be our new favourite wedding theme? We do! For wine enthusiasts Jessica and Ethan, an elegant celebration amongst rolling hills, grapevines and oak barrels felt true to form. And while their location showcases the glorious spirit of the Queensland countryside, a sophisticated European twist certainly took the day next level. Completely luxe yet never overblown, it was a dream for the Brisbane based sweethearts, whose love story began with a workplace romance.
Rewind to 2012 and Ethan was working in IT on the Gold Coast when Jessica joined the same company’s finance department. Their paths crossed, literally, in the corridors. “You could say it was love at first sight,” Jessica reveals. Cue a happy life of movie nights, weekend staycations, overseas adventures, and a long list of shared interests before Ethan’s proposal in Queenstown, New Zealand opened a new chapter.
“He couldn’t wait to ask the question,” Jessica recalls with a smile. “He actually asked me the morning after we arrived in NZ!” It was an emotional moment – as the couple paused on a jetty to admire stunning Lake Wakatipu, Ethan dropped to one knee and the bride-to-be promptly burst into tears! “I don’t even remember if I said yes!” Jessica laughs. “The funny thing about jetties is that Ethan asked me to be his girlfriend on a jetty and he proposed to me on a jetty – and then we got married on a jetty.”
The memory of a special birthday lunch at Sirromet Wines made the Mt Cotton locale (with its own ‘jetty’ – a covered platform over a serene lagoon, known as Laguna) an early venue frontrunner for the pair. “Ethan and I went to our one and only site inspection there and we were sold,” says Jessica. “Particularly because they had accommodation and a ceremony and reception venue on the same site, plus the ‘jetty’ at Laguna.”
As anticipation built toward “we do” on the morning of 16 August 2019, the couple prepped with their respective parties in safari-style tented pavilions surrounded by native trees. As she shared Champagne with family, Jessica was a vision of old Hollywood glamour in her french collection by Wendy Makin gown. The streamlined silhouette, adorned with just a hint of sparkle, created a stunning focal point while bridesmaids each chose their own beautiful dress in a unifying shade of whisper-soft blush. The French charms continued with a sublime bouquet by Maison Fleur Floral Design, who also created the lush ceremony and reception blooms.
In addition to wearing glorious vintage-meets-modern lace, the bride also brought a touch of tradition with her something old, new, borrowed and blue. “Something new was my Louboutin shoes,” she explains. “Something borrowed: Mum’s dress ring she bought on her honeymoon. Then blue bridal Swarovski studs and my ‘old’ Chanel perfume that Ethan bought me.” There was also a ‘borrowed’ surprise (courtesy of a thoughtful bridesmaid) with a piece of Jessica’s mother-in-law’s wedding dress sneakily sewn onto her garter. Ethan and his party brought their own something blue, swapping black tuxes for classic suits in midnight and navy tones. Very sharp, gentlemen.
Surrounded by natural bushland and cocooned by the love of family and friends, Jessica and Ethan exchanged vows on the Laguna platform overlooking Sirromet’s tranquil lagoon. The newlyweds then slipped away for a magical photo shoot with Todd and Alyda from Todd Hunter McGaw Photographers (Todd also served as the couple’s celebrant!). The late-afternoon light set the scene for a series of breathtaking images before Jessica and Ethan made their official arrival at the sumptuously prepared Sirromet Barrel Hall for their reception.
Stepping into their reception was like stepping into a warm embrace for the pair. Although Jessica describes their decorating mantra as “simple is best”, that simplicity played out in immaculate detailing – from chic signage and soft candlelight to restaurant-quality dishes and of course, delicious wines! Eschewing a bridal table in favour of long shared tables brought everyone closer together and meant the newlyweds could really enjoy the experience with their cherished guests. As plates were cleared the dance floor filled, and the Baker Boys Band shifted everyone into party mode. Yes, there was a conga line!
The “relaxed beach vibe” of a Koh Samui island honeymoon proved to be a welcome respite after the excitement and emotional roller coaster of wedding preparations. And now the confetti has settled, Jessica and Ethan are looking forward to the next adventure, noting “marriage to us means an endless celebration of our love for one another.” Beautifully said, and what a glorious way for that celebration to begin!
[Little Black Book]
Venue: Sirromet Wines // Accommodation: Sanctuary by Sirromet // Photographer and celebrant: Todd Hunter McGaw // Wedding dress: french collection by Wendy Makin // Bridesmaid dresses: Forever New // Hair and makeup: Lara Quinn & Melissa Fitzgerald // Manicure and pedicure: Brooklyn Beauty Bar // Bridal shoes: Christian Louboutin // Bridesmaid shoes: Mollini // Groom suit: MJ Bale // Groomsmen suits: Black Jacket Suiting // Rings: Al.Wemyss.Jewellery // Accessories: Swarovski // Flowers: Maison Fleur Floral Design // Styling: The Styled Group // Cake: Unreal Wedding Cakes // Cake boxes: Joy Events // Decor (round rug): Mocka Australia // Menus: From Yours Truly // Table numbers: Fox And Hart // Welcome sign: Aston Blue // Ribbon: The Coterie Silk Ribbons // Seating chart: State of Elliott // Entertainment: Baker Boys Band //Wishing well: Pottery Barn // Honeymoon: Koh Samui, Thailand