While we were all making banana bread and bingeing Tiger King, Lew was spending his lockdown organising a very special piece of bling – Jess’s engagement ring. Despite being in close quarters, Lew did a great job keeping the operation under wraps, and Jess was none the wiser. “[Our ring designer in Brisbane] sent down two different diamonds for Lew to look at and choose from via Auspost. I had absolutely no idea any of this was happening… what planet was I living on?!”

While visiting Jess’s mum’s Maleny property, Lew surprised his bride-to-be by getting down on one knee as they rang in the new year. The sentimental spot would become the location where they tied the knot. Think lush green hinterland hills, stained-glass windows, horses and a dress fit for a princess. The cosy cottage-core vibes were something straight out of a storybook.

Our good friend Cooper Brady captured the real-life fairytale on camera, and we got all the goss from this self-confessed quirky couple. Scroll on; it’s all below, friends and fiancés!

THE VENUE “I (Jess) knew it was where I wanted to get married from the very beginning. My sister had also gotten married on Mum’s property (Bridle Guest House). It’s an incredibly special place to me. There was room for the ceremony and reception as well as accommodation for our nearest and dearest, which meant it felt like a week-long party leading up to the wedding, and it was a very easy/short walk back to our beds after much dancing and celebrating! As it was Mum’s property, there was a LOT of work going into it, as always, making sure the gardens were looking wonderful, landscaping was great, and the horse paddocks (and horses themselves) were all looking fab! (Thank you x’s a million to Mumma Helen!)”

THE VIBE “The theme was a festive/overgrown cottage garden/loved-up party. It was incredibly important to us that we had family and friends who we loved and wanted to celebrate with (of course) but no-one who we felt we were forced to invite. Everyone there was very intentional, and we will always look back and be incredibly thankful to all who attended. Great food, drinks and music were an absolute must for us, as well as having different areas for different vibes, for example, a fun games area, cosy couches to settle into, tables and chairs to sit and eat at as well as a fun dance floor for party times!”

FAVE DETAILS “We had his & hers cocktails (Negroni & Hugo Spritz) that were amazing, and everyone really enjoyed them. Our gifts for the guests, which were tea towels we had designed together, were also awesome and were a little quirky like us. (They said, ‘I went to Jess and Lewis’ wedding, and all I got was this tea towel’). We also loved that we had games at the wedding – it was a great way for people to mingle and have a little friendly competition! But the best thing of all was looking out at everyone throughout the day and feeling so many warm fuzzy vibes of love and appreciation.”

THE DRESS “I knew from the beginning that I wasn’t interested in wearing white. I love colour and white felt really restricting for me. I didn’t end up setting foot into any bridal stores at all. In the beginning, I was thinking about getting a dress designed. However, I ended up finding my dress online through Needle & Thread. It was a little stressful ordering it online from the UK, but when it arrived, I knew it was perfect – I felt amazing in it and couldn’t stop swishing around all day and night.”

MEMORABLE MOMENTS “Seeing each other for the first time during the ceremony was magical, and being able to share our story with our loved ones was such a special experience. Also, taking a moment away to have photos together and take in everything that had just happened. Cooper [our photographer] was wonderful during this time and really captured us embracing these wonderful feelings and moments together as Mr & Mrs Gyde.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “Remember that you’re on the same team. Weddings can bring on stress from friends and family; take time to touch base and be sure you’re both feeling supported. Note down three to five non-negotiable things that you want as part of your wedding, and be sure to really stick to them. Listen to each other and respect what is important to one another.”

STANDOUT VENDORS “We connected with everyone! We were lucky enough to spend the most time with Cooper. He was really flexible in how he used his time to be sure it worked for us and made sure he made connections with our friends and family. He also came back the day after for our recovery and fit in seamlessly into the group.”

Looking for a phenomenal photographer to capture your ‘happily ever after’? Connect with our pal Cooper Brady on the Hello May Directory here. Has Jess’ ethereal frock got you rethinking the whole wearing white tradition? We’ve rounded up some of our fave colourful wedding gowns here – you’re welcome!

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Cooper Brady Cinematographer Mitch Morison Event Planner Maple Weddings + Events Florist & Cake Topper Fiesta Flora Stationery Greenvelope Venue Bridle Guest House Catering & Cake Penfolds Catering Wedding Favours Expressions Tea Towels Co Marquee, Lighting, Sound & Hire Items Fairytale Events & Equip 4 Hire Signage DIY Celebrant Dan Ford Rings Matt Dimes – Milestone Jewellery MC Courtney Yengi (Friend) THE BRIDE Bridal Gown Designer Needle & Thread Hair Piece Fiesta Flora Shoes ASOS Makeup Lauren Montgomery Fragrance Chanel Bridesmaid Dresses Shona Joy Bridesmaid Shoes ASOS Bridesmaid Gifts The Lullaby Club THE GROOM Suit, Jacket, & Pants Studio Suits Shirt Country Road Tie Otaa Shoes R.M. Williams Grooming Vantage Barbers Groomsmen Suits Otaa Groomsmen Gifts OBAN