These two sound like a whole lotta fun, guys, but like a lot of people, had to postpone their big wedding, for one that was pandemic-friendly with a 30 guest limit. “We plan to have a big party at our house in the future. To have all of our original guests camp on our property, hire some food trucks, buy a whole heap of champagne and celebrate properly then! Kids and doggos all welcome. If this happens in a year, two years or five 5 years time, we don’t mind.” The bride’s sleek gown is from none other than Grace Loves Lace and the lady behind the lens was House of Lucie. Scroll down for more…

THE VENUEWe came across Riverside Ranch Retreat in Yamba online. It was actually the only place we arranged to look at in person. Quiet, on the river, nice open areas, beautiful big fig tree, and barn for dinner and dancing were more than we could’ve been looking for. Fred and Chris (the owners) were lovely, too, and so easy to get along with, which certainly helped our decision making.”

THE INSPOWe liked the idea of having neutral colours and based everything around this. We knew that we wanted our ceremony to be outdoors and for the overall vibe to be very relaxed, casual and easy-going. Our attitude towards the wedding really changed after COVID. Little details became less important and our focus really became about what the day was really about – us becoming husband and wife and being surrounded by our closest friends and family.”

FAVE DETAILS “The bouquets I had were from a beautiful little store called Fieldwork Flowers, which is actually a few doors down from the local school that I work at. They included beautiful natural Australian flowers and smelt amazing. I’ve always loved the store and it was nice to have something local to me be such a special part of my day. [And] getting married under the beautiful fig tree at Riverside Ranch was one of my favourite decisions. We didn’t need extra decorations or a fancy arbour. The tree provided such a lovely natural backdrop for the ceremony, as well as for many photos afterwards.”

DIY “We bought two trees which we had in plantar boxes at the start of the aisle. We had recently purchased a property which we were moving into the week after the wedding and have planted the trees on our fence line to grow old with us. [Also], my mum made the confetti (and the cones the confetti were held in) out of dried shredded leaves and lavender from her garden as well as coconut flakes.”

THE DRESS “My best friend and bridesmaid, Casey, came with me – we only had two appointments booked and the first one was with Grace Loves Lace. I had no idea what I was after and had requested to try on a variety of different dresses to gauge which style I liked. Casey had tagged me in the Summer dress but I had dismissed it as something that wouldn’t suit me. Regardless, she made me try it on first. It ended up being my favourite. It was sleek, simple (but stylish) and the one I felt the most myself in. The overall experience was really relaxing. The girls at Grace Loves Lace were really friendly and helpful and I found that they gave really positive but honest feedback.”

MEMORABLE MOMENT “Our celebrant and friend, Matt, was absolutely amazing. My all-time favourite part of the ceremony, however, was Ryan’s vows. They were truly beautiful and I think there wasn’t a dry eye in the house afterwards, myself included. [Also], we asked a mate to be our MC only a week or two out from the wedding. He promptly ordered a projector online and contacted friends and family that were unable to make the wedding and asked them to film a short message for us. He surprised us by showing the videos intermittently over the course of the reception. It was honestly so beautiful.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “I used to have an idea in my head about how weddings were supposed to be. The things you had to do and the way it had to look. Planning a wedding during COVID has really changed my perspective on this. Things were changing really quickly [and] planning and booking things for a wedding that we didn’t know if we were even going to be able to have was really stressful. However, once we let go of the idea of how our wedding was meant to look, things became a lot easier. We realised that at end the day, we wanted to stand before one another and become husband and wife. Anyone who got to be a part of that was an added bonus.”

STANDOUT VENDORS “Karrikin were absolutely amazing throughout the whole experience, especially when COVID struck. Khara, our lovely wedding photographer (House of Lucie) was also another stand out. Khara made us feel at ease and she honestly felt like a friend on the day. She great tips and tricks to get the most fantastic shots and when we got the photos back we were in absolute awe. It was like there was five of her on the day – she did not miss a single thing. Every single moment was captured and each photo was just breathtaking.”

If you are still searching for your dream dress and like us, love the look of Jess’ Grace Loves Lace gown, see more real brides, contact details and information to boot here. You’ll also find them within our Top 30 Bridal Boutiques & Designers To Follow On Instagram post, which should be very helpful! But first…

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer House of Lucie Florist Fieldwork Flowers & Biggart Bromeliads & Traditionals (Reception Tables Foliage) Stationery The Paperie Prints via Etsy Printer Officeworks Ceremony Riverside Ranch Retreat via Yamba Weddings Reception & Catering Karrikin Hire Items Hampton Event Hire Rings Harrisons Jewellers Bench THE BRIDE Bridal Gown Grace Loves Lace Robes Linenhouse Shoes Wildfire Hair Zig Zag Hair Yamba Makeup Marley Hammond Bridesmaid Dresses Esther & Co. Bridesmaid Gifts Linenhouse (Robes) & Bopo Women THE GROOM Suit Country Road Shirt Uniqlo Pants & Tie Gazman Shoes Thomas Cook Groomsmen Jackets David Jones Pants Country Road Groomsmen Gifts Budgy Smuggler