Love is the sort of thing that makes you feel like the heavens have made a home of your heart. It reads so easily in every movement and glance, the storied constellations of a thousand enduring emotions in simultaneous applause—and Jason & Joanna’s beautiful affair, captured by Ashton Jean-Pierre, is love made manifest! Their sweet nuptials were absolutely BURSTING with contagious joy and magnetic affection. Theirs is a love like a quiet thunderclap of felicity which rolls like the ocean kissing the shore: persistent, effortless, and without pause.
From Jason & Joanna, the groom & bride:
How did you two meet?
Joanna: “The first time we met was actually in Grade 3 when we started going to the same school! We were good friends throughout school—and even dated for about a week in Grade 8. Jason asked me about 3 or 4 times but it was when we reconnected while serving in our Youth Ministry at church that he really caught my eye. It was his servant heart that won me over.”
Tell us about your proposal!
Joanna: “Jason surprised me with a day trip! He picked me up and had coffee and a breakfast bagel in the car. We went to the Dandenongs where he surprised me with a long horse ride through the mountains. He then took me to a Japanese Garden where we had our own private outdoor courtyard with a hot pool in it. We relaxed. It was very romantic. Then, we went back into the mountains—and he had a pre-packed picnic complete with red wine, grapes, cheese, olives, even prawns! In the middle of the picnic he handed me a gift—a book he made, with all the things he loves about me, complete with photos. In the middle of the book, he had created a space for the box with the diamond ring to fit. By this stage, I had tears in my eyes. When I opened the box, he said some sweet things—and asked me to be his wife. It was magical. We went home via his parents, and then arrived at my place where my whole family was gathered to celebrate (they had a ‘feeling’). Champagne and flowers abounded.”
About the dress:
Joanna: “My friend Hayley had told me years ago she’d love to make my dress—she is so talented. I knew I was going to ask her. I had an idea of what I wanted, so we went for one day with my Mum to try some dresses on—just to check what I wanted was what suited me.
My Mum shed a tear the first time she saw me with the veil on. It was a surreal feeling. Hayley and I then went shopping for materials, and had three or four dress fittings. She made it such a joyous part of my wedding preparations—I was always relaxed and confident she’d do a great job!
Jason is a cabinet maker/electrician and just loves to build things with his hands. He designed and built all of the hanging lights/plants fixtures—and even sourced all of the greenery from [Swallowfield Vineyard’s] property (mostly hanging Australian eucalypts).”
How did you feel about your wedding photographer?
“We love Ashton (and Flick his assistant!). We got to meet them at our venue a few months before our wedding—as a bit of a location scout/engagement shoot. On the day, we barely noticed them—too wrapped up in our moment to even notice. Which is a huge compliment to the photographers—not intrusive at all. One of our favourite moments in the day was between the ceremony and reception when we sneaked out and ventured through Swallowfields with Ashton and Flick—such a fun time. Ashton’s glasses fogged up because he was so excited about the shots he was getting! And we are in love with the images. Magical.”
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
“Figure out your budget first. Concentrate on the things that matter: the people you’re celebrating with, good food and drinks, music and atmosphere. Don’t stress about the little things. Get a supportive group of girlfriends and mates around and enjoy the process!”
What was your favorite part about your wedding?
Joanna: “Too many to choose from! Meeting our 3 day old niece Indianna for the first time only moments after becoming ‘Husband & Wife’. Being able to call each other ‘husband’ and ‘wife’…Getting our photographs taken together under a huge tree in a field with the afternoon sun coming through. Also saying our vows to one another—I teared up. A lifelong promise and commitment.”
photographer: Ashton Jean-Pierre / ceremony venue: St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Prahran / reception venue: Swallowfield Vineyard, Gembrook / bridal gown: Hayley Kirkpatrick / bride shoes: FRANK/E / flowers: Jen Walter, Niddrie Flowers / rings: Diamond Guys / groom’s suit: Sacks Menswear & Formal Wear / catering: Going Gourmet / donut wall: made by Jason (the groom!) / donuts: Daniel’s Bakery / cake: Rachel Haworth / hair stylist: Tennille Sayers, Tennille’s Boutique Salon / makeup artist: Makeup by Mariah P