Jen & Joey were wed on a property in Blackheath, in the world-famous Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. But their story started some years earlier, as many millennial love stories do, on a dating app.
The first date was on a stormy Sydney evening. Joey was stuck in an Uber in gridlock traffic, while Jen arrived on time but had forgotten her wallet. When texts were exchanged about the date possibly being doomed, Joey quickly came up with an idea: to meet at the Courthouse so he could leave the Uber and jump on the train, allowing Jen time to run back home and grab her wallet.
What then followed was, and I quote, “the best first date ever”; beginning with a drink that moved onto dinner, then another drink and finally an ice cream in the park after all the bars had closed.
When it came to the proposal, “we took a dress-first approach” they said. They bought Jen’s dress on a whim when they saw it in a vintage store in Newtown during a lockdown.
Falling in love was less of a conscious thought and more a deep, grounded knowledge of what was true. “It was just feeling in my gut that this was the person for me,” Jen says. “After about a month of seeing each other, I was driving in my car, listening to music and realised that every love song seemed to be about Joey.”
Joey added that the “…relationship felt so right from the very first moment, and grew and strengthened over the first few summer months, and has only grown more since then.”
Eventually, it came time to make it official. “Unbeknownst to our friends and family, we searched to find an Australian opal and we asked a friend of ours to make it into a ring for us,” the pair told me. “While we planned and designed it together, our friend sent it to Joey on the sly, so while we were on a picnic overlooking a valley in the Blue Mountains, Joey brought it out, declared his love and we were engaged!”
When the day rolled around, it was clear that Jen and Joey wanted to have a wedding that aligned with their values. They chose to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, celebrate their love of birds (keep an eye out for the epic feather Joey found the day before the wedding), and minimise their carbon footprint.
There were plenty of other nods to Jen and Joey’s passions throughout the day. They enlisted the help of some of Jen’s AUSLAN interpreter colleagues to sign during the ceremony and speeches; they packed a thermos of hot tea to drink during the portrait shoot, and they crafted a menu full of as many different forms of potato as possible (something I was very, very pleased to discover). Jen even played the drums with her band later in the evening!
When it comes to what they love about each other, the list is long. Like, genuinely, I had to cut most of it out. But I couldn’t ignore this part of what Jen said about Joey: “I never thought I would want to be doted on by a partner. But being with Joey has made me feel so loved and cared for as he rubs my feet every night, dashes off to make cups of tea as soon as I wake up, lays out my pyjamas for me after a long day, covers me in pillows and blankets as I lounge on the couch, calls through the house about how much he loves me at all hours of the day, cheers while I practice my drumming, etc etc. I love how much I feel loved.
Joey, not to be outdone, had just as many wonderful things to say about Jen. “Jen is a light in the world – someone who brightens the day of everyone around her. She has so much empathy that she frequently gets stuck talking to strangers about the troubles in their lives, always leaving them feeling comforted and reassured. Being with Jen is pure joy.”
Jen and Joey’s wedding was an unforgettable event, filled with joy and celebration. From the heartfelt toasts of family members, to trekking up a mountain strangely named “Chicken and Hen Rock”, to dancing late in the evening – Jen and Joey made sure that every moment was special not just for them but all their guests too!
Photography: Henry Paul Photography | Florist: Joey’s family | Engagement Ring: I Am Jika | Celebrant: Sara, a friend of a friend | Wedding Venue: Happy Daze, a family home | Catering: Vicky – Urban Cooking Collective | Entertainment Brooklyn Brady | Dessert: Casa Del Marrickville | Marquee: Blue Mountains Special Event Hire | Wedding Bands: I Am Jika | Jen’s Outfit: Vintage | Hair: Kayes House of Hair | Joey’s Outfit: A Highland Wedding Kilt Hire