Jessie and Alex Bedwell didn’t begin their love on a starstruck, trumpets-playing footing. But sometimes, beginnings like theirs build the best foundations. Photographer Darren Wigley captured their slow burning fireworks.
Jessie Bedwell admits she wasn’t particularly pleasant to her now-husband Alex when they met.
“It wasn’t love at first sight,” says Jessie, product manager for an insurance company, who is also studying law.
“We met through friends who were trying to set us up at a 21st. I spent a good portion of the night, and quite a bit of money on taxis, chasing this group of people across Sydney before they stayed in one place long enough to meet Alex. So when my friend pointed him out with his mullet, looking like such a dag, I wasn’t impressed.”
But Jessie got in touch soon after.
“Maybe it was guilt for how rudely I treated Alex initially? We began (Facebook) messaging and I was struck by how intelligent he sounded. I convinced Alex to have a 21st birthday party of his own and scored an invite but I had no intention of being his girlfriend. I had plans to travel overseas.”
Cupid had other ideas, recalls Alex and at his 21st, the pair became inseparable.
“It wasn’t long before we moved in together (delete in inner city Sydney,” says Alex, an associate for (delete for a judge) on the Federal Court. (delete Circuit.)
Alex’s proposal (please change three to) four years later was also unorthodox, recalls Jessie.
“Alex took me for dinner but he didn’t realise when he booked, he requested the reservation be sent to me as a guest. In the ‘special instructions’ comment box, he’d said the reservation was an engagement proposal. I waited until dessert and then said if he was going to propose he should do it soon because we were running out of courses.”
Alex did so.
He says: “I love her drive and her desire to reach higher and get better. I knew I was in love when I was driving Jess home from a date one night. I arrived at her place to drop her off and she said she didn’t want to go home. We drove back to my place on the Central Coast and she slept on my shoulder the whole way.”
The couple married in July at Melross Farm, upper Kangaroo Valley, six years to the day after they met.
Jessie says: “The venue gave us flexibility to plan our wedding the way we wanted. There are two houses on the farm that sleep 10 people each from Thursday until Sunday plus The Barn for our reception so we organised the catering, BYO alcohol and decorating.”
For Jessie and Alex, the ceremony was the most important part.
“We had been to a number of weddings and the most striking thing was how quickly everyone tries to get the ceremony done, like it’s the chore for the day,” says Jessie.
“The ceremony was very special to us. We wrote our own vows. Alex got his mum to edit his and she cried when she heard them, which was so touching. It was also really special to have my mother-in-law and friend Danielle do readings.”
In the months beforehand, shoe choices had caused Jessie a lot of stress.
“Being a country wedding and walking across paddocks that potentially would be muddy meant typical wedding style shoes were out,” says Jessie.
Her solution came from across the world.
“I found Corral Boots and they had just opened up a store in Brisbane,” she says.
“These authentic cowboys’ boots are huge in America, especially for weddings. They are leather with wooden soles with nails holding it all together! I absolutely love them and still wear them even though they are covered in Swarovski crystals.”
After their ‘’I do’s”, the married couple walked across the paddock to The Barn with their 100 guests. The front lawn was set up as a Garden Party, and as photographer Darren whisked the couple away, there were lawn games, live music, canapes and a grazing antipasto to enjoy.
Catering by Rabbit & Co Caterers included a sit-down banquet with braised beef cheeks with whisky porter, crispy duck with game jus and fire-roasted plums and hickory hot smoked salmon. Desert included sticky date pudding and a dark chocolate and flourless chocolate espresso wedding cake. After the dinner, guests danced to live music by the western swing, honky tonk band, the Cruisin’ Deuces.
Alex and Jessie honeymooned in Bali, where they trekked up Mt Batur to watch the sunrise.
Alex is clear on his favourite wedding moments: “The speeches from family and friends, the reception and waking up the next morning with my wife.”
The perfect starstruck, trumpets-playing start to a life together after all.
Brides of Sydney bridal boutique
Bridesmaids and flower girl’s dresses
Bridesmaid by White Runway. Flower girl by Emma Gowns
Caterer and wedding cake
Rabbit & Co Catering
Mr Wigley Photography
Taylor Made Bouquets
Chris Simond at Side by Side
Ella&Me from The Makeup Collective
Corral Boots Australia