Our Wedding Day : The Little Details

09 Jun 2014            Jessica Ratty

My favourite part of planning our wedding day, was creating and finding all of the perfect little details! I love details at a wedding and the more details you have the more there is for the guests to look at and enjoy. But also the more memories you have to keep from the day. Small beautiful details can completely change the look and feeling of any wedding day. These are just some of my favourite details from the day...

I had "Groom" and "Bride" Coat hangers made, just to add a personal touch and to hang our outfits on, instead of just normal coat hangers. 

I had these cuff links made for Stuart as a gift for him on the wedding day. All of the Groomsmen also had personalised cufflinks.

Stuart and I wanted something really different for our wedding rings, so these were our rings.

I didn't want to wear the typical white wedding shoes, I really wanted something different, so I found these amazing finch feather shoes in Sydney and fell in love with them! 

I am a perfectionist and like to make sure everything is perfect and exactly how we pictured it before the day. Also as my Bridesmaids were having knuckle duster clutch bags instead of flowers, it would have been hard to have just one bouquet made and delivered to York for the day. So I found an amazing florist in the USA who makes them from "real touch" flowers. I still have my bouquet and still love it! I also wanted to incorporate the special people in my life who couldn't be there on the day, so I hung their images from my bouquet (I will go into more detail in another blog post about incorporating missing loved ones into your wedding day).

I also didn't want to have the typical wedding jewellery or "natural" makeup. I wanted it to be quite a statement, it is your one wedding day... why not make it amazing! So I searched everywhere for these green tear drop earrings! My bridesmaids all had matching simple black tear drop earrings. 

I hadn't planned on wearing a bracelet before the day, but Stuart surprised me the morning of the wedding with this amazing bracelet, so I definitely wanted to wear it on the day. 

I love veils! They always look so incredible in photographs and just make such a beautiful statement. I really wanted a veil that had the horsehair braiding around the edge of the veil and it to be very long - 130 inches in the end! I looked everywhere for a veil like this but couldn't find them anywhere. So I found an incredible company in the USA who hand makes the veils to your custom order. I was so nervous about how it would arrive and the quality, but when it arrived, it was amazing, it was exactly what I wanted and sat perfectly!

Our ceremony was an evening ceremony, but we still wanted our guests to be able to enjoy lawn games, a cocktail bar, canapés and an oyster bar. So we had our guests arrive about an hour before the ceremony so they could all mingle and make the most of everything, before the sun went down.

I knew that at an outside wedding in the evening, some ladies may get quite cold with their dresses on.. So we had a basket out with big fabric scarves/wraps. Which the guests really made the most of and loved to even where them around them to keep warm. 

Stuart loves to smoke Cigars at special occasions, so I really wanted to organise something that would entertain the boys and would be something for him. As most of the details and events are usually targeted at the females. So I had a Cigar Bar set up, with different types and flavours of cigars, for the guests to enjoy. Stuart had no idea about it until the day! It turned out to be a big hit, all of the guests loved it and wanted to try the different flavours.

As our wedding reception was in an open marquee and our dance floor was just on the grass in front of the marquee, I wanted the girls to be comfortable and not have to worry about heels and sore feet, so we had a little basket with thongs in it, for the girls to wear if they wanted to take their heels off. 

All of the little stations listed above were set around a "chill out lounge area" for the guests to go out and sit during the reception.

Instead of having a typical Photo Booth, we wanted something really unique and fun. So Stuart made this incredible Photo Board from scratch! We had photo frames with our family and growing up photographs but then the 3 large frames were for people to pose through and interact across the board to each other... there are a couple of examples of the board at the end of this blog post. 

With our bonbonnieres I wanted to come up with something that was unique, that matched our theme and also that our guests could actually take home and use. So we had little potted herbs - 4 different types with little wedding associated name tags. 

There was:
  - Thyme - which had the tag "It's about Thyme"
- Rosemary - which had the tag "Rosemarry"
- Mint - which had the tag "Mint to Be"
- Lavender - which had the tag "Lovender" 

Our guests loved these little gifts and so many have told me how they have planted them in their garden and how well they are growing. 

We had a Degustation dinner for our reception and I wanted to have quite a unique menu for all of the guests. So I designed this up and hung them from every guests chair, instead of just having them on the tables.

I love the American style long tables, so I was set on that style layout, with my favourite chairs of all time - beautiful white Tiffany Chairs. I also love this layout because it makes the guests closer together and easier to talk and mingle with each other. 

For the table arrangement list, I didn't want just a piece of paper with a list of names. So we got an old 3 panel old shutters. We had 3 long guest tables, so I used each panel as a table to list the guest seating. 

As our wedding ceremony was in the evening, we lined the wedding isle with french Shepherd Hook Lanters that were lit up before the ceremony. 

I decided so give Stuart another surprise and get a wedding Caricature of us done. With a few things that are important to us both. He is a scaffolder, so I wanted us to be on the scaffold. 

To match our theme we had a bird cage for our guests cards and notes.. Instead of the usual Wishing Well.


We had a guest signature album, for our family and friends to write little messages in, but we also had a framed tree print, so our guests would leave their inked thumb print on the tree (like a leaf) and sign their name with it.

For our Bridal Party Table. we again did something a little different from the usual, as we had such a big Bridal Party - 14 in total, there was no way we could have a long table with everyone facing out to the guests. We also didn't really like that idea, as the people towards the ends of the tables wouldn't be as included in conversations or what was going on. So we designed our Bridal table to have one circular table in the centre, for just Stuart and I to sit at and then on either side was a long table for the bridal party to sit at and face each other. So it brought us all closer and we could all talk and enjoy the evening together.

Our beautiful cake was made by Stuart's Nanna, who isn't a professional and has only just started making cakes for fun... When I saw the finished product, I was amazed, I did not expect it to be so professional and perfect! The bottom tier of the cake was covered in hand made rosettes - to match the bottom of my gown. And then the top tiers had the ruching to match my gown and a beaded sash, which was similar to my sash on my gown.

We also had a candy and dessert buffet for our guests to enjoy, throughout the evening.

These were just one of the styles of centrepieces we had - with the help of my amazing Bridesmaids and Stuart... we hand made all 18 of them!! I wanted that French ball of flowers look - but I didn't want real flowers.

As the wedding theme was very French provincial - we didn't want the typical red carpet, so instead we had a long linen/hessian isle. We also had our ceremony right in front of our reception marquee.

Instead of having a dance floor, we just wanted the entire grass area to be the dance floor and where people could mingle together. Also when we entered the reception, I took off my veil (as it was so long it would have been stepped on) and swapped over to a Bird Cage veil. 

We had chandeliers hanging from the trees, which looked so amazing and impressive once the sun went down, but also made an incredible photo opportunity! 

This is how the photo board was used.... (except I don't think Stuart got the concept to stay inside the wall to make it look like a picture! :p)

Images by Jerry Ghionis. 

Monday, June 09, 2014 comments (0) post comment 


Frank & Amanda : Caversham House Wedding

06 Jun 2014            Jessica Ratty

Last month I photographed the gorgeous Amanda & Frank's Wedding Day at Caversham House. It was such a great day - Amanda is just so sweet and nice, as well as the entire Bridal Party just so easy to work with and wanting to have fun! 

On the morning of a wedding, while the Bride is getting ready, we don't let her Dad see her until she is all dressed and ready.. that way we can capture the beautiful moments when he sees her in her gown. It is always such a sweet and emotional moment. 

Here are just a few of my favourite images from their wedding day!

Friday, June 06, 2014 comments (0) post comment 


Wedding Day Tip : How To Tie a Tie

27 May 2014            Jessica Ratty

This may sound like a strange topic to blog about, but you would be amazed by how many weddings I turn up to the Groom's prep and know one knows how to tie their ties... that is something most people don't think of before the wedding and then on the morning of the wedding, it can be an issue. 

So here is a little guide on how to tie a few different favourite options, depending on the look you are going for. 

Make sure that before your wedding day, you have at least one of the groomsmen or someone that will be with the boys on the morning of the wedding who knows how to tie a tie, or alternatively you can even have them pre-tied and then on the morning just tighten them back up when you put them on. 

These tips and diagrams are courtesy of http://josefwigren.com/.

To tie the Full Windsor:

  1. Begin by crossing the wide end over the narrow end.
  2. Take the wide end back through the loop around your neck.
  3. Take the wide end over the narrow end in the same direction you crossed it at step 1.
  4. Fold the wide end underneath the narrow end.
  5. Take the wide end up…
  6. And back through the loop in the same direction as step 4.
  7. Fold the wide end horizontally over the narrow end.
  8. Bring the wide end up through the loop once more, like you did in step 2.
  9. Pull the wide end through the knot.

For the Half Windsor:

  1. Begin by crossing the wide end over the narrow end.
  2. Fold the wide end underneath the narrow end.
  3. Pull the wide end up.
  4. Take the wide end back down through the loop.
  5. Move the wide end horizontally over the narrow end.
  6. Take the wide end up through the loop.
  7. Pull the wide end through the knot in front. Proceed to tighten the knot and pull it up to your collar.

To Tie a Four in Hand:

  1. Begin by crossing the wide end over the narrow end.
  2. Fold the wide end underneath the narrow end.
  3. Pass the wide end horizontally over the narrow end again.
  4. Take the wide end up and through the loop around your neck.
  5. Take the wide end through the knot in front. Proceed to tighten the knot and pull it up to your collar.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 comments (0) post comment 


Our Wedding Day : 1 Year Anniversary

22 May 2014            Jessica Ratty

As all of my amazing clients know, Stuart and I had our own wedding last year and Sunday (18th of May) marked our 1st wedding anniversary! All of my clients always ask me to see our wedding photos, so I thought I would finally share them with you all. The one question that everyone has asked is "So, who did you get to shoot your wedding?...It must have been a hard decision". But for me that was the first thing that was confirmed. Being a photographer and seeing how beautiful wedding photography will last a lifetime and how important it is, the photography was the most important part of our day. I am lucky enough to have the most amazing Husband, who let me have my dream photographer, who is my favourite photographer in the world. So we flew our amazing photographers over to capture our day - Jerry Ghionis and his gorgeous and bubbly wife Melissa. We are so happy with our photos, they are incredible.

I loved the entire wedding planning process, all of the details, the planning, the styling, I was so in my element! 

Our wedding day was perfect, it was our dream wedding and we had honestly the best day of our lives! Because I am always surrounded by weddings and wedding planning, there were some of the traditional things that we wanted to change and make it our own unique day. 

A lot of our wedding style was based on more the American weddings and how they do things. Our wedding was at the incredible Laurelville Manor in York, which is an amazing Manor that was built in the 1800's and has since been done up to have an incredible French Provincial feel - which is exactly what I wanted. There are 8 incredible rooms in the Manor, so our entire Bridal Party could stay with us for the entire weekend. 

I have never really been a huge fan of flowers (although my gown was covered in hand made fabric rosettes), so one thing I really did not want, was Bridesmaid bouquets and Groomsman boutonniere's. We wanted quite a modern/unique/french feel to the wedding. So instead of flowers, my Bridesmaids has knuckleduster lace clutches, instead of the Groomsmen wearing a flower boutonniere on their suits, they just had a simple white pocket square. Stuart didn't want to wear a typical tie, so he wore a black silk scarf, under his white shirt and then had his suit over the top, so it was still very formal, just a lot more modern. Instead of a chief bridesmaid, I had a "Man of Honour", who has been my best friend since we were 4, so I felt it was very important for him to be standing up there with me. 

We also really wanted a night time ceremony, so we could have a beautiful romantic atmosphere, surrounded by candles, chandeliers in the trees and lanterns. So to have our night time ceremony, it meant we needed to have our photographs taken during the day before the ceremony. So Stuart and I had our "first look" where we had our backs to each other and then turned around to see each other for the first time on our wedding day. I love first looks, I just think they create such a beautiful and intimate moment for the Bride and Groom. 

I will be doing another blog soon, with all of our detail shots and little features. But for now here is just some of our amazing photos from our wedding day.

My Gown: Amsale
Stuart Suit: Henry Bucks 
Venue: Laurelville Manor - York
Photographer: Jerry Ghionis

Thursday, May 22, 2014 comments (0) post comment 


Liam & Jasmin : Caversham House Wedding

02 Apr 2014            Jessica Ratty

Jasmin & Liam were married at the beautiful Caversham House in December. It was a very warm day, so we stayed around the shaded areas of the gorgeous Caversham House's gardens. There are so many beautiful little spots around the grounds, that there is really no need to leave! Jasmin & Liam's ceremony was conducted my my favourite celebrant in Perth - Dru Soltys, who also was the celebrant for Stuart & I's wedding in May last year. 

Liam and his Groomsmen wanted to do something different, so during the reception, we snuck out and photographed a few shots of them with cigars. As well as some super sweet & moody images of Jasmin and Liam.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014 comments (0) post comment 


Ben & Corina : The Vines Resort Wedding

31 Mar 2014            Jessica Ratty

Ben & Corina were married at the beautiful Vines Resort. The weather was amazing for photos, beautiful overcast grey clouds, created incredible images! 

Monday, March 31, 2014 comments (0) post comment 


Anthony & Andrea : Frasers Wedding Sneak Peek Pt 1

19 Mar 2014            Jessica Ratty

Anthony and Andrea were such a great couple to work with, they were happy to do anything on the day and look seriously amazing! The entire Bridal Party were so much fun to work with and we had such a great day! 

Anthony and Andrea were married at a beautiful little church in Woodlands called "Our Lady of The Rosary". Their reception was then held at the gorgeous Frasers Function Centre in Kings Park. 

We were able to capture so many amazing images from their day and I can't wait to share them all! But for now, here are just a few!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 comments (0) post comment 


Troy & Amy : Fremantle Wedding Teaser

25 Feb 2014            Jessica Ratty

It has been a super busy, yet amazing weekend in the Defy Imaging studio. On Saturday, I had the pleasure of photographing Amy & Troy's gorgeous wedding day in Fremantle. Their ceremony was at the Wesley Uniting Church, followed by their reception at the Tradewinds Hotel. 

On Sunday we exhibited at my favourite Bridal Expo in Perth - The Perth Bride Expo at the Hyatt Hotel. We met so many beautiful Bride's To Be and heard all about their wedding plans. 

Here is a little teaser from Amy & Troy's wedding day... more images to come soon! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 comments (0) post comment 


AAPP Print Judging : Photography Awards

17 Aug 2013            Jessica Ratty

We recently had the annual 2013 AAPP (Australian Accredited Professional Photographers) Print Judging Awards. I am so excited to announce that one of our beautiful images of the stunning Amanda from her wedding day, was awarded a GOLD award!

Saturday, August 17, 2013 comments (0) post comment 


Nawwar & Matthew's Wedding : Sneak Peek

03 Aug 2013            Jessica Ratty

Last year I had the amazing pleasure of photographing the beautiful wedding of Nawwar and Matthew at Fraser's Restaurant, in Kings Park. Nawwar and Matthew live over in Malaysia, so they organised the entire wedding from over there, with the help of the always incredible Bridal Creations. The styling and detailing of the wedding was beautiful, there were so many gorgeous things to see everywhere you looked. 

Nawwar wore a stunning hand made gown covered in lace and beading. Before they entered their reception, Nawwar then changed into another hand made gown that was silver and covered in amazing beading and detailing. The bridesmaids wore short cream dresses with lace sleeves, finished with thin belts around their waists. I LOVE white/cream bridesmaid dresses - it looks so beautiful when the girls are all standing around the Bride. And the Bride will always still stand out from her Bridesmaids, as the Bride's gown is usually a lot more detailed and her hair, makeup and details are usually different from all of the girls.  

Saturday, August 03, 2013 comments (0) post comment 


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