Rosa Bride – Jocelyn & Dan
Daniel Luther and Jocelyn McGarity
6 February 2021
HOW WE MET
We met in high school. We are each other’s sweethearts. I saw Dan across the room at a house party in Bathurst, NSW way back in June 2009. Dan was lanky and blonde and I was completely captivated by his striking blue eyes. We kept a close check on each other all night and finally, I found the courage to approach Dan and start chatting. Winter in Bathurst is freezing, so, leveraging the situation, I dropped the old line “I’m so cold…”, which Dan slightly misread coming in for a hug, only to be pleasantly surprised when I actually dived in for the kiss. We’ve been pretty smitten ever since – with our relationship surviving serious stints of long-distance as well as the change and personal growth brought on by university in different cities. We are lucky that even though we got together as kids, we were somehow wise enough to know that what we had found early on was very special and worth holding onto.
HOW WE GOT ENGAGED
As nature lovers, we spend a lot of our time in the outdoors so it was only fitting that Dan proposed on our ten-year anniversary in 2019 while we were out bushwalking in a stunning national park with ocean views surrounded by gum trees.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS
A commitment to adventuring together. To keep playing. To having fun. Continual learning and growth, both as individuals and as lovers. Enduring trust, loyalty, mutual respect, and support. To finding magic in the mundane.
Special mention to Rachel, our wonderful friend, and celebrant who married us and created a personalised and moving ceremony.
We currently live in Newcastle, NSW but always knew for our wedding we’d head back home to the country.
We got married on the Luther’s family farm “Ti-Tree”, in Edith NSW on Gundungurra Country. Ti-Tree always elicits nostalgia because some of our early relationship was spent there stomping around the paddocks, riding horses, helping with the shearing, swimming in dams – all with the carefree, reckless abandon of teenagers in love.
Our photographer Dane Tucker from @thesaltyshutter was a lens wizard all day and night. We barely noticed him working his magic but by god did he capture everything so beautifully. Thankfully I came across Dane’s work long before I was engaged, so there was never a sense of feeling overwhelmed by choice – I always knew I wanted him. Dane’s ability to capture photos so candidly, portraying such emotion, shows incredible skill. As a huge fan of film photography, his ability to play with grain, light, and motion is inspiring. We are so thrilled with all of our photos and cannot thank Dane enough.
In addition to a photographer, we also had our wonderful friends Andrew and Sam from @flyonthewallfilms film our wedding. Watching our wedding film back was very emotional, it truly helped us relive what was an amazing, whirlwind of a day (and laugh at us all toughing it out in some serious rain from the comfort of our couch!).
FINDING YOUR DREAM WEDDING GOWN
I really didn’t look too hard for a dress. I discovered Bo and Luca a few years ago and tucked them into the back of my mind for “someday”. I was drawn to the whimsical, floaty, bohemian style of B&L dresses. I really loved the two-piece RITA options from the Temple collection so originally envisioned myself wearing those. I also adored the ROSA gown but ruled it out early on because of my budget. When I saw that Bo and Luca was having its 20% off sale, I made an appointment with the delightful Maggie at Your Art Bridal in Thirroul and took along my best friend and one of my sisters.
Maggie didn’t have the RITA top, so I agreed to try on the ROSA (fretting a little about the price!). After trying on a couple of other designers for fun, I slipped into the ROSA gown. As soon as I had it on I knew it was perfect. I felt comfortable, beautiful, and just like me. To get around my monetary concerns, I ended up buying the sample dress right off the rack. Bargain hunting second-hand clothes or clothes that have already lived a little life (like a sample dress in a bridal boutique) is entirely my style, so everything about the experience felt good and right.
I glided, carried, stomped, swayed and swished in the beautiful ROSA gown. The balance of this frock makes it very special: intricate beading paired with simplicity of fabric; timeless, vintage-inspired bell sleeves paired with modern bodice cutouts; and a classic neckline paired with some sexy skin showing at the waist and back.
WEDDING DAY SCENT
I wore the same perfume that I had on the night I met Dan. Thankfully, even as a 16-year old I had a fairly mature taste, having long swapped out the Brittney Spears’ “Fantasy” bottle (lol) for Issey Miyake’s “L’eau D’Issey”. It’s my favourite scent and I’ll probably never outgrow it.
WEDDING DAY ACCESSORIES
I kept my accessories pretty simple with a single pair of statement earrings, some rings, and a fine gold bracelet handed down to me from my dear Nan. I actually found the Bo and Luca COSTELLA earrings on Facebook marketplace so bought them from there although not without a funny story! They arrived missing a small dangly piece, so I scoured the internet until I found a replacement piece and did a home-job jewellery repair. You couldn’t tell at all and it gave me a sense of satisfaction knowing I’d found a bargain and breathed new life into them!
A huge win was the white cowgirl boots I decided to wear, which were extremely practical being at a farm and because it rained so much. They effortlessly matched the bohemian style of the ROSA gown and kept my feet comfortable and dry all day long.
I love mismatched bridesmaids dresses so knew from the beginning that’s what I wanted. I also wanted my three sisters and best friend to feel gorgeous and comfortable in a frock they themselves had chosen. I created a bit of a ‘dress board’ of styles and colours (I LOVE warm, autumnal colours) and over the course of several months, they’d all found lovely dresses, or jumpsuits, from a variety of places.
My engagement ring is a gorgeous marquise-shaped salt and pepper diamond and was custom-made by Australian designer Natalie Marie Jewellery. I worked with NMJ again to create my wedding band, which is an organically shaped gold band sprinkled with tiny diamonds. For Dan, we had local Newcastle designer Kate & Kole cast a classic-style continuum silver band. Dan’s ring is inscribed along the inside.
HAIR & MAKEUP
I was blown away by the kindness and calmness that both our hair and makeup artists brought to the day. I’d never had my makeup done before, so it was a real treat and very relaxing. The artists nailed their briefs – “natural, glowy, minimal” and “messy low bun/up-do, loose tresses”. I chose to style my hair up so that the back of the ROSA gown could be fully admired. I’m so glad I made this decision because with all the rain it held up ok and was less fuss.
We asked my darling friend Caitlin to design our invites. They featured the front gate at Ti-Tree, gum leaves, and a cute pair of magpies. Caity thoughtfully got a stamp of the magpies made up for us, so we used it on a lot of other stationery bits and bobs like our favours and our thank you cards.
From the very beginning, we knew that our wedding favours would not be tangible things our guests could take home. As an environmentalist, the thought of potentially creating additional waste on a day that already consumes so much was front of mind. We were very conscious that it’s incredibly privileged to be able to throw a big party like a wedding, so decided our wedding favours would be about giving back. For each guest, we planted a tree by donating to Greenfleet Australia, a not-for-profit organisation committed to reforesting Australia and sequestering carbon. A little card at each place setting told our guest this was so, and included our signature magpie stamp designed by Caitlin.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS
For our flowers, we worked with wonderful Edith local Emma Hine who actually lives within 5 minutes from Ti-Tree. This made the logistics of the day incredibly smooth, allowing us to make quick last-minute decisions about whether or not we’d move the ceremony location floral arrangement because of the rain. I’m so glad we decided to tough out the rain under the tree because Emma’s beautiful tree dressing looked fantastic! My brief to Emma was basically, “a foraged-looking, mix of Australian natives and perennials, wildflowers, a mix of colour and texture with warm tones”. I also asked for locally sourced, pesticide-free flowers where possible. Emma did an amazing job. I especially loved that the guys’ boutonnières really tied in with their native flower-print bowties from Melbourne business Peggy and Finn.
We did all the table flowers ourselves, pilfering the beautiful cottage garden at Ti-Tree! The amount of flowers we had was breathtaking and the tables looked a bit like an Australian country show flower section – lots of roses, baby’s breath, dahlias, sweet peas, lavender, and poppies. My sister and I also made the hanging wreaths using natives from our neighbour’s garden.
We originally never wanted dessert so had a great laugh when my Mum, a major sweet tooth, told us a few weeks out that she’d ordered 90 pastries from Legall, a local French patisserie and institution. Of course she did! And really, we should never have doubted her because they were inhaled on the night. We didn’t cut a traditional cake on the night, but my darling mum baked a lemon ricotta cake which we cut the next day at our recovery brunch.
FOOD & DRINKS
Since Ti-Tree is a working sheep farm, we were really eager to serve Luther lamb, butchered by Dan’s dad and prepped and deliciously slow-cooked by Blue-Mountains-based caterer Redpepper. To reduce our impact a bit, we only wanted one share plate of meat, so our other main share plate was stuffed eggplant – which everyone loved. We also had share plate sides of heirloom carrots, greens, and crispy potatoes.
My Dad, a wine lover, had fun collecting and curating our drinks list. Apart from the French champagne, he stuck to all Australian-produced wine, including some fantastic local cool-climate drops from the Bathurst region.
SPECIAL WEDDING SONGS
My friend Avril played her guitar and sung me down the aisle to Cat Power’s “Sea of Love”. Dan and I chose “Better Together” by Jack Johnson for our first dance, which our band really nailed. They built it up slowly and then picked up speed and energy as our families joined the dance floor.
CEREMONY & RECEPTION DECOR
Our ceremony location was under the most symmetrically pleasing gumtree imaginable with views out across a ridge and down a gully. It needed very little embellishment, so we kept it simple with a single stunning floral arrangement on the tree.
For our reception, we really just wanted to create a relaxed, welcoming, country vibe where all our favourite people could let their hair down, not take themselves too seriously, and feel all loved up with us. The rain really helped with that letting-hair-down bit! We made sure not to “overdress” our reception “venue” (a working hay shed), to be realistic about what we could achieve, and to embrace some of the imperfections of having a DIY wedding.
We managed to find a local who’d done her own DIY country wedding, so hired all our bespoke vases, linen, plates, gold cutlery, vintage Sebel chairs, and wooden table runners from her. We also knew the incredible power of festoon lighting to transform a space, so hired and strung those up and the warm glow they gave off from the hay was pretty magical. We painted our own signage, used rusty old bathtubs for the beers, printed our own menus and table charts, and decorated the tables with all those glorious homegrown flowers.
We were incredibly lucky to enjoy Lord Howe Island for our honeymoon – a dreamy island destination that offered a great balance of adventuring and relaxing.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION
Pinterest was pretty handy, as was “Wedshed” and “Hello May”.
MOST TREASURED MOMENT OF MY WEDDING DAY
It’s impossible to choose just one: my arrival at the ceremony, which coincided with the exact moment the heavens really opened up, but everyone just let out a big cheer geeing me along; my Dad’s teary, proud eyes; saying our vows – time really slowed down and all the distractions just melted away at that moment; our first dance under the stars and festoon lights; and last but not least, our groomsman climbing a hay bale and stripping his shirt off to cheers from the dance floor at the end of the night!
ADVICE FOR BRIDES-TO-BE
Don’t stress about the weather – you can’t control it! Not only does rain make for beautiful photos, but it also takes away the tension and expectation that the day has to be “perfect”, which means everyone relaxes. And really, a relaxed, happy wedding day is “perfection”.
Write your vows early. We were so glad we put pen to paper many months out from the big day. Every time I read and practiced my vows it reminded me of what the day was all about. It put the day into perspective and reduced my stress over the frivolous things that in the grand scheme things, really didn’t matter.
VENDORS & SUPPLIERS
Using local and Australian-based vendors was really important to us. Especially because so many small Australian businesses have really struggled through drought, bushfires and Covid-19 in the past 12 months. As someone who deeply cares about our impact on the planet, I tried to make every decision through the lens of sustainability and supporting local business.
Dress: Bo & Luca
Photographer: Dane Tucker @thesaltyshutter
Videographers: Andrew and Sam @flyonthewallfilms
Flowers: Emma Hine @emmalouiseflowers
Celebrant: Rachel Viant @love.language._
Band: Soda @sodatheband
Catering: Redpepper @redpepper_catering_events
Bowties and cufflinks: @peggyandfinn
Rings: Natalie Marie
Bridal party accommodation: Bimlow Cottage Edith @bimlowcottage
Dessert: Legall Patisserie @legallpatisseriecafe
Bespoke decorations and furniture: Lizzie Watt
Buses: Sinclair Buses
Toilets: T&P Luxury toilets
Lighting and generator: JD Events Bathurst
Brunch coffee cart: Moubar Vintage @moubarvintage