Ben and Jo met on Myspace through mutual friends in 2007 and began chatting on MSN. They met in person while studying at uni and have been inseparable ever since!
Inspiration for their wedding was drawn from their lives and their relationship. Jo grew up in Sydney, so they used native Australian flowers and foliage throughout their day. Skulls have always had significance for the couple; Ben has more skull tattoos than you can count and Jo’s engagement ring was adorned with skulls, so they continued this throughout their decor. They even had Ben’s tattoo artist design them a wedding tattoo and added into their temporary tattoo station by Doris Loves!
Although Jo and Ben didn’t do any ‘arts and crafts’ in terms of DIY projects for their day, instead entrusting talented professionals and designer-makers to complete their aesthetics, they were innovative with their ideas – decorating the venue with glass skulls filled with fairy lights and decorating signs to tie in with their stationery. The scoured the likes of Hobbycraft, TKMaxx and Asda Homewares in the lead up to their wedding collecting skull snow globes, skull tea light holders and the glass skulls to use throughout their decor.
Flowers were provided by Kimberleys the Florist, filling jars and vases throughout the venue as well as bouquets and buttonholes, to which Crown and Glory matched an artificial flower crown and hair clips and corsages for their bridesmaids and bridesman. Crown and Glory also made Jo’s custom veil, dip-dyeing it in deep burgundy and finishing with lace edging to match the detailing on her Wed2Be dress.
They tried to avoid anything traditional that many people have at a wedding just because they feel they should – they didn’t have speeches, a Best Man or a Maid of Honour. “It wasn’t because we didn’t have anything to say or that we don’t have close friends, but because we wanted everyone to enjoy themselves, have a good time and not be expected to do anything extra that would put pressure on them on the day.” explained Jo.
Their ceremony was simple in terms of vows – Jo and Ben felt that everything they needed to say had already been said. They involved family as much as possible – Jo walked down the aisle with one of her brothers and another was ring bearer, while they chose friends to be witnesses. They splashed out on a pianist to play during their ceremony and wedding breakfast, which was an extravagance for the couple but “utterly magical and well worth it.”
Jo’s dad unfortunately passed away in 2009, but the couple wanted him to be an important part of their wedding day. They did this by having a memorial area on the bar. Each person was then given a little wooden heart with their favour and encouraged to have a ‘Drink with Steve’ at the bar for which there was a tab. The groomsmen also enjoyed celebratory cigars together, not an uncommon tradition for weddings, but a convention that held extra significance in this instance as another memory of Jo’s dad.
“We had a lot of fun adding all the special touches,” said Jo, “planning something special with your best friend is a great feeling! Although there’s nothing we would’ve done differently, the day went by so fast so we would’ve loved to have spent more time with each guest.”
Jo also advises taking some time during the day for just the two of you to soak everything up – they had a top table for just the two of them during the wedding breakfast which was the perfect opportunity for them to take time out for themselves and reflect on the whirlwind of the day.