Country wedding special
ONE COUPLE’S ROMANTIC UNION ON A TREASURED ISLAND OFF TASMANIA, PLUS TOP SPOTS TO TIE THE KNOT AROUND AUSTRALIA.
A surprise trip to a Tasmanian island three years ago led Tessa and Jack to return with their wedding party.
According to Tessa Kavanagh, getting married on a private island is special. “there’s something quite different about being the only people on an island — you have a knowledge of your boundaries and yet a feeling of total freedom,” she says, having in March wed her long-time love, Jack Newman-morris, on Satellite Island in Tasmania’s D’entrecasteaux Channel. Creating an experience was a priority for the couple, who recently moved from Melbourne to the Macedon Ranges and a 19th-century farmhouse. “we were never very keen on a ‘normal’ sort of wedding,” Tessa says. “we wanted something that wasn’t just about us and our enjoyment — it was about creating something for our friends, too.” The couple met 12 years ago. Jack proposed in June last year during a holiday for Tessa’s 30th birthday. three years earlier, Jack, also 30, had surprised Tessa with a trip to Satellite Island, a visit that resulted in an ongoing friendship with the island’s owners. Tessa and Jack’s wedding was the first celebrated on the island, and both knew the logistics would be “full-on”. “there’s no mains power, just a generator, and we had to bring in everything from portaloos to catering tents and chairs, ”tessa says. “i think we sent down 300 kilograms of gear from Melbourne. It was quite an undertaking — but it was worth it.” Tessa, a stylist whose work appears regularly in Country Style, is used to creating beautiful scenes in remote places. The wedding was no exception. “we had lots of cut foliage that we dried and sprayed gold.the salt and pepper on the >
table was served in oyster shells we’d collected, and the place settings were grey stones from one of the beaches.” Gold bells were another feature. they adorned the table, the signposts and the boats that brought guests from nearby Bruny Island, and their gentle jingle set the tone for the day. The couple exchanged vows on the Boathouse jetty in front of 65 close friends and family — Tessa in an embroidered lace dress from Zimmermann — followed by lunch under umbrellas in a paddock at the top of the island.the rustic and colourful menu was prepared on site by chefs from Hobart restaurant Smolt. Island manager Richard Roe was instrumental in the smooth running of the day, as was Myfanwy Kernke, from Shene Estate in Pontville near Hobart, who acted as wedding coordinator. At sunset, guests enjoyed champagne and freshly shucked Bruny Island oysters, then there was dancing by a bonfire until 10pm, when a catamaran ferried most guests back to Hobart. “I don’t think I’ll ever have that much fun in one day again,” Tessa says. “the sun shone, the wind gently rustled the linen tablecloths, the gold foliage sparkled… It was magic!”
CLOCKWISE, FROM ABOVE Tessa Kavanagh and Jack Newman-morris exchange vows on the jetty of the Boathouse; Tessa chose a Zimmermann dress and a bouquet of bouvardia; Satellite Island’s Boathouse; the tent where Tessa and Jack spent their wedding night; stones gathered on Sunset Beach were used in lieu of place cards.
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Champagne flutes at the ready; on the way to the reception; umbrellas shield the banquet table; gold bells jingled gently all day; paper cups of rose petals; Tessa with bridesmaids Chantal Noble (left) and Ebonnie Masini.
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Just married; oysters from neighbouring Bruny Island; dinner boxes prepared by chefs from Hobart’s Smolt restaurant; the couple pose with close friends; guests enjoy the party as the light fades. FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT The bride’s place setting, complete with tambourine; hopping aboard the island’s private boat; a tree adorned with party lights and gold bells; husband and wife; Tessa descends the steep stairs to the Boathouse and her awaiting nuptials.