THE HOMECOMING

PHOEBE ROSE WHITE and JONATHAN BUSH’S ro­mance be­gan at a his­toric homestead in coun­try New South Wales. After years liv­ing abroad, it was to here they re­turned to tie the knot. By TRACEY WITHERS

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Contents - Pho­tographed by SO­PHIE FRAZER

Phoebe Rose White Bush mar­ries at Bell­trees es­tate. Pho­tographed by SO­PHIE FRAZER By TRACEY WITHERS

We al­ways get a warm, fuzzy feel­ing hear­ing new­ly­weds bat ban­ter back and forth like old mates — it’s how we know things are re­ally right.and so it goes when BAZAAR meets Phoebe Rose White Bush and Jonathan Bush, a cou­ple still bask­ing in the glo­ri­ous­ness of their nup­tials. First, there’s razz about who fan­cied whom first. then who made the first move. “maybe it’s be­cause it was 10 years ago that we have dif­fer­ent sto­ries,” Phoebe says with a laugh. “we were friends, and then some­thing changed. Our friends say we were in de­nial.” we tend to agree: with this kind of chemistry, there must have been a spark right away.

The fact is, th­ese two coun­try kids first crossed paths in the Up­per Hunter town of Scone, in New South Wales’s Hunter Val­ley, where Phoebe, now 28, grew up on her fam­ily’s farm. Jono, who hails from Camden in south­ern NSW, was her next-door neigh­bour Ed’s best friend and had got to know Phoebe’s brothers, fa­ther and un­cles on the polo cir­cuit. Scone is, of course, deep­est horse coun­try, and Phoebe is an ac­com­plished rider too. Jono, now 32, says it all be­gan “one day while I was stay­ing at Ed’s. He and I in­vited Phoebe over for din­ner, like good coun­try peo­ple ...”

And when you know, you know. Jono re­alised Phoebe was his for­ever love when, after a while to­gether, he landed a dream job in sports mar­ket­ing that would take him to London. “I’d found this coun­try girl, who loves the out­doors and all the things I do, and it felt rare and ex­cit­ing,” he re­calls. “i knew, even as I left, I wasn’t go­ing to let her go.” But Phoebe knew much ear­lier. “One day, I just re­mem­ber think­ing, I don’t care what we’re do­ing, I just want to be in your com­pany. I can’t imag­ine not be­ing with you all the time.”

Be­fore long, “mas­sive home­body” Phoebe joined Jono in London, and from there the pair moved to Mi­ami, where Phoebe worked in prop­erty development as a real-es­tate as­so­ci­ate and Jono started work­ing with an­other Aus­tralian who calls Florida home: Elle Macpher­son. “it was a broad role within her pri­vate life — look­ing after her kids and her own health,” he says. For Phoebe, see­ing her man in nur­tur­ing mode, as Jono was with Macpher­son’s boys, Flynn and Cy, was “cer­tainly very at­trac­tive”. Now an am­bas­sador for Macpher­son’s well­ness brand, Wel­leco, Jono says he be­came

in­volved in the busi­ness side of things be­cause of his and Macpher­son’s shared pas­sion for sports man­age­ment and brand­ing, and his ex­per­tise in mar­ket­ing, health and well­ness. Mi­ami life be­came low-key glam­orous.“we’d week­end in the Ba­hamas, but we loved it be­cause it’s so raw and nat­u­ral,” he says.“that’s us.”

Travel is a re­la­tion­ship’s pres­sure test, and it turned th­ese two into di­a­monds.“mi­ami was a com­pletely new chap­ter for both of us,” Phoebe says. “New peo­ple, places, cul­ture — change in ev­ery­thing.” When Phoebe missed her fam­ily, Jono felt like home.“we grew to­gether.a lot. Ev­ery­thing we’ve ex­pe­ri­enced to­gether has me ex­cited about the fu­ture.”

The pro­posal scene? A Ba­haman beach house, Au­gust 2016. One evening, Jono called Phoebe’s fa­ther for his bless­ing, then played it cool as he and Phoebe ate pizza and lis­tened to Bob Mar­ley. Jono popped the ques­tion the next morn­ing after a run on the beach. Phoebe tells: “I’d been tak­ing the long­est pos­si­ble time in the shower — no idea that Jono was out­side on the grass pac­ing. I cruised down the stairs, he drops to a knee ...” Per­fect.

They were never go­ing to get mar­ried any­where but back at Phoebe’s farm. It’s not just any farm — it’s Bell­trees, one of the state’s most iconic ru­ral prop­er­ties and home to the White fam­ily since 1831. Idyl­lic heart­land. “The tree we were mar­ried un­der was my grand­mother’s tree,” Phoebe ex­plains. “It was her source of strength after my grand­fa­ther died — he was a very spe­cial man in all of our lives.” Jono and Phoebe’s brothers spent months spit-pol­ish­ing the old wool­shed for the re­cep­tion.the aisle was sim­ply the grass of home: no arches, no flow­ers, no tricks.

Fam­ily and friends flew in from London, Aspen, New York, New Zealand, Hawaii, Sin­ga­pore and all over Aus­tralia. Macpher­son and Cy were there. Phoebe’s best friend Phoebe Burgess was a brides­maid. Jono’s best mate’s part­ner, Pip Best, who is Phoebe’s yoga/med­i­ta­tion “men­tor”, was the cel­e­brant. Among Jono’s grooms­men was Raul, a Colom­bian mate he met in Florida.“hav­ing all of those peo­ple come to her spe­cial place on the day was so im­por­tant to Phoebe. [Think­ing about] it makes me want to cry, even now,” Jono ad­mits.

On the morn­ing of the wed­ding, the bride fed the horses with her mum and Macpher­son, “know­ing I was mar­ry­ing my best friend”. Jono and his grooms­men sat by the river, had a beer and fine-tuned his speech.“it was a re­ally sim­ple day,” Phoebe says.“we had lo­cal cater­ers, my god­mother found the bunches of palm leaves that we put in old wool bas­kets in the shed, and I had de­cided three days be­fore the wed­ding I’d carry white roses — we got them from the lo­cal florist.”they didn’t do cake or any tra­di­tion just for the sake of it.“time with peo­ple is re­ally im­por­tant at a wed­ding, and we thought, you can waste a lot of it by ad­ding in things that don’t mean much to you,” Jono says.“we’re not by-the-book peo­ple.”

So the bride wore cot­ton in a de­sign she sketched her­self.an ar­ti­san in Mum­bai stitched and em­broi­dered the fab­ric by hand, and Syd­ney-based dressmaker Rhonda Hem­ming­way crafted the dress. “I wanted to rep­re­sent all the facets of my be­ing: some­thing clean yet clas­sic in nat­u­ral fab­rics,” Phoebe says.“i wanted an el­e­ment of con­ser­vatism with a dra­matic open­ness, so I kept the en­tire back open and had a high neck, long sleeves and a small pud­dle [hem].to make the cot­ton ex­cit­ing, I added pearls, then a silk shawl.” Of Hem­ming­way’s skills, Phoebe says it was “dif­fi­cult with the open back [to have] struc­ture, but she’s bloody tal­ented!”

We’ll let Jono re­play the mo­ment he saw the dress.“wait­ing for her was eu­phoric. I must have had a grin from ear to ear. Watch­ing Phoebe come down that aisle was the best part, for sure.” Nerves not nec­es­sary.you know when you know.

The bride and groom just mar­ried, the bride’s cousin Ol­lie White hav­ing ser­e­naded her down the aisle on the bag­pipes. Left: the wed­ding car, a vin­tage Rolls-royce. Be­low left: Phoebe with her bridesmaids, from left, El­lie Mac­di­armid, Dearne Cooper, Phoebe Burgess and Pene­lope Pfahl.

The bride wears a dress she de­signed her­self, made by Rhonda Hem­ming­way Cou­ture in Syd­ney, and the groom wears a P. John­son Tailors suit with R.M. Wil­liams boots. Flow­ers by lo­cal Scone florist Choco­late & Moss. Be­low: his­toric Bell­trees es­tate.

Op­po­site page, clock­wise from top left: the cou­ple ex­change vows; the wool­shed turned re­cep­tion venue for 187 guests, styled by The Event Store­room; the bridesmaids in French silk dresses de­signed by Phoebe and made by Rhonda Hem­ming­way Cou­ture. This page: the bride and groom sit for din­ner, catered by The Hunted Gourmet.

The cou­ple’s first dance was to “Leather and Lace” by Ste­vie Nicks and Don Hen­ley.

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