FEW BRIDES WOULD CONSIDER BOOT-SCOOTING TO THE HIT SONG ‘We’re From The Country’ in preference to a romantic wedding waltz. But when you consider that Melbourne girl Jo Fincham found her perfect match on the television reality series ‘The Farmer Wants a Wife’, the idea of donning cowboy boots beneath a couture gown in order to carve up the dance floor all started to make sense.
Jo’s husband, Robert Hodges, runs a 2300-acre property on South Australia’s Limestone Coast. From the chocolate and green colour scheme paying homage to rich soils and pasture to the intimate ceremony inside a shearing shed, the couple’s March wedding continued the strong country theme which pervades their relationship.
Jo and Robert exchanged their vows at Dunkeld’s picturesque Mount Sturgeon Estate, and its location mid-way between Melbourne and their Mount Gambier home meant that all guests had to travel.
The award-winning Royal Mail Hotel not only catered for the event but provided ample accommodation for guests. Wedding flowers, hair, make-up and live music were also supplied locally as part of the couple’s strong commitment to supporting country businesses. Jo’s stunning silk gown was one of few exceptions; she opted to commission a Melbourne couture designer on the recommendation of several friends. The latte-coloured gown was a classic design complete with a hand-dyed three and a half metre long veil, yet Jo’s matching French lace head piece gave the overall look a modern edge.
While Jo said her entire wedding day was full of memorable moments, Robert regarded his new wife’s surprise speech and slide show during the reception as an emotional highlight.
“I am a professional photographer and I presented six months worth of black and white images of Rob working on the farm on a big screen set to the Icehouse song ‘Great Southern Land’,” Jo explained. “We sat on the floor together up the front, and the look on Rob’s face and the tear rolling down his cheek was a very special moment for me. He is so passionate about his work and it gave guests an insight into our life on the farm and my new country home.”
Gown: Shane McConnell Couture | Photographer: Kate Collingwood | Ceremony & Reception Location: Mount Sturgeon Estate | Shoes: Edward Meller | Engagement & Wedding Rings: Abrecht Bird | Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: Henry Bucks | Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Shoes: R M Williams | Bridesmaids’ Outfits: Anne Stowers | Bridesmaids’ Accessories: Swarovski | Flowers & Floral Decorations: The Regent Florist | Stationery: Sacred Art Stationery | Cake: Andy Hall | Music: Nick How | Gift Registry: Peter Lik Gallery | First Night: Mount Sturgeon Estate