Southern Highlands Garden Wedding


Jenni and Mariano’s wedding brought an Australian and Spanish family together in spectacular fashion. But despite the language barrier there was mingling and celebrating long into the night. The couple had a gorgeous garden wedding, and an incredible time in their photography session with All Grown Up, before it was time to get into the reception party.

Tell us about your proposal. While on a holiday in Tasmania, Mariano proposed through a game of hangman, written in the sand at Wineglass bay. Mariano wrote the spaces for “Will you marry me” in the sand, and I had to guess the letters to make the sentence.

How did you know your partner was the one? Although we are quite different, we share a lot of the same values and our relationship just works. We are in the same place in our lives and want the same things. We feel better together than apart.

What do you love most about your partner?

Jenni: Mariano is the most amazing person I have ever met. He has this wonderful calm aura and makes me feel happy and safe whenever I am around him. He understands me better than any other and opens my mind to new ideas and ways of thinking. This is something I wrote a little while ago about how he makes me feel:

“This man of mine calms my soul and completes the jigsaw puzzle of my heart. He smooths out my edges and brightens up my best features.

He understands me, without words or gestures, as simply and as quickly as when I walk in the door.

This man of mine inspires me and makes me smile and laugh every day.

And while it might sound cheesy, I feel like all those years travelling and moving states, learning languages and constantly pushing was all a journey to find him. So that when I did my heart and soul understood what real love was.

Now, no matter what has gone on during the day, no matter the stress, when I open our front door and see him there, smiling and calling out ‘honey, I’m home’ – in the physical sense, but also in the spiritual and emotional sense.

Five years since our first date and one week until our wedding I am so excited and so ready to begin the next journey together with him. This man of mine. My heart. My love. My Mariano.”

Mariano: Jenni’s energy and sense of fun and adventure has enriched my life beyond words. I love her spontaneity and wit, and how she makes me laugh every day. She is an open book with a massive heart and cares about everyone and everything around her.

What was your favourite part of the wedding day? Looking back on our wedding day, we remember the buzz of excitement that filled our marquee. How much love and happiness radiated in those few hours, as old and new friends and family all mingled as one. It didn’t matter that half of our guests spoke English and the other spoke Spanish.

As the wedding band front man, Chango, organised a quick salsa lesson and all of our guests crammed onto the dance floor to follow the steps it felt like we had all known each other forever – the outdoor patio and lawn games lay forgotten as family members danced with friends, Spanish with English, young with old, and Mariano’s Grandma broke up all of the dancing couples so that she could dance with all of the men.

Everything seemed to flow happily together just as we had hoped and dreamed. Sitting in the back of the taxi on our way to the hotel our cheeks hurt from smiling. We held hands, gushing with excitement as we recounted the day – so vivid in clarity, so full of love and laughter.

What was your favourite detail? For us, the most important part of our reception was the entertainment. We didn’t want to have a DJ turning the tables with a few coloured lights. This was going to be one of the most important nights of our lives and we wanted something to reflect that.

After a lot of researching online, Mariano found the perfect band for our wedding – Chango Salsa Band – a proper 10-piece salsa band with trumpets and trombones, piano, guitar, drums and two singers – now that was something we’d never seen at a wedding!

It was one of the best decisions we made and it definitely made our night! It didn’t matter that half our guests didn’t speak Spanish, as soon as the band started playing and those Latino hips started moving everyone was up and moving to the beat.

What is marriage to you? Marriage is loving and growing together – loving who your partner is now and who they are yet to become. Marriage is a partnership and teamwork – putting your hand in the ring for the good and the bad times. It’s about respecting differences, being honest with your self and your partner and being open for new ideas and new adventures.


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