Jo + Ryan | Renmark Wedding | Bunyip Reach

Carrie and I are building a family, as have our parents and their parents before them. Many people have the same goal when it comes to family – providing a stable and loving upbringing for our kids or pets or loved ones in general.

I’ve always felt this way, but it really hit home at Jo and Ryan’s wedding, just how important family and family history is, and should be for everyone. There were flickers of sadness..being reminded that life isn’t eternal and that I’m not going to be able to hold onto my family forever. Ryan and his family would know this better than most, with Ryan’s Dad unfortunately no longer alive to be physically there for his wedding day. It was a mix of both of these thoughts that left me searching out a little space during the wedding day, to wipe away the tears I kept finding building up.

Jo, her siblings Katie, Luke and Amelia were lucky enough to grow up in this house and on this land here at Bunyip Reach. Jo’s Dad Mark, was born and grew up in the original cottage here before them…

You will come to photo below, which I took of a framed B&W photograph hanging on a wall. On the motorcycle within it’s frame, protected by their strong confident Dad, sits Jo’s Dad and Uncle as very young boys, both are just SO proud and happy, excited and knowingly safe, holding tight to their strong and youthful Dad who commands the handle bars. I want as many happy moments like this as I can with my family, and I do find myself cramming as much into each day as is humanly possible.

As is our habit with every wedding on unfamiliar ground, Dave and I headed up to Renmark the day before. Driving straight through Renmark, we continued on to Bunyip Reach, to meet with Ryan, Jo and their families. Driving over cattle grids, through dusty fields along a 2km driveway, we rounded one final bend to be greeted by an oasis – a beautiful homestead perched atop the banks of the Mighty Murray River, drifting by slowly in the background. We were equally excited and gobsmacked. Over a cold beer, we were given a tour of the property, got a bit of a handle on the lay of the land and gather a few ideas.

The entire wedding day was just brilliant, so much love and fun. Bloody hot, but that just made the beer and bubbles even better for everyone, I think.

Jo and Ryan made themselves all pretty on the property – Ryan over beyond the Orchard, in the Cottage with the fellas and Jo in the Homestead not far away, on the hilltop overlooking the Might Murray River. Dave and I wandered between the two houses throughout the morning, grabbing an apple off the tree in the garden as we went, feeling very blessed to be there documenting it all.

Grandad’s vintage ute was recommissioned for the day, after a lengthy restoration by a local mechanic. Apparently it had been driven into the old barn one day, 30 or 40 years ago and left to gather cobwebs, then a few years ago Jo’s Uncle walked in, tipped a little fuel into the tank, cranked the handle and it started first time. Mark got a little excited about the prospect of having the car rebuilt for the wedding day, taking restoration to the extreme.

Someone also organised a blood moon eclipse kinda thing for us too which was very kind.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me, over to the pictures.

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