A beautiful wedding at The Orangery in Maidstone with Jane and Ben. Sun-soaked elegance encapsulated this stunning day! From the outdoor ceremony in the enchanting woodland lapa to the unforgettable party (one that will stay with me for some time), this couple’s love shone through as they celebrated with family and friends from around the globe. Check it all out below.

First names: Jane & Ben
Ages: 33 & 28
Wedding date: 24th June 2023
Venue: The Orangery, Maidstone

How did you guys meet, tell me all? It was an ordinary day in Newtown, Sydney. Jane was working yet ANOTHER double shift at Salmon & Bear, the local restaurant where she was the manager. Toiling away, Jane was peckish. She called to the kitchen: “Make me a bowl of mash, lads!” It wasn’t long before Jane had wrapped her mitts around a warm, creamy bowl of Sydney’s best mash potato… Little did she know that the most handsome stud was about to walk through the front doors…

“Hi. My name’s Ben. Can I have a job?”

Jane sprung to action, her bowl hanging limp in one hand, with the half-eaten spoonful dangling out of the other. Through a mouth full of mash, she exclaimed: “You have answered my prayers!” Hours later, after the most ridiculous first interview the casual restaurant industry has ever known… I had a job. And Jane, a new assistant manager.

Months went by, and a friendship blossomed. Soon, something more. I was promoted to manage the other restaurant, so we finally had a day off together and after a long, boozy day, Jane and I stumbled back into Salmon & Bear for some more drinks after the place had closed. The tunes went on, I decided to wear a dashing cowboy hat that had been hanging on the wall. Jane swooned, and the rest is history…

How did you get engaged, is there a cool story? After visiting England in April 2022 (after not being home for 4 years, thanks COVID), we returned to Australia… in need of another holiday! A trip to the Southern Highlands (yep, that is a place in Australia) was booked.

Little did Jane know; I had smuggled something back home to Aus. A ring, once worn by my Nana, passed on to my Mum and now, to me.

The weekend away came around, and the weather was… Wet. Very, very, wet.

The rain subsided for a moment on the Saturday afternoon, and I proposed a long walk with the dog. Little did Jane know there was an ulterior motive at play.

In the car, Jane decided it was the perfect occasion to get a little bit cross at me. After all, we had been together for 5 years. Jane was still NOT engaged, and what was more, I couldn’t answer ANY of her questions about where I might want to buy a house, let alone commit to Jane at all! I clutched the box hidden in my coat pocket, laughing inside at the pure irony, and almost ready to throw it out of the window.

As we trudged through the muddy puddles, Jane quickly realized her gum boots (that’s what they call wellies in Australia) had holes in them. ‘Oh no!’ I thought, thinking this could go from bad to worse very quickly. Instead, Jane laughed. George (the dog) was having the best time ever, running through every puddle in sight, and I knew it was time to make this woman my wife.

On one knee, I said 4 words that would change our lives.

Jane said: ‘What!?’

‘Yes Jane, this is happening.’

‘Oh my gosh!!!???’

‘… is that a yes?’

‘Oh! YES! I’m so sorry for being a nightmare this morning. Oops’

George jumped into another puddle and Jane made me the happiest man in the world.

What made you choose your wedding venue; did you look at many? 

We live in Australia. So, the easy thing would have been to find a venue nearby in Sydney. A small ceremony perhaps, with some close friends and any family members willing to travel.


Instead, determined to make sure every single one of Ben’s family (there are a lot of cousins) could make it to the big day, it was decided. The event of the century, the wedding of Jane Cullinan and Benjamin Thomas was to be held in England!

Quickly and without delay, Jane sprung to action. The diary was filled with online video calls, and a list of questions was drawn up by Jane so long, it was perhaps more suited to a police interrogation!

Soon, a shortlist was whipped together, of venues spanning the length and breadth of the UK. It was then that they called in the cavalry. Jane’s mum and my parents were deployed to go and check out these venues! From the Cotswolds to Kent, they didn’t fail in their mission. The advice was resounding, The Orangery was chosen.

Then, after already committing to the venue based off some photos, a video tour and their parents’ recommendation, we finally visited The Orangery in February 2022. Despite a bitterly cold, winter’s day, we knew we had found the place that we would say “I do”.

Tell me about your dress? Who was it designed by and was there a particular style you were drawn too? 

So, my Maid of Honour was up in Sydney from Melbourne for work and booked in a few dress fittings for her and I to go to. I ended up trying on about 90 dresses in total (I know, could I be any more indecisive?!) and picked the 3rd dress I had tried on at the beginning of the weekend. 

The wedding dress I chose was not what I was expecting at all. I went in thinkingI wanted a fitted lace dress with a low back and long train. I knew I definitely didn’t want a strapless or ballgown dress at all. Nor did I want sparkles. I came out with a strapless ballgown, and small sequins on my veil. It is so true that you need to try on all styles at first, to see what works on your body. 

My dress is from the designer Kenneth Winston and I bought it from Rain Bridalwear in Sydney. Out of all 9 stores I went to, the experience in this dress shop was by far the best. The team there are incredible, they were so lovely, not pushy and let me go back 3 times before I finally said “YES” to the dress. They are also all English, so I felt right at home!

What was the inspiration/theme/styling of your wedding? 

Rustic, green and classic English summer wedding.

What is your first song and why? 

So, this one is a bit of a story. It began with a movie, one of Jane’s favorites. How to lose a guy in 10 days (Mathew McConaughey – always a win). There’s a song towards the end of the movie when Kate Hudson and Mathew realise they’re falling in love with each other. Feels like home by Chantel Kreviazuk. We watched the movie together and that song was an instant contender.

However. As time went on, other songs began to creep into consideration. Enter, the ginger wizard himself: Ed Sheeran.

Jane actually bought tickets for me to see the best artist EVER (Ed) for my birthday back in 2019. Multiple Sheeran songs take out spots in our top 10, but one song took us by surprise one night around April…

Tenerife Sea.

It played on the speakers over some wine and card games. “I like this song”, I said, “I love this  song!”, says Jane. We put it on repeat. We practiced a bit of a dance. It feels right – the song is chosen.

What would be your number one tip to other couples planning their wedding? 

Looking back, it would be easy to say don’t plan it from the other side of the world, it is a bit tricky!

But seriously, just try and have fun together, plan some date nights where you don’t talk about the wedding. All the organization can get overwhelming. Celebrate the little things, like finding your venue, your dress (your photographer). And don’t forget the reason you are doing this… to marry your best friend!

Check out Jane and Ben’s gorgeous The Orangery in Maidstone wedding below.

Follow me on Instagram here.

The photography: All images were captured with two Canon R6 cameras.
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM, Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM, and the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM.

Other awesome suppliers from Jane and Ben’s beautiful wedding at The Orangery in Maidstone.

Hair stylist and Make-up artist:
Instagram: @laurenmathismua

Bridal dress designer: Kenneth Winston
Instagram: @kennethwinston

Brides dress boutique: Rain Bridalwear 
Instagram: @rainbridalwear

Brides Shoes: Rainbow Club
Instagram: @rainbowclubuk

Bridesmaids dresses: Pretty Lavish
Instagram: @prettylavishbridal

Suits: Moss Bros
Instagram: @mossbros

Cake: Hanna’s Cake Creations
Instagram: @hannascakecreations

Caterer: The Orangery
Instagram: @theorangerymaidstone

Venue styling and florist: All You Need Wedding Styling
Instagram: @allyouneedweddingstyling
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