Sydney • 30 October 2020
We met at our mutual friends' joint hens and bucks weekend party. We discussed how we were getting to the wedding and he offered to pick me up to go together. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but when he showed up on the day in his suit, you could say that it was an ooh-la-la moment.
As I rushed out and said goodbye to my parents, he introduced himself and asked my dad, “What time do you want her home?” Being a traditional man, my dad had a big grin on his face. Our friendship then grew to coffee hangouts and long scenic car rides and it wasn’t long till we were calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend.
I honestly didn’t expect him to propose when he did. We were on holiday in Bali before attending our friends' wedding in the Philippines. He had organized a day at the spa with massages and body scrubs, followed with dinner over a lookout. After the massage, I felt so relaxed that I requested we have dinner in our villa instead, which he didn’t seem to mind. When we walked back to our villa, to my surprise, our private swimming pool was filled with floating tea lights and flower petals that spelled out I love you. I just stood in shock and in awe as he grabbed my hand, turned me around, and said a touching speech before kneeling down on one knee with a ring and asked me to marry him.
I didn’t respond straight away because I was honestly shocked, but eventually shouted, YES. I couldn’t stop looking at the ring during our candlelit dinner in our villa with a bottle of champagne to celebrate.
Being a 2020 bride, you can only imagine what kind of stress we were feeling. Nevertheless, we persevered and were lucky to be able to go ahead with our plans. We will never forget the week leading up to 30 October 2020. It was scheduled to rain and thunderstorm, but with fingers and toes crossed, it turned out to be a beautiful spring day.
We chose to have a “first look” before the ceremony as we wanted to have this personal moment captured by our amazing photographer and videographer. Never much of a crier, I'll never forget his face when he turned around and started tearing up. At that moment, I was overwhelmed with love and instantly felt comfortable and at ease.
We had a private garden ceremony with our immediate family in attendance at the Centennial Parklands in Sydney. This was such a special moment that symbolizes our families joining together, and if 2020 has taught us anything, it's not to take our loved ones for granted. A special mention goes to our corgi dog who was the dog-of-honor on the day and brought us our rings.
Our reception was held at the beautiful Centennial Homestead, central to the parklands, and my florist and stylist really captured the mood I envisaged. We joined the rest of our guests for cocktails and canapés, and the dinner and speeches are still being talked about now during catch-ups with friends and family.
We'd heard of a lot of couples having gelato carts at their wedding, but we wanted to do it our way with bubble tea being served during dessert time.
We had our first dance with choreography we learned on YouTube (thank you lockdown) and although I was nervous to dance in my dress, I needn't worry as my dress was so comfortable to wear and dance in.
THE OUTFIT AND ACCESSORIES
I first spotted the Pilgrim dress by Oui The Label in the bridal magazine Hello May. The Pilgrim dress was featured in their top modern minimalist bridal dresses and I fell in love with the design for that reason. I found the dress was stocked in a bridal store in Camden but thought that it was too far to travel there at first.
I ventured out to other bridal stores closer to home but didn’t fall in love with any dress I tried. When friends asked me if I have found “the one” I didn’t know what “the one” meant. A friend then told me that you will know it’s “the one” when you can’t stop thinking about it and don’t want to take it off.
So I finally made an appointment at Love Marie Bridal in Camden to try on the Pilgrim dress, and just like that, I knew what my friends were talking about.
I’ve had my eye on a pair of Gucci shoes and my gut told me to get them in black - because how often do you get to re-wear white shoes from your wedding?
I bought a few pairs of earrings from Ayla + Oak and decided on the Innes earrings on the day of my wedding after putting on my dress and my hair and makeup were done.
Photographer: Brendan Samuels
Event Stylist and Florist: Madeline Anne Stylist
Jewellery: Innes earrings Ayla + Oak
Engagement Ring: Ethical Jewellery Australia
Wedding Rings: Ethical Jewellery Australia
Groom's Outfit: Institchu