"I enjoy the internet and often spend a couple of hours a day on it. I first discovered truebride.com.au when I was surfing the net and spent some time using the wedding planning tools and wedding directory. I loved every minute of my wedding and to have a web page dedicated to it to relive it over and over again plus a cash prize of $2,000 was too much of an opportunity to pass up.
This was a fabulous competition. I tried to involve as many of my family and friends as I could. It was wonderful as they were keen to support me and were only too happy to vote. But in the end I wasn't sure if this would be enough as voting is open to anyone, so I really appreciate everyone who took the time to vote for me ... thank you!
When I found out I had won, I couldn't believe it! I cried, we’d had a lot of bad luck since our wedding, and this was a wonderful surprise leading up to our first year anniversary and my birthday.
Mark (my husband) was the first person I rang to tell, he burst out laughing as he couldn't believe it. I then told mum and dad who were extremely happy for me. The prize money will come in very handy, we will probably put it towards our wedding album and dvd."
Mark and I actually met many, many years ago very briefly, and then 3 years ago we ran into each other again and started a beautiful romance. I knew Mark was the 'one', it just felt right, he is a very affectionate and caring person.
Mark was very particular about wanting to take me away for my birthday. I had to rearrange work commitments so we could go on the exact weekend of my birthday and arrange a day off work. All I knew was that we were going away somewhere, which was to be a surprise. We ended up at Rafferty’s Resort, at Lake Macquarie, where we had a beautiful weekend.
On the Monday (my birthday) when we were about to leave, Mark asked me to close my eyes. When I opened them he was on bended knee with a key, saying it was the key to his heart, and would I marry him. Through all the tears of love and happiness I said yes! Upon our return home I found out that Mark had asked my dad’s permission during the week before we went away. Dad had been the only person to know.
Mark had given me a ring but felt that because I had to live with the ring forever he wanted me to have something that I really wanted and loved and was comfortable with. So we went ring shopping to buy my engagement ring and visited many jewellery stores until we found one that we we both liked.
We had a very hard time finding a priest who would marry us, in the church that we wanted. We had priests who told us that they "don't do weddings", "sorry I don't travel", but the one that got us the most was because I was getting married at what they considered an older age (early 30s) they immediately presumed that I had already been married. In the Catholic church, if you have been married before, you can't remarry in the Catholic church unless you get pardons from the Pope.
Eventually we found Reverend Joe Formosa, who would travel to our church. Then a real bonus, six months before the wedding he ended up being transferred there, apologising for what we had been through and was more than happy to give us the wedding we wanted.
We were married at the beautiful St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta. It had been burnt down many years ago, and had only just been reopened in November 2003 completely transformed.
Our wedding day was based on personal touches with a "Princess" theme. This is Mark's nickname for me. So we carried this very royal theme all the way through from the church to the reception, using hearts as our votives and cream and gold as our base colours.
Close to 200 people attended. The original guest list was 260 people, but because it was on a long weekend, a lot of people unfortunately were away at that time.
Before we left home I presented the girls with their gifts, jewellery, and I also gave them a little lace hanky with a special poem for each of them, which I had also made for my mum and my mother in law.
The girls were dressed in long strapless ball gowns made of ivory silky material with a gold lace overlay. They were accessorised with pearls and long ivory gloves past their elbows. Their hair was done in a beautiful up style with ivory orchards. Mum had made them stoles and little dilly bags to carry with them. She had also made the junior bridesmaid's dress. We didn’t want to dress her as a little girl so had her dressed with a "mini" version of what the bridesmaids wore. The boys were in tails, accessorised with black and gold, while Mark’s accessories were ivory.
We were escorted to the church with 2 Harley Davidson’s and 3 silver chevy’s. We also had a little convertible car for the kids. Mum and dad accompanied me in the car on the way to the church.
For the church pews we handmade ivory, lavender filled hearts that were embossed with ivory fabric roses, we also had an old fashioned quill pen with a large ivory ostrich feather attached to it, this was beautifully handmade for me by a lovely lady up in Queensland. We made our church books as well. These were ivory and gold with a soft pink heart on the cover, and were held together by lovely cream satin ribbon woven across the top and bottom of the book.
On the day, I was 'fashionably' late to arrive and very keen to get inside, so I don't remember a lot about what was happening outside the church. Everything we had rehearsed went so well. I hadn''t wanted the conventional walking up the aisle, I had wanted a proper processional. Mark’s grandparents were first to walk down the aisle followed by Mark's parents walking with Mark like they were giving him away.
Next, the groomsmen were waiting half way down the asile and as the girls walked up they escorted their partners down the aisle. When it was my turn, I walked half way up on my own, where I met my parents, and then they both walked me down the aisle giving me away.
The priest was just awesome, the funniest service I have experienced at a wedding. Everyone still comments about our service, which is lovely as that is what a wedding is all about. One thing that does stand out is when we were saying our vow's Mark didn't quite hear what the priest had said, so typical of Mark "What" was his comment, and the whole congregation burst out laughing.
Once the formalities were all over and we were sitting down listening I took the advice of a girlfriend who had married. She told me to take a minute at the church and at the reception to take it all in. I'm so glad that I did because I would not have realised how many people were in the church – it was standing room only.
At the end of the ceremony we walked out to a sea of bubbles everywhere. We had our photos taken at the University of Sydney and also at Hyde Park for our night shots.
Our Wedding Reception
We carried on our theme right through to our reception venue. We hand decorated all of the candles for our candelabras with gold hearts. These candelabras were also intertwined with green ivy. Bomboniere for each of the guests was a handmade Faberge style egg. These were made of real duck eggs, with each one being individually handmade by me, with glitter and little stickers of roses. A gold tassel was attached at the bottom and a long chain at the top. We incorporated our bomboniere tags together with our name cards, to save from doubling up.
My mum made us bride and groom signature bears, complete with the bride having a veil, collar and flowers, and the groom in a gold and ivory waistcoat.
The grandparents, parents and then the bridal party were introduced one by one first into the reception, each with different music accompanying them. We were introduced into the reception venue with all the fan fare of a royal couple. Two cannons went off with rose coloured petals. Our bridal party greeted us with a rose archway, and a ribbon which we had to cut to symbolise the beginning of the reception. We cut our cake straight away, and then the meals were served.
Our reception venue bent over backwards for us. We can highly recommend their service, food and attention to detail on the night. They surprised us with serving an entire entrée that wasn’t even ordered. We had also ordered a seafood platter of prawns and octopus, which was piled high. The way that this was served was unbelievable, we truly do owe them our gratitude and thanks.
Then the first surprise of the night our entertainer arrived. Much to everyone's surprise Mark's Uncle had arranged for a singer because the family thought that we hadn't booked any entertainment and that we were just having a DJ with some dancing. He sang for about half an hour, which was great and then we surprised everyone with a half hour show of the Jason Jackson Experience, a Michael Jackson impersonator, with back up dancers. This was the best show and everyone loved it.
With most European weddings they have a tradition, of clinking glasses to get the bride and groom to kiss. We opted to change this a little with a twist. We had made special table cards, with special instructions, if they wanted us to kiss, they had to get up and sing a song with “Love” in it.
During our bridal waltz, everyone was handed a bottle of bubbles and asked to form a circle around us and blow bubbles. We also had an exploding balloon, which fell on top of us with smaller balloons and glitter going everywhere.
During the reception we presented our parents with their own special bomboniere presents. At our photo shoot we had arranged for a special photo to be blown up and developed and framed to be presented to each of them at our reception. Everyone got to see one of our first wedding photo's.
Another surprise, Mark had arranged for a special poem to be made up with a few photo’s and had this framed.This was presented to me at the reception, and was a lovely surprise. The rest of the night we danced and partied the night away.
We were very fortunate in that we had 2 honeymoons. After our wedding we had a relaxing week in Vanuatu and then in July we went to Malta to do a 4 week Contiki tour of Europe. This was very full on and exciting as Mark had never travelled before. We were fortunate to experience quite a few special things while in Europe, we were in Paris for Bastille Day, in Venice for Mark’s 30th birthday and when we were in Switzerland we got to celebrate Swiss National Day.
Bride of the Year 2004 - Wedding Suppliers
A big thank you is in order to the wedding
suppliers who helped make our day possible and who deserve recognition
as the 'wedding suppliers of the Bride of the Year 2004'.
|Wedding Gowns & Dresses
|2nd Floor, Dymocks Building, 428 George Street
|Photographer & Videographer
|105A Parramatta Road, Annandale, NSW 2038
|Wedding Reception Venues
|Castel D'Oro Reception Lounge
|Great North Road, Five Dock, NSW, 2046
|Silver Lined Chevys
|Penrith, NSW 2750
|PO Box 41, Bondi, NSW 2026
|Blue Star Cakes Pty Limited
|267 Lyons Road, Five Dock, NSW 2046
|Gails Floral X-pressions
|73 Kenthurst Road, Kenthurst NSW 2156
|Music & Entertainment
|The Jackson Experience
|PO Box 639, Narellan NSW 2567
|St Patrick’s Cathedral
|Victoria Road, Parramatta NSW 2150
|Bomboniere & Stationery
|1/2 Grassy Close, Hinchinbrook NSW 2168