Benn and I met at the Big Day Out in January 2000 - the story of just getting there on the day was amazing enough apart from the two of us meeting in a sea of 60,000 people! We were friends first, although I'm pretty sure love was on the horizon as we lived an hour and a half away from each other and went to a lot of effort to see each other.
Benn proposed twice! Once in December, in a very spontaneous moment while we were relaxing on holidays down at Narooma and again a month later when we picked up my engagement ring from an antique store in Braidwood, which we had discovered on the way home from the coast in December.
We decided we weren't in a rush to get married, we wanted to enjoy being engaged. We set a proposed date of Australia Day weekend - two years later! After several changes of scenario (eloping to Las Vegas, Paris, Whitsunday's etc!) we decided to have a small family affair in the Southern Highlands. There were many people we would have loved to invite but we were trying to stick to budget and also have it remain as intimate as possible whilst making it very much about family!
We found Milton Park Country House and decided there was no need to look anywhere else. We had planned to have an informal civil ceremony under an enormous Tulip Tree in the gardens of Milton Park - my bridesmaids and I would walk down the sandstone steps and suddenly appear from behind another tree into the ceremony.
I awoke the morning of our big day depressed, not a ray of sunshine in sight. By 11 am, Benn and all "free hands" arranged Exeter Hall - our planned garden reception was not going to happen. The rain held off enabling us to have a relaxed afternoon ceremony, unfortunately not where we had chosen underneath a gorgeous tulip tree but in front of the French Provincial Pool house instead. We chose to have a civil service so we could write our own vows which deeply personalised our day. We only had 80 guests so it was a very intimate and emotional experience. Not too mention some nervous giggling from me.
While Benn and company raced around rearranging our reception, I enjoyed the most relaxing and calming part of my day getting my makeup done - my makeup artist had a very soothing touch and calmed my nerves! I found myself changing hair salons the day before as the one I had booked wasn't helpful! I think given my time over I'd bring my ever reliable hairdresser from Canberra.
My beautiful bridesmaids and I got ready at Milton Park and shortly after my parents arrived looking absolutely stunning. we'd been there all of five minutes when the flowers arrived - they were stunning, I almost started crying right there and then I was so happy. My florist Christine from Blooms of Bowral was an absolute angel and delivered the most stunning frangipani bouquet - exactly what I had dreamt of.
I was so excited, I was finally about to marry my very best friend! On the way down from the Honeymoon Suite - walking arm in arm with my Dad, everything was a bit of a blur, I had a case of the giggles and just kept hugging into him. We had a little bit of a delay as my poor beautiful Mum was given the wrong door to come out of and was momentarily lost. I beat her to the ceremony! I think my husband was very surprised and very pleased with my choice of gown - a mint green 1950's style. It suited the whole style of our day perfectly!
We entered our reception at Exeter Hall amidst a very magical mist, to the sound of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" which it definitely was, the best time I have ever had - everything looked fabulous and everyone had a ball. Our catering was from our favourite place to eat in Bowral, and they didn't let us down that's for sure - the food was fabulous and the staff were like part of the family! We always knew we wanted Palate Pleasure to do our food - they'd not catered for weddings before so we felt very honoured that they would. They were amazing, especially the chef Scotty!
Benn had made CD's of our favourite music with a mixture of old funk and good old rock 'n' roll and we danced all night. My 84 year old grandfather to my 4 year old niece didn't leave the dance floor! Benn and I were one of the last to leave at 2am! So many of our guests are still talking about the day saying it's the best wedding they've ever been to and how much fun and good food they had. Many of our friends and family made our day so special - especially with the change of plans but it was such a wonderful day - one that we will never forget! I was very glad we included all the little ones in our day - my nieces and nephews, Benn's nephew and little cousin, and our friends' kids too. Our parents supplied party kits and the kids had an absolute ball all night at the reception. They were treasures and were so much fun.
We had the most amazing honeymoon - we had limited time but managed to fit so much fun, romance and relaxation into a week. We drove from Bowral to Eden, staying at Mollymook, Narooma and Eden and having the most fabulous time being newlyweds. I wouldn't change our honeymoon for anything - it was such a magical time, and allowed us to have such a fun time together.
I was very glad we included all the little ones in our day - my nieces and nephews, Benn's nephew and little cousin, and our friends' kids too. Our parents supplied party kits and the kids had an absolute ball all night at the reception. They were treasures and were so much fun.
I am so grateful to so many people who made our day so memorable, made our whole time so magical. Especially my husband who swept me off my feet four years prior and every day since!