Michael and I met at Terrigal on New Years for the start of 2001. We met in a queue waiting to go into a nightclub and chatted for a while. When we finally went in we felt like we had known each other for years.
We had our first kiss at midnight and from then we were inseparable. It wasn't "love at first sight" but there was a definite connection, an introduction to a great beginning... that lead to true love.
Michael proposed to me one night after taking me to dinner to my favourite restaurant. It was so romantic (very not like a builder!). It was a full moon and a night just like in the movies. After a lovely candlelight dinner, Michael said lets go for a walk on the beach, so we headed to the sand. Michael stopped me and got down on one knee and looked into my eyes and he said "Babe will you marry me?"
I didn't say yes straight away, I wanted to hold on to that moment forever, but the suspense got to me and I couldn't hold on any more ... I then said, "Yes Yes Yes, I will marry you!" There were people all around on the beach that clapped wholeheartedly and whilst it was a little embarrassing we were both on a high, a night we will never forget.
Once we set the date, we had around 15 months to arrange out wedding. We had chatted about getting married since we got together (only 5 months). Michael is a builder and was renovating our new home when we became engaged, so he was very busy. I planned around 90% of the wedding, always consulting with Michael along the way. There was a lot of pressure to get everything perfect for the day but all went really well with only a couple of hic-cups along the way. I know people who have planned a wedding in a month and I really don?t know how they did that!! I am a 'planner', I love organising parties and functions, and our wedding day was very exciting to plan.
Our day started with me only having 3 hours sleep! At 4am I remembered I hadn't arranged a table to sign the certificate on, so I SMS'd Michael to take our bedside table. The morning went quickly and we were ready by 12 noon. We remembered we hadn't eaten, so we ordered pizza and ate with our towels still wrapped around us.
The cars arrived where the girls and I were staying to drive us to Terrigal. I wasn't nervous at all until I saw everybody standing there waiting, then the butterflies arrived. I was feeling so nervous and anxious all at the same time, but as soon as I saw my man my anxiety disappeared and was replaced with a huge smile on my face.
It was wonderful seeing Michael's face when I walked towards him on the red carpet. I had given Michael the impression I was wearing a 'meringue' dress and when I walked towards him in a slinky straight dress, I could tell he loved it.
I had tied the rings onto the ring pillow in a single bow. I didn't want it to be in knots so they could get them off easier. Unbeknownst to me one of the page boys was fiddling with the ring before we got there and just as the bridesmaids arrived my mum looked at the pillow and only saw one ring! "No Body Move!!" She yelled out in panic... After about 2 minutes they saw a shiny gold ring in the short grassy area near the red carpet aisle. A moment of panic for all those around... I didn't know a thing about it until mum told me after the honeymoon!
It was extremely windy when I got out of the car and my veil was almost vertical above me. My dad and I walked down the red carpet aisle we created and there I stood before my husband to be.
Michael didn't look nervous at all, he held my hand and everything was perfect. We looked deep into each other's eyes as we said our vows and it was like we were the only two people that were there.
Minister Stan Reddon married Michael and I. Stan & Lilah (his wife) are family friends and my parents had known them both for over 30 years. We had our ceremony at Terrigal Haven with the blue ocean behind us, the perfect backdrop. It was through the Uniting Church, so there were parts of the ceremony that were standard. Michael and I chose our vows and also a reading for both his sisters to read. The ceremony was about 40 minutes long. It was lovely. I had made booklets for everyone to follow the ceremony as well. I had arranged a microphone so people could hear us but it was too windy to use it, so the booklets were a great idea.
We had some lovely photos at the spot we were married and then also down near the rocks at the boat ramp in Terrigal.
We had a lovely wedding reception at Forrester's Beach Resort. We had 100 guests in the ballroom, a beautiful room with a large chandelier in the centre. It was a wonderful evening, right from the start to the end and the staff at the resort were also great. We had a six-hour reception, which was just the right amount of time to fit everything in.
My mum and friend Lena helped with setting up the reception to make it all look lovely the night before the wedding day. They both helped a lot and made it much easier for me.
One of the most difficult things to arrange was my surprise for Michael without him finding out. I organised to record a song on CD for Michael as his wedding present. I was going to sing to him on the night but knew I would be way too nervous. So when my brother (the MC) announced it was time for the bridal waltz we walked to the dance floor and my CD played. At first, Michael didn't realise, and then he asked, "Is that you singing?" "Yes" I replied with a tear in my eye. It was perfect. The song was "At Last" by Celine Dion, a song we both love. So many peoples eyes were welling up at that point in the night, it was fantastic.
My brother MC'd for the night, he did such a wonderful job, he is a good friend of mine and I felt very proud to have him involved in a big part of our day. It was great also dancing with my dad and my brother at the reception, I have wanted to do that all my life.
Our wedding cake was fantastic! Julie at "The Sweetest Things" at Erina, did a great job on my kitchen T cake (in the shape of a tea pot) I knew our wedding cake would be great if she did that too. Julie made our cake to follow the beach theme with a two-layer cake, shells and sea things all over it, on top was Michael & I - myself in a white bikini and he in black boxers and a bow tie! The cake looked and tasted Fabulous!
Our wedding cars were great. We both have a 'holden family' so we got mates to drive their cars. We had a Monaro, Clubsport and 2 new SS Ute?s. They looked great and we saved hundreds of dollars.
Overall our wedding was wonderful. There were just a few things that I would have done differently, if I had the benefit of hindsight. Firstly, I was disappointed in my bridesmaid's flowers, which were gerberas. They had not been wired, and became extremely droopy. When we wrote a letter to the florist after the day expressing our disappointment, there was no reply. Next, I would have been more thorough telling our photographer what I wanted, and not assumed that he would take photos of the tables, so that I had a record of the guests that were there on our wedding day.
Immediately, after our reception, we stayed at Forrester's Resort for the night in the bridal suite. It was a beautiful room. We headed to Queensland for our honeymoon the next night.
We went to Heron Island in Queensland. We were disappointed in the honeymoon. The travel agent misled us, saying that there were many activities on the island, but there wasn?t. We felt the food was average too, which added to our overall disappointment. The one saving grace, were the sunsets, they were lovely. I think it is an island best suited to over 40's personally. Michael and I prefer to go to places where we can go jet skiing together etc. Which is what we were expecting on our honeymoon. It wasn't a bad place, just not what we expected.
I had a near fatal reaction to Sulphur and was hospitalised for 2 weeks and had a three-month recovery. When I was in hospital Michael got my ring organised so I wouldn't know about it. It was the lowest point in my life and he picked me up when I couldn't get any lower. My face was badly burnt from both the internal & external burn from the Sulphur, and I didn't imagine Michael wanting to look at me the way I had become, all scarred.
He showed me that not only does he have such a loving strong heart, he loves me unconditionally and made me feel loved when I hated myself. It is all about being there in the good times and the bad and Michael proved to me that yes, he was. I feel very blessed to have gotten through the difficult time in my life and even more blessed to have my husband forever by my side.