Jason and I have known each other for about ten years. He was my cousin David's best friend, and they were like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum for most of their childhood. The first time I met him, I was so shy that I hid behind a pole so he could not see me!
The next time we met was to be the beginning of our friendship. I was doing my Debutante ball, and David snuck Jason in to the venue. There were about 20 of us, and we had a wonderful night. A night that we will remember always. From that night Jason became a part of my life, although we didn't get together until 6 years later.
Luckily my friends became his friends, and we all hung out together. My brother Anthony and Jason became best mates, which has made life much easier. During the time that Jason and I have been friends, we have both had our share of DUD relationships. We both seemed to pick up the pieces of each others failures, and during this time, became quite great friends.
Even though Jason and I were the best of friends, there was always something, or someone, in the way of getting us together. Jason met this girl through work and decided to travel for two years with her, and during his time with her, I was with another guy.
While Jason was away on his adventure, I came to realise that I was missing him too much. I was unhappy in my relationship and I was yearning for Jason to return to Melbourne. I also knew that his relationship with his girlfriend was on the rocks as well.
When Jason returned to Melbourne on 26 April 1999 (4 years to the day of our wedding), I was so extremely excited. And when he came through those doors at the airport, I was totally blown away by how beautiful he was. Something that I had not ever seen before jumped out at me and knocked me for six.
After that moment, I knew! I knew that Jason and I were soul mates, and I knew that I had to end my relationship in order to be with Jason. We became inseparable. I have seen Jason almost every single day from then on. On July 10, 1999, Jason and I finally got together.
Jason had planned to propose to me during the month of September. He designed the ring and took it to Michael Wilson to weave his magic. September turned out to be a very sad month. September 11 happened, and it knocked us all around for quite a while. During the same month, the collapse of Ansett also occurred. Jason works for the travel industry, so you can just imagine what the following months were like for him! It was not the time or the place to be getting engaged. We had planned a weekend away to Mt Buffalo.
It was a gorgeous weekend, and we set off on our journey early in the morning. We stopped by Brown Brothers Vineyard, and purchased some wine, and then continued our way to the Chalet.We put on our hiking gear and started to walk. We were walking for 3 hours, and I started to get tired and hungry. I was covered in dust and sweat, and felt like a stinky pig!
Then Jason wanted to go back to an area that we had already seen. I was so annoyed that I kept kicking up the dirt and saying loudly, "THREE HOURS! WE'VE BEEN WALKING FOR THREE HOURS!" I was tired and I just wanted to clean up and go for dinner.
We finally got to the top of the mountain- the view was simply breathtaking. Jason pretended that he wanted to take my photo up there, and snuck the ring out. He proposed to me at the top of the world, and that's exactly how I felt! I no longer felt like a STINKY PIG, and all the energy that I had lost walking, miraculously returned to me.
It was a little hard getting the ring onto my finger though- my fingers were so swollen from hiking, that I had to literally S-Q-U-E-E-Z-E it on.
Walking back to the Chalet was fun. I kept holding my hand towards the sun, and watched all the beautiful colours that the diamond created.
I always imagined organising a wedding day to be filled with stress and anxiety. This was not the case for Jason and I, although the week leading up to the wedding we both felt a little anxious. I found that arranging our wedding, was one of the most pleasurable experiences I have ever had to do!
I really enjoyed the closeness I felt with other women whilst preparing my wedding day. Women just seem to get so excited for you when they hear that you are getting married. I felt a special closeness with Leanne and Suzanne (my sister's), Sonia (my sister-in-law) my adopted SISTA Diane, and the other women in my family. During the preparation of our wedding, I also found a special friendship with my cousin Caroline, who has become one of my closest friends.
Our wedding day was blessed from above. I didn't get much sleep the night before, but I woke up feeling energised and totally relaxed. The morning was wonderful. I ate breakfast with the girls and then started the process of preparing for the BIG event.
Everything ran smoothly, and I wasn't even stressed out. I just kept thinking, little things will occur, but I'm not going to let it spoil my day. Dominic (our photographer) came around at about 12, and we had all our photographs taken.
Before I knew it, it was time to leave. By this time, I still wasn't nervous. The nerves finally came just as we entered the driveway of the church. I was full of emotion and I can't ever remember being so nervous. My stomach felt like it was about to jump out of my mouth. I looked at both of my parents and told them that I was ready. Then we began our first steps walking down the aisle. It must have been the most nerve racking experience I have EVER had. All eyes on me. I held onto my parents with such force whilst I looked at everyone?s' faces in the church all smiling at me. Then I saw Jason's face at the front of the church. I felt relaxed looking at him, and his face calmed me straight away. I thought, "There is the man I am going to spend the rest of my life with". This thought humbled me, and before I knew it I was standing next to him looking at his wonderful bright smile and his teary eyes.
The ceremony was so beautiful. The church was full of love and we were surrounded by people that truly care for us. Our final song as "BEAUTIFUL DAY" by U2, our favourite band. We thought that this song would be so appropriate for our special day.
After the ceremony, we drove straight to the vineyard. We wanted to have ALL our photos taken at Witchmount Estate, which is where we had our reception. The weather was absolutely perfect. We couldn't have wished for a better day. Blue skies and white fluffy clouds to block the sun just as we were having shots taken. The reception was wonderful. The food and wine was delicious, as it always is at Witchmount, and the band entertained us all night long. Before we knew it, it was time for the last dance and kisses goodbye.
As I said my final goodbyes to our wonderful family and friends, the emotion of the day caught up with me. I cried happy tears as I climbed into the red Mustang. Jason and I looked and smiled at each other as we waved and blew kisses to all our family and friends.
We drove to the Hotel Sofitel for our honeymoon night and just flaked it.
The next morning poured with rain. As the rain tinkled on our window on the 40th floor, we laid there together and were so very thankful that our day wasy blessed with love, happiness and perfect weather.
We had an amazing honeymoon. As Jason works in the travel industry, we were able to do a little world trip. We started in Fiji. We stayed a beautiful island resort called Matamanoa. It was just what we needed. I celebrated my 26th birthday with my husband, and the new friends that we had met on the island. We relaxed for a whole week by the water and soaked up a great tan.
After Fiji, we went to Canada. Canada was totally awesome. We left Fiji in 30 degree weather, and entered Canada in 0 degree temperature. We drove through the Rockies with our Canadian friend MARG, and spent a lot of our time EATING wonderful things. There something about Canada that just makes you want to eat all the time. If you ever get to Canada, you must go to Saltlik (a restaurant), the Alberta Beef is so tasty, and I haven't had a desert that matches their chocolate souffle, (I'm still searching though).
Our next stop was a total surprise to me. Jason had organised it without me knowing. We flew to PARIS! We had a wonderful time in Paris. Contrary to what everyone says about Paris, I had an awesome time, and found the people that we encountered were both friendly and hospitable.
After our romantic adventure in Paris, we flew to Thailand. Thailand was full of sun baking, and shop, shop, shopping!!! We spent the first week in Phuket (Karon Beach Resort), the next week we spent at Phi Phi Island, and then we spent a few days at the Shangri-la in Bangkok.
We returned to Melbourne with chocolate tans, and very excited to begin our news lives together in our new home!