We met during enrolment day for our fresher
year at University in February 1998. I helped Leigh re-enrol
himself after he filled out the wrong form!! It turned out
we were in the same course.
We became great friends and after a year
I realised that Leigh was exactly the type of guy I wanted
to marry. We had our first date on the 10th of November in
1999. Together we finished our undergraduates and our PhD's.
Just before the final year of our PhD studies Leigh whisked
me away for a romantic pre-valentines day dinner to the Blue
Mountains where he got down on one knee and proposed. He likes
to be different so he proposed on the 13th of February, not
on Valentine's day! It was a surprise as we had gone out to
dinner and when we returned to our room there was a trail
of red rose petals leading up to the bed which had two crystal
champagne flutes. He had the proposal engraved on one of the
flutes, to cherish forever.
We gave ourselves 18 months to organise everything
and so we could graduate after the completion of our studies.
We both live in Sydney which is defined by
its glorious harbour front. In our minds the only place we
could have the reception was on the waterfront overlooking
our two major monuments, the Harbour Bridge and Opera house.
So we chose the restaurant where we had our first anniversary
We decided our theme would be ‘contemporary
elegance with a touch of romance’. Leigh and I have
similar tastes and once we settled on an idea I sourced different
wedding suppliers and when we were satisfied with the quality
we booked them in. We paid upfront for everything, which saved
us a lot and we had a certain security.
We are really lucky working together and
on the same thing means we respected the workload and stress
that the other had. We also really knew what we wanted so
we had no disagreements about the arrangements. The only issue
was that Leigh thought he was not crafty enough to help me
with some of the more hands on things.
One of the more challenging things to organise
was family - because they have a mind and will of their own!
Everyone had different expectations and as they all live 80km
from where we live, there were initial issues about us not
having the wedding where they live, but we overcame this by
gentle persuasion (and the fact that the international airport
-where our overseas friends were landing- was 10km from where
we had the reception!)
The time running up to the wedding day was
great, however, disasters happened the week before the wedding.
My hairdresser changed jobs (so I got upgraded to the head
stylist at the salon!), the bridal bouquet florist sold her
business (but she ended up still doing the flowers for me),
we both got so sick that we had to cancel the Hens and Bucks
nights - which were pre-paid by us. I was so sick that I could
not get out of bed and to top it off the chemist made a mistake
and gave me an overdose of my prescribed medication to which
I heavily reacted. As if by magic (and a lot of medication!)
it all came together on the day, but we were exhausted.
Our day finally arrived and being a winter
wedding we were a bit worried about the weather but we got
the most beautiful cloudless and sunny day we could ever ask
We had a traditional catholic ceremony in
a beautiful old church. Our parish priest was on holidays
but he flew back for one night just so he could wed us. This
made us feel extremely special and made the ceremony even
A close friend played classical piano pieces
prior to our arrival. I walked into Mendelssohn’s Wedding
march and we walked out to Handel’s arrival of the queen
of Sheba. During the signing she softly played a piano version
of Pachabels Canon. It was magic and the music really impacted
the mood of the day.
Leigh and I were joking throughout the whole
ceremony as we were so excited to have finally got there.
But the day was just perfect as I married my best friend and
we were happy to have all the people that mattered with us
to share our special day. It was a fantastic start to the
rest of our lives.
We tried to incorporate a lot of personal
touches to the day and make our guests feel really special.
I hand-stitched 60 white organza roses with green organza
leaves, to use as name tags (which were small personalised
wooden hearts attached to each flower with a pink ribbon).
The atmosphere we wanted was one of contemporary elegance
with a hint of romance. We achieved this by using lots of
dim lighting effects and glass, which reflected all the light!
Also we hand picked our music (different
types for different parts and courses of the night) which
was aimed at growing the inner want to dance to a maximum
by the time we got to the dancing (which was all about the
80's retro music). We achieved our aim as the dance floor
was over-filled for all songs.
We had an amazing day with everything we
wanted. There is nothing we would really change.
The crowning glory was our 'working' honeymoon
which took us all over Europe for 10 weeks. Leigh and I had
short term contracts in Germany and were able to take some
extra time off work afterwards and before to travel. We went
to Berlin, London, Paris, Prague, Cracow and Zurich.