Anthony and I met through work and flirted with each other for some time. After several months of this we finally got together at a staff function.
Anthony proposed on my birthday at Byron Bay, which is a very special place for us as this is where we had enjoyed our first holiday together. He took my parents and I out to dinner at the fabulous restaurant Rae's. I wasn't expecting him to ask me, as he had always said he would ask my dad for permission first, and I knew he had not done this yet.
Just before desert, I excused myself and headed off to powder my nose. Unbeknownst to me, he asked my parents then and there! They said yes, as my whole family really love him. When I returned to the table, still unawares, my father excused himself and moments after my mother too. I thought it was a little strange, but still had not realised.
With my parents away from the table, he then surprised me by proposing then and there, asking me to be his wife. I laughed, then cried and then cried some more, eventually screaming out YES! He was very relived!! Then my parents returned and everyone became extremely emotional. It was a magic night!
We had 12 months to organise our wedding which initially felt like we had all the time in the world, but slowly the months just crept by and before we knew it there was only a month to go and still so much to do. From selecting our ceremony and reception music, confirming all the numerous bookings we had made and actually writing our own wedding vows! Luckily our Celebrant, Pauline Faulkner, was very understanding, plus friends and family helped us out with lots of those little jobs, which lightened our load.
We had a romantic and relaxing garden wedding. Our ceremony was held late on a Friday afternoon in the Lion's Gate Lodge within Sydney's beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. It was an intimate gathering of 65 guests, made up of family and close friends.
We selected a Friday for our wedding, as we wanted to achieve a relaxed cocktail party atmosphere rather than the more traditional formal 'Saturday wedding'. This way our guests got to take the whole day off work and had the entire weekend to recover from the celebrations, and boy did they need it!
We wrote our own vows to reflect our individuality and express what we felt was most important to us; our deep sense of friendship and love for one another. Tears were shed, joy was shared and there was plenty of giggling from the Bride and Groom!
Our reception was held in the evening at a nearby restaurant 'Pavilion on the Park'. We kicked the night off with drinks and delicious canapes served on the terrace. Everything was divine from the smoked salmon, tempura prawns, salt & pepper squid to the sushi and duck pancakes. This was followed by a lovely sit-down main course, more wine, the speeches, more champagne and then we were whisked onto the dance floor for our first dance to Brian Ferry's "Slave to Love".
It all went so very fast and is still to this day a wonderful wonderful blur. And this has nothing to do with the alcohol, as I seemed to be continually losing my glass, but more the intoxication of such an emotional unforgettable experience.
It was the perfect wedding everything we could have hoped and much more. The garden ceremony was relaxed and romantic. The reception was a foodies delight; everyone totally indulged and had a wonderful evening. It was the first time both our families had met so that was incredibly special. Even my grandfather Ted commented that it was the best night he'd had in 15 years!
For me, the two most memorable and precious moments were; sitting in the old wedding car feeling like a princess, with my beautiful mum, little sister, bridesmaid and my poor dad whose hand I was squeezing too tightly and then later at the ceremony looking into my sexy groom's teary eyes as we said our vows.
Instead of a Honeymoon, we decided to have what we called a Mini-Moon as Anthony's family had come from all over the world to be with us and we wanted to spend as much time as was possible with them before they left.
The Hunter Valley was the perfect choice. It was only a 2 hour drive and offered great wine, food and luxurious accommodation thanks to the Tower Lodge. We are planning our European adventure next year.
The best thing about our wedding was that all the intense planning paid off as nothing went wrong and everyone who was a part of our day haven't stopped raving that it was the most romantic and enjoyable wedding they have ever been too.