Simon & Gemma Gale,
Married Saturday, 2 February 2008

From Friendship to Romance

We met years ago through our youth ministry work at the church we attended. Over time a friendship developed and soon turned into a lovely romance. It definitely wasn't love at first sight but ever since we got together the love we have just continues to grow and it is beautiful.

Simon proposed on the first day of spring. We had decided earlier that week that we would get up that morning to watch the sunrise at our favourite spot on Clear Mountain (we’re both very keen photographers). As the sun hit the horizon Simon nervously spun me around, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He produced a stunning white gold trilogy diamond engagement ring and amongst the “oh my goshes” and the tears I managed to say yes. When I rang my parents at 6.30am to tell them the whole family was already awake waiting for the call. I found out later that he had pretended to leave his wallet at their house when we were over the night before so it gave him an excuse to come back without me later!! Mum said it was the longest night of her life!

I had 5 months to arrange our BrIsbane wedding but thankfully I knew what I wanted and already had a theme in place so I just stuck to my guns. My mum was instrumental in helping me arrange everything. It was a whirlwind 5 months but I loved every part of planning my wedding.

For my bridal shower all the girls went on a Warehouse Shopping Tour. It took us around to all the factory outlets and warehouses around West End, Brisbane and we had lunch at the Broncos Leagues Club. It was an awesome day and then when we got back to North Lakes to drop the girls off we were surrounded by policemen and fire trucks! We couldn't go anywhere.

Traffic was backing up but the cops were too busy dealing with whatever was happening up ahead. So I get out of the bus (wearing jeans, a 'bride' t-shirt and a tiara, and started directing traffic and moving people on. It was hilarious. Then my Maid of Honour (in her fairy skirt, 'maid of honour' t-shirt and tiara) decided to run the rubbish from the bus over to the bin near the line of SWAT guys. As she ran towards them they all turned and pointed their guns at her and started screaming for her to put the bag down!! Apparently there had been a bomb threat made so they were on high alert! It was a strange but amusing way to end a day of shopping!!

Wedding Stories
Wedding Stories
Wedding Stories

The groomsmen decided to change the date of Simon's bucks party without telling us and they ended up lying to us to get him where they wanted him and kidnapped him for the entire weekend. Meanwhile I was stuck at wedding appointment after wedding appointment by myself and I had no clue where my husband to be was, it was so embarrassing. After a very massive fight and a lot of tears we talked through it and Simon and I met each other in the middle and worked through it together. It was really tough and I don't know if I've forgiven those boys yet but time heals all wounds.

My bridal gown the bridesmaids and flower girls dresses and bouquets were some of the easiest items to organise. My wedding dress was the only one I tried on and it was a perfect fit, no alterations at all. It was designed by Raylia Designs and was beautiful full A-line gown with a strapless neckline in diamond white. The bodice and skirt was accented with beading, embroidery and French lace with a lace-up back.

The three bridesmaids wore royal blue dresses (also designed by Raylia Designs) and the three flower girls wore white dresses we bought from Myer. The flower girls dresses were $90ea then were on sale for $45 then we scanned them at the register and they ended up being $22.50 each!! A bargain!

Wedding Flowers:- My wedding bouquet was multicoloured gerberas with irises while the bridesmaids had gerberas. The flower girls had colourful daisy chains in memory of my Great Nanna who passed away recently (she had a long daisy chain as her wedding bouquet).

What we found challenging was getting the wedding chapel and wedding reception venues decorated in time. We had to do the wedding chapel the night before but the wedding reception venue we had to do on the day so it was very hectic. If I had my time over I would have booked the place out the day before and set it up the night before.

Wedding Stories
Wedding Stories
Wedding Stories

The day started off badly for me. I had been sick the week leading up to the wedding and on the big day I was worse! Between bathroom visits I managed to get my hair put in curlers and around 9am Dad decided I needed to go to the doctor so he raced me up there straight away. I arrived at the doctors with my hair in curlers, with a dressing gown on, close to tears but after a quick injection I was good to go.

When the 13 seat stretch limo arrived the house erupted into squeals of excitement. On arrival at the Grace Lutheran College Chapel dad and the girls shielded me from the people inside with multicoloured umbrellas until I was safely around the corner of the building.

As “Everything” by Life House began to play each bridesmaid grabbed their flower girl and queued at the door. As they progressed down the aisle I started to get teary so Dad began whispering jokes as we waited. When I first saw Simon I felt like my skin was the only thing holding me together. I will never forget looking into his eyes for the first time; it was so intense.

Seeing each other for the first time was incredible. We couldn't take our eyes off one another. I will never forget it!

As the ceremony progressed, the joy and love was so strong, it really was the happiest day of my life. We had "With Every Breath" by Six Pence None the Richer/ Jars of Clay playing while we did our beautiful unity sand ceremony which led into the signing of the registry and when we were announced as Mr & Mrs Simon and Gemma Gale the chapel erupted in applause.

We walked back down the aisle to "Something Beautiful" by the Newsboys and then waited out side to say hello to all our guests. While the guests were enjoying a lovely afternoon tea by the pond at the chapel the bridal party went back inside to have proper 'signing of the registry' photos.

My friend owns a garden nursery so we borrowed a heap of plants (palms, cordilynes etc) from him and used them to decorate the wedding chapel. We also had fake gerberas tied to the chairs with white tulle.

We had our photos taken at two different locations in Brisbane to ensure that both bridal party and family got special attention. Our entire bridal party of 12 (& photographer) fit into the limo so we had a lot of fun. The first location was at Sutton’s Beach, Redcliffe and it was fantastic. Wedding photography on the beach meant running on the sand and playing on the rocks under a gorgeous Brisbane sky.

Wedding Stories
Wedding Stories
Wedding Stories

We then had our family photos at Lake Eden, North Lakes just around the corner from our reception venue. After the family photos everyone headed off to the wedding reception while Simon and I stayed behind for a quiet photo shoot with our photographer. It was great to have 10 minutes alone and we got some great photos without having everyone staring at us! Simon and I then got back into the limo on our own to make our grand entrance. We found out that while we were gone a kangaroo had tried coming in the front door of the wedding reception hall. The first we knew of it was watching the wedding video and seeing my maid of honour, a bridesmaid and a heap of cousins shooing it out of the room and down the road!!

When we arrived at the North Lakes Community Centre (our wedding reception venue) all the guests were gathered on the steps with sparklers ready for a group photo. The wedding reception was a private affair with 120 family and close friends attending. The hall was decorated very simply and we reused decorations from the wedding chapel to save money.

As our bomboniere we had personalised stubby coolers for each guest and a self serve candy bar which was a huge hit. We used long wavy mirrors as table runners and fish bowls (with a gold fish in each) and candle holders as the table centrepieces.

Our three tiered cake was banded with personalised "Simon and Gemma Gale" ribbon and sat on top a blue and green mosaic mirror we got from IKEA. To add a personal touch we framed photos of our parents cutting their wedding cakes and placed them beside our cake.

Our first dance was to "Without You" by Brooke Fraser which has been our song from the beginning of our relationship. Then the parents joined us and we danced to "When I Fall In Love" by Donald Cant. After that it was all Nutbush and Macerena!

Our catering was provided by Spit Roast Company QLD and it was fantastic. We had roast meat, vegies, salad...everything you could imagine. We totalled the cost up and including drinks it only cost us $15 per head!

Wedding Stories
Wedding Stories
Wedding Stories

For Simon's wedding speech he read out a poem he had written called "The Warriors Dream". He had written it long before we met and thought that the woman he wrote about was just a pipe dream but he said that when he met me he knew that I was the woman and he was just so overjoyed. When he read it out I just cried and cried and there was a lot of sniffles from the guests as well.

The night went so quickly and before we knew it we were running to the car through the arched hands of our guests. At the top of the stairs I tossed my bouquet to the crowd of waiting girls. My youngest sister (also a flower girl) was launched into the air by another sister and actually caught it!

Overall the day was just so much fun. It really did fly by but we had such a ball. The weather was simply stunning and it only rained once we were safely inside the reception hall.

We spent our wedding night at Rydges South Bank in Brisbane and then on the Monday we drove to Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat at Murwillumbah, New South Wales. It had been raining for months down there so we actually had to get rescued because all the creeks had flooded and we couldn’t make it all the way in our car! Once we finally got there we spent a wonderfully relaxing 5 days there in the middle of the beautiful rainforest. For our first anniversary we are planning a nice trip around Europe.

I found the whole journey so challenging but also so wonderful. I've started asking my friends if they want help planning their weddings because I just loved it!

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