Jody was a DJ at a Nightclub in Lismore (where I went to Uni) and an events coordinator hosting "Pride Sunday Sessions" which was a safe place for the local LGBT community to celebrate with performances and great music once a month. We started talking via the events page, which was completely innocent, and then we met up before one of the events. There was certainly something about her that had me wanting to know more. Her eyes, that cheeky Cheshire cat grin revealing a fun part of her personality. We continued to get to know each other over the series of weeks that followed when we officially started dating.
The ProposalWe were together for roughly 16 months before Jody asked me to spend the rest of my life with her on the 17th May 2012. She is never very good at keeping secrets (trying to keep Christmas presents a surprise are hard enough) and she had picked the ring up one afternoon from the jewelers. She had rung my parents telling them of her plans and asking their permission. She had some extravagant "proposal plan" that was going to take place on that weekend.
HOWEVER, as predicted by my parents she couldn't wait until the weekend, she mustered up the courage to ask me that night. We went to a lookout over Lismore as the sun was setting and she went on to tell me how much she loved me and that she couldn't see her life without me and then she asked me to spend the rest of my life with her. I was shocked and overcome with joy that I hadn't given her an answer and after 10 minutes had passed and an earring lost to the lookout Jody asked "So, is that a yes?" :)
We were contemplating waiting for the same sex marriage bill to get passed. We had picked the date roughly 15 months ahead of time and had started slowly going through the wedding planning. During this time the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 was proposed. It was passed in the ACT and we had high hopes that our marriage (which was set for 15 months away) would be a legal union, however it was only passed for just 5 short days before being struck down in the high court and any marriages that occurred between those days became annulled. After this, we thought we would never get married if we waited for the same sex marriage act to pass so we kept the date we had picked and started the preparations.
Planning a wedding is certainly something that needs to be experienced to understand. It was stressful in the fact that we were essentially 'throwing an extravagant party' for so many people who we were lucky enough to have attend our special day. Trying to make sure everything runs smoothly, making sure everything is checked off that list and every minor detail is covered (i.e seating plans, a running time sheet of events for the day etc, sourcing a photographer, cake maker etc).
Once we picked the venue and theme/ colour things started happening a lot quicker which was great! We opted for the DIY decorations so started working on these early on with the help of our families.
The bridesmaids dresses were perfect, we gathered our whole bridal party and went into the dress place together. This helped as we could see which dress suited each body type. We were extremely lucky that the first dress the girls tried on was the perfect dress for everyone, flattering and comfortable AND the perfect colour.
Overall I enjoyed every component of it, even the tears when I thought nothing was going to eventuate, it made it all the more enjoyable and rewarding when it came together. Our bridal party was pretty straight forward for us, we both knew who we wanted to be beside us on our special day. I wanted balance on each side so we each had 1 male and 2 females.
My party consisted of 3 of my closest friends, my sister Holly, Joseph and Crystal. Joe almost cried when I asked him to be my matron of honour/ best man and the girls were both equally excited to be a part of it.
Jody's bridal party consisted of her 2 sisters and her friend of more than 15 years Bret.
They were an amazing group of people who just blended well and ensured that the day ran smoothly. When we asked anything of them especially in the preparation stages, they all came down to Sydney and did what was asked.
The Wedding DayThe day was shaping up to be beautiful. Jody and I did the typical tradition of not spending the night before the wedding together. Jody got to live it up in the king size bed in our room while I got to sleep on a single camp bed in my parents room that squeaked with every breath.
When we woke up that morning it was excitement, nervousness (hoping that everything would come together nicely for us). I was on countdown until the ceremony as I just wanted to see Jody BUT I enjoyed the "getting ready process". In the morning there was a gusty wind that was making me nervous but by the time the afternoon arrived it had calmed down and the weather was perfect.
There were many highlights from the day from each stage of getting ready, seeing the hair and makeup come together nicely, the look on my fathers face seeing me in my dress for the very first time, the effort to get the dress on and the relief of my bridal party once the corset was all laced up. But for me, I think the most memorable was seeing Jody at the altar with her dad. She looked absolutely beautiful.
The CeremonyOur commitment ceremony was just perfect. It was by the lagoon at Opal Cove Resort which had a sandbank separating the ocean so we got the sea mist contributing to the relaxed atmosphere. Jody and i each had our moment walking down the aisle with our fathers which i think was a special moment for both of us.
Jody walked down the aisle first to "Real Love" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers and then I walked down to "You + Me" Dallas green and Alecia moore.
The ceremony was composed with both Jody's and My input but most was done by my beautiful Aunty who is a celebrant and she conducted the ceremony. The ceremony set up was basic as we didn't want to detract from the beautiful surroundings.
The ReceptionWe had a sit down reception with seating plans and 2 course meals. The decorations were done by us and we bought things throughout the year to come up with the end result. Shells held the place cards, vases were the center pieces with candles, shells and crushed coral for the setting.
We had some of our guests arrive a day or 2 before the wedding who actually helped us to set everything up which we were so grateful for.
The music for the night was amazing, of course it was, my wife put it all together and her best mans partner was in control of it the entire night.
Jody had also organized a surprise for me for the wedding, she had organized with my favorite DJ, Kitty Glitter (who i was introduced to by Jody). A mixed set was done by Kitty of all of our favorite songs that were either released during our partnership OR whose lyrics resonated with us and reminded us of one another.
The HoneymoonWe had a belated Honeymoon and went to Hawaii in May, 2015 for 12 days of pure bliss. It was such an amazing trip as it was both of our first times overseas.