Tom and I met in high school. We were 13 years old, I was in grade 7 and Tom was in grade 8. I remember Tom texting me because he was too shy to ask me to be his girlfriend. The school fire alarm went off before I could reply and our two classes were side by side. I remember a friend and I debating it and in the end and I decided "why not". From there we would text ALL DAY EVERYDAY. Lunches were spent on the basketball court with friends and sharing canteen food. Tom was sweet from the beginning with little love notes and gifts just because. Our relationship started with a friendship and laughter, that's essential in our eyes. From there we have grown together over the years. We are each others identity, in the best way.
I remember the day before our 8th anniversary together Tom warned me that he had a date planned. I woke up feeling really sick. Not wanting to disappoint him I asked if he was sure he wanted to go and asked if I needed to put on make up. I should have known something was up from him saying yes to needing make up, he always tells me I don't need it. We jumped in the car and we headed the opposite way to the city, where I thought we were going for lunch. He said "We are taking the scenic route". The whole drive I had the seat laid back with a soother for my sore throat. Feeling sick, I didn't pick up on all the special songs he was playing that meant something to us, or the amount of times he kept peeking over at me. I was in my only little world. We pulled up to a scenic lookout and Tom put the playlist back on from the start, with the most meaningful songs to us playing first. He jumped out of the car and was walking around nervously. Still I wasn't suspicious at all, I was just chilling in the warm car. He came over and opened my door and asked me if I had got him anything for our anniversary the next day. I answered no sorry. He said well I've got you something just wait there. He climbed into the canopy of his ute before coming back and asking me to hop out of the car. We stood facing each other and he said "I love you so much and I want to be with you for the rest of my life, I don't care what anyone else thinks because I know what I want." He kneeled down on one knee, pulled out a ring and said "will you marry me". I was so shocked I forgot to say yes I just hugged him and cried. I was a snotty crying mess of pure happiness and joy. We put the ring on then Tom brought out a bunch of flowers, wine and 2 glasses to celebrate. We had a glass each of wine and sprayed the rest out over the horizon. It was so special. Tom had to walk around for the rest of the day with a mud patch on his knee from kneeling. We celebrated with lunch before telling our family and friends.
Planning your own wedding is such a surreal experience. It's something you have likely never done before and hopefully only do once. Everything was new, exciting and daunting all at the same time. I loved the experience. Being able to personalise as many details as you like is really rewarding. Thankfully I had close friends I could get tips and tricks from. I picked as many peoples brains as possible as I am not a very creative person. We decided to allow enough time to put real thought into the wedding so nothing was rushed and we had more time to save so nothing we wanted had to be spared. From our engagement we allowed 2.5 years before the wedding. The date was picked in the summer month of February for more certainty of weather and we decided to make it 6 months from our anniversary of dating so that the dates all had some relevance. We did most of the planning ourselves to make sure it was perfect. We stuck to our guns when family questioned the invite list, that's definitely one blessing of paying for your own wedding, you're the boss.
The Wedding Day
The wedding day was everything we had dreamed of and hoped for. The boys got ready at a friends (one of the groomsmen's) house a few minutes from the ceremony location. The girls got ready at my mother in laws as she has a great view and a lovely garden. The last Tom and I saw each other was the day before, after setting up the marquee for the reception. We both didn't sleep much the night before, we were too excited and in disbelief the day was finally here. I woke up excited. Tom was nervous from the word go. We both had perfect mornings with amazing breakfasts, great company and being made to feel comfortable. My morning was pretty smooth. I remember hopping back into bed at 10AM waiting for makeup and hair. The girls were already almost done and it was pretty organised. There was a bit of a rush at the very end once we were ready but it's okay to be fashionably late. The last few hours flew!
Our ceremony was held by the water out on a point in Tom's home town, where we met. Tom built an arch for behind us at the end of the aisle. The morning of the ceremony we had family decorate the arch with greenery. We had an aisle marked out with timber and chairs at the very front for family, everyone else stood. We were very lucky with no rain, it was quite windy but once you reach that aisle and hold your soon to be husbands hands that's all you focus on. We designed our ceremony wording from start to finish with our celebrant. It was everything that we wanted completely changed to suit us. Both our Nan's walked down the aisle with our youngest flower girls which was really special for us. My Mum and Step Dad walked me down the aisle. Tom was very emotional and I could just see that he was so proud to be getting married.
The reception was held in a marquee on Tom's Nan and Pop's farm. We decided on this type of reception as it meant a lot to us to have a significance to the location. It also meant we could cater it to fit as many guests as we liked and had no real limitations. We could also decorate how we liked and there was no kick out times (we love a party!). We had caterers come in and had buffet style dinner. There was a water/coffee/tee/soft drink help yourself station as well as a pamper station in a separate marquee near the toilets. We brought all the alcohol and had a bar that was staffed by friends, with a hired cool room to store all the alcohol. We set up another table with a card box and polaroid guest book. There were 2 wine barrels either side of the bridal table, 1 with the cake on top and the other with a candle, my late grandfather's rose petals and a sign with a poem "we know you would be here today, if heaven wasn't so far away". We had a DJ for music which was great as it catered for all tastes in music (we asked for song requests on our rsvp cards). After dinner we had more photos on Tom's Pop's land while the sun was setting. We then had the formalities of speeches, cake cutting, first dance, father daughter dance and then we did "the git up" for some fun. Later on we happened to play a song almost everyone knew, we were dancing together and everyone formed a circle around us, all in a large group hug, singing the song. It was so special being surrounded by people who were there celebrating our love with us.
For our honeymoon we travelled to Angourie Resort in Yamba NSW. We relaxed and indulged and also managed to get a lot of site seeing in. We then had a few days on the Gold Coast visiting theme parks and shopping. It was the perfect way to end our huge efforts in planning and setting up our big day.
Our advice to others planning a wedding is do what you both want. It's your day and it goes so fast. Also, if you can we highly recommend getting a videographer. It was so special to be able to watch special moments from the day again.