Newly graduated as Doctor and Nurse we both were assigned a rotation in a tiny country hospital outside of Townsville, Belinda for 4 months and Anthony for only 10 weeks, coincidently during the same time of year. We had never met before but when we did it was definitely love at first sight. I rushed to hide in the bathroom immediately after seeing the new doctor on his first day, regretting that I hadn't put makeup on that day and that a couple months before I had dyed my hair bright red. For Anthony he really didn't have to have much of an excuse to talk to me as we all worked very closely together but he made every effort to talk and get to know me better.
Anthony booked this incredible Airbnb at Hideaway Bay in the Whitsundays which included a private beach front all to ourselves and furbabies (two border collies). On the first night Anthony wanted to capture a time-lapse of the sunset on the beach with our camera (which we did often as we enjoy photography). We set up the camera along with an incredible picnic he had planned, and during the sunset with many thoughtful and loving words, he asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes. It was as day/weekend we will never forget.
Planning for the big day was actually fun, we, (haha) well probably more so myself enjoyed the lead up, deciding the theme, colours, flowers, dress and even the run-sheet of the day. Of course we had both mine and Anthony's family to help with many aspects of the big day and we are forever grateful. My beautiful bridesmaids were very supportive, knowing the emotions and challenges in the lead up and on the day that I had to embrace they knew exactly how to make me feel full of love and support. Anthony's groomsman were supportive and ensured it all ran smoothly, giving lots of brotherly love and guidance.
The Wedding Day
The day was absolutely perfect, Preston Peak Winery in its entirety was above all, the staff, the location, the weather, food and drinks, an incredible facility. The weather was perfect, sunny, with a nice breeze to combat the heat, situated on a hill which overlooks the Toowoomba range. We decided not to see each other before the ceremony as we wanted to capture and feel that raw emotion in front of our love ones. I was nervous, but only for my walk down the aisle, crossing my fingers and toes I didn't trip or stumble, and thankfully with my incredible Dad by my side, I didn't.
Once we were holding hands we both felt much more relaxed and excited to get married. All of our close family and friends were there to witness our love for each other, even our two furbabies Sammy & Sydney. I had a font row chair saved for my late mother with a photo and flowers to remember that she was there with us on our special day. Under the incredible wedding tree at Preston Peak Winery we said our I do's, which was accompanied by the beautiful pavilion where our guests were seated. Belinda walked down the aisle to her most sentimental song, From This Moment On by Shania Twain. Decorated with large wine barrels, topped with vases full of lush greenery and white roses. With all of our close family and friends, plus our two border collies, the ceremony couldn't have been better.
With great entrance songs chosen by each bridesmaid and groomsman couple it surely started the night off with a bang. Walking in as Mr and Mrs Strickland was one of the best feelings in the world. Our tables were elegantly decorated with white linen, candles, greenery with white roses in vases. The speeches were incredible, ones that we will remember and cherish forever, especially now that we have them on video We ate incredible food, cut our delish cake, and danced the night away. Great memories made with all of our close family and friends, we cannot express how much love and happiness we felt having everyone there.
Two days after the wedding we jet-setted off to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. We spent just under a week at an all inclusive resort called Finohlu at the Maldives, it was incredible to say the least. Followed by just under two weeks travelling around Sri Lanka, we had an incredible, adventurous end to our honeymoon. The food, the people and the atmosphere in both Maldives and Sri Lanka was something we will always speak highly of.
Wedding Advice ...
Really just enjoy every second of your lead up, the big day and everyday after. Life goes by so quickly and its important to try and embrace and give every moment your 100% attention.
For anyone who has lost someone close to them, just know he or she is there watching over you. It is hard, but know they are somewhere near with their biggest smile, filled with love and joy knowing you are marrying the love of your life.