Sam and I met during our undergraduate degree at University. We were both studying Sports Science, which at the time, was presented partially on site and partially by distance. By the end of the 3 year degree, Sam and I were the only two remaining students in the course. It was like it was meant to be. The universe was bringing us together. Our friendship grew, and fondness for each other developed into love in the year of 2014.
Sam proposed to me whilst we were holidaying in New York. It was the last night of our NY stay and we had planned to visit the Empire State Building.
After visiting the 86th floor for a decent period of time, my tummy was getting the better of me and I was ready to go get some dinner! Sam however had other things in mind. He wanted to pay the extra 20USD to go right to the top of the building, the 102nd floor. I was completely satisfied with the view from where we were, so was reluctant to pay the extra fee to go right to the top. Sam however wouldn't have it. So 40USD later, up to the top we went. It was on the 102nd floor, that Sam got down on one knee! It was a complete shock to me. I had been hopeful that Sam may propose on our USA/Euro trip but certainly wasn't expecting it. We went to an NBA game on the night to celebrate and then stayed up to the early hours of the morning to break the news to our parents in Australia.
I was on a 6-month trip of USA/Europe at the time of our engagement. Sam traveled with me for 2 months post proposal, then sadly returned to Australia for work commitments. We set a date whilst I was overseas, for the first weekend in April 2020. Had this original date not been changed, we would have only been able to have 5 people at our wedding, as this was when COVID hit!! Our original date was changed for Sams dad. He was terminally ill with a lung disease. We hoped that in bringing the wedding forward by 5 months to the 30th of November, that Hugh may make it. Sadly this was not to be. He died 2 months earlier than our wedding. The wedding was held on my family farm in Holbrook. Hence, the theme of the wedding was a Rustic Farm wedding.
The Wedding Day
We were so lucky with the weather. The day before, when trying to set up was about 38 degrees and super windy. Our wedding day was 25 degrees, however still a touch too windy. At least the wind made for good photos, and helped my veil blow out nicely during the ceremony. The following day for pack up was freezing cold and rainy!!
My bridesmaids all got ready in my family home on the farm, whilst Sam and the groomsmen hired a cute house in Holbrook to stay at the night before.
Given the horrid weather the day prior, my lovely bridesmaids were up at 6am doing table settings in the marquee. Our hair & makeup artist then arrived at 9:30am which is when everyone settled & relaxed into the day. Classic groomsman, had not a worry in the world in Holbrook. They went out for breakfast, went to some markets and relaxed the entire day.
We were both nervous but also excited. Given the wedding was held on the farm, we had no real limitations on numbers. 160 friends, family & loved ones were there to help us celebrate our special day.
Sam and the groomsman wore kilts in honour of Sams Dad whom was born in Scotland. The kilt colour was "Gunn", which is the Hargreave clan. The ceremony was held on top of a hill overlooking the farm. It was a favourite "paddock picnic" spot prior to the wedding. Sam & I didn't see each other before the wedding. The first time he saw me in my dress was walking down the aisle.
The ceremony was lead by our Pastor whom did a beautiful job in putting the ceremony together. Given we had readings, prayers and music the ceremony lasted around 40mins. I felt this was a long enough period to really enjoy the experience, rather than it flashing by in 10mins. The music was a solo female acoustic artist from Albury. She was amazing. I walked down the aisle to the song my parents had as their first dance which was a nice touch. I got a little tear out of Dad when walking down the aisle once he recognised the song.
The ceremony was both happy & sad given the fact that Sam's dad Hugh was not present.
The reception was held about 300m from our ceremony site. We set up a beautiful clear marquee filled with fairy lights.
My dad built this awesome bar which we had off to one side of the marquee.
We had the band playing live music throughout the evening; garden games; a driving range (golf) off the hill ; fire buckets ; loads of wine.
We were so lucky to have the most beautiful sunset after dinner. The wind dropped, and many of our guests went out to the hill to capture those golden hour shots.
It was a really fun night. The final guests left the dance floor at around 3am. Sam and I then snuck away to our glamping tent which was hidden away in the paddock.
We left for our honeymoon the day after the wedding. Vanuatu was our destination. We stayed at "The Havannah" in a pool side villa. We purchased an all inclusive package- it was so nice to have all meals, massages, day trips, etc included in the upfront cost. One highlight of the honeymoon for us was going Scuba-Diving for the first time.
My advice would be to take in each moment slowly and remember the details. Those details will stick with you forever.
If I had my time again....
The more time that passes, the more I loved our wedding day. I would actually love to re-live it as a guest haha