Filip and I are both European by birth. Fil's family moved to Perth from Macedonia when he was four years old. I spent some of my early childhood in Perth, then moved to the USA for fifteen years and have now settled back in Perth as well.
Filip and I met in January, 2012, at a time in our lives when we were both coming out of difficult personal circumstances. I believe it was the perfect time for us to meet, as we were both ready for some companionship, love and positivity in our lives. The night we met he was on a boys night out and I was with some girlfriends and we ended up standing next to each other in line for a night club. I noticed him as he is tall and he later told me he'd seen me and thought I was cute - but did not have the courage to say anything to me in the line. Once inside I was having champagne with the girls and Fil approached me. I recognised him immediately and we began talking. We later exchanged phone numbers and he promised to take me to dinner the following week.
Our first date was at a local restaurant and I was quite unsure of my expectations. When I walked in and saw Fil sitting at the bar I felt at ease. We had a lovely first date, which lead to us becoming "official" soon after. During the time before our engagement Fil and I travelled to Europe, America and Asia. We went skydiving, skiing, surfing, bike riding and hiking. We attended engagements, weddings, birthdays, christenings and our lives became beautifully entwined.
One trip, we went to Bali and stayed in Uluwatu, at a beautiful resort. Our suite had an outdoor spa overlooking the infinity pool and ocean beyond that. Our last evening there at sunset our spa was filled with rose petals and we were given a bottle of champagne to enjoy before dinner. As Fil got in beside me I had no idea that he had the most beautiful diamond ring in the pocket of his board shorts (!!). When he wobbled onto one knee and asked me to marry him I was the happiest girl in the world. We celebrated with a beautiful seafood dinner and face timed both sets of our ecstatic parents back in Perth.
We had just over one year to organise our wedding. We knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony, and ideally a reception at the same location. We both liked the idea of a winery. Being Macedonian, Fil knew that we would have a large wedding and we needed to find a suitable venue. We were so lucky that Sandalford Estate had an opening on the day we wanted. We picked the date to co-inside with American Thanksgiving, in the hopes that some of my closest American friends would be able to travel to Australia for the wedding. The 28th of November 2015 turned out beautifully. Not only were 8 of my American girlfriends, some of their partners, and a total of 25 international guests able to join our celebration; the weather was perfect.
Planning our wedding was easier than I had anticipated. Almost all of our vendors were wonderfully helpful and easy to work with. Everything came together beautifully on the day. I never had a set picture in my head of what I wanted my wedding to be like. I knew I wanted it to be outside, personal, fun, and I wanted a big cake! But all the other little details were surprisingly easy to organise and decide on. I had six bridesmaids, my three closest Australian friends, two American friends and my cousin from Scotland. It was so special to have people I treasure from all parts of my life involved in my special day. One of my American bridesmaids was only able to be in Perth for about 50 hours due to commitments back in California, but she made the long journey with the biggest smile on her face. That really meant the world to me!
The Wedding DayWe had a relaxed, fun morning getting ready, and I really couldn't be more thankful to have those beautiful ladies by my side. The weather was perfect, about 30 degrees with a breeze.
The CeremonyOur ceremony was outdoors on the Merlot Lawn at Sandalford. We had the aisle lined with rose petals, and light pink & white chairs for the guest. We stood under an archway with a gorgeous coating of flowers. Dolce Ensembles string quartet provided music for the ceremony.
Three of our guests did a reading, and Fil and I wrote our own vows which was very meaningful to us. Our celebrant, Lorna was absolutely wonderful. My mum and I met Lorna at a Bridal Expo, and immediately felt connected to her. She helped Fil and I create a ceremony that was heart-felt, and unique. Our day was perfect for us.
The ReceptionOur wedding reception was held in The Underground Cellar at Sandalford. A beautiful big space, lined with oak casks. We had the room decorated to soften the concrete floors, pillars, and ceiling - and it looked gorgeous! The room felt warm and had a happy and fun vibe about it. We had a three course sit down dinner for our guests; followed by Fil and my first dance, a father daughter dance (a Scottish traditional dance that we incorporated our Scottish family and friends into as well), cutting the cake and speeches. I gave a short speech as well and I am really pleased that I did that. We had some Macedonian dancing which the older Macedonian guests loved and then we had plenty of time for party dancing. Our DJ was excellent, and our dance floor was full the entire night which is what we wanted.
We left at midnight and continued the party (yes, we had an after party!) at Crown Burswood where we had hired a function room with food & drinks for our younger friends to continue to party until 2:30am. When we reflected together in the limousine ride to our after party we both agreed that the day was exactly what we had hoped it would be. We both felt very calm in the morning and Fil said while he was waiting for me at the alter he missed me and just wanted to see me. Neither of us felt stressed or nervous. We had one glitch on the day, but a replacement item was ordered last minute and it did the job. Both of us were in too high of spirits to be phased by this detail at the time (although we later wrote a complaint, and got our money back from the company). There was not a single highlight of the day for me. I had made a promise to myself to stay present during the day and take it all in, as people always say how fast your wedding day goes. I did not feel that the day got away from me, I enjoyed every part of it and have a clear memory of all parts of the day imprinted in my mind!
The HoneymoonFor our honeymoon we spent two nights in Singapore and then six nights in the Maldives. We had been to Singapore together before so we did not feel obliged to sight see. We spend most of the first two days in bed, recovering from the hectic time leading up to the wedding! We did have two nice dinners and do a little bit of shopping, but it was very low key. The Maldives was absolutely amazing! We did a honeymoon registry where guests could contribute money towards different parts of our Honeymoon which worked out very well. We stayed at Anantara Veli, a sister resort to where we got engaged in Bali. Everything was first class - beautiful warm, clear water; amazing food; friendly staff; a huge variety of marine life; and a very romantic over-water bungalow. We went scuba diving, snorkelling, jet skiing, surfing, had massages, read our books on our deck overlooking the lagoon, and had a private candlelight dinner on the beach - it was incredible!!
Our wedding day was the most magical day of my life so far. To get to marry the love of my life, and share the day with people who mean so much to us was something I will always cherish and be thankful for.