My work colleague had a single brother-in-law who worked a month-on/month-off roster out of WA. As he knew I was an independent person (much like his brother-in-law), in addition to believing our values, life outlook, and character traits lined up, he decided one day as he walked past my desk at school he said ‘do yourself a favour and look this guy up’ and he flicked a note at me with Peter’s name on it!
I didn’t think too much of the note, and I didn’t do anything about it at the time as I was quite content taking to the side lines of the dating game. However, a couple weeks later Port Lincoln lost power, therefore no electricity, teamed with a little bit of boredom, was the prompting I needed to think ‘maybe I might look that guy up’. Conversations started through social media chat on an afternoon, and soon turned to lengthy daily phone calls that saw Peter standing out on the helipad (sometimes at midnight after 12-hour shifts), so he was able to get signal to call me!
After a month of endless chats and a very real feeling of connection between us, Peter flew me to Adelaide to meet him when he returned from work in WA. It was uncanny because within 2 minutes of meeting, we were walking hand and hand out of my hotel lobby, without a hint of awkwardness. It was a strange and almost eery feeling how we each felt so comfortable and at ease, with someone who physically was a stranger!
About 3 months into our relationship, I realised I had gone from 'I am never getting engaged again' and 'I don't think marriage is necessarily for me' (although I believed l would commit to the right person should I meet someone oneday), to 'my gosh, I can actually see myself marrying this man'.
Peter proposed on our anniversary which I had booked the accommodation and dinner for. This was VERY WELL played by him, as I am someone that is very hard to get things passed! Because I was the person who made the accommodation and dinner reservations for our anniversary, he had no trouble with me asking any questions or getting me there (packing bag etc), as it was planned!
I had absolutely NO idea a proposal was coming and was completely shocked. The hotel room was full of rose petals, and a special ‘cellar door only’ champagne that was a discovered favourite on one of our first dates was awaiting on a beautiful little table, but I still had no idea what was to shortly come, as it was our wedding anniversary, and Peter can be very romantic! As a matter a fact, it was quite funny as it took a while for him to get me to turn around, as I was a mess after reading a card placed in beautiful long-stemmed red roses that read ‘Marry Me’! He had to say 'ummm babe, I'm going to need you to turn around', which is where he was behind me on one knee.
Planning was a busy time as it was done in about 5 months. Everything was pretty much arranged, including the making of bouquets and buttonholes for the bridal party - I thought ‘why not have a crack’ at making them myself! All the big decisions we made together, I simply did the leg work that would lead us to a point where a decision could be made (that is, source and sort through and short list venues, photographer and the list goes on as any bride reading this would know).
I had some wonderful offers of support from my family and best friends; however, I must admit I am someone who likes to be super organised and I am a bit of a control freak! On the contrary, in my defence, I was relief teaching at the time and term 1 last year was very quiet, so I had a lot of spare time on my hands! It was great though I enjoyed and thrived in the planning and getting creative with DIY projects for the day, and as mentioned, due to having ample free time, I felt like I could manage it all myself! Although I will add that everyone, in particular, my Aunty Cathie and cousin Elke, were amazing in the lead up to our ‘rescheduled date’ when I become a bit ‘wobbly’ and stress was kicking in!
Absolutely no clashes believe it or not! For example, with venues, photographers, suits, cake ideas, whatever it may be, I would do the ground work in the sense of sourcing a ‘short list’, as Peter works away in a FIFO role, and when he was home Peter and I made every decision together, and were on the same page with each decision! We made a ‘you bute’ team!!
The Wedding Day
Our day was amazing. Although if we are talking weather, as the outlook was ordinary our ceremony was moved indoors to our alternative indoor option which our beautiful venue Sunnybrae provided. The day was absolutely wonderful, any wrongs became rights and nothing dampened the day. One wedding car went a complete alternative route and took much much longer to get to the venue, however, any 'hiccups' just added to our day which was amazing, and we just 'went with the flow!
My Maid Of Honour Carly, My sister Kristy, Mum Louise and I spent the morning getting ready in a beautiful air bnb on North Tce in Adelaide named 'Botanic Pied A’ terre'. Susan was an amazing host and her property made for some fabulous photos (which I hope you agree). Carly my Maid of Honour, who has also been my best friend for 32 years since we were 4 years of age, did our makeup, and another beautiful friend named Janelle joined us to style our hair. The three boys stayed at the Majestic Rooftop Garden Hotel about 700m away, which allowed for our legendary photographer 'Paul Mac' to scooter between the Boys and Girls in the morning, snapping some fantastic pics accompanied with many laughs!
We didn't see each other before our ceremony. I felt good – excited and a surreal experience for sure! I was quite calm, just excited and really really happy as I just couldn’t believe our day had come. Our ceremony was held at Sunnybrae Estate. Unfortunately, we moved our ceremony inside based on the weather outlook but it turns out that we could have kept it outside, but we all know hindsight is a wonderful thing!! The staff and Sunnybrae, whether it was inside or outside were (and still are!) amazing, and we were and still are so happy with how our day went there!
We had some decorations, an arbour with a flower arrangement in the middle that Carly (MOH) had made! Music was pre-recorded with the aisle song ‘Marry Me’ by Train andeveryone was extremely cheery!! Smiles and laughs a plenty - the whole time.
I will never forget looking at my beautiful man during our ceremony, and simply the feeling of believing that it was our wedding day!
We had our reception at Sunnybrae Estate in their magnificent Coach House. It was fabulous and unreal!! Except for me forgetting to eat my meal after numerous reminders from our amazing co-ordinator Mariyah and MC my cousin Reubz! Our reception in the Coach House (look it up!) was very ‘us’ and a true dream. The food, atmosphere, our guests, all was just brilliant. We were made to feel nothing was a bother, and we were treated by staff like super stars.
Our first dance was just beautiful, we taught ourselves in 3 x kitchen 10-minute practices in the week before! It was truly a magical time amongst the dry ice and getting caught in the moment together with the lyrics of our chosen song so 'on the money' for our feelings toward each other.
We were very lucky to have been able to travel and had our honeymoon intrestate. We had a quick and low key trip to the Gold Coast, but it was awesome. Our honeymoon was just brilliant, nothing too fancy, but we had a great time just doing as we pleased/felt each day. We were over the moon, extremely appreciative for the chance to get away after the last couple years, and we couldn’t have had a better time!
Stay true to yourselves. Advice is great, but there is no right or wrong with big/small, theme/style, etc. Remember it is YOUR wedding day after all, and it should be how you both would like it, and not what is considered ‘right’, ‘on trend’, or how others say it should be!
We truly had the most amazing day we could have hoped for! The extra layer of covid worries and stressors from our initial date having to cancel, and postpone our day from July to November, was certainly a low. However, an enormous number of Brides/Grooms in Australia (and obviously world-wide) also experienced 'covid related challenges' with their wedding, and/or other significant life events, and we remain extremely greateful to have had such an amazing day shared with so many family and friendsin such unprecedented and strange times!