I could never figure out why my mother kept sending me into the pharmacy where Steven works. I guess now I know!
The first time we met I was shopping for wart paint remover, I was mortified, so I wouldn't exactly call it love at first sight. At the time I was sure he must of thought I was some sort of gutter-scum. Still, I knew from early on he was the one.
In true princess style Steven took me on a surprise trip to Hamilton Island for a week in the middle of February. On the 14th, Valentines day, we ate breakfast on our balcony with the tropical birds and went for an early morning walk around the island. We had a massage during the day and went on a twilight cruise, sipping champagne and enjoying the romantic ambience. Steven then took me to the 'Beach House' restaurant on Hamilton Island where a dozen deep red roses greeted me. After a romantic dinner Steven wished me a happy Valentines day and as he slid my gift towards me he knelt down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. Neither of us can remember dessert!!
I had the perfect man now for the perfect wedding. We set our wedding date, two years out which gave us enough time to arrange everything we wanted and organise all the special little bits and pieces for the day.
Steven and I have been on a high since he proposed. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the planning process and our wedding was just beautiful, however, as you would expect we did encounter a few 'challenges' along the way. A close friend who was to be bridesmaid fell pregnant and was due four weeks before the wedding so had to pull out of being in the bridal party. The European tour we had paid a deposit for and booked was cancelled six weeks before the wedding. We had paid for and booked flights and accommodation so this was an extra stress we didn't really need. The hotel where we had our reception changed their name a few weeks before the wedding - after we had sent out the invitations. The maid of honour had a wisdom tooth extracted two weeks before the wedding and the bride had to have THREE wisdom teeth extracted a week before the wedding.
All this aside, our wedding was just perfect. The night before, the rain fell and the thunder roared but the next day there were only a few clouds in the sky and the sun was shining and not a drop of rain fell.
Our wedding theme, was Royal Europe in the 1800's and our colour scheme was red and white (the colours of Poland, my family background). A horse and carriage, cathedral, top hats and canes for the boys and a seven metre train for the bride completed our royal Europe in the 1800's theme.
The boys had fun walking through the city to the church in their 'Lincoln' (long) jackets with top hat and cane. It was royal Europe in the 1800's after all. I arrived at the church in an open top carriage pulled by two white horses - true princess style! People waved and yelled out congratulatory wishes as we rode through the city to the cathedral.
Our ceremony was to be a traditional Catholic wedding held at St. Mary's Cathedral. It was a full mass service celebrated by a family acquaintance who happens to be a priest. It had always being a dream for me during my time at Catholic school to have my wedding at St. Mary's cathedral but never did I imagine it would actually happen.
The cathedral had made it very clear that I should NOT be late to church. In fact, if I did not arrive 15 minutes prior to the ceremony we would lose our deposit. Needless to say, I arrived with plenty of time to spare. So much time that I almost beat the boys to the church!
The bridesmaids had fun trying to support my 7 metre train. It felt great as it glided down the long aisle of St. Mary's cathedral behind me. I stopped to give hankies to my mother and mother-in-law. These hankies were made from the same material my dress was made of and had the mothers initials on them. I think this gesture actually made them cry even more!
The ceremony itself was a blur. It went so quickly! I had memorised my vows and Steven and the bridal party were quite taken as I looked into his eyes and uttered my words of commitment slowly and passionately.
We had a fun trip to our photo shoot with most of the bridal party piled into the carriage with Steven and I. First stop for photos was Circular Quay but this quickly came to a halt as we were told to hurry on by local police officers doing their rounds. We have some funny photos of the carriage with two police officers near-by! Second photo shoot was at the picturesque Mrs. Macquarie's chair - Sydney.
Our reception was a formal sit down dinner at the Sydney Harbour Mariott Hotel. Tables at the reception were named after castles in Poland (the brides background) and the UK (the grooms background). Each table also had a laminated information page about the history of that castle.
Upon entering the reception room we proceeded to engage in a Polish wedding tradition where the parents of the bride and groom feed the couple salt, bread and sweet dessert wine as a symbol of the sweetness and bitterness of life. We briefly cut the cake and attempted to eat dinner. I couldn't eat much as I was a little nervous and I was very surprised when Steven refused to eat as he wasn't feeling well. We put it down to nerves but I was later to find out he was suffering from food poisoning from the previous day!
Being the modern girl that I am I gave a speech at our wedding. I told a moving story of my grandmothers escape from their country of birth, Poland, during WWII and concluded with a special toast for them. Steven has no living grandparents so we thought it was important to acknowledge my grandmothers presence at the wedding.
We danced a proper English Waltz for our first dance as husband and wife to the classical piece "Fur Elise" and our bridal party joined us for the second dance, a progressive dance to the song 'Love is in the air' they had spent months learning. The dances went sooooo well. No one fell over their high heels and the boys did not trip on our long dresses. Everyone remembered the steps and our guests cheered and applauded on conclusion.
By the end of the night Steven was feeling worse. Afterwards in our hotel room I slipped into some lingerie and when I exited the bathroom feeling rather sexy and anticipating my wedding night I found Steven looking rather pale and green. At first I thought it was me - but it turned out he had a severe case of food poisoning. Now that's a story to tell the children!!
To conclude our fairytale wedding in royal Europe in the 1800's the prince and his princess went to Europe. Steven and I spent three months in Europe. We did an organised Eastern European tour and a Western European tour with Trafalgar tour company. We then picked up a hire car in Germany and visited the town where my dad was born and the towns where my grandparents were taken to as prisoners during WWII. We stayed for a month with family in Poland learning more about my family heritage and culture.