We were friends for about 7 years and always got along really well. Then, in 2007, Tim (known as Chang) plucked up the courage to ask me out and the rest, as they say, is history., I knew Chang was the one after my parent's rescue dog, who was so shy and scared around new people, immediately went up to him for a pat the first time I took him home.
We had spoken about getting engaged and had been looking for rings about a month prior but I didn't think it would happen so soon then, as a confirmed beach baby, when Chang suggested we spend the 2014 Australia Day long weekend in Port MacDonnell, SA, I didn'thesitate in saying yes. On our last evening there, we went our for dinner and to watch the sunset on the beach. As we were a little early Chang went to the back of his ute to "fix his fishing line", coming back shortly and proposing! I was so shocked I (accidentally) swore at him before bursting into tears and saying yes!!
We know each others' tastes pretty well and decided early on to have a large engagement party and a smaller, more intimate wedding in a rustic chic theme with fun a big priority! Spending about 2 years planning we had the most amazing support from some talented family and friends, including having tailored stationery designed for us, professional decorating, some cheeky "unofficial" photos of the guys getting ready, a homemade cake and our beautiful friend pulling double duty as our celebrant and MC. I'm a born organiser so loved all the planning whereas Chang was happy just to sit back and let it flow. Fun, relaxed and romantic were our briefs for our wedding day, which we shared with our closest family and friends.
The Wedding DayChang and his groomsmen got ready at home while the bridesmaids and I got ready at the stunning 100 year old Glenwillan Homestead where our ceremony took place. As we had been together for 9 years by the time we got married, neither of us were nervous on the day, rather so excited and ready to marry the other and Chang swears he didn't tear up when I walked down the aisle (he did, it's on video! ha ha).
And family inclusion was something we both wanted, with Chang's mum, younger sister and my mum performing a sand ceremony and my brother doing a reading. We had our wedding ceremony on the front lawn of the stunning, 100 year old Glenwillan Homestead and truly couldn't have asked for a better day! The sun shone and there was not a cloud in the sky, a butterfly even flew past as we had our first kiss as husband and wife.
The CeremonyWe chose minimal decoration for the ceremony, keeping to a rustic chic theme of hay bales and decoration, white loveheart birdcages and native flowers sitting on wooden tree stumps as the aisle runner, and some personalised signs, including the hand made altar, all with a touch of my favourite colour, purple, thrown in. Keeping the atmosphere light, the bridesmaids walked down the aisle to "I wanna grow old with you" before my dad and I walked to "A thousand years". During the register signing and recessional we chose an upbeat Kelly Clarkson song called "Tie it up".
The ReceptionRustic chic, autumn and purple all came out in the decorations at Warracknabeal Racecourse: From the purple table runners to the mason jar and heart chocolate bombonierre, the autumn leaf place settings, rustic handmade signs, to the fun photo booth, time capsule and even a tribute to Chang's late dad, Bill, the entire evening was fun, light hearted and, again, family oriented. From the moment we walked in to the room until we left in the early hours of the morning, I don't think we stopped smiling (or our guests dancing).
Given we're not serious people, we had spent months leading up to our day with a dance teacher choreographing our first dance which started out romantic before becoming cheeky. It was a hit and definitely a memorable moment. Some other memorable moments included being introduced as Mr and Mrs Jefferies, cutting our cake, seeing all of our guests smiling and celebrating with us, my dance with my dad (which is when the emotion of the day came crashing down and I got teary), Chang dancing with his mum, my uncle dancing with Chang, and seeing everyone dancing, laughing and havinga great time. That's all we wanted.
The HoneymoonWe enjoyed a "mini-moon", spending a week at the beautiful Southern Anchorage Retreat in Wattle Hill on the Great Ocean Road. We spent time touring around, sightseeing, eating great food and just relaxing and enjoying our first week as a married couple. For our first anniversary we hope to have an extended holiday/honeymoon in Western Australia.
If I Had my time again ...I would stick to my guns about having my bolero sewn onto my dress - it kept falling off my shoulders and bugging me! Practice dancing in "the dress" - I lost 3kg the week of the wedding so it was a little long on the night and I had to hitch it up. And we would take some more time just to sit back, relax and take in everything we achieved.
Wedding Advice ...If you can, hire both a photographer and videographer - this is one thing we both agreed on from the start and are so glad we hired both as we have amazing memories to look back on. Go with the flow - stuff will 100% happen that you have no control over.
Most memorableAt the end of the day, the most memorable moment for me was seeing Chang's reaction when I walked down the aisle, and being pronounced husband and wife...the rest of the stuff was just amazing icing on the cake.