For my 30th birthday, Grant took me to my favourite store, Mister Zimie, and let me pick out any dress. I thought I was already in heaven. That was until he then said we were heading away for the night to celebrate my birthday. After a short drive, we ended up at Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat. It was pure magic. A stunning villa overlooking the most gorgeous rainforest. After checking out the Villa Grant wanted to go for a walk. All I wanted to do was run a bath and drink the champagne left for us. We compromised, and went for a walk.
Upon our walk, we came across a huge tree and in front of it was a table with champagne, chocolate, a huge bunch of red roses, and it was surrounded by tealights. I got this weird feeling that he was going to propose because, why else would this all be set up?
There were people setting it up and they looked up, saw us and just said "Hello" Then they said, "sorry, we have a proposal happening here today, you are welcome back from 4pm". I remember thinking "oh damn! Its not me!" I looked at Grant and said "lucky girl!" and we kept on walking. We went walking for about another half an hour when it started to rain. Grant said "ok lets go back for that bath now".
We were walking back when we came across that same tree and set up - Grant looked at me and said, "You're the lucky girl", dropped to one knee and said "I love you so much, will you spend the rest of your life with me" and pulled out the most beautiful ring.
Of course I said "yes!" and we hugged. We sat down to eat the choccies and drink the champagne but Grant kept looking around which I thought was a bit weird. Eventually, a lady popped out from behind a tree with her camera and introduced herself. She was hiding taking photos of our proposal and while I looked like a drowned rat from the rain, they are some of my favourite photos of my favourite memory. We went back to the villa and in the meantime, those people who were setting up the proposal site, had been into our room sprinkling rose petals everywhere and lighting hundreds of tealights for us to return too. It was so beautiful.
We got engaged 1st of March 2021 and I began planning our wedding straight away. We had plans to have an engagement party and turn it into a surprise wedding in October. We knew we just wanted it to be quite chill. We didn't want it to be traditional, so I took Grant with me to pick the wedding dress and then I went with him to get the suit.
We weren't having a bridal party so we didn't need to worry about that sort of stuff. In July, we found out we were expecting a baby so we still wanted to go ahead with the October wedding but in the end, COVID ruined the plans to have all of our family and friends present on the day.
My parents & sister and Grant's Mum were living in QLD and the borders were closed and we had family members who were not fully vaccinated - which was a requirement at the time - so they were unable to come. So it was quite a hard decision but we still went ahead and the original plans continued but we just had 13 of our closest friends who were both vaccinated, and able to be at the wedding.
The Wedding Day
The day was a beautiful day. We both woke up together in the place that we were getting married - Girra Girra Retreat. We had a lazy morning, facetiming our family before I went to get my hair and make up done. Grant got ready in the meantime and when I returned home, I had 45 mins to get dressed before our ceremony started. Our guests had arrived so the boys all went outside for a drink while the girls all helped me steam my dress, put my shoes on, etc. I waited for him to be outside before getting out of the car so that he didn't see my glow up.
I had my best friend Jessie who was going to be our witness walk me from the retreat accommodation to the outside ceremony space and then I walked down the aisle by myself. We were both feeling nervous but excited! Our ceremony was held in the garden at the retreat. We had 13 guests (our nearest and dearest friends) come to watch us get married. We just had a speaker play our favourite song "better together" by Luke Combs as I walked down the aisle. We had the most beautiful marriage celebrant. Her name is Kate Noller and I can hand on my heart say that she is the reason our ceremony was so emotional and heartfelt. She immediately made us feel like friends and we felt so comfortable trusting her with this special day. She personalised our ceremony and it was flawless. She is pure sunshine in human form and we recommend her to the whole world.
There were lots of tears during our vows. To this day, my only regret is that our family wasn't there to see just how much love there is between us.
We had our friend Marty film our ceremony on a GoPro and another friend Alyssa who went 'live' on Facebook in our Wedding group so that everyone else could watch the ceremony from afar.
We also had an amazing wedding Photographer - Sarah from Essjay Photography. Sarah is just brilliant at her job and she captured our day so perfectly. She is another little ray of sunshine and she makes you feel so comfortable and at ease - no pose was awkward - and she went above and beyond and she captured every single little detail. Her photos are literally every where in our house and we will never get sick of them.
We didn't have a reception on that day as such but we did all go for dinner at our local Italian restaurant. It was just a set menu of pasta and pizzas and a nice way to end our special day.
Come December 11th 2021, all borders were open and all of our family and friends were able to travel to Forbes to have a backyard party where we celebrated our wedding with our favourite people. We had our favourite restaurant - Elwood's Smoking Brothers in Orange cater for us, we hired furniture from Bespoke country weddings and we filled troughs with an abundance of alcohol. It was literally perfect and we are so glad that we did eventually get to celebrate with everyone.
Our only advice is to have the wedding YOU want. Extravagant or simple, either way it is about you and the person you are marrying and it is just one day of your life. Get married for the marriage not the wedding and just make sure it is everything you both want.
I wouldn't change a thing except to have our family present. We really wanted to go ahead with our original plan and becoming pregnant concreted that but COVID really interfered with that and unfortunately it just couldn't happen.