Glen and I met whilst working at the same
radio station in Lithgow, NSW. He says he always fancied me,
but I just couldn't really see past the Ray Martin hair-do
and the Darryl Somers-style colourful knit jumpers! We lived
together for a while as flatmates until he moved back to New
Zealand. We stayed in touch via phone and letters and eventually
he came back to Australia where we've since lived together
happily ever after.
On Valentines Day, 2004 Glen gave me a big
box with the page labelled 'March 7' from his diary stuck
to it with instructions not to open it until that date, at
which point we planned to be holidaying in Bali. I madly trawled
the internet trying to find the significance of March 7 in
the Balinese calendar, et.c etc.
On the morning of March 7, in Bali, I had
my suspicions that he might propose but kept it to myself
... how stupid would I have felt if he didn't? Late in the
afternoon, he took me and the box down to the beach and asked
me to marry him. Although I had suspected it, his proposal
was so overwhelming I can't remember a word he said, which
annoys me.... but it did make me cry!
The box contained a ring, a disposable camera,
two plastic champagne glasses, and some very dodgy Balinese
wine. We sat on the beach as the sun set, then had a beautifully
romantic dinner at a restaurant on the sand. At one point,
serenaded by guitar strumming dudes who even coincidentally
played one of 'our songs'? And the significance of March 7?
Well, he says it was just a date that he had picked on New
It took us just under a year to arrange everything.
We always knew we wanted to be married on the beach, so the
weather was always a major worry. The morning of out wedding
I woke up to a beautiful sunny day with stunning blue skies.
Yeh! Trouble is you can't see wind! The photos can though...
hence my crazy hair and Glen's 'devil horns' hair-do in the
photos. (In his speech, my Dad later referred to the ceremony
as 'our Lawrence of Arabia experience'). Wind-battered though
they were, it was so wonderful to see so many family and friends
(all of whom had travelled from interstate and overseas to
be there) gathered on the beach and all looking so happy for
We held the ceremony by the water's edge
at Kirra Point under a bamboo and chiffon canopy which thankfully
stayed standing despite the hurricane-like winds. As we weren't
having a religious ceremony we wanted to be sure it wouldn't
be too brief... we didn't want our guests feeling like "oh
is that it?" On the other hand we didn't want to pad it out
with readings just for their own sake. We created the ceremony
ourselves with vows that included staying together 'in sunshine
and in shadow'... words from the song 'Danny Boy', the only
song we know of that has both our names in it. The vows also
included other personalised details like comforting Glen when
the All Blacks lose.
Planning a wedding takes so much time and
effort and there are so many little details that need looking
after... something is bound to go wrong, right? Dodgy weather?
A collapsed cake? A zit? Well here's something we hadn't anticipated
and it put a real dampener on our day. After the ceremony,
we arranged to take photos on the beach, when Glen's mum stumbled
over a partly concealed rock and fell. It was so bad we had
to contact an ambulance ? she had broken her ankle.
Just when you thought things couldn't get
worse, the ambulance got bogged in the sand! Thank goodness
help arrived - and wow, what help! The ambulance was aided
by 5 of the world's top surfers who happened to be walking
by following the Quicksilver Pro up the road. Later we discovered
Glen's mum had broken three ankle bones and had a complicated
operation. The poor thing had saved up for ages to come over
from New Zealand for the wedding and she missed the entire
reception. It certainly put a dampener on the wedding, but
once again proved what a tremendous guy I had married. Despite
being terribly concerned and sad for his Mum, Glen remained
cheerful and focused on the fact that we had just gotten married!
The show had to go on!
We always knew we didn't want a 'same as
last week's wedding but with different flowers' reception
and we wanted it to be near the beach, so when we stumbled
upon the Coolangatta Surf Club with its stunning deck overlooking
the ocean, we were pretty sure it was "The One". We had three
long tables, with about 30 guests on each, and Glen and I
sat at a table for two at the front. The tables were dressed
in white linen with scattered shells and flowers. Each setting
had a white linen napkin rolled and tied with a palm frond,
a bamboo placemat, a tea-light in a glass holder and a white
box which served as a place card. The boxes contained Ferrero
Rocher chocolates with the inscription "To say 'Thank You'
for sharing our day, please enjoy a taste of the second sweetest
thing to come out of Lithgow" plus a small explanation that
we had met in Lithgow, home of the Ferrero factory.
As for the seating allocation, I wanted it
to be a bit of a surprise for guests as to who they would
be seated with. Rather than a list of names on a wall, we
made little paper parasols on wooden skewers each made from
decorative paper in a shade of pink, purple or white and each
with a guest's name on it. Guests could then pick up their
umbrella and know they were on the table with either the pink
frangipanis, the purple orchids or the white frangipanis and
We also had disposable cameras on the tables.
These were inside a white envelope, the front of which featured
a really bad photo of Glen's nostril, my forehead and a lot
of background, with the inscription "Clearly Dani and Glen
need help taking photos..." During pre-dinner drinks we had
a duo playing Polynesian love songs and then to get people
in the mood for a night of fun, we arranged for our MC, Matt,
to hand out musical instruments borrowed from a primary school
plus the words to the song "Love is in the Air". Matt announced
our entrance as the musicians played 'Love Is in the Air'
and our guests sang along and madly played their maracas and
Dinner was a delicious (we're told... we
were too busy to eat) island-inspired buffet followed by speeches
by both of us and the two Dads, and then dancing. My Mum made
our cake... an old Russian family recipe called Napoleon.
A lush layered vodka cream and pastry creation that I always
associate with my late Grandmother, so it was especially meaningful
to have it as our wedding
Getting my Roz la Kelin Bridal dress from Roz at Bridal
Pty Ltd. A WONDERFUL experience with a better-than-hoped for
outcome. With the patience of saints, Roz and her staff stepped
me in and out of their masterpieces until I found 'The One'.
I received so many compliments about how perfect the gown
was for a beach wedding and it caught the breezes and flowed
beautifully. I can't say enough great things about Roz and
her staff. They listen to every idea and suggestion you have
and then make it happen even more beautifully than you could
Everything went pretty well until the Big Day. I hired a professional
'setting-up person' thinking it would reduce stress on the
day. Sadly it didn't as she turned up 4 hours late with no
reason given and wasn't contactable during that time. This
meant that instead of relaxing before the wedding, Glen was
madly chasing around trying to find her and then helping her
set-up... even as guests arrived.
Also the DJ was pathetic.... turning up late
and playing the WRONG SONG for our Bridal Waltz. Would have
been better off burning CDs!!
If I had my time again, I would probably
be more of a "Bridezilla" in terms of the people I hired.
I would explain EXACTLY what I wanted and expected. And then
explain it again. Just so that things happened the way I expected
them to. I would also have put up a big flashing neon sign
beside the rock that tripped Glen's Mum up at the beach. I
guess the hardest thing about organising our wedding was deciding
on what we really wanted and then me not changing my mind
a thousand times.
For our honeymoon, we went to New York! And
while it wasn't all moonlit walks along the beach at sunset,
it was very romantic. Escaping the snow and cold in cosy little
bars and restaurants and experiencing all that New York has
to offer with my best friend.