We met through my previous work in Auckland, New Zealand. We definitely had sparks from the beginning and were inseparable from first laying eyes on each other. It didn't take us long to move in together before we decided that we were both wanting a change in work situations and decided to move to Traralgon, Victoria for a work opportunity. We now have a lovely small home with two cats, Simba and Livy. We try and travel as much as we can. Having family all over the world means that we always have a place to go :).
Shannan proposed on a gorgeous Summer’s Day whilst on holiday in Zimbabwe. Both our families went to a National Park and walked with Rhinos then continued to a large Granite Mountain which we hiked up alone and he got down on one knee. I could hear his heart beating really fast and was thinking, the hike wasn't that hard? Shannan then started asking me how much I loved him before saying, 'Do you love me enough to marry me (he gets down on one knee). Will you be my wife?' The tears were flowing and of course I said yes! Now the hard part was getting down the mountain after all the nerves and tears were flowing and not trying to scratch the beautiful new rock on my finger.
Well trying to decide which country we were going to have it in was the biggest decision yet! My family in Zimbabwe, half of Shannan's family in South Africa and New Zealand, and us living in Australia. Being the tri nations, we setlled on having a smaller wedding in Australia with close friends from New Zealand and the my family from Zimbabwe.
A few friends and I travelled to Tom's Cap Vineyard for lunch one day, about half an hour out of Traralgon. We fell in love with it instantly and the General Manager was an absolute dream to deal with! We decided on having our wedding about 3 months before the day. It was originally going to be 10-15 family and friends, which then increased to 48 people. We are so happy that it did! I was working up until the day before the wedding so a lot of the planning was done by Shannan, his mother, Marina and his sister, Carla. Thank goodness for these angels.
The Wedding Day
The weather wasn't looking so great the week of the wedding, but the rain Gods decided to make the 6th of May, the most exquisite sunny and warm Autumn's day. I got ready with my closest girl friends and family at Tom's Cap Vineyard where we all stayed the night before. The boys all got ready in Traralgon and jumped on the bus which all the wedding guests were catching - safe for everyone! Things started to sink in and both Shannan and I felt nervous but excited. When I walked down the aisle, it felt as if no one else was there and our nerves calmed completely. We hadn't seen each other in a few days so all was OK now.
It went so smoothly and without a hitch. We didn't feel nervous at all when standing next to one another and it felt like there were only three of us - bride, groom and the minister. All our friends and family surrounded us in a circle and watched the ceremony unfold. The backdrop was an array of brown, orange, yellow and green vines. There was a hand made wooden archway which framed us as a couple. The aisle song was an African/English mix with violins and drums - perfect fusion! Music was played in the background whilst the signing was done and then again when the we walked down the aisle, scattered with white rose petals, as a newly wed couple. It was so relaxed and a very happy part of our day.
The reception was at the same venue. The canapes and champagne started flowing out as soon as we were a Mr and Mrs. Our long tables were arranged with protea flowers and gum leaves. A tribute to Australia and South Africa (the same as the brides bouquet.) The meals were pre-ordered so people had time to think about which delicious option they wanted - Scotch Fillet, Salmon, Chicken or Vegetable Gnocchi. Obviously, we had made sure that we had tested all before hand. Also managed to test all the wines and champagne too ;)
The reception paused at 6pm and our carriage awaited to take us all back to Shannan's sister. Carla's house where the Reception after-party continued. Surrounded by fairylights, it was magical. A bar tender was on hand to keep us all hydrated and a cheese platter/table was awaiting everyone. We wanted to make a weekend of this wedding as most guests were International, so we had a wedding breakfast the next morning for everyone at our favourite restaurant :)
We had a family moon as our parents had travelled from New Zealand and Zimbabwe. We went to the Gold Coast and spent as much time with them before they had to travel back to our previous home lands. We are going to Zimbabwe and South Africa in September this year and will be celebrating another wedding celebration/party at the Bride's family home in Zimbabwe. Making sure that everyone can be part of our celebration :)
Planning on having a honey-moon in Hawaii in 2019.
Wedding Advice ...
Don't stress about the small things. Enjoy each moment with your loved ones and embrace your new family. I wouldn't say that I would stress less as neither of us stressed too much. Everyone said to us that we should make sure we enjoy it as it goes so quickly - we both made sure that we enjoyed every moment. Time over? I would do it all exactly the same. Maybe take a few more photos :)
A special moment for me was having my dad there. My dad wasn't originally going to come but around 1 month before the wedding, we booked his ticket and he arrived a few days before the wedding. This will always be a very special moment having my dad walk me down the aisle. We got all our family involved and our parents/siblings and niece and nephew walked the bride down the aisle in pairs. My family were my wedding party and I wouldn't change it for the world! Such an incredible day that I wouldn't ever change, I just want to re-live it again and again!!