Nate and I have a bit of a unique story... We first met whilst both working weekends at the Criterion Hotel Rockhampton Qld. I was 19 working as a barmaid and Nate was 23 working as a security guard. I thought he was a sight for sore eyes! All the females did! He was handsome, friendly and funny and we soon developed a friendship.
As it conveniently turned out, I didn't own a car at the time and as Nate lived in my direction, being the gentleman he was, would often offer me a lift home after our shifts. It was during these car rides that we grew closer as friends and we'd often sit in his car for hours outside my house just talking. And soon these long talks were ending with goodnight kisses. However this fairytale wasn't to last and as life would have it, we both started seeing other people. I moved towns and eventually got engaged to my then partner, as did Nate. However, both weddings never eventuated and I moved home to my hometown of Barcaldine Qld for support from my family and friends.
Nate and I managed to remain friends over the years, keeping in touch through our mobiles and Facebook, where we every so often checked in with each other. By this stage I was 27 and had lived and worked in Barcaldine for the next 4 years. Not wanting to get stuck in the town where I had grown up, I made the move back to Rockhampton in 2011 for work. As fate would have it, I had contacted Nate on my arrival innocently enquiring about town water restrictions for watering lawns (as many towns had restrictions in place due to drought), and we ended up organizing a movie date. The moment he walked through my door, a smile spread wide across my face! He was ageless and still as handsome as I remembered.
Twelve years later the sparks were still there and we picked up where we had left off all those years before. After dating for a number of months and thoroughly enjoying each other's company, Nate asks me to move in with him. We are best friends, he is so funny and makes me feel alive! It didn't take me long to realize that what we had was something special and he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with!
The ProposalA year or so passes, it's Christmas 2013 and Nate attends his first family holiday with my family at Magnetic Island. A few days after Christmas Nate organizes to take me on a walking track to view the Islands World War II forts. The views from these forts are absolutely breathtaking, with panoramic ocean views as far as the eye can see. And it was upon one of these fort boulders looking out at the sea that Nate gets on bended knee and proposes to me. My heart skips a beat, the ring is Stunning, the view is Amazing, Nate is as handsome as ever, my heart is full! What a perfect proposal! Of course I said Yes! He later confides in me that he chose not to propose on Christmas or Boxing Day because he wanted his proposal to have its own day. Awww, I am touched! We marry two and a half years later and we are currently a few months off having our first baby. Life is good, we are really happy and looking forward to this exciting new chapter of our lives.
If I'm honest I must admit I didn't love planning our wedding! I started planning our wedding about a year or so out and found myself doing so much online research, because you want the biggest day of your life to be perfect, that it absolutely took over my life. I couldn't wait to have everything organized just so I could have my life back - lol. If I could go back in time, I would definitely hire a wedding planner (if I could afford it)! However in saying that, I am 1 of 5 girls in my family and I did have a lot of support from my beautiful sisters and sister in-law, and some gorgeous friends. They were always great in offering helpful advice and ideas! My husband wasn't much help at all but I'm sure I'm not the first Bride to say that! ;) Other than the research taking over my life part, almost everything else seemed to run smoothly and fell nicely into place just as it was meant to be, with the exception of our surprise wedding dance! More on this later ...
The Wedding DayThe eve before our wedding was spent winding down with a few relaxing drinks and having dinner with close family and friends after a stressful few days lead up! My husband and I spent the night apart in the same unit complex. The bridesmaids shared the penthouse with me, whilst the groomsmen shared another room a few levels down. Going to bed that night I felt like a little kid on Christmas Eve full of excitement. Nate says he experienced a mixture of nervousness and excitement. When I woke the morning of our wedding day it was very overcast and it rained all the while the wedding party was getting ready. I wasn't stressed about the rain! You can't control the weather and I had been told that it's good luck if it rains on your wedding day. We had hair and make up come to our room and both Mothers were also made up. The photographer/videographer kept going between the Groomsmen and our rooms, snapping shots of all the special lead up moments. The groomsmen also paid the penthouse a visit to organise snacks and beverages for my bridesmaids and myself during our photography session after the ceremony. Great Support!
Our wedding ceremony was to be held out the back of this quaint yet classy function venue in Yeppoon by the name of Villa On The Beach with a picturesque grassy area out back right on the beach front. We had organized with Villa on The Beach to make the call of a plan B and hold the ceremony inside the venue if it rained considerably. In light of this, we kept decorations to a minimum with just a few bunches of flowers and rose petals lining the walkway. Nate's Mother just so happens to be a very talented music teacher and his stepsister, a reputable violinist so we had organized Nates mother to play a few beautiful piano pieces during our ceremony and Nate's sister played the violin. The atmosphere was one full of love and excitement. It rained through majority of our ceremony however magically stopped when it was time to get photos. Amazing!!
The ReceptionDue to our ceremony venue not being able to cater for the amount of guests we had for a sit down meal, we decided to hold our wedding reception at The Strand Yeppoon, Ocean View Room. This function room had a very modern yet classy look and overlooks Yeppoon main Beach. Nate and I wanted our wedding to be fun for our guests and I think we achieved that. The Strand staff catered well to our needs, the food was beautiful, our chosen entertainment was Amazing (husband and wife duo), the speeches had a lot of humor to them and our surprise dance was a hit! Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves and that's all we really wanted.
I always wanted to do something different at my wedding to set it apart from the norm so with the aide of one of my sisters, she choreographed a dance for a certain number of family and guests to jump up and join in to at different stages throughout the song (Bruno Mars, Think I Want To Marry You). Our first issue was that we were all based in different towns so had to practice through a video my sister had sent through of the choreography. Then my Mum, who is not so high tech, wanted to be a part of the dance so we had to have a friend from the same hometown go round to her house and teach her the dance.
As our big day approached, I had a few guests pull out of the dance not having faith they could pull off the choreography. It was too late in the piece to recruit replacements. Nate wasn't particularly keen to learn the choreography so just said he'd stay at the back and copy the front dancers. We were all supposed to have a practice dance together the eve before the wedding but ran out of time so had to wing it on the night. As it turned out, we had just the right number of surprise dancers because the dance floor wasn't as big as we had envisioned (so it was lucky a few had pulled out) and everyone pulled together nicely, except for my husband who was up the back of the group doing his own thing, but it all added to the entertainment of the dance. They say everything happens for a reason! ;)
The HoneymoonNate and I didn't go on a honeymoon as we decided to forego a holiday to put the money back into our house in renovations. However one of my beautiful bridesmaids bought us a 4 day holiday to Hamilton Island as a wedding gift so we ended up using that as a little honeymoon a month or so later.
Wedding Advice ...
My advice is to set a budget and stick to it! Don't go overboard with decorations because nobody really remembers how many flowers you had and what type they were. Focus on your food and entertainment because that's what guests will remember and remember to enjoy yourself xo
If I had my time again ...
If I had my time over, I would hire a wedding planner! Plus I would ensure my Mum has a Mother of the Bride outfit well in advance of the wedding date, as I spent the few days leading up to my wedding frantically trying to help her find a suitable outfit that we both agreed on.