Nathan and I first met in 2009, when I was 21 and he was 28. We were introduced at a friends 21st birthday party by his sister (and one of my good friends), Corinne. When we first met, I remembered thinking he was cute but way too old for me! We became friends and started seeing each other on and off. In 2010, I decided to move to London with Corinne and two other girlfriends. Nathan had done the same thing in his early 20’s and was completely supportive of me making the move. He said I was young and needed to experience life. I lived abroad for a year and Nathan and I kept in regular contact. He used to joke that he was at home, waiting for me to come back to him, but couldn’t wait forever! In 2011, I moved back to Brisbane and at Nathan’s 30th birthday party, we decided we were official and we have been together ever since.
We were heading up to Rainbow Beach for the last part of our Christmas holidays. On the way up, Nathan announced he'd arranged a surprise for our 4-year anniversary and that we were going horse riding. I was so excited as I love horse riding but thought it was strange as Nathan is terrified of horses. He told me the horse riding company was throwing in a free bottle of champagne for our anniversary and I thought even better!
That afternoon we went horse riding along the beach with two guides. It was just beautiful. When we got to the halfway point, they said we were free to get off the horses, go for a walk and stretch our legs. I followed Nathan up into the sand dunes and waiting for us was a picnic rug with champagne and chocolates. I thought, 'how lovely they had organised this for our anniversary'! I then sat down and began to open the champagne, when I heard Nathan say he had one more surprise for me. When I looked up, he was down on one knee, with a big grin on his face and said, “Will you marry me?”
Nothing had clicked what-so-ever as I thought they had done this for our 4-year anniversary. My jaw dropped and (perfectly timed) the champagne cork popped off with a loud bang and flew off into the bushes. I was saying ‘Oh my god! Oh my god!’ and ‘Is this real?!’... over and over again. I started tearing up but was laughing at the same time, now realizing what this setup had been all along. After a few minutes, Nathan pointed out that I hadn’t said yes yet. I laughed and officially accepted his proposal.
Nathan and I are both pretty organized people and I was very lucky that he was so hands on with helping me plan everything. Within 4 week of being engaged, we had decided we were getting married overseas (Bali); had picked Botanica Weddings as our overseas wedding planners; had picked a wedding date and the venue. Within 6 weeks of being engaged, I had already chosen my dress. We had 15 months to go! There were a few times when I had a mini freak out, thinking why did I pick my dress so far in advance! What if I see something else I love and change my mind? But it never happened. My dress was literally the first dress I tried on and I just knew it was the one.
Three months before our wedding we were told our ceremony area was destroyed in a natural disaster and I cried. Everything had gone so smoothly (practically perfect), and then we were faced with this. In the end we realized there was nothing we could do and at the end of the day, we were going to be marrying each other, surrounded by our family and friends and that was the main thing. The team at Botanica were great and had another option for us to use and assured us it would still be beautiful. It ended up being more beautiful than the original.
The Wedding Day
Nathan and I were married at the Royal Pita Maha Resort in Ubud, Bali. We flew to Bali with our immediate family the week before the wedding so we were very relaxed when the day finally arrived. The only thing I was worried about was the weather, as we had an outdoor reception. Luckily, the rain held out and it was a beautiful day. As everything had been planned from Australia, we never saw the ceremony or reception area until the day of the wedding.
My four bridesmaids (sister; Madi, sister-in-law; Corinne, friends; Allyce and Natalie), my mum, step-mum and mother-in-law were taken away by the wedding planners to our own private villa on the morning of the wedding. We had a quick ceremony rehearsal then it was time for hair, makeup, champagne and pre wedding photos. The wedding planners on the day were fantastic. They popped in to give me regular updates, when people were arriving etc. I never stressed once and I think it was because they were so organized.
Nathan and I had both written thank you cards to our Mums and I gave them the cards when we were getting ready. Of course, both Mums were bawling. Makeup touch-ups were needed! After the tears had dried, and completely unexpected, Corinne handed me an envelope which had a letter written to me by Nathan. We never discussed doing anything like this and I burst into tears at the thought that he had thought to do something so romantic. Now it was my turn for the makeup touch up!
When our celebrant asked what sort of ceremony did we want, we replied with short, sweet and lots of laughs. And that’s exactly what we got. Our original ceremony area had been destroyed in a natural disaster a few months prior, so it had been relocated to a stunning spot about halfway up a mountain overlooking the beautiful green valley and the Ayung River that runs through Ubud. My dad walked me down the aisle to Ed Sheeran’s ‘˜Thinking Out Loud’.
Our reception area was the main reason we chose to get married at the Royal Pita Maha with Botanica Weddings. As soon as they showed us photos of the area, we fell in love. It was so different to anything we had ever seen. The wedding planners assured us the photos didn’t do it justice. I thought how could it be any more beautiful? We hadn’t seen the reception area prior to our wedding day and when we did our bridal entrance, we were blown away. The fairy lights, the lanterns, the flowers, the decor was absolutely stunning. And they were right, photos didn’t do it justice...
Nathan and I haven’t had our honeymoon yet. We did a week in Bali before the wedding with our immediate family and then a week after the wedding with family and friends. We have just used our wedding money to book flights to Japan in February 2018! As Nathan and I both love to travel, we have decided we need one more overseas holiday before we start making babies :)
Wedding Advice ...
The best advice I was given was to stop and just take a moment to breathe on your wedding day. Everyone told me the day would go so fast (and it did), but I made sure I stopped a couple of times, just to take in everything that was going on around me. Yes, your day is primarily about you and your husband, but to look around and see all your favourite people in one place, having a fantastic time, made me enjoy myself all that much more. If I could have my time over again, I don’t think I would change a thing. I loved every minute of being engaged and all the wedding planning. Our day was absolutely perfect! I only wish I could do it all over again...