Right from the first moment of planning our wedding last April, we knew some of our nearest and dearest wouldn’t be able to make it and so we wanted to have a second wedding party in Australia. It was important to us both, and it had to be within the first year of marriage. The party turned out to be the driving force for this trip and in turn, one of the best parts of it!
So we set the date – the 9th March, which was coincidentally the anniversary of my hen weekend. Now we have two wedding anniversaries to celebrate, but Dean isn’t convinced that it means two presents! In reality, we set the date, compiled a list of invitees and distributed an invitation. At that point we disappeared overseas and Dean’s parents kindly picked up the baton with the party planning and made sure no stone was left unturned!
Fast forward to the day itself and it was everything we wanted and more. Maree and Ray had absolutely gone to town with making sure there were lots of touches from the UK wedding included in the Australian party. The industrial sized hire fridge in the garage hid the Pavlova cake, we had a purple and white theme with, balloons, Pimms on arrival and feathers taking centre stage. Some of that sound familiar? Also special was the fact that I got to wear my wedding dress for a second time. Mum had very kindly nursed it all the way from England as her hand luggage (and its currently cruising round South East Asia with them on their way home!). We nervously opened up the rolled bundle when it arrived, to find her just as good as new (with a few authentic grass stains from the day itself!). Thank you Mum for making it possible and Mum and Dad for coming all that way!
For our actual wedding last April I found it so overwhelming (in a good way!) to have so many of our nearest and dearest in the one room – almost a bit surreal! The 9th March was almost more surreal, but it was so wonderful to have two weddings!
I had ordered a Vanda orchid for my hair, like my bridesmaids had in April. On the Sunday morning I dashed into town and was transformed by the hair dresser! When I got back Dean had to help me get into the dress (!) but we managed just in time to whizz down to the beach to take some photos. I had wanted some of us on the beach, and we were really pleased with the result. Being a long bank holiday weekend in Victoria and with the sun really out to play, the beach was packed. From posing in a photo with a man in his budgie smugglers (speedos) with is camera to being surrounded by entire families of well-wishers the ostrich feathers in my skirts made quite a stir. Although our photo session was brief, it was great to have that opportunity.
Back at the house and guests started arriving. When we looked at the acceptance list, we felt so honoured that so many people were coming from interstate. It’s not possible to list them all, but we know a lot of people made a huge effort to be there and we are very grateful. As Dean said, we really do have some amazing friends, and we just wish we could see them more often!
Maree and her team of ladies (Carmel and Mrs T) had cooked up a storm and we nibbled all afternoon. We then really appreciated both Maree and Best Man Matt’s speeches, both so heartfelt and meant a lot.
When people started saying goodbye I looked at my watch and realised five hours had zoomed past. For the select few remaining, we sat out in the back garden and chatted away. The trouble with big parties is you never have long enough to spend talking to people, however sitting back at the end gave us chance to do that with lots of Dean’s friends who were left.
Thank you everyone for coming – you really made the day super special and we loved seeing you all there! For anyone else in multi-national relationships… we thoroughly recommend having two parties!