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A life Down Under

 

The band started playing and fireworks went off behind us.  I then danced with my dad, Brian Robson to “Brown Eyed Girl” and everyone joined in.

David and I met four years ago, on the Caribbean island of St Martin whilst we were both working there.  After a few months of dating, the work season was about to finish so we decided to leave our jobs, and travel around America for two months.

Our relationship grew during this trip and brought us to the next big decision, where were we going to live?  A necessary decision as I am from England, and David is Australian.

We decided to settle in David’s home town of Adelaide, South Australia.  It was in October, on a trip back to England that David decided to pop the question.  David took me to a quiet restaurant in the lake district and proposed.

We made the decision to get married in England and began our search for the perfect venue.  After much travel, and many castles and manors, we choose a marquee at my parents’ home.  This was in a great location as it was near to St Peter’s Anglican Church in Hale, where I got christened and now had chosen to get married.

We had little time to make decisions as we were due to return to Adelaide five days later.  I had to plan my wedding from the other side of the world.  It was made a lot easier thanks to my mum, sister and the internet.

The next big decision was the dress, I didn’t want to have to choose it on my own.  The plan was to have my family come to Adelaide for Easter.  We would look at dresses and work out which style I wanted.  On the next trip to the UK, I would find the dress of my dreams, but it didn’t quite work out like this!  One hot spring day, myself, my mum and older sister, Claire, went out for a day of wedding dress shopping.  I had taken them to King William Road in Adelaide, which is full of little boutiques and quaint cafes.  After visiting a number of shops and trying on many dresses we came across Jenny and Gerry’s Bridal Centre.  It was a bride’s dream come true. we picked out and tried on about twenty dresses.  It came down to two dresses, both were similar, fish tails and beaded lace.  One was in ivory, the other in antique gold.  I wanted something slightly different so I chose the antique gold.  We had only intended to look for styles on this trip, but I found the dress I wanted.

As the dress had a lot of detail, it made the other decisions about hair, make up and accessories very easy.  I went for a classic style with a simple mid-length veil with tiny crystals along the seam.  I also wore a pearl beaded hair slide,   with diamond stud earrings, which were a gift from my sister and a borrowed tennis bracelet from my mum.

During next few months, I was glued to the internet searching for all things wedding.  We only had a two week return to Manchester in September before the wedding and a million things to do.

September came around very quickly.  From the moment we landed, it was all systems go.  The first job was to pick out the cake.  It was very easy, we chose Slattery’s four tier chocolate cake with white chocolate icing.  We then had a meeting with Mahood Marquees and lightech. They both came up with the perfect marquee.  Our colour scheme was ivory and gold with a hint of navy.

With the reception venue sorted, the next decision was the food. We had a tasting with Sue Le Bonne, they came highly recommended and did not let us down.

We chose Claire Thomas for the flowers, I wanted a mix of white and cream roses, she had a lot of experience with weddings. Claire worked tirelessly the week leading up to the wedding, and after battling of some unusual hot weather, she managed to dress both the church and marquee to perfection.

I found the photographer and cars on the internet.  Mum and Dad had already booked the cars, so we went to look at them.  Not only were the cars amazing, but on the wedding day, I found the drivers to be professional, patient and entertaining, which was very reassuring in the chaos of a wedding day.  Our photography was done by Lesley Meredith.  Her website had first attracted us to her work, but it was after meeting her that we knew the husband and wife team would be the ones for the job.  They made us feel comfortable from the first meeting, and were so enthusiastic about what they did.  They also had spent time living in Australia, so they got Dave’s vote.  The time we spent with them let us know exactly what to expect on the wedding day.

With not much time left before we returned to Australia, we picked suits from Groom in Wilmslow and the bridesmaids and flower girls’ dresses from cheshire. The invites had been sent out and the honeymoon was booked.

We travelled back to the UK two weeks before the wedding to get things in place.  Luckily for me, Mum and Claire had most of it under control.  The next two weeks went very quickly.  All the guests from Australia had started arriving.  David and Ben, my brother, stayed at the Marriot, where most of the out of town guests were staying.  

I was very calm on the morning of the big day.  Everything was planned to the very last detail.  I got up at 8.30am.  Claire was already up and making breakfast for everyone.  David and I had decided to give the gifts to the bridal party in the morning instead of at the speeches. The bridesmaids had their hair and makeup done and Louise did the make up for my mum, sister and me and Tim did my hair.  To everyone’s surprise it was really warm.  It felt like an Australian wedding!  At 12.30pm, Claire came and helped me into my dress.  David’s two nieces arrived to start getting ready for their flower girl duties.  Everyone was looking fabulous and we were on time with no drama to speak of.  After taking photos of David and the ushers at the church, the photographers arrived at the house.  My mother, grandma and flower girls had already left for the church.  Now it was my turn.  Dad and I were waiting for the car. It was when I entered the church that reality crept in.  It was a mixture of excitement, nerves and emotion.  I kept my eyes on David as I walked up the aisle.  He looked good in his suit.  I could tell he was feeling the same as I was.  The ceremony went without a hitch.  Our mums signed the register – I was now married.  We left the church to David Gray’s “Sail Away”.  It was fitting as we met working on boats.

When we got back to the house, our guests were having drinks in the front garden.  We had a couple of drinks, and mingled with our guests before being seated. Everything looked amazing the marquee, the flowers, the lighting and the cake.  It was perfect.  We started the evening with the speeches, followed by the cutting of the cake.  We then had our meal which was outstanding.

After dinner, there was only one official duty left – the first dance.  David and I had chosen a song by Jason Mraz.  It was a little different to the usual first dance song, but we both loved it.  We had a dramatic entrance, a curtain which blocked the reception area from the dance floor dropped, the band started playing and fireworks went off behind us.  I then danced with my dad to “Brown Eyed Girl” and everyone joined in.  The party had started. The band had been organised by my parents.  There were sixteen people in the band.  They had sung at the church, played music during the meal and entertained everyone until 1am.  Everyone had a great time.  The alcohol flowed, the weather had cooled and there hadn’t been an empty spot on the dance floor.  The cocktail bar by the dance floor made anything that came to mind.  It was so much fun.  There was even a small crowd left as the sun came up.  David and I had an amazing day thanks to the great company of our guests and the wonderful professionalism of all those that worked on the day.  My parents had pulled out all the stops and it was everything I had ever dreamed of.

Suppliers list for A Life Down Under

  • Photography Lesley Meredith – 01270 829191
  • Florist – Claire Thomson – 01477 571027
  • Cake – Slattery –  0161 767 7768
  • Caterers – Sue Le Bonne – 01565 873 502
  • Cars – Horgans –  0161 491 5087

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