Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mr and Mrs (continued)

By this stage I am still pinching myself to check I am not dreaming. Already my day had been filled with so many blessings and I hadn't even walked down the aisle yet. It was real, this truly was happening and I was now so eager to walk down that aisle and see my soon to be husband.

I traveled in a car with Mum and Dad while Josy, Sam and Summer rode in another car. Dad sat in the back with me and held my hand the whole way. I remember by this stage it finally hit me that I was about to get married. Haha even writing this my heart starts beating faster thinking about this moment. I made a point to be on time and not leave poor Dan waiting at the alter for any longer than he had to.

Our ceremony was held at a place called Oak Valley Manor. A stunning garden surrounded by white roses and a precious little chapel (which was our wet weather back up). The weather played it parts and everyone prayers worked. All week we were scheduled for rain. I almost brought an umbrella and was mentally prepared it would rain. On the day before during our rehearsal there was no rain but it was incredibly windy which made it very unpleasant. Even when we woke up that morning it was still windy but just like magic it dropped away and we were left with a perfect day. The owners of the venue said that they had never had a wedding party have such a stunning still, clear day. We had lots of beautiful souls looking down on us helping in that department.

We arrived and our priest came over to greet me then we all joined hands and said a quick prayer which was a lovely gesture. It calmed us all down and gave us a minute to just breathe and center our thoughts. Then the music started and it was time...Dan later told me that although they couldn't see me they could all hear me laughing which sounds about right!!!

We had chosen to walk down the aisle to Jason Mraz 'I wont give up' we had it sung and played on an acoustic guitar by Dans family friends (Josie and Jimmy). Their voices were breath taking and the words to this song have always given me chills. For us as a couple that sound encapsulates standing by each other side through life challenges as well as the wonderful moments. It is about being each others pillar of strength and knowing that no matter what happens from this moment you will always have your number one supporter by your side. It is simply about not giving up...on our selves and on each other.

I had both my Dad and Mum walk me down the aisle. This was a decision made even before I was engaged. I always wanted both of them because I wouldn't be where I am today without them. I needed them both there to hold me and to take this special walk together. I think Mum mainly wanted to make sure I didn't fall over!!

 I distinctively remember firstly being overwhelmed with the instant amount of love I could feel walking down the aisle of all the happy smiling faces then I locked eyes on Dan and everyone else seemed to fade away. The first look at each other gives me chills. He was beaming and I knew I was beaming. After hugs from Mum and Dad I finally embraced Dan and I had never felt so perfectly placed in the world in that minute. Everything had been leading up to this minute and I tell you it felt so natural and overwhelming peaceful. I was finally where I was meant to be.

Dan and I were both brought up in the Catholic Church and attended Catholic high schools so faith was an important part of our wedding day. Our Priest who married us had had a lot to do with our families so having him marry us meant a lot.

We had our close friend Bex do a bible reading (Colossians 3:12-17). Which talks about clothing ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness  but "over all these put on love, open yourselves to lasting peace and be grateful".  In our eyes the formula for a deep rich blessed marriage. 

This is an insert of part of Father Craig's homily:

It's been said, and I think it's true, that good marriages, like good wine, take time to mature. You are both very young but you have already begun this journey in a way that many people will never achieve.

If there is any one word, which helps to define a good relationship it's love. The experience of being loved, no matter how old or how young you are, cannot be compared with anything else. No amount of money can buy it. Nothing can compare to the knowledge and experience of being loved just for who you are. Love is much more than a feeling but it gives us a feeling of wholeness. Love gives us a sense of our own worth and without it, we feel empty. 

Daniel and Olivia, you are being invited to hold on to what's good. You are already a light for our world. Let go of anything that will harm your marriage and never stop being grateful for one another. I encourage you to continue putting your trust in God who loves you deeply. He wants you to be truly happy and to enjoy his friendship. He will always be there for you but he wont force you.

 Lastly, our hope for you, as a family and friends and your wider church family is that you will be happy in your marriage and that your love for one another will deepen and grow richer all the days of your lives. 

It was then time for our vows and Dan and I could not stop smiling....make that beaming. I always thought I would be a blubbering mess but I just had this perfect calmness and serenity wash over me that every word I spoke to Dan came from the bottom of my heart. I looked into Dan's blue eyes and knew that for the rest of my life I was now home.

 I was told later again that once we were pronounced husband and wife I let out a big 'wooohoo' haha classy... and then Dan said he quickly joined it. I have no memory of that!
 We all knew what was next the awaited first kiss....which have to be two of my favourite photos.

We then lit our wedding candle which I had wrapped the bottom in the left over lace off my dress.  Dan's sister Tamsin, my brother Joe, my friend Jemma and cousin Tom all read out the Prayers of the Faithful. It was special to have our nearest and dearest included in this way. Then it was time to sign the register while Josie and Jimmy sung Ed Sheeran's Kiss Me....after seeing him live twice Ed had to be included in our wedding day!

 We had one more blessing and then were declared for the first time Mr and Mrs Hall!!! We walked back down the aisle to Imagine Dragons 'On Top of the World' which really doesn't need any explanation as to why we chose that song.

The next phase was filled with so many hugs and congratulations and more happy tears. I do not think I had ever been hugged so much in my life. It was then time for group and family photos then our bridal party and us slipped away to capture some beautiful photos. Our guests were left to mix and mingle in the garden with champagne and some amazing canapes (mini prawn rolls with wild rocket, lemon dill mayo; sushi with ginger and soy; rare beef fillet on brioche with smoked mushroom).

Below are some of our favourite photographs....Aimee Kelly is not only incredibly talented and passionate about her photography but was so much fun to shoot with. We really got lucky choosing her to capture our day. She was a true gem and has now given us special memories to cherish forever.

 We had our reception at a bowling club which the day before we decorated and it came up better than we could have imagined. We covered the tables in craft paper and then everyone had a paper doily place mat with their name which was written in calligraphy. We used an old suit case and luggage tags in craft paper as our table settings and on the table had wedding photographs of our parents and grandparents. Joe (my brother) had spent the last few weeks before the wedding planting succulents into vintage jars which were scattered around the table. Josy and my Aunty Pam had also done up flower arrangements in shades of green and white. Months before Mum and I spent our evenings making paper bunting and dear Bex had the patience of a saint and hand thread the doily bunting which we hung across the ceiling. We even had a cupcake table where people could ice and decorate their own cupcakes and take them away as favours or of course eat them right there.

If I had to describe our reception it was a labour of love.


 Talking about a labour of love our wedding cake was hand made by my fabulous relative Brenda. You only have to take one glance at the photo to see the detail work, time and effort that went into this cake. It was everything we had pictured plus so much more. A very special touch is the tea cup on top which was a set left to me by my late Nanna. This was my way of including her in our special day.

As Dan is a chef, food was his domain and it is safe to say the food was outstanding. We went with a buffet which meant our guests could choose what they wanted. Below is our menu...

Aged beef Sirloin with roast garlic and thyme crust.
Baked NZ Salmon Fillet with salsa Verde and hollandaise.
Lime and pepper berry chicken breast.

Balsamic roast Beetroot with marinated feta, basil and walnuts.
Sautéed green beans with roast garlic cherry toms and baked ricotta.
Gourmet potatoes with mint butter .

Wild rocket pear and parmesan salad with white balsamic dressing.
Avocado, cucumber and baby cos salad with chardonnay dressing.

Followed of course by dessert...
Baked white chocolate cheese cake
Vanilla and hazelnut Meringue with fresh berries and chocolate fudge sauce

Everything was cooked to perfection and I had one very happy husband and guests!! Mai Catering and Ryan you are highly recommended by us!!!

One of the highlights of our wedding (okay there were so many highlights but this was up there!) was our speeches. We laughed, teared up (cried!!), cringed and stepped back down memory lane as my dad, Dans mum, Josy, Jamie, myself and Dan all got up and spoke. Each speech was so different but perfectly captured the feelings and love they all had towards us.

After the speeches Dan and I slipped away for some sunset photos, cut our cake and finally had our first dance to Jack Johnson's Angel/Better Together. For the record we cannot dance haha!!
We had booked such a talented band called On Yer Bike which ironically played at our school ball where Dan and I won the 'Cutest Couple Award!'.

We danced away until 11pm till I could physically barely hold myself up and it was time to love and leave everyone and head back to our hotel.

I would have thought this day was all just a perfect dream until the next morning I woke up rolled over and was greeted to the words 'Good Morning my beautiful Wife!'

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