I love this photo from our wedding. It’s far from a perfect image. Some of the colour is washed out and it looks a little awkward but it’s still my favourite wedding photo because it captured ‘us’.
My husband and I have been together for more than 30 years! When I think of that length of time it amazes me. We were lucky to meet through a mutual friend when we finished high school. He was a boarding schoolboy, me a public school girl. He chased me between States as I was pursuing a hotel sales and marketing career. He proposed at Tamborine Mountain, putting a ginger beer bottle ring top on my finger. I’m a little sentimental and still have it! He bought me a stunning diamond ring and has continued to spoil me ever since.
We had our wedding ceremony and reception in Sanctuary Cove Village with a sprinkling of family and mostly friends. I chose a dress off the rack, actually the store chose it for me! My bouquet cost $50, I did my own makeup and slapped on some fake tan the night before. We kept things very simple and focused on a great party rather than an elaborate event. It was very much a celebration, and I wouldn’t change a thing. We couldn’t afford a honeymoon and went straight back to work a few days later.
We have two smart and gorgeous children. They’re 18 months apart and studying medical degrees. Our family has always valued education and I’m super proud of their achievements. Also part of our family are our dogs Harvey and Lucy, Maltese x Jack Russell’s who love beach runs, eating cheese and bread and sneaking under the covers in winter. Life is good.
A highlight of our journey was renewing our vows on our 11th wedding anniversary. It was also the honeymoon we never had. On 11.11.11, just before midnight, I walked the aisle of the iconic Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas. I bought my dress for $67 from a trashy website and it looked nothing like what I was expecting. I figured, ‘ah well, I’ll just glue a heap of rhinestones on it and make it even more Vegas’.
One of the most special moments was collecting my bouquet. I really wanted peonies for our wedding but couldn’t afford them. I asked our coordinator if she could organise them and remember her sweet American accent, “I don’t know if we can get peonies in the desert”! Nothing more was mentioned, and I figured I’d get whatever was available. I could’ve cried with excitement when I saw my beautiful bouquet of pastel pink and white peonies. Whenever I see peonies now it takes me right back to that moment.
Our ceremony was very private, just my husband and I, our photographer and Elvis, who sang Love Me Tender. We all danced very badly to Viva Las Vegas and left to A Little Less Conversation—my husband’s choice that one!
I highly recommend a vow renewal to every couple whether married for just one year, or for many years. It was lots of fun and brought back all the nerves I had before my own wedding. Just leaving our hotel room to drive to the chapel was terrifying! My husband was quick to remind me I was already married, and we’d better get a margarita!