Our Wedding Day


I’ve always thought that I should create this rule in life where I shouldn’t talk or write about anything I could never do justice. There are some things in life which are too large to contain, too full of everything to be confined to something.

Our wedding day was just like that — though there are pictures and details shared here, the in between stuff is tucked away and will remain silent, like a story of everything that is good in my life.

After five years and two children, Joel and I got married on the 21st March in the backyard of his parent’s house. It was a surprise to all but a few – mainly our families – but I guess in this instance all that means is that we didn’t officially tell people, not that they were actually surprised. Most people guessed because they know us, and they knew that a surprise wedding is exactly the kind of thing we’d do. We disguised the wedding as a joint birthday; since we’d just had Ella when Joel turned 30, and then just had Billy when I turned 30, we’d never really celebrated the 30-year milestone as we should have. A perfect alias, we thought.

A special mention goes to Erica Wheadon for her incredible photo coverage of the day. Erica is equal parts professional as she is creative and I trusted her completely to capture the moments of our wedding day in a real, genuine and artistically beautiful way. What a necessary part of life photography is — freezing in time moments to be treasured in their full detail, allowing you to relive them all over again, falling even deeper into the beauty you might have missed.

Our wedding day…..

Wedding details throughout the post.





















Flowers – Northside Flower Market

Paper cups/straws/plates, wooden cutlery – A & J Wedding Party Event

Furniture Hire – Party Hire Online

Printing (invites, fans, table names, place cards, quotes, seating chart, etc) – Worldwide Printing Solutions

Printing Design – Jean & Joyce

Wedding Favours – Chilli sauce made by Joel for the guys, nail polish chosen by Ella for the girls.

Material chandeliers – made by me: embroidery hoop plus strips of favourite material, strung up on fishing lines from stick-on hooks on the ceiling.







Old – A precious white handkerchief belonging to a friend’s late grandmother, used repeatedly to mop up tears.

New – The dress, of course, the third one I tried on – a $400 satin and tulle find from Sugar and Spice Destination Bridal.

Borrowed – My mother-in-law’s first ever pair of earrings.

Blue – The hand-stitched birds on our ring bearer’s ring cushion, which was made by my mum.

Both wedding rings made by Lily Jewels.













OF0A0769Joel’s brother was his best man, and my two brothers walked our children down the aisle which was so adorable none of us could handle it.











OF0A1167Our celebrant, Tony, is a family friend of Joel’s – a man Joel has known all his life and who was also the celebrant at both our children’s naming days. This felt extra special to us.



Wedding vows:


I, Rachel, take you, Joel, to be my husband, in equal love, as a mirror for my true self, as a partner on my path, to honor and to cherish in hardship and in joy, for as long as we both shall live.

I promise today to love and respect you, to support your dreams and to comfort you in times of sorrow, like nights when it’s your turn to wash up. I vow to use a recipe when cooking dinner and to have more patience when you lose your keys. And phone. And wallet. I vow to never stop finding what it is we can learn from one another, and I vow to choose love even when times are grim and hard.
Through our union we can accomplish more than we could alone.
I believe in you.

I Joel, take you Rachel, to be my wife, in equal love, as a mirror for my true self, as a partner on my path, to honor and cherish in hardship and in joy, for as long as we both shall live.

I promise today to love and respect you, to support your dreams and to comfort you in times of sorrow, like when you can’t access Instagram. I vow to pick up my dirty socks from the floor and I promise to keep making you laugh, now and always. I vow to never stop finding what it is we can learn from one another, and I vow to choose love, even when times are grim and hard.
Through our union we can accomplish more than we could alone.
I believe in you.










May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day;
May song birds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue,
And may happiness fill your heart each day, your whole life through.


























My speech:

There’s no way I am going to be able to get through this tear-free, so I’m going to keep it short and play a little video I’ve made instead.

But firstly, I wanted to start with the thank you’s that made this day not only possible, but incredibly special to us. The biggest of thank you’s to our parents who support us and our children so well and for all their help in organising this day. Thank you especially to Mary and Pete for raising such a beautiful man……although I do need to have a talk to you about his cleanliness and perhaps what went wrong there! Thank you to the Bowdens and Sarah and Lachie and Joel’s family and Mog who have travelled a long way to share this day with us after they sort of got the hint that they really, really shouldn’t miss this ‘party’. We owe a big thank you to our children, Ella and Billy, who have bound Joel and I in a different way entirely, and who give us a common goal to work towards on the days we otherwise would have killed each other. Thank you to Tony for not only marrying us but doing so in a way that is so incredibly meaningful to us, having known Joel since birth. A big thank you to my friend Thea for giving us the inspiration to throw a surprise wedding and for all her behind-the-scenes help and ideas leading up to it. And lastly, the biggest of all thank you’s to each and every one of you here tonight, our friends and family without whom we would not be who we are. You each have left your mark on us in your own way, whether by pumpng Joel full of alcohol when our first child was born, by letting him win in up-and-down-the-river on Sunday game nights, by providing us girls nights and boys night away from each other, which everyone knows is a vital aspect of any successful partnership, and by simply being the people who soothe the hard parts of life, and the people we celebrate the best bits with. You will be the people who will surround and hold up our spirits and our marriage when we can’t, and the people we will celebrate with when we can. You mean so much to us and we love you dearly.


Your and my love story is not conventional. We did everything backwards and I think because of that, we reached harder, more complicated challenges quicker than we would have otherwise. And so, in many ways, this wedding day is not so much about the shiny, glossy fluff which comes with the beginning of partnership. To me, it is celebrating the way our bond has been stretched and pulled, and ultimately earned – one dirty nappy and smashed pool gate and sleepless night at a time.

Since you entered my life, it has exploded into a million tiny beautiful things and even though there are a million things to work on, there are a million more that keep it as beautiful as it is. Vance Joy said it best when he said, hold on darling, this mess was yours, now your mess is mine. Meaning I’ll take it all. I’ll take your worst and I’ll take your best, because they make you, you. The you I want to spend the rest of my life with.












Marquee hire: Northside Party Hire

Jazz band: Danny Jazz

Nepalese Catering: Mountains Delight

Photography: Erica Wheadon


A wedding video is on its way soon, filmed and edited by the one and only Erica and which I can’t wait to see, but for now, I shall tuck this day away as the best of my life and thank my lucky stars that I ever got to be so blessed.


“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” Eden Ahbez

11 Responses to “Our Wedding Day”

  1. Alison

    So beautiful, congratulations!! And well done for being unique!!

  2. NatandDan

    Yay the wedding pics! They are all just beautiful as well as the details of your amazing day. Congrats again guys xx


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