Almost three years ago I introduced my brother Joe to my excellent friend Catherine. I knew instantly that from that first meeting that it was on. As much as they both played it down, their blossoming relationship became the worst kept secret of all time.
Catherine: ‘Kate I have something to tell you.”
Me: “What’s wrong? Are you sick?”
Catherine: “I’ve been seeing your brother,”
*I feign horror while trying not to laugh*
Catherine: “Are you upset?”
Me: “Hahahahahahahahahaha.” (Or something along those lines)
Nearly a year after that first encounter, Joe – who is a submariner in the Royal Australian Navy – was shipped to Perth. The two decided to maintain a long distance relationship and figure it out as they went along. A few weeks later, Catherine discovered she was expecting my niece, Willow.
Six months later, Joe was transferred back to Melbourne, a month before little Willow Kate arrived. The trio lived in Nyora in South Gippsland for several months before relocating to Perth, where they now live.
Joe popped the question in November of 2012 on the beach in Fremantle and it was decided they would marry the following March, before he was to be sent out to sea. Believe it or not, they pulled it off. Their beautiful wedding was held on March 9, 2013 at Catherine’s parent’s house in Nyora, just four and a bit months after they became engaged.
It was an all-hands-on-deck type scenario. It just goes to show that it is possible to pull off an amazing wedding on a budget and in a limited timeframe.
The ceremony was held on the lawn, under an arch made of dried willow branches and purple Status at 5pm. There were three bridesmaids (Sarah, Mel and I), and a Best Man (Dan). Catherine’s father George walked her down the aisle and the bride’s mother Anne took part in giving her away.
Being a garden wedding, we utilised the surroundings by taking cuttings off the trees and bushes and incorporating them in the decorations. We lit up the garden with hundreds of fairy lights, hiding them through the hedges, the arch and the trees – surprising guests when we switched them on at about 8pm.
Following the sweet and hilarious ceremony (‘I take…what’s his name again?’ and ‘I give you this ring…to rule them all!’), the 90 guests and the bridal party, who changed into thongs by order of the bride, enjoyed wine, beer and de-lish canapés and cocktail-style catering – fish and chips, butter chicken, arancini balls and more – on the warm autumn evening.
A night of dancing and speeches ensued and when the clock struck midnight, those who weren’t staying locally jumped on the bus waiting in the driveway and headed back to Melbourne.
It was the most gorgeous, relaxed wedding I’ve ever been to. Congratulations Joe and welcome to the family, Catherine.
Photography: Carly Ravenhall // Makeup: Alana Louise // Hair: Erin Dalziel & Michelle Kyle // Flowers: Steve & Andy Parker of S&J Flowers, Silvan // Bouquets/Arch: Judy Parker of S&J Flowers, Silvan // Styling: Yours truly // Wedding dress: Purchased online // Bridesmaid dresses: Various // Groom/Best Man: Roger David // Venue: The bride’s parent’s home in Nyora, South Gippsland // Celebrant: Mike Jungwirth // Music: Matt Parker aka DJ P-Soup (my boyfriend!) // Catering: Brent Sinclair Catering, Leongatha // Bridesmaid’s Brekky: Sarah & Mel, bridesmaids extraordinaire