Terry and I are high school sweethearts and have been dating since we were 15 years old – we share love of travelling, friends and our puppy, Madden. True to our love for travel, (34 countries and counting) Terry stylishly proposed in Central Park, New York –My favourite city in September 2009. Although it almost didn’t happen as he wanted to go up the empire state building even though we have done it in the past, I kept saying ‘no’, finally he gave up and proposed in central park – A question I screamed ‘yes’ too!
My dress was a custom made Maria Gonzalez Couture gown. As a gesture to my late father I carried a photo of him on my parent’s wedding day band inside my flowers so no one could see but I knew he was there with me. I wore an “evil eye” attached to my dress as good luck in Greek traditions. We also had a Greek orthodox crowning ceremony at our catholic ceremony in honour of Terry’s mother.
The venue was black and white and this was mixed with silvers, charcoal, blush, iced pink and peonies. All 26 tables were each named after a place we had been. From New York to Brunei to India and Italy and everywhere in between. Pink and White roses filled the tables and pink, black, white and grey Large white and pink David Austin and Peony roses in different shaped vases and jars filled the lobby, with candles and the table names and seating charts. We mixed traditions and enter to the loud and upbeat bang of an Arabic drummer, it got everyone up and dancing. To add to our culture mix and that of our families we played Arabic, Greek and offcourse some good ol’ Australian music.
The girls received vintage crystal perfume bottles and champagne and the boys enjoyed Cuban cigars, brandy and crystal wine stoppers as favours.
A couple of highlights of the night were when at midnight we had a toast in honour of our 12 year anniversary and my younger sister and bridesmaid performed at our ceremony singing “Even when I’m sleeping” by Leonardo’s bride.
Although Chris and I are both born and bred in Sydney, we decided to ask our photographer, Daniel K Cheung of Sutoritera, to accompany us back to where Chris proposed: the gorgeous homestead property of Poachers Pantry, a smokehouse cafe in Hall (which is a lovely spot just outside Canberra). It was the first time we’d gone back to the scene of the proposal since it happened, so it brought back some pretty special memories for us.
Generously, Daniel said yes – and we’re so glad he did! The photos he took told a story of the day, so what we got weren’t just photos but hilarious, fun memories. Not only did we have a really great road trip, but we discovered some beautiful plots on the property which seemed to have been made for Autumn. Whatever people may say about Canberra, it sure is pretty!
Chris told me that his proposal was a comedy of errors. On the day, it seemed to me to have gone off perfectly. Little did I know that he and his brother (who came down for moral support) ran out of petrol on the way down to Canberra! This meant that they almost ran out of time to have everything in place by the time I got there (Chris had tricked me into thinking I was going to meet a friend for lunch). Having left it all to the last minute, Chris got his brother to paint a sign with my name on it for me to follow (which of course I didn’t!). By an unexpected turn of events, I discovered his brother hiding in their car in the Poachers Pantry carpark before I went in – and was pointed back in the right direction. Although the sign didn’t really do its job, we had to keep it for sentimental value!
Chris and I met 3 years ago at a party above the huge Coca-Cola sign at Sydney’s Kings Cross. Unbeknownst to me, one of my best friends had gone behind my back to set me up with this guy she’d known all her life, and whom she’d wanted me to meet for some time. From our very first conversation, it became apparent to the both of us that a) there was a spark! and b) it was a miracle that our paths had never properly crossed before. We knew a lot of the same people, lived only 7 minutes away from each other, had attended the same university, and had even interned at the same firm at one point!
Although there were some lovey-dovey shots (of course there had to be!), we thought Daniel really captured us… which is why there were so many of us mucking up and laughing. (Those were my favourite ones!)
Daniel got us to do some homework before we had our photoshoot – he asked us to write each other a love letter which we read out and record separately on the day. We were both pretty reluctant to do it at first, and were surprisingly shy about it! Neither of us told the other what we’d written.
Very soon after the shoot, Daniel gave us a slideshow called a “Love Letter” – in which he’d handpicked some of the photos we’d taken that day, put it together as a slideshow, and set it to our recorded love letters. It was such a simple concept, but really amazing. It gave us a chance to say lots of things which normally go unsaid, but are really lovely (and probably important!) to hear from the person you love.
We haven’t shown it to anyone yet and we’re not sure whether we ever will! It’s something we’ll definitely treasure in the years to come.
Ms Gingham says: What a fantastic idea to give a slideshow with so much thought behind it! Thanks for sharing your beautiful story with us Audrey!
Audrey says: “By day, I work in the legal space – though outside of work, I love reading books, meeting up with friends for a cheeky coffee and cake and trying to resist my fiance’s attempts to get me into sport!”