I’m an arts therapist in private practice and Craig is a sense rugby coach and learning support assistant at a special school. True to modern romance, we met online and liked each other straight away. We’ve been together for six years and we live in Canberra with our little pooch, Bambi, who was our ring bearer in our wedding (he even had a custom-made suit).
Although we describe ourselves as chalk and cheese, we complement each other perfectly. Craig’s name literally means ‘rock’ and he is the grounded one while I’m the flowy, spontaneous one. We both work mainly with children with disabilities, we’re both passionate about making people’s lives better – that lights us up. We also have grown-up children, so we’ve shared parenting teens together, which has made us stronger.
One of our top priorities for the wedding was to have fun. I created a mood board and this shaped the feel and theme. We wanted the bridesmaids – my sisters and daughter – to feel great in their dresses, so we told them to choose what they wanted with the mood board in mind, and to make sure that their dresses worked with each other – they came together so brilliantly, that was a thrill for me to see on the day.
Another favourite detail was the flowers – those red roses! My dress was a Lola Varma and it was literally the last one I tried on. I was looking for something far more whimsical with lace – this one is a belt, skirt and top and didn’t look like much on the rack. But when I got it on I said ‘I think this is the one’. My mum and grandmother were on Facetime and my sister and a friend were with me in the store, and we all started to cry.
The ceremony was the heart of our wedding. Our celebrant helped us to craft our vows, which took the pressure off, and it was beautiful speaking them and hearing them from each other for the first time. Craig’s daughter, Gabby, passed away almost 11 years ago, so our guests blew bubbles to remember Gabby.
We also had a handfasting ceremony from bands that we had made with each ribbon and charm having a special meaning. These were looped around our hands during our vows by Craig’s parents and my mum and brother. Of course, with fun being paramount, we had an amazing big band and we danced for hours – a nice balance to the sacredness of our ceremony. Because our community is so big, there was a lot of DIY – family and friends came the days before and after the wedding to help with the set-up and pack down, a close friend made our delicious wedding cake, and my sister-in-law created over a hundred dried floral rings and drove to Sydney to source all of the flowers for the tables. We felt like our wedding was a big community event with our tribe supporting us and cheering us along.
Ceremony location: English Garden, Weston Park, Yarralumla | Reception venue: Yarralumla Woolshed | Photographer: Lauren Campbell | Videographer: One Stop Productions | Bride’s dress: Lola Varma Bridal , from Mrs Fray | Bridesmaids’ attire: Seed Heritage , Shona Joy , Lirika Matoshi | Styling, venue: florals & favours L’Atelier Fleur | Bride + bridesmaids’ florals: Moxom + Whitney | Celebrant: Debra Summer | Entertainment: Tuchasoul | Hire: Hire All | Catering + beverages: Coast to Coast the Golden Roast | Bride’s custom-made dancing skirt: Tiff Manuell | Groom’s suit + shoes: Oxford | Bride’s Rings: Custom-made by Marie Jeannette Designs | Groom’s wedding band: Angus and Coote | Bride’s shoes: Loeffler Randall | Bride’s dancing shoes: Converse | Makeup: Amy Capeda Makeup | Hair: LBH Salon | Bride’s fragrance: Pure essential rose otto and sandalwood oil (self made), by Perfect Potion | Groom’s fragrance: Super Cedar by Byredo