our australian wedding (anniversary).

a year ago today, i married my best friend for the third time on our second anniversary. 

let that sink in. 

it has become a running joke… the fact that we had three weddings, one per year for the past three years (2018, 2019, 2020). and now, as 2021 begins, the first year without a wedding, i can’t help but desire a fourth… and a fifth and sixth and so on forever. i think annual weddings should definitely be a thing.

but instead, i’ll let myself sink back into the sweet memories of february 1, 2020. our australian wedding…

what a blessing it was to have my immediate family and a few close friends fly a million hours across the ocean to experience ryan’s home and share in our wedding day. wow. i am still filled with complete and utter gratitude for the commitment and gesture to join us so far away. 

the week leading up to our australian wedding day was unforgettable to say the least. ryan was on cloud nine showing off his country, his culture, and his favorite home town spots. his childlike joy was palpable, and our foreign friends and family were eating it up. indulging his extreme enthusiasm. 

we toured up the coast to airlie beach and the whitsundays with my sister, two childhood besties, and their partners. although it was the rainy season, we still managed to find fun around every corner. and geckos. and frogs. and jellyfish. and stingrays. and magical silica white sand. because… australia.

the classically charming aussie flight attendant force fed them vegemite on the flight back down to the gold coast (ryan’s home), and the weeks of endless laughter and smiles began. 

an intense cold also began for me.

the days leading up to our wedding day were filled with mucus and endless snotty tissues for me. my head was on the verge of combustion for days. but, i put on my big girl pants and tried to be the best hostess i could be. surely i would be well by saturday; it was only wednesday…

more and more guests arrived from america and other parts of australia. we visited the venue – the pacific beach surf club, a staple of ryan’s childhood – and finalized all the details. 

it was slightly difficult to plan a wedding from 7,000 miles away, but with the help of ryan’s family and my extreme love for planning, it was nothing short of amazing. 

on friday night, ryan’s dad hosted all the usual suspects at his house for a barbecue. like the american wedding, my heart exploded to see such love and laughter fill a space. our two worlds colliding. our two families connecting. ryan’s childhood friends meeting some of mine. and through it all, i was laid out on various couches, near death.

was it this new thing on the news called covid-19? dr. don assured me no. he arrived at the party for our late night emergency call (a longtime family friend and doctor). he took me aside with his stethoscope, assured me i’d be fine, and wrote a prescription for some codeine. and just like that… i was healed!

on that miraculous night, we also gained an epic groomsmen. ryan found out last minute that one of his groomsmen was not going to be able to fly in for the wedding, but luckily, friday night shenanigans were able to produce an outstanding alternative and a hilarious tale that will definitely stand the test of time. 

the beers flowed all night, as they usual do at gordie’s house. some intense pool volleyball (or some water sport) went down in the backyard. and although i took my sick butt to bed before midnight, ryan stumbled back to the beachside apartment (that our friend’s so graciously lent us for a couple days) well after that.

but he was happy. oh so happy to be home. 

and then the day was here. technically our two year wedding anniversary. (yes, we secretly eloped at a honolulu courthouse in 2018, but that’s another story.)

when we awoke, i could breathe! it was a wedding miracle! and thank goodness because wedding days are long and full of excitement. i knew, i already had done this before…

we ran a few last minute venue errands, then i met all the women at my sister-in-law’s house. ryan met all the men at his dad’s house. and we did the things… again. 

it is rare you get to relive your wedding day. do your hair differently. do your makeup differently. wear a different dress if you want (i didn’t want). remember to take it all in because the day goes so fast. and it was such a blessing. 

the wedding dj i had hired referred me to a makeup/hair stylist who was on point. her team was amazing. we skipped the professional “getting ready” photos this time around, but my bridesmaids and mothers all looked amazing. we were ready for this beautiful beach wedding.

and i was ready for my grand entrance. driving up onto the beach in ryan’s dad’s beautiful old fb classic car. my father escorting me out of it and down the aisle. sunflowers in my hand. my husband already awaiting me at the other end. a live rendition of nick cave’s “into my arms” filling the air.

wow. we are so lucky. all of our australian friends and family surrounding us with their smiles and joy.

as i said in my post about our american wedding, this is why i had a wedding. (or three.)

there is no other time when all the people from your life will gather in one room (except your funeral). no other time that you can look out over the crowd and share a special bond with every set of eyes you meet. no other time when every one you love is loving you right back at the exact same moment.

and again as i said in my other wedding post…

as we approached the altar, i melted into overwhelming gratitude. my big brother ready to marry me to the love of my life. my mother and father to give me away. my sister, best friends, and sister-in-laws standing by my side. both of our families lining the front rows with pure happiness. what a blessing.

although we followed a similar ceremony, nothing felt like a repeat. this day was its own day. this wedding was its own wedding. reading and hearing our vows for a second time only deepened their meaning, only strengthen our commitment. i was choosing this man, for the third time, and he was choosing me. 

swoon.

now onto the photos! a complete juxtaposition to our american woodsy wedding. we strolled the beach barefoot and kicked up sand. we ran from the waves and felt the wind in our hair. 

meanwhile, our guests moseyed on upstairs to our surf club reception. as the dj announced the wedding party, i was excited for the fun to continue!

although the venue does not allow live bands (and neither did our second wedding budget), i found a way to make do on the dance floor. i’m not quite sure if i actually left the dance floor at all that night. and as my champagne glass was emptied and refilled and emptied and refilled, i tried harder and harder to force people to join me in my dancing endeavors. once a dancer, always a dancer…

contrary to typical australian weddings which tend to be casual when it comes to traditions, i insisted we stay traditionally. we joyfully repeated the father/daughter and mother/son dances. we listened intently to our family’s toasts and speeches. and i would do it again if i had the chance.

ryan’s dad had used his social “mayor” of gold coast connections to secure us a fabulous chef to provide an assortment of seafood, skewers, and other delicious samplings to keep our bellies full. ryan’s childhood climbing friend happens to be a stellar baker and thankfully agreed to offer us her impeccable desserts. 

by the end of the night, i was reliving those same emotion i had felt in september…

it is so hard to do it all in one night. there were so many people that i barely got to hug. so many friends that i wanted to talk to more. so many family members that i wanted to laugh with more. so many dances left to be had. so many drinks left to be drank. (well, maybe not that last one. our final bar tab was pretty impressive.)

and now, a year later, this post lets me (and all of us) relive it. every moment of sheer joy. every lyric of our impromptu american dance floor singing showcase of “home among the gumtrees.” every scavenger hunt item requested by our crazy dj. every moment of core-crippling laughter.

oh what a night. the perfect addition to our love story.

over seven years of togetherness, and now, today, three years of marriage. 

i’ll let you know when to save the date for our fourth wedding! 🙂

(all professional images by wallflower weddings)

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