We're not very good at writing blog posts... I think we're better at telling stories visually, (that is not to say that the words are not important... because they are). So, we're trying something new - we're letting our brides and grooms tell their story of the day, in their own words.....
Claire was an exchange student in Belfast when she first met Rich. They became friends and started dating soon after, despite a friend’s warning that he was nothing but trouble! That was in 1998, but work and long-distance kept them apart until 2007, when they met up again while both in the UK. A morning coffee turned into a 12 hour date that included Rich’s car being impounded! “When we parted that day,” says Claire, “we knew our old spark was well and truly alive”.
They were engaged in 2010 while on holidays on the Great Ocean Road. “I had been dying to propose to Claire for a while,” says Rich, “but I wanted to wait until I was established in my new career and more importantly, until I had asked for her parents’ permission”. He secretly arranged a ring and over takeaway pizza and champagne, popped the question. She said yes and wedding plans got underway!
Claire and Rich were married at the Broadway Chapel in Woolloongabba, with their reception at Hillstone, St Lucia. “We didn’t have a particular theme or style, but wanted to lean towards a classic, meaningful event with a Queensland feel,” says Claire. For Rich, having fun with friends and family was the most important factor. “Lots of good food and wine was the order of the day and Hillstone didn’t let us down”, he says.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds headed to Ipswich Road, Mowbray Park and the Kangaroo Point Cliffs for photos. “Jess and Steve were exactly the laid-back yet very talented photographers we were after and we were super comfortable around them – they felt like friends at our wedding who happened to have massive cameras around their necks,” says Claire. “As soon as I saw their photos on their website I knew they were for us.”
“We were extremely happy with the photos Jess & Steve captured. They have a great eye for taking photos naturally as moments happen. We were delighted to find that some moments that went by in a blur on the day, were captured beautifully without us even noticing.”
While the wedding day flew by, there were some memorable moments. When Claire returned home from the hairdresser, she found a bouquet of flowers from Rich, with a beautifully-written note. “It was such a thoughtful gesture from him and helped me put the craziness of the day into perspective,” she says. “All the fluster seemed to die down thinking that the only really important part of the day is to stand up in front of the people most important to us and finally marrying my best friend.”
It wasn’t the only secret that Rich was harbouring on the wedding day. One of the groomsmen’s suits had been tailored in the wrong colour – a mistake only discovered a few days before the wedding. The boys embarked on a secret mission, searching every suit store in Brisbane to find a replacement that matched! “We eventually found a Hugo Boss suit that matched the colour scheme perfectly,” says Rich. “It was an expensive mistake, but cost was not a factor when keeping the bride a) happy and b) in the dark!”
After sailing through her perfect day, Claire has some tips for other brides-to-be. “Organisation is indeed your best weapon against stress,” she says. “Don’t believe the hype that every decision is crucial, and let yourself be the calm in the middle of the whirlpool.”
“After all the hard work leading up to your wedding, you will be absolutely amazed at how fun the day is!”
Massive thanks to Vanessa Gibson for helping Claire & Rich with the words.