We got married on Thursday the 20th May 2021 at Glengariff Historic Estate. Located in King Scrub Queensland Australia.
Our celebrant (Debbie Payne) put a nice insert of our meeting together for our ceremony about how we met and got together which tells you our story perfectly…
In March 2014, while Alex was living in South Africa, it was at the Rhino Orphanage where Alex was working that they first met. Within the first month they had discovered so much in common and were immediately attracted to each other. Over the last few years, they have had many adventures and lots of fun, moving in with each other, they have travelled and lived in various locations, met their families, had quite a few cross oceanic trips and finally settling into Australian life. Of course, we wouldn’t be here without a proposal and when the time came for Gunter to take their relationship to the next level, he knew exactly what to do, but he just had to find the right time. On returning to South Africa in October 2019, Gunter found the perfect moment when he and Alex went for an early morning walk at the elephant sanctuary. To ensure everything went to plan, Gunter had organised assistance from the guide and a photographer. As Alex found herself very close to her favourite animal, an elephant, overwhelmed with excitement, she turned to Gunter who took the perfect opportunity to drop to one knee to propose.
We ended up deciding we wanted a natural wedding so chose to have the bridesmaids in a beautiful sage green dress, the wedding bouquets were deconstructed and arranged with white and blush pink flowers and natural greenery. The table setting had similar colour theme with greenery and wooden table centre pieces with candles surrounded by gold lanterns
I had a lot of fun and quite enjoyed the planning experience. My family and I have come up with a term and that is that I have organisational OCD which was a good thing when coming to planning the big day. A few people, including my aunt, said I was the calmest bride she had ever encountered. I think because I got so much enjoyment from it all, I never became or felt stressed leading up to the celebrations. You just have to enjoy it all and have fun.
Gunter and I knew we wanted to have an outdoor ceremony and that was about it. When we went to view Glengariff as a possible venue we both instantly felt the vibe everyone talks about, and the views and area reminded us of where we had previously lived in South Africa. Plus, when you have a future husband who is pretty happy with whatever you want, and that’s about the extent of his input to the day, and he turns to you and says, “this is it” and “I can definitely see me marrying you here”, you kind of can’t help but agreeing that yes this is absolutely it. Just lucky we were both on the same page with what we thought of the place. Honestly how could you not though?
The only idea I had in my head for my dress was that I wanted it to be an A-line, other than that I was open to seeing what looked and felt right for me. When it came to looking for the dress, I had asked my Mum, my sister, and my best friend to come along to help me with deciding. We went to a local store, A Bridal Affair, to start the search for that perfect dress. When we arrived, we were told to look around and grab any dresses I wanted to try on. We ended up pulling out about 20 or so dresses, might have gotten a little carried away, but on the way to the dressing room my sister pulled out a beautiful Ronald Joyce dress, 18169 Lena, we had missed in the frenzy and overwhelming choices. It was beautiful, and had pockets, so of course it was added to the must try on. It ended up being the first dress I tried on and I instantly felt like a princess. Everyone loved it. My mum even said why try on any others this is exquisite and it looks like it was made for you. We tried on many others, but in the end though I put on the Ronald Joyce dress again and it immediately evoked that feeling again, including a second round of tears from a few of my tribe. I knew it was the perfect dress for me. What were the chances of finding the perfect dress in the first shop let alone the first dress you try on?
I could not stop touching the beautiful satin material. The beading and detail at the top around the neckline was so beautiful and the amazing train with the buttons flowing all the way down were just gorgeous. The dress made me feel incredible in such a classic and timeless kind of way, but also like the princess every girl dreams of being at some stage of her life.
I had a wonderful experience at A Bridal Affair and all the ladies there who helped us were so attentive and helpful. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for their dress to go to these lovely ladies for assistance.
The day could not have gone any better. I felt so relaxed and excited for the entire time. My bride tribe and I arrived at the bridal villa earlier in the morning to start the day with some time together and so I could give them their little bridal packages which had the jewellery, silk pyjamas and robes, a little personalised gift, and a few other necessities for the day. Getting to start the day off with them and have some time to chill out and take it all in really set the tone for the rest of the day. Nerves did not even come out of me once, just the sheer excitement of getting to marry my man and celebrate with all our nearest and dearest friend and family.
There is no way I could even pick what my favourite part of the whole day was. The whole experience was extraordinary but getting to see the look on my almost husbands face as I came into view and walked down the aisle would probably have to be the closest thing to the most perfect part of the day and a moment I will never forget.
Unfortunately, Gunter’s family is all over in South Africa, so none of them were able to attend our special day. As I wanted them to be a part of the day somehow, I organised a surprise for Gunter by having members of his family record messages to him sending their love and congratulations. It was turned into a beautiful video by one of our family members over there and sent through so we could play it as a surprise when the speeches were done. It worked perfectly and he had no idea it was going to happen. It certainly made sure there was not a dry eye in the house. I could not have been happier with how it meant we could still have them there with us in some way.
My advice for other brides would be to make sure you enjoy every part of the experience and always remember that the day is all about you and your future husband so do whatever it is that will make you happy on the day and throughout the planning stages. Oh, and it’s so true what everyone says that the day goes past so fast, so take it all in, make those special memories and have an absolutely magical time.
Photography by: Matthew Eastgate.