Kristina + Jake - Immerse Winery
Oh how I LOVE Immerse.... It is a complete one stop shop when it comes to finding the perfect wedding venue, what makes it even MORE awesome is the amazingly talented staff. It is a family run business and I feel so very fortunate to be one of their preferred suppliers. In the peak of wedding seasons I have found myself there twice a weekend at times. When you roll in the drive that many times in a month, you tend to feel like you have become part of the furniture!
Many of the couples I marry here including the gorgeously stunning Kristina and Jake, take up the opportunity to get ready on site. Kristina and Jake could both get ready on site in the same location. It makes taking photos a dream as no travel time is wasted on your day. The boys were on one side of the grounds whilst the ladies took over the bridal suite.
As the guests start to check in, you can't help but feel hype starting to build around the property. And when the time is right, everyone is ushered into the chapel for the ceremony to commence.
There are plenty of pre wedding shots to be had on site at Immerse and when the day was as perfect for Kristina and Jake it isn't any wonder that Sean from A Touch of Flash was snap happy capturing all the gold that was on offer. Sean is one of those guys who can get the bride tribe to be on point during photo time. Always finding the most inappropriate ways to get a giggle out of the girls. Never an awkward shot to be taken as everyone is always having such a great time! AND this shows through in the photos. Add Sean with Michael from Allure Productions and you have a bit of photo/video magic!
Kristina did a little private reveal to her dad. She popped out of the bridal suite and surprised him with a little tap on the shoulder. To say her gorgeous dad was blown away would be an understatement as he was completely lost for words. It was a gorgeous little moment in time which will be etched in their memory before we all made the short walk over to the chapel.
I am always like to arrive an hour early to your wedding. When at Immerse I catch up with the gents in the chapel first. More often than not I am whipping them into line over in their accommodation and then we quickly run through what we need to chat about, where to stand, who has the rings, a mini rehearsal and then the guests all start rolling through the double doors. I love leaving the guys out the front of the doors to welcome everyone, that way they have something to do but also don't look like shags on a rock out the front. IF for some un-be-known reason we are running late, there are no awkward walks of shame up and down the aisle as they are just waiting for me to return to walk them down when we are absolutely ready to go.
The girls get a rehearsal in the bridal suite. I often find myself on the little step to the spa bath running through where everyone will be standing. Involving everyone in those last minute instructions so it is all fresh in their minds. I have been known to be called a very good 'micro manager', but in good faith, I just want you to feel like no rock has been left unturned and have a few little gold nuggets with all the worrying left to me!
The staff at Immerse are right by your side the entire time. So when we all walk over to to the ceremony location, I quickly hoof it in front at the last turn of the corner, grab the gents, cue the music and that moment you have been dreaming about gets under way.
The floor to ceiling windows in the Immerse chapel provide the perfect backdrop (but that isn't something that any old photographer can shoot). There is a reason why there is a preferred supplier list. There are a handful of 'togs' (photographers) who can NAIL the shot making sure we can see the detail out the window and YOU the subject aren't under or over exposed. Trust me, you want to book someone AWESOME for this job, not just someone you found on the back of a chip wrapper.
Sean... NAILED it! Any wonder why he is award winning at his craft...
There are so many locations on site to head off for bridal party shots and then couple shots up on the hill on sunset. That golden light twinkling through the trees making it the perfect combination for a 'rippa' champagne spray!
When you think you are just about all smiled out, it is time for the party to get started and there is no better sound than live music. Adam and Brendan from Something Borrowed Duo are THE BEST little two piece band going around.
They were propped in the corner of the chapel playing whilst everyone arrived, kept playing as the girls entered and walked down the aisle AND continued on during photo hour whilst everyone enjoyed lawn games outside the cellar door.
Then when the meals were served, dancing shoes were primed, they ramped it up for all to tear up the D-floor.
You can see now why Immerse is a top pick when looking for a wedding venue.
I assure you, when you roll in the drive you will see why I fell in love with the place and you are about to, TOO!
Alex + Nick - Flowerdale Estate 2020
A snippet from their ceremony...
It was fair to say that Alex had an interesting first impression when she met Nick whilst working at Ashburton Pool. She can recall he was always hand-balling new membership sign ups and never really engaged in conversation, and for such a talkative person like Alex, Nick was not very appealing. Alex does remember one conversation where Nick expressed his hate for cats. Alex quickly decided that he was not her kind of human!
Luckily a mutual friend Todd, celebrated his birthday at the National in Richmond and for this next bit I am literally going to go on and quote Alex - "Nick had smuggled in a bottle of whiskey (Johnny walker red label, he is very clearly the classy type!). After discovering the bottle was Nick’s, forgetting who 'Nick' was, I tried to persuade the person minding it for him to just let me steal it, he would never know. After many failed attempts it was decided that asking Nick was the way forward. So, Nick comes over and says I can have some but only if I let him buy me a drink and we all know how the rest of the story goes: Girl lets boy buy her drink, boy doesn’t leave girl alone thinking he owns her attention for the rest of the night, girl amuses the idea, boy attempts to kiss girl 3 times (or more) unsuccessfully, girl gets tired of him embarrassing himself and gives in to boy."
When I arrived at Flowerdale for Nick and Alex's wedding it was obvious that it was going to be a 'SWEAT OUT!' (if that is even a word). The weather gods cooked up tropical weather, rain followed by the stickiest humid conditions I think I have ever officiated a wedding in.
All good for Nick, he spends most of his life living in Singapore, but for the rest of us, I can recall family members joking and heckling from the crowd that we were sitting in a human 'HOT HOUSE'. The marquee as much as it served a purpose for the rain to not fall on us mid ceremony, it also provided the best conditions for fainting guests!
So I do remember half way through the ceremony having to pause and offer everyone an 'add break' to get a quick drink from the refreshments station!
No one was going down under my watch.
It was all worth the wait. We regrouped and got them both married.
From the pics you get a feeling that the bigger bride tribe, the more fun to be had! With four Girls, four guys... there wasn't a dull moment when they headed off for a few shots before returning to the reception.
Flowerdale is such a fantastic venue. If you love a farm, laid back setting you are in the right place. There are numerous spots to get married on site - on the lawn (which always seems to be so luscious and green), under a huge oak tree or by the dam, they are ALL perfect!
Maria and her team look after every detail. I have, on many occasions been witness to Maria picking her own rose petals from the garden to add to the aisle. Her attention to detail suits me to a T.
Being one of their preferred suppliers is humbling as it truly is the most stunning property in Strath Creek. I love driving out to visit and being involved in all the hype on a wedding day. Check it out, I know you will LOVE it too!
Meet The Team
Tiffany + Richard - A Farm Celebration
Tiffany + Richard celebrated their weekend love festival at The Log Cabin Ranch in Monbulk. Traditionally a school camp with 70 beds on site. Think back to your primary school camp days and this is it (but amazingly kept grounds and facilities).
You hire the camp for the weekend. Set up your dream wedding with your DIT (Doing it Together) team on the Friday night, celebrate on the Saturday and clean up and leave the place how you found it on the Sunday.
Tiffany clearly had a vision and when you click back through the photos. She enjoyed putting effort into all the little bits and pieces that was going to make their celebration one that their family and friends will remember for years to come.
I can clearly remember turning to the photographer Anitra - "Capture this, capture that, I am going to write a blog about this one day!" Well here we are, finally writing a blog... to be honest, I could write a blog about ALL The Log Cabin Ranch weddings I am involved in. All the couples go to such great lengths to put their little stamp on the intricate details.
Richard and Tiffany were blessed with the most stunning day. They chose to marry under the incredible elm tree in the secret garden. Miss Match chairs for those needing a seat, guests gathering round under the canopy of the leaves.
They asked if I minded that the flower girls were to be of a mature age... Ha it was the BEST. Both grandma's strolled down the aisle tossing rose petals as they walked. It was just perfect and you can see from the pics that it was well received by their guests watching on. All clapping their entrance down the path.
As Tiff was escorted down the aisle by her gorgeous dad, Richard tried to hold back the tears. All eyes on the bride, but I always love to have a cheeky eye on the groom to watch his reaction. Clearly the butterflies were in full flight!
As always, a little story was told. We laughed, we cried and we laughed some more. There were vows read, rings exchanged and that explosion from the crowd when I finally pronounced them as Husband + Wife!
As the family photos were taking place the guests were treated to rugs laid out on the lawn, games for everyone to enjoy. And on such a perfect afternoon, there really wasn't anywhere else you would have wanted to be.
You couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. The sun was shining the entire time!
It made for the best golden hour photos with just the couple and their intimate bridal party. After a few quick pics in the paddock it was time to rejoin the group and start the party! AND with Anitra Wells behind the lense, equals epically beautiful pics every, single, time!
One of the best things about The Log Cabin Ranch is it is completely DIY. You get to choose everything. So when it came to choosing the caterer Dos Amigos was on the menu and as the guests sprawled out over the lawn or pulled up a seat at a table, the celebrations just continued to unfold into the night.
Jimmy + Niki were there to entertain the guests. If you haven't treated yourself to listening to their voices, do yourselves a favour! They were there to sing Tiff down the aisle, background tunes for pre-dinner and then ramped it up when everyone was ready to dance the night away.
Another amazing celebration which I felt privileged to see through as Celebrant | MC. There is truly something special about working with couples through the entire process and it is so rewarding and humbling to hear that expectations were exceeded on the day!
"The biggest THANK YOU and further recommendations for Kate to ANYONE who is looking for a celebrant and MC for their wedding. Kate worked along side my partner and myself for the whole wedding process, any question we had she was easily able to answer.
Having Kate help us through the whole journey most definitely made the whole process of our wedding much more easy and enjoyable. And on the night itself, I had no care in the world.
My partner and myself were so surprised with how little we had to do as we both trusted the whole night to Kate! We would love to work with her in any event as she was approachable, caring and so understanding to our individual needs. Our wedding would not have been the amazing amazing perfect day that it was without the help of Kate".
Georgie + Tom - The Farm Yarra Valley
Georgie and Tom were married at The Farm in Warrandyte South. I love rolling in the drive to officiate weddings here. Anthea always greeting you with a smile as we catch up on what each other has been up to since we saw one another last.
The Farm hosts the most incredible functions. The food is delicious, the staff are amazing and the grounds are that enticing that you want to just sip on a glass (or three) or Rob Dolan wine in the sunshine all day. The Farm is known for its shared feasting menu and wine to match from Rob Dolan.
There are many spots to marry at the Farm. The steps, the lawn, the heli pad and in front of the barn. In summer the Barn is the perfect spot shaded by the trees and on this particular day as 60+ guests of George and Tom's family and friends watched on, their story was told, rings were exchanged and they were married!
I love to encourage the parents to be a little involved. When you think about it, it is a big deal being the mum and dad of the bride and groom. Georgie's parents flew in from Scotland to give their seal of approval so it was only fitting to highlight their presence and how much Georgie and Tom appreciated letting their little girl be swept away to the land down under.
Georgie’s parents actually met Tom over a year before Georgie did! After a trip to Melbourne visiting their best friends, Ali mentioned in passing to Georgie that she had met a lovely young man called Tom. She was certain Georgie would get along with him if she was to meet him during her planned visit to Melbourne the following year. Needless to say, Georgie was completely dismissive of her mums’ comment, and swiftly carried on with her life thinking nothing more of it.
Sometimes mums really do know best though! When Georgie finally did meet Tom (with all recollection of her mum’s comment gone from her mind), she was intrigued, though hesitant to consider a potential relationship due to the not so minor fact that she lived in Scotland, not Melbourne.
Tom, not stopping to consider the not so minor fact that she lived in Scotland, not Melbourne, felt instantly drawn to Georgie. Quite quickly, Georgie could see that Tom was a good guy – kind, funny and different to any other guy she’d met at home. Tom thought Georgie was glowing, but that may also have been because as a 'Brit', the novelty of being in Australia meant she was spending a good chunk of her time sunbathing in the Roache's backyard!
By the end of Georgie’s 3 month stay in Melbourne they knew that the relationship they had naturally formed wasn’t something they were willing to let go of. Within two weeks of being back in Scotland, Georgie had already booked to return to Melbourne in 12 weeks time. Not soon enough for Tom - he quickly booked a visit to Scotland halfway through their time apart. Tom meeting Georgie’s family and friends in Scotland only built upon their hunch that their relationship had the potential to be something very special.
Fast forward 8 years, and here we are!
I think Georgie and Tom’s hunch was right. Georgie and Tom have built an extremely strong relationship which has not only enriched their lives, but the lives of their families and friends as well. Though the distance between where they both grew up creates natural challenges, it also means that the time spent with loved ones becomes so much more treasured. Just look at Georgie and Tom’s parents who have become such great friends that they even holiday together without Georgie and Tom!
The fact that Georgie and Tom had so many friends from the UK is a testament to the bonds they have created and maintained over the years. Their relationship has brought two worlds together that never would have been otherwise, and I think everyone who attended their wedding is grateful for that.
Being a friend of The Farm (preferred supplier) you get to work along side some incredibly talented suppliers. It is a no brainer why Anitra Wells is on that list. She started the list! Anitra walked through the door just as The Farm were trying to get their name out there and their business off the ground. With epic Anitra Wells Photos, that is exactly what they did. They hit the ground running with the most incredible images to share and haven't looked back since. Now being a popular choice of venue on the outskirts of the Yarra Valley.
And of course Anitra knows all the spots to capture those keep sake moments when you head out for couple shots. Even finding a few little 'kids' in the background!
Kasey + Brooke
Kasey and Brooke met at a roller derby of all places and simply just hit it off. Kasey coaching Brooke when she was even more 'unco' than she is now. Kasey can recall her gorgeous smile and laugh on first impressions. If you ask Brooke though, they did actually meet 12 months prior, it was just that Kasey had no idea then who she was! Brooke tells me that on first impressions – Kasey was absolutely stunning!
I couldn’t stop smiling and literally turned to my best friend and said, I want to marry that girl!.
They believe that a successful marriage is based on being honest and having open communication. You need to just talk it out, or if in Brooke’s case just talk it over continuously so Kasey isn’t allowed to whinge about it again!
When Brooke tried to propose to Kasey it wasn’t exactly the most romantic proposal. Not even Brooke taking her top off on the top of a mountain would get Kasey out of the car that day. Brooke had made an advent calendar, (they both love Christmas) and every day Kasey would open a gift. On the 24th day, Brooke gets Kasey out of bed, much to her disgust to watch the sunrise. When she decided to just stay put in the car cause it was 5:00am Brooke finally gave up on Kasey getting out of the car and handed her the Grinch DVD, the one they watched on their very first date and shining brightly inside was the most amazing sparkly ring! What a story!
Brooke + Kasey choose to celebrate their wedding at The Budgie Smuggler in Ringwood. It is the most funky venue and I feel very lucky to be one of their preferred suppliers. The food is amazing and they know how to make a mean cocktail!
A snippet of Brooke's Vows... "I promise to always say good morning with a smile and to remember to always have the fridge stocked with Vanilla ice cream and ice magic. I promise to always admit when I’m wrong, which is of course is always because you are always right. I promise to always be by your side as a best friend, a listener, a motivator, a soul mate and a partner in crime and to remind you every day how truly beautiful I believe you are; And on days if you’re ever feeling down, remember remind you twice. But lastly, I promise no matter where life takes us that I will always do my best to make our life together a rather fucking wonderful adventure."
A Snippet from Kasey's Vows... "Thank you for teaching me to stand up for what I believe in, but also to deliver my messages with kindness and respect. I promise to always be your human, to adventure with you and to push you to achieve your goals. I promise to laugh with you when you're happy, lift you up when you're down and to love you unconditionally. Except when you bite your nails, I'm not okay with that. I promise to help you to be the best you that you can be, to be kind to you and to make sure you are kind to yourself. I also promise to always ask for a Milo just when you get comfy on the couch, because I’m kind of a jerk. Thank you for making life a rather wonderful fucking adventure".
It was fair to say that they had THE BEST DAY...
The girls were a blast to work with. Another awesome ceremony and night spent as their MC. They even had bets on who was going to look the HOTEST on the day. I think it would be fair to say they both WON. They both trumped each others expectations. And with a bride tribe like no other, they were only ever going to have a hell of party to celebrate.
Ames and Ashleigh
I first met Ames and Ashleigh at Gum Gully Farm's open day. I clearly remember the moment when Ames just stood looking at the little chapel like a deer staring into headlights. She looked a tad petrified and as I put my hand on her shoulder, leaned in and calmly said "It's ok, cause I will have your back the entire time" this weight all of a sudden lifted and the mood shifted. Excitement filled the conversation as it continued to flow about all the things I like to do to ensure that the partner standing at the other end is never standing for longer than they need to be.
Those few gold nuggets of wisdom found all three of us (plus their daughter Lily) on a 12 month journey. Every wedding fair I exhibited at I would turn to find myself being presented with a petite ice-cream from the dessert wagon or a drink from the cocktail bar. Ames and Ash seemed to be serial wedding fair goers and every single time they would just turn up with something yummy to eat whilst I was run off my feet chatting to couples. It was through all of this interaction that we became more than just a couple I was marrying, they became friends.
It was fair to say that Ames 'lost it' when she saw her stunning bride Ashleigh enter The Old Church Chapel in Red Hill. The moment had finally arrived. We had been on this emotional rollercoaster for such a long time. I would know, I ended up at several suit fittings with Ames as she hand picked fabric, custom designed a print for inside her waist coat and picked all the little bits and pieces to match her outfit for the day.
She rocked it too!
The day was a little drizzly but there to capture the magic of it all was my all time FAVE Glen, with one N - Directors Edge. It would be fair to say that we ALWAYS have a lot of fun when we are working.
AND when Ames and Ash asked me to be their MC and follow the celebrations right through, it was a no brainer. We rolled in the door at Merricks General Store for the reception. Kombi cars were parked out the front to greet us. The hospitality was simply amazing. Food was incredible!
I may have been present in the sunset photo shoot where smoke bombs were involved. I found the perfect spot hiding behind them both to make that incredible epic shot!
Everyone danced the night away. It truly was the most perfect day.
Post Wedding - Glen and I always seem to bounce ideas off one another. We put our heads together with a crazy idea to do a private screening of their wedding video. So in the weeks leading up to their film being finished, I secretly worked my magic in a little white lie and managed to convince them both to go out for dinner but before we got to dinner I needed their opinion on the function space at The Sage Hotel in Ringwood (aka My office).
The look of complete surprise when Ames, Ash and Lily walked in the door to see their wedding film projected on the big screen was just jaw dropping. Cocktail in hand, they sat on the little love seat with their daughter by their side as they watched the premier of their wedding film. We made their day. The tears we flowing, the laughter was heard down the corridor. It was epic!
And in the words of Ames herself - LOVE WON! '
Congrats ladies, and THANK YOU so much for sharing the journey with me!
Elopements with elope.yv | elope.aus
It would be fair to say that this year didn't turn out as planned. 2020 started off a blaze with fire and now has been taken over by covid-19. We have seen the Australian spirit at its best and there have been moments where we have been so very proud to belong to the land down under.
Just over 5 years ago now, Sharne (co-owner) and I worked out that there was a little gap in our lives. We had a few couples asking for our help with legals type elopements and then wanted more - "Do you know a good photographer?" "Can you point me in the right direction for a great hair and makeup stylist?" "Would you know a florist that can make me a little bouquet?" "OH, what about a videographer?"
And so the elopement on steroids (as we called it in house) was born... better known now as our micro wedding package. We devised our micro wedding packages before it was even a THING. Eloping was the NEW BLACK and we had the next level covered as well.
Being in this industry for such a long time we wanted to find a way to bring some work to our colleagues in the quieter winter months, mid week, just to keep everyone ticking over. Our videographer, hair and makeup artists, florists, cake makers and of course our favourite wedding venues are now all a part of our forever growing brand.
What we didn't know back then, when this little light bulb moment started, was how incredibly busy this new adventure would be. Our inbox is full and our suppliers are booked more days out of the week than not.
We couldn't be luckier with the partner venues who have come on board so far. Balgownie Estate, Coombe Estate, Gum Gully Farm, Lindenderry Estate, Billabong Falls, Yering Gorge Cottages, The Log Cabin Ranch, Flowerdale Estate, Stones of the Yarra Valley, Marnong Estate, The Portsea Hotel, Sorrento Hotel, The Grand Hotel | Next Door Warrandyte are all amazing venues who we work alongside. The list seems to just keep growing!
Our couples pick a location or venue, tell us their ideal date and we do the rest! Literally they just turn up and get married, oh and maybe write a few nice love notes to each other that they want to share on the day.
During this crazy pandemic we have found ourselves out on incredible cliff tops, barefoot on the beach, some gorgeous local parks and gardens and even lobbed ourselves on the front porch of their family home.
The beauty of what we do is we can literally marry you anywhere (well maybe not in a shark tank) But we can marry you up in a BALLOON as you are enjoying the magnificent views of the Yarra Valley, City or now more recently Mansfield.
If you want to chopper your way in why not. We can sort that part out for you too, with many of our winery locations happy to see a helicopter land in their wide open spaces.
We have separated our packages out into the most popular three categories. A Typical Elopement, The Short and Sweet and the Micro Wedding but we also have amazing Adventure packages too. Ironically during this crazy pandemic we have utilised all three. And now looking towards our sunset elopements | micro weddings towards the end of this year when hopefully we have seen the back of this crazy thing we call 'rona'. If not we have all the bases covered!
We can appreciate that it has been a challenging time for everyone. Planning your big wedding since you were about 15 and now having to 'pivot' in every sense of the word or just wait (till who knows when) for that fairytale to come true. But one refreshing thing that seems to be brought to our attention right now is that some of our couples are feeling a sense of relief. They just want to get married and when they stripped it all back, they were happy to not have to invite the next door neighbour, sorry, not sorry, the 5 only, 10 only or 23 mini wedding just seemed like the perfect excuse, the perfect excuse to just invite those that they really want to be apart of their day. And sometimes that was literally just themselves and our fabulous elopement team! 1X Celebrant, 1X Couple, 1X Photographer (witness #1) 1X Videographer (witness #2).
So, this is it, do you elope? do you wait? do you start planning a micro instead?
No matter what your vision we surprise ourselves too with the packages we create for our clients.
elope.yv | elope.aus | elope.mp
Our Elopement Team
Hair and Makeup
Yana and Ben were married at one of my all time favourite wedding venues, Gum Gully Farm. Nestled out the back of Silvan on like a hundred or so acres is the most incredible farm, now turned wedding venue. The owners, Kerry, Colin, Sue and Simon all live on the property, a real family business.
When you walk in the door you instantly feel a part of the family so it isn't any wonder that they attract the same kind of cliental.
Yana + Ben are just that, the most incredibly kind and humble couple. They ooze love for one another and you can't help but be swept away in their love bubble.
Yana rolled in the drive in a Kombi Van, driven by Ralf Fish himself. The Jeweller extraordinaire. Surrounded by her bride tribe, the champagne flowed and the giggles could be heard all the way down the road.
So after a little pow wow by the car, we were ready to get Yana and Ben MARRIED!
Yana's dad by her side, they made their way down to the windmill chapel. A gorgeous mud brick, wood lined, hand made by Colin and Simon masterpiece. Wood fire in side (and air-conditioning for the summer) it is the most cozy spot to be married.
Their ceremony was full of laughs. At times Ben looking like he had been struck down with hay fever (eyes watering just a tad), they stood hand in hand as their story was told, vows and rings (hand made by the amazingly talented Ralf Fisch) were exchanged and the stunning Michelle Pragt from In Photography was there to capture it all.
One thing that Gum Gully Farm has that everyone wants a photo with it the deer. So after the kisses and hugs and group photo with everyone. The guests headed to the bar whilst the bride tribe headed to the paddock to feed the deer.
With a tribe as big as Yana and Ben's there was plenty of fun to be had during photo time. Yarra Valley Catering there to keep them all nourished during the duration.
And to top off the photos there is always a trip up to Sue and Simon's top paddock where the views carry for miles, the sun sets over the tree tops and you can soak up all those just married feels with the two of you xx
Yana + Ben’s awesome team of suppliers include:
Venue : Gum Gully Farm, Silvan
Celebrant : Kate Haley
Master of Ceremonies - Kate Haley
Photographer: Michelle Pragt
Gown : Miss Bella Bridal, Boronia
Suits : Harvey Spectre Tailors
Hair : Nicole Whitty
Make-Up : Moore Beauty Co.
Rings : Ralf Fisch Jewellery
Kombi: Kombi & Beetle Hire
Jay + Andrew
A Snippet from their Ceremony...
We can thank the term ‘SWIPE RIGHT’ for Jay and Andrew’s first encounter. Jay tells me that Andrew had Super Liked her (is that even a thing?) and that caught her eye straight away. She started to feel a little bad that she didn’t press the like button straight away so after they were matched and Andrew attempted numerous times to catch up, she finally gave in and they arranged their first date on the 23rd of February 2016.
Jay was at the train park and as Andrew lived just across the road it proved to be the best spot to arrange a casual meeting.
Jay went on to say - I instantly felt a connection; it was like we had known each other for a long time. Everything was just extremely comfortable. I could tell he was a kind soul, helping the kids ride around on their bikes. We could have stayed talking for hours. It was like I couldn’t get enough of getting to know him.
He is a gentle soul, hard working, family orientated (he will try and drop anything to be there for all of us), passionate and compassionate. He volunteers any free minute he has to help someone else (CFA calls out, Oscars Law, Reach out). This is something I have always admired in my dad and I’m so lucky to have found someone who has the same heart.
I admire that Andrew has taken on Eris and Arion as his own, it takes an amazing person to take on someone else’s kids no questions asked. And to become an instant dad and do such an amazing job is not an easy thing. I’m constantly amazed at the love Andrew has for them and how much they love him.
Of course I had to ask what Andrew can recall from when they first met and he backs up Jay’s story. He did use the ‘SUPER LIKE’ Feature on Tinder to gain her attention as he was completely blown away by Jay with her gorgeous smile, long dark hair and stunning features.
Andrew went on to say - The moment I saw Jay at the park, interacting with Eris and Arion, I felt a spark. Something I hadn’t experienced like this before. Watching her be so calm around Eris and Arion and completely in control was something that resonated with me. Knowing that she was a single mum and doing such an incredible job raising the kids on her own made me instantly attracted to her, she has so much independence and strength. After getting to know Jay, Andrew came to see Jay as selfless. She will always put others first as she is always thinking of other people. I admire her love for her family and friends and she will always find time for them.
Clearly Andrew wasn’t going to let this Train Park mum go and with many months in the making, Even convincing Eris to keep a lid on the surprise. Andrew dropped to one knee out on his parents Farm.
Andrew explains it so well so I am just going to go on and quote him - The plan was many months in advance, once I found a ring that I new she liked, which was easy when she shows me ‘oh this is nice!’ So after selecting the most pure diamond I could get, I got the ring made! It then stayed in our house in one of my shoes for 4 weeks. Eris even had the ring on her finger before Jay and was able to keep this from Mum as she understood the importance! She kept asking me are you proposing tonight?!
I picked out a spot on our farm in Clarkefield in the middle of a paddock and mowed the grass 3 weeks in advance. It was then a cute crop circle amongst all this long grass. But what I didn’t realise was that mum had the intentions to put the cows in there the week before! This made it incredible hard to find my spot and also had to dodge the cow pats!
I got some wooden pallets and made a table, put some posts in the ground, hooked up some fairy lights to run off a generator, had linen and decorations from the neighbours art department, and then some fresh flowers, a love heart cookie cake which gave her no option to say no as it had a bold MARRY ME plastered on it and a platter of sweets and condiments. I lit a fire and sat down on the rug waiting with Tessa.
Mum had organised to have Jay take me some pipe fittings that I needed as “I was up the back fixing a leak” and as she comes along on the motorbike, right on sunset, with the kids, she gets to a single wire fence, which the motorbike has a pipe to push it underneath, but she stops, turns off the motorbike and as I’m 40m away, now realising that my surprise is getting awkward as I’m on my knee, I call out to drive over it, but she doesn’t realise how to start the motorbike, so I run on over, start the motorbike, drive it over the fence and then run back to get the flowers and the ring and VOLA.... not awkward at all, noted by Eris! And I guess the answer was YES!
When you here Jay’s version of events Andrew you are lucky she even made it that far into the paddock cause there was no way she was keen to get on the back of the motor bike and head into a paddock full of cow pats!
Jay and Andrew had planned everything to a 'T'. It was the most magical day spent with family and friends and staying on site meant that those celebrations could last long into the night.
Glen from Directors Edge was there to capture all the magic, sit back, relax and enjoy reliving this incredible day!