THE PLANNING BEGINS...
Woohoo! Engaged! POP THE CHAMPAGNE!!!
You're going to need it!
To say wedding planning is overwhelming is an absolute understatement!
I have barely begun the planning and already I feel as though I am swimming in a very very deep sea whilst wearing one of those rather large 80’s bouffant wedding dresses weighing me down and dragging me under. Basically a nightmare! But the absolute sheer excitement keeps me from being swallowed whole by this water filled meringue. And so, here I am, ready to take on this journey armed with some of the industries most incredible vendors I am (figuratively) going to Bippity-Boppity-Boo this nightmare-drowning-meringue-scenario into one of the most incredible planning experiences EVER and I’m going to share it all with you!
So where to start?
I keep thinking this in my head over and over, but I know I already have completed the first task. I’ve sat down with my sweet love and Feyoncé to have “The Talk”. Not about the birds and the bees this is BIGGER than that (Maybe?!)! This is the real deal, cut-the-B-S-cake talk, the
“What will OUR wedding look like” talk.
We all know that I’m the kind of girl who has dreamed of this day since I was old enough to dress myself (which was kindergarten FYI, in tutu’s and my mums stilettos). But at the end of the day this wedding is about marrying the man of my dreams, my best friend, wingman, exit buddy and all that goes along with that. Thus we begin with The Talk. What does he envision? What does he hope for? What seems like a realistic amount to spend? Obviously there will be plenty more questions and “Talks” along the way but this will help you get on the same page and not have you dreaming of The Royal Procession when we was thinking more of an intimate soiree.
I have attached a little Feyoncé Q & A HERE for you to download with a few of the important questions to help you on your way.
Ok, so I will be the first to admit I have had a secret wedding Pinterest board for years before I got engaged, in fact years before I was in a relationship! Working in the wedding industry means I see a lot but I’ve always had a pretty clear idea of what I truly loved. But of course there are always a few questionable ideas that end up in the mix so the first thing to do is to go through and delete the Marabou Feather Boa you thought you would definitely, without a doubt, wear on your big day and get back to basics!
So Robbie and I sat down to chat about what we envision and I showed him my most secret board and my hopes and dreams for this magical day. I am a lover of surprises and a little bit protective of my ideas so he is the only other person on the planet who I have let see it so far! Eeek! In these preliminary stages you really need to think about the main factors that need to be organized and the ideas of what it will all look and feel like. We have both agreed we would love a church or chapel wedding and we both want something beautiful and something that represents us and who we are. We are both romantics at heart so I think we both have a similar vision for what will be the best day of our lives! There is so much to consider so we sat down and went through the following things...
THEME, IDEAS, THOUGHTS and INSPIRATION
Start considering what you want your wedding to look, feel and be like. If you want it to be Rustic or Beachy or Bohemian or all three!
To get an idea of the different style I love and what Rob loves too. The easiest thing to do was create Pinterest Boards for each element of the wedding with pictures of things that we both like and we can share visually what we are loving. You can see some of our UTTERLY ENGAGED pins and boards HERE! A few Highlight Boards so far:
UTTERLY ENGAGED // Engagement Announcement Inspo
- Inspiration on announcing your engagement
UTTERLY ENGAGED // We're engaged!
-A few of our highlights from the best day of my life (to date!)
UTTERLY ENGAGED // Wedding Invitations
-A little bit of Inspo of the invitations I am currently crushing on!
UTTERLY ENGAGED // Engagement Party Inspo
- The beginnings of the inspiration for our Engagement Party
Above Images: We Are Twine
Grab yourself a diary/planner/date book that you can write down all your dates, times, meetings, inspiration and ideas in.
I am currently working with my own Kiki-K planner using custom made stickers and inserts to highlight all the necessary items and to-dos. I also have enlisted the help and guidelines of “Countdown to Wife Life” it has some amazing tips, tricks and a great timeline of what to do when. You can buy one from Ivory Haus.
Additionally I am using an Excel spreadsheet to keep EVERYTHING on from guest list to vendor details. I am so excited to share this with you in an upcoming blog. I feel as though in this amazing computer age that you really need both digital and hardcopy planning assistance and I have created the perfect way to have them both work hand in hand! (Stay Tuned!) I have however put together an awesome list of TO-DO's starting from 12 Months all the way to post wedding! You can find it and a whole lot of other downloads in our ATELIER BRIDES section (see the end of this post to sign up!)
It’s so important to sit down with your partner and talk about a budget. What does he/she think is reasonable to spend and how much can you afford. According to Wedded Wonderland the average couples are spending on their wedding in Australia in 2018 is $51,245 – a jump from 2017’s average of $48,624. For some this amount might seem ridiculous, for others it may seem totally reasonable. Until you’ve talked with your partner about it you can’t be realistic about your expectations for your wedding. If you are planning to sit down with your parents, his parents or both then you should come armed prepared with a few ideas of what your wedding might cost. Letting them know these average costs might give someone, who hasn’t planned a wedding in 25 years, an idea of what to expect and will save you from eye-rolls or scoffing later on in the planning. Another thing to note is that this is YOUR wedding. Yours and your partners, but if you choose to involve your families and take a contribution you need to be prepared to accept that they may have some strings attached to their funds. Maybe you will need to suck it up and invite Aunty Mildred in order to have that oversized floral centrepiece you always dreamed of. Or maybe the centrepiece isn’t worth the hassle. That, beautiful Bride-to-Be, is completely up to you and your partner. Just remember that your family is excited too, they want to show the world how lucky they are to have you. They raised you into an actual adulting-getting-married-human and want to share in that love and the excitement of your wedding day. Which brings me to my next subject…
YOUR MOTHER (and/or Mother in Law)
When we first got engaged my beautiful Mother was so so sooo excited, she was so happy and eager she asked me when, where, how, why, what about every wedding detail. I was so overwhelmed by the questions I just wasn’t ready to answer. It wasn’t until I called Rob sobbing and explaining it to him my mum had gone “Mother-of-the-bride-Zilla” that he said to me “She is excited, possibly more excited than you. You’ve dreamed of this day since you were 12, she has dreamed of this day from the moment you were born”, God bless that gorgeous man! He was right. I realized then that she just loves me and wants to play a big role in helping make my day everything I (We) dreamed and that I am so grateful to have such an amazing mum. So I started a note on my phone and popped in ideas and jobs of how to include my mum in the process and also jobs to include my mother in law, whom I love dearly. It was a great learning curve for me early on, that there is so much love and support around a wedding and it’s important to not only include these special people but also to delegate tasks. They are here to help and are excited to do so! So make sure you value and utilize their love and skills!
SET A DATE
This can be a tricky one. Your date might be swayed depending on the time of the year, the length of your engagement, or, maybe you ‘have-to-have’ a particular venue or vendor and their availability only falls on certain days. Usually you and your partner will have a few significant dates in your relationship which may fall on an ideal day to have your wedding. If you have a few dates in mind then note them down and talk to your preferred venues/vendors about the date and what the weather is like during that period of the year, whether their gardens are in bloom or full or green, whether their air conditioning can handle the height of summer. Make sure you are both happy with it and if its important to you, be sure to check with your close friends and family.
Before you can begin to choose a venue you need to decide on how many guests you want to be at your wedding. Many venues have requirements for maximum and minimum guests.
Start a preliminary rough guest list with EVERYONE on it. I segmented ours into groups of people eg Family, Bridal Party (BFFS), Close Friends, Work Friends, Uni Friends, Family Friends, Childhood Friends. Once you have groups then you can determine the importance of that group attending or if there are singular people in that group who MUST be there. Start with a larger list and cull it down to your Non Negotiable list and your Negotiable list. This way you can determine that you can afford to have all that you want. The guest list can be hard to nail down but just get started!
Bouquet above Mrs Gibbons Flowers // Gelato Cart Wheel & Spoon
Finding vendors can be absolutely overwhelming! I am lucky enough to have so many amazing people I work with regularly to ask questions and get advice but for most people it’s asking friends who have been married or googling endlessly “amazing wedding photographer Brisbane”. When my brides book in their dream gown with us (at Begitta-Bridal & Couture!) they receive a special gift pack as well as access to our BRIDAL ROOM, inside we have a list of our absolute favourite vendors who I have personally worked with and used throughout the years. This list has been used by so many of my brides and friends and I am offering Free Access to “The Bridal Room” for all The Atelier Lovers. (see end of this post to join!)
Once you have an idea of the vendors you need to make sure you check out their work. Choosing a vintage style photographer is not going to give you those bright brilliant images you love. Make sure their feel feels good to you. Start enquiring and gathering quotes as soon as you can. This wil help give you a more realistic idea of what your wedding will cost and what to expect to spend. It's true in the wedding industry that you generally get what you pay for. A business or vendor with years of experience may mean that the cost is a little higher but the quality will be better and the process a lot smoother. When you've done something a hundred times you have seen a thousand possibilities and develop great contingency plans if a problem arises so experience is definitely something you want to look for in your "Wedding Squad". When making enquiries be sure to include your Wedding date or prospective dates to ensure they are available. As well as include your venue and location (there may be travel costs involved so you want to make sure you budget for those!).
Another great way to find vendors and meet up with heaps in one day is to visit a wedding fair or expo!
There are some amazing options out there depending on the style of wedding you are looking for. Google wedding expo/fair and your city to find a few close to you. We love One Fine Day Wedding Fairs for their mix of amazing vendors and beautifully curated events.
The most important thing to remember when choosing your vendors is that If you don’t feel “quite right” there are others to chose from so don’t feel to much pressure to say yes unless you feel good about your decision. If you don't feel quite right ask yourself what it is that makes you feel that way you may find its just anticipation or nerves. Don't rush things and talk it over with someone to ensure you do feel great about your decisions. BUT also remember to not sweat the small stuff. Most wedding vendors deal with nervous brides every day so if you have questions JUST ASK!
It's also always a great idea to make time to meet up with your vendors prior to booking them if you can. Get to know them and make sure you mesh well with them before you put down your deposit.
Eeek! Happy Planning!
We cannot wait to go start scoping out the place we will bring it all together!
Want access to all the free resources mentioned in this post?
Head HERE to access the ATELIER BRIDES
“Once in awhile, right in the middle of ordinary life, LOVE gives us a Fairy Tale”
Our Modern Fairytale Engagement, featuring the most romantic, dreamy storybook setting amidst the beautiful greenery and structures of Evergreen Gardens. This storybook worthy shoot is what dreams are made of. A gathering of the most incredible wedding creatives in Queenland, setting the scene and creating pure magic in what was one of the most beautiful days of our lives.
The lead up to our engagement shoot was an absolute whirlwind, from arriving back from Melbourne to all the excitement of being newly engaged we were so totally blown away by the amazing team that came together to celebrate our love and the amazingness that Tanja of TM Event Planning pulled together. We had the most magical day and are so so excited to see our story featured on both WEDDED WONDERLAND and POLKA DOT BRIDE!!!
(click the names to see the gorgeousness!)
From the second I arrived at our Engagement Shoot I felt like an absolute queen! The location Evergreen Garden Venue was truly the setting for a beautiful storybook. The grounds of perfectly manicured grass and hedges with so many stunning backdrops of white stone and the French styled house.
I was whisked off to hair and makeup by the incredibly talented team from Bella Brides. We had previously discussed hair and makeup looks and I can honestly say that Lucie and Britt went BEYOND my expectations. We started with my hair styled in voluminous soft curls and then for the second look Lucie created a loose braid that looked effortlessly chic yet totally Princess worthy! The makeup was a soft smokey eye with a neutral tone lip, the makeup was totally flawless (all day) and the hair styling was pure magic! These ladies are pure genius!
Once I was dressed and ready in outfit number one featuring soft-blue sequins in a full length gown with puffed bishop sleeves and a long flowing silk chiffon belt skirt, for added drama! Rob arrived and we were taken to the beautiful space created by the amazing team. This first look was the warm up for the true princess gown – A specially made Begitta –Bridal & Couture confection of pastel blue – Made from over 35 square meters of tulle. Including hand draping over the bust and a detachable belt that makes up the 2-meter train. Pure bliss for any fairy-tale lover I was in my absolute element wearing it. NOTE: I have no idea how to trump this for the ‘Actual Wedding’ but I’m sure going to try!
The styling was put together by the absolutely amazing Ngaire from Event Stylist & Co and Mandi of Ivy & Bleu Events both so incredibly talented at what they do and how totally spoilt were we to have TWO incredible ladies creating this dream setting!
The table was set with crystal, delicate glass charger plates and silverware fit for royalty. The setting featured the most beautiful hues of soft greys, blues, blushes, whites and creams. Small posies of florals littered the table in gorgeous mismatched crystal vases. The stationery was delicately crafted by Kelsi at KB Lettering. Kelsi did the most beautiful job creating menus, place cards and the most exquisite hand-calligraphy backdrop which made our Modern Fairy-tale even more storybook worthy.
Tanja from TM Events went totally above and beyond bringing to the shoot the most beautiful butterflies, from Butterfly Releases Australia, which we released into the sky, creating the most beautiful images and memories I could not imagine anything more dreamy until the arrival of the beautiful Zanna from Beautiful White Doves with two absolutely beautiful caged doves and ‘Minxie’ her divine hand reared white dove which we could hold and release her into the clouds on such a special occasion!
Meanwhile the ladies began to put together the dessert table, which was completely awe-inspiring. Not only was it flanked by the absolutely gorgeous doves, it was positively bursting with incredibly delicate sugary confections that were the thing of dreams. The totally delish duo at Two Little Bakers created what seemed like hundreds of cupcakes, tarts, macaroons and the most perfect teeny-tiny macaroons topped with sugar pearls and metallic details. Then there was the cake! A totally divine tall cream coloured tower studded in pearls and silver leaf that had us all salivating. Adorned with gorgeous delicate blooms and surrounded by the most delicious macaroons I have ever sampled… And I practically lived at Laduree in Paris!
My dream would not be complete without divine blooms from Ivy & Bleu, the Bouquet itself was totally next level! Mandi created the most lush, untamed bouquet, one of her signature styles, filled with roses, beautiful small berries and oodles of greenery trickling out.
The entire day ran so smoothly and Kaitlin from Kaitlin Maree Photography made us feel so comfortable and a lot like celebrities! It wasn’t until the images were delivered in the most chic white box, on the most chic white USB, that I squealed and then cried, Kim-Kardash-Style. The imagery and moments she captured have absolutely blown Rob and I away. We can’t even believe it! You can see by these stunning pics how extremely talented Kaitlin is!
We are so grateful to the amazing team who came together to create
THE MOST MAGICAL DAY OF OUR LIVES
- To date (Of Course!)
We could not be more appreciative of each and every one of you and the true beauty that you brought to such a special chapter in our lives. These images will be on our wall for the next hundred years and we could not love them more!
From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you.
Photographer: Kaitlin Maree Photography / Event Planner: TM Event Planning / Styling: Ivy & Bleu / Styling: Event Stylist & Co / Gown Designer: Begitta –Bridal & Couture / Hair & Makeup Artist: Bella Brides / Venue: Evergreen Garden Venue / Sweet Treats: Two Little Bakers / Invitations & Stationery: KB Lettering / Doves: Beautiful White Doves / Engagement Ring: My Jewellery Shop / Prop HIre: Innovative Hiring / Butterflies: Butterfly Releases Australia
The Mood Board...
THE ENGAGEMENT SHOOT
I was absolutely blown away when we go home from Melbourne after our big engagement and I had a message in my inbox from the beautiful Tanja, a gorgeous model and planner I have had the pleasure of working with and an incredible team of wedding vendors saying they had all had a chat and wanted to create our dream Engagement shoot! Holy Guacamole! We were so blown away by the incredibly thoughtful and totally generous offer and still am in a little bit of a spin that these incredible people have come into our lives and have offered such a beautiful and heartfelt gift! Eeek!
So the first thing was to throw around a few ideas of what we might like to do. I had a few ideas which I had been brewing for, let’s face it, forever. Second to the wedding day itself, this is a chance to get creative with our “Love Story” and what we love. It definitely makes it so easy that a bunch of incredibly talented people are there to help us make these dreams come true!
So I popped onto Pinterest (“Every Bride-to-Be’s Bible!”) and found a few pictures that offered a visual to what I would love to create. Gauging from the team their ideas and inspirations. I am a huge lover of Disney and fairy tales so everything I had in mind sort of circled around those! I have seen some super gorgeous pictures of couples wearing large character heads and cute outfits, running around getting some really fun, cute pictures. But I knew that wasn’t really something Rob would enjoy as much as I would! We are definitely both ‘Old Romantic’s and love old-world charm so one of my other ideas (and most favourite) was a sort of Modern Fairy-tale.
A gentle nod to one of my favourite Disneys, Cinderella. I have always called Rob my Prince and always said I would marry one, and here is my chance to live a day like a Queen and what a great excuse to make an epic gown (or 2!)!!!
So our fabulous team of vendors started dreaming up ideas that would work with the theme.
With the beautiful Tanja at the helm, bringing and collaborating with all the vendors, she has put together the most amazing team! The incredibly talented Ngaire from Event Stylist & Co along with floral genius and event stylist Mandi, Ivy & Bleu Events, will be putting together an epic table-scape and beautiful styling that will create a dream fairy-tale setting.
Bringing our vision to life would not be possible without these incredible people and I am absolutely jumping out of my skin with excitement chatting to Mandi about what her and Ngaire have planned “We are super excited to play apart in creating this memory for you! Think hanging florals in wisteria lane and classic white blooms. Myself & Nagire wanted to make the styling and florals simple and elegant, yet impactful, to ensure the main things stood out - the stunning venue and you in that dress (oh and the prince of course). From crystal cut glass to the twinkling ambience of candlelit under the tabernacle every element of the styling and florals is being hand crafted to make dreams come true.”
We also have the incredible KB Lettering creating some beautiful stationery and something a little bit special to go in the setting of the exquisite Evergreen Garden Venue. Evergreen is full of gorgeous secret nooks and perfectly preened hedges. A place in itself, a fairy-tale and the perfect location to hold such a beautiful shoot! Or a small intimate wedding if you are so inclined. ;)
And it would seem you can’t have a beautiful table set without something sweet upon it! The amazing Two Little Bakers providing delish morsels and macarons (My favourite), I don’t know how we will resist not eating everything before we shoot it!
The fabulous team at Bella Brides Hair & Makeup will be turning me into a true princess. Eeeek! I hope they’re ready for that challenge!
To capture all this magic, a skill she is truly incredible at doing, is Kaitlin Maree Photography. An absolutely talented woman who seems to make real life look like a fairytale. She will be “Capturing this heavenly and romantic session in a way that is classic and subtle” with her whisper soft imagery. And of course I will be creating a dreamy gown to wear, something beautifully fairytale and delicately romantic!
Have a peek at our MOODBOARD below or better yet, follow along via pinterest right HERE!
.... BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
Tanja has also organised a few surprise vendors! Perhaps a few extra models! So make sure you check out our Instagram stories via @Begitta on August 16th to see the little sneak peeks!
A little peek at the creating of the gown...
Photography: KAITLIN MAREE PHOTOHRAPHY // Event Planner: TANJA MEYER // Event Stylist: EVENT STYLIST AND CO // Florals/Stylist: IVY AND BLEU EVENTS // Gown Designer: BEGITTA -BRIDAL & COUTURE // Hair & Makeup: BELLA BRIDES // Stationary: KB LETTERING // Sweets: TWO LITTLE BAKERS // Venue: EVERGREEN GARDEN VENUE
- Tips & Tricks-
If you're planning your wedding and you're not on Pinterest you MUST check it out! An incredible platform where you can create your own moodboards and hone your ideas and find so much incredible inspiration! But the biggest tip is that once your ideas are locked in, try not to be swayed by new inspiration and stick to the plans you already have!
I am so excited to share a little bit of my/our journey through this exciting time with you! We’re totally over the moon at the moment and I am sure, if you’re in this boat with me, you are too!!
Firstly, Congratulations! You're Engaged!!! Woohoo!
So… now what?
As someone who has worked in the wedding and fashion industries for quite a few years I have planned countless photoshoots, assembling vendors, locations, models, moodboards and timelines. How hard can it be? Swap models for Besties and throw in some (real) food and a lot of champagne, Right??!
Well to be honest, I’m totally overwhelmed! Which is why I’ll be enlisting the advice and help of some incredible industry friends, previous brides and wise words from Google! Add in a handy little wedding planning diary, aptly named “Count Down To WIFE LIFE” and I think I’ve got it in the bag, or church!!
I cannot wait to share each step of my adventures with you and hopefully shed some light whilst we navigate the nuptial planning together!
So the very first thing to do?
Announce your engagement!
We got engaged in Melbourne, which is interstate from our home and our friends. Although we would have liked to share the news in person, the both of us just couldn’t wait to tell our parents (and the world) that we were/are getting married! As Rob had asked both my parents for permission and sought advice from my brothers my family knew it was going to happen at some point, as did Robs parents. So we knew they would be hanging by the phone whilst we were in Melbourne. We called our family a few hours after it all happened and took the following morning to call our close friends and other family to let them know we were engaged. The next part was making it “Facebook Official” (if its not on FB it didn’t happen! Hahaha!)
Whilst we were in Melbourne we have the perfect opportunity to go and explore the city together and capture those feelings and emotions the following day. We spent some time in the park opposite our hotel and captured some photos that I will cherish forever! These images make me giggle, cry and have my heart singing. The best place to start for engagement announcement inspo is definitely Pinterest! You can find my fabulous board of engaged inspo right HERE!
After you have announced that he put a ring on it there is a lot of excitement and so much love going around. Enjoy it! Take this time to bathe in the love and joy and overwhelming feeling that there is now something really sparkly that follows you wherever you go.
Pretty much straight after our announcement I felt like 10,000 people were asking if we had set a date! I was like “I’ve known I will be getting married for about 5 minutes!” not to mention it’s hard to even keep your head on straight with so much excitement and sparkle distracting you!
Don't forget to make time for each other to talk about how excited you are and reminisce on memories from your relationship and fun times you have had. Really focus on being present with each other and hold onto these memories in your memory bank for when it starts to feel overwhelming during the planning process.
Then when the excitement starts to wear down (for others, but not for you!) then the real adventure begins, THE PLANNING!!!!
THE WINNING SHOT
(Our Engagement Announcement)
The next steps are to get yourself ORGANISED!
You'll need a fantastic checklist and we have put one together for you! Its absolutely bursting with detail so its not for the faint hearted but it will have you set on your journey!
Join our Atelier Brides to access our free downloads HERE!
- Tips & Tricks-
Take the planning process slow to begin with. Have a little chat to your Groom-To-Be about what he wants on his wedding day. Does he have any ideas about what he might like to have or do? Does he have a preference on a church or a garden? Does he have any family traditions you may need to take into consideration? Remember it's about him too!
-From Our Wedding Friends-
As a bride planning the wedding for her and her husband to be, What are some great jobs to give/delegate to the Groom?
@IVYANDBLEUEVENTS: "We think the groom should be as involved as they like from venue selection to styling we are starting to see a trend in Grooms playing a much more active approach in the whole wedding process."
@KAITLINMAREEPHOTOGRAPHY: "Get him involved with food, alcohol, music, suit, wedding colours. Also the BUDGET."
COMING UP NEXT:: Planning The Engagement Photoshoot!
Oh my goodness! There are few moments as special as when a man gets down on one knee, the world stops spinning for those few seconds, the heart seems to stop and go faster at the same time and he asks the love of his life to be his wife. And he chose me! Me!
How it all happened… The Long Version!
It all started with a trip to Melbourne, Australia. I am a Fashion Designer (coincidently I specialize in Bridal gowns) and over the past few months have been working on creating gowns for Miss Universe Australia. As a state sponsor I created gowns for the top 5 National finalists from our state, Queensland. The national finals were held in the beautiful city of Melbourne so my amazing and supportive man, Rob, flew down with me to attend the week of events and the big Gala dinner.
Being the perfectionist that I am I asked Rob to send me through the accommodation booking so I had the address and details for where we were staying so I could plan our way around to all the events etc. Upon arriving at the Hotel/Apartment early Tuesday morning, the lady we were checking in with said that we had only booked 3 nights. I freaked out a little as we were supposed to be there for 5 nights, wondering why in the world I let him book the hotel (control freak!), Rob then said that was correct and told me he had booked the last 2 nights in another hotel with fluffy robes, having an affinity with the sweet caress of those fluffy hotel robes and disposable waffle slippers I shut my mouth and walked away letting him finalize the check-in. Who was I to complain about fluffy robes?
I didn’t ask questions, both of us having spent the last 3 months working incredibly long hours, I knew Rob wanted to treat us to a bit of relaxation and spoiling (and fluffy robes!!). Rob then spent the next 15 minutes downplaying the hotel saying we were moving somewhere closer to football stadium, as we were going to a game on Friday night.
We spent the week in the city lunching in beautiful restaurants and having coffee and French pastries in laneways and hidden alleys. The Thursday night Gala dinner and Miss Universe Australia Crowning was absolutely amazing and the event was so much fun. Come Friday, feeling a little fragile after ever flowing complimentary wine throughout the previous night, we packed our bags and Rob ordered an Uber. As we were about a block from the hotel the Uber driver said “You’re staying at the Hotel Windsor, is that right?”, Rob froze and then turned to me and said “Surprise!! For all your hard work, I wanted to treat you” being very gracious to the Uber driver who just soiled his excitement, but not mine, I was over the moon! Having stayed a night at the Windsor the previous year with my mum I was so excited to spend TWO WHOLE NIGHTS there and with my love as well!!! To add to my excitement we were upgraded to a top floor suite! Such a treat and we were both so excited to explore the hotel.
The Hotel Windsor is like a dream, with previous guests including Royalty, Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep, Prime ministers… Just to name a few. The old elevators are like bird cages and the restaurant is beautiful silver service with heavy white linen table cloths and exquisite food, pretty much my idea of heaven! It’s my dream hotel and Rob, having a bit of an old soul much like me, is a lover of old world style decadence. After our first date we had both felt we’d known each other a lifetime, we’ve often discussed that we may have met in a previous life in an old era of the world as we both have a penchant for the finer things. #MeantToBe!
We had planned a ‘Date Night’ on the Saturday evening, our last night in Melbourne, at a beautiful French Restaurant that we had been to on our Anniversary the previous year. When we awoke on Saturday morning to the room service I’d ordered the night before (on those gorgeous little pre-order cards you hang on the door!) Rob said “Happy Anniversary!” I hadn't even realized it was the 1st of the month, which is our Monthly Anniversary! It was our 2 year and 10month-iversary!
We spent the rest of the lazy morning nibbling breakfast and drinking coffee. While sat at the window overlooking the stunning view of the park and Parliament building, Rob pawed through the information booklets in the hotel room compendium and pulled out the luxe gold ‘Hotel Windsor’ embossed stationery and we decided we should write each other love letters and post them home. Something about snail-mail that is so special when you receive it, so we both went into our own little corner and wrote a little something then sealed off the letters to drop to the concierge to post. We then got dressed around midday and went to explore the city. We visited the Victoria Parliament building and spent time in the park, playing and kicking up autumn leaves like children then we lounged on a park bench reading our books. As the sun drifted lower in the sky the freezing Melbourne air bit our skin so we made our way back to the hotel to get ready.
I put on a dress Rob had suggested I bring, not really thinking, I had packed it and decided to wear it after he said again that I should. It was a white slip dress and skirt of my creation that is so swishy and fun to wear. We arrived at the restaurant and waited for our table, whilst we waited we sampled wines and then chose a beautiful bottle of French white wine. Rob had made the booking and requested “The most romantic table”, in hindsight it should have been a hint but he had wanted a particular table last time we were there so it didn’t spark any interest, I felt more excitement because I loved “our” intimate table towards the back.
Rob seemed so calm and collected the whole time so I easily squelched the thoughts that it might happen tonight, we ate a platter of h’orderves and then sampled the escargot! After that Rob started saying he felt funny, we ate our delicious mains and held off on dessert for a bit as we were sooo full. Rob went to the restroom (where I later found out he was checking the ring was still there!) and our dessert, Crème brûlée, came out. When he sat down he said we should get a photo, we were taking photos all night but he wanted to waitress to take it. She didn’t come back for a while so we waited, for what felt like forever, I just wanted to taste the Crème brûlée! Rob seemed to get more and more nervous in just those 2 minutes and as she came over he asked for “a photo…” then in somewhat of a mumble he said “or a video”. The lovely lady started filming, asking how my meal was, I felt so awkward I had no idea what was going on.
Then Rob took out a pocket watch, it was a beautiful little vintage one we had found when we were in Melbourne the previous year, He told me when we had bought it at Victoria Market that there was so much going on, so much hustle and bustle and for just a minute time stopped, we had looked at each other, he said he knew more than ever in that moment he loved me. He started pulling out a little white bag from inside the watch. Then he pulled out the ring, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, then got down on one knee beside the table. I stood up realizing what was happening, by this time my eyes were streaming and my ears were buzzing and the whole world seemed to have stopped spinning and the words Rob said melted my heart. The moment when so quickly and so slow at the same time, so overwhelmed with all the emotions that I can barely recall the words though, I remember him saying “I want nothing more in my life than for you to be my wife, will you marry me?”…
The universe fell silent for that moment in time, I said yes and he slipped the ring on my finger. It fit perfectly and it felt like all the stars had aligned. Then the world started spinning again and the entire restaurant erupted and so many got to their feet clapping and cheering and I kept asking if this was real! We sat down and just stared at each other whilst my eyes streamed. You could not have wiped the grin off Robs face while he started telling me how long he had been waiting to ask me, that he had worked so long on the ring. Having looked at over 80 diamonds until he found the right one, he told me “I searched and searched for the perfect diamond like a penguin searches for the perfect stone when they find their partner for life”. Then he agonized over every detail of the custom setting, I had wanted a Tiffany set solitaire since I was about 12 years old and dreaming of my Prince Charming, but Robs slight changes made it even more beautiful. It is more stunning than I could ever imagine, so classic and as timeless as our love.
When we got back to our beautiful suite at the hotel we took our shoes off and holding hands jumped on the bed like kids! Rob in his suit and me in my dress laughing and jumping in circles yelling “We’re Getting Married!” I can’t imagine a more magical moment! The whole weekend feels like a complete dream and getting to spend our whole lives together forever feels like a true fairy-tale!
Days after arriving home the postman dropped off the most beautiful mail I have ever received.
A luxe gold embossed ‘Hotel Windsor’ envelope entitled “My Dearest Begitta” had arrived.
“My Dearest Begitta,
I write you this letter on the evening before I ask you a question that will forever change our lives. I write this with my heart full of love and my mind full of dreams for us.
I write this as a promise that I will forever be giving you my love and forever be trying my hardest to keep you happy.
As I write this letter you have no idea what I have in store for you but I will soon be the happiest man alive.
My sweet love, every moment with you is a dream come true.
Every kiss is passionate enough to make my heart skip a beat.
Every cuddle gives enough love to power a rocket to the moon.
To my future wife and mother to our future children, you are the reason I wake up every day and the reason my life is so wonderful.
With all of my love,
Your biggest admirer,
Did I mention I’m the luckiest girl in the world??
THE HOTEL:HOTEL WINDSOR // THE RESTAURANT:FRENCH BRASSERIE, MELBOURNE // THE RING: MY JEWELLERY SHOP, GOLD COAST // THE DRESS: BEGITTA BRIDAL & COUTURE
Stay tuned for our incredibly exciting Engagement Shoot! Eeeek!
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