Ok, I freely admit that it took only two requests for me to gladly display some of my wedding photos. It's already one month later and I still can't wipe this big smile off my face..;-)
The only drawback was that none of our families could come down under. However, we'll have another - bigger - church wedding back in Germany in a couple of months. Therefore, with only a couple of close friends, this celebration was quite different from your regular wedding (if there's such a thing at all). I simply loved its hand-made, improvised feel.
Originally we had planned to get married directly on the beach so we booked holiday houses in a lovely small town called Copacabana Beach up the Central Coast. However, due to this year's rather cold and rainy autumn in Australia, the place didn't quite live up to its name and we opted for a more sheltered spot at the local lagoon. It still provides you with a view of the beach and plus the added benefit of an awesome sunset over the lagoon - if you're lucky, that is. Alas, the weather held up only for as long as we were posing for the formal shots. Just before the ceremony was about to start, we again had to swap locations - and the whole bridal party simply jumped the fence (ok, it was only a little wall, about one foot high) that surrounded the veranda of a nearby empty holiday house (we did knock on the window to check though). This lovely veranda provided a roof so we stayed all dry and could have some Sparkling Shiraz while listening to a saxophone player as planned.
We have no clue on whose property we got married in the end but we plan to go back there one day and rent this rather lovely house for an anniversary weekend...
But maybe now I should start from the beginning as our wedding was the affair of a whole weekend: We wanted to get away from Sydney to a more secluded spot and quickly decided on a full weekend - to make it worth it. T and I arrived on the Friday afternoon in Copacabana Beach, frantically collecting keys for three houses and just making it in time to our rehearsal with the marriage celebrant. Then our guests started to trickle in and the celebration began already, fuelled by a whole vat of home brewed beer courtesy of our friends George and Nadia. I kept running back and forth to accommodate all our 30 guests in the different places, we cooked loads of spaghetti to feed everyone - and then I decided that I need to relax and went back to the house I was sleeping in. My friends Romina and Nora took care that I started to relax by giving me a foot massage and hot milo as a night cap - aaahhh, I could have that everyday...
The next day, whilst most of our guests explored the area, went for a run along the beach or simply chilled out, I set to work to assemble the wedding cake, a Black Forest Cake. I had made the genoise two days in advance but it still took me a while to make syrup, cherry filling, and cover it all in whipped cream - I'm certainly no good at cake decorating. Anyway, after that was done, it was time to slow down, let the hair dresser do her thing and have a sip of champagne with my girlfriends. And in case anyone wondered - I did eat something during my wedding day..;-)
In fact, I managed to stay calm most of the time - until about five minutes before T was about to pick me up. What if he didn't like the way I looked (admittedly quite different from my everyday look)? Wouldn't that spoil the whole day or maybe even make him change his mind - well, luckily I only had a couple of minutes to spend on such nonsense... Of course it was all good, and when walking towards the location of our wedding, we had the rare sensation of practically everyone, regardless of age, looking at us, cheering and waving. The people in Copacabana Beach were so nice; some even offered us a ride in their car as it had started to drizzle.
Luckily, our friend Alex who took the official photos, managed to get lots of wonderful shots before it started to rain in earnest. And with a little spontaneity, all was fine and the wedding could go ahead. Afterwards we went back to the biggest of our three houses where the reception was being held. More sparkling red was drunk, lots of nibbles were eaten, and several speeches were given which made this occasion even a little more special for us. Then the main course (different spit roasts, roast vegetables, salads, and jacket potatoes) was being served by the caterer (food was a little so-so, unfortunately, we weren't able to taste-test beforehand and had to trust a recommendation). However, for a sweet-tooth like me this was all being eclipsed by the wedding cake anyway..;-)
The big advantage of a small wedding is that you really get to speak to your guests - so we talked, and ate, and drank until the wee hours of morning. The next day, T and I slept in whilst our guests took care of cooking a big Aussie breakfast on the BBQ for everyone. Then we all helped together to clean-up and the guests started to depart one by one. T and I spent the afternoon with a few friends in one of the surrounding national parks and then headed back to Sydney for a quiet end to our eventful wedding weekend.
I often wondered what would be different after getting married - if anything would change or nothing at all. Meanwhile, my life has gone back to normal but so far, the marital bliss hasn't worn out yet!
PS: Many thanks to my parents who made it possible for us to have not only one wedding but two!
PPS: Several people tried to count afterwards - I think the most reliable number was 30 guests representing 11 different nations (and that's not counting in all the Aussies with mixed parentage) - a lovely mixed crowd - and that's really what Australia stands for, in my eyes!