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Finally! After nearly 2 years of hard work and careful planning, the day’s FINALLY arrived!
The girls all crashed at my place to make things easier for us the next morning as we had to be up and ready for our hair and makeup sessions by 4:30am.
Not sure how much they slept but as for me, I didn’t sleep a wink! All those last minute worries about things going wrong at crucial times just got to me. “What if I forget the vows? What if I trip? What if the sound system plays up?” So many “What ifs”!
At 4am I give up trying to go to bed and it looks like one of the other girls has too because I can hear the toilet flush. Not long afterwards both Jenny and Jen wake up as well. The door bell rings and this time it’s Mum and Tyra, both showered and ready for their makeovers.
A round of coffee’s perks us up enough to get us organized and showered. Just in time too! Martha and her team are here! Two of her assistants get started on the bridesmaid’s hair, whilst another works on their makeup. Martha dedicates her skills to getting mum, Tyra and I all glammed up and doing a final check to ensure that not one hair is out of place.
It’s 7am now and the MMG Photo+Cinema Photographer has arrived to get the all important preparation shots. Hilary’s a breeze to work with! He has the girls laughing and the flower-girl has also taken a shine to him. VERY important if you want the smiles to look natural in your wedding photos. My “3-2-1- SMILE” countdown gets a workout when Hilary gets me posing in front of the mirror and then again in my “Ao Dai” outfit. Everyone get a chance to be Hilary’s lighting assistant, even John our driver.
Ding-dong. Door bell rings again. It’s John from Camelot Bridal Cars. The Rolls Royce and the Bentley are even more beautiful and classy than I remember. There are smiles all round and then last minute checks and packing before our bags are loaded into the waiting cars. Hilary’s everywhere at once taking photos of everyone. You know where he is because there’s usually lots of laughter happening when he’s around.
My phone rings but I can’ answer it, so Anna acts as my Personal Assistant and takes the call for me. It’s the guys wanting to know if we’ve left home yet.
My Aunties, uncles and rest of my cousins arrive and soon we’re all headed off to my in-law’s house. I give the driver directions, but for some reason as we get closer to the house, my sense of direction disappears and I can’t for the life of me remember how to get there! I make a quick call to Jenny and she takes over as navigator.
There’s a quick rush once we get there as my family all receive their corsages. I say a quick hello to the family and friends who’ve gathered for our tea ceremony, before Joseph steps in to usher us into our places.
Soon enough the tea ceremony is over and it’s another rush to get changed and ready for the church ceremony. Martha’s quick fingers have my hair unpinned and in an altogether different style before you know it. Then she applies a new set of colors to my eye makeup. Now it’s time to step into my big white gown. Ahhhhhh! Cinderella time!
Time to pile into the cars again. Halfway to the church we realize we’ve forgotten the all important “cord, veil and coins” for our ceremony. There’s nothing left to do but to head back. Poor Anna, she runs barefoot across the gravel to the house just to go hunt for the items. We’re now 20 minutes late for the ceremony.
I make my grand entrance on mum’s arm. Dad’s passed on, so it’s only right that my Mother be the one to give me away. I can see the huge smile on my future hubby’s face as we walk down. It’s hard to hold back the tears that I feel are about to overwhelm me.
The priest starts the ceremony and an intense sense of calm seems to come over me. I happily recite my vows without making one mistake, but Phuong’s not so lucky. Looks like his nerves have gotten to him. The young acolyte can be heard loudly whispering “wrong finger” as we all watch Phuong grab my right hand and start trying to slide the wedding band onto it. I work hard to try and keep a straight face and I can tell that Father Liem and Father Severino are trying hard to do the same.
We make our exit out as Husband and Wife to Thirsty Merc’s “All My Life”. Surprisingly I’ve felt relaxed until now. So unlike what I was feeling the night before
There’s time to take some quick photos with the guests and family in front of the tabernacle before heading back to the luncheon that Phuong’s mum, now my mum, has kindly planned for everyone. The Bridal party has a quick feed and then it’s off to Nurragingy Reserve, Doonside for our location shoot. God surely has blessed our wedding because we’ve had perfect weather thus far.
Our drivers setup an esky full of beers, wine, champagne, lollies and other goodies leaving the bridal party free to waltz around the reserve in our fancy outfits, smiling and posing for the cameras, or just clowning around amongst ourselves. Martha stays close by to touch-up all our hair and makeup. So glad we have her there for the FULL day!
After a fun afternoon we’re looking forward to a quick rest and hopefully a shower back at home before the reception that evening. Don’t know how the others managed but I got my quick shower and after a day of sweating under that gown, it was a welcome relief to be standing under that cold running water. Then Martha works her hair and makeup magic on me again and also helps me get back into my gown.
Villa Capri looks like an absolute dream when we get there. The cream table and chair covers and the crystal chandeliers give it a palatial appearance and the soft lighting give it a romantic feel. Jamie, Dani and Jenny have outdone themselves with the superb dessert buffet, while the photo-booth is just to irresistible for Phuong and I not to test run before all the guest start arriving.
After the last guest has arrived at the reception, Joseph signals all of the Bridal Party to go and hide in the back room behind the curtains. I can hear the family introductions going on outside. Now the groomsmen and bridesmaids are gone. Soon enough our Best Man and Matron of Honor have left. Then it’s our turn! We come out with flare, arms swung out wide and me holding my bouquet up nice and high. Mind you this wasn’t planned or rehearsed. The atmosphere seems to have brought out the theatrical side of Phuong and I. Phuong struts down between the guard of Honor our friend’s have made and amidst a shower of confetti and streamers, we make our way up to the front stage to stand with the rest of our combined clans.
My mum and my father in-law do the honors of welcoming everyone to our reception and then the food starts to come out. When we get to the second course, Phuong and I, along with our Parents and the Bridal Party start doing our rounds to every table. We get more cheers and greetings and this also marks the start of a long night of drinking.
The party goes on through the night with lots of singing, laughing, the guys go nuts with the Garter Toss and the girls all vie for the honor of being the one to catch the Bride’s bouquet. The Photobooth and Dessert Buffets are a raging success and the alcohol is flowing quickly.
I look around from my seat at the bridal party table and see a sea of smiles. Phuong and I get up to do our first dance before I’m quickly led away by Martha to get changed into my cake cutting gown and have my hair and makeup restyled. This time all my hair is pinned up with only a few curls left out. Gone is Cinderella to be replaced with a Grecian Goddess. Blue eyeshadow applied and then I’m back outside to get on with the cake cutting.
More kisses and a big toast to US here, as hand in hand we cut into that beautifully decorated cake. Then it’s time for more greetings, dancing, drinking and laughing.
My nieces and nephews astound everyone when they take center stage to show us a dance they’ve worked hard to choreograph and practice for the past couple of months leading up to our big day. They’ve certainly done my family proud tonight.
The night ends and to be honest I don’t really recall that much more, except for one thing. I know beyond a doubt that my wedding day was one of my happiest days EVER! I smiled right through the day and given the chance, I’d do it all again with Phuong in a jiffy!
We can give ourselves that “Pat on the Back” now. The day was a complete success! Time now to start on the next BIG Project… Making a baby!