In true fairy tale fashion, Canditta Gorry and John Wilson faced their fair share of hurdles on the road to ever after.
The Gold Coast pair, both 32, met in 2003 while working at neighbouring factories. There was wolf-whistling and laughing (all Canditta!) before they summoned the courage to talk. It was then that Canditta, a lover of Disney princesses, knew she had found her “rather unorthodox” Prince Charming.
After six months of dating, Canditta discovered she was expecting. “I was pregnant and hysterical,” she explains. “But John just smiled calmly and said, ‘We are going to have a baby and I am going to be there for you.'” Two more beautiful daughters followed before John finally dropped to one knee and popped the question.
So princess-obsessed Canditta began “pulling the blueprints from the vault of my inner child” for her fairy tale wedding before a realisation hit. “To have glass slippers, Cinderella’s pumpkin and Belle’s grand chandelier would take lots of money – money we didn’t have,” she says.
“So I completed a bachelor degree in social welfare and began working in a maximum-security prison. Every tattooed, scary encounter was followed by Tiana’s mantra from The Princess and The Frog – ‘Almost there.'”
But sadly, just a week before their big day, the pair faced a final tragic bump in the road.
“My father, who was going to walk me down the aisle and give me away, lost his battle with cancer,” tells Canditta. Family rallied around and the grieving couple did their best to continue planning their special day. “Unlike Cinderella, my two older sisters are not evil and travelled from far across the land to whip me back into bridal mode,” she says.
Their dream fairy tale wedding went ahead at Avalon Wedding Gardens on September 12, 2009 in front of 100 family and friends.
Canditta got her pumpkin carriage, Swarovski crystal shoes and even her giant chandelier, courtesy of the reception at Palazzo Versace’s La Medusa Ballroom.
“Sometimes life isn’t like the movies, but if you hold onto the magic you can still have your happily ever after.”
Photos courtesy of Van Middleton Photography.
Canditta wore a Belle-inspired gown from Alfred Angelo’s Disney Fairy Tale Collection. “It was the closest to my wedding dress drawings as a child,” she says.
Canditta found her horse-drawn carriage at Cinderella Carriages.
“From a very young age I knew my wedding was going to be Disney-themed,” Canditta says. “The magic of Disney is something that still resonates with me today.”
The couple’s intricate cake kept with the Disney theme. “Not even Snow White had that many birds,” Canditta says.
Video by Box Media House.