Amanda & Carol’s Wedding Tale On The Bellarine Peninsula

How long have you been together, and how did you meet? 

We met in 2014. We were working at a pub on the Bellarine Peninsula. Amanda was in the café areas of the venue, and I worked in the bar. We became close friends about 12 months into working together and eventually started dating in 2016. 

Tell us about the proposal. 

I proposed to Amanda on her 25th Birthday in 2018. She had opened her gifts with our children, and then we dropped them all off at school/kindergarten. 

After returning home, I told her I had forgotten one gift. I had made a huge photo frame of photos of us, with the words “MARRY ME?” in the center. As she unwrapped it, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. We both cried; it was really special and just between the two of us. I had secretly set up my phone and recorded the whole thing. She said Yes, of course! 

How long was your engagement? 

We were engaged nearly five years to the day when we got married. It was mostly due to Covid postponing our making and plans, but we are glad we waited because our kids were old enough to be involved and really understand and remember our wedding day. 

Are there any stories from the lead-up to the wedding stressful or funny? 

We had so much fun planning our wedding. We would spend our weekends drinking beer, googling ideas, listening to songs, and adding them to our playlists.  

We really enjoyed the process and didn’t put much stress on ourselves for things to be a particular way. We always knew it would be a very unique wedding for us, more of a party than a reception.  

What led you to the venue? Have you been there before? 

Our ceremony venue was chosen because we absolutely loved the garden, and it was a convenient location close to our reception venue. 

Our reception venue was a perfect size for our relatively small wedding of 76 people.

It had a great dance floor, bar, and speaker system for party vibes. Plus, the venue used to be a nightclub that we spent many weekends at in our younger years, so it was nostalgic, and we loved it. 

Did you undertake any DIY projects for the big day? 

We made our own flowers for our wedding, the bridal party bouquets, our own, and the arbor flowers. We used dried flowers, and we were really happy with them. Flowers weren’t something we cared to spend a lot of money on, and we managed to do them for less than one-quarter of the price we would’ve paid from a florist. 

We decorated the reception venue ourselves the morning of our wedding, and our bridesmaids and best man came and helped. We filled the venue with greenery, LED candles, and fairy lights. It turned out great. 

Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits. 

We both ordered our dresses online. I got my dress from Showpo for $250, and when it arrived, it fit me perfectly; I just had to have the length taken up. 

Amanda ordered her dress from Jewels Clues for $600, and we had it altered to fit her perfectly. I think we spent $1200 on the two dresses, all up with alterations. 

Talk to us about the big day!  

The morning was great, music was on, and breakfast was delivered from a local café. Hair and makeup were all underway once we had set up our reception venue. 

We had a smooth morning, which became super emotional once Amanda got her wedding dress on and I had an emotional breakdown realising the day was finally here. Our 17-year-old daughter and Amanda helped me get dressed and ready alone in our room at the Airbnb. I was planning to have getting ready photos, but I was overwhelmed, and it turned out to be a very special moment having the two of them there to dress me and calm me down. 

What are your favorite moments? 

When we came out to show our bridal party and parents once we were dressed, it was so beautiful seeing everyone’s reactions and all the tears. We felt so loved and so happy to have our favourite people there with us in that moment. 

Our children made a speech at the reception that absolutely melted us. Our 11-year-old spoke on behalf of herself, her 14-year-old brother, and 17-year-old sister. They stood together as our youngest read the beautiful words they had written together. We were so proud of them and surprised by their maturity and love for us. I’ll never forget that moment, especially when they read the words, “Amanda, thank you for choosing our mum and for choosing us. And for loving us.” So beautiful, and we cried like babies.  

Do you have a stand-out vendor? 

We absolutely loved all of our vendors. Tahnee Jade Photography was the first thing we booked when we chose a wedding date. We have known for years that Tahnee would be our photographer after doing a shoot with her in 2017 to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia. We love Tahnee’s laid-back vibe, and her talent speaks for itself; we have yet to consider a different photographer. After receiving our photos, we could not be happier with that decision. Tahnee captured us in a way that is so true to our relationship, our family, and our personalities. She managed to be everywhere at once, and she did not miss a single moment or detail. So incredibly grateful that we had her for our big day. 

Did you incorporate any family or religious traditions into the day?

Our son walked our oldest daughter down the aisle, which was extremely special to us. We had both of our dads walk us down the aisle together, which was also a beautiful moment for us and our dads. 

Our dads also made their speeches together. They get along great and have become really good mates over the years. So it meant the world to us to have them both up there together, telling their funny stories and speaking about how happy they are to be uniting our families.  

What does marriage mean to you? 

We have been calling each other “wife” for years, so finally being able to say that and know we really are wives now feels fantastic. We have been through some really challenging times, as parents, with family illness and financial stress over the years. We are incredibly proud of the support we have given one another and the life we have built for our children. Marriage, for us, means solidifying that family unit forever. Our children are so proud to have two mums, and being a same-sex couple, we sadly felt like some people didn’t respect or value our relationship as much as a heterosexual couple. 

So it feels really good to now be able to say “Actually, we are married, this is my wife.” We just feel so lucky to have found each other; we love every part of the other person and accept the qualities that annoy us about each other. 

We are genuinely best friends and we have so much fun together, who wouldn’t want to spend their lifetime with their favourite person?  

Advice for other couples planning a wedding? 

Do it for yourselves. 

Don’t make any decisions based on what you think you “should” be doing to please your guests or because it’s tradition. The best thing you can do is make it the celebration YOU want as a couple. Don’t feel pressured to include anything that you don’t genuinely love or need on your big day. 

We thought some guests might think our reception was a bit “not wedding-ish,” but we didn’t care. It was our day, and we made sure it was everything we wanted and pictured. Ultimately, everyone who attended said it was the most fun they had had at a wedding. So, we are happy we stuck to our vision. 

Anything you are glad you did? Or wish you didn’t do?   

We are SO glad we had a glitter bar at our reception. Glitter pop events came along and lifted the vibe to party mode immediately. Our guests were all on the dance floor with glitter on their faces, beards, and collarbones; it was such a hit! Plus, the kids loved it, and it kept them entertained. 

Our photo booth was also something we are so happy we booked. We had Club Rewind, and there was not a single second that the photobooth was empty. When we got the photos back, we were so entertained seeing everyone in the booth taking fun pics, especially seeing groups of our friends and family who had previously not met, all in the shots together, having the time of their lives. So much fun!

What were your aisle, recessional, and first dance songs? 

We walked down the aisle to the live version of Ellie Goulding’s- Still Falling for You. This song is very sentimental to us, and we always knew this would be our aisle song. The lyrics are perfect for our love story and have always given us goosebumps. 

The Recessional was “I Kissed a Girl”- by Katy Perry because what else would we want to walk to after being married?

Our first dance was “Don’t Blame Me” by Taylor Swift. We are Swifties, as are our daughters. 

The song is so epic, starts slow, and then gets so intense. And the lyrics again were so perfect for us; our guests all commented on what an amazing song that was for our first dance. 

Aside from that, our bridal party entered the reception to “You Need to Calm Down” by Taylor Swift, waving their rainbow flags. So fun! And we entered to “Gay 4 Me” by G Flip. 

astly, is there anything else you’d like to share with us? 

We would like to give a special mention to our videographer, Michael Dyson. Michael put his hand up at the last minute when we decided we wanted a videographer. He worked for an amazing price as this was his first wedding. We were honestly blown away by what he captured and his edits. He could not have done a better job for a first wedding, and we are so incredibly appreciative of his time and work. He was also a really lovely guy, and we barely noticed him filming, but somehow, he captured all the important moments and so many other moments that we would have never seen without his footage.  

Photography by Tahnee Jade Photography

Catering & Venue Eureka Hotel
Celebrant Deb Stallard
Ceremony Venue The Heights Newtown
DJ Eloise Etto
Glitter Bar Glitter Pop Events
Hair Amelia Rose Hairstylist
Makeup Hannah Crothers Mua
Photobooth Club Rewind
Videographer Michael Dyson
Wedding Party Outfit Billy J Boutique

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