Initial wedding plans were canceled due to the pandemic, so Jade and Shannon decided to begin fertility treatments, only to find themselves planning their wedding pregnant a few months later!
Tell us a little about yourselves.
Shannon is a Police officer, and Jade works in Child Protection. We are both very close with our families and love to spend time with them. We also love food, trying new food, and just eating food in general.
Knowing very early on that we had found our soulmates and wanted to get married and start a family. We didn’t U-haul, but this only took a year- we move fast. We wouldn’t have it any other way and are so lucky to have found each other.
There were two proposals, we want all the details!
Jade proposed first.
She told me to get dressed for a special dinner out, and then she had some good friends of ours pick me up from our home. They blindfolded me and drove me to a beautiful spot at Rosslyn Bay, where Jade took my hands and guided me to a picnic she had set up. She took my blindfold off, and when I turned around, she was down on one knee. Absolutely the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me.
Then I was like, well, two girls means two proposals, right?! So about a month later, I took Jade on a scavenger hunt of sorts. I was driving her to our memorable spots, such as where we had our first date and where we had our first kiss. I was giving her plenty of Roses along the way, her favourite flower. Then finally arriving at our special spot at Rosslyn Bay, where it was my turn to get down on one knee. I was still very nervous, even though I knew she couldn’t say no!
Covid-19 really put a spanner in the works for wedding planning, how did you get on wiht planning?
After the proposals, we started to plan our dream wedding day for the 19th of June 2020. It didn’t take us long to decide upon our venue. In Rockhampton, St Aubins Village was absolutely stunning, and we couldn’t wait for all our family to fall in love with it just as we had done. But then COVID-19 happened, and our wedding day was totally up in the air.
With restrictions limiting the number of guests, which was set at five, our hearts were broken. We had invited over eighty-five guests, many of whom were family members travelling to Rockhampton from other Queensland parts and even as far away as Victoria and South Australia. Deciding that the wedding would probably have to be postponed until after the pandemic and restrictions lifted.
We were gutted that our wedding was off due to the lockdown. So we thought, why not join in another lockdown trend and get pregnant instead. However, the process for us to get pregnant wasn’t as accidental. We were fortunate and found out that Jade was pregnant, and our family would be growing to three.
Suddenly, our wedding is back on, and it’s up to twenty people, and Jade is having morning sickness. The day was perfect, with immediate family and being able to involve our baby. We couldn’t have been happier.
Family came together for a few DIY projects, yes?
We had an exceptional arbor made for us by Jade’s brother, Brodie. It was a wedding gift and was absolutely stunning and one of a kind. It was so big and beautiful that it almost didn’t make it to the wedding. The Police pulled over the boys on the way to the venue on the morning of the wedding. But luckily, it all turned out alright, and all Brodie’s hard work wasn’t for nothing. Shannon, Jade’s sister, is pretty creative and did our bridesmaid boxes and wedding favors. They were beautiful. Jacqueline, my cousin, also created the biggest masterpiece of a cheese platter for the day – we were in heaven.
Tell us about your wedding dresses.
We picked our dresses and kept them a secret from each other for the day.
S: My dress was just meant to be. I went to Luv Bridal on the Sunshine Coast when I was down there visiting my sister and her family. It was the first dress I tried on, and I just knew it was the one! I came out of the changing room, and my mother, sister, and even my niece started to cry. And a bonus was it was even on sale!
Jade’s dress was made by Mason Bridal Boutique, a local boutique where we live. It was custom made just for her and was coming from overseas. Again COVID reared its ugly head, and the dress was delayed in transit. We had no idea if it would even make it here on time, but luckily it did. With a few rushed alterations from our seamstress due to Jade’s baby bump, the dress fit, and Jade looked stunning, and I am a very lucky girl!
Talk to us about the big day!
What I thought was going to be a long day actually felt like it went very fast. Makeup and hair were all done at the heritage house at our venue, separately, of course, during the morning. It began to rain a little, so we decided to move our ceremony from outside to an undercover area.
Thankfully, the two families’ boys moved all the chairs and sorted it out for us as we were getting our beautiful dresses on and finishing touches. Then the next thing I knew, I was walking down the aisle. The ceremony was beautiful, and we were so happy when they introduced us as Mrs. and Mrs. Wong-Howland.
We then went for photos with our fantastic photographer, Dani, and videographer Jordie. We are so lucky to have had such an amazing and talented team make us look beautiful. Then we returned to our family for a small reception that involved cake cutting and speeches. We wouldn’t change a thing about our special day.
What are your favorite moments?
We both had the same favourite moment! When I was walking down the aisle towards Jade. Jade had walked down first and was waiting for me, and as she turned, our eyes met, and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be marrying my beautiful soulmate.
Did you incorporate any family or religious traditions into the day?
Jade’s family is of Scottish descent on her mother’s side, so it was important for us to honor this in our ceremony by including a Celtic Handfasting in our wedding. So we literally tied the knot! I made the handfasting cord with my Grandmother, which makes it just that little bit more special.
Do you have any advice for other couples planning a wedding?
You don’t need all the bells and whistles to have a beautiful wedding. We had planned a wedding like that and were going to spend a lot of money to do it, but COVID happened, and we had numerous restrictions placed on our wedding. In the end, we had a beautiful, small and intimate wedding and if we could do it again we wouldn’t change a thing!
Also, don’t be afraid to enlist help from family and friends. It is a daunting task to plan a wedding, and we definitely could not have done it all without our family. In particular, my sister, Rochelle. She helped me with absolutely everything! From helping me pick out Jade’s rings, to finding the perfect hair and makeup team, to even helping me put on my booby tape. She was amazing!
Photography by Dani Drury
Bridesmaids Outfits Shona Joy
Cake Sprinkle Me
Cake Topper KristalCreative
Celebrant CQ Weddings
Ceremony Venue St Aubins Village
Cinematographer Chapters by Jordie
Engagement Rings DM Jewellers, Wallace Bishop
Florist Shannon Hawkes Artisan Florals
Flower Girl Outfits A little Lacey
Gown Boutiques Mason Bridal Boutique, Luv Bridal
H&MU Kerri L’Estrange, Grace Styling & Beauty, NG Hair, Bloom Makeup Artistry
Wedding Rings DM Jewellers, Alexis Russell