new digs.

I’ve started my new blog – it is based around my love of food, cooking and eating.

You can find it here… Cats – Love – Cooking

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our day, in pictures.

All images by Follan Photography


The End.


Filed under Photography, Recaps

wrapping it up.

This blog is coming to an end very soon, but I have just a bit more to share from our day… 

Warning: this post is extremely long. I asked myself is this too much information, is it even interesting? Then I remembered: it doesn’t matter – this blog is, for me, a memory of this time in our lives. So stuff it – it’s open journal time!😉

We had our ‘one month anniversary’ last week (haha)! I can’t believe how fast it has gone. Married life is fantastic, and no, it doesn’t really feel different to before. Not different, just… really nice.

gratuitous image to break up the text... a helicopter interrupting our rehearsal - what an entrance that could have been!

When asked if everything went according to plan on the wedding day, my instant reaction is “yes!”, and it pretty much did. We didn’t have a professional videographer, but a couple of friends filmed the ceremony at least, so I’m looking forward to reliving it😀

Some highlights for me were (apart from the obvious one of getting married):

  • Our first look
  • Spending the night before together, having breakfast together in the morning, and practicing our dance one last time in our hotel room before starting the day
  • My 5 amazing bridesmaids – I can’t even describe how good it felt having them with me all day; their support and friendship is so special
  • The men’s buttonholes
  • Doing my own makeup, as well as my 5 bridesmaids, and my friend doing our hair
  • Getting the coach to and from the venue, so spacious😉
  • Walking down the aisle, seeing everyone there for us gave me a beautiful feeling, and I realised I had nothing to be nervous about
  • Our vows, and me not crying during them, I was just too happy (I think I did all my crying during the first look!)
  • Having our Mums sign as the marriage witnesses
  • The rain stayed away!
  • Seeing the reception venue set up exactly how I imagined
  • How all the details came together – the plants, potted herbs, bonfavs, thumbprint tree, framed family photos, ceremony blackboard, etc
  • The food – OMG the food. I enjoyed every course, I was not a bride who didn’t get to eat!
  • The cake of cheese – it was perfectly how we imagined
  • I had a basket in the girl’s bathroom full of essentials to use – e.g. hairspray, band-aids, deodorant, chewing gum, etc – a small thing, but some female guests told me it was appreciated
  • The 3 speeches before the entrees – a beautiful speech by my husband* (hehe) Paul, which had my Mum in tears, an impromptu speech by the Best Man which was touching and amusing, and a witty and heartfelt speech by my Super MOH Amanda
  • Our first dance… I was so nervous, but it was fun – Paul had his smooth moves down pat
  • Watching all of our guests having fun, and hearing how much they enjoyed everything
  • Our DJ (who also MC’ed) had the dance floor going crazy
  • The generosity and love from our family and friends – including everyone travelling to the Hunter Valley for the weekend
  • I could go on, and on…!

(*Last weekend we finally saw people the other didn’t know, so it was the first time we introduced each other as “this is my wife, Chanel” and “this is my husband, Paul”. We were giddy.)

So, pretty much the whole day was a highlight. I asked Paul what the highlights were for him, and he said “the whole day”, and added “I wish it didn’t go so fast”. Time flew after the reception started. I was exhausted by 11pm.

breaking up the text... beautiful Hunter vineyards!

These were some not-so-perfect moments, but they really didn’t matter in the end:

  • Our flowers were a pale green rather than the white I was expecting, a surprise at first, but I didn’t let it bother me, and apart from that, they were exactly what I asked for – they looked good in the photos anyway!
  • At the rehearsal on Friday night we realised one of Super MOH’s shoes was missing the feature rose cluster on the toe – so a wonderful friend drove to the town centre on Saturday morning and was back by 9am with replacement flowers (which were super-glued and sewn on)
  • I wish I could have spent more time with everyone at the reception, but that was impossible
  • My feet were on fire and I had forgotten to bring my thongs, so barefoot I stubbed my toe at the end of our exit tunnel and it bled (I hate blood, and I’m a massive wuss when it comes to painful things)
  • Seating 2 kn0wn-troublemakers together was not a great idea
  • This sounds silly, and it is, but my perfectly-imagined timing of the processional song didn’t work – I had been listening to the song for 10 months and planned to walk down the aisle at the climax of the music (seriously), but we couldn’t hear it from where we started, so being too fast, the climax happened as I got to the front😉
  • I probably should have told the Best Man that my Mum was walking down the aisle with the wedding rings, and that she would give them to him at the front – the boys had a panic before we arrived when they realised none of them had or knew about the rings – oops
  • Another oops – since we had 3 long dining tables, and no bridal table, I forgot to tell the bridal party where they were all sitting before they were announced and walked in not knowing where to sit!
  • I should have practiced our first dance in my dress and shoes – every step I took my heel would get caught in the folds of fabric that was bustled inside the dress, so I danced pretty awfully, trying not to fall!
  • One last thing… I wish someone had told me to stop pushing my head back and chin down when I smiled the whole ceremony – my double chins, recorded forever!😉

I think we were pretty lucky not having anything serious go ‘wrong’.

Our fantastic vendors played a large part in us having such a beautiful day, they all made it so easy. For us, we picked people we clicked with, where after we met them we both said “yep, they’re the one” straight away. If you know anyone planning a Hunter Valley wedding (or even a Sydney wedding, where our photographer Andrew Follan is based), I highly recommend all of them:

All images by Follan Photography

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lawfully wedded.

We were so lucky with the weather on our wedding day. Sure, it was 30 degrees and achingly hot, but at least it didn’t rain. During our short outdoor ceremony, there was thunder, threatening clouds, and a strike of lightning over the Brokenback Mountain Range.

We’d written cards to each other to read while we were getting ready. Words of mushy stuff like “what I about love you”, which we were originally thinking about saying during our vows, but decided to keep private.

Our ceremony site was set up simply, with 2 plants, a lemon and a tangelo tree (only this past winter I discovered that tangelos are OMG delicious).

Kez wrote a beautiful ceremony for us…

excerpt from the ceremony, by Kez:
Chanel and Paul stand before you today, to declare their love for one another and to make promises for their future together. They also stand between a lemon tree and a tangelo tree that Chanel and Paul bought specially. While in pots now, these trees will one day flourish and stand glorious in their own garden, in their own home, bearing fruit, offering shade and also as a reminder of the day they became husband and wife.

We didn’t write our own vows in the end. We had read a few online that happened to be perfect, so we combined various parts to suit us.

I call upon persons here today to bear witness that I, Chanel, take you, Paul, to be my lawful wedded husband.
Paul, you are my best friend and my one true love. I will take you in my arms when you need to be held. I will listen when you need to talk. I will laugh with you in times of joy, and comfort you in times of sadness. I will love you for who you are, and help you to become all that you can be. I will grow old with you. I will love and honour, protect and respect you for the rest of my life.
Paul, I give you this ring as I give you my heart to keep and my hand to hold for the rest of our lives.

all images by the wonderful Andrew & Sarah of Follan Photography


Filed under Ceremony, Recaps

back to reality.

The more I think about it, the more I dislike the phrase, ‘back to reality’. I’m hearing it a fair bit recently though, from myself and others.

I went back to work today, after 3.7 weeks off. Reality is not so bad. I was actually kind of looking forward to it this morning, and I’m especially looking forward to getting back into my normal routine. Still, it’s a bit sad now that all the festivities are over. I’ve wondered if I’ll feel that post-wedding ‘what do I do with all my time now?’ sadness. I’ve got a lot to look forward to though, the coming weekends are almost always busy, so I don’t think I will!

Things I’m looking forward to in the near future…

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows tonight
  • One of my bridesmaid’s engagement party this weekend
  • A friend’s wedding in December
  • Muse concert in December
  • Christmas! I’m going to put up our tree next weekend
  • Receiving our wedding photos and choosing an album!

I also have to sort out my dress. When I bought it I thought I’d probably sell it after. I’ve changed my mind. I’m going to keep it. It’s dirty though, from walking through the vineyards and dirt, so I need to get it cleaned. I’ve received a couple of quotes from bridal gown cleaners, and it’s expensive. I thought all my payments were over! Quotes have ranged from $295 to $450. Isn’t that excessive? It’s not beaded, there is no lace, it has minimal structure… I’ll see what a regular dry cleaner quotes. I don’t want to risk it getting ruined by a cheaper place, but I don’t want to leave it dirty.

What did you do with your gown? Did you have it professionally cleaned? And did you experience a post-wedding low?

(And in other news, Prince William & Kate Middleton’s engagement! Aw. I think it’s lovely he gave her Diana’s ring. Already I’ve gone from getting comments of ‘your ring is similar to Princess Diana’s!’ to ‘your ring is similar to Kate’s!’😉 )


Filed under Attire, Recaps

our first look.

Our first look was my favourite moment of our wedding day (well, after the actual ceremony that is!).

I wasn’t feeling too nervous on the day. This was due to the fact that I did all the makeup so I didn’t have a chance to stop and think about what was happening until it was time to get my hair done. Then the nerves kicked in. The day had begun with us having a leisurely breakfast (we did spend the Friday night together), I started my bridesmaids’ makeup around 9.30am, but then suddenly, or so it felt, it was 3pm and I was hurrying to finish my own makeup and get dressed! Once I was completely done, I felt so much nervous anticipation – it’s really an incredible feeling. There are photos of me looking stunned at those last moments.

Eventually I was kicked out of the room and I was on my way to the first look with our photographer, Andrew. Paul (the Groom) was waiting at the spot with the second photographer, Andrew’s wife Sarah. Andrew had to remind me to take deep breaths. I felt like I was freaking out inside (“OMGGGG”)! Once we arrived though, and when I saw Paul standing at the end of the vine row, my nerves melted away. I just wanted to run to the end!

So here are our photos. I cried a lot.


Filed under Photography, Recaps

we’re totally married.

Wow, what a day we had!

There is so much to say. But we’re going on our honeymoon tomorrow.

So for now, I’m just going to post a photo and say how amazing it all was, and how awesome it was sharing the day with our wonderful friends and family, and how much I loved everything!

Our Ceremony

Thank you everyone for reading, and for sharing the past few months with me!


Filed under Musings