Real Wedding – Terrin & Hal, Strath Creek VIC
After a beautiful beach proposal, Terrin and Hal hit the wedding planning ground running.
Terrin admits writing lists is a favourite past-time (no judgement here) so they methodically worked through their planning to bring their dream day to life.
They wanted good food, good tunes and good vibes and once surrounded by their loved ones, everything fell into place and they enjoyed the day of their lives.
Dressed in a gorgeous gown, during the ceremony they were overwhelmed by the emotion of their love story and Rick Liston captured all the delights this day brings.
In Terrin’s words…
WHEN: January 2012
WHERE: Virgin Active, Islington, London UK
HOW: To explain how, I first need to give you a little bit of a back story…. Both Hal and I were working for Virgin Active (a gym chain in the UK), but at different locations. At the end of the 2011 we had both been asked to appear in a training video for internal use.
At this point, I had been living in London for 18 months, and Hal had only been in London for four months.
I was on the gym floor training before my late shift started. I spotted a co-worker talking to a good-looking guy who I recognized from the training video.
I decided to casually (definitely wasn’t casual about it) walk over. My co-worker introduced us, and we hit it off straight away. We managed to eventually phase my co-worker out of the conversation, so it was just us chatting. I can’t remember exactly what we spoke about, but I remember laughing a lot, enjoying the easiness of the interaction and feeling disappointed when I had to leave to get ready for work. I ended up late starting my shift…
Hal then started training at my gym almost every day. I got in trouble (on more than one occasion) from my manager for talking with Hal for too long and neglecting my other duties.
I don’t think there was one particular moment; more an accumulation of moments; I fell in love with his sense of humour, loyalty, determination, dedication, intelligence, optimism, confidence & capacity to love.
It’s the little things that made me know:
The way he lets me put my cold feet on him to warm up.
He always lets me have more of the doona because he knows I get cold.
Always lets me ‘check for poison’ in his food/drinks because I want to taste whatever he’s eating.
How he genuinely wants to know about my day and what I’m excited/annoyed about.
When he’s still in bed when I’m leaving for the gym: sleepy cuddles are the best.
How he can turn even the most serious moment into a gag (whether or not the moment is appropriate…#toosoon)
How he can make me feel like the most important and beautiful girl in the room.
His thoughtfulness: I always do things in a more immediate fashion, but Hal will deliberate, consider his options, and then finalise (despite the amount of time it can take). This sometimes drives me crazy, but mostly, it’s so lovely to know our relationship is on his mind, and he’s doing thing’s to make it better.
I go for a walk in our local neighbourhood most mornings. Usually for one hour, and I always ask Hal to accompany me, and he always declines. #cardioishardio
It was the week approaching our six year anniversary (which was due to fall on a Sunday this year). Hal was going to be working on Sunday, as such, we’d agreed to celebrate our anniversary Friday night/Saturday instead.
So, Thursday Night: Hal asked me if I intended to go for a walk the following morning. I said “of course” and he asked if he could come with me.
I was a little confused, as he never voluntarily comes walking, but not wanting to stare a gift horse in the face, I said yes.
He then asked where I was planning to walk; he complained that the local area/park was overrun with tradies/traffic and asked if we could go to the beach instead.
FYI: Hal is CONSTANTLY trying to get me to the beach. I don’t want to stereotype here, but bloody English people can’t get enough of the beach. I haven’t got anything against it, but typically don’t drive out of my way to walk on the beach before work as it requires a pretty hefty cut to my snooze time.
But I caved. So up we get at 5.30am and after some faffing (mostly from Hal….) we manage to get down to Brighton beach.
We walk along the beach, just talking rubbish, joking and enjoying the tradie-less view.
During this time however, Hal was DRIVING ME CRAZY because he was dawdling so much. We’d turned around to head back to the car and came to a lovely long stretch of beach. Hal fell behind by 4-5 paces and kept looking around like a weirdo at the completely deserted beach.
He suddenly asked me if I would sit down with him on a nearby bench.
Hal announced that he wanted to give me an early anniversary present; he started to lift up his top and pull down his trousers slightly….I thought “is this a present for me or for you???”. So he whipped out……..an envelope. Inside was a booklet that had ‘6 memories for 6 years’; Hal had commissioned a graphic designer to depict six of the most memorable moments from our relationship. He had even remembered details down to the type of shoes we were wearing; one of our first adventure in London, the first time we said the ‘L’ word in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris, bonding over mutual hangar in Geneva, dining at the Fat Duck in Melbourne, winning the NRL grand final in Sydney. On the final page, it showed a silhouette of Hal down on one knee on the beach.
I looked up, Hal pulled out a ring box, dropped to one knee and told me he wanted to be with me forever.
I’m sure he went on to say lots of other lovely things, but I was sooking up a treat, and I don’t remember/couldn’t hear what was said over my sobs.
Eventually I said something along the lines of ‘you’re such an idiot’ and then, ‘yes’.
We got engaged in February 2018, and decided to marry in October 2018 (due to Hal’s job as a Rehab/strength coach with Melbourne Storm, he only has time off between end-of-season/start-of-season).
I love all things organisation and planning; writing lists is a favourite past-time (please don’t judge).
The very first thing we did was establish a budget: without knowing the budget, you cannot plan anything else. Then we chunked the budget into categories and allocated a certain percentage to each item.
We then thought really hard about our wedding ‘mission statement’ and what we actually wanted to get out of the day. We wanted good food, good tunes and good vibes.
To achieve this we knew we wanted a venue that wouldn’t kick us out at 11pm, that could accommodate international guests and had a kick-ass menu. Flowerdale Estate immediately came to mind, and we had an appointment to go check it out about 2 weeks after we were engaged.
After securing the venue, the next steps were researching vendors; most of this was through word of mouth (followed by quick social media stalks to confirm we liked the style). We ensured that we spoke to each vendor either in person/via facetime before confirming, as we wanted to ensure we gelled. Luckily we hit-it-off with all of them!
After that, it was about creating time-lines, lists and progress plans to ensure we continued to tick everything off and stay on track!
We wanted to keep the style elegant and classic: we always loved the idea of a country wedding, and as such tailored our choices to suit the venue and our colour palette (navy blue, green & white).
As with our overall style, I wanted a dress that was elegant and classic. I also wanted to ensure I felt comfortable and that the dress wouldn’t inhibit me from moving freely.
As with most brides, I had never before set foot in a bridal boutique and as such, didn’t know what would actually suit my body shape.
I selected just one bridesmaid (who always provides an honest, yet tactful appraisal) to come on the hunt with me, and we dedicated a full day to the endeavor. By the end of the day, I knew that what I was looking for was something more personal and tailored.
The first boutique we’d entered was Shehzarin Batha, and I loved the experience, the tailoring and the options they provided to brides. There was one dress that met the original criteria, however, the neckline wasn’t what I’d had in mind. After trying several other stores, I couldn’t get the Shehzarin dress out of my head, so we went back and asked if we could make some changes. As all dresses are made from scratch, they insisted my request was very reasonable and we signed off then and there!
I can’t name just one, but can narrow it down to three:
- Hal & I did a ‘first look’ three hours before the ceremony. The look on Hal’s face when he turned around is something I will never forget, and when we finally embraced I remember feeling overcome with happiness.
- Walking down the aisle towards Hal. We had eyes only for each other, and I have never felt more lucky or genuinely happy.
- Dancing to our very last song, ‘Hey Jude’. By this time, the bus had collected the majority of guests, so only family/close friends staying at the Estate were left. They formed a circle around us, and Hal and I stood in the center and slowly moved around the circle singing and looking out at our nearest and dearest. I was completely overcome and started crying – Hal just held me and kept singing Hey Jude into my ear. I still well up when I think about it!
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage means loyalty, it means mutual respect, trust, empathy, support, encouragement, friendship and love. It means sticking through the tough times because you know how great the good times are.
It means building a strong foundation of friendship; always have each other’s back. It’s important to never lose respect for yourself or your partner.
Keep the lines of communication open and be honest.
Keep working on it: sometime things will be hard, but make sure you prioritise what’s important and continue to make time for each other.
Aisle: A thousand years by Christina Perri
Recessional: Signed, sealed delivered by Stevie Wonder
Reception entry bridal party: I’m a believer by Smashmouth
Reception entry: Crazy in Love by Beyonce
First dance: One and Only by Adele
Cake cutting: All my love by George Ezra
Farewell circle: Wonderwall by Oasis
Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
Hey Jude by The Beatles
Funny stories (or near disasters).
The night before the wedding, one of our vendors (an acoustic guitarist/singer who was going to perform before the ceremony/during canapes), messaged me to cancel because he was quite unwell and had lost his voice. We were very disappointed, not just because he wouldn’t be there to set the tone for our guests, but also because he is actually a close family friend. We totally understood, and just hoped he would have a speedy recovery. We spoke with the venue, and requested they play a Spotify playlist through their sound system instead which worked nicely.
Probably the emotion of it: I didn’t expect to be such a softie, but I often found myself tearing up just thinking about the big day!
Also the sheer number of balls you need to juggle: the wedding really tested my project management skills!
Words of wisdom.
Have a plan upfront: once you know your approach and mission statement, the research and execution is really fun!
Just how fantastic all of our vendors truly are! When Hal and I talk about the day, we honestly don’t think it could have been as spectacular without such creative, intelligent, kind and fun individuals.
Who doesn’t love a dress with a difference, so be sure to check out Louise and Sebastian’s magical Melbourne day.
TERRIN AND HAL’S TRIBE
Ceremony/Reception venue: Flowerdale Estate – Flowerdale Estate staff could not have been more friendly, calming or kind. They have an incredible approach ability and a ‘country town’ mentality which means they never lose the personal touch. Every time we phoned, it didn’t matter who answered, the staff knew exactly who we were and all about our wedding. The food was beyond incredible and we have been inundated with praise for the wedding package. The grounds were meticulous and beautifully prepared. We absolutely loved everything about Flowerdale & the memories we’ve created there are something pretty spectacular. We can’t wait to celebrate future anniversaries with a trip down and a high tea
Celebrant/Officiant: Nat Sproal – Our wedding day would not have been as brilliant as it was without Nat. Nat set the tone for the most wonderful, joyful & fun experience. From the first meeting at Code Black cafe, through until an impromptu quickie rehearsal (requested last minute by me when wedding week peak stress took hold), Nat was so kind, genuine & had the attitude of ‘don’t you worry, I’ve got this’. Nat went above and beyond to really understand our relationship and our story, which couldn’t have been more obvious in the ceremony she put together. It was 100% reflective of us. We love Nat’s modern, fun, take on ceremonies and her ability to flex around any requests we had. Most importantly, aside from all the brilliant attributes listed above, Nat is a genuinely nice, funny, confident and intelligent human. We couldn’t imagine our day without her and couldn’t recommend her highly enough.
Photography/Videography: Rick Liston – Rick is quite simply a photography magician. We could not have asked for a more fantastic person to capture and share in the best day of our lives. From our first point of contact all those months ago right until the final dance at midnight, Rick has been steadfastly calm, kind and confident. Rick made us feel relaxed and content over the entire day and the photos are truly works of art. We are blown away by the way Rick’s ridiculously gifted brain works and can’t wait to print out, hang and admire his handywork for a lifetime. Thank you again Rick.
Florist: No 1 Blooms – Jaime at No1 Blooms was conscientious, thorough and creative. We absolutely love all the beautiful blooms that Jaime creates and really trusted in her vision. We couldn’t be more pleased with the service or the outcome. We also utilised Jaime to create some beautiful, personalised thank you hampers for our parents, which we presented the morning after the wedding. Jaime was very thoughtful and meticulous about what to include in the hampers, & the result was something our parents loved and appreciated
Hair: Julia Baha from Baha Hair Design – Julia is my long-term hairdresser, and I couldn’t think of anyone else to have with my Bride squad and I on the big day. Julia is fun, energetic & flexible. Julia was always honest with her opinion, and happy to do what it took to achieve the result each of us wanted.
Make Up: Clem Cuming – Clem was so lovely and easy to deal with: she has such a soothing presence and precise touch. Clem was understanding, considerate & methodical throughout the entire process. Clem was always flexible, and had no ego at all about myself or any of the girls requesting some of our own makeup/preferences. I will continue to use Clem for any occasions that require make-up, and look forward to working with her again.
The Dress: Shehzarin Batha Couture – From the day I walked in, Kanita, Shez and Leila have been friendly, genuine and professional. They were meticulous, precise and pragmatic. They were flexible around my request to alter the dress I fell in love with, & were precise in their execution. Right down until the last fitting, Shez & Leila were incredibly thorough and wouldn’t let me walk away with the dress until it was perfect. The result is a dress that I absolutely love and feel comfortable and confident in. I still have people approaching me to compliment the dress, weeks after the wedding! I can’t thank the incredibly talented, creative & brilliant team at Shehzarin enough.
Veil / head wear: Shehzarin Batha Couture
Shoes: Bared footwear
Rings: Top Image Jewellery
Bridesmaids dresses: Bridesmaid dressing room – Aneta was friendly, helpful & approachable. We walked away with three beautiful dresses and felt confident that each bridesmaid would look and feel beautiful. Aneta’s approach was very individualised, which left our group feeling content with our choices. We can’t thank Aneta enough.
Grooms suit/ties/shoes: Bell & Barnett
Favors: Mini bottles of prosecco from the lovely team at Alepat Taylor
Cake / Cake topper: Pretty tasty – Gayani
Stationery / Signage: Bayprint design
Entertainment: Mercury DJ Hire – From the very first phone call through until the wedding day, Mercury DJ hire were professional, approachable & knowledgeable. We worked with Pete on our wedding day, & when it came time to put together a play list, we asked that rather than us choosing each song, Pete please gauge the room. He did this more than brilliantly: the d-floor was full ang guests were approaching me all night complimenting the music. When thinking back over our wedding day, my art we and I both agree that the highlight was the final song. This will be forever played, reminisced about and enjoyed. We couldn’t recommend Mercury highly enough, & they’ve helped create some of the best memories of our entire lives.
Décor: Flowerdale Estate