We arrived at the Gunners’ Barracks in plenty of time. Gunners’ was just perfect for us – we chose it to host both our ceremony and reception. A heritage sandstone building overlooking the ocean, with a dining room, terrace, courtyard, sitting room and dressing room all included. It was so private – no tourists or other weddings going on. It was really important to us to find a venue that felt secluded.
We’d told guests the ceremony started at 5pm sharp, even though we had allowed for it to start at 5:30, thus giving guests 30 mins leeway to guarantee they were there in time. Luckily we did, because as we pulled up smack on 5pm, there were guests who had just parked and were slowly walking down to the venue … It also meant that we had time to relax, sit down, touch up our make-up and chill out before the ceremony started.
The Chrysler out the front of the venue.
Candid of Shell and I chilling out.
The groom with the flower baby, ready for action.
Chiara gets a last-minute feed from Dad.
I was so excited to get the ceremony underway – I couldn’t wait to be married. My dad came in and we hung out while the celebrant reminded us of what we had to do next.
Me and my dad.
And then … it was time! I heard the string trio playing on the terrace (Pachelbel’s Canon in D).
Rosalie and Shelley walked out one at a time (I hear everyone coo over the flower baby), and then, it was my turn.
It was so overwhelming seeing all my friends and families’ faces looking at me and smiling as I walked out on to the terrace. I generally don’t like being the centre of attention, so it was hard to not freak out and focus on just Alec at the end of the aisle.
With my dad. Such a happy moment.
Dad walked me to the end of the terrace and placed my hand in Alec’s.
I think we were supposed to face the people at this stage, but instead we just stared at each other while the celebrant gave her talk. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as happy as I did during the ceremony when I was saying my vows and listening to the words our celebrant was saying.
My oldest friend, Beck, gave a reading during the ceremony – one of my favourite poems.
i carry your heart with me – ee cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Beck read the poem so beautifully.
Next was saying our vows. We wrote our own, piecing them together from some simple, traditional vows we liked. We had planned to memorise them, but in the end we just didn’t get around to it, so we read them out of the book the celebrant had brought with her.
Alec and I said the same vows to each other:
I, Christine, take you, Alec, to be my lawful wedded husband, best friend and lifelong partner in marriage. All that I have I will share with you. Whatever the future holds I will love you and stand by you throughout out lives together. This is my solemn vow to you.
Using the microphone so people could hear me – we both usually have no problem with our voices carrying, but wanted to be sure everyone could hear, just in case.
We then exchanged rings. There was a small funny moment where the best man gave Alec the man’s ring to put on me instead my own ring. The celebrant saw the confusion and ninja-like located the correct ring and handed it to Alec.
“Wear this ring as a symbol of my everlasting love and commitment to you.”
And then we were married! Absolutely the happiest moment in my life so far.
Signing the registry. My brother, Tim, and the best man, Daniel, signed as our witnesses.
After signing the registry and being presented with our wedding certificate, the ceremony was officially completed. The celebrant invited our families and friends to congratulate us. I’m so glad we did this as it gave us a chance to say hi to all of our guests. I didn’t get around to see everyone during the reception, so I was happy I had this one moment to thank everyone for coming. Our guests were so happy for us, it was just so amazing. I’ve never felt so much love in a room before – I’ve certainly never felt so loved and in love before!
Being congratulated by our families.
We asked everyone to gather in the courtyard following the ceremony for a big group shot.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.