The Special Couple: Arianne + Chris
THE FIRST SIGHT
Our love story started on an evening in Western Australia, Chris was watching' A Cruise Story' on ACA in front of the television with work friends. They decided their next adventure would be a cruise to the Loyalty Islands to explore the sparkling azure waters of the Isle of Pines, Lifou, Mystery Island and Noumea. Chris ended up as the "7th wheel" -an odd number in a group of three other couples. Meanwhile, on the other side of Australia, in Sydney, plans were being made for a girls' trip with two of my single friends to explore the pristine beaches and exotic locations of the Loyalty Islands. Neither Chris nor I were looking for love; Chris was seeking the thrill of his first overseas adventure, coupled with a chance to bond with his buddies, while I envisioned my days filled with cocktails by the pool, pampering spa sessions and enjoying loads of good food. Little did we know that our holiday plans would lead to one of the most important chapters of our lives.
Chris' friend Amanda took charge of booking the rooms for their group. She decided to assign Chris a room down the hall from the rest of the gang. "Just in case you meet your future wife," she joked. No one ever suspected that Amanda's words would be so prophetic. Our paths finally crossed on the second night of the cruise. Two strangers, each on their journey, collided amid a vibrant party on the top deck. As the days turned into nights and the cruise sailed on, Chris and I became inseparable. Our groups couldn't help but wonder if there was more to this than just a holiday fling. The chemistry between us was undeniable. But as they say, all good things must end, and reality set in when our cruise eventually docked in Sydney. We had to say our goodbyes. At the airport, Chris looked into my eyes and made his first promise to me- "I'll ring you every night". True to his word, night after night, for the last seven years and counting, Chris has called me every night without fail, even as his work took him from WA to NSW, VIC and now to the NT. Our love has blossomed with every conversation, transcending the distance that separated us. What started as a spontaneous decision to embark on a cruise adventure with each of our friendship groups turned into a love story that defied the odds.
Chris and I were born in the same year, separated by ten days on the calendar. As our joint 30th birthday approached, the excitement in the air was palpable. Family and friends from far and wide went to Chris' house in Mildura, eager to share in our milestone celebration. But an even bigger secret was about to unfold on this special day. Just a few days before our birthday extravaganza, Chris had orchestrated a proposal. With the Murray River glistening in the background, he had chosen the perfect moment to ask me to be his forever!
Chris had casually hidden the engagement ring in his esky. As we enjoyed the tranquil beauty of the river, he suggested we take some cute couple photos together. These photos would capture a life-changing moment. With the camera set up to capture the picturesque scenery, Chris walked behind me, and I assumed he was preparing to embrace me from behind. Still, there was something different about the atmosphere. Instead of an embrace from behind, a gentle tap on the ankle caught me by surprise. Turning around to see what was happening, my heart skipped a beat as I lay eyes on Chris, who had knelt before me, holding a box that contained a glistening ring. Before he could even utter any words, I shouted a resounding "YES!" which echoed. Chris had chosen our Joint 30th birthday celebration as the perfect moment to share our news with our families and closest friends. As Chris stood before the crowd amid heartfelt speeches, he held up my left hand to reveal the engagement ring, announcing to all that we were now engaged to be married.
THE INSPIRATION & VENUE
Our wedding venue was set against the backdrop of a picturesque winery with the stunning natural landscape of the Murray River flowing gently. Our day's colour palette drew inspiration from the winery setting, featuring black, gold and 'wine red'. We wanted our theme to encapsulate the essence of romance and elegance while evoking a sense of opulence and sophistication, perfectly complementing the rustic beauty of the vineyards and the river.
ARIANNE'S BRIDAL DRESS SHOPPING JOURNEY
I have a delightful secret about my dress. Before we became engaged, Chris suggested I attend bridal expos in both Sydney and Mildura that happened to be held during the weeks he was away so that I could 'shop around and see what was out there'. We had taken trips to jewellery stores to look at engagement rings together, subtly hinting at our relationship's path. From there, I decided to embark on my secret journey of preparation.
Aware that my couture wedding dress would be a made-to-order masterpiece that would require the better part of a year to craft, I secured a coveted spot at the upcoming Eternal Bridal trunk show- an event of bridal magnificence that promised to unveil the most exquisite gowns. In pure conviction, unwavering faith and without even having a ring on my finger (much less a wedding date to specify on the order), I placed a deposit and ordered my dream wedding dress. At this moment, I want to express my deepest gratitude and heartfelt thanks to the remarkable team at Eternal Bridal for being so accommodating of my unconventional approach to wedding dress shopping. It's a rare gem to find a bridal store so open and accepting of unique visions and unconventional journeys like mine. My downright audacious leap of faith ended up paying off. Five months after I ordered my dress, my husband proposed, and six months after that, we were walking down the aisle in my dream dress on my dream wedding date, 18/08/18.
SAYING "YES" TO THE DRESS
Before the trunk show, I did my research and found my top three Galia Lahav dresses that I wanted. I chose none of those dresses, which looked amazing on the models but somehow weren't quite right for me. I went with the suggestion of my Eternal Bridal stylist, who saw the style I was going for and immediately suggested the Sinclair that I had somehow overlooked. When I tried it on, it was like it had been made for me. It fit like a glove, and I have never felt more glamorous. My philosophy is that on the day of your event, whether a wedding or any other celebration, you should look amazing and feel so at ease that your sole concern is having a good time. It's not just about aesthetics; it reflects your inner self. Ultimately, whatever you wear must feel comfortable inside and out.
That being said, I learnt another valuable lesson that day: if your dream dress requires constant retying and adjusting or you're afraid it's too transparent, there's no harm in asking during your appointment if adjustments can be made. More often than not, the skilled artisans, seamstresses and tailors who work with the team at Eternal Bridal can work their magic to ensure your comfort and, more importantly, peace of mind.
It's challenging to single out just one highlight of our day, for each moment holds its unique charm and significance. From the exuberant dance floor takeover by my dance friends, the heartfelt speeches, our first dance as husband and wife, slipping away on the houseboat for a few moments together after the ceremony to take a breather, process what we had just done and change into our party clothes for the reception. It's hard to pick a single favourite moment. They all collectively made the day unforgettable. But the most fantastic highlight I have to say was the instant I stood before the love of my life, my best friend, declaring my vows and meaning them with every inch of my soul.
ARIANNE'S WEDDING ADVICE
Life is adorned with milestones, and a wedding certainly tops the list. It's your very own moment to shine; just like the Hollywood stars gliding down the red carpet, you deserve to feel as breathtakingly impressive as you look. This is your Cinderella moment, your grand entrance into a fairy tale of love and commitment. Never, and I mean never, apologise for doing it your way. It's another day in your love story, and there's no one else's script that should dictate your path. Whether it's an intimate gathering or a grand extravaganza, whether it's a traditional ceremony or an offbeat celebration, whether you chose a classic white gown or something more uniquely you- (I never thought I would, but I ended up choosing a dress with a pink undertone)- it's your canvas, your masterpiece. Embrace your uniqueness, style, dreams, and love, and let them shine. Your wedding day is your stage, and you are the star. So, walk down that aisle with all the grace and confidence of a Hollywood celebrity because this is your moment to be the most authentic, radiant, and joyful version of yourself. Oh, and remember to bring flats.
Arianne wore Sinclair wedding dress from Galia Lahav Haute Couture. See more gowns from Galia Lahav Haute Couture Collection here.
Ceremony Reception Venue: Trentham Estate Winery
Cake: Claudia Circosta Cakes
Videographer: Soda Films